The Final Design

After tinkering and moving elements around, I had finally reached the stage where I was happy with how the design is balanced and addresses the audience. I enjoyed this project, from the initial photography and research to the final layout design. I feel like I have greatly improved my photography skills and have refined my eye to pick out detail, and using the camera to create stimulating effect. Also learning about the golden section and the fibonacci spiral made me understand the mathematics behind page layout, and how the eye of the audience is drawn to certain key areas which add balance and interest to a photograph.

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Photography So Far…

After conducting my research into camera settings and photography of natural environments, I went out with my camera and visited the places of interest stated in my previous post.

I shot this picture at Dunorlan park in Tunbridge Wells. The sun was shining with bright blue sky’s, and as its spring, every shade of green imaginable. I tried to implement the fibonacci spiral, using the boat at the bottom as the main focus point, and then leading the audience to the rest of the image. This technique has been use for centuries and allows the audience to read the picture in the most logical way. I used a higher aperture value to ensure the whole image was in focus, and a relatively high shutter speed so the moving peddle boat was in focus and didn’t blur. I light is shining from behind the boat, meaning the boat is cast in shadow. I did this so the audience was distracted by the boat, as the main focus of the image is the landscape. The boat is just an addition to the scene which adds interest.



I took this picture in a field behind my house using a macro lens to get crystal clear detail of the small flower close up. I used a small fstop value so only the flower was in focus, and the natural foreground is out of focus. I like this image, however, I think the the composition could be better to aid the audience. Flower1


Environmental Photography Research

Before taking my image, I wanted to look at other photographers environmental photography to find out what techniques they are using, what effects they are achieving, and how that photography fits the purpose.

This image strikes the audience. The otter in the foreground is in sharpe focus, with the background, or natural environment, is out of focus. This has been achieved by using a shallow depth of field, a high shutter speed to minimise blur, as the otter is like to be in motion, and a small f-stop or aperture value such as f14.


This image has been shot with a high aperture value to ensure that the whole image is in focus. The eye is drawn to the closest tree, positioned to the left of the image. The clever composition means that the eye is naturally drawn to “the golden section” where the eye naturally follows and has the most impact.


This image focuses on the foreground of the image, with a small child digging a whole in the bottom third of the image. The boy almost looks hidden due to the contrast between black and white, and his dark skin. His white features such as his eyes, teeth, and reflection stand out. The photographer has purposely chosen the black and white to show how bleak the landscape. They have also used the golden section to draw the attention of the boy as the main focal point.


This image is a good example of how the manipulation of shutter speeds can add effect to the end result. The image shows a rocky landscape with an individual tree position just above the central horizontal axis. The clouds above are blurred due to the slow shutter speed time, and I think this has been done to give the illusion of time standing still as the tree is left dormant and lonely. The image has been shot with a high fstop value so the whole image is in focus. The image has a dark, gloomy feel to it, so the amount of light needed to expose the image properly means that the shutter speed will be slow, thus creating the effect of the moving clouds and still rocky landscape.


To conclude, I feel like I have learnt a great deal about how to correctly expose images using the three tools, shutter speed, iso, and aperture, and use these three tools together to create effects and impactful imagery. This will be useful when taking my images for my double page spreads.



Planning My Photography

After picking my chosen topic, I started to think about what places might be appealing and visually stimulating. Some of the places included the following.

  • Brenchley view point – A spot hidden away in the countryside overlooking Kent as far as the eye can see. The scale and width of the scenery lend itself well to panoramic photography or using a wide angled lens to get the whole view in.
  • Matfield Green – A great communal green with a beautiful pond. On a bright calm day, the reflection from the water on the pond gives a peaceful, calm feeling.
  • Bluebell Woods – At this time of year, there are plenty of bluebells around, adding vibrant shades of purple to a usually green and brown environment. This is a signifier for spring, as the UK gears itself for summer and the weather begins to improve and there is more natural light around.
  • View behind work – The office I work in backs onto a stunning rural landscape of ploughed fields, churches, and forestry. This is an environment I’m around every day, and feel like it is of interest to my audience.

When choosing my locations I ideally want to get one that:

  • Says something about my subject
  • Adds interest to the shot
  • Not overpowering – The location can distract from the purpose of the design, and therefore should be considered when selecting and rejecting.

Camera Settings

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to camera settings. It simply depends on the the effect i’m trying to achieve. A small aperture, (larger numbers) may be more appropriate as not only the foreground, but the background will be in focus. This gives the environment prominence in the shot, which is perfect for the purpose of my double page spreads. However, it all depends on the scene. There may be elements that I might like to focus on, and there for the background will have less impact, and work almost as a beautiful backdrop to the main focus.



Grids – Golden Section

As part of my research towards double page spreads, I looked at various resources that directed me to learn more about “the golden section”.

The golden section is the relationship between two numbers that has been used in western architecture for thousands of years.

The formula: a:b =b : (a+b).

This means the smaller of the two elements relates to the larger element in the same way that the larger element relates to the two parts combined. In ratio terms, the golden section is 1:1.618.

Single Column Grid

Magazines should be designed as spreads, otherwise known as facing pages. The two-page spread is the main unit of the design. The left and right margins are become the inside and outside margins.

Multicolumn Grid

Single column grids work well for simple documents, multicolumn grids provide versatile formats for publications that have a complex hierarchy that have text and illustrations.