Re: Re: Lesson 8: Advanced Composition.

Duncan Rawlinson

The purpose of this assignment was to get you thinking about the importance of visual story telling. Up until this point our focus has been on helping you better understand the technical components of filmmaking (i.e. lighting, framing, depth, color, movement, shape, line, balance etc). However, a photograph should not simply be “pretty” but also communicative. Many of the world’s best photographers are not simply creating pieces that look good hanging over a sofa, but instead evoke a visceral response from the audience. Photography is a communicative art form. That being said, it’s also a technical craft.

So this assignment was designed to allow you to merge the two worlds of the technical and the creative. You’ve done a great job of that.

The visual commentary being portrayed has spiritual overtones with the Budah radiating light from behind. That being said, it’s also a strong composition from a technical standpoint. Let’s take a look at a few of the most prominent design features of this photograph.

1. For starters, the image has great color control. It’s a dramatic combination of dark tones (i.e. Buddha) and vibrant light tones (i.e. the light rays). The light source is in the center of your composition and as the light spreads through the air, it becomes gentler around the edges of your frame. This causes a naturally occurring vignette which helps you create emphasis on the center of the frame.

2. Not only is your tonal design fantastic, but your color palette is also stunning. The use of reds, yellows and greens against an otherwise grey photograph, gives this composition a passionate and dramatic feel.

3. Instead of using “dead space” in the background you’ve used the flower details to create a sense of pattern and break up an otherwise flat background. This helps provide interesting secondary objects to explore.

My only concern with the image is that I would have liked to see the primary object exposed a little more. What you could have considered doing is lighting your background and foreground separately. It seems as through you put all of your energies into lighting the background (which looks great), but a little side light (or even light coming from the bottom) could have helped expose the Buddha slightly giving a stronger sense of texture and detail. You wouldn’t need much light and I know you wouldn’t want to flood the environment with light as it would take away from the mood and tone of the photograph. However, a little bit of light in the foreground would have helped you create a stronger foreground presence.

Other than that, you’ve done a great job with this assignment. I would just like to see you practice lighting your foreground and background as two separate subject’s. I’m sure you’ll be happy with the results.

Keep up the great work!