Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Cars - On Composition

I believe that once you've learned the mechanics of photography - exposure, depth of field, focusing, etc., you can begin to look at the less concrete aspects of making good photographs. However, I think there are some concepts that bridge the gap between purely technical and artistic: lighting and composition, for example.
I shot a couple of rolls of Gekko 100 black and white film (donated to me by my good friend Dennis Gallus) last weekend. While doing the embassy row walk in DC, I shot two pictures from the Dumbarton Bridge. Here they are, side by side.
Two Compositions, by Reed A. George
Leica CL, Rokkor 40mm f2 Lens, Gekko 100 Film
Can you see the difference that the location of the cars in the scene makes? To my eye, the line of cars in the image on the left leads the viewer into and up the entrance ramp on the left. In the image on the right, the line of cars leads the eye in a curve to the right, and back to the bridge in the distance. Other than the placement of the cars, these images are nearly identical.
I feel that I have mastered the purely technical aspects of photography. Composition and lighting continue to challenge me, and perhaps always will. That's okay; it's part of the fun. I'm just scratching the surface of the higher "artistic" aspects of photography.
Here's a fun car shot, made the same day, from the new Metro Silver Line that runs from Reston, VA into DC.
Zoom Zoom, by Reed A. George
Leica CL, Rokkor 40mm f2 Lens, Gekko 100 Film