Move the X’s and the O’s At the Gmeiner
It’s football playoff season, and the Grand Canyon Photography Club’s January meeting will bring members and guests together to “Move the X’s and the O’s, a different way to look at composition in photography.”
The presentation will be at 7 PM on Jan 10, 2023, at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center, 134 Main Street, Wellsboro, behind the Green Free Library.
Club members Linda Stager and Mia Lisa Anderson will team up to present participants with an interactive look at traditional and non-traditional rules of composition. A short YouTube video will help members work hands-on with some “X’s and O’s. All handouts are available to take home.
Good composition techniques let viewers “see” what a photographer wants them to see. It can create a “visual hierarchy” telling folks who view a photo where to look and in which order. It takes potential chaos and creates a sense of order in the photo.
For traditionalists, there will be plenty of rules of composition to explore. And for those who crave seeing things differently, there will be new ideas to explore.
Bring a guest. The club always welcomes new members. After the presentation, all are welcome to stay and listen to the club’s photo critique session, led this month by Bruce Dart.
Linda Stager is an award-winning local photographer, author, and writer. She is a juried Pro member of the Pennsylvania Wilds and a member of the Professional Photographers of America. Her photography studio, “Suncatcher Lodge,” is at 266 Old Tioga Street, Wellsboro.
Mia Lisa Anderson is an award-winning photographer and charter photography club member. She has presented programs for the club since 2008. To see more of her work, follow her on Instagram.
“Composition is one of the most vital elements of photography. We’ve presented on this topic many times, but there’s always more to learn.”
“Mia and I wanted to do something for the photo club meeting that would be a little different. So we will be handing out some materials to let visitors actively participate as we view a short video on composition. Everybody will get some background boards and some paper discs, and we’ll be experiencing the video in a tactile way. It should be fun.”
“Did you know the human brain is programmed to recognize what a good photo looks like? We just know! But research shows that there are actually three elements to a good photo. First, the photo must be technically great. It needs to be in focus, with the right lighting and exposure, and it needs to be sharp in focus. It also has to have some sense of impact on the viewer. The impact can be a positive feeling, or it can be a sad feeling. Either way, it needs to touch the viewer in some way. It has to have beauty, novelty, or perhaps even some awe for our brains to kick in with a reaction. The third piece of the equation is composition. And that’s why our club focuses routinely on it. Composition is such an integral part of the equation for us all.”
“I’ve shared this with you before, Sara. I owe a lot of my success to what I have learned as a photo club member. These photographers are skilled and share their knowledge and skills so willingly. When I first started attending meetings, I knew so little. But the members took me under their wings, so to speak, and helped me along.
I will always be grateful to them and want to pay that kindness forward. If folks are interested in photography, they should come to the meeting and see what we do. Folks don’t need to be afraid that they aren’t skilled enough… we’re all in this together. And our interest in photography is our common bond.”
These two photos of Wynkyn Blynkyn and Nod show the presenters’ different interpretations of their subject. Anderson uses the backlighting and soft colors of a morning on the Green to highlight our favorite landmark. Stager captures the statue on an icy night and turns it into a black-and-white photo to highlight the metal’s textures and the night’s iciness. We both take a photo of the same subject but approach it differently as an extension of our skills and personal styles.
Writing: Linda Stager
Photography: Linda Stager,
Produced by Vogt Media
Home Page Sponsors: Penn Wells Hotel / Lodge