Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grant and Division

This is another shot from when I was up in the city to catch some iPad madness. I kind of like that the tension between and near and far, and the sharp diagonal of the shadow contrasting with the light. Not perfectly happy, but I thought it was interesting enough to highlight.

Grant and Division

One of my biggest struggles with street photography is composition. I find that the traditional rules you might have read about either are only approximately true, or not really the key to producing interesting images. Plus, when you have (charitably) just a few seconds to capture a scene, it can be hard to sit around thinking, "Ok, line here, make an angle there...." as you're chasing a decisive moment.

I'm not sure what the best way to get good at this is. So far, I've been pursuing a variety of different strategies:

  1. Studying people I consider to be 'masters' of composition on the street: Winogrand, Cartier-Bresson, Frank, etc.
  2. Trying to study some classic artwork (think: Renaissance masters, etc.)
  3. Relentless culling of my own work to try to find what I like, and studying those. Then trying to re-inforce that.
  4. More time than is healthy spent with the crop tool, trying to 'find' better compositions of a frame.
I dunno if any of these will work, or will ever lead to the place where finding the right arrangement of a scene isn't quite so challenging. My deeper concern is that there's just some set of people who have The Eye for composition, and you can beat yourself against the rocks of it for years before you realize you're just never going to find the frame you want. Ok, maybe that's a little depressing. The good news is, the only way to know if I'll ever be happy with my compositions is to try, and it turns out that's unreasonably fun. :)

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