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Bird on Wire


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  1. Infinite Monkeys
    January 5, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Very stark. I like the dark line that the wire gives in contrast to the rest of the lighter grays. I think birds are some of the most photogenic animals.

  2. Infinite Monkeys
    January 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I feel like I don’t understand the use of space very well. I know when I see a picture with a lot of space that is the same color (like a sky with no clouds) I can tell that there should be more going on in that space — in order for the picture to be more interesting.

    But what makes this picture so compelling when the entire photograph is essential just two colors?

    I’m not criticizing the photo, I like it a lot. I’m just curious. Why does the starkness of detail make this photograph so interesting but it renders other photographs dull.

    It’s probably got a lot to do with taste and the way the picture is framed with the lone bird on the wire — which reminded of the Pixar short film of the same name — and the loneliness that it communicates with the lack of other detail to confuse things. I don’t know, I’m just curious. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a photograph art lately and this is one of those things I’m trying to understand. Why does negative space work sometimes and not other times?

    I’ve been told that I analyze art too much instead of enjoying it.

  3. January 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Empty space (also referred to as negative space) in a photo (or other art) is not always bad. In fact, it is often crucial. For example, if you wanted to capture the moment of a migrant worker picking melons in a field, you could compose the worker at left frame, leaving ample room on the right side of the picture to show the plants that he is going to move through. This kind of framing also allows for ‘movement’ in a picture. A running horse, or flying birds, or a walking man on the sidewalk, all need ‘a place to go’. If you center them, you may reduce the feel of movement. If a static feel is not the desired effect, you may want to consider recomposing the shot with a ‘place to move to’ space.

    Of course, you could also show the same thing through a different camera angle. Going back to the migrant worker, you could relocate behind and above him to show the long field ahead, etc. But that all depends on what you are saying with the picture. The first would focus on the characteristics of a working person him/herself. The second, may only focus on the plight of a field worker in general, an agricultural message, etc.

    I had been shooting pictures of snow geese and sandhill cranes in a field for a few hours and looked over and saw this gem. In the middle of all that raucous, busy action, this bird on a wire was so vastly different.

    In this photo, I saw a small sparrow perched on a very long, very high wire. I felt how small, yet strong the bird looked. As the wire was very long, it appeared to be nearly straight in this frame. I liked how thick and black the wire was, conveying strength. The mountain lines gave an interesting descending line, while adding to the aloneness, further supporting the bird’s apparent strength. The bird itself was placed mainly in shadow to mimic the strength in the dark line of the wire, while some of the detail in the hilights of the feathers were retained to show the contrasting physical delicateness of the bird.

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