Sunday, 8 April 2012

Learning to present photographs in a small(er) format.

Using lightbox has been instructive about the way we perceive images. Any regulars here will know that I have a passion for (generally) natural colours, sharp detail and a minimum size of 1024 X 768 for landscape or 900 X 660 for portrait. i.e. quite large.

Lightbox is designed for smartphone users.

That immediately tells you that the images will of necessity be small and that fine detail and natural colours aren't going to catch the eye or imagination. It took a while to twig. I posted some recent images and they looked dull and boring. Trawling through the files I found some faves and bunged them up, but they just didn't seem to say anything, even at around 700 X 500ish.

So I've had to re-think the way I present photographs. Out went subtlety, in came simple shapes, bright colours. It's like writing a short story instead of a novel with light - there's just a moment to catch the eye or imagination, and you've got to grab and hold it without worrying about how the plot can be developed in chapter 10. I'd not naturally want to do this kind of treatment to large images, but it seems to work for 'post-card' size pictures. It's also been good to see just how much I can 'push my luck' with an image to make it stand out before it becomes unbearable. It's also made me willing to experiment with the kind of stuff I'd run a mile from normally - daft colours & effects, because so many of the other images are photographically 'duff' for me.


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