I have enjoyed this part of the course more than any other so far. It hasn’t been easy to select only vertical or horizontal because more often than not I could see both vertical and horizontal and sometimes diagonal lines too, in the subjects I wanted to photograph.
The gravestones are an example of that. I chose this initially because I could see horizontal bands of colour, (even though I subsequently converted it to black and white), the daisies, the wall in the background, the base of the stones etc. Once I had the image on my monitor and particularly after I converted it to black and white, the first thing I see are the vertical lines created by the stones themselves.
The trees created straightforward vertical lines although taken with a wide angle lens, some of them are maybe more horizontal! They demonstrated very obvious vertical lines though as did my third picture which was of the bridge at Crickhowell. The materials for this unit tells us to try to select a different topic each time, but I have used a second shot of this bridge from a different angle to show rhythm an patterns purely because I felt that the different angle produced a very different picture.
This is another example of where more than one ‘element’ is evident because this could just as easily be used to demonstrate a diagonal line. I was interested in the fact that in the materials themselves, a photograph of leg rowers, bottom of page 62, was used to demonstrate vertical lines. Had I not read this in advance, I would probably have said this demonstrated rhythm and patterns.
To some extent I felt that the selection of horizontal subjects came more easily. We were very delighted to be invited by friends to have lunch on the Orient Express for our 40th wedding anniversary and that presented loads of photo opportunities apart from the obvious one of recording the occasion. I have chosen three of the photographs I took then for this section; the carriage itself sitting on the rails at Plymouth railway station
and the cutlery arranged into a horizontal format. The third picture is the train again, but this time using a different viewpoint to create diagonal lines.
The friends who treated us to this trip live in Torquay and I made the best use of the opportunity by taking pictures of the pier and a direction sign, both of which show diagonal lines. I used a wide-angle lens to photograph the pier to accentuate the
diagonals and the reason I chose the direction sign was not only because the sign itself was on the diagonal, but the shadow falling across it also formed a diagonal but in a different direction.
The other image I took in Torquay for this activity was of the wonderful curved footbridge on the promenade. I have cloned out a lamp-post which I felt was distracting and cropped this picture slightly so that it fills the frame. This is probably my favourite so far from this activity as I really get a sense of movement and direction from this image.
One of the photographers that my tutor, Peter, recommended in the feedback from my last assignment was Alexander Rodchenko, whom I have looked up on the internet. I found several websites either advertising or reviewing and exhibition at the South Bank in 2008 http://ticketing.southbankcentre.co.uk/minisites/rodchenko/index.html# [accessed July 2011] and another, which I have not been able to find again since, which was all in Russian, showcasing his work. I absolutely love it and it fits so well with this unit. What I really like is the way that he has used unusual viewpoints to get really dramatic images, mostly very simple but none the less stunning and all in black and white of course given that Alexander died in 1956. This is definitely a photographer I will refer to again in the future.