Building up a picture
For a new Striptiz portrait I photographed Andrej Štular a puppeteer from Kranj. I didn’t had any preconceived idea how to make the picture, but nonetheless I’m satisfied with the picture above. This time I’ll write about building a picture. First semester at the LCC college (Postgraduate studies of photojournalism) our tutors were giving a critic on our work solely on the contact print. And it’s true that contact sheet is really revealing. I mean everybody could have a luck and make a good picture, but from the contact sheet you can see how photographer thinks, moves, works. You can see if photographer was actively or passively building a composition for the picture. By passively building a composition it means that you see it and you release the shutter. Actively building a picture means that photographer moves around the subject, photographing closer, farther, from bellow, above, photographing also off moments when subject don’t expect it. I can not express enough how important it is to literally explore all the possibilities and when you do that you start photographing off moments. Just explore what will happen if you release the shutter before subject expect it. What will happen if you come closer, move back…
For this Striptiz portrait I had no idea how to make the composition and what do I want to say with it. My first idea was to photograph a puppet to be looking down from the roof, but it didn’t work. By photographing I was making a lot of errors, but some elements I really liked. Like I wanted the roofs in the background and I loved the stretched arms on the sky. Slowly I was building a composition and the result it was that a puppeteer looks like he’s suspended on strings and not the puppet.
A tip: As photo editor sometimes I receive from a photographer 100 of pictures and when I look at it I see that there are 100 look-a-like pictures and that photographer didn’t move at all! Like he/she was photographing in a trench under a rain of bullets not in a comfy office. And of course photographer have a problem with selection because he/she made 100 pictures that are almost the same! That’s the worse you can do as a photographer . You become stiff.