Compositional Device Project
The theme I chose for the compositional device project is the color red. When looking for theme ideas, I noticed there was a lot of red on campus, at home, and on the streets. My theme of the color red allows me to go about my daily life and be able to capture images in a variety of locations. Red is a very powerful and energetic color that draws attention from the eyes due to its vibrant emotion. Also, there are many different shades of red which allows me to play with the emotion of the picture.
Plan of action:
My plan of action is to use class time to go all around the school, looking for red subjects that I can capture for any of the 9 compositional devices. Over the weekends I plan on taking more pictures of red objects at home and outside of my house (streets, sports training). I will try to take most of my pictures in the daytime for better lighting and I'm not going to use a tripod so that I can have a more flexible angle of the camera. I also want to focus on adjusting the aperture of the camera to have either a deep or shallow depth of field. When editing, I'm going to make the image black and white, and just paint in the color red in order to have more of a focus and emphasis on the color with minimal background noise.
Images of Inspiration:
I like this picture because it shows how you can capture an image of a simple object, yet make it very appealing to the eye. I can draw inspiration from this picture of a red rope because it represents the compositional device of rule of thirds and it has a shallow depth of field. It also shows how even though the background is green, our eyes are drawn to the ref rope because of the way it is in focus and sharp while the background is soft.
I like this picture because a rose is one of my favorite flowers and this shade of red is really bright so it draws attention. I can draw inspiration from this picture because it is a good example of the compositional device of filling the frame. The camera is very close to the rose, therefore the majority of the frame is of just the rose with a little bit of background which doesn't distract you from the main subject.
I like this picture because it is also of a simple object, however the camera angle and depth of field makes it more interesting to look at. I can draw inspiration from this image because it represents several different compositional devices such as lines, leading lines, fill the frame, symmetry and pattern, and point of view. This shows how some of the images I take can have more than one compositional device but I have to choose which one fits best. This picture also uses a large aperture so that one part of the image is in focus and the rest of it is blurred.
Digital Contact Print (all 9 Compositional Devices):
I have taken about 150 images in total for this project. In this digital contact print, I have narrowed down my pictures to my top photos of all the compositional devices. The pictures in the squares are the final 9 images that I chose to edit. Below are 9 digital contact prints of my top 3 images for each compositional device.
Fill the Frame Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for fill the frame. I found this compositional device one of the simpler ones to shoot because I understood this concept from the beginning. I ended up choosing the coca cola piggy bank image because it was different than a typical fill the frame with a flower photo.
Follow the Eyes Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for follow the eyes. I thought this compositional device was a little more challenging to shoot but it allowed me to capture a variety of images. I ended up choosing the statue image because it was different than following a real persons eyes.
Rule of Thirds Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for rule of thirds. I also found this compositional device quite simple to capture because I just moved my positioning to have the main subject in one corner. I ended up choosing the water bottle on the field image because I like how the size of the water bottle is large in proportion to the rest of the field.
Leading Lines Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for leading lines. At first I had some trouble finding objects to shoot for a leading line, but in the end I found some things. I ended up choosing the image of the slide because of its angle and the brightness of the color red.
Symmetry and Pattern Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for symmetry and pattern. I understood this compositional device, however had some trouble finding objects that fall under this device. I ended up choosing the playground image because of the angle and how bright the red is compared to the background colors.
Balance Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for balance. I also found balance another difficult compositional device to shoot because I didn't really understand it until later into the project. I ended up choosing the vending machine photos because it was the best photo I had for balancing the color red.
Framing Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for framing. I had more trouble finding things to capture for this compositional device because I didn't really understand how to frame objects until later in the project. I ended up choosing the tennis court image because it was the best image for framing that I got.
Lines Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for lines. Once I understood the difference between lines and leading lines, I was able to capture more images. I ended up choosing the umbrella photo because there is a variety of lines going in different directions, which makes it more interesting to look at.
Point of Perspective Digital Contact Print
These are my top 3 images for point of perspective. I understood this device very well but had more difficulty finding red objects that I could do a point of perspective on. However, I ended up choosing the lantern photo because of the light that is coming in from behind the trees that enhances the red.
Final 9 Images
These are my final 9 edited images for this compositional device project. I captured all 9 of the compositional devices using the theme of the color red. I edited almost all of the photos by making them black and white, and then coloring in the red.
Fill the Frame
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of fill the frame. To capture this image of a red coca cola piggy bank, I lied down on the floor and got close to it in order to have it fill the frame. I used a small aperture to have the piggy bank in focus, and the simple background of the floor and wall to be blurred. In camera raw I enhanced the color red by increasing the exposure and saturation, and in photoshop I made the image black and white, and colored in the red piggy bank.
Rule of Thirds
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of rule of thirds. To capture this image of a red water bottle on a field, I lied down on the ground in order to have a more interesting angle and to make the water bottle large in proportion. This image displays the device of rule of thirds because the water bottle is in the bottom right of the picture. I used a large aperture to capture this image, therefore everything is in focus. In camera raw I increased exposure, clarity and saturation, and in photoshop I once again used the black and white adjustment to have the eyes drawn to the red.
Follow the Eyes
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of follow the eyes. I captured this image of follow the eyes on Orchard Road of a red statue reading the newspaper. I kneeled down a bit in order to get a better angle of the statue to be able to see his eyes. In camera raw, I increased the exposure and brightness of the red and in photoshop I used the black and white adjustment. I also cropped this photo on the right side because there was a person sitting that was distracting from the main focus of the image, the statues eyes.
Symmetry and Pattern
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of symmetry and pattern. This is an image of a piece of red playground equipment that is symmetrical down the middle and creates a pattern on both sides. When capturing this image, I got down low in order to create a more interesting angle. In camera raw, I enhanced the color red by increasing the exposure and saturation. Then in photoshop I used the black and white adjustment tool, and colored in the red, which took some time because the lines are thin. I think the black and white really worked in this photo because nothing else besides the red is symmetrical or show pattern, therefore the black and white reduced the background noise and pulls focus towards the red.
Point of Perspective
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of point of perspective. I captured this image of red Chinese New Year lanterns hung up on trees outside of my apartment. Since I was on the ground, I just aimed the camera directly up to the sky, to capture a low point of perspective of the lanterns. In camera raw, I increased the exposure, brightness and saturation by a lot since there isn't much red in this photo and I need to draw attention to the small lanterns. In photoshop, I made the image black and white, colored in the red lanterns, and adjusted the properties of the colors green, yellow and blue, in order to give the trees and sky more texture.
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of leading lines. This image of a red slide displayed leading lines because there are the side lines of the slide, and several lines on the slide than lead towards the top of it. I decided to take this picture from the ground leading up to the top to give it a different angle, as most slides are usually going from the the top to the ground. In camera raw, I enhanced this color of red to make it more bright by increasing the vibrance and saturation, and in photoshop I used the black and white adjustment tool, and colored in the red slide.
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of balance. I captured this device with two red coca cola vending machines right next to each other. I like how the shades of red of the two vending machines are different but balance each other out. I used a large aperture in order to have everything in the photo in focus and to have more of a balance. In camera raw, I enhanced the color red by increasing the exposure, and in photoshop I cropped the image to have it balance more equally. Then I used the black and white adjustment tool and colored in the red parts of the picture.
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of lines. This is an image of the inside of a red table umbrella. The device of lines is displayed in a variety of ways such as its size, thickness, and direction. I used a large aperture to have everything in focus, and I zoomed in to reduce background noise. In camera I enhanced this shade of red by increasing the exposure and saturation. In photoshop, I found the trying to just color in the red and not the lines under the black and white adjustment tool was too difficult because of the lines were thin and coloring it by hand doesn't allow for the lines to be perfectly straight. Therefore, this is the only image which is not in black and white, however I don't think it is really noticeable because the lines are a beige white color.
This is my final edited image for the compositional device of framing. This device was the hardest for me to capture because I didn't clearly understand the concept at first and I couldn't find anything that would fall under the category. However, the tennis court at my apartment turned out great for this device because I was able to frame the red court with the black lines of the net. To capture this image, I kneeled down, got close to the net and used a small aperture in order to have the red court in focus and the net blurred. In camera raw, I enhanced the red color of the court by increasing the exposure, vibrance and saturation because it was a faded red at first. In photoshop, I used the black and white adjustment tool and painted in the red court.
This is the image I edited for the compositional device of follow the eyes. First, I started in camera raw to enhance the color red by increasing the exposure, vibrance and saturation. I then increased the contrasts, highlights and clarity of the photo, in order to sharpen the statue and make it stand out more.
The first thing I did in photo shop was crop the image. I cropped the right side of the image because there was a person sitting that was distracting from the main focus of the picture. Cropping her out, reduced background noise and draws attention to what the statue is looking at.
Then, I used the black and white adjustment tool to make the entire image black and white.
I then adjusted the preset properties by increasing the colors yellow and light blue, and decreasing the colors green and dark blue. By doing this the black and white affect will change to be darker or lighter on those corresponding colors.
The last thing I did in photoshop was to used the paint brush tool to color in the red statue. This step was pretty time consuming for all the images because I had to zoom in and out, and adjust the paint brush size in order to color in only the red accurately.
Successes and Challenges
I had many successes and challenges throughout this compositional device project. One of the successes I had was coming up with a theme and sticking to it. I thought the theme of the color red was simple but still allowed flexibility because I was able to find a variety of things with different shades of red. While taking photos, I had the most success in capturing the devices of rule of thirds, fill the frame, follow the eyes, and symmetry and pattern. While editing, a success was my technique of enhancing the color red and using the black and white adjustment tool really worked out, and all 9 images looked good together in my final document. One of the challenges I had while taking photos was capturing the devices of balance, point of perspective, and leading lines. Some of the compositional devices were also a little confusing to understand, and it took me some time and practice to understand it. While editing, a major challenge I had was painting in the red on each image because it was quite a difficult task, and very time consuming. Overall, I really enjoyed doing this project because it was challenging, yet interesting and different to choose a theme and capture images based off of devices for that specific theme.