Quick intro by Pascal: in the background of the blog, we are quietly working on individual galleries for each of us to display, swap or sell photographs. The process involves mutual help in selecting said photographs. For his second post on DS, Sean describes the process and a newfound interest for the square format. You can find his fab first post here.
The following had its beginnings in a submission of some images to DearSusan. Then the DS overseer responded with subjective feedback, along with a suggestion to consider a re-frame of some images from a framed 2:3 ratio to a re-framed 1:1 ratio.
This initially jolted me as I had never considered crafting an image in a 1:1 ratio. I heeded the advice of the overseer’s artistic nudge, and the re-framing noticeably improved the selected images.
I had learnt something: listen to good peer feedback, and take on the advice being offered because you’ll not realise the benefits of the learning curve.
My first thought’s on this were, to myself, framed as a ‘Why?”. I could have dug in my heels and resisted the artistic nudge. I quickly realised that I can learn something from another photographer based on their competencies in the art and craft of photography.
Another benefit was to bring some clarity in steps to be taken, so as to help me remedy a photographic rut I’ve been bogged down in of late. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an outcome where I’d adopt the 1:1 frame on a wholesale basis. I’d consider the 1:1 frame’s use when appropriate for the image subject and subject matter. It can also raise levels of an authors satisfaction in crafting an image, along with achieving a desired end result.
The third thing that became evident was that it re-invigorated my interest and motivation. I knew I was in a rut and lacked oomph to escape its slippery slope. The overseer’s nudge caused a spark, to immerse myself in learning from the exercise – reflect, reap rewards.
Until the overseer’s nudge, I simply crafted images in a 2:3 frame, cookie cutter fashion. I then presented them as such, and left it at that – my photographic craft could now do with another frame of reference. The exercise actually made me realise I’d never considered the effect a frame ratio had on a viewer’s affect, understanding and appreciation.
For me, one key positive outcome of this exercise was the 1:1 re-frame had the potential to craft a clearer image – enhancing content, presentation, reading or viewing experience.
That is, the viewers relationship with the photograph was enhanced, as a result of the exercise. It may also speed up immediacy in connect, because an image makes more sense. This is possibly due image essentials being revealed in a clearer light, in terms of subject and subject matter – the re-frame exercise removed the unwanted. This does not mean a 2:3 frame is not as effective, but could indicate it is not always the answer to being creative. An image also shows us how a camera and lens sees, because it imposes these limitations onto the way an image is drawn – it’s a deciding factor.
Thus it’s a combination of how the photographer makes use of the camera and lens, along with the specificities of the final framing ratio, and the photographers eye, that can help craft the in-camera image.
Sometimes, in the eyes of a viewer, it is interpreted as different to that intended by the photographer; and sometimes it only takes an artistic nudge to help a photographer to understand other additional and better possibilities do exist – to guide, review and re-frame – which, in the end do prove to be better options, and more satisfying for the photographer.
Another thing I came to realise was this exercise was infused not only from its immersion in a positive learning experience, but from being woven on a sturdy loom of collaboration.
It didn’t require a must have bag full of the latest and greatest, photography wise. It had delivered due to a two-way communication, using individual and collective knowledge, skills, and experience in the art and craft of photography – not as professional subject matter experts in photography, but in collaboration using individual capacities and abilities.
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