Hello and thank you for submitting this assignment.
For this assignment we asked that you “stage” a shot. Our hopes were that you both design a scene from scratch taking both composition and visual story telling into account. You’ve done both of those things!
It’s obvious at first, but if the viewer engages the photograph they will realize that the image embodies symbols of contradiction and struggle.
Initially the viewer is drawn towards the image of the ashtray. That visual information that comes first is the idea of a garbage container. It not only contains a cigarette butt, but it also contains some sort of wrapper.
What’s interesting is if the audience digs deeper into the details of the photograph they would in fact see that the wrapper isn’t simply a piece of trash, but the wrapping from a nicorette pack. This symbol contradicts the other symbols in the composition and therefore help the image embody the story of struggle. Great work.
From a composition standpoint I love how you’ve used shadow to give the composition a slightly moody tone. You’ve also accomplished this through your use of a dark color palette, but the shadows on the left side and top of the frame help give the image a sense of depth. Playing with shadows is one of the most fascinating elements of photography and it’s great to see you experiment with it in this composition.
I do wonder if you could have changed your perspective to give the composition a stronger sense of foreground. What you’ve done isn’t wrong, but essentially your choice of perspective kept all of the visual objects in your middle ground which “flattened” your composition.
Overall, great assignment! I look forward to seeing your next project.