ON STREET PHOTOGRAPHY and other life changing events


The Countdown: The Rubber Band Effect (RBE)

The Gallery © Knut Skjærven

The Gallery © Knut Skjærven

Today is  the day that turned out not to be the day.

We might have close to a month to go yet. But since no specific date has been set, it is like working with a rubber band. It gives and takes.

I am talking about the secret project.

While waiting here is what I want to introduce: The Rubber Band Effect. Rudolf Arnheim named it in his analysis of Claude Monet‘s Gare Saint-Lazare from 1877.

In a text from 1988.

In Monet’s painting there is a visual middle, which is the space between the two trains. There is also a center established by the visual forces of the locomotive at the right hand side. These two visual competitors creates a visual tension in the painting.  ” … its deviation from the middle adds tension to its focus of energy by what I have called “the rubber band effect”.

This term seemed very useful and I started looking around for photographs that thrived on the same Rubber Band Effect.

And I found one. You see it above. I call it The Gallery. It is shot at Museum The Kennedys in Berlin, November 2012.

It does not really matter how close or how far the structure of that simple photograph is from the structure of Monet’s masterpiece from way back. That can be argued, but I have no problem with it.

What is important is this: It seems that some photographs operate with a Rubber Band Effect already. Arnheim has simply named it for us.

Good luck finding your own rubber bands among your fine photographs. Or bring one along for future street photography.  To measure things up. I know Tony will.

Let’s end it here. The Rubber Band Effect (RBE) is hereby introduced to the intelligent world of street photography.

You are welcome :-).

© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.


3 comments on “The Countdown: The Rubber Band Effect (RBE)

  1. Leslie Gleim
    October 22, 2013

    Thanks for this thought provoking point of view! Now I’ll be searching for the RBE more often. I just hope I don’t snap 🙂

    • Knut Skjaerven
      October 22, 2013

      Many thanks for reading this post, Leslie. And commenting on it. I am honoured. Have a good day :-).

  2. sey
    October 27, 2013

    reminds me of Joe Stretch and his Elastic Band. 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 22, 2013 by in The Countdown and tagged , .

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