Shadows and silhouettes can do so much for a photograph. They can provide depth; they can help to focus the attention of the viewer; they can provide dramatic subject matters. They can also make for complex photos; ones that force the viewer to take a little extra time to process what they’re seeing.
Stephen’s photo above is such a complex shot. With the predominant color of the photo being this featureless black, it forces the viewer to seek out clear details in order to understand what they are looking at. And once the viewer sees the corner of the sign on the left side of the image, the photo unfolds in the mind’s eye: an underground Metro platform; the black blobs take shape as people; and the blurred gray becomes an incoming train. The central focus of the photo, the sharply defined silhouetted commuter, suddenly stands out and you wonder how you didn’t see it immediately. This is excellent work!
courtesy of ‘ameschen’
Patterns broken up by a subject or other feature tend to make a photo stand out. In this case, the patterns are the stairs — the many, many stairs — of the Lincoln Memorial. You can’t really tell it’s at the memorial, and that makes it a more interesting picture than one which might have attempted to have the jogger framed with Abe in the background.
Flickr contributor ameschen used the tilt of the camera to create the appearance of an even more difficult slope for the jogger to climb.
Georgetown Bricks by Justin Mathews
Fortunately there is no formula for capturing a great photograph, however it’s almost always a safe bet to keep things simple. Today’s featured photo is by local photographer, Justin Mathews, a student at The Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA) in Georgetown. In looking at Justin’s portfolio, it appears that he has a great feel for shapes, lines, contrast, and color, capturing them all with elegant simplicity. It’s hard to tell if the photo above was taken during the day or night, although the ghostly clouds may give you a clue.
Much like the clouds and shadows above drift by in silence, so has the announcement of the finalists of the FotoWeek DC Juried Photo Exhibition. You’ll notice Justin’s name, amongst many other great local photographers such as Meaghan Gay, Justin Hoffmann, Katherine Ray, and John Ulaszek. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for FotoWeek if you haven’t done so already. The week long festival of awesomeness runs from November 15th to the 22nd and is packed full of amazing events to take part in. Remember, you have to register to participate.