In the past several months, regular readers of this column learned about simplicity, light sources away from the camera, leading lines, symmetry, cropping and the idea of not having to smile in every shot. The image you see here demonstrates how striking the results can be when all those elements come together. The neat thing is you can create impressive photos like this one, too. All you need is an escalator, a beautiful young woman and a camera.
Look at the way the light comes in from the side creating contrast and interest in her face. The image wouldn’t look three dimensional and would lose a great deal of its punch if it were shot with just the flash on the camera. Notice how the lines of the escalator move your attention toward her eyes. The horizontal lines created by the steps and the vertical lines created by the divider both lead you straight to the subject. She almost pops right off the page.
If our subject were smiling, this would look like a really nice snapshot. Since she is not smiling, she has attitude. She makes you wonder what she is thinking. She’s not mugging for the camera. She’s telling a story. With careful framing and cropping, the escalator steps perfectly balance the image creating an appealing symmetry. What you don’t see is the rail on the side. It got cropped out to preserve the symmetry and to avoid drawing the eye away from the subject.
This image has lots of movement, but it is really pretty simple. After all, it’s just a woman and an escalator. The simplicity makes the story telling much more powerful. There is nothing else to distract from the story she is telling with her face.
By now, you no doubt, want to go back and read the articles that cover each of these topics. They are posted on my website at www.gregmayo.com. Click on the button that says “Focus Articles” in the column on the left side. Once you’re done, you’ll be ready to go out and put it all together for yourself.