Assignment 2 – Elements of Design

OK so assignment number two, has taken a number of weeks to completely finish along with all the exercises but here we are. This assignment is a ‘re-run’ of many of the previous exercises looking for us to incorporate the insights we have learned along the way. Equipment used; Canon compact, Nikon DSLR, 28-300mm, 50mm, 20mm and 16mm lenses, all image processing with NX2 and DXO.

I chose the city (Melbourne) for this assignment and completed it over a number of trips. Seasons here are the exact opposite of the UK so I’m having to dodge bad weather at the minute, combined with too little time as always. Anyway I believe I’ve hit the mark so let’s see.

Single point

One of the cafe/bars on the south bank of the Yarra has a single balcony directly above the river. I setup the shot and waited for a long time for someone to appear on the balcony and when they did it was only for a brief moment. Again I am finding myself deliberately making a tightly framed abstract image with no context of location or surroundings, something which I have caught myself doing on many occasions in this module.


Two points

These two buoys form two distinct close points in the image and even with the busy city scape in the background the buoys with their bright colours and positioning in the frame remain prominent.


Several points in a deliberate shape

On walking along the south bank there was a marathon  finishing point and these girls with their very prominent yellow flowers where part of the gala following the race. There flowers make multiple shapes including many triangles, parallelograms and less regular shapes.


Combination of vertical and horizontal lines

This shot taken across the Yarra River towards the south bank and one of the many apartment blocks on that side of the water. The strong vertical image of the apartment block itself, its strong white vertical lines within the structure. The horizontal white lines within the structure and the horizon itself, the reflected in the in the water. The horizon has been deliberately placed in the centre of the image, for me it re-enforces the static nature of the subject.

To help show the vertical aspect of the building I have also corrected the converging verticals of the building, even at this distance and trying to keep the focal plane as parallel to the building as possible, composition had to take ultimate priority over technical excellence (the balance as in many photos) and not having a shift lens I elected to use DXO to correct post capture.



After I crossed one of the bridges to the south bank and looked back, what had been a vision of curves whilst i was crossing it had, from this new angle transformed into multiple diagonal lines both above the water and reflected below.



I have long been fascinated by this bridge over the Yarra River and this time I took along my camera. There are many angles and opportunities for pictures along this bridge, not least of which is where the metal work completely envelopes over the tops as you walk to the south side. As I wanted to use this subject to answer the curves portion of the assignment I focused on images that best showed this feature of the bridge. This section of the bridge is nothing but curves and I increased the impact by changing to a 16mm fish-eye.


Distinct, even if irregular shapes

This moving artwork is called “The Blow Hole” and is in a park in the docklands end of town. For me this image works on multiple levels with the scopes and the arms making many irregular shapes combined with the building in the background creating additional regular and irregular shapes.


Implied triangles

As I walked towards federation square I could see there was a car enthusiasts show taking place at the front of the building. The good old British built Mini taking pride of place 12,000 miles away and many decades after they were built in the heart of Melbourne. It was a sign and too good an opportunity to miss. This shot for an implied triangle involved a not to easy climb into a wall nearby. I did this do that I could get a higher downward looking angle onto the front three cars to make the triangle.


These three metal stones are situated along on of the more popular retail streets. They did not require a wall to get the right angle but proved a problem not to get my reflection in them.



There were many opportunities for rhythm that I came across during this visit (see unused images below) but this was by far my favourite. The Rhythm of the arrows and the reflection of the surroundings, repeating the same image within the reflection.



Again on the south bank there are a number of restaraunts all with varous shapes a styles of awnings as I looked up at these this pattern of structure and glass caught my eye. I was not able to get completely square under the central diamond shape as there was a table with diners in the way (how inconsiderate..)



Focal lengths to emphasise point ie 16mm fisheye on curves image and don’t be lazy in changing lenses! I lost count of the times I changed lenses during these two trips, often to a wider lens or use a fast prime to try and defocus irrelevant background detail.

Shot list not just the shots you need to take but a plan of what and were. Plan, plan and plan again, especially when you are going to have to travel long distances between shots. Stop regularly and review the criteria for the assignment to make sure you have ‘the’ shots you need to complete each element.  Look around you, behind you, look above and below there are images all around you…There were many times I stopped myself walking and looked back or above and saw the images I wanted to capture.

Not part of the final images for the assignment but these shots jumped out at me as I went around the Melbourne CBD :




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