I received this photo and question and I always like to share what my fellow photographers had to say. So many of you have either experienced a similar situation or have had similar questions. Here’s what Terry had to say:
I was primarily shooting the butterfly’s shadow. How much does the actual butterfly being out of focus matter? I got what I intended but am not sure what others might think about it.
It’s a rather interesting photo and a very good question.
First, in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, one of the first things and one I continue to talk about is the aspect ratio.
I see that you decided to shoot in a square. The problem with that is we don’t perceive in a square, we perceive in a rectangle. It’s almost impossible to generate Visual Tension in a square. I’m not saying impossible because a few have done it. Diane Arbus was one and she took her own life. I’m certainly not implying that anyone that shoots in a square would do the same. If you look at her work you can see how a lot of it is disturbing.
One can only imagine what was going through her mind. Her subject matter would have Tension if the format was a trapezoid. Strong documentary photos have a better chance of getting away with it. but in my opinion, that’s a limited genre in the entire field of Photography.
I’m going to assume two things: Either you had your aspect ratio set on a square, or you cropped this photo. If you crop your photos you’ll never know where the edges and corners of your frame are. You’ll only know when you’re sitting in front of your computer, and by then it’s too late. If photographers want to be better shooters, then I suggest they use the edges of their frame as a compositional tool. If the composition wasn’t strong enough right before you clicked the shutter, then why click the shutter?
Henri Cartier-Bresson said that when you crop, you destroy the initial integrity of you composition, and if it wasn’t good enough then cropping won’t make it better.
If you had your aspect ratio set to shoot a square, then I would consider changing it to a 3:2 ratio since that’s the way we perceive.
Ok, I’ve digressed enough Terry, take a look at this video:
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. I have two openings left in my next “springtime” workshop in Portugal. In April of 2016, in conjunction with Epic Photo Tours, I’ll be leading a group to the coastal cities of North and Central Viet Nam. You’ll see and take pictures of subject matter you would only see in magazines like National Geographic.
Keep those photos and questions coming to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll send you a video critique.