Bikes are an important part of Danish lifestyle. This image of a bicycle parked outside a window, a home tells the story.
Did you know that lines and shapes were compositional elements?
They are indeed. Unconsciously we are attracted to lines and shapes because our brain recognises them. And when we look at something or meet someone for the first time we try to gather elements about them that we recognise. It's all subconscious of course, but it happens. It makes us feel better. Same with images.
Do you find yourself attracted or interested in certain photos more than others? It's because they speak to you, because they include compositional elements and your mind is able to create links between them to understand what you are seeing.
The horizontal lines carved in the building show us something stable, sturdy and structured. All buildings are. The lines at the top are 'converging' lines. They direct, lead our eyes and point towards something. In this case they concentrate our attention to the window.
The window is interesting. It's very complex. There are a lot of lines, horizontal and vertical. There are several little squares of different sizes and our eyes quickly jump from one another. It's hectic for our brain which gets trapped into this labyrinth of rectangles. That's until we dive into the big rectangle, the largest panel with the plants and the curtain. This is our point of rest. Your eyes may wander around the photo again, discovering all the details and reading the message, the story, but they will always go back to that large panel of the window because it represents a resting point for our eyes and brain. There, there is a soft undulating curtain and a plant with organic shapes, not strict horizontal and vertical lines. It's contrast. It's inside, it's safe. It's green. We don't see the colour, but we know this plant is green.
I edited out all the colours on this photo. Black & white emphasizes lines, shapes and structure. That's why urban photography is often represented in B&W.
I also like the symmetry in the photograph. You could fold it in two and it would match perfectly, even the 3 plants would be aligned. The only exception is the bike. Of course, it is centred so it is symmetrical, but obviously there is a front and a back that are different. The shapes are different too from the rest of the image. Circles are softer than the lines of the building, breaking the rigid pattern.
There are two underlying themes here: The sturdy building with sturdy lines that is old and will remain there for a long time, and then the plants and bicycle that have more organic shapes and lines which are more ephemeral.
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