Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What Not To Wear?

Or rather, how NOT to wear what you ARE wearing. To wit:

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Let me begin by saying that I'm an addict frequent shopper of Joann Fabrics. I love them dearly. So when the flyer came in today's mail with the above picture (after I'd just been there this morning), I had a little chuckle.

Let me point out a few things about this that are SO wrong.

1) The blue dress girl looks extremely uncomfortable. I'm not sure if it's the dress or the photographer or the art director or what, but she definitley looks like she'd rather be somewhere else wearing something else. And I don't blame her because...

2) The blue dress is not at ALL suited for her figure/frame/bewbies. It makes her bewbies look like they are being pushed out towards her sides (and not IN to create cleavage). It hits her RIGHT at the knee which is NOT good. Also, the shoulders and waist ruching on that dress maker her look like a behemoth. And she's what? A size 6?

3) The blushing "bride" looks like she has stomach cramps the way she is hunched over. Which also crumples the waist of her dress. Tres fugly, no? I'm pretty sure even a Barbizon graduate would know better than to slump like that.

Going beyond the misfitting dress and the lack of poise/posture of the models, I have to say that cutting off the HAND of one model and the FEET of both just is icky from a photographic standpoint. When it comes to "cutting off" body parts in photography, my memory tells me you do it BETWEEN joints, not ON them. So a correct crop would have been to cut off the legs between the ankles and knees, not directly AT the ankles/shins. But what do I know.

In photography, there is also a "rules of thirds" (nevermind the concept of "leading lines). Imagine, if you will, a tic-tac-toe grid in the viewfinder of your camera next time you go to take a picture. If your subject matter is located at the juncture of the lines almost anywhere within that frame, it will have decent composition. That's a very barebones explanation, but try it sometime and see if you don't see a difference.

Okay, I couldn't help myself. Here's an example of that exact photo with the "rule of thirds" grid applied to it:

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So what is right at the junction of the first & second rows/first & second column? Anyone? The waist ruching and bewbies!

Oh and let's not forget the needed space AROUND the subjects to be photographed. Everything needs a little space around it somewhere. It's part of that leading lines thing I mentioned before. Basically, you use the space to draw the eye to what you want to showcase. The idea is that when you first observe a picture (photo, artwork, etc), your eye is drawn to one point and then procedes to the right and then up and over to take in the work as a whole.

In the case of the above example, the FIRST thing my eyes were drawn to was the waist ruching of the blue dress which then led my eyes to the rumpled waist of the bridal gown. From there my eyes were taken the the schlumpy shoulders of the bride and across to the linebacker shoulders of blue dress girl and then to the outboard bewbies and finally BACK to the waist ruching. If that was the effect the photographer/art director/graphic artist/layout person/whomsoever was going for, they nailed it. If not, yeowch.

I just had to edit this and add that apparently when photographing inanimate objects, whoever is responsible does a pretty decent job. I give you:

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As you can see, nice composition starting with the "rule of thirds" and a leading line down and to the left. Amazing the difference, no?

Edited once more to add that my mother got a DIFFERENT Joann flyer and apparently the picture was cropped differently for that mailer. OY VEY! It still was bad, though.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

But Nina, the poor bridesmaid is so very true-to-life: wearing a dress that is not suited to her at all. :D