1+1=3


The German photographer Michael Schmidt was notable for presenting images in dramatic sequence to powerful emotional effect. He expressed this arrangement as 1 + 1 = 3, a coinage illustrating his belief that juxtaposing a series of photographs greatly increases their power. Years before Michael was so inspired I was earning a living from 9 to 5 doing exactly the same thing, first for Popular Photography’s Photography Annual, then at Camera Arts. When advising an assistant or presenting a layout to my editor, I would explain that two photos facing one another on a magazine or book spread is no different than two people doing the same. And when two folks or when two images have an affinity—whether obvious or subtle, the resulting dynamic is always more than the sub of its parts. Recognize that affinity was my credo. Or, as Schmidt chose to call it, 1+1=3. 

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