Red and Blue

by Gordon

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0

You have to understand two things: with whom your subject is communicating with and what is the emotion of your subject (whether spontaneous or posed). So let's take up each: Your subject can communicate to you as a photographer, your camera, meaning the audience of your photo or third party or parties, on or off the photo. By communication I mean ...


2

First, those terms aren't exact synonyms. A 3/4 shot is any image where subject has been cropped at around the knees. American shot is sometimes used to specifically refer to composition where several subjects in interaction (e.g. partners in dialogue) have been cropped that way; and sometimes, it is indeed used more loosely as a synonym for 3/4 shot. ...


3

Sure. Framing is a technique in composition where objects in the photo direct the viewers attention by covering (usually) one or more edges, creating a sort of frame-within-the-frame. In landscape photography, this is usually foreground trees or rocks — but it doesn't have to be. It could be a building, or even people. In Raphael's Sistine Madonna, the ...


1

In my experience, the viewer can intuit when the subject is actually intently involved with whatever they are looking at. It is my belief that someone gazing vaguely off into the ether somehow reflects that lack of involvement in their expression and it is that lack of involvement that the reviewer is responding to. I am a street photographer and try not to ...


1

Humans have been shown to be especially drawn to the eyes, with some studies showing unique human response to just movement of the eyes. While it will be debated for many years as to why, the fact is we look at the eyes of other humans in photos. When we see photos of others, where their eyes are not looking into the camera, we tend to think about that the ...


0

As humans we grew up imitating other people's behaviour to figure out how to act/feel. When we see someone being happy we learned to feel happy - if they were sad then we felt sad. We found ourselves more strongly influenced when the person directed their emotion directly at us (i.e. direct visual contact). This "imitation game" happened even before we fully ...


5

I don't see that there's anything "wrong" with the subject not looking at the camera, but there is an unavoidable and striking difference between subjects eyeing and not eyeing the camera. There are primal instincts to study a subject that is making eye contact: Is this person trying to engage me as an ally? Do they need help? Are they a threat? Are they ...


8

My thought is that there are actually relatively few cases where you do want the subject to be looking at the camera... pretty much only portraits, and only a subset of those. You don't want subjects looking at the camera when the purpose of the photo is to convey a sense of passive observation of something naturally taking place, as in some types of ...


2

I would think about it in this abstract sense, solely defined through the viewer, not the creator: The subject is something that the viewer thinks he/she should be experiencing. A distraction is something that the viewer experiences but is not part of the subject. Neither has to be part of the picture necessarily, nor something visual at all.


12

It isn't necessary to have the subject looking into the camera. In fact sometimes the photo is all the better when the subject isn't looking into the camera. It all depends on what you want to communicate with the image you are making. If you want a natural looking subject that appears to be engaged in some type of activity (whether that is obvious by ...


8

There is absolutely no need to have the subject look at the camera. It's a question of style and preference. I've seen plenty of fabulous photos where the subject was looking at, beside, at 90 degrees from, and had their back turned to the camera. Your critiquer has a very narrow perspective. I look at that photo and see "Is mommy watching?" and I wonder ...


4

There are subjective things that one viewer may find "distracting", where the photographer may disagree. The watch on the nude is a good example. That's personal taste. There is a more subconscious aspect though I think, to do with the composition and how the viewer's eye scans the image. In many images, the viewer's eye may wander, but settle on a focal ...


4

My attempt to abstract a general answer from all the complications regarding different people's ideas about what a photograph should "accomplish": A distraction is some feature that, for a given viewer, has nearly the same visual importance as another feature to which the viewer attributes much greater cognitive importance.


25

"Distracting" is a word that's often thrown around in online photo-critique, often without much specificity. It's a criticism that can be applied to any aspect of a photo without, ultimately, need for justification — thus, occupying a sweet spot between clearly opinionated comments like "very pretty!" or on the other hand, overly prescriptive rules which are ...


1

The main thing to avoid is cutting off a very small amount of a limb when it could just as easily be included without changing the composition. Your second example is a perfect example of that. Including all that leg, only to cut off the toes! Could just as easily included another few inches and not had that distraction. null's crop is a big improvement ...


4

The answers here are great, but they're dealing with pure compositional aspects. There's also a biology aspect that wasn't mentioned. Basically, don't crop on a joint. If you crop at a person's knee, for example, it'll tend to look like the lower leg was actually amputated, which is very distracting. Instead, try to crop to the middle of the limb.


6

For me the foot is very distracting. That's because it's a remote part of the subject and it goes all the way to the left, through all that negative space just to be clipped off by the edge of the frame. The leg isn't a leading line either. Rather the opposite, somewhat blocking the path of the eyes from getting to the subject, leading it towards the foot ...


1

This isn't a scientific question, it's about the art of the composition, which is opinion. However I would say that if the cropping distracts from the image, it's too much. How's that for ambiguous? In my opinion, this first image with the baby is all about the eyes. Getting in very close enhances the affect. I'm so captured by his eyes that I don't ...


1

Sometimes, you just can't get this shot. That might be the case, here. You don't have the right lens, or the right positioning, and what you want to make happen, can't. In your case, 50mm lens and a small room — not much to be done. I have three ideas, though First, and risky, you could move so that you're actually in the line of sight between the subjects ...


1

I hate to state the obvious: if you cannot include it, don't include it. Don't force it, here's why: You compose for a subject. What is the subject? Father and child looking at a lizard. As long as the lizard was included in the frame, that'd be true. But it's not. The lizard isn't part of the subject. I think the subject of your image is a father ...



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