6 Apr 2010

Exercise: Pattern and Rhythm

For this final exercise in Elements of Design we were asked to shoot 2 photographs, one demonstrating Rhythm and the other Pattern.  The difference between the two is an interesting process of understanding that took me a while to get my head around.  A pattern is a repeating element that allows the eye to move around the image at random whereas with rhythm the image asks the eye to follow a particular path.

Walking the streets of New York I was looking for these elements in my surrounds whilst also thinking ahead to the second assignment that will be needed very soon.  I thought back to an exhibition I mentioned in a previous post at the Met and an example of the work of Miles Coolidge who had photographed a slab of concrete in LA.  I had been fascinated by the patterns present in this very ordinary object and wondered if I could see an opportunity to do a similar image for this exercise.

  1/400, f11.0, 50mm, ISO400

Chewing gum is a national pastime in the USA and the remnants litter every street in the country.  The old black spots contrast a couple of newly masticated globs which break the pattern with a little colour, as does the discarded sweet packet.  The pavement line also breaks the image up into two sections but the pattern is repeated in both.

A retrospective look at my chewing gum had given me second thoughts.  When viewed at a suitably large scale the image has considerably more interest than can be seen here so I have decided to include a second, alternative pattern image below.

 1/160, f6.3, 60mm, ISO1250

The chandelier is in the Vanderbilt room of Grand Central Station, NY.  An unusually flamboyant addition to a railway station it provided a nice example of a pattern.  Although the lights do lie in a less than random way a tight crop has removed the regularity and added a feeling of curiosity that the pavement image lacked.

  1/200, f9.0, 47mm, ISO400 

Here the repeating lines of red chairs initially caught my attention but standing back a bit I could see that there was more to the shot than just the chairs as the colour became the rhythm that took my eye rather than just the shapes.  I found myself looking along the chair backs across the pile of chairs above to the line of folded umbrellas in the rhythm that I was looking for.  In addition, the shapes were mirrored by the buildings of Time Square in the back ground and the addition of the red bus helped take my eye from the foreground to that background.  I trust it does the same for other viewers? 

This exercise completes my work for Design Elements and I must now concentrate on assembling the images I need for Assignment 2, due in a week or so. 

No comments:

Post a Comment