Monday, November 4, 2013
The dictionary defines portal as “a grand and imposing entrance.”
The portal can be the main subject, act as a secondary part of the composition, or be equal in importance to another element. For instance, in the image of Teardrop Arch in Monument Valley, the warm late light on the dominant red rock portal commands the viewer's attention. Yet off in the distance, the supporting red rock formations draw the eye past the portal. Although much smaller in size, they are key components of the composition. The upper area past the portal reveals a graduated blue late light sky housed with interesting clouds, so the viewer looks past the foreground portal to the sky and is then drawn to the lower part of the image. All three components are needed to tell the story of how Tear Drop Arch and the background come together. The photographic math equates to 1+1+1=1.
In some ways a portal acts as a framing element but not necessarily in the traditional sense. In the image of the lady reading the map in Grand Teton National Park, the window opening obviously frames her and the Tetons that recede in the distance, but it more strongly acts as a reference object to tell a story of the photo I shot for stock. The open window portal specifically says, "vehicle" as opposed to just someone reading a map out in the open. It defines automobile, road map, travel, find my way by car, etc.
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