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Ask JoeB

AskJoeB: “Working the Subject”

Working the photo.

Working the photo.

Valeriano recently sent me a photo he had taken of a lifeguard tower in silhouette. Since then he’s submitted another photo of the same towers. As usual I like to print what each photographer had to say because a lot of you out there have been in a similar situation or have had similar questions running through your mind. Here’s what Valeriano had to say:

“Hi Joe,
I’m submitting this photo to have your invaluable critique.
I’d been “working” the subject (the lifeguard tower) a bit that day. Walked around a lot, shot it with different lenses, composed vertically, horizontally, from down below and looking up, etc. Out of all the different compositions I’ve found while doing this exercise, I thought this one framing the subject through the fence was the more pleasing to me. I also decided to shot it with a side-lighting (4-5 on the clock) in order to still retain some details in the fence. I could have also done it by backlighting the scene (positioning myself in a different spot) but because of this amazing late afternoon light and these little white puffy clouds in the sky I preferred this lighting choice. While shooting some photos on this setup, changing filters, exposure, etc. two guys waled through the frame along the shoreline, and I decided to include them in the photo so to also add a bit more of sense of scale.

Thanks for your critique.
Valeriano.”

Valeriano, one of the  lessons I give in my online class with the BPSOP, and I also talk a lot about it in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, is showing people how to create visual tension. I’m not talking about the kind of tension that comes with mental or emotional strain, I’m talking about visual tension occurring when forces are acting upon one another. You have three of the ways in this photo: Contrast, the use of light, and framing a subject within a frame.

You also have an almost classic Vanishing Point created by the fence line. A great way to move the viewer around the frame.

Take a look at this video:

http://www.screencast.com/t/8CQVhyT8

Except for the problem with the filter, it’s a really good photo with lots of strong light and color combined with visual interest and tension.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. I still have a couple of spots for my upcoming Maine Media Workshop this coming July 26th. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in your photography without any of your day to day distractions…like a family and work. I always pick this week (after 27 years) because it’s the week of the lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. It offers a completely different set of photo ops than what you would expect to see on the coast of Maine.

For those interested, here’s a link to a couple of posts I did on past workshops in Maine:

http://joebaraban.com/blog/2013-maine-media-workshop/

http://joebaraban.com/blog/workshop-stuff-2014-maine-media-workshop/

Keep sending me your photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.

JoeB

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