…or shapes created by the combination of multiple elements throughout the camera frame which serve to create a bigger, broader shape that organizes the image for the viewer…..
…and these broader shapes are the foundation of a story. Perhaps not a literal story in a classic sense, with a setting, characters, etc…
…but rather some semblance of a beginning, a middle and an end; a flow. Visual cues that define the intent of my image for the viewer.
The above set of photos are pretty simple arrangements of static objects. Fine.
But how can one translate that concept into the living, ever-changing world right in front of us?
Well, for starters we can embrace the natural framing of our subjects’ environments.
Now that I’ve encircled and defined my canvas, I can then begin to create the shapes within my canvas that I feel best tell the photograph’s story. At the core, those shapes must be created by use of smaller parts….among those parts are LINES.
Lines can have infinite qualities, whether they are thick or thin, straight or curved, hard or soft, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and so on…and each line quality expresses a different emotion or sensation. I tend to use diagonals often, because of the dynamism it brings to an image.
Lines can be captured in many different ways. They can be established by objects, like a table or a building….or a billow of smoke…
Or they can be more subtly built from light and shadows…
…or even from an implied line using subjects in motion.
But not so fast!
The use of lines is only the beginning. The vast amount of possible traits of point, color, pattern, texture & form give me a bountiful language of visual “words” from which to choose, in order to build a photograph that tells the story just right.
*The Principles of Design are my friend.
Below are examples of how I’ve used this stage-setting approach to capture the genuine expression of the human spirit, and to visually tell the stories of real-life events.