I was looking forward to this exercise as still life was not something I had ever attempted in my photography development. It was required to set up a still life with a unfussy background using between 6-10 similar sized objects to imply . My camera was fixed in one position on a tripod aiming down at the background. The framing remained constant throughout the shoot. This exercise certainly put my skills to the test to group the objects so that they are linked attractively in a relationship that is active rather than obvious and static.
I decided to use a selection of stones on a background of decking giving the impression of the seaside. A series of 8 photos were taken with the addition of one stone in each. Some final rearrangements were made in the next 2 photos and the final showing implied lines of design.
Positioning a point
It was not immediately clear to me the difference between this exercise and the one on ‘object in different positions in the frame’. I then decided to research the elements of design some more and discovered this definition from ‘Graphic Design the New Basics’ by Ellen Lupton & Jennifer Cole:
“A point marks a position in space. In pure geometric terms, a point is a pair of x, y coordinates. It has no mass at all. Graphically, however, a point takes form as a dot, a visible mark. A point can be an insignificant fleck of matter or a concentrated locus of power. It can penetrate like a bullet, pierce like a nail, or pucker like a kiss. A mass of points becomes texture, shape, or plane. Tiny points of varying size create shades of gray.”
There are essentially three classes of position: in the middle, a little off-centre and close to the edge.
Three photos selected from my photo library demonstrate these classes: