Photography is inherently an analytic discipline. Where a painter starts with a blank canvas and builds a picture, a photographer starts with the messiness of the world and selects a picture. A photographer standing before houses and streets and people and trees and artifacts of a culture imposes an order on the scene—amplifies the jumble by giving it structure. He or she imposes this order by choosing a vantage point, choosing a frame, choosing a moment of exposure, and by selecting a plane of focus.
That is it. A vantage point, a frame, a moment and a plane of focus. Sounds so simple but how often do we actually discuss any of these elements in talking about photographs? Do we even know how to think about these four elements? Do we know how they affect the image?