Tuesday, November 3, 2015


This project deals with developing an awareness to the compositional attributes of a photograph. The aim is also to feel comfortable enough to explain and demonstrate nine compositional devices in your work. 

The nine compositional devices covered in this blog post include the following: FILL THE FRAME, POINT OF PERSPECTIVE, LINES, FRAMING, LEADING LINES, BALANCE, RULE-OF-THIRDS, SYMMETRY/PATTERN, FOLLOW THE EYE.

First, provide a theme idea, images of inspiration, and a plan of action. 

My theme for this blog post is: OCTOBER2015

For three weeks in October, I returned to Chicago, Illinois, USA for bereavement leave to see my father. This series of work was taken with an iphone 5 camera. I would not recommend using this type of camera for this type of course, but under the circumstances I work with what I have. 

Inspiration: Duane Michals

I enjoy the work of Duane Michals especially his sequence work, such as the one just above. I like the idea of a sequence of time with a series of pictures. My theme has a longer sequence of several weeks instead of a brief period of time such as the "chance meeting", but it is tied into this important period in my family's lives. 

My plan of action is to take snapshots of my surroundings; such as table tops and wall hangings. I want to be able to use filters while in the editing process to provide a graphic element to a selection of the images. There will be a number of objects in the pictures that have personal significance to me and my father; so some images will be ambiguous. For that reason, I want to alter the images so that the surface quality to the objects will be noticeable.

Next, include a minimum of three examples for each compositional device with a meaningful description.

I have taken over 80 pictures for this blog post and can provide examples if needed, but the top images for each of the devices are identified below:


As you can see in two of the final three selected, I would crop the image further to zoom in to the subject. I like the reflections cast from the top image and will pursue this image.


Two of the final examples show a high point of perspective, but I may use the one of my father since the light casted on his face is very interesting.


This one is a difficult one to choose from as I like the two selections on the top, but the bottom image with the fish is quirky. I will determine later if I would need another horizontal image for the final series or not. If so, I would use filters and blend modes to edit the fish image.


I like the image to the left as the picture frame is framing the sculpture, but an argument could be made that this image is better suited as a fill the frame example and not framing. I also like the middle choice with the horse's leg, coin pouch, and lunch box framing in the monster.


I think the strongest example from the three selected is the use of the sidewalk line to lead the viewers through the trail of pumpkins. This was taken as I was walking into the grocery store.


I like the urban feel to the alley street picture for a use of horizontal balance. There seems to be a bit more visual weight to the left of the image, so I may increase the saturation of the two signs on the pole to the right as I edit.


The example on the bottom is a snapshot I took of a photograph my step-brother gave to my father on his birthday on October 18th. Some people would say that taking a picture of a picture would not qualify. In most circumstances I agree including with this example, but it is still a cool picture to have to remember my father none the less. I may experiment with the image with the light streaming through the window. This was taken in the guest bedroom that I was staying in while at my father's house.


I do like how the light is reflecting off of my step-sister's guitar. The image to the right is upside down, but I like the abstract appeal to it. Would an upside down picture be an acceptable candidate?


The example in the middle will be used for point of perspective, so it will not be a candidate. You may find that a number of your images could be used for various compositional devices. I will use the image to the left of my father laying on the couch. 

At this point in the blog post, the theme, plan of action, and a minimum of three top images for each of the compositional devices have been identified. 
Also included within the descriptions of each compositional device are choices for final images and open-ended questions that could be discussed with others.

Next, you would show your final images that have been edited. Show some screen shots of your editing process of 1 image while doing this.



The original image

The edited image
I used a filter of poster edges (arrow in orange) to outline the overall edge effect to the picture. In addition, I used several layers of curves to adjust specific parts to highlight and darken the picture. I cleaned up the image using the spot healing brush (arrows in grey) and specifically darkened the left hand side of the image (arrow in blue) using curves.