the wide angle

There are hundreds of quotes in the photojournalism world that lay out the rules and regulations of making a successful image.

Sayings like “Tight is right” and “If your photo isn’t good enough, you are not close enough” are just two examples.

However, the older I get the more I realize that despite all the rules, there are only two types of photos in the world- those that work and those that don’t.

Even though I have always been a big proponent of getting close and intimate, I have recently started to embrace the wide shot. Photos with room to breathe.

I made one such photo on Saturday at the 80th Annual Bud Billiken Parade, which is by the way perhaps the most photogenic event in Chicago but I digress.

While waiting around for a photo subject, I noticed the Great Lakes Naval band standing in formation at the corner of 39th and King Drive. As I walked over to work the situation, I saw three sailors sitting in a bus shelter. Change of course.

I shot several frames before moving in and one of those ended up being my favorite.

So, although sometimes “tight is right” here “wide is bona fide.”

© 2009 Chicago Tribune/Scott Strazzante


12 Responses to “the wide angle”

  1. Scott,
    Wonderful photo. I love the thought of turning the corner and stumbling onto these sailors.
    Very true–two kinds of photos–those that work and those that don’t.

  2. What type of photography equipment do you use? Nikon? Canon? What’s your favorite lens? You have such clear crisp pictures ALL the time. Love your photojournalistic abilities!

  3. Naomi, this photo was taken with a Canon EOS-1 DS Mark III and a 16-35mm f/2.8 zoom but my favorite lens is the 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom. However, if I had a 50mm f/1.2 that would be my favorite.
    Thanks for asking!

  4. Wow…I have the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, too.. but an old Canon 20D. (It’s encouraging for me to know you have Canon!)

    Thanks, again, for sharing!

  5. I love the found scene and moment, but what I dig most is that you included the puddle in the gutter of the road…

  6. pretty awesome color scheme too. and i second the puddle comment.

  7. Speaking about room to breathe: have you ever tried panoramic camera?

  8. Nice shot. The rule I’ve always tried to follow when framing or cropping is “If it’s not adding to your subject, its taking away from your subject.” A much more subjective rule to live with. Sometimes backgrounds can just but clutter, other times it really adds to and enhances the photo. I think it really works here.

  9. word up on the wide shooting tex. totally gives you a sense of environment.

  10. The shot could be of post-WWII soldiers returning to a building boom of neighborhoods (billboard). Or am I looking too much into it like an obnoxious art critic?…lol.. Timeless. Cool.

  11. What an amazing photoblog, one of the best photo eyes I’ve ever come across. you are a true master, you don’t talk about rules, but about breaking the rules….. thank you for sharing your inspiring work!

  12. This photo also captures another aspect of photography that I absolutely love: The idea that there are small details in any given scene, that may or may not be consciously considered during the shoot, but that “accidentally” add so much. One example in this photo is the way the water next to the curb reflects the colors and pattern of the billboard along the very bottom edge of the frame. It’s a wonderful band of pattern and color that ties the image together very well. It’s likely that small element was not sought-out when stumbling across this subject. It was just a happy accident that there was water on the street. However, had this small element not been present, or cropped-out the photo would not be as strong.

    The idea of discovering great elements of a scene that weren’t obvious as you compose it, or discovered after you shoot it and review the frames, is one of the elements of photography that I really love.

    Nice work!

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