Lesson #7 Photography Lighting

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    Duncan Rawlinson

    Very nice photographs.

    I see that you are feeling very comfortable using “line” as one of the primary design elements in your photographs. In particular, you seem to have a knack for finding naturally occurring leading lines. Great work.

    You also seem to have a good eye for a sense of balance, framing and color simplicity. All of these things are working together to give your images a very strong sense of design. Your compositions do not look haphazardly designed or accidental. They look as through a photographer has analyzed the landscape, identified naturally occurring design elements and then worked them into a photographic frame.

    I’ve also liked seeing you experiment with perspective and depth. Similarly, you haven’t been intimidated by larger geographic spaces. Many of your assignments up until this point have tackled larger space while still managing to control things like color, pattern, line, depth, focus etc.

    I do have a few comments for you however. For starters, parking lots and cars in general often detract from an image’s beauty. I know it can be difficult (sometimes impossible) to find natural environments without cars, but unless they are being incorporated as one of your primary objects (or supporting secondary objects) then they often give the image a slightly contradictory and disorganized feel.

    The fact is, our natural environments are made up of countless contradictory objects. For example, in this image you have a beautiful pathway, with gentle greens, wood, winding paths, gazebos, lush trees, beautiful rivers and….. yes, an assortment of odd looking, mismatched colored cars which contradict the earth tones of the rest of the image.

    I don’t get the feeling that your “story” is about communicating the disjointed nature of man’s relationship to mother earth. I get the feeling that you really wanted to draw out the beauty of this man made environment. The cars in the background look more like an visual inconvenience than a necessary part of the composition or the story.

    Essentially, I’m saying I don’t think the cars support your visual story and therefore I’m not sure if they should be included in the composition. Which essentially means that you would either need to wait for them to leave, or you’d need to reframe your composition.

    While they are not the primary focus on the image, they are still very noticeable and act as a strong secondary background object. Even though objects in your background are smaller, your background is still an important part of your composition.

    Alternatively, you could have used a shallow depth of field to slightly soften your background which would have made the cars less distracting. This is a commonly used technique used by photographers when they like their foreground object, but could do without their background.

    From a lighting standpoint both images are very well done. It would have been nice to see a stronger more dramatic hard lighting photograph, but I do notice the subtle highlight around the birds head showing that there was some light that day.

    Overall, great work!

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