Project: Elements of design

The purpose of this project was to experiment using different design elements to achieve a pleasing composition.

1) Single point dominating the composition

Canon EOS 550D 1/5th sec, f/5, ISO 1600

This image uses the rule of thirds to position the single focal point in a manner pleasing to the eye. The subtle curves of the ribbed ceiling link the focal point to the outlying portions of the image.

2) Two points

Canon EOS 550D 1/125 sec, f/3.3, ISO 160

In this image the subject is presented face-on, to emphasize its regularity, and the dominant elements of the image are equally spaced to create apparent harmony. However, their separation creates distinct points that compete for attention, leaving the composition rather uneasy on the eye.

3) Several points in a deliberate shape

Canon EOS 550 D 1/200 sec. f/8, ISO 200

Finding an image to fit this brief and the chosen subject matter was rather difficult. However, this image of a church tower, taken from a low perspective, creates the impression of an arrow pointing at the sky formed by the steeple roof and the descending windows. I chose a black and white treatment to emphasis the texture of the stonework and create a slightly menacing atmosphere.

4) A combination of vertical and horizontal lines

Canon EOS 550D 1/80th sec, f/4, ISO 250

This image isolates elements of a rather austere concrete building, turning them into an abstract combination of lines and textures. I framed the picture so that the diagonal implied by the edge of the horizontal blockwork divides the image equally into two competing elements.

5) Diagonals

Canon EOS 550D 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

In this image I isolated the steps against the contrasting brickwork to emphasize the regularity and continuity of the staircase. To complete the image and add interest, I waited for someone to walk down the steps and took the image as they were placed in a natural focal point of the image.

6) Curves

Canon EOS 550D, 1/125th sec, f/5, ISO 100

The curve of the building is emphasized by the compressed perspective leading the eye from left to right in the image. The lights and neon glow help the curve to stand out from the compressed pattern of straight lines in the windows and walls in the background.

7) Distinct if irregular shapes

Canon EOS 550D 1/50th sec, f/3.5, ISO 125

The shapes of the gravestones are emphasized by their different textures and coloration. In this image I included the red sign to provide a point of interest and contrast.

8) At least two kinds of implied triangle

Canon EOS 550D, 1/249th sec, f/8, ISO 100

In the first image the triangle is created by the viewpoint and emphasized by the outstretched arm of the prominent statue, leading to the lesser statues, and also the complimenting direction of the roof lines.

In the second image the perspective and increasing height of the successive elements of the building create a sense of multiple triangles within a larger implied triangle.

9) Rhythm

Canon EOS 550D, 1/125 sec, f/3.3, ISO 125

In this image the rhythm of the columns leads the eye naturally from left to right and into the distance. This progression is complemented by a strong diagonal that divides the upright, angular columns from the sweeping curves of the ceiling.

10) Pattern

Canon EOS 550D, 1/200th sec, f/7 ISO 200

I chose a square crop for this image, positioning the curve of the stonework to create a larger and simpler pattern to complement the detailed irregularities of the individual stones. By close cropping to exclude any other elements, the pattern can be imagined to extend in all directions.


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