Preparing for Assignment 2: Elements of Design

Approaching this assignment I picked a kitchen area as my subject. I started to look at the space for the elements requested. Initially my images were over focused on the elements rather than consciously using the elements in image making. It has been a strand running through the exercises in this section. Difficult to flip the learned elements into practical elements? I didn’t enjoy this process, it seemed to lack, what? A feeling of being trapped? Only looking at elements. No poetry? Is this the subject? These questions formed a block and work stopped. There were images from this period I liked but staying with these images/ working round them held me back. These images were in colour, they worked as one offs but trying to fit different images together into a set was difficult for me at this point. Eventually I rejected the earlier images.  This was refreshing and allowed me to start a fresh. I worked with memories of the previous images, but with a new frame of mind. The images seemed to be more successful for me. They had another layer to them, not just the elements. They fitted together better too. Should I be looking at this now?

There were 2 sets of effects in the list I didn’t feel altogether certain about. Not sure what was being asked for. “Several points in a deliberate shape”: This request seemed to be asking for an image with several points, a still life, not a found images but one constructed (deliberate). The other was “distinct, even if irregular, shapes”: Was unsure if this should be made up of one or of more elements? If just one object would cover this element. I made my images with single objects as the shapes.

Single point dominating the composition: I tried this image with just coffee cup and counter surface. This was an attempt to comply with the dominating section of the request. However this was a very flat image. New images began to include the edge and below the counter. These new sections of the images did not take over from the single point but gave the image extra depth and interest.

Two points: This image was an extension of the first. The camera is now positioned above the subject. Prehaps this is allowed by the first shot which establishes the subject? The point of view and lens distorts the image. The glass seeming to pull away from the cup. There is something a little disturbing about this and the lonely/rejected/used cups.

Several points in a deliberate shape: As explained above this element didn’t come easily to me. Although these pills are vitamins there seems to be something slightly noiry about these images and the pills become a little threatening. Are they shapes or are they lines? Again taken from a position above the subject.

A combination of vertical and horizontal lines: This image was one of the first that came to mind when approaching the assignment. There are lines on many different levels. Some are strong and dominant, others not. Window frame/sill/bricks/clothes dryer/curtain. Perhaps there are too many? That the density of lines removes direction from the image. Or that the only ones that counts are the heavy dark lines of the inside of the window frame. Drawing the eye down and to the right.

Diagonals: It took awhile to get to this image I had other ideas but they didn’t seem to have anything about them. I have been reading Core Curriculum by Tod Papageorge, in this book he talks a lot about photography as a kind of visual poetry. Perhaps only certain types of photography? Others as essay? Novel? This image isn’t really of anything but seems to have more of this poetry about it than other images I took for this element. I find the ideas in this book a great help in getting over the block that had formed when approaching this assignment. Will look at the book again and write on it here later.

Curves: Again like vertical and horizontal there are a range of curves in this image. And again only certain curves stand out. Think about quality not quantity?

Distinct, even if irregular, shapes: To me this was about isolating images from the surroundings. The pan is more distinct from its background. The dough board is less so but the shape is still distinct. Somehow these images don’t fit in as completely to the series as the other images. The domination of wood? They are more homely? Less noir?

At least two kinds of implied triangle:  These are triangles implied by position and perspective. Again they return to a slightly threatening sensation. They are ordinary objects but have a menace about them? The gaping oven. The trickle of coloured liquid in the fridge.

Rhythm: The change in perspective of the point of view forms the shadows into a rhythm across the picture. This change focuses the viewer’s attention onto the shadows. In other directions it would be a more obvious picture of a window frame?

Pattern: Slices of pickles arranged to fill and expand beyond the frame. Good fine details. B&W abstracts the subject. Changing it from the “normal”.

Overall I think the images work well together. A theme developed over the images. Perhaps these elements need to be thought about before the project rather than during it? However it is good to be flexible and to evolve and learn throughout the process.


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Filed under Assignments, August 2011

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