Sight Lines

By: Gustav Hoiland

Mar 11 2010

Category: bike polo

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Focal Length:135mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80


Oh, the ever present presence of spectators at polo tournaments.  Here we have Chombo from NYC and Jason from DC looking on the games at Milwaukee’s COG Tournament last year.

One of the super basic “rules” of things to avoid in photography is, what do they call it, convergence?  Making sure things in the background don’t awkwardly interact with your foreground subject material.  I have no idea if I composed this shot with that in mind, but let’s just pretend I meant to get that flagpole sticking out of his head and those power lines running through other-his.

Because, of course, that’s what really makes this photo.  Your eyes move along lines until they find something of interest, and … well that effect isn’t particularly strong here because the foreground objects are definitely dominant/you see them before the thin stripes behind.  Enough tearing this image up, onto the unrestrained flattery.

The color!  That red shirt, the orange skin and the uneasy neutrality of the background that isn’t quite blue, isn’t quite warm/yellow, but doesn’t quite qualify for a measly off-white.  Does Man Right’s red shirt say something about him or his playing style?, being that red is often used to indicate passion, anger, or the need to stop?  Does Man Left’s 30% grey shirt make him any less formidable, despite that wonderful ruffled hair?  Am I looking too far into this, as usual?

Ok ok ok … the image works because there’s some really pleasant use of negative space here (or is it positive since it’s light, making the figures cutouts that recede…?)  What I’m trying to say is all that emptiness really makes these two guys seem somehow important, isolated in their gazes of admiration.


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