i can remember the day in art class when my teacher pointed out the compositional triangle in DaVinci’s “Virgin of the Rocks”. it jumped out at me. so simple a concept yet so anchoring and grounding to the elements. in this particular painting the pointed finger is such a subtle yet screaming applied line. i love it.
years later, i sit back and look at my work and again these lovely triangles jump out at me.
when i shoot, i shoot to have every element have a reason, to have a purpose. to just randomly throw in the fish would make my skin crawl, my stomach sick, and an immediate wave of anxiety and lack of confidence (for real, i experienced this with the fish.) but by deliberately giving the fish an important place within each frame, in many cases the fish served as an anchor of the triangle, and as a result my style forced itself out of me and me not forcing my style.
do i search for these triangles when composing my shots? no.
photography is the art of subtraction. it is fascinating. to eliminate and subtract out of my viewfinder (out of my world) what i don’t want, that is what i am always focusing on….to cut a line here, to hold that shape there, to balance the positive and negative spaces like so….and surprisingly the triangles just naturally come.
a buddy of mine, Mr. Jake Garn, also posted his thoughts on this subject to his photo blog. we were at discussion of this subject a few weeks ago. i couldn’t put my finger on the reason behind DaVinci and his appealing triangles – but i think Jake does a great job of clarifying more about these important and simple compositional shapes….if you want to learn more you can read about his theory of triangles here.
and it goes out with a smile.
this morning i was featured on the rockin’ rock n’ roll bride blog. have a looksee!
lately i am loving stepping back to my roots of polaroid.
this is my daughter lana and her bestest-friend-ever sophie. these girls are like sisters.
above are some polaroid tests i just shot of my daughter ava this morning. yup, Polaroid 669, still have me some boxes of that lovely stuff. 🙂 us film shooters don’t have the luxury of instant gratification of seeing an image appear on an LCD screen…instead we have to wait an entire minute for the no-longer-in-production-polaroid to develop – definitely comes at a cost.
why was i doing tests? i wasn’t testing the polaroid film, but rather my lens and camera. and here’s how things became my ironic tragedy…
recently i was in DC shooting a wedding and the day after i zipped over to the DC Mall to tour the historic sites….(on a side note: it was recommended that i rent a bike to see the sites. i was able to score me a female-powder-blue-beach-cruiser bike and i toured everything i wanted to within the only 4 hours of free time i had. – by far one of the funnest days of my life. so glad i didn’t walk everything, my feet felt bruised from the all-dayer i shot the day previous and the cruiser’s cushioney-cushion seat, the wind blowing through my coarse beard hair, and cruising in between the sidewalkers – all felt like god’s smile was upon me. if you’re interested in checking into getting a bike while in DC for your visit look them up at bikethesites.com. seriously, it turned what could be an exhaustive experience into a literal fun breeze.)…anyways, back to my “tragedy”….i hit all the sites and the last on my list was the National Gallery of Art. as i had toured through a mere glimpse of what the museum had to offer (saw me some Rembrandt, Vermeer, DaVinci, Matisse, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso)…it was at the last piece of my tour when tragedy struck. i just happened to be observing Picasso’s “the tragedy”, poised with my camera in hand and eye piece to my eye to take a pic, the crowd bumped me and i accidentaly threw a misfire exposure. doesn’t sound too bad right? well, somewhere in the jumbled mess of crowd and me with camera i realized my camera was now jammed. the lens wouldn’t allow me to see anything through the viewfinder, i couldn’t remove my lens from the camera body, and i couldn’t advance my film, the gears were jammed. yes, a tragedy with my camera had just occurred in front of “the tragedy”.
i wasn’t too upset, knowing that this is considered a “jam”, knowing that it’s fixable, and plus it happened on my own off time. i returned home to look up online how to fix the jamming of my Hasselblad 501cm. with some helpful links here and here i was able to get the literal nuts and bolts working again. HA! try that digital world, if your camera goes out you are hosed. thats one HUGE reason i love shooting with such a simple and mechanical camera, no electronics to master, no batteries to have to replace, straight up light going through a lens and into a box where your film sits (just remember to always carry a small screwdriver where ever you go).
and by the looks of the polaroids above, you can confirm that i got my camera and lens to be in good working shape again…and so the personalities of my daughter caught on film can continue. on with the smiles! down with the tragedy!
more of my DC trip to come later.