Podcast #162 Proximity and closure in photography

Hosted by Daniel j Gregory

April 16, 2018

Episode Number:

I have been helping a number of photographers recently with editing and sequencing. Some of them have a similar set of photographs that reminded me of my work in one particular way. They were very chaotic images. One of the things that I like to explore in my photography is finding the point of peace or relaxation in a chaotic place. In my work, that is often finding something in nature among the trees, rocks, and waves.

As I got to thinking about how we deal with this chaos and create meaning, I returned to some psychology books of my past. In there I re-read about the gestalt approach to psychology which was all about how we make order from chaos when we only see pieces of the scene. This research is what bore out the idea that the sum is greater than the parts.

In this approach is some laws or conventions about how we perceive and make order of the world. Many of these ideas I think to apply to photography and photographic analysis. In this first of a two-part series, we take a look at the law of proximity and the law of closure and how they relate to understanding a photograph.

The law of proximity is all about how we build relationships between objects in a photograph based on their proximity to each other either by time, distance or space.

The second area we examine is the law of closure, which explains how we can complete objects and concepts even if we are missing part of the whole. We desire to finish the object, story or idea that allows us to apply context, meaning, and story to a photograph even if we don’t know the story.

In part two, we take a look at the law of similarity and the law of experience.

Gear used in podcast

One of the questions I get asked frequently is what sort of equipment do I use to record my podcast. I have used a variety of equipment in the three years that I have been recording, but here is the current list of equipment that I am using. Also as an FYI and full disclosure, the links are affiliate links to Amazon.

Rode Procaster XLR microphone
Rode Boom Arm
Rode PSM Shockmount
All three Rode components as kit
Focusrite Scarlet 2i2
Adobe Audition (part of create cloud subscription)
LogicPro X
Macbook Pro
OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock

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