Exercise 1.2. Point

In this exercise we are asked to evaluate a series of images where a single point is placed in different parts of the frame and in relationship to it.

I have to say I had to read the brief 20 times and I am still unsure on what to do or how.

I found a ball of paper in the street and choose it as my point. I planned to take shots of the paper ball placed in different areas and after that, another series where the point would be placed in relationship to the frame, but I found that, as I tried to change the position of the point within the image maintaining the overall composition, this was always in relationship to the frame. In other worlds, I could not place the point in a place where it would not feel related to the frame without compromising the composition of the final image. Like this, I did not manage to place the point or compose “freely” and the variations were minimal.

These are the images of the point:

In my opinion, the strong visual lines of the stairs were leading the composition but still the point felt very noticeable. When overlooking the frame and placing the point elsewhere, it becomes disruptive, however adding an element of interest.

On Image 2, despite the perspective lines drawn by the stairs, my eyes keep jumping up to the point. I traced the images to explore where my eyes focused the attention:

On Image 3, the point is situated off centre to the right and on the way of line followed by the eyes; it does not disrupt too much but still feels as a foreign element. It is interesting how in Image 1 the ball sits on the same position to the left as Image 3 but the variation on the frame makes the point belong to the composition. On Image 4, my eye want to follow the edge of the stairs up but there is an inevitable stop at the point which diverts its route.

As suggested, I have traced also some images from magazines to see more clearly how each image has a different rhythm:

point scans

This said, I think the eye can be drawn to a particular part of the image with the help of the lines described by certain elements or a sequence of elements that creates imaginary lines. The first image has almost a symmetrical composition and the eye runs smoothly over the picture from left to right. On the second image, the first focal point is determined by a higher exposure of the man, with the elements crossing the image both up and down and side to side balancing the composition. Even though it has a busy background and neutral colour palette, the eye finds it easy to navigate through the key elements of the photograph. On the third image, attention is drawn to the face of the man and follows the lines down his body to his hands, so the box of apples becomes the second important element to focus on. Again, the tree on the background does not distract the attention. Besides, it frames the subject and puts him into context at the time that forces the eye to go back to the man´s face.

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