Visual Mass: Pet Photography Project 52, Week 37

This blog post is about Visual Mass and we are in week 37 of the Pet Photography Project 52 week challenge.  Visual mass is the amount of pull on the eye elements in the frame have. When I think of visual mass and making an impact in a photograph I think of negative space. I want there to be a lot of negative space and a lot of impact on just the subject which to me is the visual mass.

To demonstrate this in a photograph, I'll go back to my Oregon photos. These photos are from 2 separate sessions. The first photo is Piper and the last three are Hailey. 

Visual Mass with black lab Piper

There is something about this photo that I love. I know a lot of people probably won't feel that way and that's okay. That's the beauty of art. I think I love the moodiness about this image the most. I think too it has to do with what I mentioned last week too. Piper is walking away from the camera because something has caught her attention but what that is isn't in the frame so it leaves the viewer to wonder. She looks happy and intrigued to me. I like that in this image. In this image, my eye is immediately drawn to Piper's shiny fur - she is the visual mass even though there are other elements in the photo.

In the book we're using for this 52 week challenge, author DuChemin says that generally our eyes are pulled more towards larger subjects before smaller ones and towards moving objects before stationary ones; bright objects before dark ones and sharp objects before blurred. That certainly holds true for these next images. 


Visual Mass with Hailey on the beach
visual mass - Hailey

In this image above, what do you see first when you look at this? Hailey the black lab, her dad, the stick? In this image what would you say the primary element is? What is the secondary? Why?

black lab Hailey in Cannon Beach

What about in this image? What do you see first? I see water splashing because Piper is retrieving her stick but then I do see a secondary element.  Do you see what I see? There are the waves in the background but that's not what my eye is drawn to next. I see the stick on the left side of the frame. It's probably a stick Hailey had in her mouth at one point during our dog photography session. In this case, I think this stick should be edited out of the photo because it is a distraction to me and it doesn't add anything to the photo. I thought I'd leave it in just to see if anyone else feels the same - sometimes secondary elements aren't desirable. 

This is a blog circle and next up is Darlene with Pant the Town Pet Photography serving MA and NH. Keep clicking the links at the end of each post and you'll end up right back here. Thanks for visiting my blog.


Kim Hollis4 Comments