Courier Report 221021

Date Published 
Mon 8 Nov 2021

On Wednesday 13th October at the Isle of Man Photographic Society, we had a wonderful presentation by Dr Patricia Tutt. She is a well-known architect, and also a keen and experienced photographer.

Her topic was Composition. Her talk was lavishly illustrated with photos, she showed us her really excellent architecture images, but she also has an eye for a great street photograph, impromptu, unplanned, capturing the moment. And a wonderful set of images of Sagrada Familia, Barcelona.

She gave us very clear advice to 'Do your own thing', learn the 'rules' of making a good photographic composition, and then experiment and practice, to find which of those rules to use under which conditions, and which to sometimes ignore.

Some of the accepted guidelines that she covered are 'The Rule of Thirds', putting the subject of your image a third in from one of the corners; that 1 or 3 objects is better than 2; that triangular or diagonal arrangements are good. 'Leading lines' is where you use a path, or shadows, or traffic trails, or a line of something, to lead into the picture from the lower edge. Sometimes a subject lends itself to creating a symmetrical image, where left and right sides match or mirror each other, and the subject then becomes central in the frame. Pat talked about how useful cropping is. She showed us her black and white silhouette image here to demonstrate that it lent itself to creating probably 3 different images from it, simply by cropping away the unwanted parts.

She explained that it is important to decide what is the 'atmosphere', or the 'mood', of an image and to try to convey that, through the picture. Is it static, calm and tranquil, or dynamic, with action and restlessness? She talked about street photography, saying that sometimes one can find an interesting building or street corner, and wait until a person walks into the scene. This gives you a good composition with a human element.

Pat said it is ok to sometimes break the 'rules', to establish your own style and preference in your photography. The image here of someone playing snooker breaks several 'rules'. The main subject is facing away, you can't see his face, his moving arm is blurred, and some might say there are distractions in the background. But it very successfully tells a story.

Next Wednesday, 27th October, 7.00pm, we have Andrew Barton judging an Open competition. Everyone is welcome, a small entry fee for guests. At St John Ambulance HQ on Glencrutchery Road. Programme details can be found on our website

The IOMPS gratefully acknowledges the continued support of the Arts Council.

By Ruth Nicholls