D700, 50mm, f/9, ISO600, 1/125
There is so much going on in this image but the overriding feel is that of rhythm. Sketching over the image to assist in unpicking the design elements helped me to tease out the design elements. I took this image having just read up on ‘Rodchenko’ and hence I felt the need to be more creative with use of lines and to increase dynamic tensions. Rhythm is seen through the foreground pavement, the marching troops and the windows in the building line (on camera right.)
As we look at the image, the foreground pavement draws our eye in 2 dynamic diagonal directions. One diagonal takes the eye deep into the image, past the troops and to the background. The other diagonal takes us to the feet to the troops and beyond. The mace and cape of the Drum Major gives us implied lines that link the pavement and building line. There is an implied triangle also forming from the rod and the cape where the 3 corners links ground, troops and building. The two black umbrellas at each side of the frame add some closure and balance. The building is at an angle and provides an added element of movement and dynamic tension.
This is an interesting shot. The ‘Dutch tilt’, as it’s know in cinematography, was used as a visual device to create a sense of physical imbalance, discomfort and detachment from reality – heighten suspense. Something favoured by Rodchenko and the Constructivists, in design work as well as his photographs. I’m not sure about it here with this subject matter.
There is, as you say ‘..so much going on in this photograph’, and while there is conceptually a sense of rhythm, the business does work against the visual concept. A tighter crop, removing the crowd at the left and tightening the composition around the marching band would bring the viewer’s attention to the lines and beats in the figures. It’s worth focusing on the one element rather than bringing others into play (implied triangle).
I have had a look at the crop in edit and taken out the spectators. I’m ot sure it works for me or strengthens the image in any way.