The compulsion to make a photograph isn’t as simple as pressing a button. A photographer’s heart and brain work in tandem to expose, compose, and create photographs in practice. I’ve been studying mid-20th-century photographs recently to research for some upcoming Your Shot assignments and relishing in thoughtful compositions that make me stop and examine the movement in a still moment. Isn’t that visual phenomenon incredible?
Your Shot photographers served up some beautifully thought-out compositions this week. In Juliana Swenson’s photograph of four cowboys, she positioned herself wonderfully to find micro-compositions (think Sam Abell’s compositions where everything has its place) between the men on horseback and their background. She used every inch of her frame, found a moment to document, and made the photograph. Ayanava Sil documented men hugging after morning prayers to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Kolkata, India, to commemorate the conclusion of Ramadan with a simple, colorful composition that packs a punch while capturing a sense of warmth between the men.
A thoughtful composition shines with layers of micro-compositions separating the different components in the photograph while still providing a clear focal point for our eyes to start with. Take a look at Your Shot producer David Y. Lee’s recently published Your Shot story dedicated to composition while you’re at it! There isn’t an exact science to composing but a starting point for good compositions is, of course, always practicing.