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    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hello and thank you for submitting your first assignment. I think you’ve done a really good job of capturing the same subject under considerably different perspectives. While the object remains identifiable in both photographs, each photograph contains elements which are unique to that specific shot. For example, your first shot is very low key with many dark tones, while your macro photograph is much more of a high key shot with tones much closer to the white end of the spectrum.

    Although you’ve done a great job showcasing this photograph in a different perspective in each of your two photographs, there are inherent problems in each shot. The good news is that these problems are easily fixable, but it’s important that you’re able to identify them in your own work so you can try to avoid these problems in the future.

    Your first mistake is that you’ve “amputated” / “cut off” a few key objects with 1 or more of the 4 walls of your photograph. This mistake is very common amongst photographers because there tends to be a focus on the main area of interest (in this case your light) but the consequence is that the area around the 4 edges get ignored and the composition around that area becomes weak or distracting.

    Notice in your darker tone photograph that you’ve placed an object in the bottom left corner. It looks like a piece of shelf, although I’m not certain about that. The problem is that photography is a type of visual story telling and you need to think of each object that makes it into your 4 walls as a part of that story. Just as an author would pick and choose their words on each page carefully not randomly including non-relevant sentences, a photographer must do the same with images and object. Every object contained within your image should help advance your story. In your first photograph, that shelf acts as a distraction away from your photographs main story, which in that photograph is an exploration of light, shape and shadow.

    In your second photograph you’ve amputated your main object (using the top wall of your photograph). This is equally as important to be aware about because although you haven’t included any distracting secondary object, by amputating your primary object with your top wall your unintentionally distracting your viewer by “cutting off” part of your main story.

    The good news is that it’s easily fixable by repositioning yourself and your camera and choosing better framing. Soon this will become second nature to you and you’ll be able to quickly compose simple, non-distracting photographs with great focus and clean edges. In the mean time however, look at the 4 walls of your photograph before you click the shutter closed and ensure they are clear of any distractions. This part of the photograph is equally as important as the center.

    By fixing this composition issue you’ll be well on your way to increasing the production value of each of your shots!

    Well done on this assignment.

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