View Full Version : Assignment #14: Missing

07-01-2008, 08:21 AM
To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer's craft.
- John Szarkowski

Photographers go out of their way to tell a story, capture a scene, or save a moment. But for the next couple of weeks, try to create photos that are missing something, or that leave something unsaid. A subject without context, a reaction without a cause, an action without an object, a pause without a beginning or end: be creative and decide how you want to create a photograph that leaves something out.

The surrealist movement calls this "dépaysement", which roughly (?) translates into English as "disorientation". From a surrealist point of view all photographs exhibit this trait, because they are all small pieces taken from the larger world. We know that any lens, from a fisheye to an ultra telephoto, excludes parts of the scene. So for this assignment let's take that even farther, and make photos that strongly convey a sense of something being left out or missing. If you imagine a photograph of someone caught in the moment of throwing a ball, but without the ball included in the image, you'd have no choice but to supply your own explanation for the scene.

As always, I encourage new images that are taken with the specific assignment in mind. But sometimes images that have something missing can be significant favourites, and for this assignment I'd love to see your older picks as well. And because this is an assignment and not a competition, remember to post early and post often. There's no need to wait for a perfect photo. And don't overlook the creative possibilities of Photoshop if that's something you enjoy.

07-01-2008, 08:48 AM
This one seemed obvious to me... It's an older picture that I cropped.

07-01-2008, 09:00 AM

07-01-2008, 03:16 PM
Here's one that I took this weekend, as I was starting the thought process that brought me to this assignment:


Seeing me playing with my P&S (an Olympus 770SW) for this composition made my nieces say that I just take photos at random. It's hard to argue with them, but this photo is exactly what I wanted, and I really like the feel of it. I'm sure there's a lot to hate about it, so I'll probably submit it to my club for judging. :D

07-03-2008, 12:00 PM
One my of attempts at catching the action at a race meeting.

Its a few months old but it seems to fit the assignment theme well.



07-03-2008, 08:27 PM
I have also chosen an older image for this - It fits the theme to perfection

(see what happens when you have a long lens on and really need a shorter one)


07-05-2008, 04:42 AM

07-05-2008, 11:14 AM
Rather obvious, but it occurred to me that I'm so used to the branch not being there, I've forgotten that it's "Missing".

07-05-2008, 11:34 PM
I was at the Cherry Creek Art Festival today and was looking for something that would fit the assignment theme when I came across this:


Definitely something "missing" here.

07-06-2008, 05:35 AM

07-06-2008, 07:12 AM
David, I like this shot. :)

07-07-2008, 08:46 AM
Thx a lot!

07-09-2008, 11:57 PM
This shot celebrates all the qualities of the Joy of Flight except. . . 510/40-150 old version Erik


07-12-2008, 10:02 AM
I continue to be blown away by the quality of the photography and by the sheer inventiveness of how people interpret and photograph the theme, not to mention some of the exceptional photography itself.

07-12-2008, 11:28 AM
Does this count

Henk Peter
07-12-2008, 11:50 AM
I found one while going through some last year's vacation photo's.:)


07-12-2008, 05:03 PM
During the evenings in the Chicago Loop, the shadow of the Two Prudential Plaza building ("Two Pru") falls squarely on the neighboring Aon Center building. So here's a portrait of Two Pru's ziggurat-like upper section, without Two Pru.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2257/2660443410_e8450aa347.jpg (http://flickr.com/photos/hobbified/2660443410/sizes/l/)

07-12-2008, 10:50 PM

07-13-2008, 03:23 PM
Here is a missing item I came across at Ruby Lake Wildlife Refuge in NE Nevada: a yellow-headed blackbird, head only. It was probably the victim of a northern harrier or other hawk.


The picture is mess because it was deep into twilight, I had to use the in-camera flash and my partner was standing 30 yards away saying, "C'mon. Let's go. The car is still three miles away. Why do you want a picture of that awful thing?!" Why, indeed? I guess it's like mountain climbing -- because it's there.

Shot with E-3+50-200mm. lens.


04-18-2009, 08:11 AM
Missing a cat on this one ;)


04-24-2009, 09:19 PM


11-04-2010, 08:34 AM
Stunning photos and good detailed. Well done carisi.