Hey everyone, thanks for joining in! I’ve got an awesome two part video for you that shows how Henri Cartier-Bresson used dynamic symmetry, or geometry, in his photography. I’ll talk in depth about many composition and design techniques he used in some of his best work.
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hey guys what's up status here I just wanted to go over a couple of henri cartier-bresson photos and show you how we use dynamic symmetry and he called it geometry but a dynamic symmetries full of geometry and that's what he was referring to and he basically used the basic armature of the 1.5 rectangle and sometimes the overlapped root fours but mostly it was the 1.5 rectangle and I'll show you what all that stuff's about so let's get into it right now I got all these photos from their website on Magnum they're all copy written this first one since its up I did the horizontal and vertical ones but we'll just show you how he locks in the main diagonal and the reciprocal so as a recap we've got the 1.5 rectangle this is the 1.5 rectangle and that's the basic armature we've got the baroque diagonal the Sinister diagonal and then for reciprocals that intersect each diagonal at 90 degrees right here and here and then I've got horizontals and verticals running through the eyes these are the eyes right here where the reciprocal intersects with the major diagonal so that's an eye that was created and then you just run the horizontals and verticals from that eye so that's how we're going to analyze these even though most of his photos he usually just uses one major diagonal and one reciprocal and we'll see that okay so let's just turn on the 1.5 rectangle and if you don't know how to create an action from these I've got a video that shows you how to create actions from the grid and they can just be placed directly onto your photo like this so now it's placed on there all right so let's just analyze this real quick can totally tell this is one of the most obvious ones you've got this baroque diagonal running up the woman's leg and the reciprocal is the same direction as her thigh right here and then our hand and the book cover kind of run in this direction also so that's that one we're just going to run through these real quick some of them he doesn't capture really dominant diagonals you still has a diagonal here that's paralleling the Baroque diagonal but in this one he's mainly concerned with a technique called aspect of view and so where the limbs are spread apart so you can easily identify the subject much like the Egyptians walk like an Egyptian type of thing that's an aspect of view and he's also got figure-ground relationship you've got a dark figure on a light background so with those two techniques combined we're able to easily identify the subject this one will turn on the 1.5 so this one we can see that he's locking in the horizon line also the edge of this tree right here is along the Baroque diagonal paralleling and then he's almost got this walked into the vertical this one could be mistaken for a rule of thirds type of things just because he's got this horizontal and vertical that's usually the Vario typical rule of thirds composition to make this a better balanced picture he could have let's see we could have moved this a little bit more this way see how the road goes to the left here so if he captured the tree a little bit more on the right this would add a little more weight on the left and we'd have a better balance in the composition it looks nice it's just to me it looks more like rule of thirds ish and I hate that look so let's go to content aware scale we'll just stretch this out to see what it looks like all right so that's the composition actually we could go a little bit more so the center vertical just off-center expressed to me I think so we have a proper balance now this is just to the right of the vertical to the center vertical and he's got this balance maybe right here because the the road helps add a little bit more weight so that looks better to me this one with Matisse and his doves we could totally tell that he's Matisse in this polar point right here along the baroque diagonal and the reciprocal and then he's got these other birds up here that are in the other polar point so they create a counter part for each other this balances this so if we look at the bird down here we can see that it's got clear figure-ground with a ship to light figure on a dark background the dark background is his shirt and the shadows of his chin so that's clear a figure grand relationship and then these also got it captured up here with these birds best way to see if you have a clear figure ground relationship is just to draw an imaginary line around it or actually just draw a line around it and see if it collides and loses contrast with any other elements okay so let's move on to the next one this one's definitely centered we can see he's capturing her light body on the dark background but he's also capturing a gesture and he's also capturing this texture in the background it's kind of an abstract texture so the grids not going to work on this one but he's capturing other techniques which makes it nice this one's definitely a sinister diagonal we can see that with the grid lined up here you got his her head in the upper polar point upper left polar point right here and then her bodies captured on the sinister diagonal okay let's move on to the next one so this one he's capturing again he's got this centered right here let's see he's got kind of like a fulcrum right here so he's got this at this weight and in this weight so they're kind of balancing each other from left to right so this guy has good figure grand relationship I can totally tell that's a guy legs and this guy's leaning over if we were to blur our eyes we might not be able to tell what this shape is because his head is overlapping and dark area so we lose contrast and we lose the shape of that head and the hat which is important so he's capturing a gesture but it's a little bit worse figure grind relationship for that that guy's leaning over but be better if his hat was captured on this white background this one's an obvious diagonal coming across we've got the sinister diagonal going up this leg and then you've got the hand the knee and the arm and the face creating a coincidence a coincidence applies to the law of continuity it's part of the gestalt psychology principles this guy's locking into the vertical and then he's also paralleling this diet this sinister diagonal right here she's got the same diagonal same with up here all right so that's that one this one's awesome I love this one he's capturing this swirling effect around the staircase but he's also locking this guy into the upper left polar point capturing good figure grand relationship can draw definitely tell what shape this is it's a silhouette but we can totally tell what it is the only part that's losing contrast is right here at the head but the rest of the body is working quite well and then his back is also paralleling this sinister diagonal blocking in right there so that's nice this one we've got this guy on the bowler point and the vertical this guy's on the vertical noses right and face is right in the polar point and then we capturing this diagonal which seems to be paralleling this sinister diagonal not exactly but it's very close and then you see this shadow and this shadow is also on the reciprocal right here if we turn the grid off we can see it's right on there pretty cool right so let's keep moving okay this one turn the grid back on so you got him locking in this vertical in this child right here the arm is locked in as a reciprocal he's almost nailed this as a bullseye type of thing you got the upper right polar point and you've got this guy's face right in it and you've got the chin lined up to the reciprocal one other thing we could do is with the grid as I said we can create eyes from any of these intersection points or any of the areas that hit the edge so we can also drop lines from these intersection points right here you can see if you lined up anything else so this one comes very close to this vertical in the wood this is an eye right here so we could run a line up this if we wanted to this if we wanted to so that's that one this one Ygritte Sal he's totally locking into the vertical we've got this horizontal locked in this is in the center no major diagonals but he's creating a calm setting with these horizontals and verticals this one capturing a few diagonals and he's also capturing some movement right over here in the left corner get this little boy running and it's not drawing our attention too much it's just an added bonus nice low contrast which is good because it's near the edge anytime you have high contrast near the edge it creates a distraction for our eyes but in this case it's low contrast it's nice nice little addition to this photo after you look at it for a little bit longer you notice this little boy firstly you notice this boy right here when you follow his gaze along the baroque diagonal and you can see what he's looking at brisson is also capturing the geometry he saw in the shadows nice diagonals for him to capture some geometry almost got like a triangle here like a trapezoid shape all right so that's that one this one is a nice photo capturing some nice gestures and movement and excitement and he's framing the image with this wall here and these boys are kind of scattered he's got a better photo where he's got better figure-ground relationship with the boys for now we're just looking at the way he used the wall as a frame not using any dominant diagonals so with these boys he's using the LOB similarity because they all look like they're the similar age they're all boys and they're all close together so he's creating unity with the group by the law of similarity even though they're different families probably might not even know each other but they're all grouped together because the way the mind works so that's a unique capture right there using the law of similarity and using this to frame the image okay so this one definitely got some nice 45-degree angles coming down let's see how it lines up with the 1.5 this one might be the overlapping root fours you can see how he blocks in this horizontal nice this one's locked in the vertical this guy's head is on the Sinister diagonal of this root for this guy's head is on their sinister diagonal it's also on the if you create a vertical from this eye right here we can see it blocking in there and then the rebated square if you take a square and you draw 45-degree angles from each corner you can see how it lines up with these shadows right here so he noticed that geometry alright one more this one he's got the kids let me add a little bit of black so you've got this kid's face locking into the reciprocal this get this boy's head is locking into the sinister diagonal this kid's face and head are locking in and then this boy's face and eyes walking in and he's got a nice figure grand relationship let me turn the grid off for a sec it's got a nice take a grand relationship with this guy can totally tell what this is if we blur our eyes this one he's got an aspect of view we can see the side profile of his face and this guy so he's working with several different techniques which makes it a masterpiece this guy's got good figuring around relationship this guy so the techniques he's using this guy see how all these guys are this guy's not separated and that's not good figure-ground relationship and then this guy would be better if it was removed but he's using separated shapes you can see separated shapes just like an advanced figure-ground relationship where you have figure grand relationship on multiple subjects using aspect of view and you're separating it so you can clearly identify multiple subjects at one time I've also got that guy plus he's capturing repetition in these squares you see all these squares creates an abstract type of repetition that's nice and he's also using the grid his geometry is capturing these guys on the 1.5 basic armature so that's a nice photo to end with you you