Video 10: Point of View

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Description: This video explores how point of view and composition are closely connected when creating an image.

Instructor: Felice Frankel

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We're going to take a look at how point of view and composition are very clearly connected.

But, before we show the connections, we have to sort of define, visually define, what I mean by point of view, for example.

So, take a look at these four images.

Now, it doesn't look it, but these images are of the identical sample, just simply taken with four different points of view.

There, it's true that I also changed the background on them, but, generally, what I did was I moved the sample around or the camera, and we get four really completely different-looking visual ideas of what this stuff was about.

Which one is right, I'm not sure there is a right in any of this.

That's one of the fun things about this kind of work: There are no hard, fast rules that we have to follow.

But I wanted, to give you, this example to show you that just by simply changing the angle or-of your camera, or moving your material around, you see different things.

Again, we're learning to see in this course.

So, in this situation, I wanted to show the fabrication of this particular pyramid, sort of telling a story in a particular image.

But for now, just take a real good look at this pyramid that was made with this wafer that was imprinted with a pattern.

And, I felt that this was not quite right because there was a little ambiguity in where the pyramid's point is.

It's a little too close to the curve of the wafer.

So by simply raising the camera ever so slightly, we get a nice and clean line without ... well, let's continue calling it ambiguity for the time being.

Here is an example where, for this particular device (it's a micro rotor) I shot it from above because I was using a stereo microscope.

I had just gotten this brand new piece of equipment that I had to use of course because it's brand new!

And, from that point of view, very unfortunately, you see all kinds of dust and yuck, which I could not get rid of because I don't have control over the light.

So, I simply changed back to my camera and my 105 lens with a different point of view which gave me a much cleaner image.

Many times, we get stuck on a particular approach to looking at things, let's say, directly from above and it doesn't necessarily give the best image.

Here's an example where, this is a PDMS that's been etched with a grading on it.

And I took it with this particular view.

And just by simply changing the PDMS to a slightly different position, we get a different point of view.

Let's go back and forth on this and see.

It's kind of fun to do this anyway, but you'll notice that you really see.

This one has a better approach to looking at the refraction but, at the same time, you notice when we-I did that, the shadow is changing in its position.

Again, this is encouraging you to understand that when you change your point of view, of course you're also changing your composition, and they are very much intertwined, which we'll see more later on.

In this situation, I had a petri dish, with various gels that had different colors.

(Let's just leave it with that at the time being) This was my primary, initial point of view, and I thought it was kind of boring.

And so the point of view was a little tighter in that I chose to get the camera closer.

And I also included different kinds of gels: In this situation, larger ones.

Uh, it is a different point of view in terms of your selection of what it is that you are going to be showing.

So these are not very deep changes, but enough to make very, very different images.

As for example, this one which is a glass wafer that's been etched so that they're creating channels on the wafer from this point of view.

And here is another point of view where I'm not showing the whole thing.

And maybe we don't have to show the whole thing all the time.

Maybe we can show the work by something that is, in my opinion, a more interesting in composition in a different point of view.

HERE, A SMALL CHANGE: Take a look at both of these and I hope you see that in the first one, it was a bit of a sloppy point of view in the sense that I'm showing labels.

That really is not something of value.

And so by simply moving the camera slightly and then focusing a little closer, it's a cleaner point of view.

Again, this is also about composition, but, they are very much connected.

Here is this researcher's point of view where he decided to show the flexibility of this material and include hands, which is a very good idea when you want to show scale.

For me, I've decided to be a little more playful and just playing more around the flexibility and showing the shadows of it.

And we did get a cover of a journal, which is nice.

A whole different point of view, same material, both are good.

You know there's not, again, not one is better than the other necessarily.

I decided to dig out from the depths of my slide collection when I was an architectural photographer to show you a difference that does somewhat inform us, in this course.

Here's a beautiful space in California designed by Isamu Noguchi.

This is the first image that I made.

And here is the second image that I made.

And let's go back and forth a little on this as well.

And you see in this second image, I decided to have the camera point slightly upward and changing the point of view so that we see a slant of sky.

I think this is a better image.

I think it's more interesting.

But I also think that it allows the viewer to sort of participate more in the image.

That is to kind of go along, upward and be part of paying attention to what is going on with the sky.

I think showing the edges and the connection between the edge of something beyond is an interesting view of how to show things as I did here ' back to our world ' when I needed to show bubbles, uh, for a book that we did.

I decided to keep the edge of the plate showing and show the background.

It is a point of view that I felt sort of worked.

And here is another point of view with the same material.

Which is better?

I'd be interested to hear your opinions.

Here is a device with the researcher's point of view of it.

And this is my point of view where I ' first of all, I did get it in focus [LAUGHS] but since we're talking about point of view, I'll stay with that, at that, I'll try to.

And all I did was I put it on a white background (which, we'll get to backgrounds later as well), and I just slanted the device and the camera's point of view, and I think it's a much more successful picture.

And finally, in this situation, when you do have a device that is almost, pretty much symmetrical, if you're going to take a photograph, from above, you just better make sure that you make the image symmetrical as well.

Take a look at this first one again.

And, you know there's nothing worse than an almost okay image.

If it were really really off symmetry, that would work better than just a tad off symmetry.

So, my suggestion is to, if you do decide to make a symmetrical-like image, to just make sure it is a symmetrical point of view.


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