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Gallery > John Crosley > Photographers, Be Aware of Your Background

John Crosley

Photographer John Crosley has effectively used backgrounds in a large number of his photographs displayed on Photo.net and otherwise.

Using these examples, use of 'backgrounds' is broken down into several parts.

1. The scenic: Here the background becomes integral with the foreground. This is not particularly new or innovative.

2. The out of focus foreground with an in focus subject, background.

There are several good examples of this genre:

1. 'Ukrainian Day Military Marchers': The male marcher in focus in framed left and right by slightly out of focus marchers, foreground.

2. 'Mary-Kate Did What?' A young woman, in a supermarket checkout line reads a 'National Enquirer' magazine detailing a new scar that appeared on teen celebrity Mary-Kate Olsen's wrist, and the eye is drawn to the young reader in the background background by a foreground shopper, very much out of focus, who fills one-third of the frame.

3. 'Life: Movies vs. Reality', shows utility bill payers, dour and looking down, two with arms folded, framing a background movie poster with bright, happy-looking movie stars. One utility bill payer, taking up one-third of the frame, is badly out of focus, forcing viewers' attention to the background poster.

In other photos, the background is more incidental to the foreground subject, but adds emphasis.

See for instance, the old man restauraunt and bar patron, standing in his best slacks and suit outside of the 1032 Club, North Beach, San Francisco, California.

Other instances abound where a background (either in or out of focus) adds depth to a photo.

See, for instance a photo of a priest kneeling before a mother and child standing in a church with an out-of-focus, shrouded cross in the background, indicating that it is Lent.

In another such photo, a fisherman's portrait, colors of a boat hull in drydock contrast strongly with the colors of the fisherman making him stand out by comparison.

Other photos incorporate the background, and that includes the 'utility payer' photo above, and many, many others.

Two photos, both involving the same woman, indicate how juxtaposition can be used to create a photo by contrasting the foreground subject with the background.

The woman, in Yreka California exiting from a McDonald's, early morning, is first seen leaving the restaurant door with a hulking figure (a poster) from 'The Incredibles' on the door, as she steps away in her walker with the caption reading: "and STAY OUT".

In a contrasting photo, same woman with walker, is seen from the back stepping across the broken surface of a concrete asphaltic parking lot driveway, going toward a distant sign that announces in bright lights "Drive Thru" with McDonald's logo, leaving the viewer pondering just how she is going to utilize the 'Drive Thru' with her walker and no car.

Crosley makes extensive use of store windows, signs, sculptures, posters, etc. to form backgrounds and juxtapositions for his photographic subjects.

See the following:

Photographers, Be Aware of Your Background

. . . and STAY OUT!
The figure at the door is actually a movie poster advertising 'The Incredibles'.

The woman with walker is exiting McDonald's restaurant, Yreka, California in early morning gloom.

The caption: 'and STAY OUT 'is an illustration of 'dark humor' sometimes found in my photographs.

This is a juxtaposition photograph, in which foreground relates to an otherwise unrelated background; neither subject nor background would stand separately as a good photograph and this photo only takes significance as a juxtaposition. Here, they form a 'joke'.

Cauldron of Moisture (Recycling in Yellowstone)
Patience was required as the geyser, lower center, subsided and emitted mostly swirling steam, so that I could capture the circular pattern of the geyser's steam and connect it with the swirling clouds, background and overhead, thus relating foreground and background in this landscape.

Photo: Yellowstone National Park near the Firehole River.

When Social Security Ends . . . And the Market Falls
This aggressive man, with stumps instead of feet, has commandeered a street corner in Odessa, Ukraine and demands tribute from passing motorists stopped in traffic at a busy intersection.

When traffic is not stopped, he stays in the stream of traffic, pictured.

The caption: 'When Social Security is Privatized . . . And the Market Crashes', a topical reference to a subject of current political debate.

Note the use of 'threes' -- the three automobiles which frame the man, and his centering within the moving vehicles which form the 'frame' for him and also place his daring and aggressive panhandling in context.

European countries with older buildings, and former Communist countries in particular present overwhelming challenges for physically handicapped persons such as this man; and he also has had inadequate medical--prosthetic care.

Sidewalk Supervisors II (I Love Work: I Can Watch It All Day)
Sometimes the middle ground is essential to the success of a photo if it contains important information, and it is essential where script appears not to cut it off if the reader is to understand it.

This photo is captioned: 'I Love Work; I Can Watch It All Day, II' -- one of two in a series.

The viewer's unimpeded view of the open hood of the taxi and the taxi-meter sign atop the vehicle are essential to the meaning of this photograph.

After Church in Capitola
After Sunday morning Catholic church services, this impeccably-groomed, eighty-something grandmother with unusual sunglasses, walked along the esplanade at Capitola, California and decried the casual dress of today's youth and their play outdoors while she had attended church.

Surfers ride the waves behind her, giving context to her comments.

A long telephoto lens was used to collapse, merge or 'flatten' the subject, foreground, and the background surfers which were very distant from each other. As such, this is an example of a photographer 'creating' a juxtaposition through choice of lens and focal length.

Down and Out at 3:00 A.M. (Zim's)
This down and out man commandeered a corner of Zim's restaurant, now defunct, on San Francisco's Van Ness Ave in the wee morning hours.

The mirror, left, allows a 'background' and 'side' view by reflection and adds an interesting look at other restaurant patrons.

As a result of framing, the mirror has become an irregular pentagon, a shape seldom seen in photographs.

One member commented that the unusual lines in this photograph, which seem ready to 'spill' the man out of the scene, reflected the actuality of his life.

Mirrors often can be used successfully in photography to add 'depth' and interest to an otherwise ordinary scene. Mirrors don't have to be denominated 'mirrors' -- as shiny autos, store windows and other bright surfaces also can create 'mirror' images. (and watch for your reflection as you take the photograph -- others will see it, even if you don't!)

1232 Club
This diner and imbiber at the 1232 Club, North Beach, San Francisco, California is an interesting subject dressed in his 'Sunday best' (This was NOT Sunday.)

He appears even more interesting when framed against the restaurant and bar where he was socializing and having an afternoon drink. This photo almost appears 'historical' or similar to a 'snapshot' from long ago, and was framed that way intentionally.

As of 2006, this bar/restaurant still exists, essentially unchanged and still very busy, but decidedly more 'hip.' (April, 2006, 30+ years later)

The Hairdresser Salon
Choices, choices, choices. . . .

The hairdresser demonstrates a haircut to my stepdaughter, right. The price list is on a very interesting mural, overhead and background, which also illustrates 'nuclear' scissors held in the science fiction hands of the 'mad hairdresser', left center.

Incorporating murals, posters, and other interesting backgrounds in photos can make simple photos much richer, and every photographer should be aware of advertising, murals and photographs in the background and ways to incorporate them into the photographer's work.

Lent with Mother, Child and Priest
A priest kneels in front of an erect mother and her small child, an interesting subject often compared to adoration of the Christ child and Mary, and more interesting because this photo was taken during Lent.

See the out-of-focus cross, shrouded, in the background. Catholics often have great interest in this photograph although this is an Episcopal church (no Christ on cross).

Man on Pier
The dock planks, foreground; the male subject, center middle; and the schooner and lines, background; all merge or 'flatten' into one effective, very geometric and pleasing compositon.

Place: New York City Pier for historical vessels, lower Manhattan, a very long time ago.

Passerby, Woolworth Building, San Francisco
This character walking by became even more interesting as my lens caught him in the 'crosshairs' of the Woolworth building's marble panel stones and joints, for a most geometric composition.

Framing and shooting was done instaneously.

Sometimes 'backgrounds' such as this can be merged with subjects to complete a geometric composition -- and that can be very appealing if done well.

Art Gallery Studies, University of Oregon
Three windows, background, illuminate the subject, a male museum worker called a 'work study monitor' at the University of Oregon's Asian Arts Museum.

Light from the windows' three panes reflected off the floor connects the background to the foregrouund door, all for a pleasing and somewhat geometric composition with the added element of repetition (three windows, three window reflections).

Study in threes (Train wreck)
Threes predominate again in this nighttime flash photograph of a train wreck in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

Three overturned locomotives, background, are reiterated in the three workers, interspersed foreground to background, along with torn up track which connects foreground to background.

Photo taken in the remote and desolate 'Black Rock Desert' in Northern Nevada. Superfine desert dust that entered my car caused it eventually to be discarded, as it could not be cleaned effectively.

'Tijuana River Poverty'
A young girl rolling a Sisyphean tire uphill in what looks like a garbage dump is actually turning the banks of the mostly-dry Tijuana River into a playground, all just a short walk from the affluence of the U.S. border, some time ago.

The Tijuana River, background, later flooded, killing hundreds who lived in makeshift slums just beside it, and leaving thousands who lived in its bed and banks, homeless.

I was threatened with arrest by Mexican Federales for taking this photo, and talked my way out of it by threatening a diplomatic incident and showing my press credentials (although I was not then 'on the job').

The Art Gallery
An art gallery owner smoking a pipe is interesting enough; showing his wares in the background, presents him in context making a much better image.
Jumping and Geometry
This young boy's outflung arms are at near right angles to the canted angle of the unusual, modern building, and gymnasium behind him.

The whole subject of this photo is a study in geometry, with the boy's arms and body position tying together the playground, foreground, and building, background.

Staten Island Ferry
This photo, from my first roll of film, shows three men, interspersed, on three benches on the Staten Island Ferry bound for Staten Island. There also are three supporting poles atop the benches.

The use of threes (benches, riders, and poles, interspersed front to back) draws the viewer's eyes from the foreground to the background.

Double Murder Escapee Returns to Prison After Nearly 50 Years of Freedom
Double murder convict Leonard Fristoe, a train robber from the '20s, was 'on the lam' for 47 years after slipping out of the Nevada State Penitentiary shortly after his conviction, until a disgruntled relative gave him up to authorities out of spite when he was 77 years old.

This photo shows him as he was lead off by a guard, cane in hand, to his 'new' living quarters in a low security portion of the Nevada State penitentiary, Carson City, Nevada, minutes after his return to prison

A prison watchtower looks down over him, adding interesting context.

Dick and Pat Nixon, Intimacy in the Crowd, Powell Street, San Francisco (Emphasis on Faces and...
President Nixon had his arms literally wrapped around this me, a young photographer, and I had my wide angle lens on my camera held high over my head, my head ducked left, to keep from blocking this interesting capture.

The various interesting expressions, postures and dress of this impromptu entourage and spectators, plus First Wife Pat's touching grip around the President's waist, tell a rich story -- a moment frozen in time forever.

Library Steps, San Francisco (Overhead View)
My photography -- especially my earlier works -- often has shown a strong 'geometric' bent.

This 'background' is actually the staircase of the old San Francisco Public Library, and the dark figure is a man walking down those steps.

The 'background' and its black outlines (steps and bannister) are essential to this photograph, which is a study in compostion. Camera: 35 mm with 35 mm lens.

Shack and Tree, Ansel Adams/Edward, Brett, and Cole Weston Country, Pt. Lobos, CA
The compositional essence of this photograph is bifold:

1. The contrasting textures of the tree bark, foreground and unpainted shack/house, background help isolate and emphasize each subject, and

2. The lines of this photo serve to lead the eye to the background by directing the viewer to the distant 'vanishing point.'

This building officially now is known as the 'House at Whaler's Cove', Point Lobos, California State Preserve, but at the time of this photo was abandoned.

It now is a museum housing a rich collection of maritime treasures.

The Commercial (Reklamen)
This escalator draws the viewers' eyes from the devil, foreground, up toward the baker; the French Foreign Legionnaire; the Viking; and ultimately (the supposedly well-cooled aviator, top, next to the lights and production assistant for this 'air conditioner television commercial (reclamen)

Here the escalator's diagonal is used to draw the viewers' eyes from bottom to top, foreground to background and introduces a dynamic line into the photograph.

Surreality merges into reality when one views this photograph and realizes that the woman, top, is standing next to a 'photo' or 'cinema' spotlight as one dissects this unusual view.

Inventor of Lear Jet and 8-Track Cartridge
Bill Lear, foregound, 'invented' the private jet -- the Lear jet.

Here he is at Stead, Nevada, a converted former Air Base near Reno, Nevada, at his Lear, Corp., where he was trying unsuccessfully to develop a steam engine for auto power.

Note the framing of Lear; the overhead captioning by his building's sign, background; and the framing of his head by the large building door, also background, as well as the use of the small building door by his shoulder for an accent and for 'balance' of mass (darkness) in this photograph.

Nob Hill, San Francisco
This fancy building atop San Francisco's Nob Hill with a Rolls Royce or Bentley in front overlooks San Francisco Bay.

Parallel lines from paving stones, foreground, merge toward a vanishing point as they lead the eye to the middle background with the luxury car, elegant front door and portico, then through the lobby to the bright light from the sky over the Bay, seen through the front door.

Figure Photography Class, Wetzlar, Germany
A white backdrop is used effectively to frame and silhouette these photographers, their lights, and also the subject of their photography, an amply-endowed nude model.

Sometimes photographing the photographers (or other artists) as they 'capture' a scene or a subject can make an interesting capture all its own.

Famous photographers have used museum exhibitions of 'art', 'exhibited photographs' and other displays to create interesting juxtapositions. All are good fodder for the aware photographer.

Jesus Cares!
The background here is essential to this photograph and is merged and becomes part of the 'story' of the image (or flattened, to use a Photoshop term).

This down and out man in a dilapidated part of San Francisco, (now vibrant) with a can of Rainier beer at his side, sits underneath a sign that says 'Jesus Cares'.

The building walls are shown large, empty, and desolate, emphasizing the man's plight and his small scale in the greater scheme of things.

Care was used to include as much light, bare wall as possible (and an accenting window, top right, to counterbalance the man's figure) in this capture, and also to show the reverse 'L' shape from the different shaded walls for a geometric composition.

Maria and Iceplant flowers, Pajaro Valley
This is Maria, whose main goal in life is to raise beautiful flowers.

It seemed only proper to photograph her among her prize flowers -- iceplant that blooms mainly in May in Coastal California -- so she was framed in one corner of a field of her trademark iceplant as it bloomed bright red.

Workers and Hands
This unsual photograph shows trunks and appendages (legs, arms and hands) outlined by the work, the building and the sloping sidewalk from a steeply sloping hillside work site on a San Francisco sidewalk.

This is also an example of 'parts suggesting the whole', as well as a photo illustrating in general 'men at work'.

Kisses, Frankfurt
Croatian Mafia members threatened, bumped and taunted me menacingly as I composed this photo in Frankfurt Germany's sex district, and ultimately it almost came to blows with ultimate police intervention.

But the result was this photograph showing a passerby with cigarette going by a photo of huge red lips (with a traffic light shadow), emblematic of the Frankfurt area's 'sex trade' district.

A Mote Moment
Wrinkles are the interesting subject of this unusual portrait, as well as unusual facial coloring.

The source of the facial color is reflections from a surrounding field of eight to eleven-foot tall gladiolas in my homestead's front yard.

The wrinkles of the forehead are repeated in the wrinkles beneath the eye, as the subject removes a mote from his left eye.

This interesting subject is highlighted by the out-of-focus background of very tall gladiolas. This is a case where an out-of-focus background was shown to emphasize the subject; in-focus individual gladiolas would have detracted from the subject and the gladiolas were not properly spaced (or compressed) to present a cohesive background if presented in sharp focus.

Warehouse and smokestacks
This wharfside warehouse has a somewhat interesting look with overlapping, weathered, metallic side panels of different reddish hues.

Framed with distant power plant smokestacks, this scene is transformed into a composition.

Main Street, Santa Cruz 1:00 a.m.
This statue, foreground is a new addition to downtown Santa Cruz, CA, and apparently depicts a human torso and stumps for 'arms'.

The smaller, background figure, against the wall and planter, also has protruberances (bent arms) that mirror those of the statue.

'Mirroring' is a theme in my photography, and often is shown where the foreground figure is 'repeated' in a background figure.

A Jaguar On The Street!  Look Out!
These young men are 'goofing' with a wall poster of a jaguar/leopard in a Waikiki shopping center, Honolulu, Hawaii for a friend with a camera, not knowing this photographer also was capturing their fun.

This photograph incorporates the background photograph into a new one for a humorous take on life. (Note the leftward man's open mouth expession!)

You can click to the original on this or any photo in this presentation to view this 'larger'.)

Boat Hull and Brace
This boat brace seems insignificant compared to the scale of the huge, reproduction schooner that it supports -- all resurrected from a South Sea island wreck, and being restored in Moss Landing, CA.

This photo is filled or 'painted' with color and the supporting screw and platform 'merge' into the mottled colors of the boat's freshly sanded hull. The totality is a near abstract rendition of this boat's multi-hued hull.

Gas Bottles and Boat
This boat brace, also spindly, is shown with gas bottles, in hues of blue and green.

The similarity in colors ties together the foreground with the near background -- the blue hull.

Grain Train
The photographic theme here is repetition with two subjects being repeated in two different directions.

The train, foreground to background is composed of repeating, identical grain cars.

Contrasting are vertical grain silos.

p> Contrasting vertical and horizontal (and foreground to background) repetition, is the essence of this interesting photograph.

This also promises to work well as a black and white photo.

Wife Killer -- Author (Focus on Embers)
The in-focus subject here is a cigarette tip; all the rest in this 'street' portrait of a convicted wife killer, is out of focus and essentially 'background'.

The man was imprisoned 15 years for second degree murder, and was writing about his life.

This photo was taken during a break from his Greyhound bus ride; see bus, background with wheels and running lights, in circles of confusion. They suggest the 'blurriness' and 'confusion' that this man's life represents emphasized by his stressed and 'sunken' features as he drags on a cigarette.

The foregound, sharp, continues to the background, increasingly out of focus, mirroring this man's life as I sought to present it.

Eyes in Next Booth
This surprisingly popular photo uses the device of 'repetition' -- this time repeating booths in a pizza restaurant in Santa Cruz, California.

The repetition is broken from foreground to background by a pair of eyes and a top of a young woman's head, for a humourous aspect that seems to draw viewers in. The compitional devices is repetition, broken by an 'accent' figure.

Hot Pool and Pedestrians
This is photo about scale.

The smallness of human forms emphasize the vastnesss of this huge hot pool at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on the Firehole River, near Yellowstone Village.

The background steam is essential to outline and silhouette the foreground figures.

A telephoto lens was used for compression of human subjects with the steam/pool background.

Composition at 70 Miles Per Hour
This my first photo from a moving vehicle I was driving, taken through my vehicle's windshield at 70 mph.

Capturing the exact moment without a motor drive, I combined the subject truck, with the overarching latticework of the surrounding bridge steelwork, and thereby integrated all into one image.

One frame taken.

No Checks!  No Minors!  Don't Make Trouble!
This liquor store owner appears plenty 'tough', although many viewers can see humour in his face.

The prices on these rows and rows of bottles really date this vintage photo, as do the various other features of his dress, the shop signs, the bottle labels and especially the ancient prices on the shelves.

The repeated figures of lines and shelves of bottles are broken by the figure of the man, his counter and his fist, and serve as an interesting, contextual background.

Hard Day's Night!
This unusual photo portrays the fatigue felt by the man, hands to eyes, as he sits with his family at a fast food restaurant, Watsonville, California.

Note vanishing point and strong diagonal leading from left foreground to right background and lack of level horizon -- emphasizing the man's 'unbalanced' or 'unfocused' state.

Lack of level horizon is rare in my photography, and the out of kilter horizon suggests the 'disassociation' I attributed to this subject and his fatigue.

My Top Model!
This is a classic example of a 'soft' subject with a 'hard' background. The subject is my stepdaughter, then a preteen, and a garage door at Moss Landing, CA.

She once was Photo.net youngest member and her work was well-received (she is inactive now).

Mother and Daughter (Brain cancer victim on holiday)
This beautiful young mother (my former wife) suffered from a debilitating brain cancer, and although she led an ordinary life, struggled with life because of personality defects that arose from her cancer.

Here she is seen with her daughter (then my stepdaughgter) on a sponsored trip to Hawaii.

The background is an out of focus hotel lobby (there are no hotel front doors in Honolulu).

The orange spots right background, are koi fish from a lobby fish pond. Selective depth of field makes the subjects of this impromptu portrait as isolated as though they were photographed in a studio.

Road Kill!  (Caution! May Be Unsettling)
This 'most commented on' photo depicts a dead cat (with bulging eyeball), and incorporates a classic 'S' curve to draw the viewers' eyes from the foreground to the background, where a school bus approaches, lights on and horn tooting to warn the photographer of danger).

One viewer likened the bus to 'Mad Max', coming around for a second shot.

They Call Him
To effectively make a portrait of this ruddy fisherman, he was photographed in a nautical setting -- here with his drydocked boat in the background as he stepped on a platform leading to his elevated boat deck.
Bum or Artist?  You Decide
Conversation with a boatyard worker after a photographic session became a unique photo opportunity as the worker stood on his back 'camper' steps, and I moved to place him in juxtaposition with a large drydocked sailboat's stern, emblazoned "Fourth of July, San Francisco."
Boat Owner and Rescued Hull -- 
One Summer Day
This is Sally, entrepreneur and boat owner, inspecting the repaired hole in the hull of a boat she was rehabilitating with her partner.

This portrait captures her at the moment she turned from her inspection of her work on the hole in the steel hull from the formerly wrecked vessel.

Sweat Shop Girl
Many viewers clicked on this photo, apparently to view the inside of this 'sweat shop' in old San Francisco's downtown under the shadow of the financial district, a long while ago, and just a few blocks from San Francisco's famed Chinatown.

Sweat shop wages were paid next door to where stock brokers earned millions.

These immigrants (background, working hard) turned their frugality into an asset, and many since have purchased homes in large, wealthy portions of San Francisco, in a 'rags to riches' story.

Bayou on the Range
Photography of this man and his hat in West Yellowstone, Wyoming became more interesting, when I moved around him with my camera, and discovered a U.S. flag in front of a bookstore behind him and incorporated it into the photograph, transforming a simple portrait into a patriotic emblem.
Warehouse and smokestacks (foggy)
This warehouse and workshop, Moss Landing, California, seen above in sunlight, has a different aspect because of (1) the fog, middle background, (2) the barely visible smokestacks from a power plant, distant background, and (3) the juxtaposition with the smokestacks.
Passing Through the Train Station
This would have just been a photo of a dining table in a luxurious ICE (Inter City Express) train in Germany passing through a train station in Germany until it passed a poster advertising a Catholic Conference to be held in Ulm, Germany
Movie and Moviegoers -- Paris (Harry Potter)
These three girls are doing their studies in Paris's Gare du Nord (Train Station of the North), a popular commuting spot, underneath a poster of three characters from a "Harry Potter" movie.

'Threes' as a compositional device, occurs frequently in my work, and here there is compositional richness with two groups of 'threes' (two sets of groups, each with three figures.)

Such repetition (here -- 'threes') is something I call 'mirroring'.

Umpqua River Bridges, Oregon (View Large)
The bridge, middle ground is the central subject, mirrored background by a second bridge with a sole semi-tractor truck on it -- a view that required patience to capture as many other types of passing vehicles detracted from this scene.

In the bottom are two boats of fishermen, one near foreground and one in the distance, all 'accents' creating richness in detail. It is difficult to portray 'detail' such as this in the Internet format provided here, especially in 'thumbnail' photos. This photo should be viewed 'very large' for best appreciation. (Click on this or any photo in this Presentation for a 'larger' view.)

Rest Stop Dignity
This woman bus rider exited a rest stop rest room in Yreka, CA, and on request paused a moment in the early morning hours for a brief portrait. (Film image with a prime lens - 85 mm f 1.8)

Red color, right, is a background out- of-focus phone card vending machine.

This portrait uses shallow depth of field to create an out-of-focus background and contrasting colors to make the subject 'pop' from the background.

Power Plant and Fragile Slough (Peaceful Co-existence), Moss Landing
The subjects here are dual: The eye first sees the smokestacks of the power plant in the sky, then moves to the boatyard, bottom, on nearby Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing, California for an unusual, twin subject, photo juxtaposition.

Elkhorn Slough, one of California's most prolific marine breeding areas, is ecologically very fragile, yet co-exists well with this now-gas-fired power plant.

Luncheon for the Beautiful People
A talkative but pretty woman and a slow shutter speed serve to distort her features as she and her date have a meal at a swank restaurant in Carmel, California, a rich village where it seems almost everybody knows everybody, and there are many rich and famous people.

The slow shutter speed distorts her features to create a most unusual expression.

The wine bottles and background decor emphasize the 'swankness' of the restaurant.

Begging Before God Nike
This beggar, foreground, looks almost the spitting image of the bicyclist, background as they appear in juxtaposition for the contrast of 'rich' vs. 'poor' made all the more rich by the subjects' nearly identical faces.

(The bicyclist is an advertsiment featuring cycling legend Lance Armstrong).

Sidewalk Slalom -- Wipeout!
This strong diagonal line with 'pegs' for skateboard slalom, draws the viewer's eye from the foreground to the background.

The strong diagonal line adds to the photo's dynamic elements, effectively bisecting the frame diagonally into two triangles, both 'dynamic' compositional elements.

Parisian merchant and mannequin
This merchant, foreground, contrasts with the mannequin, background, in several ways.

The merchant's head (foreground) appears oversize, and the mannequin's head, background, appears undersize as each relates to the subjects' torsos.

Both figures have white or offwhite hair. Both figures have a strong hair part and a full head of hair.

Both figures have contrasting positions -- one facing the camera; one in full profile.

This a study in contrast and comparison through juxtaposition.

Boat Owner
The fishing industry is vanishing fast in the U.S. and California in particular, with new regulations.

This is a portrait of a fisherman: He is red faced from the summer sun, reflections off the ocean surface, and the bracing wind, which gives him a ruddy look, and his 'look back' suggests a 'last look back' from a declining breed to a work life disappearing fast.

The drydocked (and therefore incapacitated) boat, background, places this environmental or 'street' portrait in context.

That Felt Good!  Let's Say Goodbye Again!
The subjects are far away, enjoying one possible last embrace before this train departs Budapest's 'international' Keleti train station.

The train coach vestibule, foreground, is used to frame the embracing couple, and effectively directs the viewer's eyes through the photo.

Here the subjects are in the background but framed by the 'foreground', all kept in acceptable sharpness by a relatively small aperture.

Ukrainian Day Military Marchers
Out of focus foreground male and female secondary school military marchers frame this male marcher, second rank, who stares directly at the camera.

This is a good illustration of the effective use of an out of focus foreground and the foreground as a framing device.

Rest at Roissy (Charles de Gaulle Airport)
This airport tarmac worker at Paris's Charles De Gaulle Airport in suburban Roissy, fights fatigue.

He's framed by the graphic and stylized 'M' on the wall behind him, and his bright yellow vest contrasts well with the bright red background.

Ghostly Beauty!
A confusing background was presented by numerous buildings that framed this young woman street entertainer on her perch above a street crowd.

Great contrast between the building detail in the background which would have competed with her, disappeared into blackness as the difference in brightness (Exposure Values - EVs) between the subject and the background exceeded our or more stops.

This is an unmanipulated photo which isolates the performer as though she were were shot in a studio with a plain paper background.

Hungarian Dutch
This young, beautiful, Hungarian woman attorney spent a weekend dressed up as a Dutch woman for a Budapest shopping mall promotion.

The cardboard cutout of a man, background, turns what is an ordinary photo of a pretty girl, into something more joyous as he seems to 'react' to her beauty and 'exclaim'.

Cycling off to Kinder Garten
German students spend little time in school compared to students in most nations, and it is a joyous and liberting time for German mothers when their children go off to school.

Here, mom and her children cycle off to kindergarten. This sideways view created a diagonal of cyclists (dog on a leash), drawing the viewer from the blurred and moving child, foreground, to the mother, child and dog, middle background to the street and buildings, background.

Ukrainian Street Scene (L'Vov)
This unusual photo of a passserby in Lvov, [Lbib] Ukraine is full of color from his umbrella foreground to the tanker truck full of brew-like 'Kwas' for sale to passersby, background.

Water from rain and other sources changes the chemical composition of many substances, adding the 'hydroxide radical' to them, often greatly increasing their 'saturation' (hence the term 'saturation' is used in relation to brightened colors.)

I Baked It Myself!
Color ties this image foreground to the background. The color of the bread is repeated in the sacks on the wall, the bread loaf, and the color of the wall.

The device of repetition is used in the twin lines of sacks, rear, and their interspersal on the shelves, also background.

A Bite and a Smoke -- New French Style
Wall graphics are an important part of this photo -- here restaurant logo advertising in large type in this photo at France's Charles De Gaulle airport.

This photo with its view of a one hurried man smoking at a small table, perched high, and another hurried man, background, gobbling a hamburger, effectively counters the traditional French image of lounging smokers and diners, and is emblematic of a new French cultural trend.

Homage to Youth
Should We Look Up To This Man?
This trecker pauses for a look at an advertising figure in Hamburg, Germany that bears a striking resemblance to Arnold Schwarzeneggar (possibly a licensed image.)

The subject man and the subject of the lighted advertisement merge to become one image with the foreground figure presented in silhouette.

Rural Front Yard, Oregon
A 'long' telephoto lens brought this old truck and this tractor on an Oregon farm into juxtaposition amid lush emerald grass.

A viewer suggested these two vehicles appeared involved in a 'drag race'. The use of a telephoto len's ability to 'compress' a scene to bring foreground to background together helped make this scene possible, as there was great physical distance between these two vehicles.

Paris, St. (Saint) Germain District Street Scene
'Where you want, when you want' exclaims the wall graphics in French in this section of Paris called St. Germain.

This is an unusual street scene embracing these unusual wall graphics, all taken from a passing taxi.

Streets of San Francisco (Like You Never Saw On TV)
The subject, a nude woman wrapped in Saran Wrap bearing antennae on her head, is enigmatic enough and presents a sort of humor missed by most viewers.

Her appearance before two bemused men in a deliery truck, near background, is even more enigmatic.

Here Crosley uses his familiar theme of 'threes', this time present in the number of subjects.

Anti-War Then (Fixed Bayonet)
Crosley's most viewed photographic and one of his highest-rated (although far from his best) shows a National Guardsman taken through a very wide angle lens from so close that demonstrators can be seen through the mask's lenses, and demonstrators, background, appear almost to be skewered on his fixed bayonet. Very wide angle photograph from very close proximity to the Guardsman.
Bikers -- Rich and Poor
Bicycling is the theme here, and the near bicyclist is a downtown San Francisco bike messenger.

Framing the messenger with an advertisement featuring another bicyclist (Lance Armstrong) ties the two together for this 'steet' photo, taken from a car window.

Beach Portrait (Action in Static Pose) (Two in Series)
This is one of a series of beach portraits to illustrate how to make a 'static' subject -- here a man being photographed, enlivened by incorporating an active background.
Contrasts (and Composition)
The theme in this photo is 'contrasts':

The white dressed woman, foreground, contrasts with the dark dressed woman, near background, all framed by a geometric background.

Other contrasts: Race -- white vs. black.

Apparent wealth: rich vs. poor

Vitality: Active vs. passive and standing vs. resting or reclining.

RIP!  (Emblematic of the Independent Fishermen?)
This sunken boat may be emblematic of the fishing industry at Moss Landing, California as the state of California clamps down new regulations on fishing.

It is important in such a photo, to place the sunken boat in the context of the harbor in which it is 'berthed', and hence to show the rest of the small harbor as background and to 'isolate' this sunken vessel.

Searching For Lost Beauty (Coiffure d'Alberto)
The sign above reads 'Coiffure d'Alberto' or Albert's Hair Salon, but in reality it is a 'beauty parlor'.

This woman, bent in the neck from apparent osteoporosis, a disease of aging in women, is apparently searching for her lost beauty and given weight in the context of being taken in front of a 'beauty parlor.

Car Ferry, Lower Manhattan
Shadow and darkness, foreground, frame lightness from this departing ferry boat going to a neaby island in Manhattan's lower harbor, an illustration of the use of light as a device to focus the viewer's attention on a distant subject (subject in background). See also the museum monitor, Asian Arts Museum, Universithy of Oregon, above for similar use of light highlights as an element connecting foreground to background.
Product and Potential Customer (Ukraine)
This wall illustration advertises beauty products using a very stylized image of a pretty woman, and women of the former U.S.S.R., such as this girl passserby in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, are the targets of such advertising.

Women of the former U.S.S.R. not only possess unusual beauty, but they also spend an unsual portion of their income on beauty products, possibly persuaded by western-inspired 'marketing' such as this, to which they have few 'learned' defenses.

The plane of this girls' face coincides directly with the plane of the stylized chin underside of the illusrated woman's face, all planned in a split second before the capture.

Street Contrasts of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine City of over 1 million
This street scene, contrasts the rehabilitation of the building, top, with new, modern windows, versus its cellar dwellars -- squatters, below, and compares them with a passerby, all an illustration of the effective use of juxtaposition.
Culture Clash -- Parisian Style
The worldwise Parisian matron, foreground, has her handbag around her neck, her shopping bag jammed between her knees, but she looks curiously on as these two black Parisians from Africa give a friendly hand and armshake.

Here, her gaze ties foreground to background, effectively completing the photo.

Nice Kitty!
This child saw this photograph of a jaguar/leopard pasted on a building wall and said 'nice kitty' as children will do.

This child literally is doing what the French call a trompe l'oeil, mistake of the eye, more commonly referring to an optical illustion. Children are less discriminating between reality and fiction, as this photo illustrates. This is a color photo throughout -- no selective saturation; the mural photo of the jaguar/leopard was B & W as displayed. Children sometimes don't understand bariers as adults do, such as the 'barrier' between foreground and background and between reality and fiction.

A camera and a variety of lenses allows a photographer using the two-dimensional medium of a photograph to convey mesages and images that effectively break down such barriers for the viewer to add meaning and/or interest to captures.

Woman in the Window
A man running down a rainy street is interesting, especially in front of an interesting window.

Upon closer look, there is an image of a woman in the window for a far more interesting, enigmatic, and surreal photo.

Graffiti Grandma
This grandmother had a bucket full of chalk 6:00 a.m. and proceeded to chalk up these walls, effectively becoming a street muralist/graffiti artist.

Note her printed socks, her print skirt and her printed scarf -- all artist's clothes.

Photo from a stopped car passing betwen cities, as it entered Odesssa, Ukraine.

Olya, Budding supermodel
The setting sun, background, helps frame this youthful and gorgeous model, foreground, and explains the use of 'flash' for this image.
Jean and His Newly-Refinished Doors, Paris
Artist 'Jean' had just finished this door at Rue St. Quentin, Paris, and he wanted to show it off. Here the background is essential to portray subject artist in context.
A street photographer could hardly ask for a better background than this group of murals along Seattle's 'downtown' transit corridor.

Here a young man walks along a traffic barrier, as children will do, before hopping off and hopping on a bus.

Shoiley:  Daughter of the Holocaust
This subject, Shirley -- daughter of Holocaust survivors -- is posed straightforwardly in Black and White in front of a background stark for its spareness and grittiness, which contrasts with her beauty.

This is an example not only of 'balance' between the subject and the background, but also use of a 'soft' subject and a 'harder' background.

Brooding (Brando; Cascade Skies)
This mural of Marlon Brando is on the rear wall of a theater in Roslyn, Washington, where the quirky television series 'Northern Exposure' was filmed. This is an example of incorporation of a mural figure as the subject of a photograph.
Balls! -- 
24 Hours In Fall
This 'busker' did interesting things with his glass balls, but when he held them up to a lighted and colored movie marquee, they truly shone, acting as lenses for the colors of the marquee lights.
'Do You Want My Name and Address?' -- 
24 Hours In Fall
This grandmother, who asked the photographer (assuming he was from a newspaper 'Do you want my name and address?') was at an air show featuring the Blue Angels. Her hairdo and face are interesting, but the photo is somewhat more interesting by placing her in perspective with the 'expensive' box seats. Does she look like she sits in those?
Along the Mighty Columbia
This Columbia River tugboat, pulling a large barge, is juxtaposed against rainy, fracto-nimbus clouds and timber-clad hillsides alongside Columbia's Oregon side as seen from Washington state. The mast of the tug is placed intentionally at the intersection of two ridgelines, far shore.
The Fool!
This 'fool' -- a retarded man in a village in Ukraine -- might have made an interesting portrait, but the woman kiosk owner in the background adds not only balance to the photo, but also adds interest with her 'take' on the situation and her 'amusement' that the man is having his photo taken -- a 'politically and socially incorrect' stance that would be discouraged in Europe and the West.
Airport Erotica
Three interesting mannequins in a Vienna Airport woman's shop are interesting.

The photo of the scanitily-clad model wearing lingerie (lightened in Photoshop) in the shop interior, makes this image more about eroticism.

Morning Scene (Kiev)
This man is a businessman in Kiev, Ukraine's nearby Borispol, who has just driven his Mercedes from one of these rudimentary garages, then returned to lock it.

Now, as he exits, his forward movement can be seen in his stride, silhouetted against the contrasting light garage side. The photographer waited for his stride extention (1) to illustrate forward motion and (2) to contrast with the light garage door.

Street Scene, Odessa, Ukraine
It took 37 images of this graffito before a pedestrian came by with just the proper step and stride for a silhouette that emphasized the unhappy look of this simple face.

The windows, the placement of the figure and the mid-step stride all give the photo balance.

Here the background is as much of the photo as the foreground, and neither is complete without the other.

'Don't Look Back, I Think We're Being Followed!'
Here, the background, like most 'mural' or 'wall art' shots is essential to the photograph.

This inspired shot, featuring salmon with anthropomorphic attributes, is titled 'Don't Look Back, I Think We're Being Followed!' Fish above the man's head are similar to speech 'balloons' used by cartonists.

This photograph is dedicated to cartoonist Gary Larson whose 'Far Side' comics attributed human qualities to animals, plants and other living things, as these salmon seem to have.

Good News Guys! (Watch the Razor Wire!)
This much-commented photo is almost entirely a subject-in-background photo, with the foreground razor wire fence barely visible, but necessary for the meaning. 'Lap dance' is an interesting subject, but a sign protected by cyclone fence and topped by razor wire, much as Viet Namese fortifications were protected against Viet Cong were protected, is inconguous to say the least and a telling comment about American culture and its relationship to 'sexuality'.
Baker -- One Loaf a Day@-j-c-n
Poverty is the ultimate theme of this colorful Ukrainian woman who it finally turned out (because of her oven size) could only bake one loaf of this bread (klep) a day.

So, showing her with a long expanse of bare shelves in the outdoor market beind her in the early morning sun when the village market first opened, was especially 'illuminating' as she pleaded with me with her eyes (she didn't speak) to buy her sole loaf for a few dimes.

I ultimately bought it and gave it to my driver.

'Let's See, Next Were the Onions'
A camera was placed on a counter, permission for a photo was obtained and this short-order cook proceed about her duties, and ultimately apparently forgot that her photo was being taken, I think.

The result is that the order paperwork in the foreground and other foreground paraphernalia lend an unusual perspective to this wide angle photograph, taken with preset focus and exposure setting.

'Taxi' Parisien
A Parisian 'taxi' sign would be a pretty 'dull' photograph without the chatting taxi drivers in the background, out of focus, silhouetted by the bright colors of a distant restaurant sign, in front of the Gare du Nord, (train station of the North).

The subject here would be barren without the background.

Curves and Lines
This photo languished for 35 years, a study in lines -- too good to throw away, and not attractive enough to rush to display. The automobile in the foreground complemented both complements and contrasts with the reverse curve of the parking garage lane in the background, all broken by the pull down mesh iron/steel grate, for a most unusual photo -- a study in lines and curves.

This is an example of a foreground and a background merging to become a 'subject' with each dependent on the other to 'make' the photograph.

Train Departure Gates (Budapest)
This is a gate near the departure area of Keleti (international) train station in Budapest with the departure board in the background.

The in-focus gate would be almost meaningless (and photographically barren) without being juxtaposed over the out-of-focus departure announcement board in the background and the high windows behind.

Merry Christmas!  (Beware the Eyes of December!)
This is a photo few people, not even passersby, would see. The more distant bow of this boat had eyes painted on it, and the near bow had a wreath posted on it.

Standing back and using a 70~300 zoom stopped down to f16 or f22 caused both elements to merge to send a message: Beware the Eyes of December! (Apologies to Shakespeare). This juxtaposition brings them both into the frame for a most unusual juxtaposition of creepy 'eyes' wishing 'Merry Christmas'.

No Future For This Guy (Gare Du Nord - Paris)
This juxtaposition was made by the advertiser, a temporary placement firm, which suggests that the uninteresting billboard figure, foreground, has no future, while the other figure, rear, is a go-getter with a future.

Place: Gare du Nord (Train Station of the North) -- Paris.

For Balaji
This juxtaposition, done in the more classic style of 'street photography' shows a woman relaxing at a street restaurant having a smoke and a young man racing by, all in front of a department store clothing window.

The progression of figures from foreground runner, to middle background woman in outdoor restaurant, to background mannequins, draws the eye through the photo. The runner gives the photo dynamism.

Streets of Dnepropetrovsk (Dne pro pe trovsk) Ukraine
Interspersal of figures superimposed against a colored background helps gives this photo interest.

This color photo uses the colored umbrella, right, to catch the eye, the angular shape of the man, left, to keep the eye, and the greenish color of the moldy brick building to keep and outline or silhouette the figures, all for an interesting composition.

Hit the Ground Running
The foreground figure has just exited a Lufthansa jet in Frankfurt (see overhead sign, middle background in Lufthansa colors), and because of exposure is silhouetted, a planned effect.

It is clear he is on his cell phone (mobile, also known in Germany as a 'handy'), and he is striding or running, phone in hand, luggage trailing amid the busy-ness of this huge warren of an airport.

The scale of the airport can be judged by the immediate background showing the shiny floor with figures and their reflections as well as the distant luggage cart. (Tarmac aircraft regrettably are missing from this image.) Bright light is used to tie the background to the foreground as in other photographs above.

Rudeness with panache?
This rude woman decided to give the gesture commonly known as 'the finger' and did it with aplomb, arching her back.

The car, foreground, otherwise uninteresting, serves to focus attention on this pedestrian, and the restaurant window, background, with its colors, tends to highlight and help frame this middle background woman, making for an interesting and well-received composition.

Full Sail For a Small Craft
Street photography often begin as visualization in the photographer's brain and is executed on film or other media such as digital storage devices. Here, envisioning that passerby, right, would sneak a peek at this woman's twin 'peaks', my photographic expectations weren't met as the passerby passed on a 'peek'.

This photo was almost removed before it was pointed out that the male, rear, was sneaking a peek over her shoulder, and suggested that the man, right, was intentionally averting his eyes.

(Or, as suggested in a Seinfeld episode, he already had taken a mental 'photo' of this woman's anatomy, as many males are wont to do, was thus able to feign indifference -- a form of deceit practiced by many males, especially married ones.

Umbrella of Hamburg
Why take a photo of a (woman) holding an umbrella? Here, because of the coloring and pattern of the umbrella. But that would be insufficient except that the umbrella's color and pattern somehow fit nicely with the color and texture of with the background paving stones and department store across the street at this street car stop in Hamburg, Germany in the evening rain.
Thrift Shop (Please View Large -- Locate Shop Owner in Back)
This is one of the most complicated or complex, yet rewarding images in Crosley's portfolio.

Looking in through the window of the front door of this thrift shop in San Francisco, one sees a profusion of things, mostly merchandise, and then the eye wanders through the scene, until it becomes fixed, first on the mannequin, right, and then on the merchandise, rear, and finally on the three figures in the rear which are:

1. A customer in the rear in overcoat, standing;

2. A mannequin head on counter;

3. The apparent owner, seated behind a rear counter;

Notice that the figures in the back including mannequin are a group of 'three'.

All are very small in size compared to the totality of the photo, but very important to the photo, and require work on the part of the viewer.

The photo is comprised of the totality of the foreground to the background with the 'prize' or 'reward' hidden in the 'background center' with the triad of unusual figures, including shop owner.

The President's Coming!  (Study in Pairs)
This alcoholic derelict was being removed from the once disreputable South of Market streets (now the more fashionable "Soma" district of San Francisco), then a skid row, just before President Nixon was to arrive in San Francisco.

On the edge of consciousness, his arms spreadeagled, two cops dragged him across a sidewalk.

The two arms of the bum were repeated in the two arms of the cops, and the theme of 'twos' was repeated again in the two figures of the old men and again in their two canes (sticks) for a more complex (and thus more interesting) image.

Glasses -- The Dream and the Reality
A woman trying on glasses is a mundane subject. An older, not particularly attractive woman trying on glasses even less so, until she was juxtaposed against a distant sign with a beautiful woman advertising the suggestion that women wearing glasses are 'beautiful'.

There is repetition in that both figures have 'glasses' and further repetition in the background, which roughly is divided into fourths of quadrants -- with the customer breaking the frame somewhat.

To those suggesting that photographic composition relies heavily on the 'rule of thirds' this photo illustrates the 'rule of fourths'.

It contains various photographic elements: (1) juxtaposition -- a. old and young; and b. division of background into four rectangles as well as repetition (glasses wearing, and nearly identical quadrants, background).

Sidewalk Supervisors I (I Love Work:  I Can Watch It All Day)
This photo has two centers of attention, both juxtaposed, neither of which is actually, technically a 'background' or a foreground.

The workers, on their hands and knees, are contrasted and juxtaposed with the standing businessmen observing, hands in pockets or at their sides, with businessmen being more distant or a humorous take on a slice of life.

This is an instance of two 'groups' being necessary for the subject of a photograph where neither one is technically a sole subject. However, but the rules for use of an interesting 'background' apply equally here for this photo in which elements are more side by side.

Japanese Money is Back in Honolulu!
This Japanese-American saleswoman fitting a necklace to a Japanese tourist in the stratospherically-priced Hermes store in Honolulu is hardly interesting on its own and without great photographic merit.

Set in the midst of a return of Japanese money to Honolulu with a return of Japenese tourists to Honolulu's tourist dependent economy and juxtaposed with the trendy and expensive Paris designer logo of Hermes, Paris, on a distant wall, the photo takes on new meaning and import.

Surf City!  Longboards Reign!
Surfboards in Honolulu generally are photographed on the beach and there are generally a cliche. But people have to get their surfboards to the beach, as this man and his son were doing when they stopped in front of the Macy's, Waikiki, Honolulu, Window.

And, the window advertised, appropriately, beachwear -- what else?

Impressionist Elk at Play
A couple of elk crossed the road ahead, then a whole herd, with these three young elk nearly at the head. They scampered across a meadow for this summer snowstorm capture.

Note the interspersal of three during this summer sleet storm with the color still on the valley meadow plants for a most unusual, almost impressionistic image.

Spinmeister! -- 
24 Hours In Fall
The hats, foreground are unusual, even for Santa Cruz, California which has its usual scattering of hippies left over from the sixties and seventies as well as its scattered oddballs.

Breakdancing from the 70s and 80s also is making a comeback and this top-hatted duo, foreground, frame a break dancer, spinning on his helmeted head, legs in the air twirling wildly under the 10:00 p.m. evening street lights.

Spectating -- 
24 Hours In Fall
What appears to be a jetliner, rear, banking in a steep turn, actually is nine small jet trainer planes of the Canadian Snowbird demonstration team. This easily-overlooked photo (at least in presentation size) illustrates a device often used in television -- the 'reaction shot' but instead of focusing on the woman's face, then the jets, this photo compresses them into one frame, which is what a still photographer must do outside of a photojournalism essay. The spectator, foreground, the flat on the framework and the vast separation between the watchers and the planes all add to the surreality of the intentionally depicted surreality of this air show scene.
Here the subject young Thai 'woman' merges with these depicted advertising subjects lined up in neat rows --- the Chinese script giving context in this Bangkok Chinatown photo.

The background, with rows of photos and the right divided into rectangles, gives this photo a decided geometrical touch, and the juxtaposition of her face before the advertising faces uses the device of 'repetition'.

Devil's Delight (and sinful pastries) Hoffman's Bakery, Santa Cruz
Telephoto lenses (even moderate ones) allow juxtapositions that frequently are unrecognized by the ordinary eye.

Here, a small ceiling lamp is brought into juxtaposition with a wall skeleton celebrating Halloween in Hoffman's bakery and restaurant in Santa Cruz, California, transforming two stark elements into an interesting and unusual photo.

This young 'wanderer' who lived in the woods was educated and trying to buy a ticket to the midnight showing of 'Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas' depicting portions of the life of Hunter S. Thompson, now recently deceased 'gonzo journalist'.

Beside him is the photo of an actress depicting an english abortionist, the subject of the evening's motion picture feature.

Whenever he finds visually stimulating or interesting, an attempt is made to incorporate photos, billboards, posters, window dressing, signs, etc., into my photography for interesting and/or unusual juxtapositions.

Rule of Fourths (Home Depot Delivery)
This truck driver paused behind his load of four loads of drywall sheetrock on the back of his semi-trailer in this nighttime photo. Such loads often are wrapped into special wrappers that emphasize special geometric relationships for visual interest, and these four loads repeat patterns.

This driver stood at an interesting point where he stood in one quadrant of the four rectangles defined by the four background 'loads' defined by the sheetrock forklift bundles.

This another illustration of the 'rule of fourths'. ;-))

Nelia -- Beauty and Hard Work Combined
Impressively hardworking and ambitious Ukrainian waitress Nelia goes over a guest's bill at her work table in the far background of a dining room in the far distance, caught by a telephoto lens in dim light.

She is framed by nearer foreground chair backs, covered by white fabric in this very fancy hotel restaurant.

Mary-Kate Did What?
Mary-Kate did what? The foreground in this photo is one-third of the photo and it's out of focus, drawing the viewer's attention to the background 'newspaper' and the reader (notice the resemblance between the reader and the newspaper photo subject's style).

This very photo, taken looking back in a Thanksgiving Day supermarket checkout line, broke many rules about sharp focus overall on Photo.net, but it effectively drew viewers' eyes toward the subject through use of an out of focus foreground.

Not All 'Old Salt' Fishermen are Grizzled
This fisherman had a contrasting shirt and a sharp focus which contrasted with the slightly out of focus boat hull with duller colors, background silhouetting this deep sea commercial angler with the movie star good looks and helped make making this image 'pop'.
Grain, Grain, Grain
This second grain train photo is about repetition, with the grain train, foreground, comprised of four complete grain cars with gold color, and a huge grain elevator beside the banks of the Columbia River at Kalama, Washington.

Here vertical repetition of the silo elevators competes with horizontal, vanishing point elements of the grain cars.

The Ice Cream Smile (Waiting Impatiently for Adulthood)
The sign on the wall (near background) says 'ultimate indulgence' and depicts a beautiful, toothy woman. The very young woman, seated foreground, also is beautiful and equally as toothy, for a repetition, as foreground and background merge in this juxtaposition. The repetition is double: teeth and beauty of both images.
Beach Portrait (Action in Static Pose) (One of Series)
The task for photographer Crosley was to make a static pose of a subject interesting to the subject by posting him with an active background -- here a businessman on the beach with a girl relative playing frisbee on the beach background. First of a series of three.
Beach Portrait (Action in Static Pose) (Three in Series)
This is the third in the series of this former Eastern European businessman in a static pose on a beach, with a young girl relative playing frisbee in the background for 'action.'
Boatwright Surveying Work
A boatwright holds the tools of his trade and in turn is overlooked by the boat he had been working on, a replica of a sailing vessel recreated and left to founder in the South Pacific before being rehabbed in this Moss Landing, California boat yard. This boatwright is an interesting subject, but dwarfed by the vessel he is working on, background, and holding tools of his trade, makes an effective environmental portrait of 'man at work'.
A Beautiful Windowsill -- German Style
Drive Thru!  (The Dilemma!)@-j-c-n
The dilemma of this woman with her walker is apparent as she appears to approach the distant 'Drive Tru' sign of this Yreka, CA McDonald's -- standing out in the early morning gloom all lighted up.

Foreground, broken asphaltic concrete blacktop presents an obstacle, leading to the background 'drive thru' lane, connecting the foreground to the background.

Motorcycle Driver For Hire (Traffic Jams Disappear If You Don't Value Life Much)
This Bangkok motorcycle 'taxi' driver poses against a moldy wall across from a department store, his helmet atop his motorcycle, waiting for a fare. This is an extreme wide angle view, stopped down for great depth of field.
Beach Alley
This photograph is one to view carefully. The walls, right, contain murals, the sea, distance, frames a man in a wheelchair, and if one looks carefully, there is a man leaning against the left wall. Place: Capitola, California near Santa Cruz.
Active and Passive in Odessa
Neither of the figures in this photograph would be interesting in and of themselves -- it is only in the juxtaposition of the sitting woman (a beggar) and the working man (see the parcel he's carrying) that the point of the photo is apparent. Red color on both of them ties the figures together, an illustration of color as a connective device between foreground and background.
My Favorite Holiday of All (For Reasons Depicted Here)
One critique thought this photo scary, but to this these attractive tween girls celebrating Halloween were just very cute in their makeup applied by their mothers. Photo: Coos Bay, Oregon, outside a restaurant, after dark with a telephoto at an extremely low shutter speed, wide open, throwing the second (background) girl into fuzziness. Another example of a 'dual portrait' on the street.
Nouveau 'Doggie Style' (Even Elves Do It)
A stuffed dog is not photoworthy, nor an elph alone, but a shopper in a Wal-Mart had placed them in this mocking 'sexual' position, which lasted only as long as it took to take a quick, grab shot, camera not framed or focused, which resulted serendipitously in capture of the price sign ($6.84) and the words 'body fantasies'.
'Guitar For Dummies'
The bookstore window advertised 'Guitar for Dummies'. In front of the bookstore, at night, was a 'wanderer' with his guitar on his back, and it is up to the viewer to decide whether or not he is a 'dummy' or more accomplished. He certainly was interested in having his photograph taken.
The Fire:  The Main Actor Directs the Action
This is Acting Fire Captain Danny who five times entered this burning building and even entered burning rooms, averting certain death for residents of this apartment house, as later he directed this small town's 'ladder' unit to spray the fire that demolished the building one night.
The 'Hook'
A photo of a 'hook' might have been interesting if taken properly, but it gained a higher status by being juxtaposed with its own late afternoon shadow against the side of a boat.
What All Guns Should Be Used For
This is an early evening photo taken at a park in Odessa, Ukraine, where World War II tank turrets have been plugged and children play on them. Focus is on the red turret plug, swinging children slightly out of focus and somewhat blurry from this very low light, post dusk photo.
Streets of San Francisco -- Cable Car and Buena Vista Cafe@
Taking photos after dark requires long exposures and taking photos of moving objects without flash with a stopped-down ultrawide lens is certain to result in both blurriness and rectilinear distortion. The foreground subject cable car is brought into context by juxtaposing it against the famous 'Buena Vista Cafe' and taxi outside in San Francisco.
'I Can Fly!'
There was just one film frame in the camera as my boat passed rapidly by this temple when I spied this young boy about to jump from a nearby pier top. I waited until I judged him to be mid-air, and took his one exposure. This is the result, juxtaposing the boy, with the temple with the storm clouds, distant.
The Skateboarder (A Beggar in Thailand)
Nighttime photos call or unusual steadiness and blurs result, but vibration reduction lenses can help stabilize the scene, as here. This crippled beggar, on a skateboard, in Bangkok, is surrounded by movement of pedestrian, taxi and motorcycle emphasizing his loneliness -- his possessions slung over his shoulder (he probably sleeps on the street.)
Duty Free Shopper (Study in Contrasts)
I have never seen a black person in Japan outside of Tokyo's diplomatic district. This airport shopper, between flights, is perplexed somewhat as she shops for cosmetics in an airport duty-free shop at Tokyo's nearby Narita International Airport. Her color contrasts with the target shopper, the model in the 'chrome' ad behind her.
Billboard and Man (Color Ed.)
This smiling and happy man in Bangkok, Thailand makes an interesting contrast in this color version of this photo taken in Bangkok's older district near but not in its Chinatown.

A B & W version is different and even more successful. The richness of this photo is the juxtaposition of the man and his open mouth with the shading/lighting on him and the similarity with the poster man on this Coke poster.

Smiles (Bet You Can't Not, Yourself)
The foreground woman, a lingerie saleswoman in Bangkok, Thailand's Pat Pong Night Market, has an interesting open mouth, but moreso because it is repeated in the mannequin behind her.
The Tattoo Parlor -- 
(Please View Large)
This unusual photo shows a tattoo subject viewing his new 'tats' late at night, tattoo artist at left viewing his 'books' after a long session. Photo taken through a door. Note use of two mirrorw to obtain views of the back and the front of the tattoo subject, and also note that his left side face is visible in the foreground, but his right side face is visible in the mirror, for an unsusual split portrait.
Two Workers -- One with Jackhammer
Repetition, foreground to background, is the dominant theme of this photograph. The jackhammer operator, foreground, was interesting enough and many photos were taken, but it was not until the laborer, background bent over briefly, that the photography took on a higher dimension.
The Painting Copyist (Study In Threes) (Please View Large To See Third Portrait)
This is three (or four) portraits in one. Not well received by raters, this is a complicated photo nonetheless. This painting copyist in Bangkok's Pat Pong Night Market at a copy painting shop actually is creating a new work patterned after the style of an older work. He works from an art book, in hand, on the painting in front of him, and refers to the portrait, left, which varies in significant aspects, from the photo he is working on. All three vary significantly and are not true 'copies' although they are stylistically related. In addition, the color 'theme' of the paint is carried out not only in the subjects' faces (all three) but also in the painters skin tones -- fourth portrait -- the painter himself.
Three States of Awareness
This well-received photo shows three states of awareness, from foreground to background. The foreground man is completely unaware, the man -- left -- is moderately aware of the photographer, and the woman -- legs demurely crossed -- probably has been aware of the photographer and has dismissed the his presence as 'not worthy'.
Mr. Hemingway meet . . . uh . . . Mr. Hemingway **
Selective depth of field can make a subject 'pop' or stand out. Here two men appear almost to be 'clones' of each other or twins, with beards similar to that of Ernest Hemingway, hence the title. The photo's strength comes from juxtaposing the two men's faces (visages) and their beards, using selective depth of field to throw the second (leftmost) man somewhat out of focus.
The Shop Window and Shopper**+
Advertising displays, posters, billboards, graffiti, other street art, and even gallery displays often offer rich material for creating photographs. Here, a young woman is placed in juxtaposition to a large window in a commercial area of an Eastern Country. This is an illustration of 'mirroring' or repetition, but notice how the repetition of the foreground subject is used to complement rather than actually mirror the background illustration and fill the frame in an interesting way.
Retail:  The Ideal and the Reality**+
As noted in a previous comment, mirroring with posters, advertisements, etc., is a most effective device for the 'street photographer'. This vegetable stall salesman on an Eastern street below this advertising photo, squirmed when he saw the camera, turned away, and in doing so adopted a 'mirror' pose to the woman in the advertisement behind him.
The Barber Shop II
This photo is about symmetries that just don't make it. If you saw the movie 'Educating Rita' you may recall there's a literary device used in poetry that is used to name poetry that 'tries to rhyme but just doesn't make it'. This is a photo that just escapes symmetry in almost every way, hopefully in a somewhat amusing way. The photos on the wall are paradigms representing certain hair styles, but the couples in them seem to be critiquing this young man's haircut -- a way in which the background and the foreground can work together to 'create' a story that the photographer visualizes.
Impressionist Elk at Play II
This photo, fuzzy because taken in a summer snowstorm (yes, summer), at Yellowstone National Park, shows a youthful elk invigorated by the sudden cold, playing. This photo is 'painted with color' foreground to background, a device which ties all the elements together, from foreground through background.
Journal Square**+
This 'street' or 'environmental' photograph shows two commuters on the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) commuter line in New Jersey's Journal Square. Strong sidelighting enhances the subjects in what is essentially a portrait, but the use of the partially-obscured sign and the detail of the tunnel opening, rear, help add richness to this photograph.
Springtime Boat Ride** *
The art of creating (yes, creating) a juxtaposition is part of successful photography. Here, an Eastern European woman is standing at a boat's stern in front of her nation's flag billowing in the wind. Placing her in front of the windblown flag helps 'frame' her and also places this photo in context. The viewer expects that it's a boat flag because of the water and riverbank, background.
Sometimes it takes an extremely wide angle lens to take in all of the elements the photographer wants to create his composition. Here, two carny workers stand in front of a giant Gravitron amusement park machine, Salinas Valley, California. Note that except for the sky in this evening photo, the strong use of color of the foreground through background elements, which helps tie them together.
Street Scene, Odessa's Main Shopping Street
When a photographer sees an interesting architectural or other environmental feature, sometimes it just takes a little patience to achieve a satisfactory photo. Here, the woman's face (visage) is both pointed in the direction of the bas relief plaque portrait and her face outline repeats the features of the portrait/sculpture face, background.
Captain 'Tom'
Sometimes the background can be disturbing to a photo's aesthetics. Here the background was a line of condominiums. Although usually opposed to 'Photoshopping', the ability to blur the background, which makes it appear as though it's in fog, helped keep distracting elements from destroying this photo.
Sunset Scene, Oakland
This is a rare photo in which the composition was changed by cropping somewhat. Nevertheless, this photo is one of repetition, illustrated two ways. The first is the repetition of the figures, ducks, two seated children, middle ground, and two seated adults, background. The young boy looking over the lakeside from this pier breaks up the repetition of 'twos' which occurs in this photo, front to back, and adds an 'accent'.

Breaking up repetition through an 'accent' figure is a very effective photographic composition device.

Retail . . . Ukraine Village Style
This photo illlustrates two devices that help with photographs that have subjects in more than one plane. The first device is the placement of the subject (off-center) framed by his wares. Note that the wares' lineup seems to create lines that converge on his 'portrait' like a vanishing point. This also is a photo which is 'painted with color' to fill the frame and join foreground with background.
'Shrooms, Pt. Lobos, CA (Tree Variety)
Often 'nature photographers' feel their photos should be pinpoint sharp. Here, selective depth of field (resulting from lack of light more than anything, or an available tripod) required selective depth of field. Notice how it is the rear-most mushroom that is in focus. Selecting the plane in which the photographer achieves focus can help 'tie' elements of a photograph together. This also is a photo that illustrates the device of repetition, broken by an 'accent.' Here the repetition is in rounded shapes of the partially-reveled mushrooms. The eye and experienced completes the task of telling the brain they're 'circular'. The 'accent' is the in-focus mushroom, which interestingly is the rear-most mushroom.
Strawberry Fields (and Plastics) Forever
Telephoto lenses allow or compression of foreground and background. Here, three strawberry planters who were pulling the new plants through this plastic in January, were framed using 'roads' or 'rodados' -- uncultivated areas used for farm machines. Care was taken to 'capture' the figures in a symmetrical way, here 'threes', a common element in Crosley photography. The 'rodados' in the photo do not converge 'on frame' but the Western eye complete the composition to imply a 'Z' figure, which is remarkably similar to the pleasing 'S' curve written about in photography books, for a very effective composition.
Self Portrait
This photo is about repetition and the use of the device of 'threes'. This student artist, painting a self-portrait, cannot be seen except through the mirror she is viewing herself in and in her artistic interpretation of herself in the canvas, right. Tying each plane together are the grounded heads, which the mind tells us are all the same person, though they don't look identical. The device of 'threes' is an useful device for dynamically showing interspersal, like the photo of farmworkers above. The mind will connect the points of the 'three' to imply a triangle, which is very dynamic.
'I Can't Seem To Get a Flow Started'
Foreground figures can help 'frame' a background and place it in perspective. Here, this low-angle view of two fire officials viewing an out of control fire in a major building, frame the building and emphasize through the one man's glance that the fire is totally out of control. (The title is whimsy.)
Point Lobos Sunset
Sometimes silhouettes can help 'isolate' a figure and emphasize it. Here, the angularity of this man watching a sunset at Point Lobos, Caliornia is emphsized by silhouetting him against the background of the multi-colored Pacific Ocean.
Entryway of Odessa
Not all photos have to have clearly-identified figures. This arched entryway to residential buildings in Odessa, Ukraine illustate how they were build almost fortification style. The figures in the archway add 'scale' to the photograph and help relate the foreground, which is mostly uninteresting, to the background. The figures help 'make' this photogaph. (Interestingly one of the figures was unknowingly an official on Odessa's main photo club.)
Watch Those Lines!  Steelheading the Kalama.  (VIEW LARGE FOR EXPRESSIONS!!)
The use of a diagonal is a strong compositional element because it breaks a square or rectangular fame into two triangles -- both dynamic figures. This photo, one of many good photo from this shoot of Washington State's Kalam River (from a bridge), was chosen for its composition because the boat (and the extension of the boat through the barely-seen fishing lines at which the parties are staring intently, creates the diagonal which diagonally bisects this frame. Note i you click on the photo, how the intent stares at their lines of the fishermen help complete the bisecting diagona; one case in which almost the unseeable 'vector' of their stares helps 'imply' that bisecting diagonal -- a very unusual compositional device. The expressions here are very rich also.
Threes (Winter Wheat--Yakima)
This photo of 'winter wheat' taken in late spring/summer near Yakima, Washington, illustates how a higher viewpoint helps fill the frame with color. The element of 'threes' is used on the three wheat stalks, foreground, for effective subject selectin. Selective focus isolates those three wheat stalks, and helps make these foreground plants stand out against the seat of wheat, background, yet emphasizes that they are 'part of a whole' This illustates a them of repetition in two ways (1) through three (repeating) stalks of wheat as the 'subject' and the sea of wheat with the front wheat stalks as an 'accent' breaking a pattern of repetition. Also, the apparent 'organization' of these three stalks against a cluttered background helps 'accent' them and set them apart.
Three Flowers:  One Just Wouldn't Cooperate
This high ISO photo (1600) taken at a dinner table in Germany illustrate use of selective depth of field to emphasize a subject. The choice to photograph 'three' flowers is in keeping with a long-standing theme in this work. The 'repetition' of the flowers is broken by the apparently non-cooperating flower, right corner.
Wipe That Smile Off Your Face!  (Secondary School Military Marcher)
This is a photo in which selective depth of field (here the middle ground) helps bring out a subject, the laughing marcher. This photograph uses the laughing marcher as an 'accent' to break the repetition of the heads and bodies of the uniformed marchers.
'The Battleship Potemkim Massacre' to An Exuberant Daughter -- Odessa's Steps
These famous and enormous steps in Odessa, Ukraine are repeating elements. The mother, and daughter, lower left, are accents that break (and emphasize) the repetition of the steps. They also help lend the steps scale, as do the background figures. (A partially-visible red building kiosk, right, was desaturated to avoid 'fighting with the drab colors overall and the redness of the skipping child.
Petrifying Forest I (Yellowstone National Park)
The brightness of the sun in the broken clouds, Yellowstone National Park, is repeated in the geyser brine, foreground, that is slowly killing these trees. The trees touch both heaven and earth, and the repetition of glare/brightness, even in its shape, helps tie the background to the foreground.
Portrait and Pattern
This young man, waiting for a bus in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine was framed by his umbrella. The radiating spokes of the umbrella, helped emphasize and bring attention to his head for effective framing. It is important to help incorporate props (derived in movie parlance from the word 'property') or whatever other elements are nearby to help frame a figure or otherwise complete a composition.
Picking Up the Pieces - Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King - Harlem
Martin Luther King was assassinated and there were riots in Harlem. This integrated cleanup group including a patrolman, are busy trying to help push back this building 'riot gate' so they can clean up, the day after a night of rioting, Manhattan, N.Y.
Petrifying Forest II, Trees Lose Battle With Geyser Brine
Hold The Doors!
Here, the action from foreground to background and the nature of the action ties the figures, foreground to the train they are running to catch, which is on a vanishing point. One's eye and brain completes this composition, as nothing else says this train's doors are about to shut, but the bain is certain that this ICE train in Munich, Germany is about to shut its doors and pull out of the station.
That Kid Always Gets Between Us! -- 
24 Hours In Fall
The juxtaposition or sandwiching of the elements of this photograph help tell a story, although one has to complete the story in one's own mind. It is important in photography to employ 'scene setters' such as this 'Airshow' poster, rear, to help place a photo such as this in context. Does this photo suggest affection, boredom, love, closeness, or some part of the universal human condition (accomodating children in a relationship)?
Swiss Banker in the Tetons
This Swiss Banker was bicycling from Yellowstone National Park to Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole, Wyoming by himself. He is framed here, using a telephoto lens, against the Grand Teton Mountains. These upthrust mountains, the most recent in the Rockey Mountain Chain are formed similarly to the Swiss Alps from his home country, but are markedly different in their climate/topography otherwise. Telephoto lens used to 'collapse' or place in juxtapositino, subject and background which were very distant from each other.
'Cape Perpetua, Oregon'
Monochromism brings this 'color' photo's foreground through background together for a whole. Helping tie the elements together, the camera was stopped down well below normal exposure, which showed blue sky and dark green, very reflective water, to capture the scene monochromatically, and in doing so, the atmospheric elements of haze over the water and clouds were all tied together. Cape Perpetua, Oregon
The Kiss
Sometimes the foreground is placed in context by the background. Here, this woman kissing her man, Denney's is aided in its surreal aspect by the starkness of a black and white conversion, the stark background, and the unexpected accent of the water figure, left, bringing water to the table at this (in)opportune time.
Who Left This Bowling Ball in the Derelict Boat in the Front Yard?  -- Rainy Winter Afternoon and...
This photo is about several things. One is about the surreal, as illustrated by its caption. This is an 'oddball' photo, and she is carrying the 'odd' 'ball', a bowling ball found in the front yard of this Moss Landing, CA structure. The helpful colors tie and contract the background with the foreground and were what attracted the photographer first in this rainstorm photo. Saturation, after all, refers to the changed state of the color of objects as their chemical composition, with the addition of OH (hyroxide) from rain, changes, usually to more intense colors. This unenhanced photo illustates the use of filling the frame with the 'subject' including its interesting (or the color and texture) background.
Before the Curtain Rises
High ISO capability of today's digital cameras helps make hand-held photos otherwise impossible within reach of ordinary photographers carrying a camera. Here the camera was stopped down and a well-braced photographer caught the curtain in a theater before it rose, with the repetition of the chairs, foreground, framing the distant, colorful curtain.
Fall (and the reason for the name)
On a stormy, rainy day in Oregon, all the leaves came off these trees at Portland, Oregon's Jantzen Beach. A strong bisecting diagonal adds dynamism to this photo, tying foreground to background. The yellow of the leaves is repeated in the yellow of the hydrant.
The Fire:  First Responders in the Building Discuss Their Exploits (fireman and cop)
This photojournalism photo of a fireman and a policeman, both first responders to a fire (the fire captain, foreground entered a blazing multi-story apartment building multiple times even surrounded by flames). Selective depth of field brings out the 'hero' against a patrolman who reported the fire. The photo is framed so the element of 'heads' repeats, but one is more dramatized than the other by selective depth of field. (See Also the photo 'Mr. Hemingway, meet . . . uh . . . Mr. Hemingway' which is similar in a different context.
Life:  Movies vs. Reality -- 'Funny and Charming'@-j-c-n
The sign, background, serves more than one purpose. It sets the tone for the photo, with its written message 'Funny and Charming' and the poster figures seem to be both having 'fun' and to be 'engaging'. That's in contast to the foreground figures, not one of whom seems either to be having fun or to be 'engaged' in or by anything. This photo illustrates how to create contrasts through juxtaposition.
Street Vendor -- and Polygon
This is a photo about geometric shapes in which a human figure, the vendor, is an 'accent'. The building front and the vending cart top with its geometrically laid out orange juice containers creates a geometric composition. The accent, of course, is the vendor, whose attention, elsewhere, does not detract too much. (If he were looking at the camera, the geometry of this photo would be overpowered, it was felt and other frames bore that out.)
Storm Surf, Pt. Lobos (Monterey County) California**
This is a photo about using the foreground to emphasize and contrast with the background by juxtaposition. The juxtaposition was achieved by using a 200 mm. telephoto lens on a ditital camera (effective focal length or film =300 mm). Drama is achieved by making it appear that this couple, seaside is extremely close to the giant, crashing wave, left.
Birds and Reflections, Elkhorn Slough, CA
This is a photo in which the vanishing line of the diminshing size 'piles' ties the foreground, left, to the approaching background, right. Repetition is achieved by finding a bird on each pile (naturally and unenhanced with PS). Question: Would this have been a stronger photo if just one bird, an accent, were alighting or descending onto one piling with its wings extended fully?
Life: Movies V. Reality ('Funny & Charming') (B & W Version--Please View Large to Read Poster...
The poster, rear, is essential to this composition. It states (click on it) 'Funny and Charming' and the poster figures seem both to be having 'un' and to be 'engaged' contrasted to the foregound figures. This is a simple desaturation, which has lost detail in the woman, left, which was present through the use of unusual lighting of her skin, in the color version.
Down and Out at 2:00 A.M. II (Zims)
Here the rectangular frame does NOT capture the entire photo. This down and out man and his dogs, left, is accented by the man, right who is peering 'off frame' effectively engaging the viewer to attempt to follow his gaze past the frame's edge, a seldom-used photographic device, which suggests that the photo does not capture ALL of the subject, yet the photograph holds together without the unseen, extraneous element he is viewing.
Billboard and Man (B & W ed.)
This Black and White version of 'Billboard and Man probably will be the most enduring and successful recent photo. This man, looking upward and laughing/smiling is tied together with the advertising poster behind him because of the various aspects of his/their face(s).

His face is up, the poster face is front and down. He is smiling, the poster face is obviously more intent. His mouth is open, likewise the poster face. The lighting on the poster figure and the man, are almost identical, suggesting that the man and poster were essentially photographed as a whole, rather than separately.

Note the use of the vanishing point, left to right and the inclusion of all the words of the sign 'Red Passion'.

The Wedding Kiss (Choices . . . Choices)
This is a photograph in three planes. The most important plane is the subject, the bridal couple with the groom examining his cell phone which just rang as he was in the midst of his 'wedding kiss' and illustrates his (and his new bride's) dilemma over what to do with a ringing phone (and how he resolved this, as he is reading a text message). The background, a man standing, and the structures down below on Odessa, Ukraine's waterfront on the Black Sea, place this photo in context. (Well worth the wait, and following this couple around.)
Smiles in Bangkok
This is another in a series of photos/portraits in which one subject, nearer the camera is isolated by selective depth of field, while mirrored (here laughing/smiling) by the rearward face. There are two other examples of such dual portraits, using selective focus, in this presentation at present. This is one of two in which a foreground face partialy obscures the background face, a device in itself, as it forces the mind to 'complete' the face, background.
Everything In Place/The Precise Moment
This is a photo about tying background to foreground not only through the use of (1) repeating elements -- the cooking utensils in this Bangkok, Thailand photo, but also through (2) the vanishing point of the alleyway, walkway and (3) through the captured action that places the motorcyclist in his precise location and the two women nurses?) in a similar, precise location for precise compositional success.
This Is MY Man!
There were competing elements with other figures in other crops of this photograph. This is an example of tying two figures, one a statue, and one a man (mirrored figures) together by suggesting the statute's gesture somehow is presenting or 'picking' the standing man, or a bit of whimsy. Place, top of Odessa's steps overlooking the Black Sea harbor on a foggy, winter day.
'Wheelchair Dreams'
This successful photograph uses the whole element of the mural, background to suggest that the passing motorized wheelchair figure is somehow related to the message being proclaimed by the mural figures. Entitled 'Wheelchair Dreams' it can suggest to some that it represents 'freedom' or the man, but to those in Eastern Europe or other countries, it may suggest that with his motorized wheelchair, this crippled man is already 'freed'. How you view it may reflect your culture, its prosperity, and how it views 'handicapped' people. Of course the twin subjects are mutually interdependent and singly they would be without photographic merit/that comes only through the juxtaposition and the precise placement of wheelchair rider. (Single shot capture -- no motor or continuous drive) Photographed through broken traffic in less than 1/2 second framing.
Civic Pride -- Civic Shame (Bag Lady)
Civic Pride suggests the mural, background, yet the woman, below and closer to the camera, is a 'bag lady' carrying her possessions in a vinyl bag, suggesting 'civic shame' for a juxtaposition that suggests social comment.
Movie Goer Awaits the Midnight Movie
This photo is not only surreal, the spotlight on the Bobby Darin figure (portraited by Kevin Spacey) in the poster is in the shape of a triangle. That triangle shape is repeated in the shape of the seated and leaning figure beneath, for a mirroring that is more complex because it is reversed.
Cylists In the Desert
This is another double portrait, using selective depth of field, showing two aging motorcyclists stopped as they traverse the Nevada Desert in late summer/early fall with their girlfriends. This is just one more example of a double portrait with the second, rearmost and mirroring figure, somewhat thrown out of focus by selective depth of field.
Firehole River, Bridges to Hot Pool, Yellowstone National Park
The use of the 'S' curve is well-documented in photographic composition texts and often referred to. It is helpful to recognize when a modification of an 'S' curve is present.

Here, the 'Z' figure formed by the bridge structure performs the same function as an 'S' curve more commonly written about.

The strenth of an 'S' or a 'C' curve (or reverse) is that it leads the viewer's eye from front to back. Here patience was required to capture the figures in symmmetry to the bridge/walkway structure.

Vendor in Chualar (Salinas Valley), CA
This is an environmental ('street') photo/portrait of a corn ear vendor in a Salinas Valley town called Chualar. Note that his rightmost hat line continues the line of the building with 'liquor' written on it, and helps tie the foreground to the background.
The Kiss ** *@-j-c-n
A kiss is an interesting subject, but made more interesting by juxtaposing this Saturday night couple against a more distant theater marquee, background. A moderate telephoto lens on digital camera was used to capture these dimly lighted subjects at high ISO (1600).
Seaside Symmetry With Five Pedestrians (B & W)
This is a photo that should be blown up very large to be understood. There are five, equally-spaced figures on the bridge walkway between the two boats. They are framed by three boats top, left and right, and bounded by their bridge, bottom.
Seaside Symmetry With Pedestrians II (Color)**
This color photo, similar to the B&W photo above, also should be viewed extremely large. The same ships bound two figures, each equidistant from his/her framing ship, capturing symmetry out of life's randomness.
Refreshing Pause on the Street
Any viewer of this site will recognize that women make stimulating photos, and that pretty women draw the attention not only of heterosexual males, but also of a larger number of females than most males expect (comparing and judging against themselves/family/friends, perhaps). This candidaly captured photo, almost too good to be true, captured in an Easern country, shows not one but two beautiful women, both drinking Cokes. (The woman, left, was contacted, shown this photo, and appears in other photos that were less extemporaneous and is not a friend.)
The Bus Station -- Please View Large **
The young bus traveler, playing an arcade-type game in this bus station, was essential to the surreal quality of this capture, even her knit hat.

Her seat could be a bus driver's seat, so similar is its shape (she is playing a driving game). The viewer's eye is almost forced to wander from the foreground figure to the background with the couple, background, touching and the woman adjusting her glasses. Even reflections of clothing colors off the metal walls help tie this photo together, as well as the reflections on the polished floor.

Sasha -- The Taxi Driver**
This post-midnight photo, available light at ISO 1600, show Sasha the taxi driver consulting a map under his 'dome' light in his more modern auto in Kiev, Ukraine, with the outdoors lighted by street lights in Kiev's old district -- for context. A good illustration of why one should carry a camera at all times.
Gloaming on the River Dnieper
This photo is about subtle, near monochromatic colors and repetition. The repetition is from the gentle wind carrying the smoke from the smokestack, rear and the smoke from the tour boat on the Dnieper River in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine both in the same direction and with about the same arc, one below the other for a pleasing composition.

The post sundown colors are subtle and almost monochromatic and highly un-saturated.

Sunrise Over the River Dnieper
This is a sunrise nearly a year earlier over the same river, the River Dnieper from a hotel balcony, also showing subtle shades of salmon reflected from the sky into the water, with subtle haze/fog over the city as moisture rise during the late Spring/early Summer morning.
Bite the Bird!
This is what the French call a trompe l'oeil. (mistake of the eye, or an optical illusion).

Actually the sea lion and bird are on separate docks. Only skillful camera positioning and quick movements by me holding a 80~200 mm camera allowed me to place these two figures in juxtaposition, just as the sea lion barked (and thus had his mouth open) while at the same time the bird walked by on a rear dock, giving the 'illusion' the bird was being bitten by the sea lion.

If you look at the caption it is an 'imperative' and does not purport to be a description -- and thus is NOT a misrepresentation. Heh, heh, heh.

Light at the Top of the Stairs
This is a case of silhouetting by juxtaposition. The light which silhouettes this man, standing at the top of Odessa, Ukraine's famous and enormous harborside steps (pictured during Eisenstein's movie 'Battleship Potempkin Massacre') is on a building across the broad street across the way from the top of the steps.

Note that half the frame, almost, is devoted to pure black (negative space) which is unusual in photography, and highlights the subject even more.

Care had to be taken to have the man's body block out most of the light behind him to avoid too much glare.

Shopping Frenzy!
There are two sets of devices in this photograph. I was interested in capturing the 'action' and not able to analyze all the elements of a good photograph, but knew it would be good because I saw it in my viewfinder.

The stripes in the pants lend a snake-like appearance to the jumble of pants, foreground.

The pawing shoppers, looking for a bargain, are organized in an arc around the 'sale' table as they pic through these 'then-fashionable' trousers, and the two effects combine for an overall composition that is richer than the sum of the two devices used separately.

'Balloon Man'  -- My First Post Here (Photo, 1969)
This is the best photo I ever could hope to take, and I knew it from the moment I pressed the shutter release, but failed miserably in color, taken with a 2-1/4 inch camera, same subject.

Reason: The balloons, actually balloons within balloons bearing Mickey Mouth figure balloons within a larger, outer balloon with a great big smile, contrast with his round-shaped head, also about the same size.

In color, however, these similarities were destroyed, as each balloon was a different color, and some were multi-colored, and he was dressed in drab clothes while the balloons were bright, so the color photos were decidedly unmemorable and/or competely forgettable.

Of course, his look tells everything: he's unhappy to be selling ballons -- what kid or parent would want to buy a 'happy balloon' from such a dejected man?

Rooftops, Columbia University, NYC
This is a photo about repetition through juxtaposition.

These three cupolas across distant (from each other) buildings on Columbia University's campus were brought together through foreshortening, using a moderate telephoto and a 2x tele-extender (doubler), stopped down to avoid vignetting. (Such lenses are mostly good in old time in strong lighting situations.

The progression, right foreground, left middle ground, center background, leads the eye through the photograph turning a simple subject into a more pleasing one than it may appear at first glance.

Walls and (dilapidated) Rooftops of Odessa, Ukraine
This is what rooftops, ancient walls and backyards of harborside Odessa, Ukraine look like from a bridge/overpass near harborside -- click through to see a Star of David etched on a wall, upper right.

Static ruins can make interesting photographic subjects, although a person on the distant balcony would have added greatly to the photograph's interest -- and imagine the force if it were two lovers kissing . . . or more . . . thinking themselves unseen!

Portrait of McDonald's Customer (Best View Large)
Click through and view this photo 'large' and see the man in the rear-view mirror, his bearded head resting on his chin as he ponders the multiple menu choices at this McDonalds in southwestern Washington state, just north of the Columbia River junction near Longview early one morning at breakfast time.
The Fire, The Rescuer, Top, Surveys the Inferno
Acting fire caption, Danny (last name unknown) crawled the hotel fire, rear, several times, walking into blazing rooms with his protecting gear surrounded by flame and rescuing residents.

As acting caption, he surveys and directs the efforts to cool the out-of-control flames which gutted the building (its superstructure was 'saved' at least economically, as the ground was worth a great deal of money).

Note that the 'subjects' 'fill' the frame, as does the fire and its glow, leaving no doubt that this is a major blaze.

The Fire:  Waiting to Tear Out the Hot Spots
At a large fire, firemen from a large area were brought in as local firemen fought the blaze to embers. These backup firemen were awaiting nervously their task of pulling apart smoldering walls, doors, rooms and hidden spaces to extinguish blaze leftovers and smoldering spots to ensure they didn't again erupt in flames. The figure of the fireman, foreground, is repeated over and over in the line of seated firemen, rear. Repetition is a vital element of this photo, as well as selective depth of field, made necessary by nighttime avaiable light shooting and thus a large aperture.
Rain by the Bucketsful!
A woman with an umbrella during a downpour says 'rain'.

A car, rear, throwing water off it, says rain and possible flooding as it was there that day in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Three Million Dollars of Training -- 
24 Hours In Fall
These three young military pilots fly the 'Warthog' anti-tank aircraft which flies log and slow, and is highly maneuverable for tankbusting warfare.

I think this photo has a Picasso-esque effect -- essentially three different views of the same figure, taken from three different angles, as each pilot is interchangeable with the others. John

They are a demonstration team for airshows and as such are highly cleancut, equally handsome, each has th same build and generally look, and complementery charisma -- the 'best the US has to offer'

Summer Storm,  Grand Tetons
This also is a photo about repetition, but so subtle it may not be recognized.

The sun, bursting through the clouds, center top, forms the shape of a mountain 'peak' right above the main 'peak' of the Teton Mountains in Wyoming, Teton National Park.

Empty Cupboard/Full Cupboard
This is a study in contrasts. These two stall vendors in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine seem to be having varying prosperity.

You can not swell what you do not have, and the woman, left, appears to have her 'stock' wiped out.

Sometimes juxtapositions can be side by side or other ways, and not always front to rear, or diagonally.

Saleswoman and Ware
The scarves were wonderfully beautiful at this Hermes shop at Frankfurt International Airport Duty Free Shops, and the saleswoman sufficiently severe.

The task was to move about quickly as she moved about in the store to create a pleasing juxtaposition by framing her silhousette in front of one of the beautiful trademark/copyright scarves, properly showing her outline.

This is a classic 'juxtaposition' photograph, used to achieve an aesthetic end.

Potential Ukrainian Brides Meet American Suitors (It's Not What You Think!)
What may appear to be staged sexuality actually is two Ukrainian women, celebrating Valentine's at a get-acquainted party with American suitors - drawing (with marker pen in their mouths) a Valentine's heart on a 'pad' held by each man. (The man, right, is a genuine American cowboy who makes his home in the desert north of Reno, Nev., and who works also in Eastern California's high desert.
After School Is Out**+ *@-j-c-n
Repetition and joie de vivre (joy of living) dominates this photo of two irrepressible, after-school children just after their release from class).

A subtheme of 'feet' and lower legs might be warranted, as the boys' legs are caught in full stride, the piano player is caught with legs separated while playing, and symbolic figures, top, are cropped to display their 'running' characteristics.

Before the Kiss
There is a brief moment before most kisses where the kising couple 'targets' each other before the liplock' to ensure that a tactical advantge is had, as here.
Mating Rituals
This actually is a giant 'X' interrupted at night by cityside features in Strausberg,. France.

The young lovers on this mall, once a street, would mean little if they were cropped out of the photo as a whole instead of being shown in context of the shops and passersby in this night scene.

Sad Eyes of the Street Vendor**+
This sad-looking woman, probably beaten down by working at a job 6 or 7 days a week, 50 or more weeks a year (part-time), trys to sell original art at streetside sales in Kiev, Ukraine in an artist's district.
Where the Tears Fall**
Sometimes the parts stand for and tell about the whole. Clowns are said to laugh on the outside and cry inside. Here the 'tears' actually are on the legs of the clown's pants, accounting for the title, although I truly didn't see them until after the photo was titled and posted.
Sailboat Stern -- Detail (Compass, Tiller and Decoration)**+ *
Ukraine Rooftops
This unusual roof, Odessa, Ukraine, viewed from a nearby bridge, leads from foreground to background, and provides an unusual, interesting and somewhat geometric view into a part of of 'foreign' life that travelers seldom stumble across.

Interspersal of roof featurres helps draw the viewers' eyes from foreground to background aided by the reddish joint lines which tie together the structure elements, also foreground to background.

The Bar Scene (Miss Apple Valley, First Runnerup)**
The 'subject' of this photo, 'Rosie' who asked her photo be taken, was surprised when, instead of being pressented with a 'head shot' she was shown in context of the bar she was in and all its patrons, including the man next to her, schmoozing with the patron next to him, although out of focus.

Her radiant smile and sparkling eyes, neverthless dominate the photo, but the happy custoomers embibing in front and in back of her along a curbed bar (accented by an 'exit' sign overhead give this photo a strong 'environmental' touch.

Tijuana Poverty Trap -- Trap of Death
This much older photo, showing a slum in the bed of the Tijuana River which later flooded killing hundreds, shows the ramshackle construction, but a (then) late-model car's front just sticking into the photo, for time context.

The slanted leg of the bored looking child at the doorway atop the rudimentary wooden steps (railless) is echoed in the akimbo building foundation, which also leans, lower front and left, for an unusual mirroring. This photo has drawn an unexpected number of viewers. Mexican Federales threatened this photographer with arrest for taking it, but threat of an international incident over their threats averted the arrest and backed them off.

Waiting for the Midnight Movie --  Reverse Mirroring
(B&W Ed.)
This photo, taken in color and converted to Black and White, is about triangle shapes and mirroring.

The triangular spotlight which focuses on Bobby Darin's character played is echoed or mirrored by the shape of the midnight movie goer sitting underneath, whose body shape also is a triangle, but interestingly a reverse triangle -- for a different sort of 'mirroring' -- a split reversal.

Craning For Position**
Geometric forms sometimes add great weight to otherwise ordinary photographs. Here, I waited for 30-45 minutes until these two concrete washers in their booms not only placed them in a fortunate juxtaposition, but the workers reached out in an identical fashion. Here, the building forms a sort of canvas on which the workers are forming their art, or as a form of lightness against which they are semi-silhouetted -- a necessary element to the success of this photograph.
Nude Clock
A plastic-wrapped woman, otherwise nude is odd enough, and with a clock with two hands, off-center both hands hanging down, is definitely 'odd'.

This 'oddness' is placed in perspective when one realizes it is taken in a 'thrift shop' or 'junk shop' by looking at the array of 'vintage' articles behind her (although it stil doesn't explain why she's wrapped in plastic, or why she's smiling and the clock is frowning -- questions you'll have to answer for yourself.

El Cora Zon Barrio (Assassination of Robert Kennedy Reflected in the Barrio)
Bobby Kennedy was a hero to Puerto Rican Americans in New York's Spanish Harlem and Sirhan-Sirhan had just assassinated him in Los Angeles.

This is the scene during an outdoor neighborhood funeral process in New York's Spanish Harlem, with a sign that says 'El Corazon Barrio' (Heart of the Barrio -- Spanish Neighborhood, where Bobby and his assassinated brother Jack Kennedy, also shown on this cross, were idolized.

Buildings and fire escapes with sky, place this unusual, makeshift cross and outstretched hands outside on the street. (Published New York Times)

Poultry dinner, hanging in three, Temple Street, Hong Kong
Jetty Fishing, Moss Landing, CA
This is a photo about a 'jetty' and its relationship to fishermen and water. It also is a photo about strong lines and composition, with a man and his son as 'accents' in what appears at the distance.

At the mouth of the former Salinas river, Moss Landing, CA., this jetty is composed of giant boulders and a concrete pathway for fishermen to get to the end, together with a navigation light and horn array.

Gray predominates, just as the Central California Coast so often is 'socked in' by fot in late spring and summer months, aided by weather flowing over cool Pacific waters.

The Fire:  Pouring Water from the Ladder
This nighttime photo of firefighters at work with a giant extension ladder shows them pouring water on flames by remote control.

Notice placement of figures in foreground, followed by filling the middle and distance with subject also, causing the viewers' eyes to survey and linger over this photo.

The Fire: Directing Water Spray by Remote Control
This is a second photo, similar in content to the one above, but with stronger action, and more intensive flames.

Here, the fireman can be seen directing the remote control ladder and nozzle over the flames of the building roof which is fully engulfed and the figures -- fireman, latter and building form a sort of triangle.

View from the Windowsill
The Germans delight in small, classy touches -- here a tea creamer and sugar and a succulent on the window sill of a hotel dining room, second floor.

The photo has context by including the outside, with its view of a typical north German building, a bar, and an advertisement for a 'name' German beer.

Uncontrollable Laughter before Class -- Muenchen (Munich) (Notice cross-racial/cross-ethnic...
Time On Her Hands!
A stylish woman in attractive garb, sitting inspecting her hands, suggests she has 'time on her hands' and indeed she does, but why?

Including the railroad tracks, background, gives a vital clue, so the photo can stand alone.

Photographic great Elliott Erwitt spent much of his professional career watching and capturing people's hands -- he believed they were tell-tale indicators of people's minds.

16,000 Tons, Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt (Locomotive in Budapest)
A portrait of a locomotive engineer, especially one out of traditional uniform has little merit, unless he's seen in relation to the mass of his giant locomotive.

It is not necessary to show the entire locomotive, as one can show only a portion, and its relationship to the engineer, as here, to get a sense of the enormous scale of such an 'engine'. Budapest's Keleti (international) train station.

Mailboxes -- Ocean Kayak
A Little
Portraying this man, a little 'stiff' from imbibing would have been little problem, but portraying him in relationship to both tables allowed a chance to portray him as he was, simply 'frozen' into his pose, as he had been even before spied by the photographer. (One is a table, the other the menu, printing on each desaturated slightly to allow them to 'mirror' each other.)
Bent neck; Snap Straight; Swoosh of Head Into Water; Water Drops in the Air; and a Fish to Swallow!
A Portrait Beyond Blue**+
Here, the subject, a portrait of Madonna on the top of an umbrella, is hidden behind a second, much larger and rainsoaked umbrella, Kiev, Ukraine.

This is one of several instances in which the viewer's eye is directed to the background subject by the presence of a nondistinct (sometimes out of focus) foreground object). Here the foreground umbrrella 'mirrors' the more distant background umbrella.

'I'm So BIG!'
Circles and Arrows (Pointed Shoes and Circular Fruit and Bags)
Tripping in the Rain
Alms On Church Steps -- Munich
This is a photo about 'positive' and 'negative' space, in a photographic sense.

Photographically, negative space is 'empty' and often 'black' space, as appears behind this unfortunate man in front of a large, medievel church in Munchen (Munich) Germany.

The church structure, left, is an example of positive space, and represents something 'positive' in life. This man, right, sits in a bisected area, but he has chosen not only a step to sit on, but one in which he is shrouded by darkness or 'negative space' -- perhaps symbolically representing his plight in life.

A Metaphor, Not Just a Song Title?
Mixed Message (I Love You?)
Newly Renovated Rooms for Old Souls -- San Francisco Long Before Any Real Estate Boom
This is a photo with two aspects to its 'subject'. This 'subject' here is 'old age' and SRO (single room occupancy) hotels, in which the aged lived in San Francisco (and still do).

The sign in the window is the main indicator of the 'subject', advertising what the photo is 'about'.

Looking into the photo, one views a row of older men, lined up in chairs against a wall, whiling their time, experiencing certain boredom and awaiting more certain death, as they gather in the lobby. (Window reflections reveal an urban theatre across the street -- but not the photographer, interestingly)

A Close Shave -- 
24 Hours In Fall
Throwing Dough (high) -- 
24 Hours In Fall
Buddy, Got a Light?
This is a photo about two men in an environment unique to San Francisco, whose steep hills cause sidewalks to have steps placed in them.

The two men, one lighting a cigarette for another, are placed off center, and are seated on a step of the sidewalk. Without more, this would be a rather empty photo.

However, the wall next to them contains a rather interesting graffito, and the photo extends past the end of the wall to the intersection with the next sidewalk and reveals the building front as well -- thus balancing the photo -- and filling in compositional space that otherwise would be 'blank'.

Love on the Banks of the Dnieper -- Twenty-Four Hours In Spring
It may not be immediately apparent, but this uncritiqued photo is a large triangle, formed by the breakwater, left, and the bridge, top.

Triangles are dynamic figures and lend dynamism to otherwise static scenes, and whenever a photographer, seeking to create dynamism in a photo, can incorporate a strong diagonal (as here) and create a triangle in the composition, as here, the composition becomes stronger.

This also is a photo about the vanishing point, with subjects placed at the start of the line which leads down the vanishing point -- out of sight -- right, with 'mirroring' of other lovers and fishermen spread out down the breakwater/fence.

This might work equally well or better as a black and white composition.

Rooftops, Odessa
Nicotine Infusion Before the Flight
The anxiety of traveling is amplified among the tobacco-addicted. Here, at Vienna's Strauss airport, two travelers suck in big drags (while their daughter watches) before boarding an international flight while seated in a 'smoking' restaurant. (such restaurants now mostly have been outlawed, but this photo is only two years old at this writing.)
Time's Almost Up
The parking meter, foreground has a red flag up, indicating that metered space is 'expired' -- an apt symbol also for the man, whose hand is draped over the meter, and somewhat in the background.

The draped hand and arm tie the foreground expired meter to the the man, a homeless man (bum), whose time in life and whose purpose also symbolically (and maybe actually) are 'expired' or near expiration -- thus the arm ties the near foreground with the near background and relates the 'expired' elements together -- man and meter.

'An' He Cheated On Me . . . !'
This is a photo in which the background serves two purposes.

As above, the young woman is seated at the apex of the line which leads to the 'vanishing point' -- the line of the counter, if extended, would continue on to a vanishing point.

Moreover, the young woman is seated to the side of the center of the frame and thus offset to the left, creating imbalance, while the counter continues to draw the eye to the rear of the restaurant.

At a separate level, this is an environmental photograph, the young waitress on break, seated with her meal at the counter nearest the front, with the entire kitchen visible in the background, chef working away under kitchen and restaurant lights.

Of course, her expression is the major subject of this photo, but here it does NOT occur in a vacuum.

Expiration Is Creeping Up Behind
This is the second photo on the same theme -- expiration of the parking meter, foreground and a 'used-up' figure (literally 'expired' or 'expiring') in the near background, all with a different view.
'Little Celeste'
This popular photograph taken with a very wide angle lens is a portrait of young Celeste AND her book, and because it's or both of them, the eye must travel between the two subjects.

At the same time, this also is an environmental photo. Celeste is atop a barber chair in a barber shop, with barber/beauty shop apparatus and accoutrements in the background, so when one looks at the red chair on which she is leaning, one realizes it is not an ordinary chair and looks to the background for confiramtion, it's a 'hair salon' -- for a surprisingly popular and complex portrait.

The Minor Leagues**+ *
The man and the woman, more foreground, are on one plane, and the man's posture is most interesting.

They are superimposed over interesting wall graphics on the side of a San Francisco bar, with one part illustrating a picture throwing a ball, much as a male 'pitches' to a female a 'line', and its bar context is clear from the neon beer signs in the widow behind the woman.

Cooperative Kids (for now)
This boy and girl, shown fighting in another photo, are all hugs in this photo, holding each other tight so they don't fall off this narrow bookstore stool.

Their twin figures contrast against the texture of the background, which forms an intersection behind them, of the books on bookshelves, filled with books with interesting titles.

'I LOVE My Dog'
Affection often is expressed in private, although women seeking 'Matches' sometimes advertise for men who aren't afraid of 'public displays of affection'.

Apparently, based on the background -- a side street while standing on a curb, this man truly believes in public displays of affection for his dog, which he cinched up from the hind quarters for a huge hug as he waited for a light to change. (Wags refer to this photo as one in which the man is *having sex with his dog* which patently is untrue -- he clearly was showing affection for his pooch and nothing more -- nothing sexual was observed ;~))

Wall Art
Color is the theme of this photograph, as well as interesting 'wall art'. This open-mouthed mannequin which enjoyed popularity from Thailand to Israel to the U.S., shows up here in San Francisco's famed 'North Beach' in a shop, covered with red and juxtaposed against a very colorful background.
High Sagebrush Desert to the Comstock -- A Lacrimonious Tribute to the Lost Children
In general, this is what a winter snowstorm that has passed over California's Sierra Mountains where the moisture has been sucked out of it, appears at it crosses the Nevada high desert in Northern Nevada. Here, foreground, is sagebrush high desert, and in the background, are the Virginia Mountains (of Bonanza and Virginia City fame) rising thousands of feet into the sky, framed by storm clouds and one 'lenticular' cloud -- a rare cloud of compression which takes on a circular shape.
Church and State (Is the Alarm Ringing?)
Separation of Church and State is promised (in governmental action at least) in the U.S. Constitution, but has been a subject of controversy by the religious and those who would keep politics and religion separate -- almost from the start. Here an Episcopal Church in San Francisco, in 1969, shows both the cross and the American flag (perhaps an anti-hippy protest) In between is an alarm bell -- perhaps an apt symbol for those would usurp that separateness.
Two Words:  'Lap Dancers'
J'Ai Quatre-vingt Sept Ans (I am 87 Years Old)
One of several Paris Metro photos in this presentation, this woman, clad in dark clothes which show black here, is framed here beneath the Metro stop's name -- Chatelet. Two signs, one in black on white and the other in white on black, indicate her direction of travel (see right).
Strawberry Fields (and Plastics) Forever II
Symmetry can be an important element in composition. Here three farm workers (two erect framing a bent center one) tend newly-planted strawberry fields near Watsonvile, California -- the new plants covered by sheltering plastic, which occupies a big place in such American agriculture. This photo was taken in winter months, as strawberries are planted in the fall for early Spring picking.
Compare and Contrast**+@j-c-n
This is a photo of symmetry, assymetry and composition. If relative size indicates society's values about the relative importance of pretty young women versus women of 'a certain age' this photo is an accurate depiction of that, with the young (poster) woman being presented much larger than her older cohort. Yet, despite the seeming dissimilarity of size, there is composition (a rising line from lower left to upper right for a diagonal) as well as symmetry between the two women -- both red hair dressed in almost identically colored garments.
Life:  Movies vs. Reality (Ole)**+ *@-j-c-n
This is an unlikely trio. The two celebrating men in the background are from a poster advertising the movie 'Ole' starring Girard Depardieu (right) and Gad Elmaleh (center). The leftmost of the trio, the baldheaded man, happened to be waiting for a Parisian bus -- one can imagine that he's going home to a wife who is not satisifed with his 'station' in life, and even that he lacks the pizazz of the figures behind him, as he trudges through the routines of everyday life.
The Joke (color edition)**+
This photo, featuring 'three' and 'one' shows a young man, beer in hand, reacting to a 'joke' from his compatriots. Wall graffito behind was carefully placed within the frame to bridge the separation between the young men (and to ensure that it was not cut off which might have made the scene incomplete.)
'Heartbreaker':  Seeing Eye Dogs Have Their Limits
This is a photo with a story and 'mirroring'. The woman's shirt reads 'Heartbreaker' and that's just the point of this photo. The man, with seeing eye dog, has no conception there's a photo of a pretty girl to his right, as the dog can only guide his physical body -- and he is sightless. The mirroring occurs in the colors of this photo. The woman is clas in white, yellow and blue. The train, which passes in a blur, also is white, yellow and blue.
The essence of this photograph is in 'mirroring' -- here between the horn player in the statute, rearward, and gthe man with the water bottle held to his mouth, in the foreground.
The License Plate Guy
This is a photo about perspective -- here about 'unusual' perspective that is created when a wide angle camera is held low and pointed up. Here, a man who collects license plates from many places, is shown with his collection posted on the wall of a shack in Virginia City, Nevada. Note the the strong perspective forced by the wide angle lens makes the license lates, foreground, appear to be much larger than those just a little farther away. This also is a photo about lines -- especially the strong diagonal caused by framing the man so his arm and short folds bisect the photo -- giving it a dynamic appearance.
Sous Chef, Chinese Restaurant, San Francisco
This is a photo of a Chines sous chef -- an assistant chef in a famous Chinese restaurant. The photo's appeal is increased by the play of interesting colored lights on the stainless steel backdrop to the kitchen cooking surfaces. San Francisco, California.
Rues de Paris (Streets of Paris)
This is a photo of 'threes'. Two backpackers on a Parisian street are in the background -- an elderly Parisian with 'stick' in the foreground. Each goes a separate way. Question: Is there a correct way, and does this photo raise questions about the gap between the ages?
Transport Energie (Parisian Youth Style)
Alternative transport has arrived: this younger man rides a scooter down a Parisian street to work. Background signs advertise 'transport' and 'energie' suggesting a theme for the photo.
Tour d'Eiffel par Nuit (Eiffel Tower by Night)**
Michel the Boatyard Worker
Merry Christmas:  Flight's Cancelled
Two Faces With Cracks: One Timeless and One With Time Running Out
Railways of Nevada's Times Past
This wide-angle photo, taken at an antique railroad restoration yard and museum at Virginia City, Nevada, features in the foreground at one angle, the rear of a caboose -- at onne time the required coach at the end of every train and which held the train crew.

In what seems to be far distance, an apparance magnified by the wide angle lens, at an intersecting angle, is an old-time passenger coach with a contrasting, dark color, a rusted boiler paralleling it at its side, all filling the frame. The emergency caboose brake is silhouetted agains the sky, also in the background, as is part of the caboose roof overhang.

Birds and the Belfry
This is a silhouette photo, featuring a church tower somewhere alongside the Seine's right bank in Paris, taken from a moving taxi.

Silhouette photos depend on background light and need not have more, but in this instance, the background light not only is luminous, it emanates from a series of overlapping clouds from which rays of sunlight shing toward treetops and the City of Light, with birds precisely placed for a most interesting accent.

Paris Metro Through My Camera**+
The 'theme' of this photo is the 'vanishing point'.

The 'subject' is partly the man, left, who is on a moving walkway similar to an escalator at a popular train/metro intersection in Paris, but more precisely it is the interplay between the man and the foreground/background -- the eye travels from the foreground, around the wall graphics, and eventually down the tunnel following the man's path.

This is a variation on use of the 'vanishing point' in photography. One may place a subject at the apex of the vanishing point in the distance, or in the foreground in front of the vanishing point; here, unusually a male figure (minor subject) is placed to the left of the vanishing point, and the foreground merging to the background vanishing point becomes the composition of the photo.

Sagebrush and Lenticular Clouds:  The Crest of Nevada's Virginia Mountains
This photograph, taken atop the Virginia Mountains of Nevada, a short distance from the pioneering mining town of Virginia City (home of the Cartwright Brothers of 'Bonanza' TV fame), employs the device of mirroring.

The 'mirroring' here, however, is not precise 'mirroring', and is not exact repetition, but is a theme: the rounded shape and 'softness' of the windblown (and long exposure) sagebrush in the foreground, is 'echoed' by the shapes of the 'lenticular' clouds in the sky, a cloud formation found primarily over mountains when fast moving air layers get 'squeezed' as they pass over the mountains.

Inna, the Cutter
Temptation in Thailand (Girls for Guys -- No Strings Attached) *@j-c-n
So-called 'hostesses' a one of Bangkok's Pat Pong Night Market notious bars are modestly dressed -- but the statues, left, with their devilish figures tell a more true-to-life story of what lies within (or so I am told -- I did not go inside). Such 'bars' go far beyond mere 'striptease, are notorious in Thailand, and are immortalized in the famous song 'One Night in Bangkok'.
Boat Brace and Sculpted Steel Hull
Here the foreground lines and textures of the boat brace and pad are in contrast to the sculpted bottom of a recently mechanically cleaned hull of a metal fishing boat.
Seatbelts?  Not For Us Dogs!  Woof!
A dog sticking his head out of a car window hardly would appear 'photo worthy' except when one considers placing it in context of not only the car, the driver (see rear view mirror) and the traffic ahead, left.
Fast Food Kids
These three 'obese' Mexican children represent a very real problem for immigrants' children from that southerly nation -- denying their 'wants' is seen as somehow 'wrong' especially 'food', even the most fattening food, and the result is helping boost the nation's obesity problem with resulting onset of childhood (adult onset) diabetes(weight related).

Notice how telephoto 'foreshortening' has caused these three kids to appear to be one physical structure -- in this case a pyramid. Although one member suggested this would make a good black and white photo, it 'failed' because the topmost child is dressed in black against a black background.

Curious Kids
Crawling for Cash
I am told (without verification of authentication, but from a reliable source), that this man was a minor hoodlum who offended Bangkok's organized criminals.

As punishment, they caused his leg to be amputated and daily they drop him off in a main tourist section, to crawl back and forth, begging, then pick him up at evening's end.

This photo was far too 'happy' as a color rendering, so it was 'desaturated' using 'channel mixer' in Photoshop. Notice the strong diagonal, upper left to lower right, the blurred feet of the pedestrians passing by, and the abundance of the sidewalk vendor. (He travels in a very slow time of his own - in fact a world of his own -- trapped forever, it appears, in a way that would surprise those stepping around him.)

A Disco Date With Mary Jane**
'Street' portrait subjects often merely 'tolerate' the camera and make no special concessions.

Here, as I tried to frame the front smoker, I was forced to move my body sideways any number of ways (making my subject wonder 'what's taking you so long?), as I waited for his companion not only to 'light up', but also to take an enormous drag on his MJ cigarette, background.

A 'double portrait' often can be far more interesting than a single one.

Riding the 'Sausage' (Hitching a Ride on a Tram) -- Twenty-four Hours in Spring
This 'tram' of several cars had long passed, I had spotted the kid on its rear, reached for the camera, adjusted the telephoto, zoomed in on him, then re-adjusted the zoom to a 'larger' view to make the capture contextual -- to show the child within the enormity of his circumstances -- tram, wires and buildings in background.
Last of Salmon Fishermen
A salmon fisherman on America's West coast -- certainly a dying breed -- looks Westward toward the setting sun. His beard and the appearance of fishing paraphernalia (radar done and lifeboat) in the background, give this enough of a nautical/fishing flavor, that this 'portrait' becomes contextual, and he becomes 'the last of the fishermen'.
I Love This Place
Out-of-focus bushes on a median strip of Van Ness Avenue serve to 'focus' the viewers' interest on the subjects of this photo, which one viewer -- trying to compliment, but unable to find the words, called 'poetry' in an image. This photo exists as the result of juxtaposing all the elements -- none of which alone would have been 'worthy' of a photo, but together in some inexplicable way somehow are 'appealing'.
Pizza Peppers, Parmesan and Passerby**+
Pizza Peppers and Parmasan Cheese in shakers on a wrought iron table surrounded by a wrought iron fence make a casually 'interesting' composition. Add a pair of legs walking by, and it becomes somewhat more interesting.
Ghosts on the Waterfront (Odessa)**
Some critics urged me to 'enhance the contrast' but that was the last thing called for in this photograph about 'fog', Odessa Harbor, Ukraine. Notice how the ferry and tug are placed in the upper right quadrant of this photo and the seagull connects the top two quadrants. The fogginess tells the story -- the ferry is literally disappearing into the distant cold over the Black Sea (Chernoye More).
The Wrath of Mom . . . Soon Befalls
The Red Room
This is a 'street scene' -- a photo depicting a stormy night scene outside Santa Cruz, California's 'bar where one goes to do serious drinking' - the 'Red Room' which has a long and famous history, beginning as the 'Santa Cruz Hotel Dining Room (no known hotel, however). Notice how the eye leads from the fallen-over bicycle, foreground, through the garrulous students at the door and even into the bar.
Red, Blue, White and Black**+
A melange of colors and a black man bending over, a white man bending over the opposite direction in the poster behind him, are the subjects of this minor photo, Park Avenue, New York City.
Why Is News Always Bad?
Black Power!!!
Although these militant black students at San Francisco State University who were protesting some forgotten cause around 1969 were marching toward me, I caught them as a 'group', and the photo survives as a group photo, almost as though posed.

Their looks dislay the enmity they, as blacks, tried to display toward a white photographer, me, a 'honky' (to use a term borrowed from I think author Tom Wolfe).

Street Jousting, With Tracery
Minor Composition in Relaxation -- Twenty-Four Hours In Spring
A planter box coupled wth a building wall, create a zig-zag on which this working man sits for a 'minor composition' in my representation of just one day in Spring. Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
Study in Sidewalk Sleeping
A man sleeping on a sidewalk is not of great interest -- there are far too many in San Francisco and they're a 'public nuisance'.

However, this slash of light paint on the 'rose' wall, leads directly to his foot for an element of 'style' for this otherwise mundane photo, giving it an aesthetic touch.

United States of Petroleum+
In a post-911 World where patriotism and oil seem to mix, one refinery has placed a semi-permanent US flag on its refining apparatus.

In view of claims by some that Big Oil somehow unduly influences US policy, this photo takes on an eery double meaning, surely unintended by the erectors of this giant flag.

Retail:  The Ideal and the Reality (B&W Ed.)
Retail: The ideal and the reality is the caption of this photo and for good reason. The man's cheap attire contrasts with the poster model's expensive and insouciant dress.

Another device in this photo is that of mirroring -- his hand as it is placed from his knee to his chin mirrors that of the left hand/arm of the model behind him -- a common element which ties them together. That is an element that might be 'seen' but not consciously by the viewer unless pointed out.

The Drunk and the Window Dancer
Stunningly beautiful dancer Sasha (Alexandera) was hired before Eastern Orthodox Christmas to dance in the window of Odessa, Ukraine's gift store, VerMeer, complete with theatre lighting.

She hadn't counted on this Russian alcoholic, probably off a ship in the nearby harbor, celebrating her dance with a mocking dance of his own, a bottle of alcohol in his left hand.

The People's Patriotic Party (Line)**+
Hotly-contested elections in Ukraine's mid-term election attracted 25 political parties including the People's Patriotic Party, which placed this poster near the train station/central bazaar of Odessa, Ukraine.

The cell phone user, left, wanted to avoid being photographed, and instead became an 'accent' who added compositoinal interest and scale to this photograph.

Ghost Railroad Curves in Nevada's Virginia Mountains
Curves are the subject of this minor photo, taken in Nevada's Virginia Mountains high over the Washoe Valley in which Reno is situated. Home of the famous Virginia City, railroads such as this hauled supplies to mines and minors in the 1800s and continued through probably the 1950s until they were phased on and went into disrepair.

Note the continuation of the curve of the abandonned train wheels, right corner, with the curve in the train tracks, upper left and rear, partially out of focus.

Guys, Feeling Uncertain About Your Sexuality?**+
This photo, taken in the Paris Metro, was taken at a slow shutter speed, which explains the 'blur' on the part of all other viewers than the man.

A puckish sense of humor suggests that if the male viewer is looking at the underwear-clad model in the advertisement, rear, and instead finds that the shaven-headed male, center bottom, continually is staring back instead, that the viewer should examine his own sexuality.<,p>

This is another example of a photo that is 'made' by placing placing two 'subjects' in juxtaposition, where neither alone would be worthy.

When the Wife's Not Looking (B&W ed.)
This not so highly rated but heavily viewed photograph shows the innate nature of the male of the species.

He and his wife were walking together and talking, within inches of me, and I was carrying an ultra-wide angle lens. I stopped down for widest depth of field and when she turned left, and he looked at the photo model on the billboard, distant, I snapped the shutter. This photo has been very popular with viewers, I think, because if reflects a powerful truth.

An exhibition of radiographs (x-rays) of fish, blown up adorned the walls of an airport terminal.

I saw a woman approaching down a pathway with an electric-powered walkway and framed the two together: the result -- a look and comment on 'Evolution' -- a photograph of subject and background where neither alone was a worthy subject and together they became worthy.

International Day of Women
This young women in Ukraine is celebrating the International Day of Women with her cigarette, a relatively new addition to the 'fashion' accessories of Ukraine women -- thanks largely to American and British tobacco advertising.

Her boyfriend, who is selling heart-shaped balloons for the widely-celebrated holiday at the city square, peeks over his balloons for a look, a 'hot dog' stand behind him ('hot dog' written in the Cryllic alphabet, common to Eastern Europe).

Woman in the Window, Odessa, Ukraine **
I was drawn to the inner courtyard of this ramshackle, but downtown apartment courtyard in Odessa, Ukraine, because of the interesting but rundown paint/plaster and its relationship to the paint on the window frames and the interesting curtains

Just as I raised my camera, a woman, who had observed me, at near noon, wearing her housecoat, swung open a lace curtain to observe me, making what was to have been an architecture/abstract photo into a people shot.

Kiosk Seller, Moscow (and her alter ego)
I took one test frame of this Moscow kiosk seller in a giant exhibition park, showed her in relationship to the poster behind her, she smiled at the juxtaposition, then I took another 38 shots, as she went about her work before I finally got this shot and moved on.

This kind subject, very distant from me and shot with a long telephoto, quickly saw the relationship of her to the young, beautiful model on the even more distant and out of focus poster, and liked the photo. Considerable work went into making this a 'composition' and not just a juxtaposition, with a strong diagonal dominating this capture.

Flower Seller On Cold Ukrainian Night**
Sometimes in composition it helps to make use of geometric forms that are in, on or around a subject.

Here, a flower seller, bundled agains the cold, is framed by building stones in front of a downtown building in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Note the symmetry of her placement with relationship to the stonework -- all intentionally framed.

A Glimpse and Gone
In the moment it took to frame and squeeze the shutter, this woman was a mysterious blur, and an interesting one.

'Next Customer!'    (Cleaning the Barber Chair)
A customer appears to 'step back' as the barber takes the 'bib' and sweeps the hair out of the barber chair.

Here, the entire scene, from the foreground barber, in semi-silhouette, customer, the window with its signs, and even the traffic and gas station merge across the planes of the photo to create the composition.

'Over the Edge' (Photographing Bryce Canyon, Utah)**
The photographer, left, is the 'subject' -- at least one of the subjects -- of this scenic photographic of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

Here the photographer's tripod foot is within an inch or so of the canyon's edge, and he is in danger of a misstep's sending him tumbling hundreds of feet to a certain death. The photographer, canyon and dramatic sky all are a combined series of subjects in this 'fisheye' landscape.

This giant mural adorns a wall in Hollywood, California. I was focusing on it, waiting for possible 'opportunities' regarding passersby, when this kid with skateboard not only came scooting by, but the front of his skateboard hung up on the edge of a sidewalk elevator/steel door to a basement, throwing him off balance, right in front of Marilyn Monroe. I couldn't have planned it better. This is a full-frame capture, after some slight 'rotation' to account for unwanted camera tilt.
The Delayed Arrival**
One portrait of a man, cast aglow by an airport departure board, is a simple portrait -- juxtaposing him with a second face, background, adds dimension to this photograph.
Arts Fair -- Buenos Aires (San Telmo)**+
It's a Hard Life**+
Why Anti-Aging Creams Sell**+
'First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Baby With . . . ' Old Song **+ *
A Few Faces in the Crowd** *
Did You See THAT Guy Over There?**
'Sharp Eye of the Young Buddhist Monk'** *
Garlito -- The Tango Singer (Reincarnate)**+ *
Goths for Girls:  Predators on the Prowl**
Welcome to Buenos Aires (We Need Your Money)**+
The Saleswoman Is Sold - Fashion Reflected
'Mirroring' at the Bus Stop**+
The Passage of Time**+
Bom-Bom (and passerby)**
Is That a Modern-Day Toulouse-Lautrec on the Left?**+ *
Behind Argentina's Beautiful Facade -- The Eyes of Death**+ *
Bikers to the Death!!!
A Face In The Crowd**
Sometimes Kids Cannot Just Be Kids (The Littlest Gaucho)**+ *
'And I Told Her . . . '**
Working the Shrimper Stern**
Buenos Aires -- City of (VERY)  Friendly People**+
Through The Looking Glass**+
Manifold Depth -- More Than Meets the Eye At First Glance** *
The Three Neighbors** *
Paris Metro -- Direction Montparnasse**+
Two Cups Bring 'Satisfaction' of Different Sorts**+
Three Points of View** *
Le Chapeau (The Hat)**
Bumblebee Landing on Flower (Best Viewed Large)**
'TWO'CHAY  (Touchee)**+
The Spectator (California Rodeo-Salinas)**
The Car Culture:  Sunday Morning in LA**
The Fountain (and the ghost)**+ *
Quick Intelligence Test**+
The Serious Conversation**
'Male Dominance Comes With a Price'**+
Days of His Youth Overhead**+
'Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses, Yearning To Breathe Free' . . . Emma Lazarus on...
Morning Shadow**
The 'Tango' Started As a Male Dance
Repetition of Shape**+
The Triad
Summer Idyl (With Balloons)** *
Blue and White (Three Times)**+ *
Day's End -- Harbor's Mouth (View 'Large' Please)**
Pushkin (Russia's esteemed poet) watches over 'business' in Odessa, Ukraine**+ *
How to Get on the  Endangered Species List:  Lessons in Species Stupidity**+ *
The Catherina G**+
Strawberry Fields Forever (IV); The Ace of Spades ** *
La Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower) From One Window (View Six)
'He's Got a Swollen Head'**+ *
The Wall (No Nudes is Good Nudes) **+
The Tango Dancer**
Slipping Off the Curb (St. Germain, Paris)**
Strawberry Fields (And Plastics) Forever (VIII) (Variation on a Theme)** *
Three Generations -- Three Aspects (Viewpoints)
Strawberry Fields (And Plastics) Forever (III)**
Two Faces:  A Georgian and a Ukrainian
A Chilly Walk in the Park
Parisian Interlude**@j-c-n
Just Us Girls**+ *
The Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris -- My View**
Samaritaine Scene (Age vs. Style in Paris)
Parisian Artist Andre Has a Brainstorm, But He's 44 Years Too Late (and $117 Million Too Short)...
'Did I Tell You the Story About  . . . ?'**
The Sex Shop: No Actual Persons Depicted Herein  (Advice:  Contains Depiction of Partial Nudity)**+...
Heroes and Children
The Temptation of Eve
'Pleased to Meet You, Mr. Chaplin'
Rest Only Comes On Billboards . . . . . . . Three Pairs of Legs
Into the Purse
Check Out the Viewfinder Image!!!
No Comment (Enjoy!)
Girls Will Be Girls
Everything in Place/The Precise Moment (B & W Ed.)
Post and Oak Tree
Reflections; The San Francisco Skyline
'Honey, You'll Never Guess What I Saw Downtown Today'
Waste and the Ecologically Fragile Shoreline
Pluie a Rue de Rivoli (Rain on Rivoli Street), Paris
Sin City (In Las Vegas Everything's For Sale)
The Boatyard Conversation   (Please View Large)
Rule One:  Don't Hit the Immigrants, or No One Will Cut Your Grass, Serve Your Hamburger, or Make...
Evolution II
The Department Store
'I'm Sorry, Old Woman, -- Time to Move Over'
Hot Summer Dayz I
Decompression Chamber For Airline Passengers
Hot Summer Dayz II
Mr. Chaplin, Sir!
Respite From the Rain
The Evening of 'Long Knives'
Speeding by 'Subtle Indoctrination'?
Portrait of the Artist As an Old Man**+
Through The Looking Glass (B & W Ed.)
Santa Cataline (View Surprise in Her Pixels)
'J'ai Quatre-Vingt Sept Ans (II) et J'ai Joie de Vivre' ('I'm Eighty-seven Years Old [II] and I Love...
La Tour Eiffel (the Eiffel Tower) From One Window (View Five)
Look Girls, a Good-Looking Guy!**+ *
Hotel de Ville, Paris (Paris City Hall) winter
The 'Bueno' in Buenos Aires
Tornado of Ideas (Paris Metro)
The Celebration and Its Aftermath (Waiting for the Last Sale)
'About to be Lionized'
Quintessential Parisiens?
Mickey D's (Abroad)
'On the Metropolitan' (Paris Metro)
The Little Piggies . . . (and Other Scenes)
'I'm Lovin' It'
Loneliness (With Hope)
These steps, with the foreground woman in isolation, represented 'loneliness'. Now, with a man seated behind her and to her side, as she looks off forlornly, this photograph symbolizes 'loneliness -- with hope.'
Ukraine Noir (The Streets of Ukraine)
This 'noir' (taken from 'film noir' or 'dark film -- literally 'black film') photo shows an elderly and disabled man passing in front of an all-night Ukrainian casino in a large Ukrainian city. Note the joyful illustrations on the casino windows and the guard/doorman, front.
Rock Bottom, But Not the End of the Descent
A down and out man may or may not make a telling photograph. When the sidelight hits him from above and behind, and he is framed more in the background by the young woman's legs as she steps down these Metro steps in Kiev, Ukraine, the story becomes more universal. One reason for his particular way of laying down is that it was outrageously hot and he was cooling himself on the concrete steps (even though he may, indeed, have been drunk). He has not abandoned hope or survival instincts -- his begging cup still points upward even as he sleeps or is passed out.
The Delayed Departure to Yalta (The Hands Tell the Story)
This photo features 'mirroring' again -- this time in the clasped hands of the father, foreground, seeing his family off on a train trip to 'Yalta' on Ukraine's black sea. His clasped hands are echoed in his son's crossed hand/forearms in the train window. The forced perspective of the train, heading into the night at a train station suggests that this is not just a photo of a train, but that this family pair are headed for separation as soon as the train pulls out of the station.
Photo Me!
The extravagant and bizarre expression of the youth, foreground, offering his camera-phone and asking for a photo, is mirrored in the equally amused (and amusing) looks at the youth behind him.
'Bookends' Saint-Germain-Des-Pres, Paris (Metro)
What are the odds? If you find one homeless man huddled against winter cold, chances may be likely you'll find another. But what is the likelihood they'll practically 'mirror' each other and also that they'll be perched end to end symmetrically on a bench below a sign identifying a Paris Metro station? Altogether, this is not just a photo about homelessness but also about symmetry in composition.
The Hands and the Handout
This is a story of five hands, as well as another story. The first hand is to the face of the young woman, foreground. The two hunchback women, backgrond, each show a hand (or hands), while from off frame, background left, stretches yet another hand, this time a charitable offering being received by the leftmost hunchback woman.
The Daydream -- My Mind's Elsewhere Today
A man seated eating lunch did not realize that the wall graphic next to and well behind him showed a youth at play. Together, the juxtaposition suggests that this serious-looking or just bored man, is having his thoughts elsewhere -- as illustrated by the background boy.
Age Before Beauty
This is another 'classic' juxtaposition: An older woman stares intently while a billboard behind, showing two young women, appear to be amused -- even mocking.
This bizarre scene: A Japanese man in suit with traditional headgarb of a Samurai, together with a televised DVD presentation of a woman masturbating, is revealed when one looks into the background and realizes this is a 'porn' trade show.
Dead Drunk, or Drunk, then Dead?
The subject of this photo is not just the man passed out (or dead) on the side of this fountain, but the trail of liquid passing from his body to the foreground, all shown as a diagonal to give 'life' to the composition of this otherwise stagnant photo.
'Oasis Motel'
The main subject of this photo at first seems to be this disabled black man, until one peruses the sign behind him, advertising the 'Oasis Motel' with 'Rooms from $28' - an absurdly low price, which probaly bespeaks poor quality rooms. For further irony, for this photo taken on the 'glitzy' Las Vegas Strip, the motel features' 'Jacuzzi Fantasy Rooms, and 'Wedding Chapel' for a true, authentic Las Vegas 'experience'.
Mirroring II
The main poster, taken from the Paris Metro (aboveground), shows a woman photographing herself, hands to her right eye. In a classic case of 'mirroring' or repetition, the woman, (at first hardly noticed) foreground, also is touching her eye, working on inserting a contact lense, also in her right eye. Taking photos like this is far more than 'coincidence' or 'good luck'.
No (Written) Comment
This photo - the epitome of juxtapositions, shows a 'porn' worker at a 'porn' convention showing mild hostility after a noon-time repast, while in the background a High Defifition Television displays the wares his company is selling -- with great explicitness. The real comment here is that all moral judgments aside: 'Porn is Business'.
'There's a Hangin' Goin' On!!!'
To each his (or her) own. The foreground woman, bound and suspended, was part of a 'fetish' demonstration at a Las Vegas pornography convention. That her plight is deliberate and 'fun' is echoed by the look on her face as well as the woman, background, being similarly bound. This photo illustrates that not all sexual 'perversions' are unhappy things in the view of some participants and calls into the question how much the viewpoint that most sexuality 'objectifies woman' is necessarily repugnant to the women being objectified. (No final view is expressed by the photographer -- this only illustrates the question.)
Don't Look Back; The Pig People May Be Following You!!!
A man in a pig's head walking on stilts might be an interesting photograph, but waiting until he walked in cadence with the woman in front of him, made a more 'original' photo. Note that the four sets of legs -- walkingn woman and 'pig walker' are interspersed with the legs of those on the park benches for added symmetry.
Tattoo Man Strikes Again -- The Fourth Take
This is just one of several scenes after this man, who is totally covered with tattoos, shed his shirt and stood obligingly by as a flood of passersby viewed him. The man, left center, was one of a number who looked askance at this particular man and his unique adornment.
Picketing (fences and other things, that is)
The workmen with ladders were seen approaching, but rather than just show men with ladders, I rushed back and waited until they came into view again, this time to portray them (and their ladders' rungs) as a continuation of the vertical lines of the iron fence surrounding this lush garden in Paris.
Dolce & Gabbana, Paris:  My View
This window dresser at the famed 'Dolce & Gabanna store in Paris, was at first unamused by having his photo taken. Later, when shown this photo of himself with his hands on trousers and in the crotch of this mannequin, he showed a big smile. Clothing racks, rear, place this photo within context.
'Adult' Enters the Mainstream -- The Porno Convention in Las Vegas
There are four figures in this unlikely photo; (1) the white-clad man, left, looking left; (2) the security guard, left, looking right, (3) a third man, rear, looking left again, and (4) the porn star gyrating atop a table in her stripper ensemble (g-striong and bra or pasties.) This is a study in anomie, as well as separateness. All photo viewers' eyes first may be on the 'stripper/porn star' while in the photo, no eyes are on her at all.
'Leaving Las Vegas' -- Three Viewpoints
This photo, repeated below in black and white, shows three different viewpoints on what it means to be 'stuck' in Las Vegas's huge McCarran International Airpot in the late night/early morning hours. Further analysis below in the black and white version.
The Mean Streets II (LA's Vermont Street)
Two neighborhood women, foreground and background, frame this interesting wall mural in Los Angeles's South Central District -- on Vermont Street. The signs in this photo may have special meaning in explaining the type of district this is.
The Marketplace (Three Views of 'Relaxation')
The market day drawing to an end, these three womenj adopt different position, foreground to background, in this wide angle photo of an outdoor market near Kiev, Ukraine. Of added interest is the man's hand, from off frame left, offering what appears to be money to at least one of these women. The center-most woman appears amused by her conversation with someone off camera.
Five Figures (Count 'em -- Five)
This photo require work to 'understant' -- as it is partially an 'intellectual' exercise. The background trio on the billboard appear to be the subject. On closer examination, it is clear there are two additional figures: the illustration on the bus stop shelter, bottom left, and above that, barely visible without blowing up the photo -- the 'pedestrian walk' sign, illustrated by a cartoon figure of a man walking (in white). It takes patience to analyze and understand such a photo; this photo and any in this exhibition may be viewed 'large' by clicking on the photo to be taken to the original posting on Photo.net together with accompanying comments and ratings.
'No Fare'
Some who saw this photograph suggested it would be better just to crop it to the little boy atop the coupler. That advice was rejected, as it was seen important to present this non-fare-paying young man within the totality of the scene -- the boy, streetcar, the utility lines overhead which provide power, and even the distant apartment and commercial buildings.
This salmon actually is a 'mockup' being drawn by a trailer behind this 'motor home'. However, the juxtaposition of the two, plus some judicious cropping (in the camera) make it appear as though the salmon is about to devour the motor home it is chasing, for a most surreal look.
Hot Summer Dayz III
The doldrums of a hot July day engulf a large square with fountain of a large Ukrainian City. Here, two young men in silhouette, engage in a mock fight as part of their tomfoolery in front of this central fountain.
Midnight Supper (What Models Do After Work)
Model Nina, foreground appears to be the subject of this photo taken after midnight in a restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine. However, the real center of attraction is the model, rear, and her boyfriend, aggressively making out in this plush restaurant.
'It Must Have Been the Beans'
A photo of a seated man, his derrier raised and possibly passing gas, would have little real photographic interest. Place the same man in front of a poster featuring a comedian (replicated in Photoshop and 'dressed' in Photoshop in different hair and facial styles), all symmetrically placed, makes a most interesting composition.
Three and One -- Study in Composition
This photo has two centers of interest and both are tied together. The sleeping man with (mostly) white shirt, foreground, is the first center of interest. Then the eye moves toward the trio of black-clad young men in the upper right. All are tied together by the curbline here, which all appear to be touching (or near so).
Tango Time
This photo of 'three' tango dancers is presented in color to show off the historical colors of 'La Caminita' section of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where workers once painted ships, then threw leftover paint on their own shanties. Here, the colors which are the basis on this district's historic interest, form a backdrop for these street tango dancers.
Midnight Supper (Dinner with the Models) II
There is obvious 'strength' in using the 'word' 'fcuk' as an advertising device, as it catches the eye. This window display of mannequins and posters of young women, fashionably dressed forms an interesting backdrop at 2:00 a.m. for this wheelchair bound man, who has brought his 'midnight supper' to eat along San Francisco's fashionable Powell Street in the brightness of this showroom window, for an interesting juxtaposition and comment on life's disparities.
The Rock Concert
Police are to keep order. Rock performers illustrate just the opposite with their free-wheeling antics. Here, the two (the cop as concert guard) and the jumping rock performer are placed in juxtaposition.
The Cripple and the Concert
A rock concert with concert lighting sweeping the sky and illustrating the gaiety of a midsummer's night celebration takes up the background of this scene. The foreground shows a man whose bare legs show that they are the legs of a crippled person, laying and perhaps passed out on the side of a civic fountain -- his harvest of returnable beer bottles at his side, for an interesting and 'forelorn' comment on life and its frailities and disparities.
'Porn Living'
This 'surreal' photo shows an American man 'seated' in a lounger in front of a background of nude or nearly nude 'full-figured mannequins, which are meant to be used and/or sold to stores featuring sexually-explicit merchandise. Alone, neither makes a satisfactory photograph, but together, they make not only an interesting (and surreal) photo, but a comment on the presence of sexuality and (yes) pornography in our society.
'Eyes Right'
This is a wide angle portrait of a young Hispanic girl. It takes on additional interest by placing her under an umbrella used as a sunshade and with a background of items from a so-called 'garage' sale.
Characters and Caricatures
This is another photo in which 'mirroring' is used with a clever twist -- actually there are two sets of 'mirroring' in this photo. The first is the repetition of faces -- here -- characters in the foreground left, and 'caricatures' as shown at this caricaturist's artist's opening exhibition. Additionally, the foreground figures are seated at a right angle to one another and that right angle is repeated in the 'L' shape of wall on which the artist's work is hung.
One Reader and a Magazine's 'Top 100'
This is a photo in which neither subject alone was worth a glance. But together, this seated woman, clad in red and black, seems ideally suited for this advertisement for "Korrespondent' Magazine, also made of red and black. White also is present in the foreground woman (legs) and the background poster, and she is seated on what seems to be a black bench.
Jumping and Geometry II
These stairs do not stretch infinitely as the photo suggests - any adult could not be captured within this scene. Along came a small girl and began running up these steps, and her fleeting figure made just the right composition - here a break in the symmetry of sets of parallel lines.
'Classic' Mirroring
The word 'classic' is the background of the male mannequin's photo in the window -- seeming very debonair and his hand swinging as he apparently walks. Also a man passes, more foreground, his body in essentially the same position at the mannequin's poster he passes. The foreground man and the background poster man together form a 'composition'.
The 'Porn' Business
A businessman at the annual Las Vegas 'porn extravaganza' and convention pictured alone with his briefcase and cell phone would have little meaning. Pictured against a backdrop of beautiful 'porn' stars on a semi-transparent montage at the extravaganza's entrance, the photo takes on additional meaning.
Glasses:  The Dream and the Reality (II)
This is a study in mirroring, but with a 'reverse twist'. Here the eye is first drawn to the advertising figure -- a beautiful woman wearing glasses. Next, the viewer spies the saleswoman, also wearing glasses and quite more plain looking, staring out of the photo's frame into the opposite direction, but an interestig comment on 'advertising' vs. 'reality'.
Angularity and Stasis
The foreground man is partly a puzzle: he is seated against a concrete wall with puzzling shelves, clad in shorts/swimming suit and shoes only. The surreallness of this photo is emphasized by showing that is in in a large expanse, illustrated by showing the entire wall, as well as two dogs, background, also against the wall. As one viewer noted: this is a photo about 'heat'.
'Goes Good Together' Says the Sign
This is a scene in which a probably unnoticed diagonal dominates the composition. The drunk man, left, is repeated in the drunk man more background and the composition is completed by the three figures, seated, who seem not to care at all. The sign, in Cryllic letters, and in Russian/Ukrainian, says 'goes good together' a reference to a beverage (Coke) and other things, but which appears to apply to the two passed out men.
Making a 'Beeline' Home
This male 'bowler' with strong arms and vigorous stride is shown walking past -- what else -- bowling pins. However the bowling pins do not advertise bowling or a bowling alley, but a type of mobile phone service. This is an example of the use of a subject (the male) and a background (the bowling pins) forming an effective composition, when caught in exact relationship to each other.
Mirroring (IV)
Sometimes it is not the 'subject' that is the subject of interest so much as the placement of that subject. Here, a saleswoman in a Kiev shopping center for lingerie adopts the same pose momentarily as the model in the poster behind her -- a device I call 'mirroring' -- which is a shorthand way of saying 'repetition'. Repetition requires, by definition, at least, two subjects or points of interest since it is the similarity which creates the photo -- not either 'subject' by itself.
To Have and Have Not (In Las Vegas)
This is a photo of contrasts. The woman, foreground, who has her head buried in her arms, represents both poverty and fatigue'; she is tired and waiting for a bus -- no automobile for her. The poster woman in the poster, behind and to the right as we view this, represents freedom, energy and affluence -- no bus waiting for her. (B&W Edition)
There are three figures and probably three storiees in this photo, taken at Las Vegas's McCarran Airport. The kissing couple in the back is the main 'subject', while the man next to them, sleeping so soundly his jowls droop, illustrates the 'lateness' of the hour. The semi-awake limousine driver with walkie-talkie, foreground, helps place the three in context. This photo illustrates 'three viewpoints' or 'three experiences' of a late evening/early morning at a busy major metropolitan airport.
'The Illegal'
This African man's furtive movement illustrates the caption 'the illegal' -- an undocumented Alien in Ukraine. His sordid workplace -- pallets and bags of merchandise under a major thoroughfare, given texture by sidelighting, add to the impression of the squalor of those who are 'illegitimate'.
Sometimes Nobody Even Notices
The Streets of Buenos Aires
Kissing and Walking (No Gum Chewing Allowed) -- Twenty-four Hours in Spring
The Car Culture (One Man's Look at Los Angeles)
To Honor Lenin (in Moscow) . . . A Spy Camera
Compare and Contrast (II)
Streetside Symmetry
Shuffling Through This Mortal Coil
Checking out a Tryst?
'Aliens Among Us'
Peek-a-Boob!!! © 2007-2012 All Rights Reserved, John Crosley/Crosley Trust
The Courtship
Her Prince Has Come (And Long Gone)
'I'd Rather Be in the Crowd'
The (Fun) Older Guys
Politics -- One Man's View
The Mean Streets -- Symmetry and Asymmetry on the Street
The Rule of Fourths
San Francisco Noir (White on Black)
The Porn Exec Does His Homework (Reading the Porn Magazine)
A Tale of Two Hands Out
The Woman on the Street (And the Mysterious Woman Behind Her)
Who Is That Masked Man?  -- 
(El Bandito?)
The Railway Station Boys
The Mean Streets (LA's Vermont Street)
Politics:  One Man's View (Color Ed.)
Two Faces
'It's a Dog's Life' 
(The Three Dogs)
'Mirroring' of the Most Unusual Kind
Would-be Voters Who Will Decide Ukraine's Future Direction
The Mean Streets -- Geometry on the Street
Fresh Fish For Sale!  (The Fish Truck Arrives)
Dancing in the Rain (And More)
My Whimsy (in Ukraine)
The Progression of Age--© John Crosley, 2007, All Rights Reserved

This is a 'work in progress' and is made available for 'preview'. Perhaps it will be worked into a book or other work, and your comments are invited. You may either e-mail me at johncrosley@photo.net or leave a comment here (if Brian has left room in his change of the software) or in my portfolio comments. As stated above, this is a work in progress. Many of my more current works which can be viewed in my various folders, make use of the foreground through the background and the use of juxtapositions, and are not incorporated into this presentation, and I hope will be added soon. AS OF FEB. 7, 2006, I ADDED NUMBEROUS PHOTOS. Please feel free to try to add your own commentary to those until I have available time in the next few months to annotate them. Have fun, enjoy and enjoy shooting. I hope these examples help you enjoy your shooting more and help you shoot more maturely. John (Crosley)

John Crosley , June 28, 2005; 06:16 P.M.


Please keep in mind, it's a 'work in progress' hampered by inadequate Photo.net software which makes arranging the photos and comments nearly impossible, so it's like looking into a grab bag and taking out a bunch of photos and commenting on each one in relation to the theme (and subparts), but with some modest editing changes in the presentation preparation software, allowing for numbering the order of presentation, I could do 'WONDERS' with this presentation and really make it sparkle.

(I'll probably ditch the 'third person' references to 'Crosley'. The 'third person' allowed me to disassociate my ego more from the inchoate presentation.)

So, keep an open mind, and I hope you enjoy.

By The Way: You can 'click' here on any individual photo to view it large, and be linked to each photo and its comment in my portfolio.


Miles Morgan , June 29, 2005; 05:42 P.M.


Even at this early stage your presentation appears to be a most accomplished piece of work. It would make a great book - I hope you do it one day then you could really control the whole process. I will return here and look forward to see how things develop, it's excellent that you are sharing this as we can all gain from such analysis and knowledge. Miles.

C. G. , June 30, 2005; 12:50 A.M.

Words to live by!

I like the break down of individual photos, always a help to aspiring photographers! cg

John Crosley , July 01, 2005; 06:39 P.M.

Hi Chad,

This presentation was prepared with aspiring photographers such as you in mind; photographers who have a desire to take good photographs and only need some guidance. Your photography has improved by leaps and bounds since I first critiqued it, and doubtless will improve more, because you are (1) open to criticism without getting upset and even invite it, and (2) because a presentation such as this is designed to set you to thinking about how more successful photographs are formed, using words to analyze the composition. (Some are more word-oriented/others more visual, and this presentation-in-the-making attempts to reach all.

Thanks for the comment.


John Crosley , July 01, 2005; 06:42 P.M.


Thanks for the encouraging comment. I also learned something from two of your more successsful photos -- the woman in the ancient 'wat' building with the statue behind her and the Vietnamese photo of outside barbering on the 'street' in front of a mirror.

Both those photos illustrate a device I would like to comment on about separating the subject and the background, employing multiple subjects, or the subject on more than one plane. Both those photos employ subjects on more than one plane and 'merge' or in Photoshop terms 'flatten' the subjects to place them in interesting and more complicated juxtaposition.

I learn from everything I see. I'm always learning, and now particularly learning by practice how to articulate the photographic devices I (and photographers like you) use to create interesting and more complicated photos with the hope that some day I can help photographers articulate the devices they use so they can consciously think them through BEFORE or DURING the framing of the composition and BEFORE they press the shutter release, and thus to help photographers learn to take a greater number of compositionally interesting photos without depending on the results of shooting volumes of photos, then just editing the more interesting ones from those.

Thanks for your comment and allowing me further to think through and elaborate on my self-imposed task.

John (Crosley)

John Crosley , July 02, 2005; 04:11 A.M.

Copyright (c)

This presentation is copyright John Crosley, all rights to text, photos and their presentation reserved. First publication, June, 2005.

John (Crosley)

John Crosley , July 02, 2005; 07:45 A.M.


The revised Introduction cannot be added because of a PN server error. When it is added, it will greatly enhance this presentation, I think.

As of this time, all but 67 of the photos have had their commentary revised, and those who have reviewed it previously might want to re-read the commentary to that point (editing from top to bottom), all comments edited for greater clarity and increased understanding, especially of the relationship of the individual photos and comments to the whole.

John (Crosley)

B B , July 02, 2005; 08:49 A.M.

Nice Presentation

Ok John let's be clear, this presentation is excelent, but the structure of it is far too long. I know it is a work in progress but I think its is a good idea to split it in chapters with a more cohesive line of thought. I know I sound like a book editor, but IMHO I think you have a very early draft of a book here.

Keep the good work flowing B.B.

John Crosley , July 02, 2005; 07:04 P.M.

Thanks B.B.

Under present Photo.net software, the arrangement into chapters that you suggest is essentially so difficult and time-consuming that it is rendered effectively impossible, and I've been writing requests to the Administration for about six months now that they change the software to allow me to re-arrange the photos (and comments) by allowing the photos to be numbered and to have thumbnails show in draft instead of a 'title line' in its software.

Without those changes, further organization of this is rendered effectively impossible, and nobody desires greater organization than I -- remember it's my presentation and my thought process that is on display, and anything that detracts from it reflects poorly on me.

Your comment, as always, is well taken. Regrettably creating 'chapters' and ' greater organization' with present presentation organization software tools is an unattainable goal.

don mckeith , July 06, 2005; 07:07 P.M.

back to school

regardless of your dislike of the arrangement/format,that is quite a lesson-


Jeremy Freeland , July 12, 2005; 07:40 P.M.

John: that's an incredibly helpful sharing of information - not just in how to create good images, but also in how to enjoy them when you see them. There's a lot of information here, but that's a wealth to come back to. The shots aren't too shabby either. Best, Jeremy

John Crosley , July 12, 2005; 08:14 P.M.

Thanks to both of you

Thanks Don and Jeremy. This is still a 'work in progress' with more photos being added every day, and typogoophicals still being worked out of the text as it's being polished. The server still won't take my revised introduction. I'll keep trying/it gets rid of the first person and makes a more reasoned introduction. The last photos are without explanation, but I think by the time you get to those, you probably can supply them by yourself, can't you. Nevertheless, I'll be adding text to those as well, as well as supplementing this with new photos, especially double portraits from recently.


Jenna G. , August 11, 2005; 11:27 P.M.

It's always fun reading your stories! Enjoyed the presentation.

corre foc , August 30, 2005; 11:14 A.M.

This is wonderful, and a book would be great for anyone who wants to consciously make photos. I'd buy it. Thanks much for putting this together.

Alec Eiffel , September 02, 2005; 05:13 A.M.

Hi John,

Thanks a lot for putting this work together and sharing it with aspiring photographers. I have many examples where I didn't pay enough attention to the background and ended with less than good pictures, even though the subject was interesting.
This is definately something I need to work on, again and again, as one of my favorite genre is documentary photography.
I'm glad you submitted your "Anti-war" photograph, thanks to it I discovered your work and vision.

Best regards,

John Crosley , September 05, 2005; 06:10 A.M.

Jenna G.

Thanks for the feedback; stories make teaching much easier as who can resist an anecdote -- all defenses seem to melt when someone says 'Let me tell you an interesting story', and they then realize that the story was didactic and they have learned something. (Or maybe I'm just full of myself.)

Glad to see you stopped by and looked at this huge re-look at much of my portfolio.


John Crosley , September 05, 2005; 06:12 A.M.

'Corre Foc' - Correct Software Needed

Better 'editing software' in the making of 'presentations' -- by just a few easily-made changes I think -- would make this a much better organized presentation, and I continue to wait for the software changes.

Thank you for such nice words; I hope someday I'll have an opportunity to take you up on your purchase pledge.

Thanks again.


John Crosley , September 05, 2005; 06:22 A.M.

Frederic Harster

One of the wonderful things about creating this and editing it -- drawing heavily from comments made by others on the various photos from my numerous commentators -- not only was the fun of distilling the compositional essence out of the various photographs, but also in teaching myself.

This wasn't just made for you; often when I practiced law and had to write something I wouldn't know where to start or what the conclusion would be to anything I wrote, and I never did an outline. I just started writing and when I came to the end I tried to stop. I did that on the bar exam and all through my long-ago professional life.

The greatest fun or lesson from all this for me has not only been in expounding some of what I've earned about this craft, much lifted from comments and suggestions of others about my photos, but also in learning my own lesson.

I often knew that particular photos were successful and others not so successful, and sometimes I knew why and how, and other times I did not. Commentators who have abounded in my portfolio and folders have helped pick apart many of these photos, and in doing so, I also have had many insights about what makes a certain photo successful or not.

That's what this 'Presentation' is all about -- the learning experience, and trying to show others the 'why' of some successes, thus avoiding this thousands of 'failed' photographs I've taken and are residing on disks or in my hard drives, as well as the task also of teaching myself just how to take photos more consciously then inchoately. I'm a very 'natural' photographer -- I just take a camera and lens and point them to the subject and when it appeals to me (and sometimes just for practice when it does not), I press the shutter release. Often times among the numerous discards there's some wonderful stuff, and my task was to try to teach myself 'why' I could do it sometimes and 'why not' other times.

For me, it's been a success, and I'm happy to share the process with others. It's a way of giving back to the many wonderful commentators who have contributed to my understanding of my own work.

Thanks for the nice comment; I think this really may help you, as it did help me a great deal.

John (Crosley)

Ben Anderson , September 11, 2005; 05:55 P.M.

I think I will be returning to this presentation many many times, thankyou for taking the time to create it - it will I'm sure be of great use!

John Crosley , September 12, 2005; 11:14 P.M.

You're Welcome Ben

Ben, come again and again. You're always welcome. This may change from time to time as it's fleshed out, and photos may be added and subtracted, and text polished and added here and there as the fancy strikes me or I'm inspired.

Y'all come on back, y'hear.

John ;-)

Randall Ellis , September 14, 2005; 10:12 P.M.

The wonderful thing about a creative community is that people like yourself create fantastic reference works like this and charge nothing for their effort. The description of your creative process in the creation of these images is a very refreshing change from the lack of detail in many works on this site. I am very grateful for the effort you have expended to create this presentation, and I am sure that it has helped me improve on my ability to previsualize the details of my shots. Thank you very much for sharing this work with us.

- Randy

Michael Ging , September 18, 2005; 02:09 P.M.

Excellent presentation

John ,This is a wonderful teaching tool to help photographers to really see.The use of your photographs and the stories behind them makes a point of each of your "seeing" lessons. I appreciate your putting this together and I will share it with other photographers I know.Thanks Michael

John Crosley , September 18, 2005; 03:41 P.M.


That's right, no charge. Someday there may be a book and this is the start. Thanks for the thanks, it's always appreciated. This was a work of love.


John Crosley , September 18, 2005; 03:43 P.M.


I surely appreciate your passing it on -- the more viewers the better (too bad there's no 'view' counter for this 'presentation' instead of passing it through to the individual photos 'viewed').



Olivier M. , September 30, 2005; 06:08 P.M.

John, my compliments on both your photos and your photographic knowledge ! I think reading this presentation is an excellent way of learning the discipline of the frame.. I have not yet finished, but I will take my time to.

Thanks for sharing this ! Cheers from France.

John Crosley , October 08, 2005; 09:43 A.M.


The wonderful part of doing something like this is that it's organic.

This will change as I take and post new photos; and also it is something you essentially can assimilate and 'take out' with you.

It's cheaper than a burger from Chez McDonald, not full of fat (maybe full of myself), and ultimately it's something you can do for yourself, even if only in your mind or your imagination -- or as you compose out there in the field.

Just creating this work has helped me learn about my own photography, and I find myself shooting more interesting and complex photographs I think as a result, and for certain getting many more 'good' frames on a roll or a gigabyte flash card.

So, take it with you, and come back when you need a refresher.

J'ai eu un grand plaisir que vous avez visitez. (my French is pretty fractured these days, no practice - have to go back to France).

You are always welcome here.

John (Crosley)

Natasha Barabasha , February 04, 2006; 12:05 A.M.


John Crosley , February 07, 2006; 03:03 A.M.


Thanks !!!


Yann R. , March 06, 2006; 05:44 A.M.

No doubt,

the most interesting presentation I've ever seen on PN! Very pedagogical! I'll be back! Congrats for your work and the time you take to leave so many responses... I had a quick tour into your portfolio, you're also a great writer.

John Crosley , March 13, 2006; 10:53 A.M.


Very high praise indeed. This began as a labor of love. The introduction has to be rewritten and was several times, but PN software glitch kept it from being inserted, and now it's far away, and I'll have to write another, this time in the first person. I have lots more ideas, and still more photos to upload (and as you have seen, more to caption . . . although by the time you get to the end, you can practically do that by yourself, can't you.) As one of Photo.net's premier members, such praise from you is taken with great pride; I was 'wet behind the ears' when this started, and it's kept growing, but the ideas were always there -- line up your subject and background and make them work together and you'll get more and better photos per role or flash media.



Lex Linghorn , April 02, 2006; 06:52 P.M.

"Be Aware of Your Background" alludes not just to the visual but equally importantly - the contextual.

I have just spent the last 2 hours going through this kaleidoscopic portfolio, which I came across randomly (I only planned on rating a few pictures before bedtime!), and reading some of the fascinating background accompanying the images. I feel like I have been taken on a remarkable journey. This is an accomplished body of work, a great example of getting out what you put in and you have obviously dedicated much time and energy. Thank you, it has inspired me to think a lot more before I click the shutter and to engage with the subject matter rather than just standing on the periphery.

John Crosley , April 02, 2006; 08:16 P.M.


Lex, your literate comment shows that you have taken from this 'Presentation' exactly what went into it -- a labor of love and sharing and a belief that if Photo.net is to provide a place for a guy like me to express his self and show his photographs, why not also present a place to help others learn.

And you show that you have learned the lesson I try to teach well; the making of this 'Presentation' was as much a lesson in teaching myself how to do in a studied manner what I was doing inchoatly in my more successful photographs and now I do all the time in a more deliberate fashion. It makes photography more fun for me (and a little more intellectual or at least I can know what it is I'm doing -- less scatterbrained or naiive).

; - ))


John Crosley , April 04, 2006; 06:47 P.M.

Vrindavan L.


Hare Hare.


Landrum Kelly , June 15, 2006; 12:18 P.M.

John, I hope that you have written (or will write) a book which is a running commentary of this sort, mixing technical commentary with information relevant to the photo--or to your life.

This is an incredible piece of work, and it stuns me to see that it sits here almost unknown on Photo.net.

This is the best presentation that I have seen on this site. It deserves some special status as a tutorial or article or some sort.


John Crosley , June 19, 2006; 01:20 P.M.

Lannie: Two things

1. Utmost thanks and gratitude for your accolade.

2. Tell others, so it's not unknown . . . it's still a work in progress . . . I think of it daily when I shoot; it's now my shooter's Bible -- I did it by chance and instinct initially, and learned how to do it more consciously by writing about it -- helped by literally thousands of helpful commentaries and critiques, including yours . . . yes, yours.

Graciously humble,

John (Crosley)

Landrum Kelly , June 26, 2006; 12:31 A.M.

John, you have almost made me want to go out and start looking for backgrounds, even if I have to wait all day for a fairly interesting subject to cross in front of it that I can claim to be the main subject.


John Crosley , June 26, 2006; 02:40 P.M.


That's the point.

Except here's the kicker.

Once you get 'in the groove' the world comes alive with such things.

Everywhere such backgrounds 'pop out' at you, and you'll find yourself cataloging the possible ones today for shooting tomorrow because there are no interesting subjects in the foreground there today, but tomorrow there'll be six or seven, so no need to wait around forever, usually.

In the meantime, you'll discover, as you walk, a half dozen or a dozen new backgrounds that take on new meaning -- it's the giant step of discovery.

It's simply amazing how it opens your eyes, and once open they remain open.

Try it; you'll like it (Mikey does! -- after the old commercial)

John (Crosley)

Gary Armstrong , October 10, 2006; 05:34 A.M.

In awe.

Tip of the hat to your wonderful presentation. I am in awe! Thanks for putting in all the work to put this together.

John Crosley , October 10, 2006; 02:12 P.M.


Is that the 'Hatlo hat?' after the old comic book creator who took reader contributions and acknowledged them in his strip by 'tipping the Hatlo hat'?

It could be four times as good, if the 'Presentation' creation software were better -- I'm limited by what the site software allows me to do in terms of being able to put things together coherently -- there are significant restrictions.

I'm very glad it pleased you; I hope it helped you learn how to take better photographs.

John (Crosley)

Mike Perkins , October 16, 2006; 04:53 A.M.

wow seriosly, wow

John your commitment to your photography and the people on this website is in my opinion absolutely staggering, really paragraph after paragraph of responses not to mention great photos and explanations. I salute you John Crosley. I'm very new to photography and have learned much just from reading through this presetation. I had never considered using advertisements as part or all of a backround but looking through this presentation has shown me that they can make a photo very interesting and unique. I have never seen so much thought inspiring street photography before. I have wanted to try street shots but had not before now seen how unique and even emotional they can be; also it wouldn't really be a good idea where I live(a very very small city) But I will try some while traveling this spring. John you have inspired me, thank you.

John Crosley , October 18, 2006; 02:27 A.M.


Thanks for the wonderful accolades.

Actually, practicing 'street' photography in a very very very small town is ideal. You just ask if you can hang around at the local 'chat 'n chew' and take some photos, until they get so tired of you taking your photos that you're a local joke and they just expect it, and then you take more and more and more until they forget about you entirely.

Then you're home free to take absolutely wonderful, telling, photos -- without waiting to go 'someplace else' to practice.

Practice at home.

Just ask for permission to 'hang around' and take some photos, or 'a photo or two' then take so many it dizzies them until they actually do holler 'uncle' and do familiarize yourself with your camera's 'hide' function so you don't end up sharing all your photos with everyone, or they get so tired they forget to ask

Frankly, even the unflattering ones, if they're really good, people will be so flattered to be in some form of 'art' they'll be flattered you chose 'em, just like people line up to be insulted on the Jerry Springer Show -- to be reviled, have dirt slung at them, etc., and you're not gonna do that -- you're gonna show them in some sort of honest light -- so how far off can you go?

If you do portray them in a 'false light' be the first to say so, apologize, but don't delete -- let them know they're like actors who portray fictional characters and they did real well as 'this fictional character' or 'that one' and it's a 'keeper' regardless just for the artistic value.

There are a thousand ways to counter objections and make people happy with your choices -- you just have to learn how.

(Car salesmen and lawyers know most of these devices by instinct, because they have to make things 'stick' -- and sometimes unhappy choices. The car dealer often must sell an Edsel to a family that wants a Lamborghini, and an attorney often must sell 20 years in prison to the guy who proclaims loud and long that he only diddled one little girl (not the 20 they have him on videotape doing).

And so it goes.

Learn the objections as you go along and learn to counter them by showing the positive aspects of things and as your talents grow, they'll be happy to be part of the famous 'Mike's' portfolio.

After all 31 months ago nobody ever heard of me or my photography.

No I can go anywhere in the world and people either know of me or it (in the photo world) or I can show (to strangers) my Internet portfolio or the latest captures on my digital chips, and I get instant recognition -- and problems with hotels, airlines, etc. seem to go away often.

Try it! You'll like it.

People like to rub up against fame and talent.

If you have talent and stick to it-ivneness, you may get the fame, and just the talent will show in your portfolio if you're careful, and then if someone asks 'are you a photographer?' instead of looking down at those two cameras around your neck and thinking 'no *hit Sherlock', you can kindly smile and say, 'well, an advanced amateur' like I do.

Keep it up, whether street, portrait, landscape, advertising, or whatever, and if it gets into your bones or blood you'll know it and it'll become part of who you are and people will also know it and want to rub up against you for having that part of you in you.

Best wishes.

John (Crosley)

Bryan Riedford , May 15, 2007; 07:15 A.M.

John, Awesome, awesome and awesome. Thanks for lesson. This something I never really used....yet. I thank you for your time on this.


John Crosley , May 28, 2007; 07:50 P.M.

Bryan Riedford

There's enough 'meat' on these 'bones' to sneak into your very essence, if you are open to it, and subliminally it may become part of your photography, like it or not.

That's how it developed in my photography . . . bit by bit and as I began to put this presentation together, I began to analyze in words and photos exactly what it is I do, and the evidence was overwhelming that this was a subject that could be explained and probably 'taught'.

Whether you have plans to 'use' it or 'not', it is so basic to good photography or so many kinds -- the juxtaposition, that I'd be surprised that lessons learned here aren't part of the foundation of your basic photography in the future, whether you recognize it or not.

(No attribution needed, either)

Thanks for the accolades -- much appreciated.


John (Crosley)

Landrum Kelly , July 19, 2007; 07:21 P.M.

John, what a brilliant way to introduce others to your body of work! This is definitely something that I hope that you publish someday.


John Crosley , July 27, 2007; 07:04 A.M.


I hope to make something like that from this. This just started as a collection of photos and grew like 'Topsy', stopped only by inadequate site software -- or it would be 50% bigger.

I need more converts, and, I suppose I should learn to hyperlink this site to comments I make. I'll be back in the US anon, and making rounds of agents, publishers, stock agencies, etc., hoping to make my mark (or find my level).

We'll see what the near future holds, as I'm not sitting idly by watching waves pour over me, helpless -- I have considerable direction.

I am grateful for your support.

John (Crosley)

Landrum Kelly , July 30, 2007; 12:28 A.M.

John, I just learned how to hyperlink on the "Photo.net FAQ" at the bottom of the page, and now I am madly hyperlinking everything, such as your site from mine. Hyperlinking is sort of like a new toy for me. I suppose that I will get tired of it soon enough.

I cannot endorse your site highly enough, and the present page is particularly outstanding in my estimation.


John Crosley , September 09, 2007; 06:39 A.M.

Lannie Kelley

I have made improvements to this Presentation, even since your posting. There were many typographicals and photos for which there was no text, and there have been and are ongoing changes.

In addition, numerous photos, added to my portfolio since the presentation had last been updated, have been added here. More will inevitably come with time.

With time, the text for those will be updated, and if the software, which blocked it, has been unblocked, the introduction and summary at the bottom will be revised to something more organized and in keeping with the Presentation.

(Numerous attempts to change the introduction met with failure when the site software refused to accept changes -- even though 'nominally' allowed.

I very much appreciate that you have provided a 'link' from your bio page to my Presentation.

This helps promote the goal of sharing what it is I learned by preparing this 'Presentation' -- the ability to synethesize the sort of photos I was taking 'instinctively' previously and to analyze a scene now with the intention of creating a photo of the sort that this Presentation suggests.

The ultimate result has been that I can do a much better, much easier job in the field and am much, much more organized and methodical in my composing a scene, to the point where now I can recognize, raise camera, autofocus and expose a scene, zoom where appropriate and do all that within as little as a second to two seconds, then quickly lower my camera leaving those around me wondering 'what did he do -- he couldn't possibly have taken a photo in that short time . . . . ;-)'.

Of course I did take that photo which I had composed prior to raising the camera, having set an appropriate autofocus point while camera was at waist level, with a preset ISO (sensitivity) and even to the point where I have often preset my zoom near what I expect to need to make the capture.

Foresight such as that can come through a mastery of the lesson taught in this presentation -- how to recognize and create a composition of this sort, and do so methodically and with minimal effort -- a lesson I wish I had learned a long, long time ago.

Thanks Lannie for helping spread the word, because I think this sort of analysis is valuable (or I wouldn't have spent so much time on it).

John (Crosley)

Alberta P. , November 27, 2007; 05:39 P.M.

Fascinating . . .

to read and to view. I have so much to learn and now a great tutorial to guide me. Cheers -

John Crosley , November 28, 2007; 12:13 A.M.


Thanks for encouraging words; this began as a labor of love, and has helped me, the author, greatly in learning what it is I knew instinctively how to do 'sometimes' so that now I can do it more often.

Come back as often as you please. This Presentation was made for viewers like you, whether or not you attempt this 'style' of photography.

John (Crosley)

Anders Hingel , December 09, 2007; 11:01 A.M.

It is the first time I come by, but I can assure you that it will not be the last. I'm full of admiration for your work. Your collection of shots is indeed very very impressive and I find numerous real pearls. Your comments are representing a gold mine for anyone that wants to learn.

I think what one gets out of seeing your photos and reading your numerous comments together is a strong inspirationl to analyse what makes these photos speak to us apart from the play between background and the foreground. It teaches us to observe and analyse not only in order to see scenes to shoot, but also to observe attentively and analyses in details photos.

In my eyes there are at least three types of foreground/background plays at stake in your photos: Those cases where the "play" is mostly based on a graphical background and those, more numerous where the "play" is happening between a photographed reality (advertisements, posters...) and a real reality; and finally those where the foreground and background are both equally "real". I"m mostly inspired by the second category which I with my more modest capabilities as amateur photographer continuously seem to pursue when I visit cities (see for example my Hong Kong folder).

However, I find that urban space (sorry for such a abstract concept, but it speaks for itself) in most cities has become more and more characterized by a "setting in scene" (mise en scene) following the second category mentioned above, by mirrors, reflections and especially man-sized or over-sized advertisements that makes people passing by into actors in a street theatre. One could say that what you have practiced since years has become the norm of town planners and "city aesthetics" (who ever they are) and that our work as photographers has become easier and in danger of becoming banal unless the photographer is still part of a minority that sees the theatre like scenes happening where others just pass by.

This is become too long, but just one other remark to your inspiring presentation. Apart from background/foreground plays in your photos I would think that one could analyse your very good shots from a point of view of composition, but that is another Presentation that I hope you one day will find time to do.

Thanks again for one of the best and most inspiring pages I have seen on Photonet - far from the more barbaric distribution of 3/3s and 7/7s elsewhere ....

John Crosley , December 13, 2007; 12:48 A.M.

Anders Hingel

Your comment mostly speaks for itself and adds value to my presentation just for your passing on your understanding of what it is I have sought to do (I have been hindered so far by inability to redo the introduction -- the site won't permit a new introduction from being posted -- or wouldn't last time I tried). This one is far outdated and dates from about the first days of this years-long presentation.

About 'composition' -- that is something that is special to me. Member Matt Vardy, who when trying to say something nice in 'comments' under my portfolio, I think hit it on the head: He said essentially that while he noted that 'lesser impacting shots' seemed somewhat to denigrate as one viewed my folders compared to the stronger shots, overall there was tremendous cohesion that overrode everything and it was that cohesion that was the strong point of my work, whether or not a shot was 'greater' or 'lesser' 'impacting' -- and that cohesion, I think Matt was trying to say, is my sense of composition (I have taken some substantial liberties with what he posted in case you ever compare, but Matt and I have corresponded about the subject, and I know his views.)

For a young guy (Matt then was in high school) he hit it right on. An overweening sense of composition ties all my photos together, even though this easily could be the most diverse portfolio on this service, with hardly any two photos being alike -- with one or two exceptions where it was planned.

I have a belief that first and foremost a photograph should be viewable -- and the way I seek to achieve that is to try to make my photographs 'interesting' in part by good choice of subject, then by waiting to capture my 'interesting subjects' at their 'most interesting moments', (within the occurrrence of a 'scene'), for which I have to wait what sometimes seems like eons and which sometimes happens almost instantaneously -- one seldom knows.

Finally, I believe in 'keeping all the uninteresting stuff out of the frame, and keeping all the interesting stuff in'.

That's my overriding motto in few words: 'Uninteresting stuff out, interesting stuff in.'

Older photographers who were trained in classical art tended to have a strong sense of composition, and that ruled in photography for the better part of a whole century after the advent of photography.

Cartier-Bresson was a master of composition (not that I can compare myself to his genius), as he had studied painting with Andre Lohte for about three years before venturing off with an old camera, then soon adopted the early Leica as his mainstay.

I believe in the idea of composition, and I think that is what you have noticed in my shots: The attempt to tie all the elements together. That doesn't necessarily mean close cropping -- some subjects are emphasized by being 'solo' or alone, surrounded by vastness (see woman on steps at Paris's La Defense office complex, titled 'Loneliness' and its companion showing the same woman, a man on higher steps to the left, viewing her: 'Loneliness With Hope'.

One can say both those compositions feature subject(s) surrounded with vast empty space, and that would be one way to try to explain them, but I think there is a better way.

That, I think, would be to explain that the 'subject' is the individual(s) depicted AND the vastness of the surrounding space -- in essence the two together portray the essence of 'loneliness' and it is loneliness in each instance that is the subject, and in each instance the individuals are mere figures in the overarching composition in which the emptiness of space also is a 'subject'.

I prefer the latter view, but the former also accomplishes the task - it just doesn't explaiun so well the theory, explained here, that nearly each photo is a composition unto itself (there are a few exceptions).

As such, it is somewhat hard to pick 'the best' of my photos -- since they are quite diverse (and I have even more diverse photos that might appeal to the 'art' market that maybe never will be uploaded, but I hope might appear in a gallery -- or several -- some day, as I am being encouraged by experts to exhibit.

We'll see about that.

In the meantime, shooting is still fun, and I'm increasingly prolific, especially with my ability to winnow good, interesting compositions, from everyday life with greater frequency than before.

Creating this 'Presentation' has made that latter task far easier, and that is one of the small joys of having created this 'Presentation'.

Thank you Anders for your words of praise -- this is an organic 'Presentation', and it is expected to continue to 'grow' especially if the PN Administration sees fit to upgrade the software for 'creating', 'adding' to it and 'editing' it.

It appears -- for you at least -- it has stimulated the sort of thought I sought to instill first in myself as creator, and then in my viewers, and that is very gratifying.

John (Crosley)

Anders Hingel , December 29, 2007; 11:59 A.M.

Thanks John for your explanations on composition above, which I can adhere to and which clearly are coherent with what one sees in many of your pictures. When you mention: cohesion, interesting, most interesting moment, leaving out all that is the superfluous, they are all right and can be recognised in many of your photos. When your photos are most brilliant one can see that all these criteria have been respected.

But composition is more than that, in my eyes. When you refer to Cartier-Bresson, who surely inspires us all, he also play on the mentioned elements but for me he is especially remarkable by the way he organizes the frame. His spatial composition of some of his most famous photos are clearly "drawn" by lines and perspectives (created by contrasts and colour tones) which call our attention towards specific points and perspectives of the full frame and instruct the viewer on how to approach the "reading" of the scene. Photographers like Calahan, Modotti as well as Meyerowitz are all clearly working on such lines and perspectives. The latter has furthermore in many of his shots numerous elements which seem superfluous (mostly triangular structures at the border of the frame) which in my eyes are essential for the "cohesion" of the whole.

In my view this is relevant for the appreciation of many of your photos because some of them are especially good because of the graphical composition and not only because you respect elements you have mentioned. Among your many photos I could, for illustrating what I try to express, mention photos like:

- Diner and imbiber at the 1232 Club, North Beach, San Francisco, California (the corner building, the pillar);

- The dock planks (Open triangle with the main subject sitting at the end) and same structure in your : The airport tarmac worker, Paris;

- And of course your photo of a man in a rolling chair, Capitola, California.

For me, these example show that the elements you mention as essential for composition areindeed essential but in the same time also you use a series of other "rules" of composition that make many of your photos very very good. The artistic choice you have to make in many cases is related to contradictory demands among these "rules" of good composition as for example when an element in the scene you see before shooting can be considered superfluous in relation to the story or message you want to convey, but essential for the graphical composition.

I wish you and your family a happy New Year with hopes for a fertile photographic year 2008.


John Crosley , February 06, 2008; 03:00 A.M.

Anders Hingel

I didn't want to 'orphan' your very serious comment which required some time to digest. I accept that is not only is well thought out, but I repect its content; it fairly describes not only what I try to accomplish, but sometimes how I accomplish it within the strictures of trying to work within a world in which graphics are important to me or at least a world in which composition is important.

I'll leave it to others to digest what you've written: I think it's an important comment and I would denigrate it by trying to explain you as the explainer. I can only say that your comment is superb academically, and I am highly flattered that you have applied such lofty thinking to an analysis of my photography.

I comment you to another recent photo, which as of this writing, now has 38 comments, and which I posted as a 'trifle': 'The Bike Trick' which is found in my 'Black and White, Then to Now' folder, and which I may try to bring over to this Presentation. It is the quintessence of how one takes a small 'story' or 'anecdote' photo and through the use of graphical elements somehow makes it transcend, or so at least I have been told that (and I truly believe that).

While not an important photo in its own right, it is important for its use of graphical elements to elevate a 'small' photo to much higher standing and I commend it to you (and to others).

I sincerely hope they get the 'Presentation' software updated, so I can update this entire structure and bring some coherence to it that I cannot at present. This really is an encyclopedic book if re-organized properly and printed, as you may have found out -- together with some serious editing by a skilled editor.

If the software were present, I'd do it myself, but cannot because of software/computer constraints. The minute site improvements were made, I think I could flush this thing out into a full-fledged book, adding some things here, re-organizing many things, then editing text here and there (and correcting numerous typogoophicals) and have a draft ready for a publisher in two or three weeks, tops, if nothing else interfered.

This did not start out as a 'book' but has grown like 'topsy' into something quite mammoth. A lot of the lesser photos might have to come out, but even some of those make good points about composition, so they might have a place in a text.

I can imagine someone teaching 'street' or 'composition' relying on this as a mainstay . . . can't you?

At least, it might be an enduring reference.

(Minus the awful intro, which I have numerous times tried to change but been unable to because the software has blocked me).

Thanks for taking a serious look at this 'Presentation' and my work and adding to the 'scholarship' which has seemed to grow around my work. I am in your debt, Anders.

John (Crosley)

Anders Hingel , February 09, 2008; 02:58 P.M.

Thanks John for your reaction to my modest analysis of why your photos are anything but banal.

When you write; "I can imagine someone teaching 'street' or 'composition' relying on this as a mainstay . . . can't you?" I can only answer that your portfolio and this Presentation could be the basis for not only a book on composition but the basis for a an advanced course in Art schools.

I find it very positive that your portfolio has received so much attention. Anyone looking at your works learn probably faster than many academic explanations on why they are so exceptionally good.

John Crosley , February 12, 2008; 12:51 A.M.


What is extraordinary to me, after now four years on Photo.net is how suddenly my folder for color is the number one in 'views' and 'black and white' is no. 4.

But it took a long time coming to get any recognition for 'street photography' on this service, except for my very old, historical work, which was well received, perhaps because its historical importance lent it credence -- it was unusual, and therefore important just because it was worth looking at after 30 years or more, which spoke well of it.

But the rest of my work had not yet withstood that test.

But now, a trip through Russia's web equivalent of Google.com or similarly with Ukraine or even looking through Korean or Chinese entries, finds stolen copies of my works makes me one of the most copied (illegally) photographers on the Internet, and certainly one of and possibly the most copied modern-day 'street photographers', unless Bob Kurt has that dubious honor (I haven't looked).

So, interestingly, I think I, an American, am the most recognized 'street' photographer in Russia (and Ukraine), at least based on the number of thefts of my works and illegal postings of my copyighted photos.

But the thieves do spell my name correctly, at least.

It's the same on Yahoo web search and was the same on Google.com until they rejiggered it a little recently to throw those voluminous listings more to the rear.

I guess, though, it comes and goes,and 'you're hot one minute and next minute, you're today's bird cage liner' like the newspaper.

Such is fame.

Remember the days when Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and their clique were not just groaner jokes, and people actually emulated them? Now they're more than passee.

I hope my photos will survive this generation and several beyond it; maybe into the chronosymplastic infindibulum (Kurt Vonegut's great phrase for the passage of an infinetesimal passage of time) ('Slachthauf Feunf' - 'Slaughterhouse Five').

That would be something fitting, and would make a time spent on this mortal coil and the fun invested in taking all those wonderful photos tributed in a way to make me feel proud. A book might do it, or being collected, as I am told this last seven to eight months, might be possible.

I'm preparing a sample book of work to distribute to photo and art galleries; a different book for each, even possibly different books tailored for each significant gallery.

I've been tutored and mentored by one of the best photo art geniuses in the world, and mostly free of charge, whether it started out that way or not. He made a strong point of saying it was a 'gift' and at the end I owed him nothing - he's a guy who travels and works with the world's elite photographers, is singular in his work and holds a Lucie Award for achievement in photographic arts.

Now I'm free to do as I choose and not be bound by anything but my good judgment, which is where I excel; I don't fit well into other people's boxes, no matter how well intentioned they are, or how well they try to fit me or my work into other people's boxes and even if they want me also to fit into those boxes.

In fact, Photo.net's audience didn't know what to do with me at the first either, as there really weren't any boxes with my name on it here, either.

So, I went out, made a body of work and now many call my work belatedly 'Crosleys' (at least some.)

I was taking those things when I was 22, and when I most gave up photography three or so years later; again when I took it up again four years ago, and in interim periods when I picked up my cameras for a day, a week, or several weeks, 'just to show I still could.'

Imagine if I'd seiously been taking photos all this period . . . !"

I just take what I like in the viewfinder, but preparing this 'Presentation' has helped me 'see' what I'm doing, even in split-second timing and exposures when I'm framing in the viewfinder or even in my 'mind' before I raise the viewfinder to my eye (as I often compose without a camera in front of me, seeing the photo I'll take before the camera ever comes to my eye -- at least sometimes -- other times, the camera comes to my eye and reveals wonderful things I couldnt imagine, but more and more now, more of the first.

And of course, there are also lucky accidents . . which I endeavour to learn from so I can repeat them, so the next time they won't be accidents.

And I'm always learning.

Id love to be thought of as a master of composition, but I never studied composition; the highest I got was 'The Dummies Guide to Composition' or the 'Idiots Guide . . . ' or some such.

Whatever it was it was eye opening, but also revealed that I knew and used most of the ideas therein, but those ideas had been studied and 'codified' or at least organized, but even so much of what I do I never have seen written about, but then I don't read scholarly articles on photo composition (I'd rather be writing such a book/text, or some such).

Where is that McArthur Genius Grant anyway?

If you're up, will you get me a grant?

Remember the old Grant's Whiskey commercial, 'If you're up, will you get me a Grant's?".

Well, I probably need a grant or an advance of a different sort if I am to continue on my present path, which saw about 10 different postable photos taken today and yesterday. (Yes, from 'steet' to 'transport' to 'portraits' to 'erotic' to 'nude') all on my three cameras' chips (I have six I often use and ususally carrry two).

But I am chary of writing books, because the writers never get more, I am told, beyond their advance. Advance, write the book, it gets publshed and nothing more, ever.

It may be different for textbooks, but for photo books, publishing's the end of the line in the money department, which is why gallery showings seem so attractive.

Instead of a $25,000 advance to publish a book with the 'promise' possibly of residuals, one photo in gallery sales if it's active can make that much money over a few years after the gallery owner's 50% cut.

And that's a cut that's well earned.

If I had appropriate software, I probably could finish this 'Presentation' in a few weeks and submit it to publishers, or could print it out and submit it as is as a 'Presentation' and book 'outline' and think I'd get interest, but that sounds half-assed, and not the way I'd like to do things.

But it's an asset, to my career, and preparing it has been an intellectual and tecnical asset for me.

Thank you again for the words of superlative.

I am in your debt, figurtively and emotionally at least.

John (Crosley)