“If a man becomes tired of London, he becomes tired of life”, or so said Samuel Johnson in 1777.
Since starting the course it will be clear that I have used the Embankment area of London as a source of photographs in a number of the exercises, and that a few images also featured in the non-assessed Assignment 1. Soon after reading through the OCA course notes I think I more or less decided that I would use the Embankment to feature in Elements of Design, the first assessed assignment, as it represents such a rich source of the design elements that the student is called on to produce. For this reason I deliberately did not use many London images in the Elements of Design exercises leading up to the assignment, as I wanted to keep these for the final submission. This also made me think more widely to gather material for the exercises. Obviously London represents a rich source of design elements and there is a plethora of books and guides which can be used for location and inspiration. Then of course Google Earth and Google Streetview allow us to go on virtual location and identify suitable situations and angles for subsequent photography. Is it all getting too easy? Well, no, I don’t think so, we still need to get the composition, the light, the ambience, and the whole feel of the picture right to make a photograph with impact rather than just a picture which is little more than just a record of what was there.
I have little experience of black and white other than the occasional random foray into Lightroom conversions, but I am thinking hard about whether to go for mono for Elements of Design. The OCA course notes actually suggest that mono could be a good approach for this assignment to avoid being trapped by situations where design elements are created solely by colour, but I’ll be giving this more thought. I have done a basic mono conversion to some of my existing images of London to see what I think, and the outcome is really pleasing. I’ll be giving this more thought and also taking more images this week when I head back to town to visit the Magnum62 exhibition at the Chris Beetles Fine Photographs gallery, which I’ll blog separately about.
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