Exploration of the use of layers to create movement, space and depth in photography.
And another of Whitby Abbey, thats cliche, but I like it.
With inspiration from my Foundations in Photography peers I have had a practice run at candid street photography. The genre is something that I am not entirely comfortable with, but I travelled to an event where many people expect to be photographed, and there were many photographers around.
My resistance to candid street photography comes from my concerns around consent. I do not like it if people take my photo without my consent, and there were times during this exercise that I felt uncomfortable. I pushed my self, really pushed my limits, and took photos that were distant, and that were in your face. People were walking past me, within inches of me and I took there photos, and I will not be doing that again. Others were more distant, and this felt more comfortable.
The opportunity for candid street portraits was present and I made the most of that. I will publish those separately in my gallery over the next couple of days under the title Goth Festival. I found this a lot easier. On the whole I was more distant from people, and there were a few who also engaged with the camera.
I do find it a little bizarre that I am more comfortable with candid street portraits, however, I think the difference is that the people who I made photos of were dressed up for the festival, they attend twice yearly, and they are used to being photographed, so this moves into event photography which I enjoy.
If I hadn’t been at an event (the whole town gets taken over) then I would find this more difficult. If I were to be practicing street photography upon the general public who were not involved in an event it would be harder. I did take a couple of photos of the general public.
My first attempts were very cautious and I was full of anxiety, but it did become easier as the day progressed.
I will start with the ones tha tI feel were the strongest.
When I made a start on the course work for image the portrait I said that I was not very good at portraits and that it was something that I needed to practice, and these photos are as a result of that.
However, I have also realised that when I do event photography, and photograph people at those, when they are being themselves and not posing, my portraits are ok. I will include some of those when I post my experiments with street photography.
For most of these photos I have approached people and explained that I am studying photography and sought their consent, although I have included a couple of street portraits.
Whilst practicing for this I asked people to talk with each other or carry on with the activity that they were doing, I don’t particularly like photographing people face on, although I can see that for portrait and wedding photographers this is a requirement. It will also be necessary for some events and corporate photography. I have taken some of these photos in three stages, so that I have included some background, some a little closer, and some are full face. This was so that I could see how context changes how we view people.
These first six photos are of a couple, although I photographed them individually, and these are my favourite shots. Their character shone through and I simply had to photograph them. The other photos follow on below.
Sometimes you have to be a little crazy to bring the best out of someone. The young man in this photo was with his partner and it was his birthday. Their wasnt a smile though. As soon as I sang happy birthday the smile broke out and I am really pleased with the result.
The next few sets show how context can alter how we view a person, and add information to a scene.
I had a lovely chat with this couple, I took an interest in them and they did with me. The rest of the day was more relaxing because of this and I was then more natural with others that modelled for me.
I found this woman very interesting. She has a bold character and I am pleased with the tight crop portrait. The other point of interest is how distractions can ruin a photo.
This gent was great, I asked him to look angry with me. This is a point to be aware of for the future. Some people are able to produce emotions if they are directed by the photographer. This is something that I can make more use of in the future.
One of my better animal portraits. Animals dont do what you ask them to, so patience and being quick witted are the key.
I really enjoyed the street portrait photography. It is something that I can make more use of with events photography. Some more examples will be included in my Street Photography post.
All of these photos are taken of the TV screen from my mobile.
One of the things that I am most interested in is how lighting effects different skin colours. As a photographer, unless I am using lighting for a specific effect then I want the results of a photograph to match the skin colour of my model. Lighting affects different skin colours differently, and make up works differently as well. In the examples below, the first photo is the closets representation of the mans skin colour. For the others I have changed the white balance and have included incandescent, flourescent, cloudy, daylight and auto.
An interesting effect for a surreal/scary look, and also for highlighting certain features if the lighting is directed towards the features that you wish to highlight.
Coloured Lighting and Skin
Green is my least favorite lighting colour. I think that it makes skin look unhealthy, although the highlight upon Tess Daley is used to good effect for a Halloween theme. The highlights are better than general green lighting that affects the whole face as in Craig Revel Horwood. I like how red lighting affects the skin, but when it’s too bright it can create a sunburned affect, such as Sam Black below. In the examples below the blue brings out the features of Nicole Scherzinger, which it doesn’t on Spencer Sutherland, however I do like the mixed lighting of the blue and pink, and I intend to use mixed lighting for my assignment. Blue Lighting can make hair look greasy, whereas white can destroy details and tone. Diffuse blue lighting can bring out texture and detail if it is used appropriately, and this can be seen by viewing the coursework of fellow Foundations in Photography student Archna Singh. Something else that I am aware of is how the lighting is positioned, head on, below, side and behind. Front on coloured lighting produces a blanket of diffused lighting that flattens the face and hides texture, side lighting and lighting from below highlights facial features and exaggerates them. Lighting from behind can be good for highlighting skin and hair, but can also cause a halo.
This is something that I wish to make use of for the Painting with Light assignment. These examples are an exploration. I particularly like beads and glitter when they are used around the eye. It’s also possible to use them to create contour, so that in a dark rook and with a black background, lighting can then pick out skin or clothing contours.
Natural Skin, Skin With Make Up and Good Lighting
Good examples of natural looking make up, that is enhanced by the lighting, on black and brown skin. Minimal foundation on Debbie McGee, Aston Merrigold and Martin Brundle. Good make up and lighting on the next five, but over use of the wrong colour foundation on the final two photos. Foundation is the key for good make up that enhances the natural colour of an individuals skin. The wrong colour, and on top of a fake tan tends to be a male showbiz thing, although in saying that, Jack from Jack and Joel does look good with the make up that he wears.
Foundation is also used to soften the glare of lighting on the skin, it acts as an absorber of light rather than a reflector. It is also used to make the skin appear smoother and in doing so it removes the detail.
Costume, Lighting Effects
A brief look at lighting effects in general, and lighting upon costume.
Singh, A; 2017; Exercise 2.7 People in light; Online at: https://archnasingh.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/exercise-2-7-people-in-light/ (accessed on 31/10/2017)
Sing: Ultimate A Cappella; 2017; Series 1, Episode 4; Sky One; 27/10/2017
X Factor; 2017; Series 14, Episodes 17 and 18; ITV; 28+29/10/2017
Strictly Come Dancing; 2017; Series 15; Episodes 9, 10, 11 and 12; BBC 1; 21,22, 28+29/10/2017
Formula 1, Mexican Grand Prix; 2017; 29/10/2017; 6pm
I have been exploring the uses of publicly displayed portraits. The photos for this edition of my digital sketchbook have been taken with my camera phone. The terminology is my own and may not be appropriate academic terminology.
I am aware that this post doesn’t demonstrate all of the reasons for the making and use of portrait photography, just what I have considered over the past few days.
Going from top left across.
1 – Targeted advertising, brand promotion (young female with financial means (select body size))
2 – Health promotion, discussion, with text relay (bold typeset, bottom right)
3 – Authorship, status
4 – Targeted advertising (family, social)
5 – Promotional, targeted (young adult, friendship, joy)
6 – Emotional, photojournalism, documentary, relay
7 – Descriptive, relay, photojournalism
8 – Attraction, targeted advertising (male, tradesmen – this was my assumption. However I looked into the demographics of sun readers. 60% of readers are male, readers come almost equally across the NHS social grades. See reference below)
9 – Branding, group identity (reinforces belonging to a social group)
10 – Generic advertising (I have included this to highlight the difference between a portrait as targeted advertising, and generic advertising which doesn’t require a portrait.
11 – Descriptive, promotion
12 – Targeted advertising, leading, relay
13 – Targeted advertising
14 – Promotional, documentary, branding , group identity
15 – Health information, targeted advertising (employment), statement of brand values (equality/diversity)
16 – Nostalgia, group identity
17 – Targeted advertising
18 – Branding
19 – Promotional, group identity
20 – Branding, targeted advertising (activity specific)
21 – Branding, targeted advertising
22 – Branding, targeted advertising
I’ve gone out today with my camera phone, to begin exploring the theme of taking photos, on a neutral background. The aim is to remove all identity of the place (context), so that the subject remains as the only focus. Does this draw the eye into the subject detail.
The wind was too strong to do this without an assistant today. I’ll go back out tomorrow and ask a member of the public to help me. However I took some photos trying to minimise the background, and this will at least give me a comparison for when I successfully complete the exercise.
I tried to use the wall as a background. But I didn’t put my phone onto manual, so I have lost the detail with the light.
Too much background distracts from the detail. I may take this into Lightroom tomorrow and see if I can delete the background and enhance the detail, which is there.
This is the better photo. I will go back with my Vello extension tubes and white paper and see what I come back with.
This has the potential to make a good photo. A bit of sellotape to move the background rosehip, string to move some of the foreground, Vello extension tubes for a macro shot with the natural green background. The background will have no detail as the vello ensure an incredibly narrow depth of field.
A natural background that’s too distracting. I will use some of my macro photography for the exercise, because good macro photos with natural backgrounds can be highly effective.
It’s been a process from evaluating the photos in camera and windows photo viewer, lightroom review, making two series of preferred photos, another review and getting down to 48 photos.
I turned those into undeveloped contact sheets and sought critique and feedback. The aim was to review strengths and weaknesses of composition, subject and technique.
The next step was to develop the photos, select my favourite 12 and then cross reference these with the feedback from others.
The photos that we all agreed on I cut out and put them in one pile, and have then re-evaluated the photos that I preferred and that others gave feedback on.
I know have 12 photos that are probably in the final series and 11 reserves (see below). I have reserves because my series is York – A Photographic History. I intend to cover a wide history so I may take an image or two out once I’ve double checked my history research. The series will be a pdf book format with an image on the left page and accompanying text on the right. I will arrange the photos chronologically so that the book reads as a sequence.
Probable Final Series
I have received input and feedback from several people in relation to photo selection and photo development. My heartfelt thanks
I have reworked this image following a suggestion from one of my peers. The guidance was to try the photo with the man, but to keep the background without the car through the arch. The first image is the original as taken in camera. I want to keep the same crop ratio as my edited version from yesterday (image 2). I have placed the man further back so that I could include him and retain the crop ratio.
Which works best? Please let me know what you prefer and why?