Friday, 9 December 2011

PnP Ex22: Adjusting the balance

A classic technique for altering the balance between a person and their surroundings is the use of fill flash, as in these two shots of my wife at the top of the Metropole Hotel in Interlaken (I am just about finished with the shots I took in Switzerland for this course – just a couple more examples after this)

Interlaken from the Metropole - no fill    Interlaken from the Metropole - fill flash

The change is not dramatic but I do think that my eyes rest more naturally on the scenery in the first shot and more naturally on my wife in the second.

My second attempt at this exercise was at another hotel – this time in Manchester. The subject is clearly the pot of flowers, but I have tried to include enough of the surroundings to provide a sense of place. I have already used a shallow depth of field to move the attention to the flowers, but I think it quite noticeable that the figure has less impact in the shot where she is looking away from the camera.

Flowers 1     Flowers 2

This is a technique which is hard to analyse neutrally because of the degree of conscious mental engagement needed to make it work. For example. in these two shots, which I have already used in Exercise 20, does the inclusion of the second static figure reduce the emphasis on the individuals or simply draw the attention away from the surroundings? On balance I think the former is true – aided by the bright yellow coat in the middle of the second picture, but I’m not sure it is clear cut. I’m also completely sure that this exercise was nowhere near my conscious mind when I pressed the shutter.

Newcastle Station - 2  Newcastle Station - 1

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