Exercise 1.3(II): Line

Take a number of shots using lines to flatten the pictorial place. To avoid the effects of perspective, the sensor/film plane should be parallel to the subject.

For this exercise I pretty much already had an idea in mind, I just needed to see if it was effective. I wanted to remove all illusions of depth completely, making a really flat looking image with intrigue and very little definition. Sort of like pressing flowers between the pages of a really thick book. This was one of the first pictures I snapped of a crushed leaf next to a flossing stick. I knew in order to flatten the pictorial space I’d need to shoot at a very narrow aperture in order to remove any depth. When shooting at wider apertures, say F2.8 for example, your mind automatically estimates the spaces between everything in the frame. I shot this particular one at F8.0, removing any bokeh and retaining sharpness from edge to edge, I kept the shutter speed very slow in order to absorb as much light and detail as possible. The contrast between the natural elagance of a decaying leaf, next to a flossing stick which may still be there a thousand years from now.

The main problem I had with this set of images was the colours. Colours allow the brain to define the edges of a given subject, I think the contrast between the dark gray tarmac and the automnal brown of the leaf is quite intriguing but it overall adds very little to a relatively boring image. This was the worst image of the two, I think the detail in the leaf is quite nice as a result from the longer exposure, but I think the lack of any visual intrigue really doesn’t add to anything special.

I then saw a dry stone wall, I thought again if I shot this particular image head-on with very little bokeh I would be able to flatten the plane – however I think these images didn’t really achieve any effect. As you can see I did remove the colour from this picture in order to add more texture and remove even more depth, but you can still see this image has a sense of depth and perspective. I needed to try harder.

I was going for a sort of ‘Minecraft Block’ type appearance with this particular set, emulating the look of 2d brick textures used in video games. I did think the images looked quite good as a collection, but again you could easily distinguish the depth in the image.

This had a better effect, the greens and pinky whites present in this image allow it to look like some sort of alien landscape as seen from above. I did think this image was quite effective, as at first glance a lot of the people who’d seen this image couldn’t quite work out what it was. I think if it weren’t for the letters and the date chiseled in the rock you’d probably be sitting there for sometime trying to work out what you were looking at – this was sort of the effect I wanted to achieve.

This image was really good, I like the way the leaf looks as if it’s been compressed between the pages of a really large book. I used to be fascinated by this particular effect as a child and I really liked the way this particular one came out. I think from performing this exercise I’ve really gained a new understanding to how leading lines develop an image and how you can turn a concept into reality. I think the most important thing about this exercise is understanding the depth of field settings on the lens, as if it weren’t for my narrow aperture I think the images would display more depth.

Published by bobbiemeralisarangi

Sheffield based Fine Art Photographer.

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