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Ron van Middendorp

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Awards: 2 20/100

Stairway to a title

Mar 1, 2012 • 5 comments • 382 views

This shot was taken backstage, while waiting for the band to resume after the intermission. During the shows my eyes have to move quick, make split second decisions, translate to camera and shoot. So, when it´s intermission I look around more slowly. Think longer before pressing the button. This will help me to get shots that I want to do better or different than before the break.


About this shot... I am not entirely satisfied with the result, but I can´t quite put my finger on what it lacks or has too much of...

Also appears in:


i like the shot - at a push i'd say the wall to the right gives the image a slight lean - it could be that by aattempting to align the geometry with the frame anything that doesn't quite fit the geometry throws the image - i;ve found this often, and am only more recently seeing the composite parts of the image rather than the constraints of the frame itself - does that make sense? - i tend to apply the rule of thirds these days because it works, but you have to see it as a balancing act rather than an overriding rule - so my advice is try to see the image (the balance of the different parts), bearing some of the rules in mind, and pay less attention to the frame. great shot though
03.02.12 •
Thanks for your input, Tom.

There are indeed a lot of lines in the photo that start causing ´problems´ when I try to hold on to the rule of thirds too strict. The wall on the right... I tried to keep it outside the frame, but then the main objective - showing the game of lines and light vs darkness - would not be met.

It is a fact, the sensor does´t see what the human eye does, so what we capture is often a compromise :-)
03.02.12 •
I am so glad, that the discussion started among you guys... May I join in?

Ron, I very much like the geometry and intricacy of the lines and light in the image - to me it creates a mystic atmosphere: I kind of wanna know where it is leading me? And of course the b&w toning adds a lot to that... About the wall on right - well, yeah how do you find that balance between not losing part of theme yet not having things in your frame that do not add to it? I wonder, do you think using a different lens may have given less "lean"and giving you more freedom to frame it? I am not sure...
03.03.12 •
Very interesting conversation. I don't think anything is missing Ron. As a matter of fact the emptiness or the loneliness is the image's best asset I find ; human constructions void of humans can be quite the powerful metaphor. Tom's right about the wall on the right, and Anna holds a possible solution to taking it out all the while keeping most of the subject and its essence. For my part I would suggest a different point of view to eliminate the wall. Depending on the percentage of coverage of the viewfinder on your camera, this wall might not have been visible to you when you snapped. I love the grain and atmosphere. Loneliness is prevalent and beautiful in this frame.
03.28.12 •
After reading your feedback I decided to play a bit of a mind game.

I stopped looking at the picture and stuffed the image in the little drawer in my head. Considering the fact that I have been able to convey what I had intended, I was surprised that I could not put my finger on the sore spot.

Twenty minutes ago I opened the file and immediately I saw which part needed improvement. It was not so much the frame, it´s the way I processed the image. A quick jump into Lightroom and a vague gradient on the top, so the stairs kind of fade out into the black.

Indeed, Anna, the choice between where to cut the frame in-camera can be a tricky one. Different lens, hmmm maybe. This is the area behind the stage in a theater, quite dark... Waiting for the band to come back, I didn´t want to turn it into a project :-)

The wall on the right, yep... it´s there. I have one wider shot - complete fail, underexposed like world´s end - and in that one I can see that this was the best option at that moment in time.

The wall doesn´t really bother me anymore.

Of course I will have another go at those stairs, when I get the chance, ha!

Thank you all for your input.
04.28.12 •
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