Assignment 1

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    I went looking for something that wasn’t quite so boring. I wanted to photo something I enjoy, but probably over look everyday in my house. So, I picked these pussy willows. I get new ones each year to replace the prior year’s batch. Far away they look pretty, but you don’t see the fluffiness of each little pussy willow. I thought looking at them up close you realize how simple and pretty each one is against the dark park of the plant.

    I have trouble getting my lens to focus on items so close, is there a trick I am missing. Should I move to manual focus to help the cause? Or is there other tricks?

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Wonderful assignment.

    You’ve accomplished exactly what this assignment called for. You’ve taken an otherwise average photograph and transformed it by focusing your attention on some of the most interesting elements within the shot.

    You’ve decided to change your position and move in closer to the object which has allowed you to isolate your main area of interest. By moving in closer you were able to remove the vase, the walls, the table, the window and the small part of the other ornament from the composition.

    This has also helped you simplify your color palette to gradients of white and brown which has further helped organize and simplify the photograph.

    Overall the composition of your “beauty” photograph is very strong. You’ve used a shallow depth of field to help create the illusion of three dimensions and you’ve also used the pussy willows in such a way that part of the plant takes up your foreground while other plans play a secondary background role. By incorporating layers and using a shallow depth of field you’ve avoided the common problem of creating a flat photograph. Great work.

    My one main recommendation isn’t directed at your photograph, but instead at your outlook on organization and simplification. It’s often seen as easier to focus on macro photography or close up photography in order to avoid having to find ways to organize wider scenes which are almost always more chaotic in their color palette, shapes, objects and so on. However it is possible to incorporate the same photographic elements that you’ve used in your “beauty” photograph into wider scenes. For example look at the following photograph:

    Notice the controlled and simplified color palette of blues, the cohesive assortment of shapes, the limited number of objects, the use of layers and so on. Therefore, your next challenge will be finding ways to organize the chaos around you in wider scenes. You don’t need to incorporate large scenes into each of your photographs, but just be aware of the possibilities.

    Keep up the great work!

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