Showing More With Less

Yesterday I was using some down time during my commute to catch up on some of Jeff Cutro’s Camera Position podcasts.  There are a few photography related podcasts out there that really connect with me to the point that I want to listen to all the podcasts in the series (eventually).  Today it was Camera Position 19: When Less Really Is More, where Jeff reviewed a few photos where the photographer purposely showed you only part of the scene or gave you hints at the full scene though the reflections that were left in the scene.  This brought back to my memory the above photo, taken a few years back.

It was a rainy day and the water had collected on our back deck. Reflected in the water was the bare form of the Sycamore tree we have in our back yard. I stood there staring out the patio door at the deck, I was standing there so long my wife started to get worried. There was something about the above image that really struck me. The abstract nature of it. The fact that the tree was the focus point while also not being the focus point. It was one of those images that I had to capture.

When out photographing, keep this concept in mind. An image can sometimes be stronger for the subtle hints and clues it can give through effective use of not showing everything.

On a side note, I thought that maybe it would help this image by rotating it 180 degrees so that the tree appeared to to be standing upright. When I did this, the result really threw my sense off balance. The deck became a ceiling and the combination of the angle of the boards with the water droplets “falling up” actually started to get me a bit dizzy. It was either the new sense of the picture, the fact that my mind knew what it was I was looking at and knew something was wrong, or the Bock beer with 10% alcohol content that I was drinking at the time that instilled this feeling…. This alternative is provided to the right as a thumbnail. Compare the two maximum sized by clicking on them and let me know which one you prefer. Does the alternative also give you an uneasy, off kilter feeling?

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