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on Jan 30, 2008 in Wildlife Photography

Latest BTJ Cover

mule-derr-0547.jpg

We’ve received tons of love notes in regards to our latest BT Journal and it’s new layout. The layout credit goes to the incredibly sweet and talented Margie Rosenstein at NAPP (I owe her a BIG hug!) and our packager/publisher Joanne Bolton. The new cover especially has folks asking questions including my current mentee. I thought a question I just answered for him in regards to the cover might be of help to you all. Here’s it is.

“Yes, the cover image has to be cropped to support the paper size, not happy about that but have no option. If you look on pg28, you’ll see the whole photo uncropped.

Composition or how I subconsciously think of it, the arranging of elements, has many, many facets to it. You’re on the right track thinking of white/snow and how that grabs the mind’s eye and a need to minimize it at times. But when the buck hit the ridge, that wasn’t part of my formula or concern for the arranging of elements because I knew the background/snow would be out of focus, the buck tack sharp. I knew they would be out of focus because I was shooting with a 200f2VR lens at f/2. With the buck tack sharp, the eye is forced to go to it first and keep coming back to it.

As for the placement of the buck itself in the frame, yes, common wisdom would say place it left to have it looking into the frame. I’ve never been known to have common wisdom, probably the first problem. But more to the point, the body posture is what dictated the placement of the buck on the right for me. I didn’t want the question answered visually what had his attention, why was he on high alert. I want the viewer’s imagination to take them in whatever direction it may. It could be another buck, a doe, a pesky photographer (which is wasn’t) or even a mountain lion. Only the imagination can fill in the blank. And to me, that’s what brings power to the image, the imagination merged with the reality.”

What I need to add to this answer to Tom is, I just put the camera to my eye and without thinking about any of what I just wrote, I just shoot. At this stage of my photography, something that is still constantly growing (thank god), composition has become a non-issue. My own challenge is to excite the imagination and heart strings in the viewers of my images. One of the few benefits of time.

Photo captured by D3, 200f2VR on Lexar UDMA digital film