Friday, April 2, 2010

Photography Unit

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." -- Ansel Adams

Remember rotary phones? I don't. They're that old. Older than me, which, my friends like to remind me, is old.

This photo represents my topic in an almost perfect comic sense. The iPhone, one of the newest and most popular tech toys of today, with a rotary phone screen. A blend of new and old in a much more fashionable package.

It relates to my topic, but it may be one of the least visually stimulating photos I've ever seen. Definitely funny though, just boring.

So I've decided that my topic is not easily communicated visually. It's not exactly simple to capture the constant struggle between new and old technologies. It's not very easy to search for either. Technology images, technology photography, photos about technology--not a lot going on there.

So I've decided to stretch the limits of my topic a little for the sake of this project. Just FYI.

This photography depicts a solar energy plant, a building covered with solar panels in Chicago. Though not the most exciting photo, it does follow several must-have photography rules. The "rule of thirds" is simply a way to split photos into nine different cells, with the most important pieces of the photo being placed at the intersections. The photo is also in focus and well-lit, without being over-or underexposed.

In the photo above, the top third of the photo is designated by the top of the highest row of solar panels, coinciding with the bottom of the brick structure in the top right cell of the photograph. The bottom third is also separated by a solar panel. The vertical lines almost lay directly on the white pipes coming up and out of the surface of the building; the above all culminate in an almost perfectly placed photograph.

I like this photo the best. Cool red phone booths in a cool red line in cool London. The color is vivid and pops against the drab grey stone. However, the photographer did not consider the rule of thirds in this picture. The 'telephone labels' almost line up, creating somewhat of a top third division, but the rest of the photo is just there, which begs the question--does it really NEED to follow the rule of thirds? I like this photo, I think it's the most interesting, the most engaging, and it's fun. But I'm not a photographer, so maybe my opinion doesn't matter.

One negative point to ALL of these photos--they don't communicate anything. I don't get a message from any of them, no meaning, no story. I get phone, solar panels, phone booths. The latter makes me think of Superman and my own cheesy picture inside a London photobooth, but that's not really a story. Professional photographers strive to communicate meaning with their photographs, to literally portray "a thousand words." I got two words at best from any of these photos, as interesting or funny as they may be.

So what is it that makes a good photograph? Is it a good subject, nice lighting, the rule of thirds, or a good story? I would have to guess it's some perfect combination of all of them-I wish someone would let me in on the secret.

As always, Happy Friday!

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