Friday, December 16, 2011

Photos of the Week

Here are some great photos from Yahoo's photos of the week archive over the past month or so. Some of them are great examples of the elements of design and demonstrate great photographic composition.  It's worth the time to look through them!

Yahoo Photos of the Week

Here is a copy of my discussion from last year about the elements of design:

Read through these, and then reread them after looking at the photographs as they will make more sense afterward:

Line: how lines are used communicate a sense or lack of depth, perspective, or flatness to an image. Imagine how converging lines create a sense of 3D perspective drawing you into a piece while a series of lines in columns creates a sense of a wall. A curvy line creates one feeling, while a line with sharp angles gives another.

Shape: shapes can be geometric or organic, but are flat elements in a piece without shading giving depth.

Texture: in photography, texture will be visual but will give the sensation of rough, smooth, soft, etc. Think of a perfectly smooth body of water versus a close up of the sand on the beach.

Pattern: Pattern can be seen by repeating elements in the piece- a series of lines, shapes, or forms that create a predictable pattern that appears as though it will continue off all edges of the photograph. For a simplistic example, think of a polka-dotted pattern on a page. You know exactly what the pattern will be if you were to extend the page in any direction by any length.

Form:  Form is the concept of using shading to make a shape into a 3-d appearing object. Think of drawing a circle, but then shading it so it appears to be a sphere/ball. There is no added depth to the actual piece, but it now appears to be a 3 dimensional object rather than a flat element in the piece.

Value:  Value is the gradation of tones in a piece. Think of pure white to 100% black and the scale of grays in between. This is the value scale. Traditionally, black and white photography should have a true white and a true black in the piece and a range of grays in between. Pieces that have high values (are very light) may communicate more of an light and happy or even ephemeral feeling versus pieces that are mostly low values, are very dark, that may communicate more darkness, depth, sorrow and permanence.

Perspective:  Perspective is achieved by using a number of other design elements to give depth to a piece. Imagine standing on the center line of a road in Colorado that heads straight west towards the Rockies.  The road is wide where you are standing, but far away, the parallel lines seem converge. The wider they are in the foreground and the narrower they are in the background gives a sense of how far away you are. Next, think of the size of elements. Bushes near you will be big, but bushes far from you will look little. Next, think of the value of elements: items near you will be darker while objects far from you will be paler.  The mountains near you appear bright and colorful with lots of detail, while mountains far from you are more gray and light with less detail.

Color: There is more to say on color than I can cover in this post, so I'll keep it short and hit some major concepts.  Color can be used in many ways to communicate through a piece of art. Cooler colors, such as blues, greens, deep violets, can communicate one emotion towards a subject while warmer colors, such as reds, oranges, yellows, will give an entirely different feeling.  Colors will be different at different times of the day: think of the warmth of a sunrise coming up over Lake Michigan for those of us who got up early to go shoot it. The light creates warmer color tones (reds, yellows, golds, etc) than it does midday.  Color can also be used as a pattern. The intensity of color, or saturation, can communicate as well. Think of a stark black and white photograph and what the lack of color communicates compared with a photograph of bright colors of various hues.  Complimentary colors (those colors across from each other on the color wheel-- Red & green, Blue & Orange, Purple & Yellow) may  communicate an intensity to the image while colors nearer each other on the wheel may give a more soothing feeling (Blue & Green, Red & purple, Yellow& orange).  Lastly colors should be repeated throughout a piece. Use it in more than one element, in more than one place.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Björklunden 2012 Dates

FYI:  So you can all be prepared, here are the dates for the 2012 seminars and when Water color is running concomitantly. I do not know what other classes are being offered those weeks yet. I will post that when it becomes available.

June 10-15
Phil Krejcarek
Creating Better Photographs with Your Digital Camera (Beginner)

July 29-August 4
Helen Klebesadel
Watercolor: The Expressive Medium

Phil Krejcarek
Creating Better Photographs with Your Digital Camera (Intermediate & Advanced)