This seems to have been a long haul but I have finally finished assignment 2 and am just putting the finishing touches to it before I email it to my tutor. As always, I look at the photographs again and want to change them but I need to draw a line under it now and move on. I have really enjoyed this assignment, firstly because I focused on flowers which I love and secondly I think because it made me practice things I would not normally do, such as still life which is the frog I have to eat, (Brian Tracy time management book which I will reference when I find my copy). The other thing that this assignment has really made me do is use some of my camera’s functions that I hadn’t used before such as the ‘live view option’ where you can see exactly what will come out and can zoom in on the image and make sure that the focusing is pin sharp. I have got used to adjusting the white balance as quite a few of the pictures have been taken indoors, some with flash and some with the natural light coming through the window. This still needs some practice though and I need to think seriously about investing in some proper lighting as the flash is not always enough, even when used off the camera and with a reflector.
I have enjoyed exploring the work of other photographers, some, such as Alexander Rodchenko, who used lines and different viewpoints to get really dramatic images, and others who specialise in either photographing flowers or macro work such as Heather Angel. Having ‘googled’ flower photographers, I found the PhotographersDirect website which seems to be a place where photographers can showcase and sell their work. I found this to be something of a mixed bag though. One photographer whose work I really did like was Colin Bain http://www.photographersdirect.com/buyers/details.asp?portfolio=20717&pt1=flowers_and_plants&lc=20&catid=46 [ accessed June 2011]. There are some stunning close up photographs of flowers much like I was trying to take. Another one, whose name I won’t mention had one or two quite nice pictures but also some with very distracting backgrounds and one sunflower which looked as though it had a Delphinium growing out of the back of it. He could have done with doing this course!
I’m still only a little way through ‘The Ongoing Moment’ by Geoff Dyer; not because I’m not enjoying it but getting the assignment done has taken over and to be honest much of what I was reading didn’t really fit with the photographs I was taking. I will go back to it though.
One of the things I have found about this assignment was that although I was trying to take pictures where one particular design element stood out, when I looked further I often saw others, such as the curved petals leading up to the single point in the clematis or the way that each individual finger of the foxglove formed a pattern in the close up, which I have used to demonstrate ‘diagonals’. What does this mean? I’m not sure, maybe that I have chosen the wrong pictures or maybe just that I am more aware of and looking for elements of design when I take a picture. Certainly I have thought twice about potential pictures because I didn’t feel that they had well-balanced design elements and maybe this is something that I need to be careful about.