Either way, I'll do my best to make this a good use of your time. There are so many other things to read and do on the Internet, and I'm glad you stopped at this plot of code for a quick sec to indulge in some photo philosophy.)
Sometimes, a photo assignment or some part of that assignment doesn't look awesome. In fact, I've never walked into a place or time to take photos and an image immediately yells, "Hey! Right here! I'm your World Press Photo winner!" (Hence the need for photojournalists with trained eyes, diligence and patience.) In those instances, the first crutch (or fetish, as I called it previously) that I use is an internal frame.
The camera already provides a rigid frame, and often it's a pretty constraining one. Human sight is so panoramic, and so narrowing that range to a 3:2 box already takes some of the majesty and breadth out of a landscape or a piece of action. Why, you might ask, would you limit a photo even further? Three reasons:
- An internal frame, unlike the external variety, can add to the story of a photo. A simple circle around the workers in the first picture below would be "Eh," but since the circle is a rusted grommet, it adds a touch of antiquity and a sense of the environment.
Workers build a new housing complex for Indiana University students on Dec. 31, 2011, on the south side of campus. Taken with an iPhone 4S and posted to Instagram.
- An internal frame gives depth to a photo. You could have a picture of Maurice Creek standing on the court looking bored, or you can have a picture of Maurice Creek standing on the court looking bored BEHIND other players warming up. Voila! Your photo, like an onion, has layers.
Indiana University guard Maurice Creek watches warmups before IU's game against the University of Iowa on Feb. 5, 2011, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Creek had been sidelined since Jan. 15 with a stress fracture in his right patella. (original post)
- An internal frame can intriguingly tell the viewer exactly where to look in the photo. There may be other distracting things blocked by the frame, but the real kicker of the image, like sorority sisters cheering during a Little 500 Spring Series event, has a target built for immediate eye contact. (The same idea applies to what one of my very good professors called the most powerful tool for a photojournalist: super-selective focus.)
Fans cheer for Jill Snyder of Kappa Delta as she pedals down the front straightaway during Little 500 Individual Time Trials on Mar. 30, 2011, in Bloomington, Ind. (original post)
Here's more of what I found in the most recent dumpster dive. If you're feeling frisky, check out another internal frame from a blog post in March 2011. It's the fifth photo from the top.
Another one from my study-abroad travels. Here, a friend walks into a purse shop in Marrakech, Morocco, that seems to literally be made of purses.
Last one from my travels in spring 2010: A line of cars entering the estate of Salvador Dalí in Port Lligat, Catalonia, Spain. The focal plane is on the window, partly by accident and partly because I like the window and I want one like it when I buy a house.
Wabash College cross-country runner Seth Einterz smirks as his team prepares for the North Coast Athletic Conference meet Oct. 30, 2010, at Southmont High School.
This is my cousin's best man looking up to the ceiling in the groom's room/church nursery before the wedding.
Next up (at a time to be determined): Either one of two things. It could be (like the last photo here) reflections, refractions, and other toyings with the direction of light; or it could be my favorite name that the aforementioned professor gave to a photo element: introduction of color into a monochromatic setting. We'll see.