Monday, 25 April 2011

Assignment 2: Elements of Design: Vertical and Horizontal

A combination of vertical and horizontal lines.

This image took a lot of thought and planning. My initial response was to include two different types of long vegetables arranged vertically and horizontally but this again, looked too contrived. I then had the idea of making an image of food in preparation. I had no assistant for this task but luckily I have a wireless remote control for my camera and was able to complete the operation single handed.

5531: 1/125s f22 170mm (see below for lighting set up deatils)

(click on the image to see an enlarged version in a separate window)

Lighting set up

60cm softbox to right - full power, silver reflector to left. 30cm softbox 45° to left ½ power.

I carefully polished the blade of the cleaver and postioned it at a slight angle to the axis of the lens so that I would get a clean reflection of the cut beans.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Assignment 2: Elements of Design: Several Points Arranged...

Several points arranged in a definite shape

With this image, I wanted to ensure that the elements were arranged in such a way that the viewers eye would move through the photograph and include all of the objects. I read that, as westerners, we tend to look at images from left to right and that the ideal arrangement of objects is in a spiral with its start at the top left of the group and following an 'a' shape to encompass all of the elements. My image includes some of the ingredients for making a Dhal layed out on a rectangular white plate:

5487: 1/160s f16 35mm standard lens. 60 cm softbox to the right, silver reflector to the left.

(click on the image to enlarge in a separate window)
The diagonals across the corners help to reinforce the movement, the diagram below shows how I expected the shape to work.

I started by placing the three dried spices in a triangle, then arranged the other ingredients according the the 'a' shape required. I am pleased with this arrangement.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Assignment 2: Elements of Design: Rhythm

Rhythm:  Updated 23/04/11

I feel a little ambiguous about this image. It's one of those that worked well in my head but maybe doesn't quite work in reality.  It has the optical beat taking the eye from left to right and the change in direction looping across the top to keep the eye moving. I'll think about this again to see if I can improve on the idea or abandon it all together. Perhaps it should have more impact?

5314 1/125s f16 36mm. (two lights, 60cm soft box 45º to right, 30cm soft box to fill shadows 45º to left)

(click on the image to enlarge in a new window)

I thought more about this and decided to abandon this idea. Instead I have used sliced leeks and mushrooms layed out in a flan case to give optical rhythm:

5413: 1/125s f22 35mm standard lens, lit from above with 60cm softbox.

(click on the image to enlarge in a new window)
I have placed this centrally in the frame as a circle is inherently stable. The tension and movement are contained and enhanced by the shape. I resisted the temptation to crop the image to a square to leave room for implied movement from left to right. I have included a diagram below to demonstrate the optical rhythm.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Assignment 2: Elements of Design: Two Points

Two Points: Updated 19/04/11

I have tried to keep this image simple and decided to use two similar objects on a plain background. The use of a shallow depth of field has isolated the nearest strawberry by throwing the other out of focus. Both have been placed near diagonally opposite corners with the nearest appearing larger in the frame. There is some unresolved tension tension from this which initially makes your eye flick from one to the other but it then settles on the nearest.

5299: 1/125s f11 150mm (Lit by single  60cm softbox 45º to right)
(click on the image to enlarge in a new window)

Printed images: I am experimenting with the quality of printing with a view to submitting prints for my assessment. Using the soft print option in Capture NX, I have determined that I need to move the contrast slider to +12 and  the saturation slider by +25 to give the best approximation of my monitor display. I will also do a trial using one or two labs to produce a handful of prints so that I can judge the cost effectiveness of submitting in this way.

Two Points Take 2: 19/04/11. I wasn't happy with the image above, it is too contrived. (as is the image I made for Rhythm) I did some research, looking at photographs published in recipe books and magazines. I have looked at many images that are obviously set up but I want these images to look as natural as possible. I have changed the subject of this element  to raw egg. My first instinct was to include a whisk to give the image a purpose, i.e. you've separated the yolk, next you're going to whisk the white.

The lighting set up is shown here:

5385: 1/125s f11 35mm(standard lens) both softboxes are set to quarter power. Silver reflector.

(Click on image to enlarge in a new window)
However, I found the whisk distracting and removed it...........

5386: As above.

(Click on image to enlarge in a new window)

I have chosen to use the fixed focus standard lens for my camera. It makes the camera very easy to handle. I find it makes me plan layouts with more care as the zoom option is not available. It is also a faster lens with a maximum aperture of f1.8. This means I can use lower power on my lights and focus more selectively.
I have yet to make my final selection from these two images but I think 5836 is the better one.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Assignment 2: Elements of Design: Pattern

Pattern (updated 20/04/11)

This dried macaroni is contained within a glass storage jar. The random distribution of shapes caught my attention and I photographed one face of the jar, filling the frame. I'm not really sure if this has enough impact. I may have to rethink it...........

5255 1/125s f8 120mm. 60cm softbox at 45º and to the left. White balance set for flash.

(click on the image to enlarge in a separate window)

20/04/11 I did rethink this and decided that I should use a subject with more tones and contrast. I chose to photograph almonds, almond kernels and blanched almonds which not only added tone and contrast but texture as well. The lighting set up is as shown below:

5398: 1/125s f11 35mm standard f1.8 lens.

(click on the image to enlarge in a separate window)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Assignment 2: Elements of Design: Single Point

Introduction: The brief of this assignment is to produce at least ten photographs of  similar subject matter to show these effects:
  • a single point dominating the composition
  • two points
  • several points in a deliberate shape
  • a combination of vertical and horizontal lines
  • diagonals
  • curves
  • distinct, even if irregular shapes
  • at least two kinds of implied triangle
  • rhythm
  • pattern
I have chosen to use the raw materials of food as I have a particular interest in the subject.

I anticipate taking most of the photographs indoors which makes them easy to reproduce and adjust if necessary.

A single point dominating the composition

5113: 1/5s f10 90mm (daylight from rear with 60cm soft box 45° and 1.7m to the left - for soft fill flash. White balance set for direct sunlight)
(click the image to enlarge in separate window)
 Rather than having just the tomato on a plain cloth, I have included some dried pasta to add interest.  There was no particular arrangement in mind, the pasta was just poured out of  the jar. I have turned a few over as they tend to fall open side up. I chose a tomato for it's dominant colour and placed it in the lower left section of the frame to give moderate dynamism.