So, I like this photo. Let’s break it down a bit to see how a simple little “toss away” photo can still have a little bit of punch. Here’s the image:
The photo was taken with the Sony NEX-7 and an M mount Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f/4 (~32mm FF equiv) at 1/400 f/10 at ISO 100. It was taken through a tight chain link fence on a fairly overcast day in some pretty boring light… and really could have been a tosser. With careful cropping and framing , an image that is about A) Balance B) Texture C) Play between a strong diagonal and wandering curve D) A modest “payoff” to a leading line. Let’s take a closer look…
First the original:
- For simple photos like this, it takes subtle things to make an image work. While there is nothing terribly exciting in the image – there is a nice balance and harmony at play here
- The image in “anchored” by a series of strong horizontal lines that provide a sense of perspective and break the frame up a bit. They also help guide the viewer’s eye.
- The intersections of where the hose crosses the gaps in the sidewalk are natural “stops” along the path one takes into the photo. These are countered by the straight diagonal in the frame
- From a balance perspective – there isn’t a symmetry of form in the image. The strong diagonal “crack” in the cement is only slightly off-center right while the hose is predominantly in the left portion of the frame. At the same time, the upper left and right corners are almost perfectly symmetrical in shape – with the right side being a unique element (the pool / water)
- Is there a story in this photo? Not a special one – but a story does exist. The hose is wandering from the viewer’s perspective, across that strong diagonal and right into the pool in the upper corner. Exciting right?
- On it’s face – this image is about a hose going into a pool. That’s it. But ultimately, this is an image about shape and form, balance, texture – and having a clear path for a viewer with a small payoff at the end (hose made it to the pool… yay)
What’s the lesson here?
Every photo is “about” something. Once you break out of the pattern of forcing that “something” to be linked mostly to the face-value subject – you can begin to appreciate the qualities even the simplest image can have. Photos can be about color, texture, one thing not being like others in the frame, about light (or lack thereof).
So, consider giving some of your previously “rejected” photos a second chance – or take the time to see things in a scene that you may have otherwise overlooked.
Appreciate your photos – expand your view of phat your photos can be “about” and – of course – shoot Leica BOSS. POW.