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Fitting frame to subject

It’s been a while since I made a post about the photography course I’m doing. Moving house kept me busy, and generally settling in – but it’s about time I pulled my finger out and got on with it – so here’s a post on the latest exercise completed. I’ve also been making sketches for the first assignment I’ll have to submit, but I’ll leave a post on that until I get to it.

This exercise is in the section on ‘the frame’ and concerns fitting the subject to the frame. It provides some examples of a ferry in New York; a fairly conventional viewpoint, one placing it in a landscape, a close-up of a feature of the ferry and a shot where the ferry fills the frame. So, my task was to chose something and essentially frame shots with similar ideas as the examples.

I figured I’d complete this in my kitchen – it’s somewhat labour saving and convenient and just a little different than the ferry, or choosing a car or person. The object – my pizza cutter.  As ever, click the images to go see them on Flickr.com.

The first shot is just meant to be conventional, without putting too much thought in to composition, so here it is:

Pizza Cutter - Standard Composition

Next up was placing the pizza cutter within a landscape. Handily I had put it down in front of my bottles and tubs of condiments, herbs and spices.

I had to fill the entire width of the frame with the object, which I’ve achieved successfully. I placed it in the middle of the frame so the colours of the bottles behind didn’t dominate the image. Because the pizza cutter is extremely thin from this angle it might have easily been overpowered by the bottles if I’d placed it in the lower third.

Pizza Cutter - Landscape

The next shot is where I might have benefited from a large subject matter. The exercise actually calls for a detailed shot which removes the edges of the object. My lenses don’t let me get that close in. So, I’ve posted on part of the pizza cutter, but not left out the edges. This is probably my favourite shot of the lot – and I prefer it in black and white too, so both are shown below. The black and white shot particularly shows the detail on the scratches on the cutting blade nicely. Black and white also removes the unwelcome colours from the condiments which are reflecting in the kitchen work surface.

The thing to note here is that a pretty dull subject has become more interesting as a result of looking at the detail on it that you just wouldn’t really pick up on normally.

Pizza Cutter - Close Up

Pizza Cutter - Close Up B&W

Finally the last shot involves moving right back and having the object occupy just a portion of the frame, as shown below (I’m told I should consider putting my condiments away in a cupboard – bah).

Pizza Cutter - Context

I made virtual copies of this in Lightroom as my next task was to look at different options in terms of cropping the image.

First off, this crop increases the prominence of the pizza cutter. It also gets rid of some of the business of the shot.

Pizza Cutter - Alternative Composition 1

The next one is similar, a closer crop eliminating more of the background.

Pizza Cutter - Alternative Composition 2

Finally this portrait shot increases the prominence of the pizza cutter, while also making use of the background ‘clutter’.

Pizza Cutter - Alternative Composition 3

In all honesty, the last few images don’t particularly interest me – it does show off the dullness of the subject matter. I imagine a person or a car would be considerably more interesting – as they would be placed in context within the frame. I don’t feel there’s much story to tell here with the pizza cutter though. Perhaps I should have also had a pizza! 😉

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