Balance, Line and Form
In school, I hated higher math. Algebra was the tip of the spear. I tried to make sense of it but failed miserably. Then, like a breath from Heaven came Geometry. And the Lord said, go forth and angle! My grade point average soared.
Once I started doing photography, I figured out why geometry came so naturally. That’s also the last time I thought about it. It wasn’t something I had to work on; I could just see in my mind and make it so.
I captured one of my all-time favorite geometric photos in 2011 at Grove City College. I was doing a shoot to build the school’s image library. Wander the campus and look for interesting pictures. I came upon this scene before the students class change. I saw the graphics and the light coming from within the frame. It was interesting, but it needed a human element. I waited. My Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron were ready.
As students began to rush up and down the stairs, in and out of the frame, I did what I always do in these situations – try to slow my mind to a Zen state to capture a precise composition. I got it. This one frame has everything I was trying to put in the image. Take out any of the figures or change the positions even slightly and the picture would fail. Shoot one shutter speed higher, and the photograph would not have the proper sense of motion. Less depth of field and the image would not read correctly throughout the frame. But this one frame has it all, up and down, side to side, all the angles covered. My high school geometry teacher would be proud.