The final exercise of this project makes use of the viewfinder grid display of a digital camera.
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 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 found this exercise a little awkward as I’m not used to just looking at a small part of the frame and ignoring the rest.
Set 1 has as its subject the no-parking sign. The top row works the best for me because there is some sense of a leading line – either the top of the hedge or the road. The middle row works less well because there is less of the leading line to assist the composition. Finally, the bottom row looks just plain strange. Therefore I should enter this row into a competition immediately 🙂
The 2nd set focuses on the bronze sculpture. The top row again works the best for me with a preference for positioning the sculpture top-left as this makes the stone plinth much more visible and I think the contrasting textures and colours also work. The middle row looks “cropped” – that is, like we’re missing something useful from a larger frame. The bottom row doesn’t work at all and just looks poorly framed.
The top-left image of the 2nd set nicely shows the effect of balance as described in Poore (1977) where a relatively small object near the edge can balance a relatively large object which is positioned more centrally. This effect becomes much weaker as the bronze is positioned in different places in the frame.
Individual Images / Set Exercise
The final part of Ex 1.4 asks the following:
Select six or eight images that you feel work individually as compositions and also together as a set. If you have software for making contact sheets you might like to present them as a single composite image. Add the images to your learning log together with technical information such as camera settings, and one or two lines containing your thoughts and observations.
In this case, I did a tour of a local apple orchard. As in the earlier part of this exercise, I composed around just a small part of the grid and ignored the rest. It was quite a surprise that they actually work as a set (in my opinion). There are common elements such as colour, textures and subject matter which are enough to bring the individual images together, while I think they will work as individual photos.
Poore, Henry Rankin (1977) Pictorial Composition – An Introduction. Dover Publications Inc.