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Hello and thank you for submitting this assignment.
The circular polarizing filter undoubtedly makes a subtle, but enhancing difference on your environment. The contrast in the shot that uses the filter is slightly more noticeable. I can especially see the difference in the greener part of the water.
I’m not sure exactly what type of polarizing filter you purchased, but many of them have the ability to rotate while they are attached to your camera. This allows you to quickly alter the way the light is being received by the filter and therefore allows you to adjust the contrast and saturation of the colors within the shot.
But now let’s take a look at the composition of the frame. I really like how you’ve separated the frame into three different spaces. You’ve used a strong foreground, middle-ground and background. You’ve further separated your layers by ensuring each one was a slightly different color. For instance, your foreground is green, your middle-ground consists primarily of gradients of dark blue and browns and your background (sky) is a pastel blue.
From the perspective of balance the photograph is also “weighted” to the left because of the additional foreground land on the left side of the frame. This gives the image a slightly “informal balance” which in my opinion makes it a more interesting photograph.
My only concern with the image is that your “stopper” is located almost dead center in the composition. The little rock island just off the coast is where the audience’s eyes are drawn to when they look at this photograph. This is the object the audience’s eye will “stop” on during the time they are not exploring the rest of the photograph. However, I’m not sure that a center placement is the best spot for this object. I know that it feels natural to place your primary object in the center of the frame, but it’s often beneficial to experiment with its placement (based on the rule of thirds).
What you’ve done isn’t wrong, I just want you to be aware of it so that your object placement is always a conscious decision.