Photography Classes Online – Icon Photography School › Forums › Photography Lessons › Lesson 1 › Assignment 1
June 4, 2010 at 1:27 am #18148StevenParticipant
I am having some trouble with my browser on the web site. When I was using Apple Safari, the section of the page with the tabs for uploading the files was cut-off or hidden. Any suggestions re: Safari settings, etc.?
For this assignment, it occurred to me that one way to see things differently was to see them in a different context. The “Normal” picture is of a vase that we have in our house in its normal habitat. You can see that it is somewhat elegant in that setting. The other picture was taken in our back yard, which is mostly rocks and weeds.June 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm #19604Duncan RawlinsonKeymaster
First of all… Thank you for making us aware of the technical issue with the safari browser. We will be updating our student HUB soon to fix this. Until then, it’s best to use Firefox as that is what our HUB is most compatible with.
Let’s get into the analysis of your photographs. This assignment asked that you take the same object or environment and re-frame it in a way that turns it from a “beast” to a “beauty”. Essentially, what we’re looking for is your ability to direct yourself towards compositions with strong design elements, even if you don’t know the immediate technical attributes to your design choices.
As you progress through the course you’ll start to be more aware of the these technical details and you’ll soon be able to approach a composition with your design ideals in mind. This ensures your compositions won’t be haphazard or accidental but will be beautiful because you (the photographer) had a clear creative as well as technical vision for your composition.
Let’s look at your “beast” photograph for a moment. One of the most noticeable issues I see in this photograph is the small bit of “amputation” (i.e. cutting off of part of your primary object with 1 or more walls of your frame). Notice the vase to the right of the composition. Do you see how that right wall of this photograph slightly cut off part of the object? This weakens a composition because the amputation point looks accidental. It looks as through you were paying too much attention to the center of your photograph and not enough to the overall composition.
This is a very common mistake made by photographers. The good news is that it’s also one of the easiest technical errors to fix. Before you take your next photograph, stop for a moment, and consider the entire environment (not just the center). Pay special attention to the 4 walls, and if you have an object in focus (which from a visual story telling perspective means that particular object is of some importance to your story), you should be cautious about not amputating it.
If on the other hand, you use soft focus to slightly blur your background, you are essentially “saying” that the areas in soft focus are not as important to your story. Audiences are more forgiving of amputations.
For example, look at your “beauty” photograph. Notice you’ve amputated parts of your background? However, it’s not as distracting because your amputated parts are in soft focus which de-emphasizes their importance.
Overall, great work. I look forward to seeing your next assignment!
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