Saturday, November 27, 2010

Exercise 12 - Positioning the horizon

The sea view would be the best for completing this exercise. To be honest, as I am living next to the sea, I spend a lot of time taking pictures of it. The sea is one of my favorite objects, as it is always different and one can always find something not seen before. As it has been snowing all week at my place, I decided to pick up some pictures of horizon that I have taken earlier. These shots have been taken on Crete this summer, on the bay of Malia.   

Anyway, here is my exercise on horizon: 

1. This shot is approximately divided into two equal parts. The foreground makes the  composition not that static. Though it would be good to have the ND gradual filter to make the foreground not that dark. Also, it seemed to me that there was too much of the foreground.

2. For the second shot I came a bit closer. In this picture the foreground and the background seem more balanced.

3. Here I gave all the priority to the blue sky. Because the time when I was taking pictures was just before and just after sundown, the sky was changing all the time. This one was just after sun went down.
The color of the sky was fantastic, and I decided to make a vertical shot of it to stress the contrast of the sky as much as possible.

4. Here I wanted to combine the colors of horizon and pay more attention to the patience of the sea. That is why the sea is taking most of the frame. To stress the patience of the sea even more, I was taking this picture at a longer shutter speed, which is shown in slight waves movement.

5. This is the other variation of the horizon with priority given to the sea. Because I was not very sure about the foreground in the previous picture, I have taken another one, but without shore in the foreground.

The overall conclusion of this exercise is that the position of the horizon is very much dependent on what  you want to show in your shot. Is it mostly sea, that you are looking at or the sky that is showing lovely clouds patterns? Or maybe the foreground detail would add something to your shot that would make it look the best. There are plenty of options in this field! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Exercise 11 - Balance

As described in the task I have chosen 5 photos out of those taken before and looked at them from the balancing perspective. It was quite unusual for me, as I normally put together composition rather intuitively.  After looking at course materials I tried to analyze pictures as advised there:

1. The picture is a view on old town roofs. Although there are quite a few objects on this picture, the two biggest roofs make up the biggest part of the composition. The bigger roof on the left stands closer to the center and the smaller one is closer to the right edge. I guess, this is what makes this shot balanced.

 I am showing it as a sketch below as well:

2. The main object is quite clear on this picture. It contrasts in both size and colors with the rest of the composition. Misty weather in Shanghai and the color of the water takes background of the focus. The bigger object is closer to the center compare to the small piece of the fence at the right side of the picture and the city on the background is also about the same width.

The balance comparative sketch would look the same, though the type of the composition is different in this picture.

3. This picture is exactly like example from course materials. The only difference is that two objects that are balancing the picture are actually the background.

The sketch of the balance would look the following:

4. I am not very sure about this picture's balance. Two main objects are about the same size, but shape is a bit different. What, I think is adding to balance is road junction and part of the roof, from which the shot was taken. I am also doubting the balance between the city and the sky. It might be better to crop some of the sky to make the picture look more like a panorama. It seems like the sky is not adding any value to the picture.

 The sketch to this picture would look the following:

5. Here it is clear that the shot is equally divided into two parts. The original looks a bit bigger, but I guess this is only because of the angle of the reflection. I am not very sure, whether the diagonal is adding to the balance or not.

Anyway, the sketch would be showing the two equal objects.

6. The last shot has quite a few objects on it. Though, the main objects here are white stairs. The Biggest one is closer the center, than the smaller ones. Also, the lady on the left edge of the shot is balanced by the same size flowers on the right side. It might be worth to improve the composition by removing the very left part of the wall from it.

And here is the sketch:

It is clear for me now that the less objects os on the picture, the more obvious is the balance. Though, there are no definite guidelines in this.

I would conclude that it was useful in a sense that it has raised questions that I have not asked myself before. I will try to summarize them below and will dig into them later:

1. How does the balance work on the shots with several objects?

2. How should objects and background be balanced against each other?

I am looking forward to getting answers on these questions...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Exercise 10 - Focal lengths

For this exercise I have went to the sea shore and took some pictures of the stones. I am still in doubt, whether it was a good choice of the object for this exercise and the depth of field was enough to show the difference.

The first shot was taken at 18mm focal length (the aperture set at f/10 and with shutter speed 1/160s).

The second shot was taken at 85 mm focal length (aperture at the same f/10, shutter speed adjusted to 1/125) .

Maybe it is not that obvious at first glance, but when looking at both shots closer that first shot is more distorted and has more depth of field, while the second one looks a bit flat. I would say that I like the first one more. I should use my wide angle lens next time, which can be set to 14mm and this would make pictures like this one more interesting. 

The other thing that I noticed was that the second shot's angles are more blurred, though aperture was set at the same f/10 for both shots.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exercise 9 - Focal Lengthes

After a long break I finally got back to my exercises. Here is the outcome of the exercise on the different focal lengths. The shots have bee taken at Baltic sea shore, in Latvian town - Yurmala. It is not a hot season there at the moment and I really enjoyed being there on my own with my camera. I guess it was one of the last weekends of this year golden period, which is always a bit sad...

Here is a sequence of shots taken there:

This shot has been taken at 26 mm focal length. It is not the smallest possible with my Tamron lens, but I did not want to change the position. The aperture is F9 and shutter 1/1250s.
Focal length - 78mm. Aperture  F14 and shutter 1/640s.

 Focal length - 110mm. Aperture - f/14,  shutter 1/400s. I have changed the composition a bit for this shot by moving a by to the right.

 Here I decided to use vertical composition to fill in the frame more with objects than background. Focal length 170mm.  Aperture - F/14, shutter speed 1/400s.
This shot I made on maximum possible zoom at focal length 250mm, F/14, shutter speed 1/400s. I made the shot vertical to fill in the frame in the most reasonable way.

Actually I made a lot more shots for this exercise. For every shot I made about 3 trials and then choose the one that seemed the best afterwards.

I have also noticed that the larger is the focal distance, the more noise I see on the pictures.

After I made this summary I have realized that I like the first and the last shots the most, but for different reasons. I like the soft background and mild colors of the first one and I like the small details of the building on the last shot.