For many photographers, the first mistake they make in composition is trying to fill the picture frame. I’m guilty of this myself, particularly with wildlife photography. There’s the big lens theory that you need to get a big fat piece of glass on the front of the camera so that you can fill that sensor with the leopard in a tree. For landscape photographers there’s the opposite - little lens theory - that you get as wide a lens as possible so that you can fill the frame with as much of the landscape as possible. Then with all these wonderful big and small lenses we wonder why our images look dull and uninspired. It’s because filling the frame is not necessarily the best way to create a meaningful image. Sometimes, you need to leave it empty.
About this Blog
Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
There is a rule that seems to be taken as a biblical guidance caste down in stone as the 11th commandment for photographers: The Rule of Thirds (hereafter referred to as RoT). This piece of guidance is viewed by many as a starting point for composition. It’s muttered like a mantra at camera-club meetings (woe betide the photographer who dares not use it at one of these gatherings), and is often the first thing that is mentioned in books on photographic composition. The problem with such a strong term as ‘rule’, is that photographers will sometimes feel that they have to craft the image so that it fits the rule, rather than look at the elements and allow them to fall into place in a manner that works best for both the subject matter at hand.
Posted by Emil von Maltitz at 8:46 AM
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Every now and again I get a request from some young photographer asking if they can shadow me on a shoot, be an intern, or more baldly, be given a job. Some of these requests I entertain, as the photographer has caught my eye in some way. The reality though is that I doubt that many of these job/intern/shadow seekers get much success from the email approach. The hit rate with me is probably 1:20. I have found myself writing a response to several in the past as to why their missive hasn’t struck the right cord. So this is a post written to all those out there who are wanting to get noticed by a potential employer.
Posted by Emil von Maltitz at 8:03 AM
Monday, March 1, 2021
|Classic use of objects within the frame to frame other objects, creating layers of frame-subject relationships|
One of the defining characteristics of a photograph is that it is two dimensional. Being two two dimensional means that there has to be an edge to the picture as an object. This is very succinctly put by Stephen shore who wrote that “the photograph has edges, the world has not” (Stephen Shore -The Nature of Photographs: 1998). Part of the photographer’s goal is to delineate their experience of the world within a frame and so depict their ‘view’ of the world to a viewer in another time and place.
Posted by Emil von Maltitz at 5:10 PM