Monthly Archives: March 2014

Exercise: Control the strength of a colour (TAoP)

Find a strong definitive colour and choose a viewpoint so that the colour fills the viewfinder frame. Find the average exposure setting – the one your camera’s meter or your own meter recommends. Then take a sequence of pictures; all composed exactly the same, but differently exposed from bright to dark. Start at one stop brighter than the original metered setting, then stop down the aperture by half a stop each time.

Upon reading the guide notes in the OCA handbook i was pretty confused. The exercise is dealing with varying the exposure, yet it requires the exposure to be kept at the same setting, altering the aperture instead. While at first I thought this was a very long winded way to get the same result as if you were to simply alter the exposure settings – I did learn quite a bit about the effect different settings have in relation to one another. I haven’t shot too much using the manual setting either – which gives the photographer 100% control of all settings.

I found that my camera gave me a shutter speed of 1/4th (this may have been to do with the fact that I was shooting indoors) so I applied this shutter speed to the following apertures: f5.6, f7.1, f10, f16. Any setting beyong this was completely black. These settings demonstrated the objective.





My main observation is that the brightness of the pink is reduced through each photo. It’s clear and vivid in the first image, standing out from the surroundings, but as it gets darker it is less noticable. Altering exposure shouldn’t alter the hue of the colour itself, but the pink could be mistaken for red in the last picture. This may be because pink is not a primary colour. Had i done this exercise with, say, a red subject it may have appeared to have stayed red throughout. This is something i will experiment with later.

In conclusion altering the aperture has affected the brightness of the colour with hue and saturation remaining the same.


Part 3: Colour

Primary Colours
The primary colours traditionally used by painters are Red, Yellow and Blue.  Digital photographers should be aware of the fact that light and digital technology have a different relationship with colour. Transmission primaries are RGB ( red, green and blue).  Mixing coloured light produces different results from mixing paint that are not intuitive. for example red and green produce yellow – which is not what the eye espects.

There are two ways of dealing with colour. Technical deals with the process of recording and displaying colour RGB.  Perceptual deals with the way we see and feel about colour therefore using red, yellow and blue.

We should think of hue as the essential quality that decides how we name a colour – red, purple, blue etc. Hue can be changed by using coloured filters over the lens, or coloured lights.  It can also be altered through the camera settings, including adjusting white-balance.  FInally it can be altered in post-processing, particularly when shot in RAW.

When we think of a colour we can think of its saturation as pure, intense, saturated or dull, weak, unsaturated. Different hues show maximum saturation at different levels of brightness. Saturation is less-adjustable at the time of shooting than Hue or Brilliance, however modern camera settings do allow alterations.  Again, this can be adjusted in post-processing.

We think of colours in terms of how bright they are.  For example very bright, bright, fairly bright, average, slightly dark, dark or very dark. Brightness can be controlled by exposure.

Assignment 2 – Elements of design

Objective: The idea behind this assignment is to incorporate the insights I have learned so far on the course into a set of photographs directed towards one type of subject. I should produce 10 –15 photographs, all of a similar subject, which between them will show the following effects:

  • Single point dominating the composition
  • Two points
  • Several points in a deliberate shape
  • A combination of vertical and horizontal lines
  • Diagonals
  • Curves
  • Distinct, even if irregular, shapes
  • Implied triangle
  • Rhythm
  • Pattern


All photos were shot in RAW with minimal post editing.

A single point:

1 point

For this picture I stayed true to the definition we learnt earlier – The Photographer’s Eye’ (2007), Freeman describes a point as being the most fundamental element of design in a photograph. A point has to be small in the frame and must contrast with its surroundings in some way in order to be significant. I wasn’t too sure weather the grape was actually too big in the frame, but as it’s the prominent focal point I decided to go with it.

2 points:

2 points


I like the overall look of this image. I wanted to used two subjects that relate to one another while also fitting with the theme.

Several points in deliberate shape:


I love sushi – I think its such a fun looking food! I purposely positioned the sushi rolls so that some were in focus while other weren’t (using a low f number of 5.6) I like the vibrant range of colours and I think this adds a great deal of interest to an otherwise fairly bland colour palette.


diagonal 2

This shot is one of my favourites. It portrays the theme of ‘diagonal’ mainly through perspective. The tomatoes were staggered but by altering my position I could choose how strong the angle appeared. I really like the lighting (I spent a long while changing the angles of the lights and using different strengths) Half way through taking these pictures the tomato at the end decided to roll out – something I hadn’t planned but actually works really well. By using a low aperture number the front 2 tomatoes are clear in focus, leading the eye along the row. The tomato at the end also attracts attention as the viewers eye tend to go directly to it as it is out of sequence.


By far my favourite picture of the assignment – the vivid green against the stark white backdrop is extremely bold. I didn’t want to include the whole fruit, as I think the idea of ‘curved’ can be portrayed through partially visual demonstratives – leaving our brains to interpret the curve, making up the objects shape in its entirety. I am so pleased with the layered effect starting with the heart of the kiwi, to the seeds, out to the darker juicy flesh, to the lighter flesh and finishing with the skin. There are intact 5 layers of ‘curves’.

Horizontal & Vertical:


I wanted to incorporate vertical and horizontal lines together in one picture. I tried a few ideas using vegetables, but after seeing this image it became one of my favourites. I like how the lighting was used and shines on the dark chocolate. The vertical lines are not overly prominant – but I feel if they were any thicker it wouldn’t have looked right. The gaps still manage to imply a vertical line.

Implied triangles:

impl triangle 2

This picture was not actually planned – I was trying to break open the coconut and spotted this brilliant example of an implied triangle. I like how dark the three spots are compared to the light brown hairy texture of the rest of the coconut. The beige of the chopping board adds another layer to the picture which i think works well. I was tempted to remove the wispy bits but in the end decided to keep them in as it keeps the coconut in its entirety. I used a soft light to the far left and again, a wide aperture was used to make the image more interesting and aesthetically pleasing. I positioned the coconut slightly off centre as I think it results on a better shot.

Distinct, if irregular shape:


I really like the simplicity of this image. The shaping and texture of the walnut demonstrates the objective extremely well. I decided to have the empty shell slightly out of focus, but not completely blurred so you could still see the imprint of the nut within the shell. The light shadowing between the 2 parts of shell works very well.



At first i struggled to come up with ideas of rhythm revolving around food/raw materials. During the photographing of the tomatoes I had the idea of using peppers almost as traffic lights. Rhythm is defined as ‘the repetition or alternation of elements, often with defined intervals between them. Rhythm can create a sense of movement, and can establish pattern and texture’ I like the slight shadows of the peppers’ stalks and the usage of a fairly strong light. I didn’t want the peppers to be too uniformed, and somewhat regemental so I made sure the spacing was roughly the same but not too precise.



Pattern is defined as ‘Patterns appear whenever strong graphic elements—lines, colours, shapes, or forms—repeat themselves.’ Using a strong light on the skin resulted in an almost metalic/foil like feel which I really like. The lines, colours, shapes and forms are all repeated – and this pattern could be imagined to go on and on. I think this is a great demonstation of pattern, while at the same time being eye catching and unusual.

Overall I am extremely happy with these shots. I discovered that being able to control lighting levels and positioning of lights gives so much more control to the photographer but also resulted in taking double the amount of photographs meaning selecting the final pictures was a long and difficult process. I have learnt so much about angles with lighting in conjunction to object positioning and really enjoyed doing studio shots.