Category Archives: Part 1

Reflecting on Part one – From that moment onwards and Assignment one…

On coming to the end of the course and now reaching the pre-assessment period I thought it would be a good idea to summarise what I had learnt from each part of the course Assignments, 1) to embed the learning for future courses and projects and 2) to use as a review and reflection tool which gives ease of reference to the learning points.

So to summarise the feedback received:

  • being closer to a subject is not necessarily a weaker position,
  • consider a variety of viewpoints,
  • consider what you want the viewer to focus on and depth of field,
  • take care with the placing of white objects especially near the frame,
  • textures are interesting detail so their inclusion should be considered,
  • look for strong patterns when creating images,
  • don’t be afraid to experiment with ISO,
  • take care with positioning and check for unwanted items near key subjects, and
  • use the exercises to inform assignments.

Image 6 – “Hello Tree” was recommended a re-shoot to capture the textures on the tree, this is below for your reference:

Re-shoot IMG_9427

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/125 sec. f/4.0 17mm

I decided to take a slightly different viewpoint of this tree for a number of reasons;

  • there were (and are increasing) so many cars parked down this road I didn’t want to include the number plates of the cars behind the tree, which a wider angle would have resulted in,
  • there was a huge white van directly to my right which restricted the positioning of the camera and if included would have become the main focal point and draw to the eye being white if I had included it, and
  • by being closer to the tree it meant I could get more detail out of the trunk.  I used a slightly higher f-stop than previously which meant I have included most of the tree in the depth of field used.  Previously I had focused more on the ground in front of the tree so this I feel is an improvement.

The leading lines are primarly on the path side of the tree this time, which I think works better as part of a ‘journey’ compostionally.  Also the light quality is different to the original due to the different time of day/year the images were taken.  This reinforces the fact that to try to recreate an image exactly, where the environment is not controlled, is impossible.  The re-shot image was taken on a rainy day as was the original but even the puddles were not the same….

To enable a comparison to be made of the images I have added them both below side by side for your ease of reference (both were taken at 17mm with ISO 100:

For the purposes of my Assessment submission I have provided an A4 print of the re-shot image 6.   This now completes my work, re-work and reflection of part one/Assignment one.

Part one – Project 3 – Thomas Ruff : Jpegs

Part one – Project 3 – Surface and Depth

And so to close Part one of the course…

Research point: Thomas Ruff – Jpegs

Brief:  Read the reviews by Campany and Colberg (see links below) and, if you haven’t already done so, use them to begin the contextual section of your learning log.  Try to pick out the key points made by each writer.  Write about 300 words.

http://davidcampany.com/thomas-ruff-the-aesthetics-of-the-pixel/
http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/2009/04/review_jpegs_by_thomas_ruff/

If you wish, you could add a screen grab of an image from Ruff’s jpeg series, and one or two of your own compressed jpegs.

Context: Thomas Ruff’s Jpegs is a series of low resolution pixellated images sourced from the internet and his own photographs, where the visual effect of jpeg compression (the blocks of 8×8 pixels know as ‘jpeg’ artefacts’) are explored.

Response:

Campany’s review firstly focuses on the concept of the found image and the archive. The internet being the predominant archive or ‘archive of archives’ from which photographers have sourced images for the purpose of making “sense of a culture increasingly dominated by spectacle”. Ruff tells us that he has sourced his images from the internet but his usage is very different; his interest being in their electronic construction instead i.e. the pixel.

Secondly, Campany examines the historic use of grain (in comparison to the pixel), in particular in the 1930s, 40s and 50s where “graininess took on the connotations of ‘authenticity’”, reflecting a sense of urgency and being pushed to limits. Noting that, in some cases grain was the result of “hasty processing by an assistant in the darkroom”. Pixels, Campany says, are different to the scattered chaos of grain in that “They are grid-like, machinic and repetitive” and currently do not offer authenticity in the same way as grain had but may do so in the future.

Colberg’s review states Ruff is “inventive and creative”, even though he doesn’t consider Ruff’s Jpeg series as anything other than a technique.  Following a visit to the Zwirner gallery Colberg thought Ruff’s work was much better viewed in his book rather than in a large format as shown in the galley, as the large format lacked the detail required to justify large prints.

One point that both Campany and Colberg seem to agree on is that some of Thomas Ruff’s Jpegs images are beautiful. Campany states in his review “His work seems cold and dispassionate, willful, searching and perverse but at times surprisingly beautiful.” and Colberg states “The tremendous beauty of some of the images notwithstanding, the concept itself seems to rely a bit too much on the technique itself.”

298 word count

Practical:

Here are a couple of my own images which have been saved at very low resolution to give them the same look and feel as Thomas Ruff may have done, although not in keeping with his subject matters which were normally unpredictable images of water, smoke, steam, explosions to name a few.

_MG_9020 _MG_9030

This concludes my submission for Project 3.

References:

Thomas Ruff: Aesthetic of the Pixel | David Campany. 2016. Thomas Ruff: Aesthetic of the Pixel | David Campany. [ONLINE] Available at: http://davidcampany.com/thomas-ruff-the-aesthetics-of-the-pixel/. [Accessed 17 April 2016].

Conscientious | Review: jpegs by Thomas Ruff. 2016. Conscientious | Review: jpegs by Thomas Ruff. [ONLINE] Available at: http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/2009/04/review_jpegs_by_thomas_ruff/.  [Accessed 17 April 2016].

Part one – Project 2 – Exercise 1.4 Frame

Part One – Project 2 – Exercise 1.4 Frame

The final exercise of this project makes use of the viewfinder grid display of a digital camera.  This function projects a grid onto the viewfinder screen to help align vertical and horizontal lines, such as the horizon of the edge of a building, with the edge of the frame.  If your camera doesn’t have a grid display, imagine a simple division of the viewfinder into four sections.

Brief:  I interpreted this exercise as having two parts;
Part 1: Take a good number of shots, composing each shot within a single section of the viewfinder grid.  Don’t bother about the rest of the frame!  Use any combination of grid section, subject and viewpoint you choose.

When you review the shots, evaluate the whole frame, not just the part you’ve composed.  Take the same approach you used to evaluate the point and line exercises; examine the relationship of elements to the frame.  Composition is part of form and formal analysis will be a useful skill for your exercises and assignment as you progress through the course.

Part 2: Select 6 or 8 images that you feel work individually as compositions and also together as a set.  If you have software for making contact sheets you might like to present them as a single composite image.  Add the images to your learning log together with the technical information such as camera settings, and one or two lines containing your thoughts and observations.

Practical: For this exercise I used my Canon 70D and my new lens, Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX DG Macro OS.  This meant that I was a little bit more experimental than maybe I would have been otherwise, which is a good thing as practice makes perfect.

I used the immediate area where I live for inspiration for this exercise and I think I managed to capture some interesting and varied subjects for my results.

Results – Part 1:

Here are a couple of the photographs that didn’t make the final cut but I thought I’d use them to discuss the evaluation of point and line within the frame, as suggested in the brief.

1 _MG_9342

Top left section selection – Bee on Dandelion

Tech specs: ISO 100 1/2000 sec. f/2.8 105mm

This is a top left section selection.  I think it is obvious that this photograph is meant to be of a bee sitting on a dandelion as there is nothing else going on in the image except uninteresting foliage.  The eye is drawn immediately to the bright yellow flower (point) and then the bee (point 2) for relevance/intention.

The dandelion and bee are far enough away from the frame (equidistant from the top and side) to be in a neutral position within the whole frame and I would agree with my previous analysis as the dandelion and bee are just there, there is no drama it is just a record of reality.

Once your eye has had enough of the dandelion and the bee, it looks to the area adjacent to them which is in focus.  Finally it is drawn away and out of the photograph via the pale flower stalks bottom right (lines). The out of focus leaf at the bottom left acts as a barrier to the eye moving out of the frame instead it moves in back into the frame to find another route out.

3 _MG_9346

Top right section selection – Rose Leaves

Tech specs: ISO 100 1/400 sec. f/2.8 105mm

The eye is initially drawn to the dark branches on the left (line), probably because we read from left to right, but then the eye enters the top or bottom of the frame via the rose stalk (line), then over to the right hand side of the photograph to the leaves (point).  There is not a lot for the eye to explore in this image so it quickly moves around the branches (lines) and then moves off the frame.

Results – Part 2:

Here are my 6 shots which I have put together.  Each of them could have been taken compositionally in their own right but I have placed them  together as a set, I will explain why:

exercise 1.4 2

Settings: All images used ISO 100, f/2.8 at 105mm then; top left: 1/320 sec. top right: 1/320 sec. middle left: 1/80 sec. middle right: 1/400 sec. bottom left: 1/320 sec. bottom right: 1/160 sec.

Starting from the bottom where the eye enters the image;

  • the bottom 2 photographs have complimentary leading lines and when put together converge and entice the viewer in to the image.  Once the viewer enters from the bottom of the image the eye goes first to the ball (point), bottom of the bottom right section, and then upwards to the blue bin (point), top of the bottom left photograph, taking the viewer on a journey.
  • Once in the image the two middle photographs add a transition through to the top of the image by using vertical lines of a drain grating and trees.  I tried these two photographs the other way round but the darkness of the trees seemed to work better on the far right.  As a left section they seemed ‘in the way’, stopping the visual flow and easy passage for the viewer to move through to the top section of the image.  The eye definitely moves up the left lighter lines easier so the eye enters the top photographs on the left.
  • With the arrow in the top left section pointing to the right the eye flows easily to the top right photograph, which is a stand alone flower and works as a full stop to the visual journey.

Reflection:

I was a little confused by what the brief was asking me to start with but I guess that is one of the issues with being new not only to a degree course but also to the medium being studied.

I very much enjoyed the process this exercise took me through and it got me to think about putting images/subjects together which I wouldn’t have done so under normal circumstances.

From the 9 sections available, which we were asked to compose photographs for in part 1 of this exercise, my final composite used 5 out of a possible 6 sections, which is varied.  In part 2 the photographs were evaluated as a whole rather than by their individual section selections which may have highlighted that as well as the points and lines that there is a relationship with what is considered superfluous imagery within a photograph too.  I need to do some more thinking around this non-space idea before commenting further.

With regards equipment I realised that I much prefer to work at 50mm, in this exercise my distance from the subjects I was photographing with the 105mm lens felt awkward and I found the photographing process less intimate.  Not sure this worked for me, however, the photographs were taken and the exercise was completed.

After using Live View for this exercise I’ve decided I don’t like it for taking photographs in general.  I can see it’s appeal for stationary repetitive shots of the same subject but for me it was cumbersome.  Trying to get the camera to focus on the place I wanted it to focus on in Live View was more difficult than the methods I use via the viewfinder.  This was the first time I had used it for more than the odd shot, so maybe it’s something I need to use more to get used to it but to be honest I’m not sure I will bother.

By the end of the exercise I was more comfortable with the new lens than Live View which I did persevere with to complete the exercise.

This completes my submission for Exercise 1.4 which concludes Project 2.  Now on to Project 3, Surface and Depth...

Cropping vs Framing…

As part of the course we are asked to note down what we understand to be the difference between ‘cropping’ and ‘framing’.  This is to demonstrate our understanding of photographic terms, our ability to differentiate between them and our understanding of how they apply and impact on image capture, meaning and post processing.  Understanding the difference between cropping and framing which feeds into the quality of outcomes and gives context to composition.

Firstly, I will start with some definitions:

Verb: crop (cropped, cropping) 7. To reduce the size of an image by removing undesirable or unnecessary elements. (WordWeb Software. 2016. WordWeb Software. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wordweb.com. [Accessed 10 April 2016].)

Verb: frame 1. Enclose in or as if in a frame. (WordWeb Software. 2016. WordWeb Software. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wordweb.com. [Accessed 10 April 2016].)

I believe the key difference between cropping and framing is;

Framing happens before/at the point an image is captured, either in the planning stage and/or whilst looking through the viewfinder.  Cropping happens after an image has been captured.

Noting that;

Framing evaluates the relationship of the desired elements, in their desired positions at the point the image is captured.  Cropping selects the desired elements of an image, discarding the undesired elements, in post processing to improve/change what is shown within the frame.

Framing considers the camera viewfinder as the frame.  Cropping considers a frame to be of any dimension within the original image framing, according to; the elements captured and the application or specific requirements of the image.

Framing is done in camera via the viewfinder (or sometimes in planning using a framing tool).  Cropping is done in post processing software, on a computer or in a darkroom.

Whilst researching the differences above I noted that cropping is one of the most basic photograph manipulation processes available to photographers but there appears to be differing opinions between practitioners and the photography world in general whether cropping is acceptable not.

In my opinion there is a place for cropping, this could be to; change the aspect ratio of an image e.g. make the image panoramic, magnify the primary subject, improve composition and remove unwanted subjects.  magazines, for example, will have specific requirements for the space available for an image so it maybe necessary to adjust the size of the image to fit.

Also in sports photography where fast-moving subjects are being photographed, possibly on fast image capture, there may not be time to consider the best framing as you would say in a studio.  The action is happening within a split second so a wider angle is generally used and then the image is cropped back in post processing.

However, care needs to be taken, for example, in photojournalism and documentary photography where a photographer is recording real life subjects and/or events where I believe cropping in certain circumstances is not appropriate, e.g. where the meaning of the image is altered because of the removal of ‘unwanted’ items or subjects.  These types of images should NOT be altered e.g. in Photoshop in my opinion and I’m sure this will be a topic of conversation later in the degree course.  Also I think that one photograph/image may not be enough to tell the full ‘story’ and a series of images is required to get more of a feeling of the situation being witnessed by the photographer.

I note that framing is also open to abuse in this context, depending on the photographer’s agenda, but this point probably turns into a debate on ethics which is not for this particular post but maybe one for another…

Part one – Project 2 – Exercise 1.3 Line

Part One – Project 2 – Exercise 1.3 (1) (2) Line

Brief (1): Take a number of shots using lines to create a sense of depth. Shooting with a wider-angle lens (zooming out) strengthens a diagonal line by giving it more length within the frame. The effect is dramatically accentuated if you choose a view-point close to the line.

Practical (1): I recently went to see Performing for the Camera at the Tate and had this exercise in mind so I have included a couple of photographs I took that day, as well as some others which demonstrate this idea that line creates a sense of depth.

Results (1):

_MG_9249

 

Looking along inside a hoarding gives a good sense of depth. It may have been more emphasised without the subject being in the frame but the fact that you can still see it extending past them I think it still works for this exercise. The shadows and lighting also helps to create that sense of depth, providing the eye a reference to point to move on to the next section, further into the image.

 

 

_MG_9254

Maybe this photo was not as successful. I honestly thought it would be easy to get a long straight road in London but in the Bank area where I took this photograph there were lots of junctions which broke up the flow for capturing depth, however, it works on one level as the cars get smaller the further away they are so you can definitely see depth. Also the building at the end has a curve to it so your brain fills the gaps and assumes the road continues around the corner, which it does on this occasion.

 

IMG_2394

This photograph was taken down my road. I hadn’t thought my road was that long until I saw this picture. The off-centre leading line really creates a sense of depth. Even though you know there is a building at the end, the pathway seems to go on into infinity because of the white wall of the building.

 

 

 

IMG_4672

 

Lastly this shot which I took at St Pancras International Station in London works to create depth by using the left hand wall and the leading line on the floor to take you into the image.   I think the lines creating the dome also create a visual pathway to draw the eye in. Although there is glass at the end, you can see there is further light beyond the people so your eye is taken further in (probably to a platform or two).

 

 

Brief (2): Take a number of shots using lines to flatten the pictorial space. To avoid the effects of perspective, the sensor/film plane should be parallel to the subject and you may like to try a high viewpoint (i.e. looking down). Modern architecture offers strong lines and dynamic diagonals, and zooming in can help to create simpler, more abstract compositions.

Results (2):

This is the first shot I took, using some Minecraft blocks stacked up. I thought this had potential in showing how taking a photograph from above could flatten lines. On the whole it worked, however, because I constructed the tower on a gridded base board I think perspective worked against me a bit. It is more obvious which areas are higher as they created larger squares (closer to the camera) than those in direct contact with the base board. It was fun experimenting nonetheless.

_MG_9288 (2)_MG_9297 (2)

So I went back to the drawing board. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have any tall buildings in my area which would be worth climbing up to get a more idyllic example of lines being flattened. So, I headed back into the studio and what went with me this time? Coins. I piled up a number of different sized coins and, as before, photographed them from above and then from the front to show the effect that photographing the coins from above can have to flatten them removing depth.

_MG_9301 (2) _MG_9307 (2)

Findings:

From brief (1) you can clearly see the effect of using lines to create depth. I like creating depth in this way as you will see from my other photographs (particularly Assignment 1, which is still to be posted but I will provide a link here when it is). With this composition it is important that the ‘leading lines’ lead somewhere within the frame, otherwise the eye goes out of the image and has to come in again where it originally entered the image.

From brief (2) you can clearly see the effect of taking a photograph from above can have a flattening effect on objects. I had never considered taking photographs from this vantage point before but I think I will give it a go when I get the opportunity. I presume the same thing would apply to being square on to a vertical subject. Compositionally it is not disruptive to an image for lines to exit the frame when they are perpendicular.

Reflection:

After doing this exercise I decided to look up photographers who have used lines to create either depth to their photographs, like Eugene Atget’s Saint-Cloud (1924), or to reduce depth by taking photographs from above, like Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Boats, Marseille (1927). Both these examples are given in our course notes.

Bill Brandt’s cityscapes used lines to good effect and in fact some of his early work was modelled on that of Atget. Brandt’s photograph Policeman in a Dockland Alley, Bermondsey’ (1938) has a brick wall to lead the viewer into the image down the alleyway to a policeman who appears to be on guard. Then further to the light source.

Berenice Abbott, an American photographer who was also inspired by Atget, produced photographs using both line to exaggerate depth and height to flatten it. Abbott’s ‘Walkway, Manhattan Bridge, New York’ (1936) has the huge steel structure of the Manhattan Bridge and walkway to create depth, drawing the viewer into the image and on towards the city.  In her aerial photograph ‘Nightview New York’ (1932), Abbott uses a high vantage point to reduce the height of buildings and the cars just appear as lights on the road.

Michael Langford also used a high vantage point to take his photo of New York from the top of the Empire State Building. Langford (2010) re fig 5.10 states “From such a distance perspective and scale change between foreground and background elements are minimized.  This heightens the grid-like pattern.”

Also whilst researching lines to create depth I noted that there are other ways to create depth in a photograph e.g. using atmosphere, colour, light, shadows, solidity, focus and movement but I’m sure we’ll come on to these in the goodness of time.

This completes my submission for Exercise 1.3 (1) Line. I will provide a link here to the exercise 1.4 Frame once it has been posted.

Bibliography/References:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/bill-brandt-biography/
Bill Brandt Biography – Victoria and Albert Museum. 2016. Bill Brandt Biography – Victoria and Albert Museum. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/bill-brandt-biography/.. [Accessed 8 April 2016].

http://www.artnet.com/artists/berenice-abbott/
Berenice Abbott | artnet. 2016. Berenice Abbott | artnet. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.artnet.com/artists/berenice-abbott/. [Accessed 8 April 2016].

http://www.zevendesign.com/creating-depth-art-photography/
Creating Depth in Art and Photography – ZevenDesign. 2016. Creating Depth in Art and Photography – ZevenDesign. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.zevendesign.com/creating-depth-art-photography/. [Accessed 8 April 2016].

Michael Langford, 2010. Langford’s Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers. 9th Edition. Focal Press.

Part one – Project 2 – Exercise 1.2 Point – Task 2

Exercise 1.2 Point : Task 2 (following on from Task 1)

Brief:
Task 2a: Take a number of images in which a point is placed in relationship to the frame.
Can you find any place where the point is not in relationship to the frame? If it’s in relationship to the frame you can place a point in any part of the picture and the picture is balanced.

Practical – Task 2a:
As with Task 1, I used the diffuser part of my reflector kit as the background which was placed on the floor,  I used a small red button as my ‘point’.  I set my tripod to eye level and set my camera facing down towards the floor to observe the point from above.

Results – Task 2a:

Findings – Task 2a:

Adjective: balanced 1. Being in a state of proper equilibrium.  (WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. 2016. WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wordweb.info. [Accessed 8 April 2016].)

I placed the point at random positions within the frame and concluded that there wasn’t really a wrong place for the point to be.  However, there did appear to be more balance when the point was half way between either the length or the width, or when it was equidistant from two sides of the frame.

Brief:
Task 2b: As you review your photographs, observe the way your eye ‘scans’ the surface of the image.  Note how:
– a point attracts attention out of proportion to it’s size,
– the eye looks for connections between two points,
– placing a point close to the edge seems to animate both the point and the frame.

Results – Task 2b:

File 08-04-2016, 19 35 51

My eye initially went to the bright spot under the chair on the left, it then went to the hole in the back of the chair as it was the next lightest area in the area.  Next I looked to the boat because it was the next ‘thing’ in the image and then I tried to work out the context so looked towards the door.  Finally my eye was drawn to the leading line running to the from of the image and then off the image to the left.

File 08-04-2016, 19 43 54

My eye initially went to the dark bin on the right hand side and then followed up the pole.  It then went across the top of the garages and snaked from left to right moving downwards and finally followed the road markings to the triangle on the road.

 

File 08-04-2016, 19 36 18
My eye went straight to the eye/face, then  the dark patches on the coat.  The red lights of the power station was the next thing to catch my eye which I then traced down to the mirror image in the water.  I then followed the leading line down, across and circled round to the other parts of the image noting the right hand top corner and finally the boat far left.

Reflection – Task 2a and b:

I found task 2a relatively easy to record but not so easy to assess the rights and wrongs compositionally.  The application of the definition ‘balanced’ was the part I had trouble with.   Aesthetically a point on a page is a simple point of reference without any other distractions, so I think balance becomes more relevant when there is more than just a point to consider.

Task 2b was a challenge as the eye moves a lot faster than you realise and to truly record what your eye is seeing, interpreting and recording is actually quite difficult even with your own hand.  I think I captured the essence of the exercise and noted that my eye was initially drawn to the lightest, darkest or most familiar point in the image.  It then followed the next most obvious point or line/s in the frame.  Generally I wanted to look all around the image searching for the not so obvious nugget of information to give more context and reason behind the image being taken.

This completes my submission for task 2 of Exercise 1.2.  You can access Exercise 1.3 here.

Bibliography/References:

Michael Langford, 2010. Langford’s Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers. 9th Edition. Focal Press.

WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. 2016. WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wordweb.info.

 

Part one – Project 2 – Exercise 1.2 Point – Task 1

There are essentially three classes of position [to place a single point]: in the middle, a little off-centre, and close to the edge. (Photography 1: The Art of Photography, p72)

Part One : From that moment onwards…

Project  2 : Visual Skills
The section is all about composition.

Noun: composition 1. The spatial property resulting from the arrangement of parts in relation to each other and to the whole.  (WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. 2016. WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wordweb.info. [Accessed 13 March 2016].)

Exercise 1.2 Point

Brief:
Task 1: Take 2 or 3 photographs in which a single point is placed in different parts of the frame.  (A point should be small in relationship to the frame; if it’s too large it becomes a shape.)
Task 2: Take a number of images in which a point is placed in relationship to the frame.

Practical:
With this exercise I wanted to ensure the background was plain and that I used a ‘point’ which would stand out and could be easily moved to enable a quick and easy change in composition.  As a result, I used the diffuser part of my reflector kit as the background which I placed on the floor, and I used a small red button as my ‘point’.  I set my tripod up to eye level, so I could angle my camera downwards to observe the point from above.  This meant I had a controlled position from which to take each photograph to ensure a consistent approach.

Results – Task 1:

_MG_8742  _MG_8743  _MG_8744

Findings – Task 1:

In each of the above photographs; the background is light, the point is red and easy to see but this does not tell you where the point is…

It is very difficult to evaluate just a point in a photograph without using some ‘point of reference’.  So naturally the frame would be used as the reference and where the point ‘is’ would be considered in relation to this e.g. a central point in a rectangular frame is equal in distance from each of the sides of the frame but also equal in distance from the top and bottom of the frame.  For a point off-centre we would probably also need to use directional instructions such as left and right e.g. the point close to the frame is in the bottom right hand corner of the frame but is closer to the bottom of the frame than it is to the right hand side of the frame.  Obviously, you could be more specific about the point’s location by using measurements.  There is no right or wrong place for a point to be unless there is a reason for it being there.

However, you could also evaluate each of the points position using a more subjective point of reference if you consider ‘why’ it is there, for example:

A central point (assertive positioning) immediately has a direct connection with the viewer, it has presence and could appear to command attention.  It is not engaging with anything else within the frame or with any specific part of the frame so could be wanting to engage with the viewer, in a 3D sense.   However, it could also convey isolation or loneliness as it is not interacting with anything else within its plane.

If this was not just a ‘point’ but instead, say a fly, to give some context, I would agree that there is still a direct connection with the viewer, one fly/one viewer, and yes the fly appears isolated due to its relationship within the frame but would we consider it lonely?  As we do not know how a fly feels we would not necessarily interpret the fly as being lonely as I think where feelings are concerned that probably translates better to human subjects, that said, the isolation itself could be read as loneliness.

A point close to the edge (passive positioning) feels connected to the part of the frame it is close to, more than with the viewer due to its relative perceived proximity 2D/3D.  However, it is also distant from the other side of the frame so could convey apprehension or fear of the far-side frame, maybe an intention to escape off frame or fall off.  It could also convey an attraction  towards the part of the frame it is close to.

Again if we used a fly positioned on this ‘point’, how might this be interpreted?  Depending on which way the fly was facing we might think it is heading away bottom right or could be heading towards top left.  This could give very different interpretations and probably adds more complexity than this exercise warrants but it also adds an interesting additional consideration which I’m sure will be covered in a later chapter, the perceived intention of a subject.

A point a little off centre (neutral positioning) conveys a more observatory position and I do not think there is necessarily a will to engage with the viewer or not.  It is not wanting to be ‘centre of attention’ or a ‘wall flower’.  Again if it was a fly, I would think it is just having a rest.

Reflection – Task 1:

This task of Exercise 1.2 was more difficult than I thought it would be.  Taking the photographs was actually the easiest bit.  I have never considered a point on a page before and just taking the time to consider something as simple as this has stretched my thought processes a great deal.

I can see that to have a reason for something being where it is gives meaning as to why it is there and instead of ‘just talking photographs’ having an intent of what you want to convey in the photograph in advance helps with composition.

Bibliography/References:

Michael Langford, 2010. Langford’s Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers. 9th Edition. Focal Press.

WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. 2016. WordWeb: English dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder software. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wordweb.info. [Accessed 13 March 2016].

This completes my submission for task 1 of Exercise 1.2.  I will put a link to task 2 of Exercise 1.2  here when it has been posted.