Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's the Small Things

In my first foray into college in the early 1980s I took some black and white photography courses.

One of the things that our instructor taught us to look for in the viewfinder was one type of item mimicking another type. That is something that has become almost unconscious in my photography in the ensuing 25 years.

I look at a photo like this, without a strong main subject, for a while and ask myself what it was about the scene that caused me to press the shutter button.

Then it finally occurred to me that the shapes of the scruffy looking few trees on this little island in the Indian River Lagoon are mimicking the way the first row of clouds in the distance are reaching for the sky.

It's like trying to remember someone's name and finally coming up with it when that happens.

Look for repeating patterns and for different objects that even vaguely mimic others in the scene. Your photos will be stronger.

I'm not trying to claim this is a great photo. It's not by a long shot. But the photo has a strength beyond what it would have had the tree tops not looked like the clouds back there.


Babystepper said...

Just the other day I was sitting behind the wheel of my car and looking out through the front of our carport. The wheel of the bicycle hanging in front of me had the same angle as the tree in the field behind it that was bending with the wind. I kicked myself for not having a camera. I thought, "Jam would've taken a picture of this."

Kerri said...

I definitely see what you mean....You've got me thinkin' now!

CG said...

Exactly. It's what lifts an ordinary snap to the level of something worth keeping. Great visual example!