Category Archives: Exercise 1.4 Frame

Exercise 1.4 Frame (2)

Selecting 9 out from 100 images proved to be a time consuming business.  After discounting those that were ‘compositionally incorrect’ (as a complete image) and those with technical faults it still left about 80.  Initially I selected what I considered the strongest images however once seen as a set no matter how I ordered them the balance did not seem right.  I was also conscious to apply the learnings from my tutor’s report about the Square Mile project in terms of a balanced set and relevance of one image to the other.  Therefore I tried to compose the 9 images as if it were one photo where hopefully the eye sees every image evenly rather than is drawn to one specifically.

The layout and and supporting logic plan:


The final layout

Woodland Contact Sheet-003


Overall I was pleased with  the balance of the set.  Each picture complemented each other.


Exercise 1.4 Frame (1)

Initial when I read the brief I struggled a little to understand the point of this exercise.  In fairness once completed it was both challenging and enriching and I learnt about how I take photographs.  It gave the opportunity to deconstruct the way we almost take composing a photograph as granted.

I initially started to shoot on my DSLR via the optical viewfinder but I had difficulty in keeping the composition to just one quadrant.  My eye kept composing full frame.  It was difficult to break the habit of what I had taken years of training myself to do.

For ease of use I then switched to my compact and cut out template from a Post-It note that only allowed the viewing of one quarter of the viewing screen at any one time. Not until I started shooting did I realise there was a design flaw.  It would work top right and when switched round bottom left.  A hasty tear down the one side and a rearrangement of the template allowed top left and bottom right.

This template worked well and certainly shut out the rest of the image so the composition could concentrate in just one quadrant.  What was interesting was trying to view in a much smaller frame it was almost like taking pictures on an old pocket 110 Instamatic.

I chose woodland as the subject choice as I wanted to reduce the number of ‘moving parts’.  No people or cars moving would allow consistent compositions as there would be few variables from shot to shot.

Because just using one quadrant of the view finder gave rise to a few problems:

  • Firstly focus. As the camera was on auto focus the focus point sometime was outside of the quadrant I was composing within. Either I had to avoid the shot as the camera would not refocus, or force it to focus on the near object with the shutter half held and move the camera.
  • Secondly lens flare.  On a bright autumn the sun was not too high and was pointing directly at the camera in the quadrants that were under cover.  This was not noticed until I saw the final image.
  • Thirdly exposure.  Again being on fully automatic the area not covered was underexposed because the exposure was being based on an average of the whole scene.

It can be seen from the result that I took more pictures than was probably required for the exercise.  But actually there was a long learning curve until I felt comfortable working in this way.

I did fear that I was favouring one quadrant over others but in reality the numbers are relatively even with a slight bias to Top Right and Bottom Left:

  • Top Left:   23
  • Top Right:   29
  • Bottom Left:   27
  • Bottom Right:   21

What is interesting is to see other objects that I did not know were in the pictures such as cars, my shadow and even myself:

  • Top Right 02:   Shadow
  • Top Right 02:   Car
  • Top Right 02:   Shadow
  • Top Left 08:   Myself
  • Top Left 23:   Exposure issue
  • Bottom Left 09:   Lens flare

The following (if a little long) shows the composition quadrant image and then the full image:
(Click on image to step through gallery for the section)

Top Left

Top Right

Bottom Left

Bottom Right