Composition is complex. It’s not that the simple rules — like the Rule of Thirds — are so tough to grasp. It’s that the learning curve from first applying rules to then breaking rules is a mess of subjectivity. It’s true with writing, with photography, and with any artistic endeavor. What agitates my eye or my ear may be sweet Armagnac to yours.
One compositional rule I like is the frame within a frame. It’s a matter of finding the lines and confines to showcase your subject. The photos below are a loose interpretation of that rule.
Hugh and I were in Alameda, dodging an ice storm . . . ice by California standards, that is. My fingers were so rigid from the cold, I had to slap my shutter with the flat of my hand. Now I know what it’s like to have paws.
In a brief, blue-sky reprieve, we saw these stacks, bearing the weight of wine (barrels).
And then . . . photographic potential arrived: a skittish tabby who couldn’t help but frame herself in the natural geometry of the landscape.
On the topic of composition — technically, my photo of the running cat doesn’t have enough space in the direction she’s moving. She’s almost nose to the edge. When I first off-loaded the shot, I was disappointed by the framing. I thought I’d given her more breathing room when I snapped the photo. Hugh suggested he liked her placement — that her position showed her imminent departure from my frame. And, evoked a Snagglepuss catch phrase: “Exit, Stage Left.”
So, I ran with that. An homage to Snagglepuss in the last shot.
The hasty-exit look works perfectly!