The final exercise of this project makes use of the viewfinder grid display of a digital camera. This function projects a grid onto the viewfinder screen to help align vertical and horizontal lines, such as the horizon or the edge of a building, with the edge of the frame. If your camera doesn’t have a grid display, imagine a simple division of the viewfinder into four sections.
Take a good number of shots, composing each shot within a single section of the viewfinder grid. Don’t bother about the rest of the frame! Use any combination of grid section, subject and viewpoint you choose.
When you review the shots, evaluate the whole frame, not just the part you’ve composed. Take the same approach you used to evaluate the point and line exercises: examine the relationship of the elements to the frame. Composition is part of form and formal analysis will be a useful skill for your exercises and assignments as you progress through the course.
I decided to try something out of my usual comfort zone by including people in my images and I chose people in the park as my subject, in fact these were strangers! Although the shots are not technically great I was really pleased with the different feeling I had to these images as they seem to be more animated. I was too busy attempting to line up the division of the frame as well as being inconspicuous and trying to capture (in some of the shots) a ‘moving target’. I am definitely keen to explore taking more images of people, I am drawn to the images and find I am wondering who they are and what happened next? I did feel awkward especially as some of my pictures included children so I will need to consider how best to approach this going forward.
I was a little unsure to the exact point (No pun intended) of this exercise, however the main lesson I have drawn from it is that not centralising the composition makes it stronger and more interesting. I actually much prefer many of these shots with a few exceptions, maybe the subject has helped as I am more ‘interested’ in the image, but considering the framing, point and lines in the compositions has made me seem them in a different light.
Image 1. I am drawn directly to the jogger and especially the colour contrast of his orange shorts against the green grass, the path leads my eye across the image and I follow the other path upwards, however it does cut the frame in two and it renders the bottom half of the image as insignificant. it is interesting that the people on the path in the top corner of the image all appear to be travelling in the same direction of the jogger. I feel that this image may have worked better if the joggers image was composed in the bottom left or right of the frame.
Image 2. I immediately look to the man and child, again a path has intersected the image, however as it is much lower down in the frame it merely then draws my eye along and across to the shadows ,which stretch out across the grass towards the man and child, and along the path at the top. My eyes seem to almost follow the frame , I wonder what they are doing and also wonder about the young man sitting not far from them.
Image 3. I am interested in this photo, I composed the photo to include the two people eating lunch on the bench however I am drawn to the lady who almost appears to be hiding behind the tree. What is she doing? Who is she looking for? My eye is effectively drawn between the bench and the lady.
Image 4. This is a similar image to image 2 however I was a little closer so the path and the shadows are no longer in view. Another family has set up behind the man and child but in this case I am drawn between the two points of the man and child and the younger man. Again this is another image which would have worked better I think if I had composed the man and child in the lower left as there is a lot of ’empty’ space.
Image 5. There is much more happening in this image. I was focusing on the family in the bottom right and the man with the kite. The kite seems to direct my vision to the tree and sky and I notice the tip of a building dome peeking out. The line on the left of the image created by the path and the people help my eye to be drawn back to the man with the kite, however it also helps me to notice the man with the cycle and the dog by the tree. I feel as though I am a viewer to this scene, it puts me in the frame, perhaps because of the sense of depth as well as space in the frame.
Image 6. Again I feel witness to this scene, perhaps again due to the sense of depth. I focus on the family with the pram however my eye then follows the line of trees across an imagined horizon and back to the path to look at the people with the bike. There is no tension between the two sets of people as my eye seems to comfortably sweep across the image.
Image 7. An image of a boy learning to ride his bike, I like the way the path draws my eye down towards to boy however there is a lot of wasted empty space at the bottom of the frame that adds noting to the image. this would have been better if I had placed the boy learning to ride towards the bottom right of the frame.
Image 8. This images places the focus in the bottom right and my eye naturally tracks along the path towards the man standing with his camera. It leads me to look in the direction of his camera to see what he is focusing on, what can he see?
Image 9. The focus is obviously the two men sitting on the grass, again there is a lot of empty space in the image but I do find myself looking around trying to understand their ‘story’. There are trainers but the man in the checked shirt does not seem to be dressed ‘sporty’. Did he meet up with other man who perhaps jogged to meet him? My eye notices the football, is this theirs? My eye follows the path the people on the bench, do they own the ball? No it definitely belongs to the two men. On closer inspection I see there are two sets of trainers so now I think they were both kicking the ball around, there is the top of what looks like a wine bottle peaking from behind their bag, are they friends or is this a date?
Image 10. The line of trees, the shadow lines all draw me to the man and child and the bright yellow coat with the little blue rucksack. I don’t know why but I feel as if they are going home? Something in the mans posture maybe or the fact that he carries his coat?
Image 11. My focus was the jogger with the push-chair however placing her in the bottom right has meant I have captured lots of other people. There is a sense of motion from the mum jogging which when you follow the path contrasts with the girl sitting sedately on the bench in the patch of sun coming through the space in the clouds. I then notice the older couple walking up the path and the people in the distance behind the bench. A girl appears to be holding up a stick. My eyes have wandered around this image taking in much more detail.
Image 12. Here we just have the girl sitting on the bench in the sun. The path in the fore front and the diagonal path all draw your eye towards her. She is the point in this image.
Image 13. This is strange in that I focused on the female cyclist in pink however my eyes do not naturally follow the path/ line in the image but seem to follow the direction in which her head is pointing. The line by her bike wheel should draw my vision up but I look at her head and draw my eyes downwards, I think because the perspective of the other cyclist and the implied horizon shows that she is travelling downhill although the line seems to deceive you. It is almost as if my brain corrects the perspective.
Image 14. This image seems to act as a frame within a frame, the tree, lower path and line of the hill seem to frame the family on the bench. They are clearly the focal point in the image. The teenage boy appears to be downcast or bored, perhaps he didn’t want to endure the family excursion to the park?
Image 15. My eye is drawn up the road into the distance where I take in the people traversing the roadway. The cobblestone line with the double yellow lines provides a strong sense of depth. It is almost an afterthought to look to the couple on the bench whom I had framed in the bottom left. The red colour of the ladies cardigan helps to draw your attention back to them. I then wonder if they might be waiting for the older lady walking towards them on the path. Because of the strength of the line and of the colour red I have been drawn to look at may parts of the image.
Image 16. There is a sense of motion in this shot due to the cyclist, he is clearly the focus however the path and direction he is travelling draw you to the couple on the opposite side.
Image 17. The cobble lines in this image draw me to the cyclist and then the lady walking on the path behind, is she power walking? There is a strength to her implied pace. I then look out along the horizon line at the people in the distance. I feel a spectator to this scene due to the sense of depth and because I feel the power walker has somehow connected with me.
Image 18. I was focusing on the people with the push-chair in the top right however the lines of the path and grass have effectively divided the frame into thirds. It may have worked if they were placed in the lower left. I do look along the path and I notice the man on the bench behind them and the jogger to the right but the image does not hold my interest.
Image 19.I was focusing on the bench with the lady and the push-chair in the top right, this image works well in that I am still drawn to the pushchair perhaps due to the contrasting colours of green and red . I also look down the path into the distance and back along the line of cars. I feel as though I am witness to this scene and I am a part of it, it draws me in.
Image 20. In this I follow the path and the line of trees to the boy on the bike in his bright green coat which contrasts nicely with his orange bike. My eye is also drawn to the red scooter sitting alone on the right. Where is the scooters owner? It is only then that I notice the sliver of a man in-between the trees, is this his dad? The line draws me to them however my focus then stays at the right hand of the frame, there is nothing to draw me back.
Image 21. Ha! I am guessing this is Dad? He looks far too small for the bright green bike. I do look across the line of cars but my focus remains with dad and there is nothing else in the frame to hold my interest. The image amuses me however purely on how ridiculous I think he looks.
My final observations to take forward would be:
- To consider where the lines in my images sit and where they take me.
- To try framing the picture as sections of a whole frame as well as framing it completely to see if it throws up anything new.
- To consider the story in the image and the dynamics between people / objects.
- To consider that contrasting or bright colours can also draw your attention