Re: Re: re-discovering your world

Duncan Rawlinson

Great first assignment.

In this assignment we wanted to see you incorporate stronger design elements by closely examining your natural environment. This means you were required to look for naturally occurring environmental elements that had shape, line, pattern, color, tone, light etc as part of their natural properties. You’ve done a great job of this.

Your first image is relatively flat and two dimensional while your “beauty” image has a much stronger sense of depth and dimension. Most noticeably for me however, was that your “beast image” lacked tonal range. This is incredibly important in black and white photography but having a strong sense of tonal range in color photographs can help in many cases as well.

My main concern with your “beast” image is that your background is underexposed. There seems to be a vibrant blue wall back there, but because there is no light on the wall, the under lit area simply looks grey and dull.

It’s also particularly noticeable because your background is in sharp focus. It would have been less of an issue if you softened your focus so your audience would place less emphasis on it, but since you’ve used selective focus to include information in the entire environment (including the background) I notice this issue much more than if you used a shallow depth of field and slightly blurred the background.

I’ve attached your levels readings from both photographs. This is something you’ll learn more about in your lesson on black and white photography, but for now, just know that “tonal range” is the range in tonality in your image. Essentially “range” means the difference between black and white. If you lack vibrant whites or deep blacks, you’re image will consists of mostly mid tones. With color photography this isn’t always a problem because the colors can separate themselves based on their hue (rather than tone), but even color photographs can benefit from having strong tonal variance.

When reading your levels the height of the bars represent the number of pixels in that particular tone. The left of the reading represents the blacks and the right side represents the whites. You don’t need to aim to have tonal balance (even tones throughout your photograph), but having representation on both extremes of the spectrum often helps make your image feel less “flat” or less‘grey”.

Notice how in your “beauty” photograph the levels show more range than in your “beast image”?

Other than that, this is a great assignment. Beautiful use of color, line (railings) and shape (triangles) based on your perspective in the floor and railings coming together!

Great work!