The Risk of Competition

In an ideal world, my subject would possess all the key visual draws, but if that world existed I would also have a full head of hair and own the perfect camera bag.

The reality of a photograph, however, is that the subject often doesn’t possess all those qualities and that some other elements in the scene do. This is when a secondary element in the frame may compete with the subject for the viewer’s attention.

This photograph of a beautiful waitress I met in Seattle has most of the qualities that I want in a photograph. She’s illuminated by a beautiful quality of reflected light, which helps make her brighter than most of the alleyway behind her. The contrast between her shirt and vest helps draw the viewer’s eyes to ...

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