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The Final Photograph
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Ten Changes:
1.) I used magic wand tool to take ball and place in photo
2.) I used magic wand tool to move bark off of tree and to final photograph
3.) I used magic wand tool to take portion of gravestone and move to final photograph.
4.) I used burn tool to create shadows for the tennis ball
5.) I used dodge tool to highlight edge of bark on tree.
6.) I used a photo filter (Cooling Effect) to add depth to the gravestone in the final photograph.
7.) I used the Lasso tool to outline pieces of the bark to add dimension to my final photograph.
8.) I utilized a blue cooling filter to the tennis ball.
9.) I made many different tombstone texture selections (sizes) and put them in a compilation on the final photograph too add interest.
10.) I utilized multiple layers to add depth and produce leading lines in my final photograph.

Compositional Techniques:
In my final photograph, I used a variety of compositional techniques to add visual intrigue. One of the most important compositional techniques is rule of thirds. In my photograph, I positioned my layers (selections) in accordance with the Rule of Thirds. I created a balance within the photography with the tennis ball slightly above the center and the bark perpetrating in the right corner. I also utilized the framing of the tennis ball with the two element 'walls' I created--the tombstone, and the bark. Viewers are drawn to the center of the photograph because of the framing. The two most evident and interesting compositional techniques I used in my photograph were my interesting point of view and leading lines. The perspective makes viewers believe that they are resting on the wood plank as it depicts in the photograph. Finally, the plank leads viewers eyes to the tennis ball and beyond (into the prairie) because of the two lines the wood plank makes.

Principles of Design + The Message I am trying to Convey in my Photograph:
Obviously the main textures I used were elements from Earth--rock and wood. I placed my two elements on opposite sides of the photograph, to emphasize the diversity that nature can bring. The left side of the photograph yields a sort of industrial look, and this is contrasted by the nature aspects on the right side of the photograph and the tree. I married these two element with something that was artificial (man-made) to show the relationship between all of these things. Life is a balance of things both natural and man-made, and both need to exist in order to sustain life. This is another reason I positioned the two selections (elements) on polar sides of the photograph, so it illustrates how they balance each other. So this photograph is a symbol for all things life creates!

Success:
I feel like I was mostly successful in my final composition. In order to convey my message, I needed to make some sacrifices in terms of reality. Both the granite wall and tennis ball look more super-imposed than not, but I tried to add depth and reality using shadows and other techniques. If I were to improve and had more time on this project, I would more meticulously utilize the burn tool to make more detailed shadows that make each of my layers look even more realistic. I will say though, I am happy with my project. I believe if you take the time, a photograph should tell a story or convey a message, and for me to incorporate one into a school assignment, I think shows sophistication and an eye for real photography.