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Hello and thank you for submitting this assignment.
This assignment was primarily a technical assignment designed to allow you to showcase your understanding of aperture & shutter speed control. Let’s begin by looking at your photographs.
The photograph of the candle uses a shallow depth of field to help you isolate your foreground object (and main object of interest) away from the background. From a lighting standpoint, an audience’s eyes are often drawn towards the brightest part of the composition first. In this case, your candle is also much brighter than your background which helps to further isolate your foreground from your background.
My only concern with this image is that your focus is soft (i.e. slightly blurry). You need to aim towards the sharpest focus possible in your portfolio of work. This means using your “focus assist” feature on your camera (if you have one… most camera’s do) and using a tripod when possible. A focus assist feature allows you to temporarily zoom in to double check your focus before taking the photograph.
You if you use a tripod, you could also lower your ISO speed and increase your shutter speed which would help you bring your candle into sharp focus. Remember, the lower the ISO speed (i.e. 50, 100, 200) the less “grain” or “noise” your image will have. This will help you achieve a nice photographic “crisp” look.
Your second image is the most complicated image from a technical standpoint since you’re trying to both create motion and freeze motion. You’ve done a great job of that. The car is not perfectly in focus, but you’ve come very close! My only concern with this image is that your main subject is too close to the center of your photograph. What you’ve done isn’t wrong, but it’s usually more interesting to abide by the rule of thirds and place your object off to the right of the frame (if it’s moving towards the left, which in this case it is. Therefore positioning the car to “camera right” gives it some “breathing room”).
Also I would be careful about using diagonal horizon lines. It can work if integrated into the photograph well, but in this case the slight tilt in camera angle looks a little accidental to me. Try leveling your composition out to give a stronger sense of design.
Your last image is great because it corrects some of the technical mistakes made in the previous photographs. In this photograph you have a very well designed composition that is both properly balanced and in strong focus (i.e. the tip of the candle is in sharp focus).
Overall, great work on this assignment! I look forward to seeing what you do next.