Two Pictures: Jake Schoellkopf

(This is another post that comes from my invitation to all of you to send me two of your pictures to get my thoughts on them. Send two photos at 544 pixels/72 dpi to me at tekamah at me dot com And explain something about the photos and something about your quandary with the two.)

Jake Schoellkopf sends two boxing pictures made a few years apart in Albuquerque and asks:

“I don't know if I have a real quandary. I know both are not actual sports action (punches being thrown), but moments between rounds and after a knock-out. Would a photo editor look at these and say, "These are nice, but can you shoot actual boxing action?" So, I guess if I was trying to get hooked up with a media outlet to cover a fight could I show them these and get the gig?”

To answer the specific question, no I doubt you’d get a gig to cover a match based on these two pictures. But if there were others like this, maybe you would.

Here are the pictures:

Both © Jake Schoellkopf

Of the first picture, Jake says: “I like the image for a number of reasons, but mainly for the amount of layers in the photo.”

Of the second, he says: “I like the image because it shows an aging warrior who just doesn't seem to have the stamina he used to have and probably should make this his last fight.”

Between the two, I’d say the first is the stronger image, though of the two, the second situation had more potential to be interesting.

The first image succeeds because there are more moments coming together, the composition conveys a feeling of energy that reflected the zenith of the fight. It’s not action, per se, but it is a peak moment. It’s a whole frame, as I’ve defined that elsewhere in the blog. The hand on the bottom right complete the frame, in the way that I’ve presented the concept of the smallest element in the frame holding the whole together.

The second image falls short because it’s not a whole frame. You were right to set out to make a photo about his comeback that showed he’s not up to the task but to convey that, the composition would have to be different. Two-thirds of the frame is of trainers. The one third that is about him is too small a part of the frame. Make more of the frame about his girth or sucking wind or the feel of water running down his face and it would have succeeded.

This kind of approach often means taking a chance, reaching into the essence of a scene to see which parts convey the quality you think is most important.

Thank you for submitting.

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