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Photographing Peacefulnes

Updated on December 6, 2014
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

" Use the noun peacefulness when you talk about a state of calm or tranquility. Many people feel a sense of peacefulness when they're hiking in the woods.

One kind of peacefulness is quiet and restful, the sort you find at a yoga studio or on an empty stretch of beach. Peacefulnesscan also refer to an absence of conflict or violence — though it's more common to call this peace. The root of both words is the Latin pacem, which means "peace treaty, tranquility, agreement, or compact."

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public domain | Source

Images that represent peacefulness are any that show a scene of tranquility with no visual clutter and no apparent rapid movements.

These scenes can be difficult to obtain and the photographer must examine everything around the main subject before snapping the shutter.

A scene featuring a very peaceful looking lake is one thing. But the same scene loses its thematic element if it also includes someone riding a boat or if there is anything that can clearly be identified as not at rest or completely still.

Although some movement or small action can be used the scene must show "tranquility" as the main composition element with the moving element forming a small part in the overall composition.

A good example would be any water fowl like ducks or swans quietly floating upon the surface of the water but even these scenes can lose their peacefulness appeal if the birds are seen splashing in the water or even interacting with one another.

The theme works if everything in the scene is totally calm and is preferably lit by diffused "soft" light.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Other scenes can be any water surface that is calm and it's lit by the golden glow of the sunset.

A row of tress in a quiet forest, a empty field surrounded by fog or mist, a sleeping baby totally unaware of its surroundings, some grass stalks framed against the sky and so on.

These are all suitable peaceful looking scenes and do fit the theme quite well.

For most if not all scenes depicting peacefulness, the best light is one that is soft so avoid using harsh lights and even most flash units.

Rather concentrate on using the available ambient light and if possible, place a softening filter in front of the lens element to make the scene softer still.

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Some of the best peacefulness shots occur during the night hours since the world normally slows down.

However night photography offers its own challenges and one must be familiar with this technique if one is to capture good shots.

A tripod, a mechanical shutter release, a good eye and careful observation as well as visualization are key aspects and tools to put into practice.

Many photographers forget there are still great opportunities for making images after the sun goes down.

When doing night photography which is yet another opportunity to get the camera out of the bag, so to speak, you face completely different photographic scenes that are available as soon as the Sun goes down.

Be aware of the photographic "restrictions" that are now placed on you and your gear and practice often. Not a bad idea also is to research other pictures taken by those with more experience doing this style.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

If you face a lack of images that are good representations of a peaceful scene but you feel that they can be salvaged and used for the theme, then place the emphasis on using the light to your advantage.

Again, soft diffused light works best and try to have the "clutter" show up as silhouettes.

Better yet if they are lit by a golden sunset, the faint glow of a street light or in the mist of fog.

So what are you going to do with all your peacefulness images once you are finished with the project?

Take a look at the greeting card isle of most retailers and you will find an overwhelming amount of cards that feature a scene of tranquility and peacefulness as compared with other types of scenes or artwork.

Many posters also feature scenes that depict a peaceful scene and fine art galleries can always use such images.

If your images are well composed and technically flawless, then you should not have any trouble finding a unsuitable market for them.

(CC BY-ND 2.0
(CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

© 2014 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      grand old lady: Thank you. As you said, it is not easy to capture images that most anyone would identify with "peacefulness"

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      This is a nice insightful piece on how to photograph tranquility. It's interesting that tranquility, as a concept, can't be photographed like you would a dog or a parrot. The challenge, then, is to convey tranquility which makes the task harder but very doable, as evidenced by your tips and the samples chosen for this hub.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Ericdierker: It's a little of and thanks

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am sorry, I thought this hub was about photography. It sure reads like a hub on "how to find tranquility". Just fantastic. Thank you.


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