Inspiration: deep dive into photographs by Alex Ayer

One of my colleagues, now aware of my obsession interest in photography, shared with me the site of a friend of his: Alex Ayer. What usually happens is such cases is that...well pictures are often not worth putting together a portfolio site. Sometimes the photographer appears to be quite delusional about his skill and talent. But hey ! This time I could not only make genuine positive comments, I even found a few gems to write about.

I've have quite a few nice comments on my post about Henry Cartier Bresson, and I realize readers / learners want more deep dives on quality shots.

First the rickshaw shot: so many good things coming together here. The symetry here is amazing:
  • the two rickshaws, identical with drivers looking at each other
  • the central building at the back, in a similar blue
  • even the blurry bikers are symmetrically distributed !
The rules of third here also applies: the horizon line, the rickshaws, all are distributed on third lines. The pavement edge and the tree line reinforce that too. Color wise, it's all coming together great too, no disturbing element at all. Finally, the depth induces by the sharp / blurry / sharp layers makes it all very lively. Great shot.

This next one is a classic case of using a good base line / composition, mixed with the right moment. The baseline for this shot consists of:
  • Using the lens wide open for narrow depth of field (= blurred background), extracting the subject from his environment
  • Horizon is almost on the top third line, not in the middle, for balanced composition
  • The fence is fading away in the blur following a diagonal line. It gives perspective to the shot.

Then it comes together perfectly when that old man walks behind: 
  • He occupies the "empty" part of the frame
  • He looks at the boy, reinforcing the focus on him
  • Even though he isn't far, he remains blurry because of the wide open lens, not taking focus away from the boy
A good example that sometimes, you nearly have the perfect shot but also take a bit of luck.

I love this one for it's tones: the blue building with the grey sky and roads are terrific. A dark blue sky wouldn't be as nice. Even the cars match the scene. Then, this picture is like a beautiful face: it's almost symmetric, but it's not. The old ladies, the rock and the antenna are not fully aligned, yet they are. The buildings look the same, yet they are not the same. Asymmetrical elements in a symmetric composition. The very large depth of field makes everything sharp, which is important because the subject here is the street as much as the ladies on the foreground. 

This is more classic composition, based on alignment. The most important here is the sense of direction: the monk, the tiles and the shade are all perfectly aligned. Not seing faces takes your attention away from them as human beings, and make you look at this shot like an architectural image. It's simple, efficient, but you need to be aware to catch an image like this.

This last one is to show that good composition can lead to a nice image even if not much is happening. In that case, this is a pure composition lesson in one shot. The grey steps' edges are aligned with the yellow line heading away to the top left corner. You need to be aware that that alignement along is very powerful on that shot. The wavy yellow wall across the shot plays two roles: it creates a separation between the yellow and grey areas, and provides a completely different diagonal: curvy VS straight, and perpendicular to the other one above described.
Finally, the decoration on the wall being curvy too, they prevent the image from being just harsh lines. Notice also that the top edge of that wall follow exactly the edge of the frame. The work on proportions here is excellent. 

I hope this gives you fuel for the brain, and leads you to taking better pictures !

No comments:

Post a Comment