Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Part 2: Elements of Design: What have I gained from the exercises?

Taking each of the individual elements in turn for the exercises was a good way to learn about them. Sometimes it was difficult to concentrate on one element when, inevitably, other elements were present in the pictures I took for the exercises. I have summarised the main points as follows:

  • Although I considered converting my exercise images to grayscale, I left them as colour (with one exception) I think I have managed to complete the exercises fairly well.
  • Points: This really tied up with the previous section, placement and dividing the frame. It also demonstrated how to identify the relationship between points and extended to the way in which multiple points infer lines and the effect that this has on a composition.
  • Horizontal and vertical lines: It was very easy to find both in man made structures. I tried to use examples to show how they divide the frame, give a sense of direction and provide stability.
  • Diagonal lines: A whole exercise to themselves indicate their importance in composition. They are dynamic, they have movement and encourage the eye to move strongly in a particular direction. In conjuction with horizontal and vertical lines, they form triangles which help to group objects.
  • Curves: Like diagonals, curves encourage movement but can do it in a more subtle way. They can change the direction of your eye within a frame quite gently.
  • Using lines: Real lines (actual physical lines) and implied lines (those between points for example) can be used within a frame to encourage  the viewer's eye to rest on the main points of a picture.
  • Shapes: Circles and rectangles can contain (outline) and enclose a subject. Such regular shapes give stability. Light also plays a part in defining shape, strong contrast brings out shapes in a scene.
  • Triangles: The most frequently occuring shapes, they can be real or implied and help to group objects together and as mentioned earlier they are very dynamic.
  • Rhythm and Pattern: This exercise brought together a lot of these elements to provide patterns, both static and rhythmic, tying the elements of design together and providing an opportunity to put them into practice.
I now have about a month to complete the assignment. As before, I will record my progress through the assignment step by step using this blog.

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