Good Times Roll


Climb aboard our bus, I will take you for a 33 and a 1/3 spin around a hot rod parade block! All of these photos are "roll by" shot. These are cars slowly rolling by making for photo opportunities which only last a second and will not come back around again. Have to shoot on the move!

My discussion topic is framing and cropping to create contextual meaning. Each viewer sees in a photograph certain symbolism from a unique personal perspective. Using clever layout and snipping you can guide a viewer into seeing your message, for the most part.

He is our bus driver! Those two photos represent casual compared to formal. I introduce myself and ask permission to photograph this handsome boy. He is delighted. The boy is an aspiring actor working as a movie tour guide and driver hoping to find a way into the Hollywood movie industry, without having to unzip his trousers.

Upon telling him my plans, he reaches back, fetches his cap, plops this on his head then strikes a most perfect pose! Photo of him on your right exudes personal pride and dignity. This is the photo I would use for publication to honor him. I would not crop this photo.

Momma and grandpa are right proud of their darling baby girl! She is the centerpiece of their lives, those two live and breath for their little girl. Look at momma holding up her girl, look at her fancy and colorful dress and sun bonnet! Cropping down to just their girl removes family pride and dignity. I am hesitant to crop such a loving photo, maybe if my discussion is only about gorgeous baby girls.

Most certainly a photo begging to be cropped. Snipping down to her face behind glass creates a caged and confined look, her eyes plead, "Save me, rescue me." A viewer's imagination will run wild.

Another must crop photo. This time she looks pensive, perhaps sad and remorsefully wishing to return to those better days and times. Her eyes, her expression, both impart a notion of "Why are you doing this to me?" This photo gives me sadness of heart.

A wobbler and a hot button topic. Without cropping this photo could send a message of equality and friendship despite skin color difference. With cropping on your right, this photo becomes contentious and likely to ignite derision and acrimony. Symbolism is the white girl is smiling under sparkling eyes. She is looking to a bright future. Black girl is not happy, she realistic, her view of life is right now, "This is where I am." Issue here is this cropped version symbolizes "white privilege."

A fun random luck photo. Cropping highlights her green eyes and red hair. Soft scattering and streaking of light through the window glass creates mystery! She is Celtic lineage of great antiquity, she is old world magic.

Easy to see a change in context by cropping. Left side she is an everyday pretty girl. Cropped on right, she becomes a Marilyn Monroe sex pot!

A complex once-in-a-lifetime photo which should not be cropped. Symbolism of this photo is British dignity with perhaps a hint of arrogant royalty. Car is a right hand drive English MG, a rather rare car these days.

Complexity is this. Face of this duchess girl is vertically split by wind-wing glass. Other side, face of the British lord is horizontally split by the windscreen glass. Most complex in understanding, missed by almost all viewers, is a word in background, "Dignity". This word absolutely must remain in this photo.

If I were to alter this photo, I would carefully photoshop out the front tire of a hot rod following along behind. All else remains including this hint of blue skies on a fender.

When cropped down on right, this photo has potential to create fierce controversy for some. Viewer focus becomes her sunshades and lipstick. Moral questioning comes about. An example is asking a question, "Is this appropriate for our family to allow our early teen girl to wear fancy sunshades, sexual lipstick and ride alone on a bus?"

Heck yeah this is appropriate, our girl is Choctaw; she knows her way around the block. Besides, that darling bus driver will watch over her and protect her. He is a good man.

Shooting on-the-fly action photos is challenging. This requires some technical skills such as programming shutter speed and aperture to best "freeze frame". Other skills are needed like sun position awareness, shadows and quickly framing a photo in mind then shooting.

Alright then, let the good times roll!