Organizing the picture by Michael Langford

Organizing the picture is basically a chapter from the book called Basic Photography by Michael Langford which talks about constructing an image of the subject as a picture. Micheal Langford explains in his book that a successful photo can be much more than a record, it should be able to tell the audience more and express or interpret than if you were there at the time looking at the subject itself, to complete this, Michael say’s, you need to be a good “Organizer”. As Michael goes on, he also explains about “technique”, this meant the photographer should have an idea of using the lighting control, exposure and depth of field. I personally believe its upto the photographer on how he or she wants to create the image.

The writter explains more about objects, where he says, “we tend to take things around us for granted…it is easy to get into a state where we no longer really look at objects”. Here, Michael talks about imagining about new objects which are never seen before, the first thoughts of the object is about looking at the texture, colour, tone values pattern and form. So, this meant every object has its own uniqueness in this way different photographers can make their own analysis accordingly to the visual features. Michael also explains in this chapter that they are no academic “rights” and “wrongs” as it is a personal view from the photographer’s point of view.

elliott-erwitt-new-york-1974Photograph from Elliot Erwitt.

Below I will share a few basic visual qualities one notices about the object.


etxan jacksonville lee“An Eastern Texan” by Russell Lee Documentary portrait. Here, the subject’s shape in shown in a simple way and the direct relationship with the camera.


2003_136 Photo of Stonington taken by Jack


Content and meaning.

Above, Michael talked about the components of photography which are more of in physical details for example texture, colour and so on. Adding on that, what matters more is the content and meaning. The writer in the book explains about meaning by saying, “meaning can be communicated by straight recording – the subject ‘speaks for itself’ this is usually more challenging for the photographer and interesting for the viewers”.  Use of old against new can say some thing ageing, irrespective of your actual subject can be an example used in the book. On the other side, when we look at the content, the author explains about “opportunities to express concepts and emotions”. To explain that, he gives an example of comparing something expensive and lavish against something cheap just to make a point which could be questioned on “why” and “what”.

Structuring pictures through the camera. 

I noticed structuring pictures through the camera is one important topic which should be discussed especially for starters, in other words we can call this “picture composition”. Here the photographer work with in a frame having distinct edges. The writer talks about the viewfinder by saying, “the viewfinder or focussing screen is like a sheet of paper-you don’t have to be able to draw on to it, but you must be able to see the structure pictures within its frame”. Some of the things to look at are the proportions, balance, emphasis, line and framing movements.


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