By Gary Fong
Photographer: Laura Reinhardt
Pictures are about (1) the right moment and (2) balance. There are a number of other considerations too, but on Wednesday, it’s only about the moment and balance.
I’ve talked to Laura Reinhardt over the years, but have never met her. We’re usually talking about stories we’re putting together for World Vision Magazine. But I finally had an opportunity to meet her…and she’s delightful…even more delightful when talking about life, work, pictures and chocolate.
Now for the Nit Picking
Laura’s image of a girl hanging on a deck rail (right) is a nice moment of playing around without the cares of the world upon her shoulders. But the visual balance seems to be a bit too centric. When placing the subject in the center of the frame, the viewer’s eye often gravitates only in the center. It doesn’t allow eye movement to other parts of the image for more detail.
Her photo of a boy un-watching the house fixing activities (above) feels to be the right balance, but maybe not the right moment. The viewer’s eye will start at the boy’s face, then moves right to the activities. It’s nice eye movement through the frame. The composition allows the viewer’s eye to move through an image, discovering more details for the story narrative.
However, the “moment” or the expression on the boy’s face tells one story, where a different moment (i.e. laughing, jumping around, etc.) tells a different story. It’s the “moment” that dictates the narrative. The question is, what moments is the correct version? The answer….shoot many different moments and choose the image that closely aligns with the story during editing.
When shooting, have a sense of the story in mind, that when the story elements come together in the viewfinder…at the right moment and with the right balance…the reader instantly understands the context of the narrative.