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Sea Turtle Underwater
A “Deeper” Look Into Underwater Photography – Depth of Field 1024 683 varunvisuals

A “Deeper” Look Into Underwater Photography – Depth of Field

Sea Turtle Underwater
This beautiful photo taken by photographer Jeremy Bishop perfectly illustrates depth of field in underwater photography

As promised in my last article, I wanted to take some time to look at underwater photography and begin analyzing photos in this genre, much as I have done with others in the past. Underwater photography is immensely distinct from other genres due to one main characteristic – it’s underwater (if you see an underwater wedding photographer, please let me know, I am asking for a friend).

Okay, maybe underwater photography isn’t too different from wedding photography

However, you would be surprised to know that this has little impact on the actual photography itself. In fact, there are arguably more similarities than differences between underwater photography and other genres. While yes, if you leave your gear unattended, it won’t get stolen (it would sink), if you dress inappropriately, you won’t be slightly uncomfortable (you would drown), if you rush back home, you won’t be missing the latest episode of Property Brothers on HGTV (you would be experiencing decompression sickness – while still missing out on those beautiful kitchen counter tops), and – okay, maybe I digress.

Don’t even act like you haven’t found yourself watching HGTV at some point

Essentially, except for the environment you are in and extra adaptations you must make, the photographic concepts and elements that make an interesting image still apply. This includes everything such as the relationships between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, composition theory like rule of thirds or the golden spiral, the principles of visual design. However, for today’s commentary, we are going to revisit depth of field.

If you have been following along with my other posts and image commentaries, you will know I have already discussed this topic extensively. Depth of field is a technique used to accentuate the three dimensional space of a scene while being limited to a two dimensional medium (i.e. screens, prints, paper, etc). The most effective way of implementing depth of field is by establishing layers of varying depths within an image. Traditionally speaking, there are three main layers: foreground, middle ground, and background.

This image is a simple depiction of the three main layers that can give depth to any scene

The most prominent examples of depth of field can be identified in landscape photography. Often, the foreground element is an object or texture that is intended to add detail to an image to draw in the viewer. In the beautiful photo above, this would be the rock on the seafloor in the lower left corner.

The foreground is the region closest to the camera or viewer. It also may contain a visual element that has detail and texture to compliment the scene, such as this rock on the seafloor

The middle ground however, is usually a larger portion of the photograph than the foreground – it is also behind the foreground. The middle ground of a photograph can vary tremendously in what it entails – sometimes, it can be just a continuation of the foreground or empty space, and other times, it can also hold the subject itself. In this case, the latter applies. The sea turtle – which by the way, is absolutely stunning and majestic in every way – is undoubtedly the subject of this image. It is also in the middle ground portion of the photo (which can roughly be identified as the “ocean” or the water itself). Regardless of circumstance, the middle ground of a photograph always can be characterized by one thing – it separates the foreground and background, thus resulting in the manifestation of visual depth.

In this image, the middle ground includes the subject – however, this may not always be the case

This leads me to the last layer – the background. Typically, the background of a scene is the biggest of all three layers. An example in landscape photography could be the vast sky. The background could also contain elements of its own, such as a tiny distant mountain range. In other words, the background (much like the other layers) can be comprised of various subject matter of its own. For instance, a vast sky behind the silhouette of a tiny mountain range could all together be categorized as the background layer of a photo. In the photograph above, the background is more unique – rather than being an overarching sky, it is the sunlight being refracted by the waves on the surface of the water. One could also argue that the background includes the rocks on the seafloor further back as well as the darker depths of the ocean.

The background includes the surface, sunlight, as well as the rest of the ocean. Note that the dotted area is in reference to the water “behind” the middle ground

Once all three layers are put together, you are left with a scene that contains depth of field – regardless of whether it is above water, or below. Not only does depth of field provide a sense of realism to the viewer, but it also can serve several other purposes as well such as manipulating the viewer’s attention or adding extra detail to compliment the main subject of the photo.

So there you have it! Depth of field is certainly a concept applicable to underwater photography as much as any other genre, but it is far from the only one! That being said, let me know down in the comments below whether you would like to hear about other photographic concepts and elements of design that are pertinent to the mystical scenes that lay below the water’s surface.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some HGTV to go watch.

Photographer: Jeremy Bishop

An Introduction to Underwater Photography 1024 575 varunvisuals

An Introduction to Underwater Photography

Today I thought I would take some time to talk about a genre of photography that is so distinct from the rest, that it may as well be deemed a different type of art all together- underwater photography. Underwater photography has always been a skill that I hope to master one day, for many reasons – it gives me the opportunity to travel, explore the depths of the ocean, become one with nature, and come face to face with unique and beautiful animals. But most importantly, it takes me to a whole different world – this was something I came to realize when I went scuba diving off the coast of Cancun. There is simply nothing like it.

The moment you go under the surface, you are visiting a whole new world. A world that is absent of all the chaos above. A world with no politics, wars, or poverty. A world where the only sound you hear is the sound of your heartbeat – a reminder of your own mortality and how the problems you carry are too insignificant to waste your life over. A world where the only pressure that exists comes from the water above you and not the deadlines in front of you. Underwater photography is being able to capture these ideas in the form of images, and transcend them past the boundaries of worlds, between air and water, chaos and calm, yin and yang.

I will be honest. When I first began writing this piece, it was with the intent of commentating on an underwater photograph. However, as I started forming my thoughts, I realized it would be impossible without discussing the very nature of underwater photography. Skipping this step would be a disservice to the art as it places an initial emphasis on the commonalities between photographic elements under the water’s surface and above it. But as we know, the true beauty is in the differences. This is why I chose to introduce the genre with its unique background rather than its common conceptual elements via commentary.

So, regardless of whether you are a photographer or viewer, what are your thoughts on underwater photography? Do you prefer it over other types of photography? If not, what do you like more and why? Let me know in the comments below!

Lastly, stay tuned, as the next post WILL be a commentary on a gorgeous underwater photograph.

P.S. Hope you like sea turtles 😉

5 Things to Consider Before a Landscape or Urban Photography Adventure (Part 1) 1024 683 varunvisuals

5 Things to Consider Before a Landscape or Urban Photography Adventure (Part 1)

As photographers, we are (or at least should be) well versed with the basic foundational elements and concepts behind composing and capturing a visual space in such a way that we successfully convey our ideas or instigate the appropriate emotions that we want within our audience. But what happens before that? Well, first ya gotta get to the place silly!

It is no surprise that landscape and urban photography sometimes calls for trips and adventures of all sorts. After all, it is kinda hard to capture urban scenes in your kitchen (trust me, I’ve tried). In fact, this is actually one of the most rewarding perks of being a landscape or urban photographer. Such adventures can take us to places like never before, allow us to meet people we would never imagine, experience exhilarating moments, and even permanently transform the way we think (not to mention, they give you plenty of stories to tell at the next party you go to;)). But like any trip, there are certain precautions and preparations you should take to ensure your safety and success, especially during a photography expedition. Here are 5 things to plan for before and during a landscape or urban photography adventure.

If you aren’t this excited before an adventure, is it even an adventure?

1.) Directions and Driving

While not nearly as critical as the rest of the tips on this list, knowing where you are going can save you a lot of time, trouble, as well as increased . You would be surprised how often I have found myself lost, even with the miraculous creation of Google Maps (R.I.P. printed directions from MapQuest). 

Assuming you are travelling to a location you have never been to before, I highly recommend briefly eye balling the route you plan on taking (especially for urban adventures) and noting its key features – highway exits, detours, construction zones, tolls, and traffic are a few to look out for. As silly as it may seem, a few minutes spent before the actual drive will save you the potential headache of missing exits, winding up facing the wrong way on a one way street (no comment), stuck in a traffic jam because you missed a detour, or neglecting the speed limit and winding up with a $400 ticket – not a great way to start your adventure. 

You may not know where life will take you, but you better be sure of your map

Some other things to consider are the tiny (but important) aspects of your drive.

For instance, I can tell you from personal experience that forgetting your phone charger can make things a LOT harder (as I am sure you know). Having a dead (or even slow) phone can through a wrench into the navigational aspects of your trip (which can reintroduce all the problems I just mentioned in the last paragraph). Possible solutions include getting a new phone, driving with a navigation buddy, using a GPS, or the cheapest alternative – print out your directions to avoid any and all technology mishaps.

Another aspect is entertainment – if you are like me and love listening to music on long drives, make sure to use playlists so your not tempted to use your phone will driving. Also, if you are using a music subscription service, make sure it has been renewed!

You don’t need friends to do this (don’t worry, I won’t judge)

You may also find yourself getting hungry along the way so snacks are definitely a must! Make sure you bring your own or else your hunger may tempt you into paying $500 for a candy bar at a rest stop (seriously though, what is with those prices).

Last but not least – make sure to get a good night’s rest before your trip! The last thing you need is to be exhausted or even worse, falling asleep behind the wheel. In fact, I find myself falling asleep while driving (with music) even AFTER getting adequate sleep. My solution: call a friend or family member. The reason driving makes us tired is simply because it is a boring, monotonous activity. While music may be distracting, it does not require the same cognitive stimulation that a conversation provides. Listening, comprehending, thinking, and then responding is more than enough to keep you awake.

Like I said before, these are very tiny details, especially in the grand scheme of things. However, as I am sure you know, it doesn’t take a lot to ruin a trip!

2.) Weather and Appropriate Clothing

You can never go wrong with having too many clothes (okay well, maybe if your at the airport and your luggage is overweight). While it probably goes without saying, being inadequately dressed for your adventure can ruin your mood and even photos.

Ideally, you will want to check the weather forecast the days leading up to your trip, as things may always change without notice. If the weather is cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon, make sure to wear layers that you can eventually take off while also carrying some backup shorts. If the weather is sunny in the afternoon but there is a chance (as low as it may be) of showers, bring a raincoat. These are just some basic examples of being prepared for the WHOLE trip, not just part of it. The last thing you need is to be suffocating in the heat, freezing in the cold, or drenched in the rain, while also trying to properly compose and take a photo.

Okay but why does he work that raincoat better than me?

Another consideration is dressing for the actual environment you know you will find yourself in. For instance, if you will be in a wooded area but during a sunny afternoon, shorts will leave you exposed to the forest floor and mosquitoes, while thick pants will make you uncomfortably hot – therefore you may want wear thin pants to accommodate both needs. If your trip is near mountainous or rugged terrain, think about wearing hiking boots rather than basic hiking (or even worse, running) shoes. There is nothing worse than being unable to complete your trek and capture the perfect shot simply because of soggy socks and blistered feet.

Unless you want to practice for your next dance rehearsal, I recommend you bring mosquito repellent

3.) Restrooms

Fortunately, I have never found myself in the awkward predicament of knocking on the door of a random person’s house to use their restroom (although I have been close). As landscape (and even urban) photographers, we may find ourselves in situations where public restrooms are inaccessible. While the number of bathrooms available is beyond our control, we DO have control over what we eat and knowing WHERE you are headed (cough tip #1 cough).

Let’s be honest – we have all been Kevin at some point

If you know you won’t have accessibility to a restroom, try to avoid having heavy meals right before. Rather, have multiple smaller meals. You may also want to avoid fibrous or other “risky” foods. Secondly, if you have planned your trip well, you should know where restrooms will be located, both along your journey, and at your destination. If you know your destination will not have accessible restrooms, make sure you are familiar with the legal procedure, etiquette, and supplies you may need to properly answer nature’s call in…well…nature. 

4.) Trespassing and Legal Regulations 

If you take away only a couple points from this article, please make this one of them.While this is more or less common sense, trespassing is ILLEGAL. Prior to your trip, make sure that any and all property or areas you wander on are either public – if not, you must obtain exclusive permission from the owners of said property. In other words, the following do not count as permission:

– You saw someone else wander onto the property so you can do the same (if you do not understand the full situation, false assumptions are easy to make)

– A friend or stranger told you it’s okay (if they are not the property owners, their permission is not valid)

– No one will even know (being legally held accountable for your actions should not be the primary deterrent for doing something that is ethically wrong in the first place)

– The property is public but closed (being on public property after hours is still considered trespassing). Remember, you are accountable for knowing the hours of operation of any area you will be visiting, PRIOR to the visit.

– The location is PERFECT for a photo opportunity and will kickstart your career into being a world renowned National Geographic photographer (firstly, there are millions of other locations that are likely as perfects, if not more, than this one while also being legally accessible. Secondly, I am almost certain National Geographic does not support trespassing :))

– “I didn’t know” – ignorance is never an excuse. If you are unsure of whether any part of your trip is considered trespassing, ask the appropriate individuals. This could be nearby property owners, park officials, and especially law enforcement officials.

Remember, there is no photo out there that is worth encroaching onto someone else’s property. Not only is it illegal, but it is rude and unethical.

…but seriously, who would want to end up in a confrontation like this?

5.) Fuel and Mechanical Issues

Ah yes, the beautiful world of car problems. Obviously, this is one issue that is not unique to photography expeditions. 

While most car issues are unforeseeable, you can make some preparations to cover the most common sticky situations – running out of gas, being overdue for an oil change, having failing breaks, low tire pressure, not having a spare tire, and having worn down tires. Respectively, preparations would entail filling up your gas tank, being up to date on your oil change, getting your breaks checked, filling the air in your tires, getting a spare tire, and having your tires rotated. 

Of course, there is always the possibility of your engine catching on fire, bumper falling off, and, in general, your car spontaneously deciding to stop being a car. In these instances, you will want to make sure you have your car insurance handy (which you should always have anyway) as well as the a number for roadside maintenance (once again, this is only useful if you have a charged phone).

This is actual footage of me

At the very least, following these basic steps will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be sputtering to a stop in the middle of nowhere and hiking to a gas station rather than your photo spot! 


Keep in mind that while some of these tips require diligence during the trip, many involve preparation prior to the trip itself. Regardless of how small or insignificant they may appear, they are all critical in ensuring a successful and ENJOYABLE photography expedition (what good is it if you are miserable the whole time). Remember, make preparations for both what you do know AND what you don’t.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Captain Cold (aka Leonard Snart) in the CW TV Series, The Flash: “There are only four rules you need to remember: make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plan to go off the rails, throw away the plan.”

If you haven’t seen The Flash, I highly recommend it!

Did I mention anything that you didn’t think of? What are some preparations you usually make before a trip? What’s the worst situation you have been in because of poor planning? Make sure to leave a comment down below!

Oh and make sure to keep an eye out for part 2!

Stay safe and stay adventurous my friends!

Photo Commentary #27: Starbursts and Fraunhofer Diffraction 1024 683 varunvisuals

Photo Commentary #27: Starbursts and Fraunhofer Diffraction

Starbursts in Nightime Urban Scene

This gorgeous photo taken by Xerwyn Flores serves as a great example of starbursts in an urban environment. Notice that the lights further back in the photo (and thus less in focus) have weaker starbursts.

One of the most common characteristics you will notice in urban photographs is a lighting phenomenon colloquially known as “starbursts”. This, of course, is in reference to the the star like appearances of lights within an image due to the outward direction of their rays. However, the true explanation of this effect is a little bit more complicated – here goes nothing!

Before I explain the effect in the world of photography, we have to first take a slight detour through the world of physics. The “starburst” effect you notice in many photographs is due to a concept known as the Fraunhofer Diffraction. Fraunhofer Diffraction refers to the phenomenon by which light waves behave when travelling from an infinite distance through a slit or narrow opening. The reason we use infinite as the ideal distance is because it theoretically results in straight parallel light rays which cumulatively create what is known as a plane wave.

Fig 1.) Think of the plane waves as a 3D picture of the "incoming waves" in fig 4. A billion parallel incoming waves theoretically create a "plane". The arrow would point to the slit and screen.
Fig 1.) Think of the plane waves as a 3D picture of the “incoming waves” in fig 4. A billion parallel incoming waves theoretically create a “plane”. The arrow would point to the slit and screen.

In summary:

1.) Infinite distance between light source and slit produces parallel waves.
2.) Parallel waves cumulatively form a plane wave.
3.) All the individual parallel waves within the plane wave enter the slit or aperture at the same phase

Phase Changes and Velocity Measurement. Fig 2.) Phase refers to a point on the light's wavelength
Fig 2.) Phase refers to a point on the light’s wavelength

4.) Fraunhofer Diffraction occurs and light rays meet at a common point (light is focused)

Fig 3.) Light rays diffract and meet at a common point, creating a focused image
Fig 3.) Light rays diffract and meet at a common point, creating a focused image

5.) If light is focused, we can then assume an infinite distance to the light source

Fig 4.) A 2D depiction of parallel light waves entering a slit to create Fraunhofer diffraction. The first figure is a 3D view of the same incoming waves.
Fig 4.) A 2D depiction of parallel light waves entering a slit to create Fraunhofer diffraction. The first figure is a 3D view of the same incoming waves.

When the incoming light wave passes through the slit or opening, some of the rays diffract or bend according to several variables including: size of the hole, shape of the hole, and the distance between the screen, slit, and light source.

Now back to photography. In the beautiful image of the city skyline, we will take a look at the first street lamp on the top right corner – this will be the source of our light. The diaphragm or aperture of the camera lens will be the “slit”, and the light sensor of the camera will be the “screen” (or in other words, the “photo” we see). Let’s start with the light source.

The light source has an impact on the diffraction produced due to its distance from our camera lens as well as its other properties such as wavelength (color) and intensity. We can assume the distance from the lamp to our camera is infinity. Reason being, the street light is in focus. If you look at lights in the background or in the buildings, they have reduced focus, hence less diffraction and weaker starbursts occur.

The aperture of the camera is the slit in the diagram. The narrower the slit or aperture, the more diffraction occurs, and thus, the greater the diffraction. In other words, f/16 would create MORE diffraction than f/11. However, things don’t end there. Another aspect of the aperture is its actual shape – this is where the magic happens.

Fig 5.) As the blades of the camera's shutter increases in number, the more circular the aperture's opening becomes and less diffraction occurs
Fig 5.) As the blades of the camera’s shutter increases in number, the more circular the aperture’s opening becomes and less diffraction occurs

Camera apertures are not perfectly circular. Rather, they are comprised of numerous blades to form various shapes, depending on the number of blades. The more circular the hole, the less the diffraction. This also means, the more the blades in your camera’s aperture, the less diffraction you will see. The shape of your camera’s aperture is also the reason the starbursts get their shape. Fun fact – if your camera has an even number of aperture blades, that will be the number of points in the starbursts you create. If it has an odd number of blades however, the starburst will have twice as many tips. In the main photo, I counted an average of 14 rays in the starburst. This could mean one of two things – the camera has an aperture with either 7 blades, or 14 blades.

Fig 6.) In order to theoretically achieve any Fraunhofer Diffraction, the equation above must be less than one. However, to be seen, the equation must be much smaller than 1. 
W = aperture size
L = Distance from light source to aperture
λ = Wavelength of light
Fig 6.) In order to theoretically achieve any Fraunhofer Diffraction, the equation above must be less than one. However, to be seen, the equation must be much smaller than 1.
W = aperture size
L = Distance from light source to aperture
λ = Wavelength of light

So all in all – if you want an epic starburst, get a camera with 100 aperture blades, get a light source in focus, and make sure it is red in color (red has the longest wavelength)!

Oh and big thanks to Xerwyn Flores for taking this beautiful photo!

Photographer: Xerwyn Flores

Rule of Thirds Used in a Landscape
Photo Commentary #26: Rule of Thirds 1024 606 varunvisuals

Photo Commentary #26: Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds Used in a Landscape

In this image, the Rule of Thirds is applied two times in two different ways – the waterfall is centered on an intersection point but the mountain is composed along one of the guidelines in the imaginary grid.

In one of my previous posts, I quickly mentioned a concept called the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a guideline that landscape photographers often utlizie when determining the composition of their photo. So how is this done?

Well imagine there is a 3×3 grid placed on top of the photo or scene you are trying to capture/edit (hence the name) – you may have seen this before, probably as one of the settiings in your phone’s camera. The idea is that you want to place your main subject at any of the 4 intersection points, or along one of the guidelines. Reason being that viewers’ eyes tend to naturally gravitate towards those area of an image, video, artwork, etc. Therefore, it makes more sense to place the subect where the audience will naturally look first.

This is similar to the idea behind leading lines – except rather than using a photo’s element to guide the viewers’ eyes, you are using natural human behavior to your advantage. However, both are pertinent to audience perception and attention.

In this beautiful photo taken by Ray Bilcliff, the waterfall sits near one of the intersection points of the imaginary grid – the bottom right intersection point in particular. To add to this, there is an obvious contrast between the warm hues of the sky and landscape compared to the cool white of the water (which is also another example of long exposure photography being utilized to capture waterscapes). The mountain on the other hand, sits on not an intersection point, but a guideline – the first vertical line from the left. In both cases, the subject(s) of the photo are composed in a way that the viewer has to search less and well…admire more. No wonder this photo is so visually appealing 

Also, check out Ray’s websiite and instagram to see more stunning waterscapes! He is a retired scuba and karate instructor, how cool is that!

Photographer: Ray Bilcliff

Earth Day 2020 640 360 varunvisuals

Earth Day 2020

Happy Earth Day!! Below I have posted a transcript of Carl Sagan’s speech, “Pale Blue Dot” – make sure you take a moment to appreciate the beautiful planet we live on. What does Earth Day mean to you?

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

–Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Photo Commentary #25: Leading Lines 683 1024 varunvisuals

Photo Commentary #25: Leading Lines


Hi everyone! Before I start, I just want to apologize for the lack of posts this past week! I have been working as hard and fast as possible to get my website ready for all of you to access – and I can’t wait to show it to you! Stay tuned for that announcement!
Now, lets talk about this beauty which was taken by Efrain Alonso. I could talk about the calming aesthetic of the window reflections, but I am sure you all are pros when it comes to that topic! In this instance, the …glass acts as a way of not just increasing color within the photo, but “extending” the depth of the image. The tones of the sunset darken along the windows as they get closer to you, thus exponentially increasing the perspective with which you can appreciate the main subject of the photo – the sky.
The other element that hones in on image depth is the leading lines within the photo. Put simply, leading lines are any geometrical instances that help “lead” the viewer’s eyes linearly in a certain direction (usually towards the subject). Typically, these lines are natural within the image, meaning there are already present within the scene, free from any intervention by the photographer. The most popular and basic example of this photographic element is the oh-so-common photo of railroad tracks. The “lines” of the track quite literally help your eyes travel to the horizon while simultaneously giving the photo depth. In a sense, leading lines make the viewer’s job easier, as they do not need to work as hard to identify what they should be looking at.
This photo uses the lines of the street, building, and window frames, to guide you towards the sunset. The reflections are merely a treat for you to enjoy along the way 🙂
Photographer: Efrain Alonso
New Series: The Visuals 150 150 varunvisuals

New Series: The Visuals

Almost three months after creating this page, I thought it is time to begin posting some of MY work!

This new series, titled “The Visuals”, will focus on commentaries of photographs and videos I have done in the past, as well as content I am working on at the current time. These commentaries will not only include my personal thoughts and critiques of the image, as I have done with other artists’ photos, but also any relevant backstories, behind the scenes looks, fun facts, location information, relevant personal statements, and more.
As always, my images can be purchased in a variety of sizes, finishes, display choices, and print options including Standouts, Floatwraps, Metal Prints, Acrylic Prints, Canvases, Photographic Prints, and Fine Art Prints. Currently, prints may be purchased with some of these options here in my Facebook shop. However, I am also excited to say that my website is nearly completed and will host all my images with all print options!
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to email me at or message me here on Facebook messenger:
Stay tuned!
Your friend,
Varun Nagendra
Architectural Building With Neon Lights and Reflection
Photo Commentary #24: Subject Control 1024 576 varunvisuals

Photo Commentary #24: Subject Control

Architectural Building With Neon Lights and Reflection

This photo by Zichuan Han is a perfect example of a photo in which reflections have been accurately controlled so that the architectural subject is complimented, rather than overpowered.


It has definitely been quite some time since I commented on an image so let’s get back to it with this mesmerizing shot taken by Zichuan Han!
The first feature of this photo is no mystery – the unique modern architecture of the building. One could probably talk about the elegance of such a structure, but unfortunately I do not qualify as an architect 😉 But what I do know, is it is perfectly framed and composed along one of the horizontal lines of thirds (more on this in another post).
The second feature is a little more subtle – – the cool blue reflections of the building’s neon lights. As I have mentioned before, reflections are a great way to add clarity and depth to an image. In this case, the reflection also accentuates the features of the main subject, which is the building itself. It is critical that the photographer plans his photo, not just in terms of composition, but also editing. It is very easy to get carried away and make everything in the photo “eye-catching”, but that would only confuse the viewer. What am I supposed to be looking at? What is important here? In this instance, Han did an excellent job of keeping the reflection to a subtle, yet still powerful, appearance. The building retains the primary attention of the viewer, while the reflection ADDS to it, rather than subtract from it.
Photographer: Zichuan Han

March 2020 Wall Art Giveaway Winner Announcement 150 150 varunvisuals

March 2020 Wall Art Giveaway Winner Announcement

Congratulations again to Thomas Michael on winning $180 credit towards any Varun Visuals wall art purchase!
If you want to be like Thomas and have a chance of winning my next giveaway, make sure to like/follow my page and join my VIP Insider List so that you can stay up to date on when my next giveaway will be!
By joining the VIP Insider List, you will also be able to receive my emails containing exclusive deals, discounts, and behind-the-scenes looks. These promotions are …available only to VIP Insiders! Click the link below to signup 🙂

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