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Thread: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

  1. #41
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    if Caponigro's own comments are a help, those megalith shots simply felt right at exactly one particular spot or angle of view. I don't think one can do something like that if it's not instinctive and spontaneous after a certain point, and you no longer need to clutter your mind with formal "rules" of composition. It just looks right on the ground glass. In this case, there's a distinct tension between the rocks as visual elements in a precise relation between one another, and with the moon too. I can identify with the style. If you can't somehow feel the Gestalt and overthink a composition like this, you've lost it to begin with. Same with the values, heavy in this case. Never underestimate the importance of the raw psychological imprint. Sensitivity in that direction is worth more than all the art manuals combined.

  2. #42

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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    "To see through, not merely with, the eye, to perceive with the inner eye, and by an act of choice to capture the essence of that perception. This is the very core of the creative process."

    Minor White

  3. #43
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    Bingo. That's a pretty tame statement for Minor White. But if he had thrown his entire heap of metaphysical jibber-jabber out the window, I doubt his images themselves would have suffered an iota. So let me quote Caponigro as his student, "I just wish he'd shut up".
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 22-Jun-2019 at 21:49.

  4. #44

    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    John Baldessari had some pretty influential ideas about composition, art, and photography.

    Egglestson famously quipped that his pictures were 'based compositionally on the confederate flag.'

    a person who I didn't see mentioned yet (although she's in Shore's book) is Jan Groover. There's a video online of her that shows her photographing and mixing chemistry.

    Also Vaughn, really like your first picture of the waterfall.

    Also Canaletto's nephew Belloto has some pretty great paintings that seem like they could be related to camera use too.

    And I completely agree that looking at Atget's pictures, both what he aimed at and how they were put together, would be more instructive than any sort of rules based on language.

  5. #45
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    It would be pretty hard to excel Atget, at least later in his life.

  6. #46

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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    Here's a great image by Belloto of my erstwhile hometown, Vienna (I lived there for 30 years until just recently; I broke my leg in a bicycle accident not far from where Belloto set up his easel for this image about 10 years ago...).

    At any rate, it too demonstrates well what I was referring to about placing the "optical center" of the image not in the center of the image frame. If you follow the converging lines of the trees and promenade, you'll see that they converge on the horizon well left of center. I love this compositional trick and use it often to give a sense of space and extension to the long side of the image.

    https://www.oceansbridge.com/shop/ar...vedere-1759-60

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #47
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    But notice that the steeple on the horizon is laterally in the center; so there are rules within the rules, breaking the rules, just like an image I'm printing today.

  8. #48

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    Re: Basic Landscape Composition Formulas..

    Quote Originally Posted by lloyd View Post
    "To see through, not merely with, the eye, to perceive with the inner eye, and by an act of choice to capture the essence of that perception. This is the very core of the creative process."

    Minor White
    That quote accompanied the photography exhibition, Perceptions, which opened at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1954. Minor had a hand in organizing the exhibit, although he had already left San Francisco for a position at Eastman House before Perceptions opened. In the exhibition catalog, Minor's quote is on the opposing page to this quote from William Blake: "Man is led to believe a lie when he sees not thro' the eye."

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