Thursday, 4 November 2010

Evaluation Of The Photo Story

From what I understand, after this week we'll start to concentrate more on our main assignment. That means this will probably be our last piece of homework, so if you're lucky, it will also be the last time you'll have to listen to me bitch and moan about how things didn't go to plan.


As already stated, I had a completely different idea in mind for my photo story, because of one thing or another it never happened, but luckily, the equipment I took could easily be adapted to my new idea. I'd taken my D80 and two lenses. The first lens was my 50mm F/1.8D AF. The original intent was to use it for the close-up  portraits of people in Trafalgar square, but I ended up using it to take most of the location shots. The increased sharpness the dedicated lens creates was very useful, and because it was a dull day, the extra width of the aperture allowed me to let in extra light. The second lens was my 18-135mm lens. After taking the story photos, I'd planned to go and take some architecture shots, using the extra focal length to zoom in on little details. In the end I had to use the shots of Big Ben's clock tower as part of the story. I packed two 2GB memory cards, not knowing how many photos I was going to take. I'd also taken my tripod to take some night time shots of all the Diwali lights, but it again came in useful for the pictures of Big Ben's clock tower.
For the Photos I took at home, the only inclusion was my 60mm macro lens which I used for the picture of the alarm clock.

What went well?

I enjoyed this task, the requirement to try and link the images made me really think about how a series of photos can be connected. Although ultimately I think my photos failed in this regard, it was still an interesting exercise, and I hope will allow me to add a sense of cohesion to my main theme. I'm pretty au fait with the technical aspects of using the manual, aperture priority and shutter priority modes now, so the pictures were generally well exposed and only the picture of the tickets needed any major tweaking.  
Of the six photos there are a couple that didn't come out too badly. The picture of the alarm clock was pretty much as I envisaged it. The numbers being offset and at an angle, helps to make for a more interesting composition than if they'd just been placed in the dead centre of the frame.  The long exposure has given the digital readout a luminous quality. I also like the reflection of the light on the surface of the bedside cabinet. The picture of the street sign came out quite well. The angle of the writing and the fact the narrow aperture makes the words go in and out of focus, helps draw you in to the centre of the picture.

What went badly?

The technical aspects of photography come fairly easily to me, and as I wrote earlier I really enjoyed this task. Having said that, I do find it a little frustrating sometimes that I don't seem to have the easy eye for composition my classmates do. I appreciate it's something you have, not something you learn, but it's still irritating. I've come a long way since I started the course and it's certainly not from want of trying on Marie's part, I just don't think I'm a natural photographer the way the others are. That's where most of my problems lie I think, I've yet to take a great photo, some of them have been what I consider acceptable, but none great. 

Although most of the six pictures aren't really bad photographs, the composition is sufficiently off that they just don't work that well. I've already said what I think is wrong with the Big Ben picture, but the underground sign has a distracting white section in the top right hand corner of the picture. With regards to the pictures of the tickets and the mug, I think it's the lighting that I don't like. They look flat and have no real character. I've tried to do my best with the lights I have at home, but I think I still need more practice. 

Another problem is my overly ambitious nature. Rather than photograph something simple and achievable, I tried to make the story as interesting as possible. So when my original plan went pear shaped, it was too late to come up with anything coherent.

It's possible I'm being overly critical. I'll let you decide.

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