Pausing

Our lives seem to be governed by our iPhones or equivalents. They cause us to grind to a halt anywhere and everywhere. Even on a staircase – plenty long enough for me to take this and a number of other pictures. NOT with an iPhone, I hasten to add, but with my Lumix 100. But, naturally there was an iPhone in my pocket.

I was visiting the Royal Academy in Central London for the first time since it reopened following a major re-development. Well worth visiting purely to see what a recent article described as: “a masterpiece ten years in the making.”

The image above is a significant crop from the original vertical image shown below.

I remain in two minds as to which I prefer. The vertical shot has the benefits of its height and the way the stairs lead the eye around the image to the figure. The horizontal one focuses more on the figure and accentuates his position in the frame.

Which do you prefer?

 

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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'.
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38 Responses to Pausing

  1. alan frost says:

    I definitely prefer the second/portrait image. The steps and the hand rail lead the eye to the person, and the whole image seems better balanced. One thought though – I might crop the top of the image so that you only see the freeze, in fact as it appears in the first shot. Hoping to get to the RA when it gets a little cooler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Alan. Since you commented, the majority have agreed with your choice and I understand the reason why. The suggested crop down to the top of the frieze was something I did on the landscape version and I will now opy it onto the portrait one. London is no fun in this hot weather, walking along Piccadilly to the Royual Academy was almost too much with the heat radiating up off the pavement. The RA is well worth a visit – you now get to walk through some of the vaults . There is an overhead route too which I have not yet discovered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • alan frost says:

        Thanks Andy. I don’t like the heat and London is overwhelming in this heat. A place to be avoided particularly if you have to use the underground. The RA is definitely on the list of places to visit.

        Like

  2. E. Brooks says:

    Andy, the second image has my “vote” for much the same reasons you and Alan above have stated.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. TheHairy1 says:

    Instinctively my eye is drawn to the second image. The vertical format just looks better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I prefer the I cropped image for the exact reasons you state. It tells more of a story.

    Like

  5. Great image tones and well timed. I think I prefer the cropped shot best. It also works well cropping to a square with the lower post of the stairs in the frame. Whichever version though – great shot.

    Like

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Robin for your comments and suggestion. It was the nearly vertical bannister rail in the centre of the image that I felt was a little obtrusive and led me to experiment with a final version. I will take a look at a square crop – that ratio often gets forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My eye is drawn toward the second image. So true on the iPhone we can become a slave to it!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Prefer the horizontal shot with emphasis on the figure. The feature of the staircase in the other one leads the eye out of the frame.

    Like

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks for your comment. I understand your reasons in choosing the horizontal shot. I half-wondered whether the staircase became the dominant feature in the vertical version

      Like

  8. Vicki says:

    Definitely the 2nd shot. The staircase leads the eye up to the person. The first image looks like ‘a ship without its rudder’.

    In fact, in the first image, the man appears to be floating. He needs the staircase, otherwise he has no apparent destination or way to get there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Vicki, and thanks for those comments. You have made a point that no-one else has made and which hadn’t really occured to me – the concept of where the stairs led. I had viewed it from the bottom up – following the curve that curved up the staircase, but the journey down it as equally if not more important.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue says:

    Second image for me, Andy!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Is that 3:6 so far in favour of the vertical shot (hard to count on small screen)? In any case, I’d already decided I preferred the vertical. And as many others have noted: “my eye was drawn to it”.

    Lovely composition.

    Like

  11. In the horizontal version, the man doesn’t have far to go before he is stopped by the right edge of the photograph. And that doesn’t seem like enough visual room to me. He has the same short distance between himself and the right edge of the photograph in the vertical version, but he seems less constrained. In that version when he’s stopped, he just goes down the steps. Hope you know what I mean.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. I’m starting to realize that the continuation of the staircase is important both compositionally and for creating space for the figure to move into. And in reply to your second comment about ‘restricted palette’ I agree – everything about that figure seems somehow to be in tune, right down to the sculptural form of his bare arms.

      Like

  12. Love the restricted palette here, BTW.

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  13. paula graham says:

    Second..as it shows how far he could fall!

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  14. shoreacres says:

    I much prefer the first. The stairposts are so bulky in the second that they seem to dwarf the figure, and the stairs take center stage. In fact, it feels to me as though the fellow’s an afterthought in the second — seems just to have wandered in. I suppose, in fact, that’s what he did, but I like the focus on the figure in the first.

    Like

  15. ShimonZ says:

    I prefer the vertical. It’s a powerful shot.

    Like

  16. bluebrightly says:

    Wonderful shot, Andy, beautifully toned. I may be a dissenting voice, but there’s no accounting for taste. 🙂 Both are terrific, but for me, the vertical causes my eye to go back and forth between the vertical section of the banister and the man, unsure of where I should look. The horizontal one allows me to settle on the man and then roam around, admiring the structure. And in the horizontal, the figure seems to be balanced so well with the interesting details of the architecture, that he almost becomes another abstract shape – the colors contribute to that.

    Like

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn. That central banister rail and the two posts are dominant features and divide the image in two in the vertical shot, and the more I look at it, the more that feature seems a little too dominant, as you say. I think I’m going to put that image to one side and come back to it in a month or so and maybe I will have a clearer picture of which I prefer.

      Like

  17. I prefer the second photo Andy. To me, the figure seems hemmed in by the framing in the first photo – a little claustrophobic. Perhaps a square crop would be worth investigating too?

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Simon. This post has attracted a lot of comments that demonstrate how we view composition differently. I’m going to enter one or other image in a competition at my local camera club and see what a judge makes of it – but first I have to make up my mind which one to enter.

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