Sunday, May 16, 2010

Movie Posters and Visual Design

The essential elements of visual design. An entirely new - and refreshing - take on movie posters, by going back. Modern titles set to the vintage style of movie poster design.

So what does this have to do with photography ? Everything. Because quite simply it is the fundamentals of composition that will have a far greater impact upon the visual impact of the resulting photograph, than having the camera with the highest megapixel count, the most and best lenses, the biggest lens, etc., etc. Get the "picture?"

Fundamentals such as shape, lines, direction, placement, spatial relationships and emotional reaction to colors - all go into the decision making process when the photographer and artist approach scene and subject. The difference with photography - especially nature and landscape work - is that quite often all of these elements are already present versus the painter or graphic artist who creates the elements to work into the finished piece that they have in mind.

The photographic artist must be diligent in 1) recognizing these existing elements, 2) effectively applying his or her own technical skill with appropriate exposure settings and lens selection, and 3) employing creative approach, i.e. changing and moving to proper angle and perspective, in capturing a photograph that goes far beyond the simple "snapshot."

The "gear" serves the artist. Not vice versa. I continue to be amazed at the number of photographers out there who struggle with that essential rule.

Back during my years living in Salt Lake City I attended the MPC program of studies at Westminster College. I didn't quite fully see it then, but many of the classes I completed in that particular graduate program of studies would eventually have a positive impact on my career as a photographer and artist. When I saw this online posting regarding retro posters of modern movie titles the class that immediately came to mind was Professor Bridget Newell's course on design and visual communications. One of the books required for that particular class was Molly Bang's Picture This: How Pictures Work. It's been over 10 years since that class, but I still keep that book close at hand, more and more using it as a reference for my photography workshops.

It's a simple read. Only 96 pages. But Bang carefully describes and illustrates just how important the fundamentals of visual design are in the process of creating a picture - be it painting, poster, advertisement or fine art nature photography - that successfully transcend the boundary from artistic concept to finished piece.

Once again, fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. Posted below are two very recent images that I captured just a few days ago, along the trail to Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills State Park. These images are from an area known as the Devil's Bathtub. I think both illustrate the point I'm making in this particular post quite well. Also, kudos and thanks to friend and owner of The Next Wave, David Esrati, for tweeting a reference to the retro movie poster article which spurred this chain of creative thoughts in my head, thus resulting in this post.

1 comment:

dolls like us said...

Your artwork wakes me up and makes me pay attention.