by Gary Fong
Photographer: Mike Christ
Why do people fall asleep counting sheep…because they’re so many to count!!!
Mike Christ sent us a few photos to mull over – the sheep traffic jam of Turkey. Mike, one does not have to go to Turkey to shoot sheep (or turkeys) in traffic jams. Come to the San Francisco Bay Bridge during the commute time, where the turkeys driving cars (and following like sheep) are migrating from the east bay.
Enough about bay area traffic jams. Check out the old standard “300 sheep herding one photographer photo” (right). It has always amazed me how sheep synchronize themselves to corral a photographer in the direction they wish him/her to move. Maybe it’s a crafty swine flu strain of wifi mind-melding sheep or something. I mean…like…come on…everybody has one of those photos to show.
I’m sure fewer people have the “300 sheep traffic jam/mirror photo”. In general terms, it’s intriguing because of the picture within a picture. The mirror is a secondary window of composition. The primary is the flow of sheep without the mirror.
Now for the nit picking - It would be nice to keep the bottom part of the mirror full frame. The cropped mirror causes unneeded tension in the image. But that’s a minor issue to the overall image.
Some photos benefit by cropping for simplicity. Try creating an image more to the point by cropping the sky and buildings, (Figure 1 and Figure 2). The eye gravitates to the infinite line of sheep, seen coming and going through the frame, not to mention reflected in the mirror.
When shooting the reflections in the mirror, try avoiding the camera, or in this case the exposure finger, in the frame. It’s distracting.
Most of the shortcomings in the image could be solved during the initial exposure, by slightly angling the lens down (to crop the sky and building, while giving us a full frame mirror). if the camera could have been moved to the right slightly, I would think the finger in the mirror would be eliminated as well.
Here’s a hint about photographing sheep…if you want them to flow around you (or the car), be one with the sheep. Don’t give them the wrong impression by wearing a sheepskin jacket.
Note: If you wish to submit photos for Gauntlet consideration, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the files JPEG and less than one megabyte.