Category Archives: Coursework

narrative and illustration # 4 – rain

“Imagine a magazine cover on one subject: rain. You have the entire cover space to work in, and you should produce a single, strong, attractive photograph that leaves no one in doubt about the subject. This is first an exercise in imagination, not always easy, and second an exercise in producing a photograph to a specification.”


This is what I settled on – the view from upstairs on a bus, as a woman with an umbrella crosses the road in front of us. As it is a magazine cover, it needs to be in portrait format; I cropped down to match the roughly 4:5 dimensions of the Guardian Weekend. There is plenty of space for text to be superimposed upon the image.  It works as a compendium of many of the ideas I examined while working on this exercise, during the couple of properly rainy days we’ve had recently. Continue reading

narrative and illustration # 2 – evidence of action

“Produce one photograph in which it can be seen that something has happened. As a suggestion, include in the photograph something that has been either broken, or emptied”  – AoP Coursebook

Digging Dug

Not a set up shot, but rather then end of an afternoon’s digging out the borders when the sunlight had sunk to the point where it no longer lit the brick air-raid shelter, but was still pointing up the uneven, freshly dug earth. It’s fairly obvious what has happened and the angles of lines running through the frame and the division of the space work nicely, I think, but it would be better if the pile of dug up grass and other weeds was more obviously different from the raggedy lawn which only got cut the next weekend.

colour # 3 – colour relationships

 Part 1 – Primary & Secondary Colours

“Produce one photograph for each combination of primary and secondary colours, adjusting the distance, focal length or framing when you shoot so that you compose the picture to the proportions listed […] — or at least close to them” – TAoP Coursebook

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colour # 1 – control the strength of a colour

Find a strong, definite colour – a painted door for instance – and choose a viewpoint so that the colour fills the viewfinder frame. Find the average exposure setting […] Then take a sequence of pictures; all composed exactly the same, but differently exposed from bright to dark.

Arrange the […] images together . Apart from the obvious fact that the […] photographs vary from over-exposure to under-exposure, what other difference is there in terms of the colour?

– AOP Coursebook.

The photos that follow were all taken on a sunny afternoon in my back garden using my D50 with a 35mm 1:2 AF lens on it. They are of a Camden Council recycling tub that I’ve used as a laundry basket ever since I moved north of the river at the turn of the century. There are seven pictures rather than five, because it was only a few weeks ago that – playing with the various menus on my camera – I realised that I could set the increments by which exposure compensation worked at anything other than 1/3 of a stop. Further evidence if it was needed that you can never spend too much time playing with your camera…

All h-s-l values were calculated in Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac and were based on the centre of the embossed cross.

From looking at the the pictures, I can see that the lightness (brightness in Adobe-land) does indeed decrease quite dramatically as the sequence goes on; the saturation likewise increases and the colour temperature (hue) moves up from being closer to cyan to a much more obvious blue and end almost in the region of violet. The truest blues seem to be in the three pictures starting with the one shot at the meter reading and continuing into slight underexposure.

Likewise, doing the same thing with a red storage tub and a yellow council grit container showed similar results, although the red showed a slight drop off in saturation below an average exposure and yellow seemed most saturated either at average or slightly higher.

I’ll have a go with some pictures containing more than one colour, to see if I can emphasise a particular colour by choosing the correct level of under (or over) exposure while reducing the impact of the others.

(Postscript – I have also played with one of the standard exposure pictures and have found that  – providing the highlights or the shadows aren’t clipped – a raw image can be moved up and down the exposure range in Lightroom, creating the same colour effects to my eye as can be created in camera by altering the exposure; another thing to try while editing, I guess …).

in today’s guardian

The Guardian, 14/10/2014 (either Jerome Daly/AP or John Moore/Getty Images - the paper doesn't say)

The Guardian, 14/10/2014 (either Jerome Daly/AP or John Moore/Getty Images – the paper doesn’t say)

When I saw this on the front of today’s G2, against a black background rather than the white here, I thought this was a splendid photograph; 14 hours after I first looked at it, sat on the tube, somewhere between Blackhorse Road and Tottenham Hale, I still do. Continue reading

elements of design # 8 – rhythm and pattern

Produce at least 2 photographs, one should convey rhythm, the other pattern. Remember that that in rhythm there needs to be a sequence in the picture so that the eye will follow a direction and experience an optical beat. For the pattern photograph, be careful with the framing […] so that the eye can imagine it continuing well beyond it. – AoP Coursebook

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