Category Archives: Assignment 2 – Elements of design

Tutor’s report and reflections for assignment 2

Tutor Report Shain Mullins 512659 TAOP asst 2

I found this assignment very challenging but I am now starting to think and see in a new way.  My lesson brought forward from my last assignment was that I needed to do more background reading to help me understand what was being asked of me.  Therefore, before starting this assignment I purchased and read: The photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman; Composition, Basics Photography 01 by David Prakel and Design Principles, Basics Photography 01 by Jeremy Webb.  I wish that I had found these books before doing assignment 1 as on the whole I was way off the mark from what was expected and what I imagined was asked.   These books helped me to understand this subject and has started me to think and see in a new and more artistic way.

I actually first thought that plants would be an easy subject as they are all around us; but Mike has pointed out in his appraisal I quickly began to realize that it wasn’t going to be so easy after all, but I persevered and I am happy with the results.

As I began to take pictures I used the idea of artistically composed images that I would imaging you may find framed on the walls of a Garden Centres Café, which later influenced my idea to print large and on reflection was unnecessary.

Single dominant point.  Dominant_point-5-resizedOn reading Mikes comments, I now can see that if I had applied the golden section principle I could have made a better composition.  I believe that the second (middle) colour image in my blog that I illustrated as one of the three that I didn’t use was closer to the golden section and may have been a better choice.  Single point-b-resizedReason for this is that in my opinion the positioning and direction the rose faces would make for a better balanced picture as it is pointing in towards the empty space; so making use of it by drawing the viewers eye across.

Two dominant points.  Two_dominant_points-3-resizedThis is my favourite shot and all my families.  In order to get this picture I had to take it from a greater distance than I would have liked and had to enlarge to bring out the image, which sacrifices quality.  Fortunately I my D800 has a with very high resolution; so I was just about able to get away with it for printing.

Several points in a deliberate shape.  Points_making_a_shape-1-resizedYes on reflection the dandelion is a distraction.  I was thinking of including dynamic balance in this composition but the yellow is too strong and draws attention away from the intended subject.

A combination of horizontal and vertical lines.  Combination_of_horizontal_and_verticle_lines-3-resizedThis was the challenge that seriously had me doubting my wisdom for choosing plants, but I thought this composition offered all the elements that I was searching for.  Perhaps I could have found better examples but the harder I looked the less I could see; so I settled for this.

Diagonals. Diagonals-2-resized I don’t know why the printed image is so much darker, but I am sure I can adjust it for making other prints.

Curves. Curves-4-resizedAgain I believe that I can adjust for a better print next time.

Distinct, even if irregular shapes. Points_making_a_shape-2-resized Yes, I got a bit carried away and should have kept it simple.

At least two kinds of implied traingles 1,2 and 3.  Implied_triangle-9-resized Implied_triangle-8-resized Implied_triangle-3-resized Again challenging to find interesting images whilst seeing implied triangles.

Rhythm. Rhythm-2-resized I just couldn’t see rhythm in anything I looked at and this was the best attempt that I could make. I think that the photo I used for Distinctive if irregular shapes may have worked for rhythm distinct even if irregular shapes-a-resized

Patterns.  Patterns-7-resized Interestingly Mike feels that this is closer to Rhythm, I guess as the song go’s I ain’t got rhythm!  Perhaps in time…






Assignment 2 – Elements of design

Assignment 2
Chosen subjects: flowers & plants
Single point dominating the composition
Choosing a subject that had a fairly plain background, I then played around with positioning the subject in the frame until finding a composition that I liked. I then used Photoshop to colour pop for a more interesting effect.
I have positioned the rose in the bottom left hand corner to deliberately create a dynamic tension by drawing the eye away from the centre of the picture where the viewer’s eye would naturally want to rest and thus making the eye flick unconsciously back and forth across the picture. Below are some alternative compositions that I considered before making my choice.
Single point-a-resized

Single point-b-resized

Single point-c-resized

Two points
A classic example of a geometrically divided frame, the sharp image of the bee in the foreground, balances well with the bright yellow Dandy-lion of the secondary dominant point in the background. I took this image very quickly getting as close as I could without scarring off the bee and then I had to crop the picture in Lightroom to complete the desired effect. I used the theory of balance by framing and cropping moving the bee closer to the edge of the frame whilst the larger point followed closer towards the centre to the picture / fulcrum and thus producing a visually balanced picture.

Several points in a deliberate shape
This image of the pattern of tiny flowers forming the octagonal shape stands out sharply against the contrast of the blurred green background of the foliage and again I have balanced this with the yellow dandelion on the right hand side to create an attractive picture. Each flower could be considered a point making a small octagonal that in turn is making a larger point to make a larger octagonal. I used the dandelion in the background to add a little colour and balance to the picture.
This image conveys to me both design and order in nature.

A combination of vertical and horizontal lines
Reeds in a pond with ripples in the water extending out to the bottom of the frame, the bank, grass, dark background beyond and the iron railings all providing the elements for this almost graphic design. I noticed that the reflection in the water from the contrast between light and dark creates implied horizontal lines as well as having elements of obvious lines.

Using a macro lens to get in close I have framed this to create a sense of dynamic movement by drawing the eye from the bottom left through the picture to the brighter yellow in the top right. It could even be looked at from another point of view that stamens point down to the bottom left. However, whichever way the viewer chooses to read the image both ways direct the viewer through the picture.


I focused in as close as possible to this rose, framing and later cropping the image to emphasise the curves of the rose petals for my desired effect.
By placing the centre of the rose in the top right corner of the frame, I have divided the frame in a geometrical manner to create a sense of dynamic movement from the folds of the petals to radiate out towards the bottom left hand corner of the picture.


Distinct, even if irregular, shapes
An implied British Lion.


I when looking for this composition, I wanted to find something in nature rather than a deliberate still life. In my search I found a pattern of flowers that if I reframed I could create an implied shape.
distinct even if irregular shapes-a-resized

At least two kinds of implied triangles.
I have use three methods to create implied triangles the first by cropping and using contrast, I have created two implied triangles with a third obvious triangle.
In my second image, I have used perspective by photographing down the length of the tree lined avenue to create four implied triangles.
In my third and last, I have simply used camera angle to create two implied triangles between sky and ground.




To achieve the desired effect that I wanted, I focused in as close as I could on my subject and then cropped the resulting image to create the impression of rhythm. Using the idea that most people will naturally view the image from left to right I chose a subject with a repeating pattern that both draws the eye across the picture whilst also encouraging it to look up down as it moves from left to right. I this image the colours direct the eye up and down the photograph whilst the shapes direct the eye across the picture.
This creates to me a feeling of warmth, movement and direction.


In this composition I wanted the create a pattern so I selected a number of small colourful flowers and I deliberately framed them so that they just fit to the edges of the frame in order to create a sense of continuation for the pattern.