Framing and composition.

This morning I found myself immersed in a manifold of photographic information! Honestly, it really woke me up and got my mind back into the ‘uni’ mindset (we’d just had a two week break). So, Dan opened the class with a presentation titled Photography Basics. Firstly, we delved into the functions and capabilities of the view finder camera, SLR and DSLR’s. This was a really intriguing lesson as I have always enjoyed the art of photography.

This interest began throughout my preteen years when my father bought me a small point and shoot for my 12th birthday. My camera went almost everywhere with me; to the beach, away on boating trips, on family holidays and of course, I was always taking family photos on birthdays and Christmases. What I enjoyed the most was capturing special, beautiful and moments/memories so that I would be able to look back on them in the years to come.

In my final year of high school, I had a free slot to fill, so I was now able to incorporate my curiosity for photography into a learned practice. Under the guidance of my teacher, and thanks to a cheap bundle buy on a second hand Canon 400D, tripod, lenses and filter set – I found myself learning a lot more about composition, lighting and how I could turn photographs into interesting works of art. This exploration also continued in my one year at AUT too. However, because I only entered into photography in year 13, I did not get the opportunity to learn a lot about camera functionalities, nor work with/gain experience in using the dark rooms or studio equipment. Everything I have ever shot stems simply from instinct and experimentation with my camera.

Hence why learning about the camera functionalities today was gripping; it helped me to remember exactly what certain jargons mean…such as the components of exposure:

  •  Aperture – controls how much light goes into the camera/through the sensor
  • Shutter speed – how long the light is allowed to be in the lens for
  • F.Stop – how much the iris/apature is open
  • ISO – sensors sensitivity to light
  • Metering – helps with how you want to expose an image

I didn’t know what the different types of metering in my camera did, but now thanks to todays lesson I do! We also touched upon how the sitter speed and exposure can affect the outcome of your photograph according to the chosen setting. It really depends on what kid of look you desire capturing – sped up, rushed movement, still shots, very light or dark and so on. We also looked into the importance of composition and how the rule of thirds can be applied in order to control where the eye roams.

Here are three photographs from todays class exercise in the following order:

  • Frame and arrange the elements to create negative space
  • Frame and arrange the elements so as to create one dominant figure
  • Frame and arrange the elements to express some sort of blockage or limit


I attempted to utilise the angles of the structural location I worked within. So, in the first photograph I attempted to create a depth of negative space by using the wall on the left as a line that draws the eye down further into such a space, while placing the figures on the far right where the building angles outward from the frame. In the second shot, I positioned my figures in such a way where their shapes create a natural curvature for the eye to follow, starting with the first dominant figure. The high angle also helps to draw out this dominant feeling and demonstrate where the eye should first look. lastly, I utilised the wall once again as a blockage, blurring my subjects out of focus to further accentuate this idea.

Although a lot of thought and consideration does come into play, I occasionally find that happy accidents or ‘magic moments’ occur within my photography…I am so pleased that in this day and age we have the luxury of DLSR cameras because this means that we can afford to experiment to our hearts content!

P.S: I really enjoyed watching and listening to this video! It really demonstrates the importance of composition and how it will affect the contextual reception for its given audience…how meaning is amplified through the structure of each shot. It was really helpful to see the types of compositional influencers listed too!



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