Architecture of a Photograph

When it comes to the composition of a photograph, I’m not sure “architecture” is a commonly used word but I think some photographs can only be discussed as being composed of interesting building blocks.

This one, for example has a large block of shadow at the bottom. The stick creates another seeming building block that connects the figure with the shadow. The light on the top of the figure’s head adds interest. Everything seems to work to hold the image together and give it heft.

What do you think?

SCALE–means letting a photo be big and small at the same time

dunerunsm

In order for a photograph with SCALE to work, you need something of immediate interest like the figure in the foreground kicking up sand as she runs. Then you also need to have a wide background that puts the figure in context. Here it’s the dunes and the ocean in the background. Not enough! You also need points of interest in that broad background. Notice the shadow of the runner. Notice the second smaller figure in the distance. Notice the mystery–the question of “what’s really going on?” All of those element add to the overall composition and not all of them are visual. The mystery is only visual in the sense of wondering how all of this works as a setting.

I don’t do a lot of photographs that feature scale. They’re hard. I think this one works. What do you think?