Frames within Frames and the Decisive Moment

I was looking at this picture when it occurred to me that there is a pronounced compositional habit encapsulated in it. Way back when I first learnt my craft I was told that many of the great photographers (street photographers) would put points of interest in frames within the frame. For some reason this piece of information became lodged in my mind and as I preview much of my work I’ve noticed that I do it without thinking, often, like in this picture, it meant waiting for all the elements to move into place.

What I’ve learned over the years is that people in a picture add a story element to an otherwise static image, as is the case in this picture, where the figure gives the image a feeling of danger, although the guy was simply walking down the stairs. I liked the location, but it was for all intent and purposes a picture of a subway staircase, add a person framed within frames and it becomes interesting. But here’s the thing about decisive moment pictures, you need to be set up in advance, waiting for the elements to fall into place, otherwise, no matter how fast your camera starts up, by the time you see the picture, raise your camera to your eye, compose and shoot, it’s all too late.

People look at you and possibly think you are kind of weird, but the world is full of weird people, you are just one of them.

The picture was shot at Jannowitzbrücke in Berlin.

 

50mm, f2.8, 1/125sec, ISO320

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