Exercise: A sequence of composition

This exercise involved recording the way you approach and shoot a subject from the moment you catch sight of a possible photograph, to the final best image you can make of it. As this exercise required a situation that involved people, I headed to the Limerick city milk market, to capture some of the colour and atmosphere. The photographs displayed here are the result of my second trip to this market. The pervious trip to the Saturday market proved unsuccessful. Some areas of the milk market are under a canopy, making them quite dark, so that the photographer has to perform a juggling act, often ending in the ISO being pushed out.


No. 1


No. 2



As I approached the market I noticed this Honda 50 parked against the yellow door of the shop and thought the colours worked well. In the first shot, it’s evident that I was shooting into the sun and decided to move to the right. I was quite happy with the final image here, I like the balance and colour.

At the market, I saw this fish stall and asked the traders permission to photograph his display. The owner was very accommodating and told me to take whatever pictures I liked. This allowed me to get in close for some of the shots, without the risk of upsetting anyone. I started with a wide angle shot, that set the scene, and followed up by moving closer to frame some customers being entertained by the owners witty charm.




No. 5

I like the composition in the above image. There is balance between the two men, however the framing could be better. The man in the black jacket didn’t hang around for long. So, with no customers to give foreground interest, I moved to the right to get more of an angle, and to include some of the fish.


No. 6

The above shot, which I don’t particularly like, led me to switch to my 55-200mm zoom lens to capture the image below of the blooded fisheye. I’m very happy with this photograph. The colours work well together, and I like the contrast between the circular fisheye and the straight edges of the green container. The shallow depth of field also adds interest to the image.


No. 7

After the blooded fisheye, I moved into a position for another angled shot of the stall. But this time omitting the blackboard, and getting a much cleaner, balanced frame.


No. 8

While looking through the viewfinder at the man in the back filleting the fish, I became aware of the fish looking up at me from the lower part of the frame, so I switched my attention to the stock on display, and I captured the following 3 images.


No. 9

I’m indifferent toward the image above, but I think the two below worked out very well. I like the angle of the fish in both images. The fish-eyes really add interest to all three.


No. 10


No. 11

I followed up with some close-up shots of the man gutting the fish, but feel that some of the earlier photographs in this fish-stall series are much stronger.


No. 12


No. 13


No. 14

At this point I felt I had done enough with the fish-stall and moved on to take a few shots of this musician. I tried two different angles and feel the final image isn’t as strong as it could have been. That said, the first picture with the musician playing is reasonable good.


No. 15


No. 16


No. 17

I love the bright colours of the green grocer’s stall. I made two exposures that included the owner, but didn’t find these very interesting, and moved on to the produce.


No. 18


No. 19


No. 20

The warm colours here are really vibrant and grab the viewers attention. A large area of the market is covered with a circus style bigtop, and only some of the market stalls receive a portion of direct sunlight. In the image below, I like the side lighting on the oranges, as a result of this direct sunlight making its way in from the edges of the canopy. The contrast between the pale wooden crates and the dark cardboard boxes add greatly to this photograph.


No. 21

I switched to my 55-200mm zoom lens again, when I noticed the lady in the series below selling carrots. I was a good distance away and looking across another stall, giving me a totally different viewpoint. The trolly handles are a little distracting in the first image; I think if I had moved, so as to position them differently in the frame, they may have contributed to the composition.


No. 22

I really like the perspective from behind the counter, looking out at the customers, in the two photographs below.


No. 23

I’m extremely happy with the final image here. The colours are really intense, and there is just the right amount of movement captured, as the seller separates the bunches of carrots. From a compositional point of view, there is balance between the carrots and the lady holding them. What really makes this photograph stand out from the one before it is the eyes of the lady in the background, fixed intently on the carrots.


No. 24

I had to act quickly when I saw an older gentleman walking beside his bicycle, as shown below. The composition in the final image is quite solid. There is also a nice sense of movement here with one leg firmly planted on the ground, while the other is in transition with the bicycle. I feel this photograph wouldn’t be as successful, had I not carried out the exercises on shutter speed and panning,


No. 25


No. 26


No. 27

In this exercise I found that keeping the camera to my eye as I moved, felt very unnatural and I was extremely self-conscience, although I can see the value in seeing through the viewfinder, as opposed to seeing with the eyes. A few of the images have an ISO of 1600, which with my Canon 600d, I’m really not comfortable with. However, I suppose, sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to balance a moving subject with the desired depth of field. I found this to be a difficult, but very rewarding exercise.

The following, are what I consider, the best images from this exercise.


One comment

  1. […] Exercise: A sequence of composition (timslearninglog.wordpress.com) […]

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