Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A volunteer hands out water to marathon runners.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Claudia Eastman

The winter sun cuts through Union Station in February in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Eric Beteille

Rain in Los Angeles is as rare as...

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Catherine Lacey Dodd

Merry-go-round at Griffith Park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Nancy Dushkin

A little Supergirl photobombs a shot of tulips

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Cindi Kauffman

City through the fog.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Albert Valles

A man smokes a cigarette in an alley of the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Susan Catherine Weber

A homeless man plays guitar in Hollywood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Skylar Aud

More galleries on Framework

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Reader photos: Best of Southern California Moments for March 2014

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Reader photos: Best of Southern California Moments for March 2014

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Reader photos: Best of Southern California Moments for March 2014

Most good photographers strive to shoot images that will immediately draw the viewer’s eyes to a specific part of the photo. There are many ways to do this — framing, lining or focus — but my personal preference is finding the human element.

In theory, viewers tend to gravitate to the most recognizable objects. And perhaps nothing highlights the human condition better than photos with visible faces that portray relatable emotions and genuine interactions.

So it’s no surprise that as I sorted through March’s reader photos, I was naturally attracted to images with people in them. There’s Cindi Kaufman’s shot of tulips on a warm day that was “photobombed” by a young girl in a Supergirl costume. The child looks up at the iPhone camera as if to say, “Hey, but look at me.” And we certainly do. A homeless musician at a Hollywood intersection catches the attention of photographer Skyler Aud.  He’s shirtless, with tattoo sleeves on both arms, and he strums a guitar. And yet with all those elements, we are instantly drawn to his eyes and are left wanting more. The same goes for Susan Catherine Weber’s shot of a man eyeing her FujifilmX100 in the alley of downtown’s fashion district. Once again, the faces are driving the storytelling.

My favorite image was taken by Claudia Eastman during the Los Angeles marathon. Two out-of-focus runners frame the edges of the colorful photo. But what do we notice at first glance? The face of a volunteer handing a runner a much-needed cup of water. Their priceless interaction is a beautiful reminder of just how much people depend on one another.

So as you go out and look for photo-worthy moments, remember to ask yourself: What do you want your viewers to initially see? Happy hunting! Feel as though there’s a photo I left out, or one that doesn’t belong in the set? Sound off in the comments. See you next month.

Submit your photos here or to our Flickr group. You can also hashtag your photos #SoCalMoments on Instagram or Twitter.

Follow Trishna Patel on Twitter.

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