Looking through the viewfinder

This project emphasises the importance of the camera’s viewfinder and  its role in designing and producing photographs.

Following the instructions in the course notes I looked through the camera viewfinder to carefully look around the room I was sitting in.  At first view nothing in the room seemed to warrant my interest enough for me to want to take a photograph. I think my response was probably due, as the course notes suggest,  to over-familiarity with the scene and the objects within it.

In preparation for this unit I have begun to read Michael Freeman’s ‘The Photographer’s Eye’, Chapter One – The Image Frame. He notes that ‘most cameras offer a view of the world as a bright rectangle surrounded by blackness, and the presence of the frame is usually strongly felt’. Up until a  few weeks ago, I rarely used the camera viewfinder to take photographs, using the camera LCD screen to compose instead. As I was taking the photographs for the introductory projects I looked through both the LCD and camera viewfinder in order to compare methods. When using the LCD screen on my camera to compose my eye tended to move back and forth from the screen to the subject. I found, as Freeman suggested, that by looking through the viewfinder the ‘blackness’ surrounding the image in the ‘bright rectangle’ provides a strong frame and allows the eye to concentrate.

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