Monday, 25 April 2011

Project: Points

Points are described as being the most fundamental design element in a photograph.  This ranges from a single point and how it is positioned within the frame through to multiple points and the relationships between them. In the first exercise I am looking at single points as a design element and in the first instance, looking at some of my photographs which I had taken prior to this course.

So, what might constitute a point?  My thoughts on this are that probably anything might constitute a point; its the relationship between the subject and the frame or the "whole" which determines whether something is a point. In the course notes, the example of a stone barn is clearly large, but its the relationship between it the rest of the frame which makes it a "point".

Some easily definable points:
  • a "point" source of light - the sun at sunrise or sunset or a light bulb or a church window;
  • a point by virtue of colour contrast, where a small part of the image is in a contrasting colour to the rest;
  • duck/s in a pond.  There might be multiple objects, but in a close group, which become a point due to the relationship between them and the overall image;
  • as in the text, a boat on the sea;
  • a detail, such as a keyhole in a door.
I found that the more I thought about this, the wider the scope of the definition of a point.

The project calls for a review of some prior images, so I searched some of my collection and selected the images shown below:

Barcelona Square ISO 200 35mm f20 1/160

In the first of these images which I selected the point is a couple sitting on some steps in the square.  The eye is immediately drawn to the two people, helped also by the diagonals created by the pavement. 

Beach:  ISO 200 50mm f18 1/160
Here I was drawn by the lady in the bright pink blouse with her child.  She stood out for me and this is the image which resulted.  The eye is drawn to the subject and helped again by the tyre marks in the sand which lead the viewers eyes to that point.  Being close to the edge of the frame seems to strengthen that "pull" towards the subject.

Chicago wall:  ISO 400 28mm f9 1/250
 This is a portion of a very large wall - being the side of a typical old Chicago building.  The large poster, which seems small in the image, immediately draws the eye.  Some of the structural detail in the wall is very linear and this helps in drawing the eye to the poster.

Castle chess:  ISO 200 85mm f16 1/160
 Taken in the grounds of Framlingham Castle was this giant chess set.  I had considered several different positions for this, but this one was the most successful.  Even though there is a square patch of grass in the way of the natural eye movement to the chess set, the high contrast black and white of the chess set overcomes that hurdle and provides a strong focus.

Bangkok window cleaners:  ISO 200 300mm f14 1/125
 In this image, the "point" is in the top left and just happens to be at an intersection of different lines in the structure of the building.  The positioning towards the edge of the frame, really seems to draw the eye strongly towards it creating a dynamic in what otherwise would be a pretty static composition.

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