Lesson 1

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    Re-discovering my light fixture….


    Hello and thank you for submitting this assignment.

    You’re off to a great start. Essentially what you’ve done with this photograph is you’ve moved in as close to your object as possible. There is an important lesson to be learnt here. When you’re doing macro photography you’re essentially doing something that we’re going to focus on time and time again during the duration of this course: Simplification. Although both of your images use simple compositions, your “beauty” photograph uses less space, fewer design elements, fewer objects and so on. It’s important to note however that this process of simplification can also be found in larger environments. As you get more confident with framing I want to see you be braver with the amount of space you use. But when you’re beginning it’s wise to start in close.

    Two of the most noticeable changes in the photograph are your tonal range and your change from “formal” to “informal” balance. Your fist image has the main object (i.e. stopper) placed dead center in the middle of the frame. As you’ll soon learn a centered (i.e. formal) composition is often not the best composition choice. Of course there are exceptions, but for this photograph I think changing the “balance” of the shot to be more lopsided (i.e. informal balance) helped you dramatize the composition.

    Secondly, as you’ll learn in your lecture on black and white photography, the world is made up of “tones”. The wider the tonal range, the more dramatic the effect. In your first photograph you’ve used primarily gradients of grey. In your second photograph however, you’ve used tones on both ends of the spectrum (i.e. black and white). You’ll learn about reading “levels” in an upcoming lecture, so I won’t touch on it now, but when you read that lesson I encourage you to look back at this assignment to see how it applies to your work.

    My main concern with your “beauty” is that you have slightly blown out your whites. This is a very common problem with digital photography but essentially what you’ve done is erased digital information from a particular part of your composition that can’t be recovered in post production. Look at the area close to the center slightly to the left. Do you notice how you loose all detail in that area? This is because your camera has a difficult time handling such dramatic difference in dynamic range. We’ve written an entire article about it here:


    Overall great start! I look forward to seeing your next assignment.


    Thank you so much!

    Duncan Rawlinson

    You’re most welcome! 😀

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