Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Designing the Picture Space

Shooting a photograph is easy but taking a great photo requires some thought or just having the knack for seeing good pictures. There are many questions to answer when taking a photo. Do you want a single subject or multiple objects in the shot? Are you going to take a picture of an animal or are you going to take a picture of an animal and it's surroundings? Where are you going to place that subject or subjects in the picture? Is that animal going to be in the middle or on a side or in the corner? What colors do you want to stand out or not? Are there vibrant reds that will take center stage or do you want a more of a cool theme to your photo? What is the overall theme you wish to capture? All these questions have different answers depending where, when and what you are shooting. It's your job as the photographer to figure out the why and try to express that to the people who view your photo.
The two photos I've chosen are both beautiful and expressive for very different reasons. I ransacked Ernst Haas's collection again to get them.
The elephant photo has multiple subjects, of course the elephant but the mountain is the dominant feature taking up the majority of the picture while the grass composes an interesting element to the shot. The blue and green are both cool colors creating a sort of solemn mood while the dull brown strip in the middle makes the green and blue stand out more vibrantly. The mountain takes up the top two thirds of the photo and the cliff shape brings your attention back down to the elephant in the corner walking off into the vast distance of the immense landscape.
The volcano shot has a few different subjects the white smoke, the black crater, but the photo's main feature is the lava. The bright reds and oranges of the lava draw your attention right away. The spewing lava, jagged rock and ghostly white smoke make for a very dramatic photo.

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