Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 11, 2009

This is interesting. My eye goes first to the clock, so that makes it the focal point. But it happens to be in an unorthodox location as focal points go - in the upper third of the picture and very close to the edge of the frame. Why doesn't it lead my eye out of the photo? Why do I have a sense of it being balanced, despite its location?

I think the round shape of the clock plays a key role. It leads my eye around and around, rather than out. And the hands on the clock are also an important visual cue. The long hand points down and back into the middle of the photo, where I am then engaged by the busy lights, and the mirror and the waitress. The stainless steel vent and coffee urns lend visual weight to the photo and balance the clock. Their placement also encourages the viewer's eye to stay inside the frame, where there is still more to see.

And by the way, it's always Christmas at Mi Tierra!


Deb G said...

When I first looked at the photo I saw three distinct horizontal layers.

I'm really enjoying what you are doing here.

Peggy S said...

The clock face grabs my attention right away, but then it's the glow in the photo to the right and the golden glow of the lights below that cause my eye to circle.

I'm also enjoying your visual exercises each day. Thank you for sharing your photos.

Darcy said...

What a great commentary on time - frozen above the strong horizontal division in the framed pictures next to the clock and the sense of infinity below in the reflection. I think that works especially well because the image in the mirror is a window, rather than a wall, and that helps keep the composition from getting too busy.

Olga said...

It is interesting how difficult it is to eliminate the attraction of the clock. I guess a lot of it has to do with how easy it is to 'read' - it is giving us simply understood information, whereas the rest needs a little bit of effort.

I'm enjoying your daily practice, thanks.

November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

How does color set a mood? The soft gray and white of the carpet, the cat Marshall, and the sunlit window contribute to to the sense of calm repose. What does blue mean to you or me? We all have symbolic associations for colors; some based on personal experience and some instilled culturally. 

The cobalt blue of the vase provides a point and counterpoint to the composition, in addition to providing elements that balance.
Keeping the cat in the lower third of the composition weights the image and is another visual door into the picture world.

November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

This picture tells several stories. It references the human desire to order the world around us - the lettering on the wall establishes the alley as a No Parking zone, and the broken glass-  jutting out at the top - is another message of fear and frailty. Whoever lives behind this wall wants to be left alone.

But there is beauty in the contrast of the rough brick surface and the smooth translucency of the broken glass bottles. A contrast of textures makes for an interesting composition. And the abstract nature of the printed letters against the structure of the bricks would be worth emulating in another sort of composition.

There is as much beauty in decay as there is in a bouquet of fresh flowers. And aren't decay and fresh growth just two different spots on the same continuum?

November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

The Hydrangeas offer a lesson in the effective use of color. The pale blue and lavender are roughly the same value, so they balance each other beautifully. I am challenged to mimic that combination of analogous colors on silk Habotai!

This photograph would be considered beautiful even without the red-orange and yellow flowers at the bottom. But the addition of the complements to the blue and purple creates a focal point and generates some nice contrast because of the complementary pairing. And imagine how different this composition would be, were the red-orange and yellow at the top instead of at the bottom. The current placement adds important visual weight.

November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008

November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008
Being and Non-being

Substance and Light

November 16, 2008

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside 
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the space inside
that holds whatever we want.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

Tao te Ching; Verse 11
Stephen Mitchell translation