Exercise 1.4 Frame

Exercise 1.4 Frame

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.

Amazing struggle once again for what seemed like the most simple of tasks.  I seemed to be thwarted at every turn.  I  have no idea how many photos I took in total but had five attempts.  I noticed on my walk through the woods bordering Salisbury Plain that there were lots of signs, mainly telling walkers what to do or rather what not to do.  I thought this told a story and promptly started to take them.  I had two attempts and on each occasion I managed to omit one of the sections on the grid.

The other thing that I noticed was that depending on the camera and lens I was using,  I found that what was visible in the view finder was not always what appeared in the shot when down loaded onto the computer.  The shot below is an example of this phenomenon.  I shot this sign with a close crop to the edge of the frame.  Clearly, this is something that I need to allow for in shots where the subject is near to the edge of the frame.  Having discussed read and re thought the reason for this phenomena, I now believe that it is because I have recently started wearing glasses the distance between my eye and the viewfinder has increased and I didn’t allow for this by altering the dioptric.  I have now done so but have not yet experimented to see if this is the problem.

bottom middle

Example of sign attempt, this one was composed close to the edge of the shot.

I even included a couple from a walk in Kielder Forest.    I then attempted a bottle of HP sauce on the table and also a visit to  Beamish Museum in County Durham.  I then witnessed a fire with all the Emergency Service attending and tried to take advantage of the flashing blue lights and logos.  However, there was too much activity and lots of “photo bombing”  causing a lot of distraction.  My final attempt was a dam in France which had been drained for maintenance

.emergency services

Emergency Services attempt

In terms of the exercise, this shot of the NHS paramedic vehicle could have worked as I was composing the shot of the NHS logo in the bottom left corner and disregarding the rest of the frame.  However, I felt it was a poor shot that was difficult to interpret because the person in the shot is so dominant.

My other problem has been in creating a really well balanced contact sheet.  I can create one in Photoshop but need to master layers to resize them and in Lightroom I cannot directly export the sheet and would need to print it first.  My printer is not working at present!

What technically have I learnt from the exercise?

Using a Canon 5D Mk III with a 24 – 105 mm lens on iA (Intelligent Auto) I walked the bottom of this drained dam.  When full it serves a very different tourist function.  Not least a manufactured water sport resort complete with beach and smaller enterprises along the length of the lake.

When you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to put whatever you’re shooting right in the centre of the frame. However, this produces rather static, boring pictures. One of the ways to counteract this is to use the Rule of Thirds, where you split the image up into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and try to place your subject on one of these imaginary lines or intersections. This is an overrated approach, though.  

Instead, move your subject away from the centre and get a feel for how it can be balanced with everything else in the scene, including any areas of contrasting colour or light. There are no hard and fast rules about achieving this kind of visual balance, but you’ll quickly learn to rely on your instincts – trust that you’ll know when something just looks right. Digital Camera World. http://www.techradar.com/how-to/photography-video-capture/cameras/10-rules-of-photo-composition-and-why-they-work-1320770

On analysing the shots I find that many things creep into the shot that are unintentional and many include a lot of empty space that do not add anything to the shot, as in Images 1, 2, 5 and 6.   In Image 2 there is also some marquees, people and a canopy which distracts from the image.  This image has some merit in that it obeys the rule of thirds by sitting in the top third of the shot.

Images 3 and 4 work in a slightly better way.  Although there is a tight crop on the ruined building the dried earth leads the eye towards the ruin giving a more appealing shot.  Image 4 works in a slightly better way because the root of the decayed tree sits in the lower middle and the whole shot leans towards the line of the rule of thirds.  It isn’t however, a perfect composition and feels a bit contrived.

Boats TL             1. Top Left

 Pleasure Boats TM                                                    2. Top Middle

  Ruin TR     3. Top Right

             Tree stump MM2

4. Middle Middle

Dam wall 2

5. Middle Left

Vertical Jetty MR                                                  6. Middle Right

People on Bench BL

7. Bottom Left

Jetty BM

8. Bottom Middle

Ski Nautique BR

9. Bottom Right

My favourite shot is of the five people sitting on the bench admiring the view.  The eye is led into the shot and although accidental in the rest of the frame is a a group of trees on the middle left, one of the beached Pleasure Boats in the middle and onto the rear wall of the dam and the hill beyond.  Image 8 works in a similar way but Image 9 is less successful in my view.  If Image 9 had something in the middle foreground then it may work more successfully.  The composition is similar to that of an Edgar Degas painting, although not as much action in the shot the triangle of interest is similar with the empty space in the centre foreground.


Contact Sheet



One thought on “Exercise 1.4 Frame”

  1. nicely done photos. I found it a hard exercise also. You can make a digital contact sheet in lightroom. Go into print module and then hit the “print to file” button on bottom right. That lest you save as a jpeg


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