The Art of Photography – The Frame – Research and reflection

Please find the research and reflection below. This is the link for the corresponding exercises.


Contrast in Photography – Further Reading.

Assignment 1 in Art of Photography tasks us to consider the basic fundamentals of contrast. Contrast is something we look at all day everyday and many will be oblivious to the wonder of it.  It was the fascination of contrasts and patterns in my world that was part of my original draw to photography and also admiration of other art mediums.  Michael Freeman touches on this in his book ‘The Photographers Eye’ which forms part of the course essential reading.

I have aslo had a look on the internet for succinct definition and inspired examples that really push the point.  I have found this entry today on ‘theDPhoto’.  The author is Diana Eftaiha who States, 

“One of the most fundamental basics of design is contrast, and photography is no different. Contrast is basically the difference in visual properties that makes an object (or its representation in an image) distinguishable from other objects within the same field of view.

Contrast stresses the differences between graphic elements in an image; be it contrast in color, shape, texture, tone, luminosity, sensation…etc, resulting in this huge impact of having the contrasting elements reinforce each other making a photograph (or any visual piece of art for that matter) more interesting.

Contrast need not be limited to color; it can be found all around us and represented in so many ways. “

The full article contains very strong example of contrast within compositions.

Compositional Design Basics: Contrast


Accessed 5th October 2013

Settling in to studies.

Some 3 weeks have passed since I opened the first page of ‘The Art of Photography’ and I haven’t stopped since so this evening I thought I reflect on achievements and results.  A kind of self assessment I suppose.

There has been so much to adjust to before even thinking about photographs.  Organising all the different aspects has been quite successful. Books, tutors, mentors, equipment, software, furniture have now all appeared and IT training will commence next week.  I could have easily justified not starting the actual coursework until everything was firmly in place but two issues jumped to mind.  Firstly that the longer I left ‘getting stuck in’ the harder it would become.  Secondly I wanted to see how much I could achieve by myself.

Setting up this WordPress log was quite a task but I did actually confront the anxiety and put together something that I am now reasonably content with.  It’s presentation is clean and organised methodically.  All the categories have the own links and are simple to navigate.  Uploading the work in a chronological order is working out okay too.  Logging and referencing images I am also content with at this time.

As my IT skills improve I expect that this page will evolve.  I will find new ways to present my work with in this template.

The books arrived and a pang of anxiety emerged however I have made a good start with a couple of the books and will soon get to grips with referencing and recording my research which should be appearing here over the next couple of weeks.

One issue that I need to reconcile is that there are an awful lot of images to take for a various exercises and albeit I know they are for a purpose and not all of them can even begin to be master pieces, I am still wincing at publishing them.  The other cause for angst is that when I go out I have an enabler with me and a day and time is fixed.  However I am feeling and whatever the weather, location etc throws at me I have to produce a quantity of work.  I tire quickly and make mistakes – already reflected in some of what I have produced (i.e. leaving the ISO sky high and not checking.)   I will be glad to get to a point where there is an emphasis of quality over quantity.  I may well take advice in lifting the number of enabler hours awarded so that I am not ramming so much into each outing.

I am wading through the exercises and finding them a good revision in basics albeit the overall quality of images could be better.  As I settle and the pressure of adjusting lifts I am sure that the quality I know I am capable of will return.

All things considered I think I am pacing okay.  I doubt I will be able to meet the provisional submission date for the first assignment but predict the first week of November.   I want to keep the momentum but also give myself a bit more time that I can justify due to the amount of extra time needed to implement support packages I have had to find time for.


Further reading – David duChemin

Having read several chapters of Michael Freeman’s ‘The Photographers Eye’ I went out to take images for a few of the exercise.  The exercises were technical but had in mind to be  conscious  of ‘dynamic tensions’ and started to look at potential future images in a new light.  Not sure the technical images from yesterday reflect any of this learning but the seed in sown.  I wanted to dig out more examples of professional photographers  where dynamic tension is well practised and demonstrated.  I came across David duChemin.  His book will be on my read list.  I can see clearly in his image how framing and tensions are brought together with all other elements to give his images real impact.

Cropping and Filling Frame.

Over the last 2.5 years, whilst finding my feet with photography, I have been using the ‘rule of thirds’ as a proverbial ‘rule of thumb’.  Where that hasn’t been appropriate then I have adapted the rule of thirds to gauge an overall ‘in camera’ composition. It may be that what I have been doing is applying, unknowingly, some other composition theories. I have now started reading Michael Freeman’s ‘The Photographer’s Eye’ and will be keenly reflecting on the content against my work.

The first chapter covers filling the frame and I have undertaken the module exercise  (  and this was a comfortable exercise for me.


Within some months of first taking up photography I was finding a pleasing ‘in camera composition’ but also looking through the view finder and acknowledging cropping potential if the composition was less then ideal. Leaving room to do that was a lesson well learnt. Where I do ‘fit to frame’ I always feel it is an all or nothing image that will either work as is in edit or it won’t. Working around a subject and exploring all potential angles is something I still do while building experience. Unconsciously images I have seen in books and magazines have probably influenced me. In fact,looking back, I now realise they have. Exploring what had made me tick previously in my sub concious will be a healthy thing and help me to reflect on further development of style.

One aspect of composition that is jumping out initially from Michael Freeman’s book it the need to be able to reason, rationalise and articulate why a decision is being reached. However, I am also wary of being held hostage and over thinking composition at the risk of damping down creative natural intuition. We shall see where this research leads my thinking.