Exercise 1.2

Exercise 1.2 Point

There are essentially three classes of position [to place a single point]: in the middle, a little off-centre, and close to the edge. (Photography 1: The Art of Photography, p.72) 1. Take two or three photographs in which a single point is placed in different parts of the frame. (A ‘point’ should be small in relationship to the frame; if it’s too large it becomes a shape.) How can you evaluate the pictures? How do you know whether you’ve got it right or not? Is there a right place and a wrong place for the point? For the sake of argument, let’s say that the right place shouldn’t be too obvious and that the point should be clear and easy to see. As there’s now a ‘logic’ to it, you can evaluate your composition according to the logic of the point. As you look at the pictures you might find that you’re also evaluating the position of the point by its relationship to the frame. 2. Take a number of images in which a point is placed in relationship to the frame. Can you find any place where the point is not in relationship to the frame? If it’s in relationship to the frame you can place a point in any part of the picture and the picture is balanced


I have really struggled with this exercise.  I understand the concept of the exercise and why we are asked to do it but I haven’t found an acceptable “real” shot to work on.  I thought about converging lines and looked at the spot just before they met. However, this morning I got up to find a crystal from one of our light fittings had fallen off.  This presented an opportunity to use it as a point for this exercise.  I kept the camera on auto to take these shots, both sets are shot with a Lumix GMC GX7 and 14-42mm lens.

OCA Exercise 1.2c1

Below Centre point

OCA Exercise 1.2c

Left of centre

OCA Exercise 1.2c1-2

Right upper corner

All of the above compositions work to an extent.  The centre point leads the eye down the path into the distance, leaving the viewer wondering where it goes from there and what is beyond.  Similarly so the left of centre shot whilst the right upper corner works least well as it leads the eye out of the shot.


Image 1

The floor boards in these images serve to lead the eye towards the crystal.  The ones that work best are the ones where the eye can then be led to other components in the shot.  So those on the edge of the shots are less pleasing and demonstrate a poor relationship with the rest of the shot (Images  2, 3, 4 and 5).  The images that work best in relation to the frame are those that  most closely follow the Rule of Thirds.  Ideally, the images that should work best are those that lead our eye from left to right.  So moving into the shot rather than out of it.   Even though Image 2 is less balanced, if looking particularly at the crystal  but the eye is then taken from the crystal to the stain in the upper left third.


Image 2


Image 3

The crystal in shot 3 looks as if it is falling off the edge of the shot but the line of the floorboard leads the viewer to it and from there the eye goes to the joins in the boards across the whole shot.


Image 4


Image 5

In Image 5 the eye is drawn firs to the join in the floorboard directly below the crystal and then to the join on the right and eventually to the join in the bottom left hand third.


Image 6

In Image 6, even though there is a join directly below the crystal the eye is drawn to it and than to the joins firstly on the right and then across to the left.


It frustrates the eye of a viewer if there is no focal point as the eye is not drawn to any one particular part of the photo.

Source: The Importance of a Focal Point in Photo Compositions – PictureCorrect

The Rule of Thirds is a standard artist, photographer and design tool for assisting in the composition of good visual imagery.

rule of thirds2

By placing images at the point each line crosses provides a more balanced picture and also assists in positioning other elements of the shot.

Visual points of interest inside a golden rectangle, any square or rectangle (but especially those based on the golden ratio) contain areas inside it that appeal to us visually. To find those points:1. Draw a straight from each bottom corner to its opposite top corner on either side. They will cross in the exact center of the format.2. From the center to each corner, locate the midway point to each opposing corner.

Source: A Guide to the Golden Ratio (AKA Golden Section or Golden Mean) for Artists


 Note the four points in the Golden Ratio and the Rule of Thirds are almost in the same place.


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