Hang Over, Hang Out


© Sharon Brown Christopher

Courageous composition in photography involves placing yourself in an awkward or even dangerous position in order to get a fresh or unusual perspective on your subject matter. What might be courageous to one may be quite ordinary to another. In her post several weeks ago Renee talked about her photographic experience in Reelfoot Lake. Literally in the lake. Renee, donned in waders, climbed out of the boat in Reel Foot Lake, where snakes are known to dwell, in order to photograph beautiful cypress trees. That for me courageous composition.


© Sharon Brown Christopher

I’m working up to courageous composition. On a recent trip along the Oregon coast, I practiced a lot of hanging out over various protective fences in order to record the scene that was attracting me. It was uneasiness with heights that challenged me in those moments.


©Sharon Brown Christopher

And then there is my discomfort being around water over my head.


©Sharon Brown Christopher

I am learning that photography is a practice that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Most of the time I understand this to be a gift.

Contributed by Sharon Brown Christopher

2 thoughts on “Hang Over, Hang Out

  1. hdaughenb@aol.com

    Beautiful photos, Sharon! I love your last sentence as a commentary on “courageous composition.” Without nearly the success you have achieved I engaged, on a couple of occasions, in what you might call “courageous composition. Both times I got into seriously trouble with National Park Service’s Rangers.

    One was in Yellowstone seeking to get a photo of a bison mother and her few months hold calf. I found myself between the mother and a male bison who must have been the papa. Big trouble! The other was in Rocky Mtn. Nat’l Pk. seeking to get a pic of some big horn sheep on a mtn. side.

    Judy rescued me from the Rangers both times but that did not reduce “the trouble I’d seen.” Unlike yours neither photograph turned out to be worth the effort. I suppose there is a distinction to be made between “courageous” and “foolish” composition.


    1. sabchristopher Post author

      Good to hear from you, Howard. I have also had a run-in with a ranger and live to tell the tale.


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