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Copyright : Copyright 2015 Wolfgang Arnold - CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Published: Saturday 25th of July 2015 08:45:19 PM
If someone had asked me to take the original shot and crop it to a square, I probably would have cut off the right side, which takes the poster out and leaves clean walls. I may not have even tried Fred's crop, which to me gives an off-balance look, but after seeing it, I do like it. I prefer the original rectangle over any of the square versions, though.
The shadow makes this more mathematical than it already is. A study in . . . long division.
Jack, I like your reference to a sundial. The marks along the base of the wall, and even the weeds, are like hour marks.
That slanting shadow takes this into another dimension, a sundial in a timeless world.
For me, the original has a good energy and the square crop seems static and less interesting to me. Something that does bother me about the square is the way the diagonal shadow goes right into the corner of the frame, which gives it a less spontaneous sense than the original which, though geometric, seems less determined. I agree with Leslie that it loses depth by cropping to the square, which also lessens its effect on me.
If I were going to do a square (see above), I'd keep everything top to bottom and crop it from side to side to include most of the poster, chopping off a bit of the right side of the poster which allows the shadow to go off the side, rather than the bottom or the corner, of the picture. It's a bit off beat and likely wouldn't appeal to everyone, but I like that it has the measured quality of a square and yet a kind of random off-center geometry within that.
many thanks for your comment & good suggestion. When initially editing the photo I decided to keep the black poster to avoid a too strict geometry - still I like your proposal - see attached 'version 2'.
I was instantly drawn in by the shadow here--you caught it at the perfect time, and your decision to frame this straight-on and centered emphasizes the geometry here beautifully. I'm curious about what a square crop that isolates the windows, most of the foreground shadow, and the horizontal structural line above the windows might look like--it might draw even more attention to the elegant geometry. I like this image a lot!
I think I agree with Fred about the tidiness of the cropped version but when it comes right down to it, the original shot is the one I prefer.
Gentlemen, many thanks - being a very occasional visitor to PN during recent times, I really appreciate your comments!
Leslie, very thorough analysis - I think, you addressed every important aspect in these photos and, in fact, I didn't (consciously) notice that the viewer cannot focus both windows in the the tightly cropped version - a very interesting observation!
Fred, many thanks for different square crop. Tying lines (or 'stuff') to corners or borders is a bad habit that I acquired after reading Harald Mante's "The Photograph" (which is about composition and colour - good book, but at times a bit idiosyncratic) - so your proposal is a welcome reminder to think and see beyond (own) trodden paths.
Jack, Mark, many thanks for your views / votes - so it's clear, which version "won" :-)
Thanks so much for showing the cropped version, Wolfgang--I like them both! The thing that has me fascinated is that I'm attracted to each of the versions for different reasons--each has such a different feel to it. In the first, the expanse of the wall and the distance from me to the windows give me a feeling that I'm on on-looker to a rare event--what are the chances that you'd be able to catch that shadow in exactly the right place? And you're absolutely right--that poster (and the plants) play a really important role in keeping the viewer firmly lodged in the realness of the scene--it's not just about geometry. As a viewer I feel detached, an observer. Part of that feeling is from the distance to the windows, and part of it is due to the wide base to the near part of the shadow--that implicitly reads as a perspective clue, and gives a lot of depth to the image. As a viewer, I enjoy the image because of the feeling of delight brought about by the chance positioning of the shadow.
In the second, I suddenly feel like a participant in the scene, and a bit disconcertingly so--the windows turn into eyes, and I'm the only thing present for them to be looking at (though mercifully they're staring off to my right instead of right at me--they haven't seen me yet). This feeling of unease I think is enhanced beautifully by the fact that it's not possible for the viewer to focus on both windows at once, while in the first image they were small enough and close enough together that we could. So my eyes are bouncing from one to the other, which keeps me very engaged with the image. The crop also feels less 3-dimensional than the original, and that pushes it toward being a geometrical abstract--the cool thing to me is how the uneasiness balances the analytical abstractness to turn it into an abstract with soul. And I love how the crop suddenly makes those two plants into important players; they're a counterweight to the shadow on the left and provide a kind of organic contrast to the stark, constructed geometry of the rest of the scene. And the chance encounter with the shadow still resonates.
So the bottom line is I like both versions very much--you've got two really nice images here!