You could think about the two parts of this exercise in a different way, as ‘test pictures’ versus ‘real pictures’. The only purpose for the test picture is the exercise: you can analyse them according to the criteria and get the expected answer. But ‘real’ pictures are not so easy to analyse. What are the criteria for ‘relationship’? (We’re hoping that you’ll shoot the rest of the exercises in this course as real pictures, not test pictures!)
As you review your photographs, observe the way your eye ‘scans’ the surface of the image. Note how:
A point attracts attention out of proportion to its size
The eye looks for the connections between two points
Placing a point close to the edge seems to animate both the point and the frame.
Print out two or three of your point photographs and trace the route your eye takes over the surface with a pencil. Then try the same with a selection of photographs from newspapers or magazines. You should notice that each photograph seems to have its own tempo. Add the traced photographs to your learning log together with brief observations.
I have decided to use a ‘real’ image rather than just a single image in a frame for this exercise and I have cropped a photo into a few different placement arrangements to explore this further. I have also explored landscape and portrait framing in my placement arrangements.
Regardless of landscape or portrait I am drawn to images 1 and 6 as the most balanced . My eye is drawn to the boy fishing and I follow the line of his rod along the shore edge up the edge of the frame and back along the horizon.
Images 5 and 11 are the most boring and add no strength to the boy as I had mentioned in my point exercise earlier however the distance of the subject and angle will also play a part in adding strength.
Image 3 and 8 are too ‘eccentric’ and would need a reason to be shot this way otherwise they do not work as they are too unbalanced.
As your eye is drawn to the boy and then in the direction he is facing it seems wrong to put him to the right of the image as shown in 4, 7 and 8.
I quite like images 2 and 9 because they add a sense of space and the feeling of a small boy in a big world, my eyes are drawn in the same way as the balanced images of 1 and 6 but with this added element.
Image 10 although using rule of thirds and placed in proportion to the frame does not work as the eye is draw to the boy and then along the direction of his rod to the right hand corner but the eye completely misses the bottom half of the image.