Saturday, 29 September 2012

Assignment 2: Elements of design

The purpose of this assignment is to display an understanding of the various graphic elements explored throughout the chapter and exercises. I really enjoyed working through the exercises, and I think I've become more visually aware as a result. Things I struggled to pull out of scenes at the beginning now leap out at me. Which can be a little disconcerting!

One of the suggested groups of subjects was 'Street details' which I chose as I love to roam the streets with my camera, hunting out shots. I stretched the definition of 'street' a bit to incorporate my local indoor market as it's a rich source of interesting images (and near work so handy for lunchtime shooting). It was suggested for this assignment to avoid situations which appealed because of their colour, so I have chosen to present the photos in monochrome.

Single point dominating the composition:

Although there are several light sources in this shot that could potentially be classed as points, I think it's fair to say the 'left turn only' sign dominates the composition.
Canon 5Dii 50mm f.2 1/500 iso500

Two points:

I like the contrast between the blown highlight of the streetlamp, and the dark patch of exposed brickwork.The shadow of the pole on the wall adds depth to the image.
Canon 5Dii 50mm f.4 1/25 iso500

Several points in a deliberate shape:

I was inspired by the talk the artist Mishka Henner gave at a study event I attended in Leeds to 'appropriate' this mural by a local gastropod artist. Judging by the way it ends rather abruptly I'm not expecting any litigation.
Fujifilm X100 35mm f.5.6 1/125 iso400

A combination of vertical and horizontal lines:

The entrance to a high street shop, shot at dusk to allow the architectural lighting to stand out.
Fujifilm X100 35mm f.2 1/240 iso400


Again shot at dusk to allow the artificial light from the interior to contrast strongly with the dark exterior.
Canon 5Dii 50mm f.4 1/4 iso100


I think this is quite a dynamic image with the curves sweeping through the frame.
Fujifilm X100 35mm f.2.8 1/125 iso200

Canon 5Dii 50mm f.2.5 1/50 iso250
I also decided to include this, which as well as featuring several strong curves, works on a much deeper level. It's difficult for the mind not to wander when presented with such a decontextualised symbol of loss. That it's on a staircase takes on a significance.

Distinct, if irregular shapes:

This took some head scratching, but I'm happy with the irregular shape formed by these lights.
Fujifilm X100 35mm f.2 1/1000 iso400

Implied triangles:

Sometimes you see a shot coming, and the pleasure when it falls into place exactly as you'd hoped is incredible. I doubt I could have staged this any better.

Canon 5Dii 50mm f.2 1/125 iso500

The power lines of the railway on the left of these converging lines add interest to the composition.
Fujifilm X100 35mm f.4 1/2000 iso400


I experimented with a tighter crop for this, but decided it was balanced better by including the packets of tights.
Canon 5Dii 50mm f.3.5 1/50 iso320


I like to think of this as a recession era version of Andreas Gursky's 'Prada I' (1996). If any art collectors are reading this, make me an offer.
Canon 5Dii 50mm f.2.5 1/100 iso100


This assignment was a very productive experience for me, I've learnt to see with more awareness. 
I'm fairly happy with the work I've produced, I think it's more consistent than my previous work which was flagged by my tutor as something to watch. It was also suggested I try and use light more effectively and I think I've succeeded in using it to enhance my images.

I've still got a long way to go regarding my time management but I don't think that's had much of a negative affect on my work this time.

I'm very much looking forward to the next assignment, which is Colour. I've been shooting pictures for it alongside the work I've done for this project, and I'm really pleased with some of them. It'll be interesting to see if any of them make it into my final selection for the assignment.

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