Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In need of repair - Old cannery at Birch Bay, Washington

In need of repair - an old fishing boat at a historic cannery.
What makes one photo work while another doesn't quite hit the mark?  If you shoot twenty pictures of a scene from various points of view, why are some better than others?  These are important questions when capturing and reviewing images.  It turns out there are a myriad of reasons.

I have a dozen shots of this life size diorama, each one sharing the same elements.  The boat, the building, the sky, the land, and a bit of the sea.  Yet it was this one in particular that stood out.  I have a 16x20 inch print matted and framed in my foyer that always catches the visitors' eyes.

Any photo will tell a story.  The vignette here is of someone's boat; having endured years of service it was finally cast aground after some final catastrophe.  Yet it brought the fishermen home, faithful in its endeavor to reunite them with their families.  Although it would never float again, it wasn't broken down, hauled away, or burnt because it still held some meaning for those who knew about her legacy.  After all, if they survived, why shouldn't she?

The story though is only part of the picture (excuse the pun).  The image itself stands on its own.  There are several components of which makes it work.  An important aspect is the relationship between the foreground and background.  Each plays a key role in conveying their visual sentiments.  Proportions are immensely influential with over or under sized aspects making or breaking the scene.  The vessel, the subject of the vignette, has character in its own right; it lies along the bottom third of the image with a range of details and shades to be visually pleasing.  The background gives context to the foreground.  The strong lines both vertically and horizontally grabbing attention, but not too much or too little.

I think it is the roof and its shadow that really effect appeal though, with their lines pointing to some unseen convergence with the direction of the beleaguered boat.  The blue sky frames the scene in, with the grass and building itself completing the effect.  But, really, at the end, I just like the shot.  Maybe that is all it comes down to.

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