Assignment 2: Elements of design

The brief for this assignment was as follows:-

The idea behind this assignment is to incorporate the insights you have learned so far on the course into a set of photographs directed towards one type of subject. You should produce 10 –15 photographs, all of a similar subject, which between them will show the following effects:

 single point dominating the composition two points several points in a deliberate shape a combination of vertical and horizontal lines diagonals curves distinct, even if irregular, shapes at least two kinds of implied triangle rhythm pattern.

Choose from these groups of subjects:

flowers and plants     landscapes   street details     the raw materials of food.

if you prefer, choose your own subject.

I considered the subjects suggested, but did not find them as interesting as I would like, although of them all I was most tempted by “street details” as I do enjoy street photography.   I had considered, in addition to the suggested topics racing at Lydden Hill (and went as far as shooting last time I was there in anticipation of the assignment) ; Church interiors (like wise) and woodland but came up with the idea of using a relatively small subject after seeing a Henry Moore Sculpture in St Pauls Cathedral.  This reminded me of a three piece sculpture at Scotney Castle in the grounds there.  It is small sculpture for a Moore (as I understand it) but thought it would be an interesting challenge to see if it could provide the shots necessary for the assignment.

It is entitled “Three Piece Reclining Figure – Draped” and was given by Moore to Christopher Hussey, who willed Scotney Castle to the National Trust.

There are of course plenty of photos already of the sculpture (Google Henry Moore Scotney), but these in the main are of the whole thing, and while I did similar takes on it I also wanted to get closer to its component parts.

single point dominating the composition       

As an unnatural element in a natural setting, the sculpture and its plinth stand out. F16 1/60 130mm ISO400



The eye like indentation in this part of the sculpture aided both by the highlight at circumference and the shadow inside. F5 1/1600 70mm ISO400

two points


There is kind of competition here between the sculpture and the white(silver birch I think) tree behind it. F16 1/160 24mm ISO400

several points in a deliberate shape     


Taken with an ultra wide angle the two components of the sculpture at the front of the image, by their similar arcs, lead to the third component at the rear, aided by the latter being less in the shadows. F16 1/40 12mm ISO400

a combination of vertical and horizontal lines


The plinth provides both horizontal and vertical lines both with the overall shape and the mortar connecting the bricks while the vertical is reinforced by the white trunk in the back ground. F5.6 1/2500 70mm ISO400



Diagonal created by angle of shot. A bit of interest added by the bug that landed as I was taking the shot. I considered this shot for the rhythm entry so to speak as I thought the series of algae (lichen?) leads your eye into the frame. F20 1/80 35mm ISO400



The liquidity of the sculpture is full of curves but depending on the angle of the shot other shapes can be created or implied such as the triangle here. F14 1/40 50mm ISO400



The marks on this part and elsewhere were I think deliberate and imply (at least to me) some sort of clothing. In any event I feel they reinforce the curve in this shot. F5 1/1000 70mm ISO400

distinct, even if irregular, shapes     


An irregular circle leading to a further surface on the sculpture. F5 1/1000 70mm ISO400

at least two kinds of implied triangle      


Apex at the top with the head of the sculpture forming the tip. the three components forming the triangle. F11 1/250 26mm ISO400



Apex at the bottom or at least nearest the camera this time. The relatively wide angle accentuates the nearest component and relegates the other two to be the base of the triangle. In addition there is also an implied triangle (arguably stronger) in the plinth. F18 1/60 24mm ISO400




This in the context of the exercise and using the sculpture was the trickiest aspect for me but I liked the progression to the rear here with the first part pointing the way and the final bit highlighted by the reflection. F14 1/40 50mm ISO400




A close up (with macro lens) of the deliberate (?) markings on the sculpture. These were only about two centimetres long and I liked the trail effect here. F32 1/10 90mm ISO400

I used black and white because I felt that apart from a small amount of patina the sculpture is to all intents and purposes a monochrome object and I think using black and white emphasises its form.

I turn now to the assessment criteria

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Compared to the previous assignment I think there is more demonstrated here with the use of different lenses, the angles and settings employed.  As is often the way there are shots I thought of, after I returned home and reviewed the two hundred plus shots I had taken, even though I gave myself enough time at the site to think about the shots before I took them, and how I could use different lenses to get them.

Quality of Outcome

I am happy with the results here and I feel that I have come up with a set of shots that covers the brief of the assignment.  Of them all, I think the Rhythm and Pattern shots are the weakest and this may be because of the self imposed constraint of the subject I chose.

Demonstration of Creativity

I think in terms of the subject chosen and the use of that subject there is an improvement from the previous assignment.

This is why I chose this subject for the assignment as, by its nature, it would force me to be creative more so, say, than trying to fill the brief by street shooting.  I liked the challenge of finding the various required shots within the sculpture most of which worked I think.


I’ve been looking at magazines for ideas and these have been copied into my learning log but for this exercise the main source of reference has been  The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman.  In particular chapters two and three of that book “Design Basics” and “Graphic and Photographic Elements” were very useful.

I also been reading by the same author the e-books of “Capturing the Light” and “Capturing the Moment”



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