Thursday, May 01, 2008

White supremacy

More images here.

You know, when I write about photography I babble a lot about rules of composition -- the golden ration, rule of thirds, etc. -- and although I am generally aware of them when working, I have a few rules of my own.

After all, the actual subject of the photograph is important and when we speak of rules of composition, the inference is that they apply to the subject.

In my work, the subject has historically been the shadows. I simply look at the shadows in any particular scene and compose it in such a way that they for an interesting pattern. There might be a naked woman, a kid on a bycicle, the Brooklyn Bridge, pretty much anything, in the picture but the real subject is most often the shadows they cast and how those shadows relate to other dark areas in the composition.

Until recently that is. Now I am more likely to compose based on the white areas of the composition. Previously, I had never given them much thought, but then I started to perceive how they glow. I still have a lot of respect for the shadows, and you can say many good things about them, but they do not glow.

And all those colors? The reds, greens, blues -- cyans, magentas and yellows? The colors of spring, summer and fall? They are only useful for separated the light and shadow. By themselves, they are simply annoyances. Or in a technical sense, a perversion of light caused by the imperfections of objects.