HILTON AUSTIN– I started the day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed despite a paltry night’s sleep, with high-hopes for my first session: Photojournalism Composition that Involves the Viewer. The first blow to my enthusiasm came when I discovered that the Taco Shack, where I purchased a delicious and inexpensive breakfast, did not sell coffee. The second came when the speaker introduced that first slide: “The rule of thirds.”
This hour was to be yet another rundown of basic composition principles: line, balance, point of view, and so on. The session seemed most suited for staff writers who were occasionally called upon to take photos for their stories, not anyone who had ever taken any sort of photography class. I was suckered by the word “photojournalism” in the title into thinking that the true secrets of picture-making would finally be revealed to me now that I had paid my dues in “rule of odds” lectures. Not so.