Sunday, February 7, 2010


Washington Depot, CT

Never have the main subject of your picture look straight into the camera. Unless it's a "portrait."

Never cut off people's body parts in your pictures, and don't leave extra empty space on the other side of the picture.

Always make sure the color balance in all parts of the picture is perfectly reconciled.

Those are rules. A good picture is something else. I like this picture. I don't like it because it breaks those rules, and likely many more. I like it because it works, and I don't pay any attention to rules when I make pictures.


Scott Kirkpatrick said...

It's got three interesting faces in it, one of them connecting to the viewer. Isn't that enough for starters? The cutoff person doesn't seem to be hurting. What's wrong with the color balance?


Carl said...


You repeat a point that came up in responses to my article on editing large takes some months back on TOP. You are approaching the picture by looking for what's good about it, and deciding there's enough, instead of looking for defects as grounds for rejection. Exactly the piece of enlightenment I got from David Vestal.

lyle said...

I liked it because the girl has that 'perfect' face and tone of the portraits I see at the MET and because her face is framed by the painting edges, the photo caused me to a bit of a double take. Do the rules allow for a bit of viewer 'confusion'?

Carl said...

Lyle, confusion could come from surprise, and I'd say that being surprised by something about a picture is generally a good thing.