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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Placement In The Frame

In a prior post entitled "Linguistics And Emotion", I wrote about the placement of a single isolated subject within the frame and how one's native language can influence that placement. In that post I had presented an image and stated that:

"In cultures where language is read from left to right, images that ‘flow’ from left to right (or have an isolated subject placed on the left) are said to feel more peaceful than those which have a flow in the opposite, or right to left direction. The theory is that eye movement from right to left goes against the natural tendency for people to ‘read’ an image from left to right, thereby causing a sense of tension. In cultures where written language is read from right to left, the opposite is said to be true."

Well, I have been working on an image in which I feel the exact opposite is true, and thought that it might be interesting to present it. The image, which I entitled 'Surviving Winter', is of a minimalist nature, bit it seemed to express to me the idea of the brutal solitary existence needed to survive the winter season.

My first version of the image was this one:


Surviving Winter
Copyright Howard Grill

However, as I began experimenting with different variations I felt that this final version, with the stalk of grass placed at the lower right, was the one that just 'felt right':


Surviving Winter
Copyright Howard Grill

Perhaps it is not only the placement of the grass in the frame that is playing a role here.....maybe it also has to do with the direction that the grass stalk seems to be pointing or blowing towards. Perhaps the grass 'wants' room in the frame to blow into, which it gets in the final version, instead of blowing out of the frame as it does in the initial version. Again, I am not certain why, but it seemed to me that the lower right of the frame was the best location to place the single stalk of grass, as opposed to the upper left.

Do you agree?

It makes me wonder if the supposed explanation I gave in my earlier post really 'holds water'.