Photography Classes Online – Icon Photography School › Forums › Photography Lessons › Lesson 1 › Assignment 1 – beast to beauty
May 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm #17715KivaParticipant
I played with lights, angles and shadows with this assignment since I was using almost no color in my main subject the chess pieces. I tried to take the mundane chess board on the table in full focus and create different levels of focus in the second photo. I actually had 2 very good candidates, my family chose this one for the beauty.May 7, 2009 at 9:56 pm #19140Duncan RawlinsonKeymaster
Great first assignment. Both images are actually quite well composed. Both have well communicated ideas and a clear focus.
Let’s start by discussing your first image. The image is of a chess set on a side table. The image uses a formal sense of balance and it appears almost perfectly symmetrical. You’ve managed to avoid amputating any important information with the two side walls, and yoru top and bottom walls are also free of any distracting secondary elements and amputations (i.e. unintentionally cutting off parts of your main area of interest).
The problem with the image is that it’s lit very flat. It’s exposed well, but the lighting makes the image boring. Not only that, but the image lacks a sense of depth due to the positioning of your object. Everything is cramped in 1 layer of depth (against the wall). You have no foreground, middle-ground or background objects.
The second image solves some of these issues. You’ve introduced the idea of depth, not only by using a shallow depth of field, but also by placing your primary objects at varying layers within the photograph. This gives the illusion of three dimensions and makes your image appear less flat.
You also have more interesting lighting highlights in this photograph. I see the reflection and the dark shadows. This tonal range gives the image a more dramatic look.
The one area I would like you to reconsider is the bottom frame of the photograph. You’ve amputated the bottom of the chess pieces. I think it would have been helpful to provide the full perspective on at least 1 chess piece. The king piece seems to be your primary object so it would have been helpful to move your framing down (which will create less negative space above your objects), and provide full visual information for at least 1 chess piece.
It’s not necessarily wrong what you’ve done. I just want you to be careful with how the 4 walls of your photograph cut off your main objects. I found this distracting on the bottom wall.
Other than that… Great work! I look forward to seeing your next assignment.
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