Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Whole Story, Not Necessarily the Whole Picture

A friend chided me the other day saying he thought this was supposed to be a photography blog, but it looks more like an Adobe(r) Photoshop(tm) blog. Another said, in my Memorial Day tribute, that there wasn't "all" of anything in my images. To one I'd say this isn't supposed to be a "photography blog" or a "Photoshop blog", it's a personal blog that I invite anyone to visit and discuss. To the second friend I'd explain that I try to tell a "whole story", not necessarily show a "whole picture" of anything.

As a story teller using photography as a medium to tell the story I believe the feeling presented by the image is the thing. The Memorial Day image is a composite of several different shots taken at different times in different places. Today's image is one shot with, basically, the same components as the "made" shot from Monday. We have a flag, "enough" of a person and something tying the story together. Rather than a set of solo shots used to make one image, here we have Depth of Field used to create separation between the foreground, the central focus and the background. It achieves the same story telling device. The flag (in the lower left) is totally out of focus, but recognizable. The cannon in back is also out of focus. Together they explain who the person in the shot is. Another device is the (in camera) cropping of the fellow. If you're going to cut off a body part, cut deep. If you just nick the top of the head or cut someone off at the knees it's pretty obvious you made a mistake. If you crop like today's image just about anyone will be able to see that it was an "artistic" decision. As an "aside", if the shot took in any more of the area it would have had a couple hundred people standing around in twenty first century clothes.

Is today's image saleable or something that would win awards? No for a couple of reasons. Primary is that I don't know who the person is and have no way to get a model release, so, no making money off it. Although it wouldn't win any awards, it and a hundred other images from the day would make a good segment of a show when combined with some music and a voice over. The state park where the shot was taken might want to use a couple of minute show to let people know what happened on this spot many years ago.