Composition & Framing

This is a photograph of French soldiers patrolling the area around the airport in Ndjamena, Chad after rebels tried to overthrow their president, Idriss Deby. It is framed so that the tank has plenty of lead room. This, along with the horizontal index vector coming out of the tank give the photo a sense of movement. At first glance the focus of this photo does not seem to be directed in the way that you would expect because there is not a selective focus of the foreground. In other words the billboard in the background is fully focused and initially comes across as a distraction to what is thought to be important in this photo. However, once you find out that the billboard is actually a political poster of president Deby and his wife, it changes the meaning of the photo. While the poster clearly makes a statement about the message Deby is hoping the citizens of Chad will buy into, the French soldiers and the tank are there in contrast to control the people’s distaste for him. If the poster was of something with less or no significance, the composition of this photo would probably stay the same but they would most likely blur the background so that it would not distract the viewers attention away from the tank. The other element of this composition that makes this photograph a little unusual is the tree branch hanging down through the very center of the foreground. It could be considered a vertical vector because it draws attention and moves your eyes down the center of the photo but, it is distracting and it seems to divide the photo into two separate parts. In a sense, it also kind of provides a station point for the viewer. It makes you feel like you are standing under that tree, safely watching what is going on. The contrast in color between the left and the right side of the photo also contributes to its divisional aspects. The left side is bright, the lively green tree contrasts nicely with the blue sky, while the right side is darker with less contrasting colors and full of shadows. Overall, this is a nice composition because there is adequate headroom and it is equally weighed out because the tree behind the poster in the background fills in the left side of the composition, balancing out the weight of the tank on the right.   

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Regal T.M. said,

    I think the fore and background both attract the viewers attention. The horizontal index vector of the tank moves the eye to the background billboard of Idriss Deby and his wife. In this photo i believe there are two focal points, with one leading to the other

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