Thursday, 17 July 2008

Photographic tension

I had a look at my own potd for today and it put in mind something that has bugged me for a while.

The actual picture is a little off square, not quite aligned. I'm not sure that was deliberate in this case (I don't know, I only shot the thing) but often it is. What I notice is that renders such an image with a certain tension. There is a drawing of the eye off to one side or a desire to try and straighten it up. It strikes emphasis in different places.

Such pictures can really casue me frustration, maybe even a sense of annxiety - I want to line things up but cannot.

Is this just me, am I some kind of nut-job or do others get the same feelings with pictures askew?


  1. I can definitely relate. As someone who works with a level and a square nearly every day during the "day job," it's bothersome when I can't get images aligned "properly." But I like your take on it that this creates some degree of "tension." It does... When I feel like I'm falling over, I inevitably want to push things back up level.

  2. This absolutely creates tension--it was one of the great "discoveries" of visual arts with photography (another is cutting off part of the subject--another way of introducting tension).

    But I struggle to know when it is deliberate and when it is accidental. I guess you could say that the intention doesn't matter if the picture works but whenever I try to do it, the results (to me, and probably to most) look like I just wasn't careful enough when I took the picture.


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