Category Archives: Thinking About…

Thinking About: Composition, #3

As  a general rule, I don’t tend to crop photos very often. I tend to like to stick to a certain format or ratio for an entire project and prefer to use what I’ve captured in camera. But, I’m starting to rethink this. The following photo, for example:

Photo Thinking About Composition #1

3:2 Ratio

3:2 is the in-camera format the image was originally capture in, and I liked it. But after spending some time editing the image,  Read More»

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Thinking About: Composition, #2

I think my favorite aspect of crafting a photograph is the composition. Something about perfecting the geometry—all the elements in a faithful order, or finding a very specific balance is supremely satisfying. It’s one of those odd visual things: You don’t really notice it if it’s done well.

This photograph was taken in a health care center in very remote area of Laos. Land Cruiser required for an NGO staff visit in the dry season, all but unreachable by vehicle in the wet.

Photo: Thinking About Composition #2

I like that you can draw an imaginary line from the upper left corner to the lower right and that line would cross a number of rectangles:

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That when a photograph of you doesn’t look like you…

Robt Sarazin Blake

Robt Sarazin Blake

I’m always interested when a photo of me doesn’t look like me.

Robert said this to me when we were doing a rough edit of the images we had just finished shooting. I had been wanting to photograph him for a couple of years, but the timing was never right. I had had an idea of the exact composition beforehand—I wanted him dressed in the same suit that you can see him performing in here, sitting in a low chair (my friend Walter had this sun-bleached chair outside for several years; when he sat in it one day, a leg broke, so he sawed the other three to match—I’m obsessed with the color), with his pant legs being pulled up above his boots by the low position, and crouching forward with his arms on his knees. The pose came from the Greek statue called The Boxer of Quirinal, but I always associated with the name Thom Jones gave it in his blunt-force-trauma collection of short stories The Pugilist At Rest.

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Thinking About Panorama Formats

I recently was contacted about selling one of my prints, a black and white panorama of an old wood mill incinerator in Eastern Oregon (Download a free .pdf of this panorama here). That got me thinking about panoramic image print formats:

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Thinking About Composition

I tend to spend an inordinate amount of time considering the composition of my images. I’ve been known to reshoot a still life 10-20 times until I get it composed exactly how I see it in my mind’s eye. Back in the days when I shot and developed all my own film, it was quite a long process compared with my digital workflow of today. I think that extra time was worthwhile though—it essentially gave you time to forget the exact images you had shot while you waited to have enough rolls to mandate mixing a fresh batch of chemicals, developed and dried the film, and then scanned and archived. You got fresh eyes

Thinking About Composition

Thinking About Composition: About 99% There. Click To Enlarge.

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