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Diggin' the links to the pre-photography image making perspective.
Color, contrast, lines, geometry, scale, mass, rhythm, tone, subject, negative space, leading lines, implied, transition, focus, blur, etc. ... nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, commas, parenthesis, question mark, predicate, exclamation mark, tone, mood, pace, etc.
"See Dick run."
"Mesmerized by their motion resembling the agility and grace of gazelles, we watched every delightful movement as Jane playfully chased Dick, frolicking among the meadow flowers, each with the carefree spirit of a dog scampering after a flitting butterfly."
The elements of composition (verbal, non-verbal) are contained, arranged and assembled into the message that you send. Our writing or image making styles are related to our chosen utilization of the compositional elements at our disposal and degree of refinement we choose to present ... i.e. "command & control" @ "What's your point?, "What is the message that you want to convey to your viewer?" or "Where do you want to 'draw the eye' of your viewer?" ... and how much ancillary information do you need/want to have accompany, augment, explain where you've taken them?
From HCB to Renoir (Irene adorns the wall) to Andrew Wyeth (coffee table) to Shakespeare to Mozart, the masters are masters because they "mastered" their utilization of the compositional elements to produce and present their message.
At the risk of sounding blasphemous to what some might perceives as the holy grail of photography ... HCB's work is kinda "hit & miss" for me, but I recognize his mastery of his style and his "command & control". Personally, I'm a bit taken toward Paul Strand's style, noting that both (and many others) had "command & control" over their utilization of the compositional elements. To me, the mark of mastery is "command & control" over one's utilization decisions ... with style being infinitely variable.
Some work with a pallete of relatively few of the elements as their mainstay, while others incorporate a more complex utilization in their style. But, in each case they have "command & control" of the elements they choose to use (which begins with the knowledge of their existence and influence on their audience). How we choose to use, arrange and assemble the elements of composition to deliver our intended message ... well, that's what makes us each a composer of image making using electro-mechanical devices instead of oil, or watercolor, sounds or words ... or as most would call us, photographers ... but we really are all "composers", imo.
Edited on May 16, 2013 at 06:32 PM · View previous versions