Saturday, 18 July 2015

Camera Challenge part 6: Finding your inspiration

 Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015
 For the Camera Challenge at the Littlest Thistle, Katy set the assignment this month to find photos on-line that we consider inspiring and interesting compositions, that we would like to aim for.

I found some wonderful photos in the photography section of Pinterest, and have acknowledged the owner where possible, but many of the photos were without the photographer's name. I apologise to anyone whose work I have included without giving recognition.

I was looking to learn lessons on composition and made some discoveries about the use of triangles in composing a photo (or a drawing or painting, for that matter). More about that towards the end of this very long post.

Here are some portraits:

Here the face is turned away slightly yet the eyes are looking straight into the camera, so that the left eye is at the centre of the photo. I like the way most of the head-dress is out of picture giving prominence to the facial expression.

Not full-face again; this time almost in profile, and again we have to imagine most of the head-dress. The face occupies the centre top sixth of the whole photo. I like this style of portrait, because of what's not seen - this creates mystery and raises questions: why is she dressed this way? where's she going?

It seems that the old

and perhaps also the very young can be photographed full face. This makes the subject open, hiding nothing, no mystery. The child below is interestingly looking to one side. These three portraits may or may not be posed but each gives the impression of being the natural state.

Perspective is another topic that features predominantly in my selection.

With the vanishing point in the centre:

03 New York black/white Photography by Frédéric Bourret

by Margaret Bourke-White Turbine, Niagara Falls Power Co, 1928.

by Robert Doisneau

Cars Paris 1950s Robert Frank
This one is humour! If you imagine a line linking the back wheels of the pram and the first car, and do the same with the front wheels you get a triangle with its apex in the foreground, as opposed to the usual perspective with the apex in the distance. Extend the line on the left and you find more wheels - another car and a bicycle. This can't have been posed; I wonder how many photos Robert Frank took that day to get this one shot, and that in the pre-digital era too!

and to one side:

Paris 1950s Robert Frank

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan by Not Quite a photogrphr
I love the play of light here - the over-exposed / under-exposed.

Werribee Mansion Melbourne, Australia by Scott Carr

Here I wonder where the vanishing point really is. I think if I wanted to photograph such a piece of architectural detail I'd be walking round it for ages, and never even see this view. This is photographic genius in my book!

The Burma Railroad
I know how to do this now (thanks Katy!) - low aperture value, single focus point about one metre into the photo - but I'd never have thought of it! It adds so much to the subject: no beginning and no end, neither to the railway nor to the suffering of the men who built it.

Miscellaneous I have included because:

I mostly photograph plants and here the lighting is perfect
Podoserpula Pusio (photographer or subject? Update: It's the subject: see Dasha's comment below.)
flowers are my favourite subject, and I must remember I don't have to show the whole arrangement; the blooms are in a triangle across the top half of the photo and I live in Holland!

and because some photos are just plain clever:

Linda Morand by Helmut Newton _ Vogue Paris, September 1973.
This looks natural, but it's posed: it's posed nonchalance; it's Vogue: it's fashion: it's all about the coat! The lines of the building and the fence posts and lamp-post (they have waists too!) draw the attention to the model's face, while the lamp-post and fence posts together extend the lines of the coat out to the right of the picture - another triangle. I imagine Helmut Newton on a Vespa or in a Deux-cheveaux whizzing  round Paris looking for the right location.

I don't want to take fashion photos but I think this is an interesting example of the use of the triangle in composition. Here the apex is off-stage right, in the "Cars" photo the apex is centre front, in the tulips it's centre right. In the perspective photos the apex of the triangle is the vanishing point, in the distance.

As for collecting other people's photographs I shall be doing that more often in future.

Meanwhile I'm linking up to 
Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015
so head over there and see more inspiring photographs.

Happy snapping



Dasha said...

Gorgeous photos Marly. I can no way aspire to quality like that. I think I should rephrase that: I have no real interest in aspiring to quality like that.
The mystery fungus is Australian, and you will find more about it here:
Keep up with that photography. You do a brilliant job.

Christine Barnsley said...

Wow Marly! You chose some fabulous photographs and with your explanations of what they were trying to achieve I looked at them quite differently than I would have otherwise! Brilliant post! :)

Valerie Reynolds said...

Me too....I went through your post twice just to reread and enjoy. THANKS for sharing...btw the old man laughing...made me laugh too!! (He looks like he's up to no good!) LOL

MartiDIY said...

Those are some great photos. I love the faces and wish I could take some that looked natural.

Katy Cameron said...

Lovely collection of inspiration there! And architecture gets me every time too. I can be in a location with a bunch of photography friends and we all find totally different angles and perspectives... and needless to say, all want an angle someone else has found ;o)