The elements of design assignment happened at the same time as a very busy period at work, no excuse I know but I did fail to put into the blog a clear enough picture of my though processes.
I started off with this post about my situation:
And then I launched into a full submission with seemingly nothing happening in between;
I actually spent a long time thinking about this brief and trying out different locations. I should have made more notes and blogged about it but I was so focused on the end results that I failed to do either, making it seem that my submission wasn't thought out fully.
Tutor Report Form
You have done well with this assignment David; You have fulfilled the briefs well and you should be rightly pleased with your submissions. I have one or two issues with some of the submissions but generally they are well executed and show a lot of thought and consideration.
One or two comments on your learning log
AS I have mentioned before having your log is very helpful and although you include a lot of information about what the conditions were (lighting, aperture shutter speed etc) it’s perhaps getting a bit sparse in terms of your thoughts – what you have learned, what worked well and what didn’t and how perhaps seeing other photographers work may have prompted you.
Comments on the actual images in the assignment
I think this is a great image – It works well in black and white as it reduces the information and forces the viewer to concentrate on the shapes. I personally don’t have a problem with mixing B&W with colour in a group of images.
As I mentioned in an earlier email while you have the great curve of the roof almost silhouetted against the sky and front face of the wall these are equally counter balanced by the strong vertical shapes of the side walls and the stark straight lines of the TV arial and the lamp post. From the point of view of getting an image that expresses curves (and you could argue curves alone) this counterbalance works against filling the brief. However, from the point of view of making a good image – its great.
You have chosen a good viewpoint to capture the diagonals well here – I think the square crop works – widening it out you may argue will emphasise the diagonals by bringing in more of the “lines” nad a diagonal across a rectangle could be argued to be a stronger graphical shape than the diagonal of a square but part of making good images is to find your own distinctive treatment of a scene so to my mind having the square does this.
I like the highlights that pick out the 3 D nature of the structure of the concrete bands – as you say they are stacked on top of each other – choosing to place the yellow band in the top of the frame has worked well and steers away from “centralizing” it which, to my mind would have had a similar effect to placing a single object dead centre in the frame – making a static and more boring image. I’ve included a different crop here to make my point – centralizing the yellow band – it’s too obvious a treatment; However, you may differ and there’s no “right” answer.
Distinct if irregular shapes
Like you I hesitated over the wonky lamppost but concluded that I liked it, it’s the defect in terms of throwing the symetricallity out of wack that makes it stand out and interesting. You’ve got the good shapes of the islands well – you could perhaps have increased the contrast of the bottom 2/3rds a bit in post-production. Was there any more room at the bottom of the frame? You have cropped close to the edge of the smallest island. I might have cropped a bit more out of the sky to pull more attention to the shapes?
Horizontal and vertical lines
This is a good interpretation of the brief – I don’t think you need to worry about there being more horizontal lines than vertical, the vertical is as you say a strong shape in the image and the lighting/colour of the ladder standing out from the dark background works well.
One thought I Had concerns the placement of the strong coloured band – in the middle of the frame; did you experiment with putting this on one of the “thirds”? This is what I mean about including more in your blog about what you did try and what worked and what didn’t and why.
As the image is limited in physical depth – it’s very much in one plane – you don’t need to worry so much about stopping down to a small aperture – you very often find that the peak performance of a lens is around f8 (obviously it differs from lens to lens)
Implied triangles 1
I think this is fine in interpreting the brief – you have the clear triangles made by the swans – I find some elements of the image distracting:
First, your horizon isn’t straight this is a particular bug bear of mine but did you purposely have it skewed? Second, I think you have too much sky – your triangle is in the bottom half of the frame. I find my eye constantly wandering away to other elements in the frame. See what you think of my crop.
Implied triangles 2
I prefer this image of the implied triangles – It’s less obvious and makes a much more interesting image with a range of triangles. In addition to the ones you mention there is also the implied triangle right in the foreground in front of the rocks – the tarmac and one at the very left hand side. As I mentioned in my earlier email, I would be tempted to crop out a little of the sky. I’ve included a cropped version with triangles picked out
I think this is fine – shows the pattern well. You have used quite a high view point – did you think/try a lower one – say a foot off the ground? You would have a very different perspective and perhaps a different interpretation of the pattern. Again this is the sort or experimenting and results to record in the log.
I mentioned that I would perhaps adopt a squarer crop for this to concentrate attention on the sea wall – any thoughts on this? I liked the way that you have rotated the image – it gives movement to it as do the curved elements on the wall. Keeping the narrow depth of focus also helps give a sense of movement through the image.
Several Points in a Deliberate Shape
I’ve hummed and harred over this image .- It does fit the brief ok but I hesitate. I think it is a little weak. You have the points and they do fall into a shape. The trouble Ithink stems from the smallness of the rocks as part of the image although being small doesn’t of itself preclude them I think it’s because there is so much more in the image. – looking back over my initial thoughts I sent I suggested cropping out the sky and I still think this helps as it forces attention onto the rocks. Other wise the image is too much a landscape image of the beach with your eye drawn to the sky.
This is fine – a good illustration of a single point and done with good simple but strong shapes – I think the dark rocks infront of the light hous emakes for interst and your placement of the horizon in the bottm third also makes for a good image – Well done!
This image is OK – Yes it has the two points in it but as you mention the background behind the liner spoils the notion of two distinct points that have a relationship between them in the frame. The relationship between the lighthouse and the boat is plain – one pointing to the other but this line is replicating the existing line of the background. If you have managed to have an object in what I assume is hard standing are in front of the light house this object could be making quite a different linear relationship with the lighthouse depending on its placement and orientation. So in summary the image is fine and does the business but it’s a bit ordinary and part of making good images is to make ones that are out of the ordinary.
25 Nov 2010
Next assignment due
Reflection and Changes
On reading this a second time it is a lot more positive than I first thought. I can't currently return to the coast, if I were able to however, I would retake the two points image and the multiple points as I agree with Simon's comments there.