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Image Layers

Immersing yourself in the flow of subjects

The really important pictures include those which give rise to the same curiosity after long and repeated viewing as they do at first sight. Shots of this kind are rare. To produce them, you need to be alert, so that you can identify the right moment, and you need to have an intellectual presence, in order to answer the question of which layer should hold each theme, according to digiscoping expert Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar.

© Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar

Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar is a biologist and discovered digiscoping as a result of his work. He is one of the best-known digiscopers in the German-speaking countries and his shots always arouse a great deal of interest and admiration. For his pictures, he uses an STX 25-60x85 spotting scope with a TLS APO lens system from SWAROVSKI OPTIK.

In nature photography, the subjects are in a constant state of flux. Image configurations and the accompanying possibilities for composition disappear as quickly as they arrived. Immersing yourself in this flow of subjects and seizing your own personal moment is a particularly pleasurable experience. Anyone who does not simply want to take a snapshot, but instead wants to produce a photograph or even create a work of art will be interested in image levels and will connect them with narrative themes.

  • © Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar
  • © Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar
  • © Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar
  • © Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar

Foreground and background

The simplest way of adding another level to a picture is to include a foreground or background. Another popular design feature is the use of a reflection, for example in water. Reflections have the advantage of counteracting any vertical dominance while also enhancing the appearance of the image and bringing a new (and generally mysterious) dimension to it.



Images for eternity

Image levels also help to bring together the foreground and background to create a coherent whole or to combine contrasts (such as rigid and dynamic or slow and fast). By paying greater attention, being more open to outside influences, and improving the speed of our reactions, we can bring the reality of a situation and the reality of our impression into (coherent) harmony. The result will be images that last a lifetime.



Tips

The impression of complexity is generally created using three subject highlights. One or two are only sufficient if they are particularly surprising and have a lasting effect.

A digiscoping shot will induce repeated viewing if it succeeds in telling a story which can be continued by the observer. A popular way of achieving this is to ask, “What can I sense but not see (in the picture)?”

Can the photography be reduced (for example using close-ups) or made more abstract (for example using blurring)? How does it produce a wider range of perceptions for the observer?