Baby Steps Into the World of Photography

I have concluded that photography, while a great skill to have, does not come easily to everyone.  I have enjoyed learning about this new skill this week and hope that with lots of practice and more knowledge, I can become a decent photographer.  This assignment is enticing me to purchase a dslr camera to help me gain better skills.

The Rule of Thirds

The above picture is an example of the rule of thirds.  I found it on a website called  The photographer is Jack Morch.  I was not able to find any information about him, but I love this picture.

This picture is an example of the rule of thirds.  The horizon is right at the top horizontal third.  The dandelion drifts away at the top of the left third.  The little girl’s face is centered along the right third of the right vertical side.

The above picture is one that I took with my phone.

The object of focus (my granddaughter, Jordyn) is along the right vertical line that divides the picture into three vertical sections.  The top of her head is right at the point where the top horizontal line and the right vertical line intersects.  I think using the rule of thirds for this photo helps the viewer focus on Jordyn and her Grandpa rather than the background of the photo.

Leading Lines

This picture by Jim Zuckerman is an example of leading lines.  Jim Zuckerman left his medical studies in 1970 in favor of photography. He has written over 20 photography books, teaches photography through webinars and hosts photography tours all over the world. I found this picture at

Leading lines should direct the viewer’s eye directly to the main object of focus.  This picture is a perfect example of that.  Each row of flowers leads us through the photo to the windmill.

The picture of the lilac bush that I took in my backyard is a good example of leading lines.

The top of the fence and the edge of the grass lead directly to this beautiful bush.  The neighboring hedge also gives a very powerful leading line that directs the eyes of the viewer toward the bush.

Depth of Field

I found this example of depth of field at  It was taken by a photographer named Nita and it has a CCO License.

In this example of depth of field, the dandelion stands out in perfect focus while both the middle of the picture and the back of the photo are blurred. The dandelion represents the depth of field in this picture.

This is a photo I took with a borrowed Nikon 5500.  I had never used a dslr camera before so this was a steep learning curve.  These are lilacs in my backyard.  While I have a lot of practising to do to become even an amature photographer, I was happy with this picture.

In this picture, the depth of field is seen in the center lilac which is in focus while the other two lilacs and the background foliage are blurred.  This allows the viewer to focus clearly on the center bloom.

The world of photography is very new to me.  I have never been drawn to or experimented seriously in the field of photography before.  I have taken quick snapshots of family and on family vacations, but never worried about how they turned out.  It was all about the memories.  This has been a fun week and I am looking forward to learning more about photography and the possibilities it could lead to.




Typography, The Building Block of the Printed Page – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I found this advertisement for Whoppers candy on It is a 1970s advertisement. I was not able to find it’s original designer or source.  It was originally published by the Leaf candy company. I also found it featured on a website, created by Nancie Rowe Janitz Designs.

While nostalgia plays a roll in the appeal of this advertisement, I feel the contrast in typography also grabs the attention of the viewer.

The first typeface I would like to feature is a Sans Serif font. It is a monoweight font which means that there are no thick/thin transitions in the strokes and the letters are the same thickness all around. There are no serifs on any of the letters. It is easy to read and is used to inform us what product they want us to know about (actually they want us to buy it). In this advertisement they use this font to identify the product and give information about the company who produces the product.

The second typeface on this advertisement was a Script font. It appears to be excellent penmanship. In the 1970s children still learned to write cursive and penmanship was an actual grade on our report cards. Their use of this tidy cursive penmanship depicts reliability and care in creating the product for us. Obviously, someone with good penmanship is reliable and you can trust what they are telling you. The following information is trying to convince us to purchase this product. “Everybody stops to shop America’s fastest selling malted milk balls!” It also includes the word “original”, thereby informing you that these are not the cheap knockoff version. This script typeface is used to give us confidence in this product.

Robin Williams, the author of the book “The Non-Designers’s Design Book”, tells us that script fonts should be used sparingly. In this advertisement, they do use it for quite a bit of the information, but they break it up with the use of the sans serif font so you are not getting a large dose of the script for a long stint of reading.

The the elements that create contrast in these two fonts include color, weight, size, structure, and form. They use two different colors which creates contrast. The weight of the sans serif typeface is much bolder than the script. They were not wimpy when they used it. The size difference is also obvious in the two different fonts. The structure of the sans serif is very monoweight with no weight shifts in the strokes. There are gaps between each letter. It is rather like putting blocks together to create words. The script has different size letters and flows together with each letter connecting to the next. On both styles of typeface, the form of the capital letters is different than the lowercase, however, the script typeface has completely different forms than the sans serif do. All of these differences create contrast in the typography of this advertisement.

While the graphics on this page really sell the product (who doesn’t remember Whoppers, or in my case, malt balls from their childhood), the typography really sends a message about the value and enjoyment of this candy.  The name in bold sans serif typeface sells you about the durability and the long-lasting pleasure you will gain from this product. The tidy script convinces you that this company takes pride in the quality of their product. These two fonts are a good combination that provide contrast in the advertisement, while unifying the information they are imparting.  Each font has both visual and emotional appeal and they are used in a design that makes them easy for the consumer to read and remember.



Drawn to the Theater through the Principles of Design and Color

This is a poster advertising a play at a local Yakima, Washington theater. It was created by Derek Smith, a local Yakima graphic artist. He does not have a website and does his work freelance for a few local businesses. When I asked him for permission to use it, he said he didn’t want to have a link to his business because he is slowly dissolving his business in favor of a full-time job as a graphic designer.



Derek utilizes the design principle of contrast in this poster with the use of the bright green ornament against the pale pointe-shoes.  The bright green creates contrast with the rest of the poster.  Although you can see the image of the Nutcracker in this picture, on the original poster it is blurred a little more and you have to really focus to see the Nutcracker in the ornament.  Once you have focused, your attention is captured.  You then move to the pointe shoes and you understand that this is about the Nutcracker Ballet.  The use of the ornament under the word THE in the title also provides contrast, as well, the font used for the title is different from all of the other fonts used.



The background lights create repetition in this poster.  The text, other than the title of the play, is all the same font which gives more repetition and sense of consistency.  Although it doesn’t show as repetition on this poster, the logo and the banner at the top is repetition to the community. Every poster, advertising of the theater, and other communication have this at the top, thereby providing repetition to the community letting them know where this communication is coming from.



Derek utilizes the design principle of alignment by left aligning the title of the play with the information regarding when the play is and how to get tickets.  He also used it to separate general information about the play.  As you notice the banner and logo at the top of the poster, it is not aligned with the rest of the text, however, this design is aligned the exact same way on every poster and leads to consistency in communicating to the public who is responsible for this production.



Derek also utilized the design principle of proximity.  As shown in the poster, you can see how he has separated and grouped together when the performances are.  He also grouped together the cost of tickets and again information regarding the purchase of tickets.  On the other side of the page, he grouped together information that would peak the interest of the local community and convince them they would want to come to this production.



Derek’s use of color on this poster is subtle, yet it inspires excitement. Twinkling lights always give the feeling that something exciting is happening.  A bright green ornament evokes memories of childhood Christmases for the adults and the excitement of Christmas for the children.  He also picked up subtle tints of the lights to highlight the graphics and shades of the background to shade the graphics.  I think his use of this technique really unifies his design.  His use of color created emotions to sell the play to people rather than a specific color pattern.  I would have chosen to use the color of the lights for the text rather than white to further unify the poster.

This poster is very well done.  It captures your attention with the big green ornament.  You logically look close to see what the image inside the ornament is and next at the pointe shoes and go back to the ornament and the Nutcracker.  That logically leads you to the large title and because of the alignment of the information, you follow it to find out information.  The logo at the top is familiar to many and you know it will be held at the Akin Center Theatre.   I believe Derek did an excellent job utilizing the principles of design and color in this advertising poster.