The picture below is by the renown French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson who was considered to be the father of modern photojournalism.
Bresson travelled the world documenting some of the great upheavals of the 20th century — the Spanish civil war, the liberation of Paris in 1944, the 1968 student rebellion in Paris, the fall of the Kuomintang in China to the communists, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In his early 20s he was formally trained in classical art by the artist and sculptor Andre Lhote and this rigorous theoretical training would later help him resolve problems of artistic form and composition in photography.
These rules of design and structure are rarely taught in the modern era and even less in photography. Becoming familiar with Bresson’s work will serve any keen photographer well.
Despite chronicling the great events of his time many of his most renowned photographs are of ordinary daily life, seemingly unimportant moments captured and then gone.
Without the boy in the picture, the photograph would have very little life or interest. The boy’s position was neither contrived or an accident.
Keeping Cartier-Bresson’s techniques in mind, my attempt at a similar style.
Taken in a little town called Volpaia (pronounced Vol-pay-ah) in Tuscany, Italy the boy was playing soccer with a friend up the street to the right. The ball got away and the lad chased it out of sight to the left.
I had time to compose the shot and take it when he raced back up the street keeping in mind not to let him disappear into the shadows which helped form a strong diagonal from top right to bottom left.
Good luck or Good Management? Some knowledge of a master’s work helped though.
While avoid the travelogue shots I thought this picture of the little town of Volpaia where the boy was playing soccer was worth using mainly because of the difference in shooting out of ones normal environment.
Even though it was summer it had rained for weeks before I arrived and everything was impossibly green to my eye.
Green was a hard colour to photograph….there being little difference in shades. Careful attention to exposure was needed. Skies were softer, more hazy and muted than our desert skies, tending to merge with the horizon without definition.