Zuza KrejewskaAnastasia, Hysteria, Warsaw (2013)

I have some quibbles with this from the standpoint of composition–it’s super challenging to have a door jamb that features so prominently and at such an cant and have it not ultimately distract from the image. (Flipping the image along the x-axis would help but it’s still not entirely workable with those tiles.)

it makes sense, though: the down tilt of the camera and the down thrusting lines in the frame all direct your vision. (Another benefit of the landscape frame–you can arrange it so it’s read side to side and up and down; the same can’t be said of vertical orientation.)

What I think this is great at is illustrating something about the number of things in a frame.

The received wisdom is that it’s easier to work with an odd number of things.

The problem is that two things is just fine. (If you can’t think of ten famous images which feature two people, objects or what-have-you, then it’s really time to start upping your game.)

Three is great. Four is workable. Five is great. Six, you would think wouldn’t work but it does because six is two groups of 3 regardless of how your arrange them. You would think 7 would be great–but it’s actually challenging because you’ve got a triangle and a square. (Da Vinci handled a similar challenge with 13 stunningly in his depiction of Christ’s Last Supper.)

(I remember reading that it also has to do with the ability of the human mind to visual numbers. One is easy enough: I. Two is great: II. Same with three and four: III and IIII, respectively. And groups of five: IIIII. Register without us having to stop and count. Six gets confusing but we tend to be well versed at groupings of three, so six scans instinctively: IIIIII.

IIIIIII is nearly impossible to parse without stopping to count several times.

And that’s honestly what this does well is that it breaks down the frame into visual groupings you can understand. I and III.

The I is naked. The III are all wearing black bras. I is in the tub. III are gathered around it. The III form a natural triangle which points away from the one–adding an extra sense of loneliness and isolation to her plight.

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