Find a scene that has depth. From a fixed position, take a sequence of five or six shots at different focal lengths without changing your viewpoint. (You might like to use the specific focal lengths indicated on the lens barrel.) As you page through the shots on the preview screen it almost feels as though you’re moving through the scene. So the ability to change focal lengths has an obvious use: rather than physically moving towards or away from your subject, the lens can do it for you. The other immediate difference between the shots is the ‘angle of view’, which also depends on the sensor size of your camera. Use the sequence to try to get a feeling for how the angle of view corresponds to the different focal lengths for your particular camera and lens combination. Which shot in the sequence feels closest to the angle of view of your normal vision? Does zooming in from a fixed viewpoint change the appearance of things? If you enlarge and compare individual elements within the first and last shots, you can see that their ‘perspective geometry’ is exactly the same. To change the way things actually look, a change in focal length needs to be combined with a change in viewpoint.
Looking through the shots and revisiting the site I felt that 24mm and 35mm photos felt closer to what I believe to be equal to what my eye could see, this surprised me as I originally thought 50mm focal setting was closer to the human eye. After a bit investigative work I found the crop sensor on my Nikon D5600 and the distortion of the telephoto 18mm – 200mm lens the 35mm focal length equates to 53mm.
Does the geometry of objects change whilst zooming, no. After cropping and comparing the images they remained identical no matter which photo I cropped.
Equipment to use:
Nikon D5600 shooting RAW images only using aperture priority mode as per the brief
Nikon 18-200mm telephoto lens
Remote Shutter Trigger
Born 1958 in Zell am Hamersbach, Germany Thomas Ruff was classed as one of the most important international photographers. He finished his ‘jpegs’ series in 2007 where he enlarged photos he obtained from the internet to such a gigantic scale the pixels themselves became the geometric art form. None of the photos he used were his own but hand picked from various internet images.
Two images below the same type of technique as Thomas Ruff, first is of my granddaughter and the second is of the steel works I am currently employed at. I used the suggested approach by reducing the size and saving at zero quality. The photos have an array of colours which I thought help emphasise the pixel enlargement.
The final exercise of this project makes use of the viewfinder grid display of a digital camera. This function projects a grid onto the viewfinder screen to help align vertical and horizontal lines, such as the horizon or the edge of a building, with the edge of the frame. If your camera doesn’t have a grid display, imagine a simple division of the viewfinder into four sections.
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.
Formalism: prioritisation of concern with form rather than content. Focus on composition and the material nature of any specific medium. (Wells, 2009, p.347)
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.
Take a number of shots using lines to create a sense of depth. Shooting with a wideangle lens (zooming out) strengthens a diagonal line by giving it more length within the frame. The effect is dramatically accentuated if you choose a viewpoint close to the line.
Looking at Images 1 & 2 even though I feel drawn in to follow the lines of the track to their distant point, I still feel somewhat detached from the photos due to the high vantage point the photos were taken, unlike Images 3 & 4 which were taken at almost eye level to the lines. These last two images also increase the depth perception than the first two images.
Take a number of shots using lines to flatten the pictorial space. To avoid the effects of perspective, the sensor/film plane should be parallel to the subject and you may like to try a high viewpoint (i.e. looking down). Modern architecture offers strong lines and dynamic diagonals, and zooming in can help to create simpler, more abstract compositions. Review your shots from both parts of Exercise 1.3. How do the different lines relate to the frame? There’s an important difference from the point exercises: a line can leave the frame. For perpendicular lines this doesn’t seem to disrupt the composition too much, but for perspective lines the eye travels quickly along the diagonal and straight out of the picture. It feels uncomfortable because the eye seems to have no way back into the picture except the point that it started from. So for photographs containing strong perspective lines or ‘leading lines’, it’s important that they lead somewhere within the frame.
Images 5 – 8 were taken from a bridge roughly 20 feet above the railway lines. When I look at image 5 the tracks enter and leave the frame without the feeling of movement in other-words a static image with no depth, as soon as you start to angle the camera as in images 6 & 7 the feeling of travelling emerges as the tracks want to lead you somewhere. Image 8 shows how depth perception can be completely removed the tracks are 20 feet below the concrete girder and bridge but the image has been flattened due a direct overhead shot.
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.
There is no right or wrong answer here wherever the point is placed within the frame the eye does not stray outside the frame. The first two photos tend to keep the eye loitering in the middle of the frame and not towards the edges but in the third photo due to the point being placed close to the edge your eye flows over the whole frame looking for more. All the images seem to balance no matter were the point is placed in 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.
As I took the photos and moved the point around the frame I realised no matter where the point was situated it never really felt out of balance, the closer the point came to to the centre the boring the photo became. The point could never be placed anywhere within the frame and be claimed not in a relationship with the frame. The point has to appear in the frame to have a relationship otherwise the point is no longer part of the image. At what point does the point become to large and take on the form of the subject?
Print out two or three of your point photographs and trace the route your eye takes over the surface with a pencil. Then try the same with a selection of photographs from newspapers or magazines. You should notice that each photograph seems to have its own tempo. Add the traced photographs to your learning log together with brief observations.
With my own photo (image 8) I noticed my eye tends to circle the whole outer frame and not the middle but with the adverts (image 9 & 10) the eye crisscrossed through the centre.
Illustration: Image 9 Diver April 2017 back page [Accessed Sept 2017]
lllustration: Image 10 Mens Fitness June 2015 page 7 [Accessed Sept 2017]
Take three or four exposures of the same scene. Don’t change anything on the camera and keep the framing the same.
Preview the shots on the LCD screen. At first glance they look the same, but are they? Perhaps a leaf moved with the wind, the light changed subtly, or the framing changed almost imperceptibly to include one seemingly insignificant object and exclude another. Time flows, the moment of each frame is different, and, as the saying has it, ‘you can’t step into the same river twice’.
Now bring up the histogram on the preview screen. The histogram is a graphical representation of exposure – the camera’s sensitivity to light. As you page through the images you can see small variations in the histograms. Even though the pictures look the same, the histogram data shows that in a matter of seconds the world changes, and these subtle differences are recorded by the camera. If you refine the test conditions – shooting on a tripod to fix the framing, moving indoors and closing the curtains to exclude daylight – still the histogram changes. Probably some of the changes are within the camera mechanism itself; still, the camera is a sensitive enough instrument to record them.
Add the sequence to your learning log with the time info from your camera’s shooting data as your first images for Part One.
The photos where all taken within a 3 second sequence of each other using a Nikon D5600. All on fully automatic with a 20mm focal length, ISO560, f4 aperture and 1/60th shutter speed, I never used a tripod but instead rested on the back of a chair to keep the images in frame.
Even with all the settings set the same and the frame almost identical in each photo the histogram still shows subtle variations in each individual picture.
As the test suggests what changes take place in such a short period of time, the variables are probably countless i.e. light shift, button depress, focal points. With today’s sensors no 2 photos can ever be taken with the same camera and produce identical histograms.