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Old 02-26-2012, 07:38 PM
Russo's Avatar
Russo Russo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Composition on Iconic Photos

Hi all,
for those who are interested in composition, I posted in my blog some composition analysis of iconic photos. I'll post is here as well..

Tiananmen Square [1989] by Jeff Widener

Notice how the parallel diagonal lines are driving the viewer’s eye directly to the man in front of the tanks. There is very little effort from vertical or horizontal lines to break the diagonal ones.

Dead on the Beach [1943] George Strock

In this photo, the darker shapes of the body and the metal thing on the background drives the line of the viewer diagonally upside down. Haunting, disturbing photo of dead soldiers in Papua New Guinea.

V-J Day, Times Square [1945] by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Also known as “The Kiss”, this photo has one of the best composition of the “photos that changed the world) in my opinion. Notice how the photo was taken in an angle where the perspective is perfectly centered in the kiss focal point. The body of the sailor and the nurse girl are driving the eye of the viewer to “spin”. Ok, I know the guy was kissing every girl he found on street and the nurse slapped him, but good composition nevertheless.

The Falling Man [2001] by Richard Drew

This photo is controversial and was criticized by many American readers when it was published after the 9/11 attacks, which lead to a self-censorship from the media at the time. From the composition point of view, I selected this photo to point out the straight vertical lines of the buildings that “locks” the view up side down (even tho, the build is in perspective) and leaves the feel that there is no escape, no way out, just straight down.

U.S. Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima [1945] by Joe Rosenthal

Probably one of the most famous photos of all time, I picked this one because of the powerful lines and shapes in contrast with the background. The waving flag, indication motion, the diagonal pole and the gesture of the darker shapes of soldiers and land… it all works well together.

Fire on Marlborough Street [1975] by Stanley J. Forman

The composition of this photo enhances the dramatic moment of this young woman and young girl falling from the building. Everything seems to point diagonal lines making the picture even more disturbing. The contrast of the lighter shapes of the body and window against the darker background help the focal point of the falling people.
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