Friday, March 30, 2012

An Exercise in Composition

Please be seated.

I volunteer one afternoon a week as a gallery attendant for the Atlanta Photography Group.  On a busy day there might be more than a dozen people coming through.  This was a slow day, with only one visitor in four hours, and she only crossed the threshold to ask directions to a nearby museum.

Here's a picture of the gallery from the APG website.

It's a modern, open layout with a granite counter/desk and a couple of chairs.

The gallery director had sent me an e-mail outlining a few tasks, but I finished those within an hour.  I had brought a camera and I had time on my hands.

Seated behind the counter/desk, I was engaged by the chair in front of me.  It has a high back and mesh on both sides that creates a sort of interference pattern when looking through it. My eye went to the viewfinder and I got down to business.   Unhurried, I took my time playing with various compositions involving that chair's back.

The first few images included some of the environment behind my subject.

I then tightened up on the composition ...

closing in on detail and line ...

then backing off a bit to include the reflective polished granite.

Moving in a  little closer, this final image resulted.

I must have spent at least an hour on this project.  Hand-held photography can be as thoughtfully deliberate as shooting from a tripod. The point is to slow down, see, react, notice, reflect, refine, and respond.  I was interested in texture, light, and shape.  For me, that this is the back of a chair is almost irrelevant, and certainly less important than the separate elements that make it what it is.

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