>>> Street Photography eXchange #84 <<<

Started Feb 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
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jeff hladun
Senior MemberPosts: 2,532
Re: Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: by Robert Frank
In reply to xtoph, Feb 7, 2014

xtoph wrote: i also agree that it's not always the case that a quarter-shot is necessarily weak.

Yes, I haven't figured out the requirements for a successful composition on the angle although I certainly agree that it can be made. I can see for example, how shooting in medium format/square format benefits from the angled image; maybe it has something to do with the way the square format emphasizes the double vanishing point in a way 2x3 format doesn't. Then there are the times when the photographer wants to emphasize the feeling of weakness, such as Frank's photo of the counter girl in the diner (the image in The Americans that follows the photo of the white infant in the arms of the black nanny), where the vanishing lines are present, no tilt is taken, and Frank's typical energy leaves the room. It can be used as an effective subjective editorial tool when psychological weakness is the message the photographer wants to get across.

It's definitely worth exploring the way to square the circle of the angled image towards a beneficial photo; to realize the moments when depth due to perspective enhances rather than diminishes; to realize the times when flattening the rear plane to the image support is less preferred to intentional depth. Maybe just being aware of the problems will lead the street photographer to make better photographs, in that knowing the way the default angled shot will be weak requires a conscious effort of judgement and decision to shoot either square-on or from the angle.

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