The story of a photo 5

This is the story of a photo in portrait format. Not the version you see above, but the original that is at the end of this post.

Most of the time I am drawn to shoot in landscape format. I even chose to do that for my recent portrait project, ‘Who Am I Now’. For that project, I liked the potential for environmental portraits, saying something about the person and their perception of self.

However, sometimes the subject calls to be photographed in portrait format. In this case it was about excluding that which distracted from the subject and its setting. The man in the orange hopper is working on a new ‘state of the art’ concert venue in Swansea. I spotted him on a walk around the Marina, as I looked back.

Between two apartment blocks overlooking the Marina, looking back towards town, the golden walls rose – like King Midas’s fantasy castle. I chose the portrait format to exclude the apartment buildings, a work colleague of the guy in the hopper, and to accentuate the complementary colours between the blue sky and golden walls. I also like how the shape of the solo cloud echoed the worker’s hard hat.

Choosing how you frame a photo sits with choosing your point of view, as probably the two greatest influences on the final photo. Yes, the ‘decisive moment’ can be crucial too, but if you’re not in the right place, framing what needs to be in your photo, time could pass endlessly and the right moment would never arrive.

The photographic advice I ask students to remember if they forget everything else is, ‘Move your feet!’

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