Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Art of Photography: Project 25

Here I learnt about the first of three basic shapes, rectangles.

Most opportunities to photograph rectangles come from man made things as they are made with straight sides and right angles. They have to be shot from straight on to maintain shape, as any deviation in the viewpoint will distort the rectangle. Also, because the frame of the photograph is itself rectangle, it is very easy for the eye to compare shape and see distorted or uneven rectangles, so even a small change in angle from 'straight on' becomes very obvious.

Whilst doing this project I found this fact to be quite limiting as it limits what you are able to do with a subject and also makes for quite a static image. However, rectangles can also be used as frames within a frame, and as they match the shape of the photographic frame they are also good at dividing the frame into sections.

Shapes in a photograph can create associated feelings or views, in the same way as lines. Rectangles are associated with being formal, enclosing, precise and static.

For all three of my photographs I decided to take them handheld to judge how hard it is to line up the rectangle to keep its shape in the frame. I found that I had to have quite a few attempts and as you can see they are still not perfectly straight. Even when using a tripod you would have to be very precise and careful to line up a rectangle perfectly, and although this is generally not needed or desired anyway, it does show just how much a rectangle is affected with even very small changes to viewpoint.

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