Background? Or Part of the Story

Jude over at Travel Words has an ongoing photo challenge this year. Every week she asks us to consider a different aspect of photography, and look at ways of addressing it. I’m a bit late in my response, but … here goes.

How to photograph a subject using a background which is a pattern without distracting from the subject.

I chose three photos in the end, and in the case of the two taken at the Albert Dock Liverpool, I think the pattern becomes part of the story.

Here’s a double decker bus. A double decker bus which has been re-purposed as a diner. I could have gone in close and taken a ‘portrait’, but decided I wanted to show the bus as part of this community, serving among others perhaps, those unseen office workers in the geometrically-windowed building behind. Or even the deck hands in that ship.

Here, I was just inside a building near Tate Liverpool. All the action is outside. So this picture is back-to-front. The background is in the foreground, and behind it, the couple, waiting for … who knows? But they, more than the pattern, are the subject.

Finally, some street art in Hither Green, London. But which is the subject of this picture? The reflected light cast from an adjacent shop? Or the pattern-costumed whooping crane?

This has been fun and has made me start to think a bit more about my photos and how I might improve them. So thank you, Jude.

28 thoughts on “Background? Or Part of the Story”

  1. The one thing that I have learned from this particular task is that perhaps we don’t consider the background as much as we should. Of course in these instants you were, like me, not thinking about the background as a distinct pattern. I like the bus, but find the ship’s masts distracting and I like the couple. There I am seeing the building in the background as a pattern. Thanks for sharing these Margaret, more food for thought ☺️

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    1. I wasn’t keen on the masts but I could see no way round them. But I loved the geometric windows and thought they added something. I’m loving this challenge Jude. It’s making me think!

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  2. What a thought-provoking challenge and I like your choices. What an interesting experiment. I will try to think about background in a new way in future rather than just blurring it out which is my usual default.

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    1. I like these challenges. Jude is an excellent photographer, but not a professional, so I hope we are all learning together. Blogging can be such a positive experience.

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      1. It is great to learn from each other and about each other’s environments and experiences and its lovely that bloggers generally are so sharing and caring. I just find it hard to keep up with everything …

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