One of my first ever discoveries as a young boy was the vision out of the corner of my eye. It was a murky and mysterious perspective when looking at things from the fringes of my field of vision. I'd try to perceive as much of the world as I could without staring directly at it. I'd practice, practice, then practice some more—as hard as I could—trying to make things clear out of the corner of my eye. I suppose my early love of photography had something to do with this; my very first lens was my eye and I was fascinated with it.
It was not only the shadowy quality of perception that intrigued me. The view from the eye's corner was more candid. It seemed that once I looked directly at someone, they changed. Once they knew that I was looking at them they became someone else. If I could learn to watch the world out of the corner of my eye I could see all its wonder in a more genuine way. And all the action seemed to be happening in that murky, extreme part of my vision.
To this day, I still like the corner of my eye. Life is explicit and predictable and boring in that smack-dab middle of my vision. That's where the everything is crystal clear and in-focus. The intrigue lies in the tenebrous extremes of perception. Stuff is always happening there—particularly if you are a photographer trying to find magic in the world.
The camera too finds much of its excitement in the extremes of its frame. If a photographer can learn to find and place interest in the corners of the crop, a tense and intriguing composition can result. We expect to see action and interest somewhere in the middle of the frame and when it's been pushed into the corner, we wonder why. It's as if the subject has sneaked its way into the image or that the photographer is being cagey. It's life at the fringes, it's the world that seems to be just beneath the surface—it's the action that occurs in the corner of the eye.