Descending the Staircase_2

I don’t often re-work or edit images previously posted but on this occasion I’m making an exception. Do enlarge the image to see the full effect.

Today’s image is a cropped version of the full frame image that I posted yesterday in ‘Descending the Staircase’, click to view it and the story; or click here to see only the full frame image.

Andy Beel, a photographer whose comments are always well reasoned and helpful, suggested that there was a better balanced image to be found by cropping out the top half of the image. And he’s right!

It’s strange how one does not always see the obvious. I’ve chewed this over in my mind and I’ve concluded that there are images where the message is obvious and others where it is much more covert and hidden and where perhaps the viewer needs a little additional information to understand why the photographer took the shot the way he/she did. Sometimes of course, the hidden message is deliberate, and is what makes the image so compelling (but I can’t claim that applies here).

In the case of the original image I was struck by the huge height of the stairwell (whose walls were covered in paintings from top to bottom), shielded from sunlight by net curtaining and also by roller blinds in the upper sections. The figure was standing, neck craned, viewing the extent of the wall and I felt the additional height in the image helped to convey that. Except that other than blank walls and strips of light he appears to be viewing zilch. So, if you can’t see what it is that is attracting his attention (and it has to be explained) what is the point of including it? It’s a case where for the image to work for the viewer, it needs to have a stronger focus and balance – which is what it now has.

Thanks, Andy for the suggestion. Do let me have your comments. Do you all agree?

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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2 Responses to Descending the Staircase_2

  1. andybeel says:

    Hi Andy this is exactly what I envisioned it should look like for me. As you rightly say we all get tied up in the pictures we create. We all spend a long time looking at and creating a picture but still don’t see when pointed what should have been obvious. This is part of the learning to see like a camera process. The camera records but does not offer any judgement or value to any of the patches of tone that it has stored away for later viewing. If only the human concious and sub-concious were that straight forward!
    Thanks for the mention. Andy

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Andy. As well as the conscious and the subconscious this is also about subjective and objective thinking and emotional attachment. Sometimes it pays to wait a few weeks before fully processing an image – one loses some of the initial ‘baggage’ associated with the shoot. Always good to get your input, Andy

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