In a slight departure from my usual desktop fare I thought it would be nice to do something other than images void of any direct human presence and offer up a few shots recently taken of my brother, James. We often find ourselves out shooting together and after years of living with artists in Memphis he seems used to being behind the camera or being the subject as well as the artist. Makes for a great model simply because he understands the little things that make for a good shot, consistent posture, personal awareness and other such details that lead to a solid shot. I can’t wait to be able to point to his website but he is currently working out all the details and figuring out what approaches to take with it but I will be sure to write up something about it here when it does launch sometime this year. You will most likely recognize him if you follow along with my flickr account as he frequents my film work as one of the only willing models around most of the time.
As for this round of images, I wanted to call attention briefly to this type of composition. It’s something I have been slowly playing with more and more over the past year or so now and that is a heavy center focus and/or a strong sense of symmetry in a photograph. It started when I bought my Hasselblad and started shooting square medium format shots and fell in love with the strength of a center weighted image. I enjoy the strong simplicity of it but it does not always work because the movement of the image is very much static when shooting in this way. A strong sense of movement is an important thing to explore and understand as a photographer both from a traditional composition standpoint as well as an understanding of why an image’s movement works or does not work psychologically. When using a center focus its good to use a subject or scene where it makes sense to use it otherwise you risk coming across a bit amateurish by using the single most obvious type of composition. All this depends, of course, on your intentions in taking a photograph and this is when it is good to be aware of the feeling you are looking to convey within your image to best decide on how to compose it in a way that will best share this feeling.
I promise, at some point in your photographic journey you will come to realize that simply capturing something beautiful for the sake of beauty will start to wear off and this will leave you wanting more from the relationship you have with your camera. This is a vital point for any photographer to reach, when the techniques you learn up to that moment become less the focus of what you are doing and you start to allow yourself to explore why you shoot not just what you shoot. It is why it is important for any aspiring photographer to honestly learn the fundamentals of shooting so down the line when this shift occurs you can stop focusing as much on the technical nuances of making photographs and begin to focus on creating something truly lasting and meaningful.