ASSIGNMENT 2

 ASSIGNMENT 2.  ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

The purpose of this assignment is to present 10 – 15 photographs of a similar subject range which demonstrate a number of different design elements.  The subject that I have chosen is flowers and plants.  I have attempted to provide a wide interpretation of this theme in order to introduce variety and to demonstrate some of the huge range of the subject.  I used this exercise to practice with my recently purchased Macro lens and light box for some of the shots.

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SINGLE POINT DOMINATING THE COMPOSITION

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The point in this image is the central element of this flower framed by the petals.  The colours are harmonious as they are of a similar palette but the contrast created by the darker hues in the central element forms the focal point.  I intentionally positioned this point above the central point of the frame in order to create an element of unbalanced tension to add interest, and I cropped the  image to remove distracting background detail.  The small black spot on the petal on the left is a distraction which I would remove by appropriate software but in this instance I have retained it to demonstrate the impact that a small point of detail can have on an image.

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TWO POINTS

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IMAGE 1

The colour contrast between these two flower heads creates a sense of drama which would not be there if only one of the flowers was depicted.  The almost hidden unopened flower head in the top left corner is not noticed at first but when recognised creates a triangle and keeps the eye moving around the frame.  On the negative side, the rather obtrusive brown stem intruding on the left should have been avoided.

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SEVERAL POINTS IN A DELIBERATE SHAPE

I have included two images to demonstrate the subject of several points in a deliberate shape.

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IMAGE 1.

To achieve this shot, I floated three poppy petals on water in a large black plastic tray.  In order to prevent the design on the bottom of the tray from intruding, I set the exposure setting 3 stops down to make the image darker.  I added some small water drops in order to create additional interest.

 

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IMAGE 2.

Whereas the subject of Image 1 above was the result of arranging the elements to create the shape, the central shape which is the subject of Image 2 is found and was created by nature.   I was careful to ensure that the central decorative element was centred precisely against the background design.  A side view of this subject is included in the ‘Diagonal’ category. The red background pattern is formed of the coloured ends of the Hibiscus petals .

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 A COMBINATION OF VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL LINES

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IMAGE 1

The pattern created by these poppy heads almost creates a grid comprising loosely constructed vertical and horizontal lines.  This gives a sense of order to the image which could otherwise have appeared random.

 

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 IMAGE 2

A close up shot of the wonderful texture of silver birch bark shows short horizontal bands of a pale sand coloured material scattered apparently randomly over a creamy white ground.  On closer inspection it can be seen that the arrangement of these short bands is not totally random as they are aligned in rows both horizontally and, more loosely, stacked vertically.

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CURVES

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IMAGE 1

I found this almost circular leaf an interesting subject because of both its shape and texture.  I decided to add highlights and additional rounded elements by spraying with water to create droplets.  This shot was taken with my new Macro lens and I set the aperture quite wide at f5.6 in order to reduce the depth of field to make the image more interesting.

 

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IMAGE 2

This is a small bracket fungus that I found locally which has a wonderful pattern of concentric curves presumably indicating different periods of growth.  The close proximity of a number of individual plants has disrupted the pattern to some extent but the curved patterns still remain to a greater or lesser degree.

 

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IMAGE 3

This is a variation on the theme!  It is a shot of flowers, but the circle is in the form of a life ring as a back drop.  It takes a while for the eye to follow the curve of the flower heads down to the bottom left corner to find the small model of a gannet.

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DIAGONALS

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 IMAGE 1

This shot was an obvious choice for the diagonal section of the Assessment.  The subject is the stamen of a Hibiscus flower and provided a good subject for me to try out my recently purchased Macro lens.  I tried various lighting angles but in the end settled on this shot as I liked the line created by the shadow of the stamen curving away from the centre of the flower which emphasises the straightness of the stamen.

 

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IMAGE 2

There are two opposing diagonal directions in this image of umbellifers.  The bottom left to top right upwards direction of the angled stems is in direct contrast with the diagonal downwards left to right angle of the flower head.  This creates movement and interest which would not be present if the stems were vertical and the flower head horizontal.  The out of focus background creates additional depth and interest.

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 DISTINCT, EVEN IF IRREGULAR, SHAPES

Picture 319

IMAGE 1

The vibrant colours of these flower heads ensure that they make a strong impact and, grouped as they are, they form a distinct and attractive shape which keeps the eye moving around the frame.  The two more distant flower heads add to the effect and also create depth to the image.

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 IMAGE 2

Although it might not appear so, this image does depict plants.  Whilst looking for subjects for this Assignment, I was interested in the patterns created by the shadows of tree branches on a local pond.  The entire surface of the pond was covered with duck weed giving an interestingly soft and ethereal feeling to the scene.  The effect is very different to if the reflections were on water.

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IMAGE 3

Another image of plant material and water, this time branches placed in the mud of a pond to create perches for passing birds.  From the vantage points that were accessible to me I was unable to encompass the whole extent of the reflection of the tallest branch without also including a large part of the mud shore line which would have detracted from the sense of scale and isolation of the subject.  I therefore compromised by reducing the extent of the shoreline within the frame as far as possible whilst maximising the extent of the reflection.  The sense of space and scale of the subject was also enhanced by positioning it towards the left edge of the frame rather than in the centre.

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AT LEAST TWO KINDS OF IMPLIED TRIANGLE

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IMAGE 1

This shot of an orchid flower heads was an obvious choice for the triangle category.  I used back lighting in a light box and a diffuse front light in order to remove shadows and to make the flower stand out more and appear more translucent.

 

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IMAGE 2

The rise and fall of these flower heads creates a wonderfully rhythmic triangular design almost like a wave or a graph.  The effect is enhanced I believe by the diagonals of the pool behind which creates a dark triangular shape that provides a balance to the flower heads and leads the eye around the frame.

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RHYTHM

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IMAGE 1

The vertical stems of these reeds almost form a three-dimensional screen with the light catching some but leaving others in shadow.  The use of narrow depth of field has created the effect that whereas some of the stems are in sharp focus, those nearer and further away from the lens are blurred.  This produces a sense of depth and variation creating a rhythm when the eye moves from left to right.

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PATTERN

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IMAGE 1

The detail of this dandelion seed head from the garden and photographed in situ with natural light shows a repeating pattern of star like seeds with their ‘parachutes’.  The resulting image is not as sharp as I might have liked on account of the fact that it was in the open air, but I didn’t want to move it as I didn’t want to lose any of the seeds. I will try again when time allows.

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 IMAGE 2

This was a hanging flower display that caught my eye on Goodwick High Street and which seemed to be a good subject for this Assignment.  I used a telephoto lens to focus in on the display so that the design filled the full frame to give the impression of a continuum beyond the frame.

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REVIEW

I enjoyed tackling this Assignment partly because I have an interest in the subject matter, but also because it pushed me into exploring new photographic techniques and  different ways of looking at plants.  I believe that it was a valid approach to broaden the scope of the images and subjects portrayed in order to add interest and variety to the collection and to explore more fully a range of design element types.  I am aware that some images have worked better than others in showing the particular design element type, but this part of the learning process.

MY SELF – ASSESSMENT

What works for me

 

What I can improve on

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