Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nice picture

This photo was taken by Phil Mansfield for The New York Times. It is an excellent example of good composition in photojournalism.

It nails pretty much every traditional rule of composition. Note how there are three sets of parallel lines going from left to right and expanding outward across the image. Following those lines from right to left leads your eye straight to the subject, which is placed in one of the prime aesthetic spots. The subject is well-lit and the reflection is a nice touch.

From a photojournalism perspective, when you look at the actual content of the picture, it does a good job of illustrating the story. That, and it tells some other stories on its own.

Personally, if I were looking at it as art rather than photojournalism, I would consider removing the car. The argument for removing it is that it is distracting. The argument for keeping it is that it points right at the subject, further helping to frame it. I'd need to actually do the work to remove it and compare before deciding.