Assignment Two

Aim.

To produce 10 to 15 photos relating to a specific theme while incorporating the elements of design and skills learnt so far. I chose the theme of Christmas.

Single point dominating the composition
Two points
Distinct, if irregular shapes.
A combination of vertical and horizontal lines
Diagonals
Curves
Rhythm.
Pattern
Several points in a deliberate shape
At least two kinds of implied triangles.

Research.

Before beginning this assignment I reflected on the skills I’ve learnt so far before studying a selection of Christmas photography and reading tips from other photographers noting the different and unique ways in which they interpreted the same theme.

I created a mood board of Christmas photography, enclosed.

 

Lights played a very important part, creating a homely almost magical feel and producing all those connotations for Christmas along with bright vibrant colours and a variety of emotions from joy, excitement, love etc.

After studying these photos I then made a list of possible subjects and set ups.

I studied some of the student logs to see how my course mates had approached the subject. I noticed that a great deal of them seemed to convert their work to black and white, a great idea as without the distraction of colour the viewer could focus completely on the shapes and forms produced. However, I didn’t feel like this suited my intended theme, Christmas is a time of joy and bright colours and I wanted to show this vibrancy. Though if my tutor wishes I can send some black and white versions as well.

Single point dominating the composition

While it doesn’t fill the entire frame, the fondant star is both striking and dominating, the eye is instantly drawn there due to the contrast of the light against the dark and the leading lines from the cake case. It provokes Christmas connotations with the colour use and subject matter. Perhaps some bokeh would have fitted in well here, though that may have drawn the focus away from the star.

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Two points.

At first it’s hard to work out what this subject is, but that is the great draw of abstract work. It depicts the reflection of the overhanging trees in a puddle. The eye is instantly drawn to the two Christmas lights (the two points.) I also like how the moon appears in the background, softly, so as not to draw away from these two points but to give the image more interest. It can be challenging in photography to find something with no background elements, and in this photo I included the trees and feel I’ve shown how the lights still rein dominance.

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Distinct, if irregular shapes.

The placing of the cakes is deliberate, drawing from the previous project where you keep the camera steady and instead move the still life subjects. There are quite a variety of irregular shapes from the cakes to the stand, and the square table. It was risky using a circular subject as they have an enclosing effect dominating the composition and they certainly are the focal point. But their small size allows the rectangle to also adopt the enclosing power.

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A combination of vertical and horizontal lines.

The lamppost is the focal point, the vertical line leading the eye up to the Christmas light framed behind it, while the horizonatal lines of the tree branches reach across, naturally framing the photo and creating a dynamic clash of natural and man made. I wanted to captures something different from the lines that I had used for the earlier project.

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Diagonals

I’d already planned to use the diagonal window panes for this project but the question was, how to make it interesting. My cat jumped onto the outside windowsill, her face was framed perfectly through the diagonal. Though perhaps the composition isn’t the best, I like this photo, the exposure and reflections of the light creating the magical feel of Winter.

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Curves.

I have long admired the work of M.C Escher, a Dutch Artist who is famous for his lithograph print, ‘Self Portrait in Spherical Mirror’ I wanted to achieve something similar, though without copying and decided to do a photographic version capturing my reflection in a Christmas bauble. The curves are produced from the bauble, also enclosing the image, and the distorted result. A wide aperture kept the focus inside the bauble.

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Rhythm
While this may be a different perception of rhythm, I feel that it flows through the intensity of the cats eyes which is reiterated in the background bokeh. Both are of the same colour and shape and flow in the direction of the cats whiskers.

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Pattern

The pattern is produced by the tinsel which due to a wide aperture is rendered as bokeh creating a unbroken pattern which leads the eye through the photo.

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Several points in a deliberate shape

Straying away from the pretty colours of Christmas, these are the candleholders attached to a sliver stag. Deciding against the Christmas tree lights for this shoot I positioned the stag in front of the electric fire. The fire in the background creates a powerful feeling while the pattern is shown through the repetition of the candleholders, purposefully cropping the sides so they seem to flow into the distance. It took several shoots for this to get the right focus when using a larger aperture and also to avoid capturing my reflection every time.

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Implied Triangles One

I enjoyed the project on triangles as can be seen from my student log.

My sister and her boyfriend always seem to be in this pose so I took this with the tungsten setting, the slight blue tint reinforces the Christmas feeling and adds a bit of seasonal joy. The triangle is created from the lovers eyes apexing at their mouths.

Implied Triangles Two

A slightly humorous take on food photography, the two Christmas buns seem to resemble eyes and nose, with the corner of the napkin jutting out like a tongue. Perhaps not the most conventional of photographs, but the point of photography is to stray away from the norm trying to capture images that provoke emotion, whether sadness, happiness, or in this case, humour.

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Conclusion.

I hope that I have shown and incorporated all the elements of design into these photos, I feel that I’ve conveyed the emotion and feeling of Christmas both through colour, composition and character.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills
I have used appropriate subjects to convey the Christmas feeling while using all the elements of design. I have thought deeply about the composition and how even the slightest change can dramatically alter an images mood and appearance.
Quality of Outcome
I’ve shown that I can use the knowledge attained in this course for my photography while communicating my ideas related to the theme.
Demonstration of Creativity
I’ve ensured that, though all images bear the same theme, that I have used a variety of photography from food, still life, nature, portrait, abstract,macro and night which all require different settings and set ups. When taking a photo of a well known subject, I’ve tried to photograph it in a different and unique way. The photo that shows this most is the ‘Two Points’ Reflections provide a completely unorthodox way of viewing the world and I enjoy capturing this different Universe in the water.
Context
I feel that I have improved with my learning log, I’m thinking deeper about my work and writing it up. I’ve included book reviews, photographers and photographer studies as well as my own research and analysis. Though I feel that I can still do more so following this assignment my plan is to improve the learning log looking deeper into everything and studying different types of photography and photographers.

Though I feel I have improved in writing up my assignment I still feel that I concentrate on the imaginative side as opposed to the technical. Of course both points are nothing without the other so this unit I will work on improving the technical side of things.

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