If You’re Stuck On The Centre, You’ll Miss Everything Else

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I hate making mistakes.

I especially hate making mistakes that are so basic I should have stopped making them years ago.

When I teach photography one point that I really try to drive home is that photographers have to pay attention to the foreground and background in their images.  Our eye naturally goes to our subject and we don’t notice unfortunate details in front or behind the subject. We then end up with wires sticking out of heads and oher such rookie mistakes.

Last week I photographed Daniel Laskarin, Victoria artist and UVIC professor, for his new show Agnostic Objects (things persist) at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. One sculpture, called TurnyGurl, caught my eye and I really wanted to photograph Laskarin with it. The sculpture has a round circle that rotates while at the centre a video screen projects an image of a woman’s head turning. It was oddly mesmerizing, simultaneously (if that possible) the video screen pulling you into the centre while the outside circle was grabbing your attention as well. I wanted Laskarin framed by the circle and the girl in the video looking straight ahead. I got that but………………

I didn’t move the electrical cord on the floor. I saw it when I was first looking over the artwork but when I started shooting I was so focused on Laskarin’s face, the pink circle and the video screen that the cord just….evaporated, until I looked at the images in the computer.

Always, always check the foreground and back ground before you press the shutter.

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