Category Archives: Assignment 2 – Elements of design

Assignment 2: ‘Elements of Design’ Amended

The main points raised by my tutor were:

  • Single Point: The grape photo works and the eye is drawn to the grape but I do wonder if you would not have been left with a cleaner photo that responded more directly to the theme if you had removed the grape from the stalk. I reviewed the contact sheets and didn’t see this option. As the rest of the photos are all presented in a cleaner, more commercial manner, the grape picture would have fitted into the series more without the stalk.

Single point revised:

I agree with my tutors comments and decided to go for a cleaner shot, removing the stalk. I think it works much better as there is zero confusion and one single point, as required.

Grape A.2 final

  •  Two Point: I agree that this is a successful picture and would fit a lifestyle magazine/website well. I wasn’t totally convinced by it representing ‘two points’ though –the bowl and contents is one point –perhaps a drink or napkin/cutlery to the side would have given you a second point?

I decided to steer away from the bowl of pasta shot (due to deadlines and a broken studio light) and try to incorporate and object that can deliberately be made into two points.. It follows on from the food theme, and also from the red grape. I like the reflection of the cork. I also wanted to see if you could have a two point picture with 2 very different sized objects. I think this has been successful.

Two points revised:

2 points low res

  • Several Points in a deliberate shape: I had a couple of issues with this image. The first was procedural –you have included two slightly different variants in the submission but just one in the assignment overview. When it comes to assessment you will want to present just one. The more pressing issue is the depth of focus isn’t really working –having the blurred piece of sushi in the front is distracting to the viewer –the eye is taken straight to this one and you end up hunting through the image to find what is in focus. Perhaps if the front piece was the one in focus and the others soft it would be more successful? Compare this to the walnut photo where you have the dominant front half of the walnut in focus and you can see where that image is a success compared to the sushi image.

Several points in a deliberate shape revised:

I’ve taking my tutors comments on board and re-shot the sushi image – with the 3 prominent sushi rolls (in the deliberate shape) in full focus, with a softer focus on all surrounding sushi rolls. I feel this has produced a much stronger image.

Sushi 1 low res

  • Pattern: You have some camera shake here –you can see when you blow the photo up that the scales are a bit soft because the lens has moved slightly. This is easy to avoid, just make sure you are using a shutter speed fast enough to eliminate the issue if working handheld (as a rule of thumb, at least 1/the focal length of the lens, so 1/60th for a 50mm lens, 1/250th for a 200mm lens etc)

Pattern revisited:

This was generally a hard shot to get right as I was using a macro add on ring (good budget buy) but it’s results can be blurred. I re-visited the shot, this time with a tripod to eliminate any shake. I think the front on positioning makes a cleaner and more pleasing composition.

pattern 2


Assignment 2 feedback

I received my tutor feedback recently and was extremely happy with the comments. I’ve been given plenty of extra reading and photographers to study so i will be updating some of my findings to the blog soon.

I enjoyed this assignment much more than i thought i would as i got to use studio equipment for the first time and push my boundaries and knowledge in that area. Being able to control lighting strength and positioning was very new to me, and i was very pleased with the results.

I have several alterations to make to my assignment photos, and will be uploading these.

But for now it is onto part 3, colour 🙂

Tutor Feedback:




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.




Assignment 2 (TAoP) preparation

Having completed all my exercises for part 2 I am now focusing on my assignment.

The idea behind this assignment is to incorporate the insights you have learned so far
on the course into a set of photographs directed towards one type of subject. You 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
• at least two kinds of implied triangle
• rhythm
• pattern.
Choose from these groups of subjects:
• flowers and plants
• landscapes
• street details
• the raw materials of food.
• if you prefer, choose your own subject.

Initially I knew straight away that I would pick ‘street details’ as this this is the type of photography that I most enjoy at the moment and I am fairly confident in this area. However, due to it being winter and pitch black when I finish work (not to mention the rain!) I found myself extremely limited with opportunities to go out and take my photos….added to this was several stressful weekends packing up the contents of my flat as I was moving! So with time running out I decided to go for plan b – a different subject altogether, another one close to my heart…food 🙂

The feedback from my first assignment mentioned a slight lack of narrative and I was advised to have a theme running throughout my pictures. With this in mind I have decided to go with the theme of ‘Raw materials of food’ for my assignment.

I have also decided to use a new bit of equiptment – my studio cube. My comfort lies in using the light i’m given when photographing my subjects (altering my camera settings) and i would say 90% of my photos are outdoors. Being able to control lighting is very foreign to me, but i want to experiment and push my limits.

I now need to research food photography and cook books to find some inspiration and get some ideas!