Yes, I agree with that.
I think it is relatively easy to make a, by the book, gestalt shots for showing similarity, proximity, fate, etcetera. Call them concept illustrations, concept shots.
In training this you can do very well with paper and pencil or just moving around the salt and pepper on you kitchen table. Add spaghetti you can do directions and good curves as well.
Having the knowledge of the factors means that you carry them around in your toolbox when out shooting, and when a good situation is there for that type of shot, you will be able to recognise it and take it.
One of the most famous photographs ever taken by HCB happens by the river Marne. Basically it is a family out having lunch. You see them sitting and the shot is taken from behind their backs. Could in gestalt terms be described as a common fate shot (they are all having lunch).
Moving that scene from a concept illustration to an brilliant photo, I would say takes a LUCKY and a well TRAINED hand. It is a questions of having all details fall into place as well. That you can only hope for but not plan in advance (unless you stage it).
I have read that HCB kept a small sketch book in his pocket so he could always be reminded of how the great painters handled compositions. (He spent plenty of time at Louvre both for his drawing and his photography.)
Knowing gestalt functions is only half way there, but if you ask me, a well invested half. Owning a deck of cards does not make you an excellent poker player, but you can hardly do without it .
In street photography, I really believe that if you know what to look for you will one day get lucky. Sooner rather than later .
No, I dont think that gestalt factor executions in themselves creates itching images, but it is a very good place to start looking for luck :-)).
Good luck with it.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved. Text and photo.
Copenhagen, June 7, 2013.
This post is in category Workshop Special.