Monday, 29 May 2017

Seventeen Ways of Looking at a Photograph

If you only ever drink the one brand of tea or kiss the same frog then this is for you.

I meet the 'old boys' in photography who only ever see a photo through the same blinkers:
'….. it doesn't really follow the rule of thirds'
Here's a bunch of seventeen blooms to let you look at a photograph differently.


  1. Does it move you? Do you get a pain like you're sick or lovesick?
  2. Are there elements that tell a story - the environmental portrait?
  3. Is this one small photograph to remember someone?
  4. Has the image been subjected to a 'Mac Attack'? Heaven forbid!
  5. Does the hero stand out clearly?
  6. Does the colour convey the message? Full, suppressed, BW, sepia.
  7. Does the photo look better up close or from a distance? (a long distance)
  8. Is it sharp? More importantly is the important bit sharp?
  9. How many rules does the photo break? More the better!
  10. View through a cheese grater. So you squirm culturally, morally?
  11. Is the hero separated from the rest of the image - focus, colour or tone.
  12. Look at the shape. Square, panorama, 4:3, 3:2, circular.
  13. How about the frame or matt - adding or subtracting from the image?
  14. Is there a title - does it add or subtract?
  15. Is the photograph unbearably light? Or does it lean heavily?
  16. Is the image fake and  plastic or does it breathe emotion.
  17. Did the photograph do good for the subject?



Entries for the 2017 Fremantle International Portrait Prize opens on 10 June 2017.
AU$12000 in cash and prizes. 






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