Weekly – The Last One

(Stuck at Home) Weekly Image

Week 16 images (Decay and Dreamy) are due in by midnight tonight (Sunday 19th July), details here

These will be uploaded to a new Event Album on Monday and could be discussed at the members’ Zoom meeting on Tuesday evening.

Week 17 – The Last One – Balance


As the club’s meetings are coming to an end this month and we all take a short break, this will be the last Stuck at Home Weekly event.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part. Our host John G said, last Tuesday, that he has been impressed with how all of the images have improved over the 16 weeks. I agree with him. It shows that we have to keep taking photos and not be afraid to both challenge ourselves and critique our own images, always analysing how and where we can improve our shots.

Only one theme for the final week, week 17, which is Balance. As it is the final one I have made it one you will need to get your teeth into. This not a balancing act or a pair of scales, but a balance in the photographic compositional sense.

Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, Tonal, Colour and Conceptual Balance

Oh yes, did I say only one theme, I really meant a selection from five themes!

Please add the word Sym, Asym, Tone, Colour or Conceptual to your image title accordingly. Please read the details of each type from the “Five Kinds” link, see below

In the camera club we often crop an image to remove, say, an excess of bland sky or foreground. But this week we need to compose or crop our image with the image’s weight in mind.

Parts of most images will have some weight, that is, they logically (or illogically) appear heavier in one area,  This weight may be, for instance, a large shape, a strong colour or deep dark area compared to the lighter colour or shape on the other side. It is not wrong to be weighted on one side but for this challenge we need to find something that counter-balances the weight in the rest of the image.

Example: a strong but small tree might be balanced by a large amount of bland sky; when taking or cropping such an image carefully experiment with how much sky is needed to balance the image, you may feel you need more sky than a typical judge will ever thank you for.

The images will be reviewed at the final weekly Zoom meeting on Tuesday 28th July.

For me symmetrical balance is easier to spot and compose, I find the others are trickier to compose into my shots. The challenge for me is to compose each shot using one of these balancing acts, particularly those of the last four, but if I can’t find and compose anything in the time allowed I will have to go for the easier symmetrical balance.

 

So what are these 5 balancing acts? Please see the short piece and examples on each in the following link from the New York Film Academy which explains them far better than I would…

Five Kinds of Balance You Need To Understand
https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/five-kinds-photography-balance-you-need-to-understand/

 

“When you think ‘balance,’ an image may come to mind of a scale, equally weighted on both sides. When it comes to photographs, balance doesn’t necessarily mean that the photograph is symmetrical. Rather than being perfectly symmetrical, a ‘balanced’ photograph often means that the photograph is balanced in other ways throughout the composition. The varying tones, texture, and shape within a composition all have a lightness and heaviness that contributes to the overall balance of the photo. In order to have a balanced photograph, all of these aspects must be in harmony with each other.

A balanced photograph often allows the viewer’s eye to be drawn throughout the image equally, without resting too heavily on one certain aspect of the image. Photographs that are improperly balanced are often less appealing to look at, especially if the ‘heavier’ part of the image lies too far left or right.”

 

I would argue there have been many examples that contradict that last sentence above, see Viktor Skebneski’s Orson Welles and Andy Warhol portraits. But, like many other “rules”, it takes a thorough understanding of balance before one can compose a quality image that is heavily out-of-balance yet still looks perfectly balanced.

 

BBC Bitesize

More reading and short videos from the BBC schools’ Bitesize pages on symmetrical and asymmetrical balance in art. I particularly enjoyed the brief analysis of the asymmetrical balance in Picasso’s Guernica (1937) in the second of these two links; commit it to memory and impress your friends when you next stand in front of it at the Reina Sofía.

 


Submissions

Enter up to three images which can be of the same theme or a mix and match.

Your pictures are to be taken during the week beginning Monday, July 20th and the closing date is Sunday, 26th July 11.59 pm. Submit to the usual PhotoEntry > Stuck At Home event.

More details on how to submit at bedfordcameraclub.co.uk/stuck-at-home-weekly-image

Optional extras…

Your Title and Comments

Optionally include additional and interesting information about your image, e.g. how you took or processed it, by adding it to the CAPTION in Lightroom (or DESCRIPTION in Photoshop) metadata field. Or send it to me in a separate email and for which image title. These will be seen with your image in the online album. Also the TITLE metadata field can be used to display your title in bold in the online album.

Critique

To request a personal critique, from one of the club’s best photographers, of one or more of your images, please email critiques@bedfordcameraclub.co.uk with the TITLE(S) of your image. The critique may be discussed at the members’ Zoom meeting on Tuesday unless you state in your email PRIVATE.

Panels

The images in the online album are now being added in the same order that you have sequenced them in PhotoEntry, i.e. image 1 of 3 will be the first image of your three in the album, image 2 will be second etc. Thus if you have a sequential “panel” of images they will appear consecutively. However, they may get split over two rows; if this is an issue let me know by email, in advance, and, if you are lucky, I will remember to isolate them into one row.

Ian Whiting, dev@colink.co.uk