The exercise is to use the viewfinder grid of the camera to allow you to place the subject of the image in various parts of the frame, initially concentrating on the subject rather than the whole frame.
My cameras’ grid divides the area into 9 sections. I started slightly differently by standing in one spot and simply moving the viewfinder to move the subject of my image, in this case the large glasshouse, into each of the areas, not looking at the rest of the frame, while keeping everything else the same.
It is interesting how different the images are even with only a small shift of viewpoint. Even though I was focusing on the glasshouse when taking the image it only becomes the main part of the image when it is central, top, midle or lower areas and, even then, it is most prominent visually when inthe absolute centre (middle line, centre image). In the images where the glasshouse is at the top of the frame the large plants at the bottom are much more dominant, and when at the bottom the clouds become the focus of the image. The left and right images in this instance appear unbalanced. Overall the image I like most is the centre top, where the clouds play a major role and the glasshouse is subordinate, although I was not particularly aware of the clouds while photographing. This clearly demonstrates how important it is to be aware of the whole frame and not simply your object of main interest.
The main part of the exercise is to take a variety of images where the focus is on the composition and that make a set.
I chose to use images taken on evening walks in the park with similar although not identical lighting, , and made these into a composite image.
Top left: Pidgeon – 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640, focal length 140mm (~280mm)
Middle left: Statue – 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 140mm (~ 280mm)
Bottom left: Tree – 1/200 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200, focal length 46mm (~92mm)
Top centre: Sun – 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 69mm (~138mm)
Bottom centre: Dog – 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 21mm (~42mm)
Top right: Flower – 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length 92mm (~184mm)
Middle right: Bench – 1/250 sec, f/5.4, ISO 200, focal length 32mm (~68mm)
Bottom right: Shadows – 1/400 sec, f/5.4, ISO 200, focal length 30mm (~60mm)
I was trying to vary the position of the main part of the image as I have noticed that I tend to place main point of a picture either to the left or centrally, and very rarely to the right in the image. I am not sure whether this is part of my heritage and learning to read from left to right across the page, or because my vision from my left eye was much stronger than the right as a child. (I am still left eye dominant, although strongly right-handed). On looking at the images I find that the ones where the focus is on the left (the pigeon and the statue) tend to draw my eye directly to that area and I am less likely to look at the rest of the frame, while where the focus is on the right (tree in landscape and seated girl) I look to that area and then my eye automatically scans the rest of the image. The effect of the position of the main focus within the frame also depends on whether the image is in a portrait of landscape orientation. I did not manage to take an image that I was satisfied with and which I felt fitted into this set that had the focal area in the top of the frame.
This shows how the very dominant flags immediately draw the eye, which is then led down the flagpoles, however I am not sure whether this is because the focus of the image is at the top, or because of the effect of the lines and the pattern they cause.