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Great work with your first assignment.
You’ve essentially captured what we were looking for you to accomplish with this photograph. Our main object was to force you to start to think about the process of simplification.
Most photographers, yourself included, feel most comfortable using macro photography as a means to simplification. That being said, the visual and design elements you achieve by going macro are also achievable in larger geographic space. That being said, macro photography is good proof for what those design elements are. As you grow as a photographer you’ll slowly want to step back in an attempt to find the same visual elements in larger landscapes.
Let’s start by deconstructing this photograph to see what the main visual elements are that made this photograph transform from a “beast” to a “beauty”.
These things come to mind immediately.
1. Color simplification
2. Depth through DOF and Lighting
3. Better and more strategic amputation
1: Your beast image uses an assortment of colors in it’s composition. Browns, blues, reds, blacks,, whites. Color is not organized very well in this image. In your next image however, you’ve limited your color palette to browns and gradients of blue (even the white is a little blue). This helps you focus the attention of your audience on only the essential elements of the shot.
2. Depth is also a major difference between the two photograph. Even though your “beast” image has more depth between the camera and the back wall, the lighting has flattened it into one 2 dimensional plane. Everything seems to be in one layer. However you’re “beauty” photograph uses a shallow depth of field to isolate your foreground from your background. Similarly you use light to mould shadows around your foreground object which also supports the illusion of three dimensions. Great work!
3. In your “beast” image the 4 walls of your frame are a mess. Every wall of the composition is “amputating” (i.e. cutting off) essential parts of your composition. This looks accidental and sloppy. In your “beauty” image however, the amputations are less distracting and more strategically placed. As a side note, amputation is more acceptable when it’s in a secondary background object and you’ve used a shallow depth of field to blur the object. The audience will therefore put less importance on the object and your amputation will be less noticeable.
Great work with your first assignment!