Flower Box and Harbour, Victoria BC

Quick!  What’s this a picture of: flowers or a harbour?

Close-up of flowers in concrete planter with harbour in background.

Umm, both?  Hence the dual categorization of this photo: flora and landscapes.

Don’t you just love foreground and background?  At least when both are lovely or interesting?  Of course, it’s a different matter when I can’t (or, sadly, don’t think to)  find a place to stand or crouch that doesn’t include some unwanted element in one of those . . .



  1. But not both, because the foreground demands the viewer’s primary attention for its clarity and detail. Yet, both, because the floral arrangement lacks a focal point: the eye inevitably drifts to the harbour, seeking a focal point that perhaps is hidden by the bouquet. Answering your question could become as challenging as finding hidden objects in a drawing or settling on the dominant pattern in an optical illusion. This type of tension may define the perfect standard for desktop wallpaper: lovely, but enigmatic.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – You make (another) good point. I think the picture would be more interesting with a single point of interest in the background. A nephew by marriage is an accomplished photographer. One of his shots is a sharply in-focus wildflower along a mountain trail, with (presumably) a slope/valley immediately behind it, and a mountain on the far horizon, just slightly softened. It’s stunning – super simple in result: All you see/notice is the single flower, backed by the mountain.

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