We can learn so much by looking at photographs that work. We can learn even more by examining our own favourite photographs. We can push beyond our own vision and thoughts by listening to the comments of others about our own work.
This week I want you to choose one of you own personal favourite photographs that you have taken.
I ask that you set aside some time to sit with it. An hour as a rough guide.
Stare at it.
Really look, try and see.
Figure out why it works for you? Why do you love it so much? What works in it for you?
Make notes. Detailed notes.
Now post your photograph and include why it works for you. Details are good.
Next, look at the photographs of others that have been posted below. Contemplate them. Read what the photographer and others have said. Add your thoughts, particularly if there is something about the photograph others haven’t seen yet.
I learn a lot by looking at my photographs I like. I learn so much more by discussion with others as to why they like them.
That last step of looking for things that they have missed is so important. Make some time to look and comment please.
Come back later in the week to see what others have said.
Lastly, if you have time repeat this exercise with another favourite photograph. We all have lots of favourites. Well I do anyway.
When I took this photograph I was disappointed in the moving ferns. When I first saw it I was initially upset, being taken to my memory of when I took it. Luckily my attitude changed the longer I looked at it. Now I love this photograph for its bold geometric composition of the diagonal log. It dominates the space it bisects. It forcefully drags the eye up or down with movement.
I enjoy how my eye becomes trapped in the photograph with never ending figure eight loops. I don’t want to escape as I enjoy the forced moment of my eye throughout the art work.
For some the log is uphill others downhill. I tend to read this photograph from top left with my eye heading to the right in the same way we read a book. My eye, instead of following words, it follows the branch that curves me down to the lower right corner. It hits the log, runs up again to the start and falls down the left hand side discovering the thin bare stick. Again my eye follows the leading line to the lower right corner, it hits the log, and it is elevated back to the top again.
Each time my eye completes the full cycle, the next explores a different, yet similar path.
I enjoy the soft water, velvety smooth. Soft and gentle. Very unlike the pounding noise and force that it was like in reality. This photograph is a strong reminder that photographs don’t tell truth. They only tell my truth. My feelings of joy to be in such a special wilderness area.
Lastly, I like the tiny triangle at the top left that mirrors the major two that are implied by the log.
Dip Falls, The Tarkine, Tasmania Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2019