Project 2 – Exercise 1.2 (2) Point Frame

As per usual I will start off this exercise by reviewing what the requirement is, and my understanding of the subject matter. Again, as I have done in previous exercises, using my own photographs, (unless otherwise stated) I can look objectively at each one, and demonstrate the relationship between, line point and frame. Then at the end I will do the exercise.

What draws us to a certain area within a photograph?

Our eyes will follow certain paths within an image when we first look at it. I say when we first look at it, because the more times you visit an image, you will see other things that you missed the first time. Therefore the initial path, will not only depend on the elements/shapes within the image, the other things to take into consideration:  How busy is it? What and how many shapes can we see? Are there any negative spaces?  Within a second or two of looking at an image you will be drawn to certain points, following an invisible line drawn in only the minds eye. Where is our eye drawn to, the first moment we looked at the image? Where is the point that we are drawn to and what is its relation the frame? The line may not be a straight line, it may swirl or curve. This maybe a hard or soft line.

Some interesting reading can be found here

How to Use Leading Lines for Better Compositions

In the images below, the swirling line we can see travels around the rose petals. The circular elements within the rose are natural lines. The dark background and the dark areas within the rose itself emphasises the swirls,

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The image of the bridge below has sweeping lines, curved lines and straight lines all competing with each other. But in the end they take us to the circular shape of the bridge and its reflection

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Below in the photograph of Haughmond Abbey, we have an upward sweeping movement, that takes up to the top of the apex.  The arched windows also act a an arrow, with the tops coming to a point, joining the sweep upwards. The lines take us to a point just left of centre in the upper 3rd, where the clouds then, become increasingly emphasised.

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This photograph of my husband steering our narrow boat has a triangular frame within the frame, changing the depth of field from behind the subject blurring the flowers in the foreground. The log in front of his face is also a triangular shape taking us up to his face. On the whole his head is not far off the upper, right hand 3rd. Normally, depth of field is used to emphasis the foreground image, to make it seem sharper in the scene.

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The segments in this image of a back lit lemon slice, draw us to the centre, then out again to the rind. The eye roves around the triangular patterns in each segment, finally moving and coming to rest on the little light circle to the right within the lemon.

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In this canal image we are almost taken in a circle to the building in the distance. The sweep comes from above and below. Our eyes seem to totally ignore the dark area on the upper left. Here again we have a frame within a frame. The Trees on each side, frame the building, pushing the focus to it.

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Below (another screw in the coffin)

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Symmetry is most pleasing to the eye, without realising it we do seek out mirrored images.

Quote One of the Holy Grails of nature photography is the classic reflection shot. Mountains, sunsets, or fall colours reflected in the glass-like surface of a calm lake create an image that although clichéd has tremendous visual appeal. I believe the power of such images lies in the symmetry of the subject matter presented. Humans and most other animals are symmetrically divided creatures with one half of the body mirroring the other half. Given the powerful allure of symmetry it is no wonder that photographers are so driven to make mirrored images – we can’t help it – the appeal of symmetry is hard-wired into our DNA.

http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles1204/dw1204-1.html

Below grains of salt lit from the top with a small torch give arching lines and left/right symmetry.

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In the cropped image above we see the lines taking up to a vanishing point, In vision lines that are parallel (or almost parallel) give the sensation of meeting at the vanishing point, like the example above of the Llangollen Canal, or perhaps if we think about railway lines going off into the far distance. Normally vanishing point lines will start at the front of the picture and travel towards the back (or top of the image.

It got me thinking, and I asked myself the question, When we look at a picture, Where do we first look, to the left or the right? 

http://gazehawk.com/blog/where-do-users-look-first/

I found this article very interesting. Its talking about web design and where you should place things to catch the spectators eye. So when we look at an image do we look to the left or the right of it first?. According to the article it would to some extent depend on our cultural background. The article talks about books and how we read, left to right or right to left. The article states that in experimental tests, most will look at the centre of the screen, then move up to the top left hand corner. In conclusion, this is what it had to say:

Quote “The conclusion we can draw from all this math is that overwhelmingly, people look at the top left of a website before moving on to other features. That’s where they expect navigational information to go; it’s where they expect to orient themselves. It’s also where you can capture their attention; and it’s where you should put your stuff.”

Additionally, according to the Neilson Norman Group we spend 69% of our time viewing the left hand side of a page and only 30% time viewing the right. I have to assume the missing 1%, means we are looking at the middle.

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/horizontal-attention-leans-left/

All very interesting reading, and I wondered how I could apply this reasoning and principles to my photographs, so that they become more pleasing to the eye. Firstly, I decided to look at some of the photographs I have taken in the past and found that after I have looked at the middle of an image, I look to the left. I was surprised to find that the a large percentage of my photographs lead in from the left. I hadn’t noticed this before. Thinking about it I am more comfortable with this. We learn something new about ourselves every day!

Some examples below, I have to keep this mind and make a conscious effort to try something new!

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Exercise 1.2 (2) 

  • Take a number of images in which the point is placed in relationship to the frame

So to the exercise, I pondered on what the instruction meant, did I move the POINT around the frame, or did I move the frame around the point? So I did both!

It was a nice Sunday afternoon and off I went to the local park, where we have a pavilion in the centre. I thought that would be a good starting point. But as I walked around the trigger finger came to life and I started looking at interesting things to photograph: a leaf on the floor, the sun shining on the dead leaves, a crushed concor  that some little boy would be proud of. So pulling my self together I started looking for the best place to stand and get the shots I wanted of the pavilion. I had planned that I would take photographs from different sides of the pavilion, putting it in different parts of the frame. I managed to get some of the shots I wanted, but its a park and there were children playing nearby.  

(just to add a note: I am always very weary of taking photographs when there are children about, parents my not be too happy So I did the best I could. Ordinarily if I come against a problem that stops me for taking the shot I want, I would go back at another time and day. But a park is a park and there will always be children about, and rightly so)

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First of all on my list was, to take a shot of the pavilion to the left of the frame, then to to the right. Because there were children about I could not get a shot of the path leading up to the pavilion from where I stood into the frame. I did manage to get one with the path and the pavilion towards the left of the frame. I think this would have been better to lead the eye up to the pavilion. I did manage to get the path leading away from the pavilion in both images, the one above on the right showing more of the path. With the other image having a path come towards the pavilion from the right. In my opinion, the bins and benches balance the image, so I used them to my advantage.

   

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P1230219The images above show only part of the pavilion, but are still balanced within the frame. Looking more closely at the three shots, the one to right, that shows more of the pavilion, has shadows that take the eye upto the buildings and the sky. In the middle of that shot, there is a hanging flower basket, which catches the eye. I was hoping that the steps leading up into the pavilion would be a strong enough line to take you into the pavilion. But I didn’t account of the shadows from the trees behind me, leading my eye to the white roofed buildings, straight past the hanging basket.

lines2I think the hanging flower basket is a good example of something sticking out like a sore thumb, even though it only takes up a small area within the whole image, Reading the course notes (a point attracts attention out of proportion to its size) I totally agree. It reminds me of my brother. When he was 15 years old he would not go out of the house because he had a teenage spot on his face. He thought it was massive, but it wasn’t, its just that it was in a prominent place just under his eye.

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The point, (a little duck) is moved around, but there are only two places that it will fit to work in relation to the frame. Left or right of the white tea pot in the negative space (the dark triangle between the tea pot and the plate/vegetable pot.) When it is placed in front of the teapot, it upsets the balance because it touches the teapots ‘space‘ and becomes one with the teapots line.

I read an interesting article at  http://willkempartschool.com/compostional-mistakes-in-drawing/, put simply what it is saying is that, if we are able to see spaces as shapes, (not just looking at the shape of the subject/element), we will better understand the relationship between point, line and frame, thereby producing a more effective composition.

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This picture (source:  Page 10 of British Journal of Photography November Edition)

When I first looked at this picture, my eyes were drawn to the sole at the bottom of the picture, and to the lines in between the bricks. I scanned around the boots. They seemed to stick out, maybe this is because of the white background, finally coming to rest on the star logo. But there is a distraction at the bottom right hand corner, that I kept looking at. The longer I look at the picture the more I see, there are other lines that jump out at you, for example, where the sole of the shoe meets the upper part of the shoe, the laces on the shoe and going up out of the frame.

I read an interesting article at  http://willkempartschool.com/compostional-mistakes-in-drawing/, put simply what it is saying is that, if we are able to see spaces as shapes, (not just looking at the shape of the subject/element), we will better understand the relationship between point, line and frame, thereby producing a more effective composition.