UKIAH PHOTO CLUB MONTHLY THEME PROPOSALS - 2019. Contributed by Mimi Booth.
This year’s goal, to turn a simple subject into a striking image, utilizing many elements and principles of art, depends on a few technical settings of the camera itself, such as exposure, aperture, shutter speed and ISO, as well as the option of software programs. It is suggested that we focus on one or two elements / principles of art each month, with a short discussion ahead of time for understanding. As always, these are only suggestions and participants have the latitude to go their own direction.
There are no rules here, only guidelines to consider when composing a photo. The way each of us perceives a composition is valid. Most importantly, these themes can encourage methods of becoming more creative and to play with our photos. The following concepts could guide us with our compositions and still allow us to choose our own subjects for focusing on these elements and principles throughout the year.
Elements of Art are considered the visual tools that the artist uses to create a composition. Elements represent concepts that help a photo have great visual impact:
Principles of Design are how the artist uses the Elements of Art to create an effect and to help convey the artist’s intent. They determine whether a composition feels successful. Principles are often intertwined and depend on each other:
In addition to the art elements and principles, there are specific principles of design for photography that are related and embedded into the above art elements and principles of design:
The following suggested themes for January through April are ways to practice utilizing specific art elements in photo compositions, with your own choices of subject matter. Many of these themes are combined elements, as they are closely related, but it is not expected that your composition display both of them. May is a separate theme, with the concept of mood, that could be a way to combine many of the art elements. Art elements and principles of design are underlined to emphasize awareness.
January - TEXTURE
February - LINE / SHAPE
March -COLOR / VALUE
April - SPACE / FORM
May - MOOD (subject theme, not an art element)
Themes for June through September provide participants with practice creating compositions that utilize the Principles of Art/Photo Designs. Participants are already utilizing many of these concepts intuitively and this just brings a greater awareness and confidence.
June - BALANCE
July - EMPHASIS
August - MOVEMENT / PATTERNS / RHYTHM
September - CONTRAST / UNITY / VARIETY
Successful compositions might be visually balanced, with elements such as lines, shapes, and patterns that move the viewer’s eyes around the composition. It would ideally show some unity, while also having some variety and contrast. The following suggest themes are broad subjects selected for the purpose of bringing awareness th the many concepts of art elements/principles.
October - WATER (subject theme)
November - REFLECTION (subject theme)
December - FAVORITES
Perhaps the best part of the monthly meetings is viewing member photos. It inspires and provides thoughtful suggestions for improvements, elevating everyone’s skills. It is hoped that the review and practice of using art elements and principles will bring additional vocabulary and awareness to the critiques without stress or the concern that a photo doesn’t meet the criteria. In order to have sufficient time to critique photos from every member, with positive suggestions and useful comments, it is suggested that each participant limit their photos to three (five at the most). Perhaps only one of them will be chosen by the photographer for a critique. Of course we are always open to questions on the other ones, such as “Where was that?” or “How did you do that?”.
In addition, it is often helpful, as well as an interesting option when a participant displays a before and after photo to see what techniques were used to bring the photo up to a more successful level. A fun alternative is to display a “Do-Over”. Take one of your photos, one that you really like or one that is disappointing in some way and re-do it. Use a different camera or lens, take it from a different perspective, take it at a different time of the day/year, modify the light, switch from color to black & white, or whatever. For the photo share, bring in both the original and the new version for comparison and contrast.
Mountain Mike's Pizza
Sunday, June 2, 11:00 AM
Ukiah Photography Club July meeting
Location and time TBD
Ukiah Photography Club August meeting
Location and time TBD
Theme: movement / patterns / rhythm
Ukiah Photography Club September meeting
Location and time TBD
Theme: contrast / unity / variety
Ukiah Photography Club Annual Show
Corner Gallery, Ukiah, CA