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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Multiple points

Taking the idea of points further, but this time with multiple points. The idea is to explore how multiple points can imply shape, by setting up a still-life scene with the camera in a fixed position. Then place similar sized objects into the scene one at a time and taking a photograph at each stage; the aim being to create an interesting composition. Once all the objects (between 6 and 10 items) to sketch out any implied lines that relate the objects and any shape that may be formed.


I wanted to try something a little different with the still-life by making it a larger scale. so set up the tripod as high as I could pointing down at the floor. The floor in my hallway to be exact and used some logs as my objects. The hardest part of this exercise was the light conditions. The light source was natural through a single widow, however the day was full of intermittent cloud and quite a strong wind, meaning the light conditions were constantly changing from hard to soft light. I could have cheated and used the hall light, but I wanted the challenge!

Again I used a Mono conversion which really emphasised dark unrefined bark on the logs against the light toned wood of the floor.


35mm f/27 8 sec ISO 100

The first log I just placed randomly within the frame, with the thought only being to avoid the centre point. Oddly only after I took the first few images did I notice that I had placed the log parallel with the flooring lines (diagonal within the frame). This was not intentional but at the same time made me wander if this was something more than a random placement. Either way that is how I started.


35mm f/27 10 sec ISO 100

The second log was placed again without thinking about it, but I think naturally I wanted the frame to feel balanced and therefore the second log ended up closer to the middle of the frame. The second log also took dominance over the first too, with a combination of being further away from the edge of the frame and slightly larger in size. There is almost a sense of movement along the diagonals of the floor too I felt.


35mm f/27 8 sec ISO 100

The next log was placed to create a contrast against the direction of the other 2 logs. placing it closer to the first also too some of the dominance away from the second log.


35mm f/27 10 sec ISO 100

The forth placement is the first where I started to consider implied shapes within the frame and between the logs. The three logs in the top left of the frame I could see a triangle being formed as well as a circular animation.


35mm f/27 10 sec ISO 100

I guess the placement of object 5 was about balance. I felt that the shape that had developed in the top left, needed more balance in the frame and as such placed the next object further to the right and closer to the centre of the frame. I started to see lines joining the sides of the image together too.


35mm f/27 8 sec ISO 100

With the next placement the placement created more shapes with in the frame, I was starting to see a separation between the left and right of the frame as well as lines and curves joining these parts for the frame together


35mm f/27 10 sec ISO 100

The last log to be placed came across to me as a sort of tail to the shapes, extending lines through the frame.

The next set of images I have taken the final image and sketched in lines and shapes that relate the objects and clarify my thoughts throughout the placement stage.


I went for the obvious triangle shapes that could be seen within the image


The implied circles from the positions of the logs gives animation to the image a sense of movement and flow throughout the image

Implied shape

I noticed depending on where you start to look at the image a figure of 8 shape emerged from the points overall.

Lines and relationships

Looking further at how the logs relate together I looked at the implied lines, starting simply the diagonal lines that cross through the shapes of the logs. The direction arrows follow a left to right eye motion and the flow of the shape in the frame.

I also looked at the smaller relationship lines within the points

Curves (Lines)

Finally I looked at the line movements that I found most comfortable for my eye. following the left to right motion of eye movement I found (in my eye) that there were 2 distinct curves that gave a flow and motion to the image. I have drawn this as below.

It took me some time to get started with this exercise, however once I had my eye in I started to enjoy the patterns and flow that I could see within the shape created by my placement of ‘points’. I believe that there is a certain amount of subjectivity to any image and what shapes, lines and animation that an individual can see, however the exercise have shown that this idea is more objective than I thought.

Continuing with some earlier thoughts on design, I do believe that the lines, points and shapes all interact to each other and their careful placement within the frame can really change the feeling of the photograph.

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