Today’s picture comes to us from Oklahoma! Cobalt and I went on a walk to work off some of that delicious turkey we ate for Thanksgiving and stumbled across these train tracks stretching out as far as the eye can see. It made for some really neat shots. Anyway, the focus of this picture was to play with an idea I learned about in my Creative Digital Photography class. Our teacher suggested that pictures composed to draw your eyes from the right of the picture to the left of the picture (as in my picture here) are viewed as “negative” or “offputting” for anyone who reads from left to right (i.e. Western culture). Take for example, the famous painting The Scream.
On the other hand, a picture that draws your eyes from left to right is “positive” or “pleasing” for the same folk. We all seem to really like the waves in this painting from the Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji collection. Of course, you might guess then that if you read from right to left, then a picture drawing your eyes from right to left would be pleasing while a picture that draws your eyes from left to right would be offputting.
What do you guys think? Is that true here? I do kind of feel that this picture makes me a little uneasy. I’m not sure why really. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the train tracks and but for some reason they just don’t seem right. Maybe I’m just biased because I took the picture…
4 thoughts on “Travelin’ North…”
Reminds me of a photo my Dad got once. We were in New Mexico and there was this picturesque train track so he pulled off the road, pulled out his tripod and set it up on the tracks. The rest of us stayed in the car waiting for him to be done, and then we looked back up and there was a train, and Aaron and I were like “sooo… where did Dad go?” He was fine, just missed getting hit by train though… So the moral is, trains are apparently quieter than you might think!
I was thinking that it was pretty but there seemed something off about it and then I read your explanation and went “Ohhhh I see…” It would feel better flipped the other way I think! :)
To test this that it would be calmer flipped around…maybe you should flip it in photoshop and post it below this one…and we can see which one we find more unsettling.
[…] corner of the picture and then it wiggles its way through the picture after that. If you recall my post from November when I talked about composition and how the lines draw your eyes can give you a […]