Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Part 2 Elements of Design; Project: Points, positioning a point

Exercise: Positioning a point
I keep re-reading this exercise and feeling unsure about exactly what is required. I have been through some of my archive and identified images that contain distinct points but apart from the image for the exercise in part 1, I have no images with a single point within the frame. Having indentified them, surely the sentence "Choose between 6 and 12 photographs................." should be at the end of the second paragraph and not the fourth?

In the introduction, abstraction and not seeing the photograph as a whole is mentioned, yet prior to the exercise instructions you are encouraged to make the subject "interesting" using naturally occurring situations or set up scenes. Quite difficult to do if you interpret a single point, small within the frame, being one that draws the attention and contrasts with a uniform background. There is not a lot you can do apart from move it around. I will try. Finally, 3 photos. Is that three different subjects or the same subject in three different positions?

I thnk this exercise would benefit from being re-written with clearer instructions. I looks like chunks of it have been cut and pasted from The Photographer's Eye without enough care taken.

List of possible points and backgrounds
Apple on a plain background (see part 1 Object in different positions in the frame)
Tractor in a field from a distance (ploughed earth or green crop)
Boat/bird on the sea or lake
Aircraft/bird in the sky
Flower in water or on plain ground
Single window in a brick wall (see ref photos)
Human figure/car/animal alone in a deserted urban setting
Ditto on a beach
Ditto on a snow scape
Isolated building in a landscape/seascape/cityscape
A strong highlight/patch of sunlight/artificial light contrasting a dark background

The weather has been lousy again over the weekend. I have been working indoors again and photographed three separate objects in the three positions, central, slightly off centre and at the edge of the frame. I have tried to be creative...........

Central: 4629: 1/125s f16 35mm (fixed focal length for whole exercise) large softbox to right, reflector to the left

I wanted to be a bit more imaginative than just plonking something down in the middle of the frame. The point is the round dish of red lentils (contrasts with the surrounding dishes by its shape) It works centrally because it has symmetry with lines radiating from the centre. Four dishes of the same beans may have worked better but I like the contrast of the colours. I tried a black and white conversion:

To one side: 4647: See above.

This red pepper is slightly off centre and may be too big to be point like. I'm not sure how or if this works on its own on a plain background. There is movement  towards the right generated by the differing proportions of the distance from the edges.

Bonus Photo: 4711 1/500s f5.6 200mm

I have edited the post to include this  image that I literally grabbed while I was photographing the second exercise on points. (I was waiting for two ships to juxtapose) A classic point, just off centre with the movement indicated by the shape of the microlight, diagonally across the frame. I can't say it's sharp by any means but it's a good example, better than the one above.

At the edge: 4657: 1/2s f11. Lit by window light from the rear and small soft box to the right at 45°

Again, I tried to be a bit more imaginative here. There is definite movement here by the strong diagonals. The contrast is the tonal difference between the boards and the tomato. I can imagine the tomato rolled out of a bag out of sight from top left............

Pictures from my archive:

I am only considering a single point from this picture. There are three others but the main object is the sailing ship, clearly moving from right to left, implied movement by the differing distances from each vertical edge, the wake of the ship and the fact that we know ships move on the sea!

This pint is close to the edges, creating tension which keeps your eye to the left of  the frame until you see the mooring rope. This diagonal, which follows the boat's, takes your eye up to the secondary point, the church tower isolated against the hillside.

This has impled movement arising from the point and following the slopes all contained within one of  the division of the frame.

Again, the movement starts at the point and follows the cliffs back to the horizon.

Here I've chosen an image with two points. It appears to be in a static balance with the larger object placed futher from the edge and the smaller, closer to the opposite side, there is implied movement left to right from the shape of  the cultivated field below the trees.

The frame division related to this image forms a horizonatal base from the foreground detail across to the dominant point then implied movement back to the left to the mountain.

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