For this exercise I used my wider-angle lens (16-55 cropped sensor) at its shortest length to allow me sufficient space in the viewfinder to compose my image in just one quarter of it. I used the viewfinder grid and actually found it easier than anticipated to forget about the rest of the frame.
I noticed my tendency to concentrate my images in the top part of the frame, particularly in the top right and, throughout the exercise, I had to consciously try to compose my images in the other quarters of the viewfinder.
I took many images but will not show them all here. I cropped each image to show my initial framing within a quarter of the viewfinder and I show this image alongside the whole photograph.
I composed this image in the top left quarter of the viewfinder, positioning the tree at an intersection of thirds and using the path as a leading line into the image. I think it works quite well and although sky takes up a large proportion of the picture, it is quite an interesting sky. In the full image, the sky takes up a smaller proportion of the image and I feel the picture is consequently more balanced horizontally. The sense of depth created by the longer path and the foreground grasses gives a feeling of space. I think this image would be improved by positioning the path further to the right, perhaps beginning at the bottom right corner, to encourage the viewer to look at the whole image. Currently, my eye wanders up the path to the tree, then it stops, and I have difficulty then, bringing my gaze to the rest of the picture.
This image was taken in the top right quarter of the viewfinder. I positioned the vehicle at an intersection of thirds and again used a path to lead the eye into the picture. The trees, which I had hoped would provide foreground interest, provide context but also dominate the image. I think the full image works better. The sense of scale is improved and the sense of space encourages the viewer to create a story around the vehicle as a focal point. I feel that the appearance of the telegraph posts and electricity cables spoil the tranquillity of this scene.
Again, top right. I noticed this interesting shape in the branches and positioned the hole just off centre. Again, I quite like the image, but I feel it is improved when viewed as the full photograph. The hole now is positioned at an intersection of thirds and the viewer experiences a sense of context and size emphasised by the low viewpoint. In addition, the appearance the tree trunk and leaves add texture and colour.
This image was taken in the bottom left quarter. I composed this image to include the leaves as foreground interest, and the view through the gate to give a sense of depth and story. I like how the viewer gets a sense of looking into something forbidden or secret. I have not edited these photographs at all but feel that although I quite like the composition, the image would benefit from straightening. I don’t think the second, full, image works here. The gate-post chops the picture into two vertical halves, which gives a disjointed feel. The right side of this image lacks interest and the error in exposure is exaggerated.
Bottom right quarter. Both these images could work. I focused on the flowers here as a splash of colour in an otherwise green border. I think the first may have worked with particularly beautiful flowers or some other additional interest, and would have benefitted from an off-centre positioning. I think the full image emphasises the flowers by showing them in the context of a colourless border, and the wall adds further interest.
This exercise hasn’t shown me exactly what I expected it to. I had imagined it would show me how important careful composition is by an analysis of the un-composed larger images. While it did show me this in some of the images, I found that it mostly reminded me that a wider view often provides a more balanced image with a sense of space and context. The smaller images appear cropped in comparison.
On starting this course, I favoured a cropped, zoomed in, style, and this was apparent in my Square Mile assignment. My tutor commented on this. I can see from this exercise how much more interesting a wider view can be.