Resolving Chaos II


This is another setting from the Los Angeles airport.

I was returning from a weekend workshop with photographer Sam Abell and was interested to use his methods for bringing some order to the chaos of an airport.

I stood in front of these stairs for more than a half hour trying to get a number of factors to align – the right combination of central people with the peripheral people in good places, good margins, the sign at the top of the stairs on a particular graphic that came by every few minutes (missed that in this shot), a lifting off airplane in the background window (never got a good one with that) all while retaining a sense of the energy of being in an airport.

This shot is my favourite from this setting, but there are some others that work quite well for different elements I was hoping to control in a single image.



Click the photograph for a larger version.





10 thoughts on “Resolving Chaos II

  1. Pingback: Resolving Chaos IV | burnt embers

  2. Pingback: Resolving Chaos III | burnt embers

  3. I love this one for the bold contrasts and patterns that play together so well. It’s a great illustration of the principle you’ve been talking about of waiting for the composition to happen – the man bending over is really, really terrific right where he is!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Lynn! His position is really good, but also the other man bending over is a nice echo, and I also like the framing of the heads of the more peripheral people as well. A lot came together in this shot. Now, if only the man was peeking into the frame of the ad at the top of the stairs – something that only happened every 3 or 4 minutes for a few seconds. I could have stood there all day and not got a good arrangement of people with that ad in good placement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So when you’re standing there, are you just leaning nonchalantly on a post (if there was one), looking inconspicuous? Setting up the shot, then holding the camera elsewhere while you wait for the moment? You can see it’s not something I’m used to doing, but it would be good to try, somewhere in Seattle.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good question, and that might be my normal approach. But the course gave me courage, or stupidity, to stand with my knees locked in the middle of the concourse with the streams of people flowing around me. The camera was at my eye nearly the whole time holding the frame steady. No one bumped me or my camera, no one gave me the evil eye that I noticed and no security guard asked me to wipe my CF card clean.
        Sam Abell mentioned one thing in class that I found very interesting. He thinks that if you are standing with a camera to your face obviously in the act of taking pictures that people who walk into the shot are giving (sort of) tacit permission to have their picture taken. He did not state this strongly, and caveats were implied. It is an interesting thought and potnetially a nice counter to “candid” or “stealth” photography where the subject has no advance awareness of photos being taken.


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