Is it a landscape photo? Or documentary? Or sports? Or maybe even an advertising photo? You might say that this photo has a little of everything, because it has legs in all of the above categories. Let’s take a look at why that’s so.
What we have here is an excellent work that’s a little bit documentary and a little bit of a landscape photo. It shows the beauty and difficulty of mountain climbing, and is an easy “read” for the audience.
Readability in Photos
This specific photograph is very well-composed: it contains a foreground, a subject, and a background, and all this thanks to the use of a wide-angle lens, which has given it the depth that’s so important here. It likewise contains anchor points that the audience can catch on to that help them to read the photo. We start at the top left, continue horizontally to the right, from there diagonally towards the bottom left, and finish reading the photo at the bottom right.
Difficult and Beautiful
We can rightly consider this photo to be a little bit reportage, or documentary. It’s a great look at the difficulty of mountain climbing. The photo’s main character is climbing on a very steep rock face. The photo itself thus evokes a feeling of danger, because there’s the constant danger of falling.
On the other hand the environment in which the climber is climbing is so beautiful that, just looking at the photo, you get the desire to go and try climbing for yourself too. The photo’s panoramic format amplifies this feeling further.
And then all of this can be put to use in advertising. This photo would be a good fit for e.g. the homepage of a website about mountain climbing.
Right Towards the Light
At first sight it looks like this photo was taken facing the sun. This is clearest from the sky, which is the most dominant area in the photo. The shadows confirm the same. Fortunately the light isn’t so strong as to make the photo a mere silhouette.
Nevertheless, the photographer could have used a graduated filter to soften the sunshine, and this would have kept the picture from being disrupted by the strange spots that were created in the photo’s sky region due to the light. We’d recommend to the photographer that they spend more time on post-production.
The great thing about this photo is that it’s simple, and yet it says everything it needs to. It has great potential.