Assignment Two – Elements of design

Here I am, finally about to complete my second assignment, maybe there is hope I can finish this degree before I turn 30.

For this assignment I needed to take into account what I have learned so far to create suitable images in this particular subject, I chose food.

I had a hard time with the planning process, I have just done a big shopping so I was fairly certain I will have enough things to photograph and once I started, the ideas came relatively quickly.

Then I made an awful mistake! I always shoot in raw format so I never really check the format before I start shooting, when I first picked up the camera I was always panicking if I got the settings right well after the shoot…well yes, too late! But for some reason I changed it to the smallest jpeg possible and shot the entire assignment with that setting. Not annoying at all. Luckily they turned out okay, not entirely happy with the exposure but i was close, I couldn’t do much post processing having so little information stored within the smallest jpegs, not great quality at all. I was very tight on time so I couldn’t re shoot it, massive lesson learnt, ALWAYS check the format BEFORE shooting.

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Single point – apple

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Two points – apples

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Several points in a deliberate shape – strawberries forming triangles on their own, adding apples in a line created a rectangular shape.

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Vertical and horizontal lines – uncooked spaghetti

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Diagonals – uncooked spaghetti, placemat’s pattern

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Curves – olives, orange juice and red win in glasses, lemon balm in a pot, coasters and placemats

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Distinct shape – cauliflower

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Implied triangle, apex at the top – blueberries in the middle of strawberries

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Implied triangle, apex at the bottom – strawberries in the middle of blueberries

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Rhythm – uncooked pasta layout as the cut changes , pasta and biscuits

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Pattern – biscuits

I shot everything using natural light and directly above the subjects.

Looking through these photographs I think rhythm and pattern worked particularly well, second place for me are the implied triangles, I got the idea to stand strawberries rather than just throw into the bowl than create a triangular shape out of blueberries. Since I needed to create an inverted triangle I realised I can do the same but inverting the fruits as well.

What didn’t work so well I think is the vertical and horizontal lines, not a very interesting composition, also the single point and points, although it is from a less obvious point of view and I couldn’t fill the frame with them because of the minimum focusing distance of the lens.

I feel I gained a lot from these exercises, the creative thinking behind every shot, thinking about framing and placing different elements into the composition, I feel I am getting more confident and definitely takes less time to create a better photograph than before. I am looking forward to what comes next.

 

Feedback and reflection

Please find my tutor’s report here.

Admittedly I rushed to send off this assignment and I awfully failed in post processing as well as shooting in low quality JPEG instead of RAW, I forgot to correct the white balance and adjusting the exposure as there are some blown out highlights. My tutor sent the corrected images back and encourage me to have a look at them again, so I went back and corrected all of them.

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On a positive note I was pleased to hear that I have done a good job with lighting contrast; my still life technique is well above the student average for Level 1; and I have a good eye for propping, arranging, composing and for the light. My coursework continues to be clean, concise and effective, which is also nice to hear.

What I need to improve on is incorporating more research into my studies, I have started to read Charlotte Cotton’s and Liz Wells’ book, but I have to spend more time on them as they are harder to read unlike Michael Freeman’s Eye for Composition and Design which is much easier to understand. I need to create separate blog entries for books, which I find challenging and slow process in a second language, sometimes I find myself thinking on a single sentence for 10 minutes, I am aware that this is something I have to work on as well. I also changed the layout of the blog as requested, creating a ribbon menu on the top of the page for assignments.

 

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