Assignment 1

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    Assignment #1 – Beauty and the Beast

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Great work on your first assignment. For this assignment we asked you to re-explore an object. We wanted you to think about ways to add compositional strength to an image through framing and perspective. You’ve done a wonderful job of this.

    Your first image (the beast) embodies many of the mistakes made my photographers. It’s important to recognize what those are so you can articulate why you either like or dislike the composition of an image. In fact, your beast image isn’t terrible, but it does lack creative strength. For starters, you’ve included part of the house on the left hand side which besides adding context doesn’t really fit into the shot because it was amputated (i.e. cut off) by the left wall of your frame at an unflattering point. The same happens on the bottom of the frame; you have a step, the ground around the shrub and the black plastic outline of the garden. When an object makes it into the 4 walls of your photograph you must ask yourself “does this object help me tell my story”. If the answer is “no” then it’s your job as a photographer to re-frame your composition to include only the essential.

    This is effectively what you did for your second photography (i.e. beauty). While your first composition used “formal” balance (which is often regarded as a little boring), your second image uses informal balance which makes the image a little more dramatic. You’ve also changed the position of your camera so your horizon line is on an angle. As you’ll learn in an upcoming lesson, “line” is a great photographic element and diagonal lines give the composition a bit of a dramatic edge.

    Most importantly however, is your ability to work within a simplified color palette. You chosen to use gradients of green and a white as your color palette and this helps you direct your audience’s attention to your main area of interest.

    Great work on your first assignment!


    I completely agree with you about the “beast” photo. I was actually thinking about some of the things you mentioned when I was photographing for this assignment. I thought about which angle I should take the photo of the shrub for the “beast” photo, and I was contemplating on whether or not to use this one for the assignment because of how terrible I thought the photo is. I should have re-taken a few shots to get a better photo of the beast. Thank you very much for your input. 🙂

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