I’ve only ever been on one photography course. It was a one day event for band photography, held in Bristol. It was excellent. The tutor went through her workflow and showed all the shots she had discarded because they didn’t crop well to give a balanced picture. For every single one she rejected I suggested that a square crop would make a brilliant photograph. Nobody else in the room had ever cropped anything square, except badly for Instagram.

As a teenager I was obsessed with Japanese art and the unusual way in which Japan’s artists used negative space and achieved balance in the frame with different crops, including square. I pored over books on Japan’s art, bought the catalogue to The Great Japan Exhibition and visited the local library regularly to get my fix. It’s something which definitely influences my nature photography now. I’m often quite happy to put the subject in the extremities of the frame or have large amounts of empty space, as long as the image itself is harmonious.

Here’s a Robin:

Robin - Abbotskerswell - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Have a harmonious day.

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