Picture making, whether it be drawing, painting or photography, is ultimately about filling your picture plane with something interesting and intriguing. We orchestrate several elements, shape, texture, color and tonality, until we arrive at a pleasing arrangement. In photography, our subject matter, whether it be a single object or multiple ones, is often the goal. Being careful as to the placement of our subject(s), as well as lighting and focus, are key for creating balance in our image.
In my latest shot, I decided to ignore particular subject matter, and look purely at the formal qualities of my surroundings. I looked for tonal variety, interesting shapes, and movement. In essence, I approached my photo session like an abstract painter. This isn’t to say the elements I used in my photographs can not be identified. You can clearly see that I used rock and water. However, by thinking only in terms of abstraction, I was able to take the emphasis off subject, and work primarily on decorating the image plane. Thanks for stopping by. Oh yes, I now have my painting website up. Please visit my painting site for some abstract inspiration.; ) click–> my art
We are all taught in art school or photography classes about portrait and landscape formats and the appropriate uses of them. Today, I want to demonstrate the power of the square! If done right, presenting an image in a square format can make a bold statement. There is something kind of hip about ignoring rules and putting something out there that looks a little different from the rest. With that in mind, there are a few things you want to look out for to avoid making your image look less like a statement and more like a mistake!
As in other formats, you want to remember some basic rules of good composition. Think thirds and avoid dividing the picture in half will keep the image dynamic(if this is your intent). Try not to pull the eye out of the picture by cropping lines or high contrast objects out of the frame.
In this example, there are lines leading away from the subject matter, but they are minimized by the use of value. The brightest and highest contrast is on the Slug shaped fallen tree.
Another great way to use this format is by creating an abstract image. Use pattern, shape and rhythm to make images that resemble abstract paintings.
I titled this one “Rothko Day” after the famous painter. There are three major bands going across this picture with enough detail to retain a natural element, but remain abstract.
Keep It Moving:
To counter the stagnant nature of the square, choose a photograph that conveys motion.
The lively nature of this small waterfall keeps the square format lively and visually compelling!
Thanks for reading. Please follow my blog for further articles with examples. Contact me with any questions or comments.