Less is More / by Graham Dew

Winter Fields, Barton Farm, January 2012, edit 5

The strange thing about working with joiners is that there is no definitive image, no 'correct' way to compile the picture. I took the photos for this picture about a month ago, and decided in the field that I would need as many cells horizontally as was needed to fully capture the row of trees, and that I would need two or three rows of clouds to make up the sky, with four rows of the ploughed field. This was the picture that resulted -

Winter Fields, Barton Farm, January 2012, edit 3

I showed a copy of this picture to my colleagues at Arena. Those that offered an opinion were very complementary, but I felt that the picture was not finished and could do with some modifications. I wasn't comforatable with the 'clam shell ' pattern that had developed in the picture. So I sent a copy of the image to my friend Noel Myles who is the most accomplished artist working in this technique today. His advice? Reduce a row of foreground perspective and probably a row of cloud.

I've done this and also reduced the width of the composite. Result - the trees have greater prominence, the field reads more realistically and the sky is more harmonious and believable.

Winter Fields, Barton Farm, January 2012, edit 5
To my eyes, Noel is right. A much better picture that read more easily. I've learned a few things with this picture, and I would (will) shoot it differently next time.