Not the Full Picture

“Don’t shoot the whole building.”

“Don’t shoot the whole building.”


Here I am again chasing shadows on the wall.

But what’s instructive about this picture - at least to me - is the importance of not always showing the entire scene. A photographer I met in Washington, D.C. taught me how important that technique can be especially when photographing well known locations, like the U.S. Capitol.

“You don’t have to show the whole building,” he said.

In this case, this deliberate in-camera crop prevents us from seeing through the shop window to the parked cars just outside. Yes, you can’t see the full table or chairs, but that’s not the point in this particular photograph.

I think this composition is more moody and takes the viewer back in time - somewhere - like an Edward Hopper painting.

dean pagani