I like Earth by Kate Bergdorf. I love the lighting, even though the sun is not directly visible, we can feel its heat and brilliance in the way it sets the grass alight. I have mentioned before that we unconsciously look for and identify geometric shapes. This beautiful landscape is filled with geometry and that gives it balance and makes our lizard brains happy. Whether Kate Bergdorf deliberately set out to capture all these shapes or whether her innate instinctual search for patterns guided her lens, I do not know. It still works.
Stepping back from her picture, I wanted to show you how these patterns are consciously and very deliberately used in composition. Picasso’s Guernica is one of the most powerful paintings in existence. It is an emotional painting that elicits visceral responses of grief and pain…and yet, Picasso deliberately calculated the geometry. You can see one of his preliminary sketches on the left, defining the spatial composition. This video breaks it down even more. Geometry is not just shapes, it’s emotion, power, and instinct. Even the word empathy owes its invention to a philosopher trying to explain how and why we react to abstract forms. Why does an arc make us think of elegance? He called it einfühlung, which translators had not word for, so they invented empathy. Today, of course, we think of it more in terms of how we identify with people, but originally it was invented to explain how we respond to art.
I like Maloe van Sant’s “There is beauty in everything, even in silence and darkness.” Again, we see bold geometry at work. Triangles, squaresand circles. Her left eye is smack dab on the center of the golden ratio. Again, geometry is a star player. Another thing is how his colors repeat, There are three centers of red, her lips and the two flower clusters. Then there is the yellow shading that repeats, even the small amount of green is broken up into three branches.
I like Plants by Eve Kazan. Sometimes a fairly simple picture can become profound and original by a shift in perspective. Shooting from below, the picture is simplified. The sky is clutter free, putting the architecture of the plants in high relief. Using the rule of odd numbers, she include five plants, though only one is not mostly cropped out. It’s a striking and captivating image.
I like Flowers of Summer Trace by Kari Velvetleaf. So much so, it makes me want to rush there and inspect every item, buy them and make my own tableau. Except, of course, that would be derivative, so I can’t. Not exactly, anyway. Depth of field and beautiful lighting are doing some of the work here. The composition of items, too, the bright colors. Also, if you drew a vertical line right down the middle between those yellow boots, it would fall exactly on the line dividing the picture into thirds. Certainly no accident.I like this vendor image for Psychopomp Body Tattos from Cureless. It is balanced by a frame within the frame, embellished with a cross, book, syringe, a severed arm, and inks. The color story is sepia in different tints and shades. It is all so reminiscent of one of my favorite artists, Alphonse Maria Mucha. His work is less macabre, but the art-deco conventions are everything in this picture.
I like …Memories by KyRaLy. This picture’s lighting drew my interest first. It has this painterly quality. Doesn’t it really seem like something from one of the old Dutch masters? I look at a picture like this and wonder, is that really Second Life®? It really is, though not completely. She put an overlay over it, one that adds texture, age, and quite probably heightened the chiaroscuro effect. Expanding the picture makes the overlay’s effect more evident. The picture is beautifully composed by the rule of 5th. Each of the women are aligned with a vertical fifth and the horizon is at exactly two-fifths from the top. It’s emotional power, though, comes from the lighting that the overlay enhances.
I like Summertime by Britain Knave. Shoetopia has inspired some brilliant photos by encouraging bloggers to shoot from new angles and to shift their focus. It’s been fun. This is my favorite, though, ironically, it was not even for Shoetopia! I love it because the concept is new and original. The focus is all about the shoes, which is the point, but it tells a story, a sweet, romantic story. The blurring that comes from the depth of field, the placement of the shoes at angles, all of it combines for a lovely pic.
I like b by Midori. I commented the other day that one way to make your photos really stand out on Flickr is to wear some clothes. The surfeit of nudity is boring most of the time and so many of the photos are the same. This one is different. Clever positioning allows the picture to tease rather than flaunt. The light adds this subtle red to the highlights and shadows. There is this stark simplicity: big leaf, big leaf, body, big leaf. Then this complexity in positioning for exhibition without exposure and the color story, red and green being opposites on the color wheel. I just love everything about it. If this was the kind of nudity on Flickr, I would not be bored by it.
I like It Seems That Way by Säaήɟɦ яαsнmï. э. Yes, I just copied and pasted her name because I have no idea how to reproduce it. Thankfully, I don’t have to know how to pronounce it to know I love her photo. Not just this one, she has a bold, style of shooting pics that I am drawn to. What I most love about her work is her shifted focus, how she frames it diagonally and gives it this kinetic energy that is so alive. This is black and white, but in other pics, she employs bold, saturated colors to great effect. But, back to this picture. consider how by turning this diagonally, she created all this new geometry. Seriously, if you took this picture and made it straight, it would be a good, but conventional blogger picture. At this angle, it’s exciting. She makes me wonder if it’s life or Second Life.
Pictures that tell a story make me go awww…..
There are just too many pictures I want to feature and I am getting hungry. My goal was to finish this before lunch…and it’s 3:00 pm. For that reason, I am going to show a group of pictures that I like because they tell a story. They are also well-composed and have other reasons I like them, but the main one is they tell me something, I can anticipate the next picture that has not been taken yet. I can imagine the subjects in the picture doing something more.