Re: Re: assignment 1

Duncan Rawlinson

Hello and thank you for submitting your first assignment. You capture the essence of what this assignment asked from you very well. I can see that you’re on the right path in terms of understanding composition because your second photograph used the concept of simplicity in its design.

Let me begin by pointing out some of the main areas of interest and concern in your first photograph. For starters, and most important to understand, is that you’ve “amputated” (i.e. cut off) many of your primary objects in this picture. Notice how you’ve cut off, very slightly, the top of the purple paper box with the top wall of the photograph. Also notice how you’ve amputated the white piece of paper with the bottom wall of your photograph.

However, the biggest distracting element is the assortment of papers and wires in the upper left corner of this photograph. These are all distracting elements that take away from the overall organization of the photograph. Amputating is also the most common mistake that photographers make. That being said, it’s also the easiest to fix because all it requires is repositioning yourself or changing the zoom on your camera to ensure there is not amputation or distracting elements around the 4 walls of your photograph. The reason this is such a common mistake is due to the fact that we, as photographers, get too focused on our main object (in this case it’s the calculator). The consequence is that we don’t’ pay enough attention to the rest of the objects that are within the 4 walls of the photograph.

This is such an important concept to understand and if you can ensure your photographs don’t have these composition problems, you’ll be off to improving your art photography by ten fold. Soon, awareness of the entire shot, and not just your primary object, will become second nature to you eye. But in the mean time you need to stop and think about each shot before you take it. One of the first things that goes through your mind before you “click” and capture and image should be “do all of the objects, both primary and secondary, help enhance the story I’m trying to tell?”. If the answer is “no” then you need to try and remove fully any of the objects that don’t add anything to your image.

There are many ways to do this, as we’ll touch on in upcoming lessons. You can choose to cut the objects out of the frame or create a shallow depth of field to blur them out without loosing focus on your primary object. Either way, the idea is to create organized and non-distracting photographs. In order to do this you need to ensure the 4 walls of your photograph, and not just the center, are well thought out.

Your second image is great, because you’ve taken out the distracting elements and simplified your photograph. However, your composition is a bit “flat”, but you’ll learn more about the rule of thirds in your next assignment so you’ll be able to fix that very easily as well.

Great first assignment. Thank you for sharing.