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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Designing My Double Page Spread

In this blog post I want to demonstrate how I laid out my spreads, using grids and columns to balance my design.

On the title page, there wasn’t a lot to layout. Only the positioning of the title and the image. I didn’t want the title to be “floating” around the page, so i altered the margins of the spread to make sure the design was balanced with clean lines.

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I also dragged guides from the horizontal axis to align the text to the margin, which made it clear and easy to read.

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I wanted to do something a bit different with the second double page spread. Instead of using straight columns for the text, I wanted to use a different angle, to give the feeling that the image is exclusive and I am allowing them to see inside the beautiful landscape. I used the direct selection tool to alter the bounding box around the main image.Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.37.32.png

I the locked the image, meaning It can’t be moved or altered in anyway. I then went on to draw an a text box at the same angle of the image. This gives a clean line in which the text can be segregated from the image, but grouping them together. I positioned the text on the right of the page so the audience is drawn to the image, and then is lead to the text. The eye naturally reads from right to left, so I feel this gives the design a natural flow. Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.40.32.png

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.



Photography Double Page Spread Research

I started by choosing my topic for the double page spread. With the sun coming out and the weather improving coming into spring, the countryside has blossomed and full of vibrant colours and every shade of green imaginable. So I decided the natural environment is something that not only I really enjoy, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by it every day.

Im going to start by looking at these three double page spreads. This will form my research where I wish to grasp inspiration and replicate what i like about the designs in my own effective layout.

This design is split into three sections, with the information running through the middle. I like how the images have been shot, there exciting images and of high quality. I don’t think the design shows these images off in the best light. The banner running through the middle distracts from the beautiful imagery. The audience does however get drawn into the panoramic landscape of the mountains. The photographer has obviously purposely used a wide angled lens to show the scope of the natural beauty in front of them. I also don’t like how the images clash in the middle at the bottom of the page. There is a clear line that divides the too images and this is just another distraction to the audience.


I really like this design. The designer has thought about the composition of the design. Different textures such as the long beige grass to the stoney castle cast in shadow, to the dark gloomy sky adding drama to the landscape. The brightest part of the image is the grass which leaps off the page, and the contrasting large, italic serif typeface adds another layer of contrast so the reader can read the text easily. There is clear evidence of a grid system being used, with the body text running along the top of the page in three columns, in front of the dark sky in white. The design has historical connotations from the typography to the castle.


Again I really like this design. Theres strong contrast between the deep blue sky, the white clouds, orange sunset, and the stunning green fields. The image takes up the majority of the page, with a small amount of text positioned to the left of the page explaining the purpose of the image. I think this layout is great for a double page spread, Although I would make the image bleed off the page to really give focus to the main attraction. There is also clear use of a grid system, dividing the page into four columns, however the image takes up the majority of the page.

Backpacker Magazine Double Page Spread
Double page spread in Backpacker Magazine of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas, USA.

To conclude, I’d like to say that I’ve found inspiration in these designs, and next I will move onto what places of natural beauty I will target that are local and easily accessible to me, how I will shoot them to get the best results, and further research into grids.