In exercise 4, Fitting the Frame to the subject, it is necessary to identify a subject that is “clear in appearance and compact in shape”. As discussed in my research and reflections post, Research for the Frame, I decided upon electricity pylons.
Having taken several series of photographs I have selected a sequence that best meets the objectives of the exercise. During the sorting and editing process I decided that the subject lent itself better to monochrome than colour. For comparative purposes I have included some colour versions towards the end of this post.
I made this decision because the, mostly green, background landscape was more about tone than colour, the subject by nature was made up of lines and shapes which contrasted better with the background in black and white and I felt the overall composition was better highlighted in this medium. I rarely use black and white and I am not satisfied with the results (especially with Fig. 4.4) and need to carryout more research on editing for black and white.
The first image, Fig. 4.1, was captured when I first approached this particular pylon. As suggested I took vey little time to think about the framing. This hopefully qualifies as a conventional viewpoint. It was obviously an option to turn the camera to take a portrait image but my first instinct was to include the power lines coming to and leaving the pylon.
Fig. 4.2 is the tight framing version where the subject fills the frame. I did try framing the subject even more tightly but something about the shape of the pylons made an uncomfortable image when right up tight to the frame and unless I cropped the image to be out of proportion it is the wrong shape to fill the frame in both directions. I concluded that this framing best represented “tight” for this subject.
There were an overwhelming number of options for the image that excluded all of the subject’s edges. I selected Fig 4.3 simply because I like the strong lines from outside to inside that seem to be amplified the parallel patterns made by the clouds.
The final image of the sequence, F4.4, shows the pylon in its surroundings. This is the least effective image in monochrome as the pylon does not contrast strongly enough with the sky and as a result the patterns in the sky have become the dominant feature and the lines formed by the clouds draw the eye to the small group of trees to the left.
I then looked at some alternative crops of Fig 4.4.
Fig 4.5 is the first alternative. I have kept the power lines in the frame and the pylon once again stands out from the background and regains its role as the subject.
Fig. 4.6 returns to a landscape format but by cropping more tightly the pylon becomes more dominant within the frame.
In Fig. 4.7 I have chosen a more panoramic crop which works quite well but the farm buildings and trees to the left have again become the focus of the image. To my mind this is partly because I believe we tend to look at photographs from left to right, partly because the buildings are a much stronger contrast against the medium and dark tones of the rest of the photograph and partly because the power lines and the clouds take me there.
The alternative crop that appeals to me most is Fig. 4.8 which is actually a crop of Fig 4.2. By cropping into the subject and changing the angle I believe it gives a sense of the height of the pylon as well as creating strong patterns that seem to lead upwards.
To conclude the report on this exercise I have included some samples of the colour versions of the above set of images.