One of the things that attracted me to the composition class I’m taking was the promise that if I paid attention and studied hard, I would be able to produce well-composed pictures on a more consistent basis. It’s very possible that that wish may come true. If nothing else, I’ve been entertained by the instructor’s writing style, and also by the current, seemingly simple assignment: confining myself to a 10′ by 10′ space, and without using the camera zoom, press the shutter release 5 times and (try to) produce 5 well composed pictures using what we’ve learned so far.


Well – my camera (the S90) does automatic exposure bracketing in such a way that the user only pushes the shutter release once, so with the help of Photomatix Pro – for HDR – I managed to complete the assignment with 5 shutter release clicks and 7 photo files. It involved spending my lunch hour at work hiding in my office and thinking.  And thinking. And thinking some more.  I don’t love any of the resulting pictures, but I’m not too embarrassed by them, either.

So here goes.

In the leading lines category, we have a stack of notebooks (plus a box of labels):


These notebooks are actually just leading you to another shelf.

Next up, representing colors, we have a little tin container:

Tin Cat

Here, kitty kitty! Hold my paper clips, will you please?

My electric kettle and the mug that I use for tea produced some nice shape contrast:

Kettle and mug

Nice hot tea on a yucky winter day

My original intention for this next shot was to show negative space. But that’s not it, I believe I misunderstood the concept (and I think I have it now), so instead I’ll offer this up as an example of perspective:

Candy jar

Candy is dandy

And finally, although I spent a lot of time composing this picture, I’ve decided that it doesn’t really incorporate any of the elements of composition. I’d throw it out, except that I do think that it is an example of one of the compositional rules: that the eye tends to be drawn to light areas first, then darker:

Autumn Raindrops

It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house, all that cold, cold, wet day.

The exercise of restricting the number of clicks was the aspect of the assignment that really made it worthwhile. I proved to myself that I can think my way through a project instead of using the “spray and pray” method. My hard drive thanks me.



  1. Barbara, We’re in the same class with Kent Weakley and I’m enjoying reviewing your work AND your blog. I just completed Kent’s Night Photography eClass which was wonderful especially since I took it around the holidays – we started the day after Thanksgiving and wrapped up January 20th. I highly recommend it, especially at that time of year – since shooting doesn’t really interfere with dinner since the sun goes down so early. I learned some great techniques. You can check out some of the results on Open-Window, if you’re interested. Reading your blog, I began wondering where CNY was and found it fun when I figured out it was Central New York. I went to school in Aurora and then lived and worked up there for a year after college. You live in a beautiful part of the country. I look forward to following you in class and on your blog.

  2. Hi Barbara thanks for leaving me a comment on my blog – I think my class comments are still in moderation though I didn’t write much.

    You did well working your way around your office space with our remit and you’ve a good depth of field on your 2nd shot as it draws my eye towards that one eye of your paperclip holder.

    I had to laugh right at the end when I saw that your hard drive was having a rest today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s