A British professor of design was particularly enthralled by this picture depicting a quiet, peaceful family scene. A mood of serenity permeates the landscape, largely due to the vast empty space used by the artist in her composition.
The focus of the picture is a close shot of a family of wild ducks, with mother duck and her babies huddled at the lower end of the image. Above the ducks is nothing but a blue, open lake. The use of the lake space creates an illusion of vastness, while at the same time being in perfect symmetry with the relatively small space occupied by the mother and ducklings. The viewer’s eyes move from this small focal point at the bottom, then, guided by undulating ripples, travel upward toward the center where the reflections of the trees begin. One single reed slicing through the ripples further guides the eyes upward to the top of the picture. The small scale of the photographer’s subjects and the vastness of the empty space create a dramatic contrast, through which the artist succinctly tells her subject’s story.
The professor said that such clever compositional techniques in the artist’s work should be explained, so as to provide creative inspiration for others.