burn is an online feature for emerging photographers worldwide. burn is curated by magnum photographer david alan harvey.
Really, really like this one.
Andrew b – agreed. Pretty incredible, really. I was going to comment on Instagram but decided I would hold off and comment here.
Sorry, my first thought was that it sure must have been painful for that poor guy, getting his foot cut off like that. And I don’t think that’s some anal rules uber alles nonsense. It would be a better picture if the foot weren’t cut off. Great for Instagram though.
there is something lost here in tech translation…somehow it got cropped a bit …in the original frame , the foot is there….
Great pic then. Love how the verticals, highlights and soft colors work in a meaningful image.
Mw… does the difference between a cropped or not cropped foot really make it either a great or not great pic?
THE LIGHTING !!!
“the foot is there”…hihiii…you are ALL perfectionists…!!!hiiihii
Paul you are being insensitive….it must be extremely painful getting ones foot cut off!
I found the foot slightly distracting, but still thought the photo great. Plus, I was pretty certain it was an Instagram thing, due to the square, and that the foot was really there, so I didn’t let it bother me. Sometimes, when you look at an Instagrammed image, it helps to envision that part of it that has been cropped out.
Paul, speaking to the question in a general sense, not specific to this photo, I’d say it might, depending largely on the photographer’s intentions. If he or she consciously chooses to crop out a body part, that’s one thing. If it’s just an accident, well that’s another. Loose doesn’t mean sloppy. But still, in general, a photo is more likely going to be better with the entire foot than with it cut off. Maybe Hladun wants to chime in, but to my knowledge, the acknowledged greats throughout the history of painting, as well as photography, rarely, if ever, did that sort of thing.
Anyway, yesterday was the first snowfall of winter where I’m at so I did my annual (weather permitting) Snow Day essay. It’s a bit heavy on the Americana this year. If interested, here.
If there were two versions of this image at editing time at NatGeo I suppose the editors at would always choose the photo without the cropped foot. But if there only existed one image with a cropped foot… Would this photo be automatically dismissed?
You’d have to ask NatGeo about that. But I’m guessing yes.
The earliest example of the “missing toes” in painting I can think of is Cezanne’s “Harlequin” series, and I remember reading an essay which described how Cezanne purposefully considered whether to keep the foot end in or out of the frame in the earliest iterations, based on the way the foot had been overpainted. There are citations showing Cezanne used photographs as compositional starting points; since he was there at the very early stages of photography, that makes sense.
Missing toes in photography are abundant; they may be considered a convention for some, and a plague for others. I don’t know of any evidence, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Cezanne saw some early images with the toes cut off by the bottom edge. Regardless, the missing toes in the Harlequin series had a profound effect on Cezanne, which led him to pursue the pictorial limitations of the canvas boundaries. The work was carried on by Picasso, Braque and Matisse, then Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollack, and so on.
Cezanne is rightly and justly crowned the father of modern art by the way he freed the limitations of painting after nature, from nature. I’d like to think it was that toe, and maybe that photograph (if it existed), which drove him down his particular path of extraordinary inquiry.
Either way…respect the toe!
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