It was a gorgeous sunny day, beautiful soft light was coming through the window giving a nice contrast between the bright white walls, the window sill and the tiny flower pot, the background is fairly even and free from clutter, potentially good enough to be the subject for the next exercise.
This was the first picture I took, I concentrated on only one flower head, the most beautiful part of the subject, that was the first thing that came to mind, but I also wanted to capture the plant itself, like a close-up portrait focusing on the subject’s eye. I did not pay much attention to the background here, If I would have a macro lens, I would probably have taken a picture of the flower head only. The bright weather, the way the light hits the flower and a bit of green colour from outside suggest it is spring or summer time, giving a mood-boosting feel about it. On this occasion I used the 30mm Sigma lens with my Canon 60D.
Placing the subject in the middle provides stability and usually lacks of dynamic tension however in this case the window, window frame and the window sill create diagonal tension , they would converge into one line, if they would be extended towards the left side of the picture, far away from the viewer, creating greater sense of depth. The vertical lines aren’t distorted much because of the viewpoint, the lens is pointing above the flower, just around the midpoint of the lines, the starting and the ending point are approximately the same distance from the viewer. The flower’s reflection in the window also adds interest, although stepping back to capture the entire mirror image would have been more effective. Comparing to the first picture, I have mixed emotions about it, positive and perhaps lonely feelings as we can see more detail of the background, but there is nothing else there, only the plant.
This is very similar to the first picture I have taken without thinking too much about the composition, however I stopped down the aperture just to get most of the flower in focus and to include more of the background, but the subject is still clear and isolated from its surroundings, lowering down the horizon giving more attention the background even if it is blurry, still indicates the season change just as much as the opening flowers.
I find myself often shooting in vertical format, when the subject’s shape requires it, maybe because I like to get close and fill the frame. In this case I thought it would definitely be better to take a horizontal shot to get a more satisfying composition. I wanted to exclude the edge of wall and the window sill on the bottom left corner, initially I thought it is distracting, but it adds more power to the image. Placing the subject close to the corner emphasizes the vastness of space, the large white area represents emptiness, it is strange how a blank space can change the entire meaning of the picture. I prefer the last image in terms of composition and generated feelings, the flower has stronger connection with the background than on any other image. The first and the third picture are less powerful, there isn’t much to think on, too simple arrangement.
In the end of this article I realized that I haven’t taken all pictures from the same distance – way too late I know – allowing the subject to occupy the same amount of space within the frame, giving the same chance of connection with the surroundings, so I took some more photographs, this time it was my valentine’s day flower bouquet photographed from the same distance and angle. Although I placed the subject carefully into the frame for each required composition, I still think the flower pot is working better with its background, maybe because the light was much more dramatic. All things considered, I think I managed to illustrate different types of relationship between the subject and its background.
 Freeman, Michael (2007) The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos, The Ilex Press