Category Archives: Part 1 – The frame

Exercise: Balance (TAoP)

Objective: Take 6 already-taken photographs, and decide how the balance works in each one. Look for what seems to be the dominant part (or parts) of the image. Identify them in a small rectangular sketch, and sketch the weighing ´scale´interpretation.

For this exercise i wanted to choose  a few pictures that may appear to be ‘unbalanced’ or where the balance was not instantly noticeable and/or equal. It is very easy to identify the balance of say a sunset or a city landscape, so i tried to identify the balance of some trickier pictures as well as some fairly obvious ones.


As you can see the red boxes highlight the main parts to the photograph.

sketch 1


This image interested me as I feel the balance is done through a sort of layering technique. In my opinion it is very well balanced.

sketch 2


This image works in a very literal sense of balance.

sketch 7

5MP-9G4 Digital Camera

sketch 3


I love this picture – the balance is very obvious.

sketch 5


sketch 6

I found this exercise to be fairly self explanatory – some images work even though they may appear ‘unbalanced’. The simpler the composition of a photograph i.e the fewer and more distinct the elements – the more obvious the balance will be.


Exercise: Cropping (TAoP)

Objective: To select 3 of my own photographs and experiment with different ways of cropping.

This exercise seems like a pretty straightforward one, and I’m always looking at different crops when editing my pictures.

Here are a few to demonstrate.

This shot is sunrise at Santa Cruz beach. This is the original.

santa cruz sunset


 sunset crop 3 

sunset crop 1


The next is a stain glass church window. Below is the original.



window crop 1

Here is the original image of some children I met in Cambodia.

cam kids

cam kids crop 1

cam kids crop 2


I thought this crop works well as the first two children are exited and confident, while the children on the right are wary and more reserved resulting in 2 completely different images.



Exercise: Fitting frame to subject (TAoP)

Objective: To demonstrate and experiment with how much space a chosen subject takes up in the viewfinder.

For this exercise i have to take 4/5 different pictures of one subject. The first picture should include the whole of the subject in the viewfinder, and should be taken without too much consideration for composition.

no composition

The second shot should move in and around making the subject fit the frame as tightly as possible.

leaf to edge

I used a wide aperture setting for these pictures. As you can see by the picture above the edges of the leaf are slightly blurred. This is a direct result of the low f stop number.

The third picture was to photograph just a part of the subject. (ideally it should not show any edges – however, my standard lens could not capture the detail effectively. I could crop it, but I feel that defeats the exercise. This highlights a problem with using a small subject – had I used something bigger i could have captured more detail within a part of the subject.)

part of leaf

That being said – I like this picture. The wide aperture makes the ledge blurry, focusing the attention on the left tip of the leaf – the main focal point. I am happy with the detail captured.

The next picture should place the subject within a landscape.

backgrnd 2

I took this shot vertically as i wanted to incorporate the rising sun. I am pleased with the way the tree in the background came out (again due to the wide aperture) as it completely relates to the subject and adds depth and colour.

The final picture was to move right back until the subject occupies only a small part of the frame and stresses the surroundings.

leaf less than quarter

To stress the surroundings I roughly placed the single leaf in between two trees – both with colourings mirroring that of the subject. The car was out of my control unfortunately – but I decided to shoot the leaf slightly off centre between the trees to add depth. The light couloured ledge helps to attract attention to the subject.

Overall I’m happy with the results but would like to attempt this exercise with a much larger subject. (the handbook uses a ferry to demonstrate) so will head to one of the many London bridges to see what i can find…

The final stage of this exercise is to play around with different cropping ideas.

crop 5 crop 4 crop 3 crop 2

Exercise: Positioning the horizon (TAoP)

Objective: To experiment with the position of the horizon and noting what effect this has on the frame.

Due to the recent storm I have chosen an archive picture taken in New Zealand. I love  the landscape of New Zealand and this picture captures its rural green hills and gorgeous blue waters side by side.

The first image is the original.


The horizon is above the middle of the frame resulting in the focal point being the trees in the centre of the ‘dip’ and also the rocks to the right of the frame. There is plenty of depth in this picture as you can get a sense of the slope towards the water.

crop 1

With the horizon (mountains) now completely centred your eye is drawn directly to them. This makes the clouds more noticeable as well. The greenery and trees still add effect without being too distracting. I prefer this image to the first and it is probably my favourite from this exercise. However, it could be noted that there is perhaps a bit too much sky in this image.

crop 2

With the horizon now at the top of the shot it feels restricted and cramped. The hillside and trees are the main focal point, resulting in the horizon almost going unnoticed.

crop 3

This final shot has a ‘panoramic’ feel about it. I think the greenery and the blue of both the water and the sky completely balance one another. However, with the horizon being very near the top of the image i think it feels slightly squashed again. With this in mind i have cropped what, in my opinion, is the best balance of colours and horizon positioning.

crop 4