Friday, 29 May 2009

Project 24: Shapes

The aim of this project was to photograph objects to emphasise their shape. Lighting is important here - either strong backlighting or silhouette, or strong forelighting will help to emphasise shape. I show here 3 photos taken for the project and also an extra (colour) photo I took a few months ago which shows shapes well by use of silhouette.

Photo 1: Scottish highland cow with horns - the narrow DOF emphasises the shape of the horns.
95mm, f/6.7, 1/500s, ISO 200

Photo 2: Strong forelighting and use of a polarizer to deepen the blue sky to black emphasises the strong shape of Kings College, Cambridge.
32mm, f/2.8, 1/2000s, ISO 200, Polarizer

Photo 3: Not as strong a photo (a bit soft due to no tripod and shallow DOF), but the transluscent seed pods lit from behind show shape well here.
70mm, f/4, 1/350s, ISO 400

Photo 4: A silhouette photo of the Canal, Edinburgh, which shows the shape of the tower and crane well against the dramatic sky.
40mm, f/7, 1/200s, ISO 200, Tripod, Grad Neutral Density Filter

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Project 29: Applying the Elements of Design

This project is a mini-assignment really, the aim being to apply the insights learnt so far on the course about design into a set of photographs directed towards one type of subject. I chose to do landscape as the theme, and have taken a series of photos, mostly from the Isle of Mull or the Isle of Arran both on the West coast of Scotland where we have visited recently. Like with the assignments, it was good to have a challenge in mind when out taking photos, and I feel I have been more successful with some shots than others in fulfilling the criteria, though as a group I think it works quite well.

Vertical Lines: Taken off the Isle of Staffa, which is in turn off the Isle of Mull. This is a photo of Fingals Cave in amazing high seas, with the waves crashing against the rocks. The vertical columns are basalt and are commonly seen on Mull and its islands, but Fingals Cave is the most famous. Mendelssohn was so taken he wrote a symphony! I only managed this photo...
120mm, f/5.6, 1/750s, ISO200

Implied Triangle: Also taken of the Isle of Staffa, more basalt, but this time it has expanded and shrunk variably, forming an implied triangle, particularly from the low angle of the boat where I was located (wedged in a corner due to the bad swell!). The white water running down between the columns adds to the photo.

145mm, f/8, 1/500s, ISO200

Curves: Loch Na Keal, Isle of Mull. The high tide marks are identified by the seaweed which has washed ashore. These form nice curves on the rocky beach.
59mm, f/11, 1/350s, ISO200

Point (plus horizontal & diagonal): A single tree, Isle of Mull, stands out against the water and background hills (diagonal and horizontal elements here too), with dappled light playing on the surface of the hills. The tree is a strong single point which the viewers eye keeps coming back to.
200mm, f/11, 1/350s, ISO200

Diagonal: A simple landscape shot of a valley, Isle of Mull, and a house (point) where the main diagonal is simply formed by the background valley. I cropped the sky away at the top to help emphasise the valley.
70mm, f/11, 1/350s, ISO200

Implied Triangle: 3 boats on the water form an implied triangle, Isle of Mull.
170mm, f/19, 1/250s, ISO200

Two points: The contrast here is between the standing stones (similar age to Stonehenge), and the small (modern) house in the distance in this low contrast photo. Isle of Arran Standing Stones.
700mm, f/5.6, 1/180s, ISO100

Several points in a deliberate shape: A photo of sand and seaweed where the seaweed is loosely 'arranged' in a triangluar/squashed rectangle arrangement. Isle of Arran.
70mm, f/6.7, 1/250s, ISO200

Distinct Shape: This photo of two birds on a dark rock, waves breaking and the distinct shape on the horizon of an island called Ailsa Crag is really effective. Taken from the South coast of the Isle of Arran.
200mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO200

Pattern: A close-up photo of swirling white bubbles on dark water gives an abstract feel to this photo. Cambridge, UK.
70mm, f/9.5, 1/350s, ISO400

Rhythm: A narrow DOF emphasises some grasses and against a hill in the background. This is not a really strong rhythm photo but I think it shows elements of rhythm.
70mm, f/8, 1/1000s, ISO200

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Project 25: Rectangles

The aim of this project is to produce 3 photos, of different subjects, that contain prominent rectangles, and to keep them rectangular in the photo!

Photo 1: The classic windows & doors photo taken in Amsterdam, with quite a lot of variety & interest.
46mm, f/9, 1/500s, ISO 400

Photo 2: A slightly abstract photo of the side of a houseboat on the canal in Edinburgh. This is more horizontal & vertical than rectangles, but it is very ordered and solid. The slight offsets of the two strong verticals keeps it interesting.
50mm, f/3.5, 1/350s, ISO 200

Photo 3: Tennis Court Road, Cambridge. I liked the sign & drainpost, the brickwork and ledge with shadows finish off the rectangles in this photo.
70mm, f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 200

The difficult thing about this project was thinking of different subjects that were rectangluar! Then keeping them as rectangles added to the challenge - I had to think carefully about focal lengths.

Project 23: Implied Lines

For the second part of this project I had to find any 3 photos of my own and find the implied lines, alongside a small diagram to show these lines.

Photo 1: Here there is an eyeline from the two elderly people looking at the stamp collection on the table.

Photo 2: A row of boats form a vertical line, weakly dominant heading into the frame.

Photo 3: A person looking through binoculars gives the suggestion of a strong eye-line outwards to the left.

Secondly, plan and take 2 photos that use either an eye line, or an extension of a line (or lines that point). I found this quite challenging!

An Eye line: A small family is looking up at a monument leading the viewers eyes to the top RH side of the photo.

Lines that point: Gardens in Clare College Cambridge pointing gently towards the top LH corner.

This project was challenging (the searching for implied lines) but I will keep this technique in mind in future photo taking.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Project 28: Rhythms & Patterns

The aim of this project was to produce at least two photos, one showing rhythm and one showing pattern. I have chosen to show two photos of the same area (same viewpoint & subject) as I thought they were an interesting comparison.

Photo 1 (Rhythm): Waverley station, looking down from above (Edinburgh). Here I have photographed the triangular apexs of the train station roof, using digaonal lines to bring the viewer into the photo, and then the eye should run along the apexs with some rhythm before coming to the light post which is almost a bit of a surprise!
59mm, f/6.7, 1/250s, ISO 200

Photo 2 (Pattern): Waverley station. Here I have cropped in tighter (so the pattern extends beyond the frame). I have captured the diagonals criss-crossing the image, and also you can see a bit through the roof to what is below which makes it a little more interesting than just a photo of a roof. I think in some ways this is more interesting than the rhythm photo even though there is less going on in this photo.
55mm, f/6.7, 1/180s, ISO 200

The comparison between the two shots is interesting - they both clearly show the elements of design, and are of very similar subjects but the end result is quite different. I like the idea of photos being dynamic and think that they are more interesting because of this, though do feel some scenes call for a very still, quiet feeling also.

Project 27: Real & Implied Circles

The aim of this project was, along the lines of the previous projects, produce 4 photos organised around circles. Attempt an implied circle if possible!

Photo 1: Another bike shot from Amsterdam. These bikes were parked on angled metal which raised them off the ground. In the background is an circular Art Deco style entrance to a building which reinforces the circles.
43mm, f/3.2, 1/400s, ISO 400

Photo 2: Edinburgh light post/railing/clocktower. I have two versions of this shot, the first from further back which includes all the elements, including the rounded top of the light, but the circular railings are not as strong. The second is a closeup of the railings with the clock in the background out-of-focus. I slightly prefer the first version.
52mm, f/6.7, 1/500s, ISO 200

70mm, f/11, 1/180s, ISO 200

Photo 3: Another cycle shot, this time in a bit of a different context, mounted on the wall of a pub!
50mm, f/4, 1/750s, ISO 400

Photo 4: An attempt at an implied circle, this time on the Isle of Arran at the amazing collection of standing stones (similar age to Stonehedge, far fewer tourists visiting!!. Despite my low angle, a circle is implied here. Note the water on my lens adds some softness to the hills behind but was not intentional!

30mm, f/5.6, 1/180s, ISO 100