Part 2: Inspirational Dr. Seuss Philosophy and Compositions

Continued from part 1: Oh, the places you’ll go!

1. You’ll start happening, too!

Don’t worry when exciting things happening in your life, you’re going to do epic stuff in life!

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

In terms of composition, see the spacing of the elephants, and the little boy under, and the depth of the building in the far top right of the frame:


Dr Seuss sketch

Note the negative space between the boy, the leading lines, and all the epic and bold colors! The sense of wonderment!

3. If you attempt great things, you’ll take the lead!

Soar to new heights!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

Hustle hard with spirit and speed!

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Composition: See the boy ahead of the competition in the top right, with negative space between the others. Note the Nike-Swoosh-esque composition of their formation on the left, and also the dynamic arabesque of the landscape below:

4. Leading lines

At times you can feel lost, like you’re winding down the wrong roads. Don’t be risk averse, know you have more to gain than win!

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And what direction do you go?

You will never know, just make a decision:

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

But where do you go?

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

5. Kid, you’ll move mountains!

Believe in yourself, you will succeed! 98.75% guaranteed! Just take the risk, and go for it!

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

Know what your strength and fulcrum point is (Archimedes lever), and you literally can move mountains!


Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way and start today!

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Part 1:

Dr. Seuss, master of composition.

If we want to make better photos or pictures, let’s study his work.

Preliminary sketches

From ‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’:

Leading line, and disappearing vantage point

Note the leading curve of the road in the foreground, emptying to the vanishing point in the background:

Arabesque curve


Note the small details, like the hands in the bottom right corner, or how the little boy in the background is super small.

Or the keyboard in the foreground, how it makes a nice curve arabesque composition:

Sense of scale

Note how little the boy is, and how big everything around him is.

Lesson: Have a single subject, really small in the frame, in front of an entrance way, to symbolize unknown paths; an adventure awaiting!

Avoid overlapping figures, and add depth and balance to the frame

Note small details like the kite string in bottom left corner:

Also see the Arabesque curve composition:

Exiting the frame, bottom right corner.

This picture reminds me of the famous Henri Cartier-Bresson Bicycle Photo leaving the frame:

Lesson: Subjects leaving the frame are dynamic compositions!

Bottom left to top right composition:

I’m pretty sure DR SEUSS found inspiration from MC ESCHER, especially skewing perspective, and repetition: