Saturday, 29 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

Dream a Little Dream

R9353076L (Ricoh GX200)

The sweet dream she is dreaming  will be turned into a daymare if at the next split of a second she opens her eyes and finds a camera pointing at her.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Frame Your Shot 4 (Functional Framing)

R9353093L (Ricoh GX200)

The name functional framing gives some hint about what it is used for -- mainly functionally to highlight your primary subjects or framed area.  This is roughly what most, if not all, photography technique books implies on this subject. But to the author, it will be even better to add an extra dimension to it -- not just to highlight but also to intensify the interest of the focal point.

The functional frame can be the actual frame confining the image of which today's shot is an example, or any object you can make use of on the spot. An example can be found here.

Before ending this week's framing technique series, there is one point worth mentioning. Framing is one of the composition techniques. It is fine to find GXG's categorisation of the framing techniques arbitrary, overlapping or just downright unconvincing.  Fact is, techniques are mixed together in action.  It is not easy to illustrate one technique with an image done in exactly that technique only; it can be done, but the example shots will all look bland, boring and uninspiring. For discussion's sake, the categorisation is a necessary evil, so to speak.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Frame Your Shot 3 (Illustionary Framing)

R9352495L (Ricoh GXR M-mount with Voigtlander Nokton 35mm F1.2;
PP for accentuated lighting)

Carrying on the discussion of the week, another rarely spoken-of framing technique is what the author termed as illusionary framing. It is a way to compose a shot so that the final image will lead the viewers to a flight of fancy. That usually involves reinvent the orientation of the subject. An example is here.

Sometimes, it is achieved simply by cutting off the irrelevant elements so that the final image is framed to become illusionary. For today's shot, the author cut off the unwanted elements which may prevent the viewers from suspending and believing that he or she is actually invited to sit in the chair in the air. For this to take effect, the viewers have to keep looking at the image for some seconds.

Another, maybe better, example can be viewed here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Frame Your Shot 2 (Purposeful Framing)

R9353090L (Ricoh GX200)


To continue from yesterday's topic, another less talked about framing technique is to use the secondary subjects to frame to PRODUCE or SHAPE – not just to frame which is very often discussed (we will come to that in a later post) – the primary subject or theme so as to reflect your message in mind. Simply put, the framing is not just done to be functional but purposeful.

In today's shot, the author composed the shot so that the two buildings combine to form the primary subject letter Y. It was done to cause the viewers to introspect: Why do we want to see our city crammed and skyline cluttered with buildings? The monotonous windows and the narrow visual corridor are as mesmerising as suffocating, which hopefully helps catch the viewers' attention and accentuate the intended message/ theme.

Some other examples are here  and here. Of course, the technique is to be used to help bring out the photographer's intentions, which vary from shot to shot. In my humble opinion, there is no hard-and-fast rule about when and why a technique must be used. It is only practising that can enable a photographer to get the means-to-ends matching right on spot. 

For practising, thre is nothing better than making up a theme and with your camera experimentiing on the techniques you have under your belt.  Short of techniques? Read some books, attend some courses or do both. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Frame Your Shot

R9353052L (Ricoh GX200)

You can frame your shot with a photo frame and hang it on the wall.  But that's not what concerns us here. There are different ways to frame a shot – your composition. The least people talk about is to make believe that the four margins physically confine the subjects in the image.  For example, in today's shot, the author made use of the horizontal line to be the  track for the bike to run on. The effect can be more intriguing and powerful for, say, an image to show a subject pushing the right margin as if pushing a wall; or a subject pretending to climb or crawl into the framed area.

The purpose for doing this depends on the particular theme and goal for the shot. Here the author just wishes the bike, apart from being the primary subject, to give a steady balance in the image against the cluttered, "heavy" background. The bike running on the lower margin as a track acts as a visual paper-weight to steady the overall composition. Imagine the bike being in the mid-field and you will certainly find the final image seemingly tilting backward.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sleep Well

R9353035L (Ricoh GX200)

This is Sunday. Take an afternoon nap and have a good day!