Monday, December 21, 2015


Check this thing out, from PetaPixel: How I Work With Compositional Lines in Photos. If you're interested in how bad ideas get spread around, anyways.

Really look at the pictures. He's drawn red arrows all over the place, but declines (interestingly) to show us the arrow-free pictures.

You should be able to find a surprising number of arrows that don't seem to be related to anything in the picture. He's simply drawing an arrow from somewhere to wherever the other arrows point.

You can find some nonsensical stuff, too. Are we supposed to be interested in the fisherman's foot? Here's a news flash, bub, people are going to look at his face, not his foot, and all the leading lines in the universe are not going to change that.

Lastly, the astute critic will note that in most of these pictures all he's done is jam the subject at the vanishing point, or in many cases actually in front of the vanishing point. I confess that I'm not sure what the logic is in having some lines that lead off to infinity, that happen, in the 2D picture, to lead to some "subject". We're interpreting the thing as a representation of a three dimensional thing, surely? We know full well that most of those lines point in fact behind the subject, not at the subject.

But it doesn't matter, but his subject is always a person, so we're going to look at the person.

Neither we nor the photographer actually have any idea whether his leading lines are having any leading effect at all.

In some cases they are creating a certain visual drama, I will grant you that. There's something compelling about single point perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, yep and yep.

    I reckon we should curate an exhibition of photography wherein every image has dirty great big red (or white if the so-called artiste prefers) arrows allover the prints.

    We could help them write up some over wordy artist statement along the lines (geddit?) of is showing the blah blah blah of diddly watsit bollocks or some such.

    Maybe Eric Kim can print up some Cartier-Bresson and whoever else is his flavour of the month, put the arrows all over the place and pas it off as original.
    Hey - if Richard Prince can steal, why can't everyone else?

    Or - how about this radical thought - some of these guys could maybe, just maybe, do something that grabs the viewer without all the attendant explanatory crap.