I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am compositionally challenged. Mary can almost immediately perceive the best composition for a given prospect. I will fumble around until gently turned, pointed, and walked in the right direction. I’m getting better thanks to instruction from people like Vieri Bottazzini and John Kincaid. But as Mary will hopefully illustrate with her recent image of table linens and flatware from a popular restaurant in Sacramento, she enjoys a natural talent to which I can at best cognitively aspire.
Death Valley is a stark reminder how important this is. One is surrounded by incredible beauty, serenity, and simplicity. And it is maddeningly difficult to capture. Everywhere you look, there are what artists call “leading lines.” The so-called Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio never stop working but, unlike many locations, the pieces don’t fall easily into place here. I am perceiving that one must first understand one’s own story before one tries to tell it.