On his recent podcast (see here), Derrick Story describes a number of “mistakes and miscalculations” that photographers commit and which… somehow work. One of them is “off-framing” and he cites this famous image by the remarkable Dorothea Lange. The composition is… strange, atypical, unexpected. Yet to me, it actually does work. The open space suggests the area the man is stepping out to and where he will commence, toward his obligations or off on an adventure. Lunch in hand.
The mind is left wondering.
I recently experimented with this technique and posted the results. Here’s the shot of Gabriel which shows him somewhat “off-frame”.
Of the above Lange image, as I said, I feel it works. Joey, on the hand, begs to differ.
To each his or her own.