Pham Ty,84, Exotic Travel Better Photography Magazine Photograph of the Year Competition 2015
There are so many elements that make this a strong photograph! Pham Ty has found a subject that I imagine would be interesting for many people, even if their mum were a seamstress. And I can just hear the lady with the sewing machine saying, "I know I missed a stitch back here somewhere"!
So why does it work. First of all, there's the repetition of the texture - the netting I imagine - throughout the photo. It creates wonderful shapes and it's all the same colour - so it is both interesting and simple at the same time. And it reaches the edges of the frame, giving us the impression it may very well extend on forever.
Then we have the two figures who are opposite the sewing machine in the middle of the frame. The machine isn't perfectly centred and nor are the two figures exactly on the 'rule of thirds' points, but all three elements are near these compositional features. The subjects are not too central, not too close to the edge of the frame (there is breathing room around them) and they are joined by an imaginary diagonal line which creates more tension and interest in the composition (as opposed to both being on an imaginary horizontal line).
Now, add in that red shirt and Pham has created a wonderful point of contrast - the centre of interest to which we can't help but be drawn.
This is a masterful example of composition and framing - and no doubt an exotic location as well.
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Peter Eastway APP-L, GM.Photog., FNZIPP, Hon. FAIPP, Hon FNZIPP, FAIPP
Editor and Publisher
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