Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/10/06

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Subject: Composition 101 [was Re: [Leica] Nobska Light]
From: r.s.taylor at (Richard S. Taylor)
Date: Thu Oct 6 09:16:57 2005
References: <p06230913bf678f24e814@> <> <p06230925bf69a5c59941@> <>

Not to beat this photo into the ground, but Adam's comment about the 
Nobska Light photo being a "formal" image triggered something in the 
back of my mind.  Also, after B.D.'s comment earlier yesterday, I was 
mystified as to why he choose one particular crop and I chose another.

Here are the two:

B.D.'s crop (at least I think this is what you meant, B.D.):

My crop (Actually I cropped this is even tighter than the the image I 
first posted in order to emphasize my  point):

After staring at the two of them side-by-side for a while I realized 
that in B.D.'s crop, my eyes tended to follow a zigzag path along 
fence to the lighthouse.  In mine, my eye motion was almost all 
vertical, up along the fence posts to the tall structure.  In B.D.'s 
there was, figuratively speaking, a path open for the viewer to 
approach the lighthouse around the fence post to the right, in mine 
there was none.  The fence became a barrier.  B.D.'s says, "Come in," 
mine says, "Don't."  There is more motion in B.D's, more stillness in 

Not sure just why I chose the tighter crop.  It was not made with 
much thought beforehand.   It just seemed more appropriate to the 
photo in question, and possibly, to the site as well.  (There were 
lots of fences and a many No Admittance signs around.)

It's been an interesting discussion.  Thanks.

>Thanks for your response and your alternates, Richard.
>In my experience a formal image - like the lighthouse - is about
>shapes and textures and light and dark and stillness. People, almost
>always, bring motion and focus - our pattern recognition engines want
>to SEE them and know what they're doing.
>Obviously, as in nude fine-art photography, all of those things can be
>a part of the composition. But nudes seldom have faces and seldom are
>"in action" although I can think of exceptions to both of these.
>Of course you framed your image with those folks in mind, but I like
>both your suggestion and B. D.'s as well.


Boston MA

Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) (Composition 101 [was Re: [Leica] Nobska Light])
In reply to: Message from abridge at (Adam Bridge) ([Leica] Nobska Light)
Message from abridge at (Adam Bridge) ([Leica] Nobska Light)