Project One. Positioning a Point

Criteria: To experiment with the different positions you can place a single point in the frame.

First though I had to make a list of several situations to make a clear photograph of a point.

A bird of prey plummeting towards the ground with the background out of focus and the eye instantly drawn to the bird.

A flower with a shallow depth of field.

A bee or other insect on a flower. Strong contrasting colours with a shallow depth of field.

A spider on its web. If the background was blurred and part of the web then the spider would be the clear focal point.

(I did start to photograph this but then I realised quite how big it was and that it was dangling right above my head.

A cat from a distance walking down a cobbled street or path in the forest.

Several sticks in the water with a crow resting on one.

A close up of a cats face and using a shallow DOF to complete focus on the eyes.

A macro still life.

I think lighting could affect this if the main point was bright, and then casting the rest of it into darkness would cause the point to be the strongest element. For instance a macro set up inside.

At first I went about this the wrong way and chose subjects that were too large and filled too much of the frame. So I took my telephoto lens into the garden and searched for some possible subjects. I thought flowers would be the best bet as they are small and fit quite well in the frame.

First Photo

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I found this beautiful flower in the pots in the secret garden and took a photo so most of it filled the frame. Why do that, you might ask, seeing as that is what I got wrong initially. I wanted the point to be the centre of the flower. Using a wide aperture for a shallow depth of field, I blurred the background, foreground and parts of the petals so the eye is led further into the photo and to the focal point. I used a bull’s eye composition, as it is quite pleasing with the symmetry of nature. With the centre the only sharp part of the photo this is clear it is the point.

Second Photo

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I liked this flower so took several other photos. I like this one as the bold pink shines out against the green background and your eye hops from the dead flower at the bottom, to the opening petal and then to the fully bloomed flower. This makes it almost like a journey of metamorphosis. The flower, the focal point fills a small part of the frame and but as it’s at the top the eye is drawn to that.

Third Photo

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I cleaned the table outside so it would give a clean reflection and placed an orange on it.  A huge percentage of the photo is negative space but that is why the orange is so striking. The colours contrast and there is the simplicity of the reflection. I positioned it in the right side so the eye was drawn to it. If I had placed it centrally it would have looked a bit static and uninteresting. This way it has more depth. And it is more interesting when placed on the intercrossing lines following the rule of thirds.

Those are my three photos and it taught me a great deal about compositional placement and the different effects you can achieve.

Here are some others I took for this exercise. 

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The dragon wind chime. With the babies slightly out of focus, they lead your eye to the left and towards the mothers head placed on the rule of thirds line. The eye also seems to be looking directly at you.

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With three oranges your eye is instantly drawn to the odd one out, the apple, and the focal point, the stalk is placed just off centre.

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The flower is the tiny element in the photo but by the contrast of the bricks and the sweeping arm of green ivy that leads to the flower the eye is instantly drawn here.

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2 comments

  1. An interesting exercise, isn’t it – much harder than I thought at first! I really like your little pansy – makes a very good point!!

    1. Thank you. Yes I was surprised as well but I was quite pleased with my results, eventually. Aww thank you 😀

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