you can play me like a bad sonata

I was wondering how long it would take for my Flickr friend Kate Mellersh to post something I had no choice but to treat to an Image Composer analysis.

One of the fundamental elements of composition is subject. You can use all the principles you want, but at the end of the day, there needs to be a subject that the eye is drawn towards. Except, perhaps, when the subject of the image is its very abstraction. Kate is a master of these abstractions, as demonstrated here. The only thing that could be called subject are either the compositional elements themselves, or the fullness of the image, which the mind implies beyond what we are shown directly.

The crop that limits the field of vision to only a small portion of an overall scene is the key element of this type of abstract: details that are recognisable, but without the context the understand what we are actually seeing.

The principles used here are simple, and for that strong:

  • a stepped leading line cutting right through the heart of the image, dominating; occupying as it does half the frame!
  • Anchoring, both in the top left corner with the ridge, and the bottom right with the middle of the leading band
  • contrast between the tones and textures of the different surfaces

Simple, but very effective at drawing us in and through the scene, with a definite musical touch – the layers of pattern bringing to mind the bellows of an accordion.

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