This felt quite like some of the exercises in the previous section and I’m afraid I have to confess I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. I had decided on what I thought would be a suitable subject but when I got the lake the red lifesaver was no longer on the water. As I was about to leave the Heron arrived so I used that instead. To a certain extent I got the point of the exercise but I wasn’t overly happy with any of the images. The nature of the light and the colours around the Heron seemed to me to make it quite a flat and dull image. I also think I should have got closer to the bird to really make it the main point of focus. I’m not sure I have a preference for any of the points and should probably have re-shot the exercise using a stronger focal point. I have included the shots because it was a useful piece of learning and it seems to me that there is often as much to learn from getting it wrong as there is from getting it spot on first time.
Title: Implied Triangles
Exercise: This exercise was focused on creating compositions with implied triangles. Firstly, create still lives that feature implied triangles, one with the apex near the bottom of the frame and one with it near to the top. Then arrange people in a group picture in such a way that their faces or bodies form a triangle.
Approach: I was tidying my desk and came across the tube of pencils. I had worked with them before for other photos and started arranging them in a shape that suggested a triangle. I also experimented with a number of different backgrounds but settled on this more neutral colour. In terms of the inverted triangle I felt a bit lost for a while and then read the exercise on real triangles which suggested using perspective. Suddenly the edges of tables, worktops and books all formed triangles. I then used the books I was reading to create the image. The final arrangement was a shot I took at Graeae’s performance of the Garden in September; it made me think of triangles at the time.
Title: Implied Lines
Exercise: Select any three photos of your own and find the implied lines in each. Consider the direction of these implied lines and if any are particularly dominant.
Approach: I analysed the two images provided in the workbook and then looked through my recent photographs to see if anything particularly stood out. I found quite a few possibilities and began to see how these implied lines have an impact on how you might view a given image.
Exercise: Look out for and take four photographs using curves to emphasise movement and direction.
Approach: As I was taking photos for lines and diagonals I was also looking out for curves. Three of these were taken when I spent a wet afternoon in London. The cardboard structure was taken at a conference I was attending where we had to build a City of Thought!
Exercise: Take four photographs which feature strong diagonals.
Approach: at the same time as looking for horizontals and verticals I was also looking out for diagonals. They mostly seemed to occur as part of the built environment, despite my best efforts to find some unusual perspectives.
Title: Taking a walk for a line
Exercise: Go out and about looking for examples of horizontal and vertical lines, if you can avoid repeating the way the lines appear. In each image try and ensure it is the line rather than the content that the viewer will first notice. The aim is to help you think about different design elements and to find different ways horizontal and vertical lines appear to the eye and the camera.
Approach: This was certainly an exercise that encourages you to look hard at your surroundings and to perhaps think differently about what you see. Most of my examples were taken around the campus of the University of York as I was there for a number days for a conference.
Title: Paint Palette
Exercise: Set up a still life with a background that has some detail but is not too dominant. Using six to ten similar sized objects place them one at a time to create different compositions. Try and keep the framing the same with each shot and rearrange the items to change the composition. Consider each change and the effect any new additions have on the overall grouping.
Approach: This was an exercise I did several times using different groups of objects. While I was comfortable with creating the arrangements I couldn’t get the lighting right so it took a number of attempts to get something I was comfortable with.