Re: Re: Color

Duncan Rawlinson

Wonderful images.

The purpose of this assignment was to test your ability to find simplified color palettes in natural environments. As I’m sure you’re learning through your own photographs, learning how to control your color palette is a great way to help you both simplify your composition and isolate areas that are of greater importance to you.

In all three of your photographs I see you playing with the theme of “shadow”. You’re taking photographs when the sun is at an angle which is helping you achieve texture and contrast in your shots. This is much more interesting lighting than if the lighting was simply overhead.

You’re also doing a great job in terms of your object balance and placement. Each of your photographs uses the rule of thirds in their own way. You’ve also managed to incorporate different design elements into each shot (color, line, balance etc).

However, I would like to draw your attention to a few technical details:

1. Latitude and dynamic range:
We’ve written an entire blog post about this topic here:

Essentially, this problem is often caused by the limits of your camera, but you should know how to try to avoid it. In your first photograph the sky in the upper right hand corner is complexly “blown out”. Skies are always problematic with digital photography. You wouldn’t want to lower your exposure much more because you’d loose detail in the foreground. However, you could use a gray grad filter (which often only costs $7-$20) and would allow you to slightly darken the sky (so you don’t overexpose it) without having to alter the exposure of your foreground.

2. Be cautious about how the different layers of your photograph interact with each other:
Look at your last photograph for example. Notice the shadow of the person (you?) on the chair. However, notice the top of the chair cuts off the top of the subject’s head. I like this idea a lot, but you need to be very cautious of these small details. I think it would have looked more planned if the subject’s shadow was framed properly within the chair so that the head wasn’t cut off with the top of the chair.

3. Also, I’m not sure what the grey piece of information in the top right corner of the photograph with the chair in it is. Maybe a sidewalk? Either way, does this object add to your image at all? If the answer is “no” then I would strongly consider removing it.

You’re on the right track and your photographs are technically and creatively strong. I just want to make sure you’re focusing on these small details. It’s these details which will transform your photographs from good to great!

Best of luck continuing with the course.