Category Archives: Part 2 – Elements of design

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:




Exercise: Implied lines (TAoP)

Part one – look at the two photographs (from OCA handbook) and mark the implied lines in each in a small diagram. 

Part two – perform the same analysis on three of your photographs ,take two photographs that show i) an eye-line and ii) the extension of a line, or lines that point. 

The purpose of this exercise is to show how implied lines (lines that are not physically present but are visually imagined point in a direction) can be used to direct the viewer’s eye in a certain direction, giving some control as to how the image is perceived.

bull fighter

sicilian horses

I think there is no right or wrong answer to this part of the exercise. People interpret things differently from one another. In the 1st picture the most dominant line for me is the movement of the matadors cape – this may be exaggerated by the curved line in the dirt running parallel to the implied movement. For the second picture I think the movement implied by the angle of the horses is the most dominant, especially the elongation of the horses neck and angle of its head.

The next part of the exercise required us to demonstrate implied lines and eye lines.

                                                                           This picture uses eye line in a very strong way. Not only is the eye line obvious, but it is heightened by the concentration on my friends face. Not a great picture in relation to its technical specifications – but a good demonstration of eye line.

                                                                           This image implies a line along the footpath. You could also include the lines of the trees, but I felt the path was the only one that really stood out for me.

implied statue                                                                                          Again, another strong eye line image. I feel like the lion’s eye line is slightly more dominant due to the angle of it’s head and the direction it is facing.

river                                                                           And finally a picture including 2 directional lines that are almost mirroring/ parallel to one another. The footpath to the left follows the path of the river very tightly. I think the implied line of the river is stronger than that of the path as the pathway is less noticeable.

This exercise helped me to understand the importance of some kind of direction for the viewer. There must be some form of implication in order to make an interesting image. I also discovered that these implied lines can vary greatly, from something fairly small (a subtle curve in architecture, a direction of someones body) to something larger (a busy road, a dominant eye line) and that most images do incorporate some form of implied lines. Being able to spot these before taking the picture and enhance them through perspective comes with practice!

Exercise: Horizontal and vertical lines (TAoP)

Take three pictures of horizontal and four of vertical lines. Try to avoid repeating the way a line appears and also to subordinate the content of the image to the line.

The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the effect that deliberate use of lines can produce in an image. There are three types of basic straight line that can be included in a photograph; horizontal, vertical and diagonal and this exercise considers the first two of these.

After reading the brief I started noticing lines everywhere! Several times when out and about I found myself not only without my Nikon but also without my digital camera (I usually try to have this on me at all times) which was a pain as I missed some cracking opportunities for this exercise. I wanted to make a conscious effort to avoid obvious lines such as road markings and railway tracks.

hor 3

In this image the lining of the drain appears horizontal. The pavement can be partly seen to the left of the image, meaning that on approaching the drain from this way it appears horizontal. However, it could also appear vertical if approaching at a different angle.



This is a strong representation for horizontal. The fencing runs parallel to a wall (far bottom of the shot). It was fairly windy out – which is why several of the leaves are not in focus.

This image uses horizontals well. The graffiti emphasises this as the eye automatically views the words from let to right (horizontally) It also adds a layering effect to each step making them more notice to the eye. (A set of stairs all the same colour may have a lesser effect as the colouring/shades will all be very similar almost forming a block of colour and depreciating the horizontal effect.)

I think the word ‘vertical’ sometimes has implications of huge towering heights i.e trees, builings etc. I wanted to find an example of vertical that didnt necessarily follow this. These tree stumps are perfect. They are clearly vertical but don’t have a huge dramatic ‘vertical’ feel as they appear ‘stumpy’.

The iron railings are a strong example of vertical lines. Again the graffiti adds a bit of interest to a some what boring image. I decided to open the gates as the rails appeared slightly diagonal from where i was standing.

vertical 1

I actually quite like this image. Vertical does not mean ‘dead straight’ either and these railings demonstrate that. I wanted to capture vertical but not straight, but this had resulted in some diagonal images so this railing was perfect.


Exercise: Real and implied triangles (TAoP)

Produce two sets of triangular compositions in photographs – one using ‘real’ triangles, the other making ‘implied’ triangles. Each set should consist of three photographs.

Part One – Real triangles
1) An actual triangle
2) A triangle composed by perspective, converging towards the top of the frame
3) An inverted triangle composed by perspective, converging towards the bottom of the frame

Part Two – Implied triangles
1) Still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the top
2) Still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the bottom
3) Arrange three people in a group picture so that either their faces or the lines of their bodies make a triangle

The aim of this exercise is to show how ‘real’ and ‘implied’ triangles can be used in photography. The course notes define a shape as ‘both an outline and an enclosure’ and that it can be both real, such as an actual object, or implied. The triangle is one of the most common graphic shapes to be found and, as Michael Freeman writes in ‘The Photographer’s Eye‘ (2007), it is easy to create or imply – only three points are needed and it can also be created through perspective.

real triangle real triangle 2

Above are 2 examples of ‘real triangles’. The first being a road sign, the second is 5 small triangular stones set within a ring. I find the road sign rather boring, so wanted to incorperate the ring shot as it is a little bit more interesting and includes an asthetic use of shapes.

The second part of the exercise required a triangle shape being formed by perspective. Prefferably upwards so the apex of the triangle is at the top. To get this shot i was balancing on a fairly high wall – I wanted a shot that had no other buildings in the background so had to pick my subject carefully. I would have liked to have centred the shot a little more but i was unable to get the perfect angle. However, this demonstrates the objective.

implied 1

The final part (of part 1) was to do the opposite and have a triangle apex at the bottom of the shot, preferably aiming down on the subject. My feet clearly form the sides of the triangle and the horizontal ledge acts as the third side.

Part 2:

still life triangle

This shot used a low f number (wide aperture) to try to create a some what creative feel to a stack of hula hoops! I like how they are dark in contrast to the light behind them and how the spacing between them allows this light to come through.

still life 2

Next was a still life triangle with the apex at the bottom. To add a bit of interest to this image I used 3 different types of nut and incorperated pattern and symetry to make it a little less dull.

Finally I had to demostrate a triangle using 3 people. I was pushed for time with this one so pulled one out of my archive. I like how the people are actually sitting behing oneanother in relation to the angle of the camera. The framing around their heads clearly demonstrates a tight triangle.


Exercise: Rhythm and pattern (TAoP)

Take at least two photographs, one conveying rhythm and the other pattern.

The aim of this exercise is to show the difference between rhythm and pattern in a photograph, and the different messages each convey to the viewer. The course notes mention that whilst both deal with a large number of design elements grouped together forming a type of repetition, rhythm contains movement whilst pattern is static.

Initially i was a little puzzled by the immediate difference of the two. I was seeing examples of both in the same subjects. For example, i saw some street art that had both rhythm AND pattern – I wasn’t quite sure how this was possible based on rhythm being said to contain movement while pattern is static.
That being said, i looked for some definitions to hopefully clarify this for me.

James Marko defines this as:-

Rhythm is 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. There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling something evokes when viewed.

Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements,
and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length

Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature

Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps

‘focus on travel photography’ website defines pattern as:-

Patterns, both natural and man-made, bring a sense of visual rhythm and harmony to photographs that, like a series of repeating notes in a melody, capture the imagination. Patterns appear whenever strong graphic elements—lines, colors, shapes, or forms—repeat themselves.

With these definitions in mind I feel that while both are indeed very similar, rhythm moves your eye through the picture, while pattern implies a continuation that is not present in the picture.




Based on the definition of rhythm by James Marko, I think this is good representation. It includes both regular rhythm ‘A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length’ and progressive rhythm ‘A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps’.

The spacing/intervals between each bar is equal (regular) and the bars equally decrease in size forming a sequence and the appearance of steps (progressive)



‘Patterns appear whenever strong graphic elements—lines, colours, shapes, or forms—repeat themselves.’ With this definition in mind I saw this great example. It contains all of the above. I was also aware that the OCA handbook mentions that pattern should fill the whole frame and imply a continuation beyond the frame.

This exercise was very helpful in differentiating the differences between rhythm and pattern, however i still find many examples of both!!

Exercise: Curves (TAoP)

Take four photographs using curves to emphasize movement and direction.

The aim of this exercise is to show how curves can add a feeling of movement and direction as well as grace, smoothness and elegance to an image.
At first glance I was slightly unsure of what kind of ‘curves’ this exercise required. Curves are EVERYWHERE! This course is all about interpretation, so there is no right or wrong – with this in mind I took to the streets to see what unusual curves i could capture. Again, weather permitting ,I wanted to try to stay clear of the obvious examples such as curved steps, roads/railway lines etc.



This curve is unmissable. I like how it creates an overhang and is very prominent set against the static horizontal and vertical lines. It certainly adds smoothness to a rather rigid image. The eye instinctively follows the curve from let to right.



The curve in the footpath here leads your eye along the waters edge and towards the trees in the centre of the image – thus conveying movement through the use of curves.

curve 3


This picture of a ukulele uses curves to convey a feeling of smoothness and grace. Your eye follows the lines from top to bottom of the image. At first I wasn’t too keen on the black vertical lines (strings) being in the image, but on second thoughts I think it contrasts with the curves nicely. The shadow in the centre also produces an aesthetic crescent like curve.

curve 5


The curves in this image are almost light tight curls. They are very pleasing to the eye and form a pattern/sequence. The bottom curves to the right are lost against the dark background (the shrub) but the formation is repeated in a smaller scale on the higher railings. There is also a slight curve in the tree to the left which i think adds some interest to the picture.

I have learnt from this exercise that landscape curves tend to convey movement, whereas smaller curved details work at conveying smoothness etc.

Again, the weather was not great while i was out – bring on spring!!

Exercise: Diagonal lines (TAoP)

Take 4 photographs that demonstrate strong diagonals.

Diagonal lines are easy to create in a photograph, as they depend mainly on viewpoint. There are few real diagonals; staircases are one of only a few instances. The camera angle and perspective, however, make diagonals common in photographs.

As with the previous exercise, once I read the brief I began to see examples of diagonals everywhere! Many times it involved tilting my head (and camera) to create the actual diagonal impression. Even though it is fairly easy to create a diagonal within a photograph using perspective, I wanted to see if I could find real diagonals as well as creating them.

Diag 1


This picture is a strong representation of diagonals. The leaves themselves are fanning out in true diagonals, while the perspective has created the walls and railings to appear diagonal also.

Diag 2


This image of the drains is a very strong true diagonal.



This image uses diagonals through perspective, (there are slight diagonals in the hand rails also) but due to the viewpoint both the ledges and the railings appear diagonal.

Diag 4


This image is creating diagonals purely through perspective and positioning. Firstly the road lines appear diagonal, as do the row or cars either side and also the rows of houses.

The weather was fairly horrible during this outing – but i wanted to stick to my deadline. I would like to experiment further with creating diagonal lines through perspective and will upload more pics on this subject on the blog later.