When I was a child, my father was heavily into photography. He had the complete darkroom set up in the basement of our family home and loved to experiment with different films, film developers, and printing techniques. Unfortunately, my father never learned design and adopted the attitude that great photographs happen intuitively. Of course, in my opinion, he was a technician, not an artist.
Because my father was a photography technician and not a designer, he was always looking for an easy subject to experiment with - one that he could grab quickly, pose and bang out a few shots. Regrettably, my siblings and I were those subjects. On the weekends, he would remove us from our natural habitat (playing in the yard, hanging out with our friends in the nearby alleys, riding our bikes, etc.) to pose us for what seemed like hour-long photography sessions. Needless to say, as kids, we hated it.
As I grew up and got married to my first wife, I photographed a lot of her family events. You see, my wife came from a large family of nine brothers and sisters, and many of them had kids. To say there was an endless supply of photographic opportunities was an understatement - Christmas, Easter, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and on and on it went. So like any good photographer, I took advantage of these gatherings and photographed as much as I could. That was over twenty years ago.
Today, I'm remarried (long story - one that I won't bore you with), and I've been doing a lot of looking back on the photographs I've taken through the years. As I was scanning some of my negatives yesterday it dawned on me - I never took any posed images when it came to photographing children. I think somewhere in the back of my mind, my childhood experiences with my father (and his approach to taking pictures) stuck with me - it was something that I didn't want to do.
So, if you happen to be one of those parents that love taking pictures of your children, you will discover that it's best to photograph kids being kids. In other words, don't pull them away from doing their childhood activities to pose them like mannequins, catch them in their natural environment and let them interact as if you weren't there. At first, they will obviously notice that you have a camera but over time if you continue to photograph them on a regular basis, they will soon forget, and you will capture some fantastic shots - ones that will last decades long after they have been taken.
The photograph above was taken in 1998 with a Leica R5 and Tri-X 400 film.
A New Direction for Dynamic Symmetry Art
For those that have followed my website for several years, they will notice that I recently decided to stop promoting the Barnstone Studios products and Myrons’ methods of design.
While many reasons went into making this difficult decision, the dominant force behind this shift in direction for Dynamic Symmetry Art had to do with making the information on classical skill-based design easier to learn for the modern artist and photographer.
In the past, Myron Barnstone has claimed that it took him two years to adequately teach the golden section system of design. However, in my opinion, and after much research, I have discovered that the art of composition can be learned in a matter of days and weeks (not years) by using simpler approaches to presenting this information.
Therefore, with this in mind, Dynamic Symmetry Art will no longer teach the technique of overlapping root rectangles or any other complex approach to design that will prevent the artist and photographer from learning the information needed to produce a masterful body of work.
Dynamic Symmetry Art is a non-commercial, comprehensive skill-based art learning resource for the serious artist, photographer, and graphic designer that wants to learn the art of composition and improve their visual literacy skills. Unlike so many other art and photography websites that offer the same tips, tricks, and rules, dynamicsymmetryart.com is about separating fact from fiction, revealing the painter's secret geometry, and providing easy-to-apply design techniques for anyone that has a strong desire to create masterful work.
Dynamic Symmetry Art will not take any future questions about any of the information on this website. However, all of the material on this website will be available for free for a limited time. Additionally, all the information provided on this website is strictly intended to teach the artist and photographer more about the art of composition and should never be used for any commercial purpose.
This website does not take donations or have any commercial affiliations with any other company.