Lost Edges


Haulin' ass. Notice the blown out highlights on the top left, effectively creating a lost edge of the photograph when on a white background.

In a past life (adolescence) I painted. I quickly found an interest painting wildlife. As I began learning, I stumbled on a small blurb in a wildlife painting book about lost edges. I can’t recall the artists name, but her watercolor painting of a white Ibis, centered on the vertical paper, had an entire side of its neck and head unpainted. Effortlessly nonexistent. That missing edge became inspirational.

Years later, as I began shooting photographs while on my bike, I subconsciously began editing to make lines disappear. Reflecting on this, the brain's capability to close the lines and finish shapes through deduction always intrigued me. The results led to some of the shots from These are Cycling Tan Lines.

When publishing these photos on Instagram and later on davementzer.com, I discovered that some of the blown out highlight sections created lost edges on the perimeter of the frame. A happy accident. (Thanks Bob Ross.)

Losing highlights to whites and shadows to blacks is a loss of detail. Nevertheless, it works for these expressive photographs, especially since they are black and white. The lack of color eliminates the distraction of hue from the intense white/black tones.

Below are a few more examples of my photos with lost edges. A note for non cyclists: Required consumption of coffee occurs pre, post, and sometimes during rides. These are cycling tan lines, after all.