Karen submitted this photo of three seagulls. She asked me what I thought about the photo, and I like to share what each of my fellow photographers had to say. In this case, all Karen said was ” Joe, what do you think about this photo”.
The first thing I immediately felt was how closed in the photo seemed…Why you ask? Because of the square format.
As I’m always reminding my students that take my online class with the BPSOP, and in my own “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, we don’t perceive in a square, we perceive in a rectangle; which is why I always use a 3:2 aspect ratio. In my opinion it’s very difficult to achieve visual tension in a square, especially in a landscape.
I’m not saying you can never achieve tension, because it depends on the subject matter. Diane Arbus comes to mind as someone that could generate tension in a square, and if you know her photos, you’ll know why I’m saying it. Sh also committed suicide.
Take a look at my video: http://www.screencast.com/t/c900iYDpgchJ
As I said Karen, cropping is not necessarily a cure-all for creating strong photos. There’s so much more involved as far as deciding on what’s important in your composition. I would suggest you try getting it in the camera and not cropping it later in front of a computer. It’s just one opinion, but if you strive to being a better shooter, then design your shot before you click the shutter.
Here’s what it would look like if it was in a 3:2 aspect ratio. Which one do you like?
Thanks for the submission, and I hope my critiqued helped.
I want to announe my new upcoming three day intensive workshop at the Los Angeles Center for Photography this coming July 15th with my presentation on the evening of the 14th. I hope to see some new fces out there and say hello to some old ones: https://lacphoto.org/events/stretching-your-frame-of-mind-with-joe-baraban/
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. July 31st starts my Maine Media Workshop. It will be my 28th year, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in taking pictures for a week. Come shoot with me.
Keep sending in photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.