Before and After – Rework – Which is Best?

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?

Many thanks.

Enjoying Developing for Square Mile – This Weeks Learning – Lightroom Tutorial Develop Module Global Developments Next Week

I am currently developing photos for assignment one – Square Mile. It’s been a lot of fun. Hard work because I want to present my photos in a manner that I’m happy with. One of the keys for me has been to seek guidance and critique from others.  I have now established which photos I want to include. My next step is to cross reference those with the feedback I have received from others. I will include the photos that we all agree on and then review and reselected to make up the final 12.

The most important thing for me this week has been to follow the guidance in the FiP manual – to continue even if you don’t feel like it. I wasn’t well on Saturday and didn’t enjoy the photography but I continued with it. I felt really disheartened and felt that I made really awful photos. They are much better than I thought and include all the aspects of learning from Workflow.

Lightroom tutorial 4 – Develop module – Global development – I’ve put that on the back burner this week so that I can focus on my assignment. I will get it written and posted next week.

Have a fab weekend.

Square Mile – Contact Sheets

Here are the contact sheets of the photos for Square Mile, after the initial evaluation.  There are 41 photos in total. I am going to get this down to 24, once I have reviewed these, and make two series of 12, which I will then ask for critique from my peers, before making the final selection. The series will be a historical journey through York from the first century up to the present day. I have not developed these photos as yet, I will do so when I am down to the final 24. These photos all have the clarity that I desire and fit into my themes, so I am more concerned with which ones fit together rather than developing them at the moment. Although I have lebelled these Series 1 and Series 2, I may well swap photos around once I have developed them.

My aim is to have the final series include capturing stillness and movement, light and shadow, using different white balance to emphasise warmth, sunshine, diffuse light, coolness and emphasise linear structure. Also I want to use the research from Tom Hunter and Dan Holdsworth to bring the photos together in a series that is also sequential in nature.

I welcome critique and feedback, so if you wish to comment, then please do so.

Series 1

Series 2

 

Series 1

Lightroom (_DSC4657.NEF and 24 others)Lightroom (_DSC4657.NEF and 24 others)

Lightroom (_DSC4657.NEF and 22 others)Lightroom (_DSC4657.NEF and 22 others)

Integrating Learning from Workflow Coursework into Assignment One -Feedback From Lyndsey Jameson – Time is a Necessity for Creativity

I would love to say that yesterday’s photography for assignment one -Square Mile – was enjoyable, but it wasn’t.  Neither my physical or mental health are good at the moment, so it was hard work. It was made easier by a friend coming with me and being nearby.

I have been able to integrate technical skills, light and shadow, movement and story telling into my photography and I’m pleased with that.

I will review my photography during the week. My ideas for the assignment have changed over the past week and especially over the past couple of days. I really enjoy this process of allowing the spark of an initial idea to form over time. My process once I have an idea is to think intensely about it, then deliberately focus on something different. Do some research then take my focus to something else. I also meditate and when other ideas come to me I focus back on my breath and let the thoughts go. Having this gap allows the subconscious to process the ideas and all of a sudden when I’m watching TV or reading an idea will come to me about of the blue. Then I really focus on exploring that, and after a while I put my focus elsewhere.

I have gone from three ideas, down to one and with further thought I now have, what I believe is a strong plan for the series and how I want to present it.

My assignment will be a brief history of York presented as a photo book. I have valued the photo books that I have more than digital presentation. One one page I will have the photo and on the page next to it I will have the written history associated with that image. The first photo will link to the first century and then consecutively up to 2015.

I received feedback from Lyndsey Jameson in relation to my review of two of her paintings, which I will respond to once I’ve processed it fully. There are two things that will help me to develop my photography and my studies that particularly stand out. I like my initial process of critique, picking two images and then writing my initial thoughts. However I missed an overarching theme of Lyndsey’s art because I hadn’t looked through other paintings of hers. I missed some important symbology (being to focused on interpreting detail didn’t help either because I then introduced my symbology). My tutor Jayne Taylor has also discussed the necessity to look for symbolism in photography, as i had missed a critical metaphor when reviewing Walker-Evans. Lyndsey also talked through her process of moving from an idea to execution. The thing I gained most from this was the importance of discussing and developing ideas with friends and colleagues. When I see the results of OCA students such as Sarah Jane Field, it’s apparent how they involve others in the development and production of their work (and their assessment marks reflect this). I need to make more use of the OCA Student website for this.

References

http://www.lyndseyjameson.com/

https://uvcsjf.wordpress.com/

Assignment One – Square Mile – Further Development of Ideas

Tomorrow I will plan a walk so that I can go around all of the places below for Sqaure Mile. I will also take a letter on the walk so that I can collaborate with the public. My aim is still to use the Johari window theme with collaboration, and York facts. Complete both projects and then when I develop the photos I can see which works better as a series.

 

Guy Fawkes Born Stonegate (street near minster) 1570 – Baptised at St Micheal le Belfrey (York was the centre of the Catholic revolt) Plot to kill King james the first and restore a catholic monarch to the throne

Dick Turpin – Grave – St George Cemetery, Lead Mill Lane (off of Piccadilly)

York – the most haunted city in Europe (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/aug/10/arts.artsnews (16/08/2017))

Mad Alice – Lunds Court Snickleway – Mad Alice killed her husband after suffering years of violence at his hands. After murdering him she was hanged at York Castle in 1825 – between Swinegate and old peter gate.

365 Pubs – The Yorkshire Terrier by York brewery – 10 Stonegate, The Golden Fleece – Pavement (better place of transition – and wont replicate Stonegate from Guy Fawkes), Kings Arms, Kings Staith – (transition Yes, but so photographed it’s a cliché)

Unrepealed Law – In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1568475/Ten-stupidest-laws-are-named.html (accessed on 16/08/2017))

(Scots and Parliamentarian siege of York – Walmgate Bar – Lamel Hill 1644 – Canons attacked York) (Battle of Marston Moor – defeated the Royalists of York) – Oliver Cromwell

Could Photo the Spread Eagle Pub (Marstons Brewery) from Walmgate Bar

York and the Vikings – Coppergate- Jorvik  All saints day 866 Halfdan and Ivar the Boneless took york, retreated then retook it in the following year – vikings were on the whole hard-working tradesmen and not as savage as they are made out to be. Made Pottery, Swords (blacksmiths), Shipbuilders etc. St Olaves Chrurch (olafe) Marygate – St Marys Bishophill – coppergate/Jorvik centre (transition – busy)

Layered dig showing ground levels changes from 1st century to modern era at the back of the Library

York Minster – From Petergate and include St Michael le Belfrey or from College Street Minster Yard with the tudor buildings

Rowntrees – Tanners Moat, castlgate (historic sites of rowntrees or haxby road (now nestle)

Psychiatry and its modernisation in York –The Retreat 1790 (quakers) following death of Hannah Mills at Bootham. William Tuke, private rooms, non violence, modernised psychiatric care, dignity

Heslington Road

The Shambles – Diagon Alley (Harry Potter) – Anglo Saxon The Great Flesh Shambles (fleshammeles) because of the Butchers (see if York Coin Collectors has a Potter themed Coin) Transition – Shambles from Kings Square, snickleways into market

Constantine the Great – St Leonards Place (theatre Royal) and York Minster

Lightroom Tutorial 3 – Develop Module Presets

Lightroom Develop Module

It would be helpful if you opened Lightroom and then clicked on the folder that you used for tutorial 2, Library module. If you didn’t make one then any folder will do, but it would be best if there were only 5 or 6 photos in it.

Once we have opened a folder we are in the Library module. You don’t need to click on develop as there are keyboard short cuts. Press D to go to the develop module and then if you want to go back to the library at any point then press G. To remove the side and bottom menus press tab │←→│.

Your screen should now look like this.

Develop-1

There are small arrows in the circles. If you click on arrows 1 and 3 you will notice that the develop menu has now disappeared and so has your row of photos at the bottom. This is really useful as you can then develop your photos in a larger format, and you can click on any of the arrows to bring them back. However, you don’t need to even do that. Hover over any of the arrows and the menu will show, and you can then use those features. I tend to have the develop menu (top) and the tool menu (right) permanently open, but you will find out what’s best for you by experimentation. For now, press tab and bring all of the menus back up.

The first thing that I always do when in the develop menu is to remove chromatic aberration and enable profile corrections. Chromatic aberrations are sometimes known as “Colour Fringing” and it is to do with how light at different wavelengths are brought to the focal point slightly differently, so you can get a blurred edge, more often of one colour. The lens correction is based upon the known distortions produced by a specific lens.

It’s best to adjust this with all of your photos in this collection at once. If I do this individually I forget some of the time. To choose all of your photos press Ctrl A, then use the right hand side slider until you find this.

Develop-2

Tick the check box for remove chromatic aberration and also for Enable Profile Corrections. You can choose which lens you were using. If you use a camera without interchangeable lenses then I don’t think you can correct the profile. My Fuji bridge camera doesn’t have a profile here so I can’t correct it. Once you have ticked the boxes press sync. (The above photo says auto sync, but it will say Sync on your screen).  If you have used multiple lenses you will need to go through them individually, but I mostly use one lens on one shoot. Your screen will now have this check box.

Develop-3

Although you can sync all settings and it can speed up workflow, I wouldn’t reccoment this until you have got an understanding of the different develop tools. Some photos will require different settings for optimal developing, so it isnt best to sync everything. When you are used to the develop tools and can make a fair assumption of how they will affect other photos you can then sycn settings by selecting multiple photos (Ctrl and left click). The settings will be synchronised with the photo that you are currently editing and applied to the others.

At the moment just tick the same 7 boxes that I have ticked above (deselct the rest by clicking on them if they are already ticked) and then press Synchronize.

Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets are global develop settings that Lightroom has built in as options for you to use if you wish. They provide a range of options to develop photos and can speed up our workflow. You can use a preset and then add your own adjustments to these, or you may choose not to use them at all, but they are definitely worth exploring.

Develop-4

1- Change background colour, 2- Navigator preview image, 3 – Lightroom presets

Before we use the presets consider changing the background of your screen. Right-click to the side of your photo and click the background colour of your preference. I have recently moved over to a white background. My reason being that most of my photos are displayed online, on a white background. Having the same background in Lightroom means that I am developing a photo as it will be seen online. The colour of the background alters the way that our brain views the light and colour (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion)

The navigator is brilliant. You can change the image ratio to zoom in or out, which you can also do with Ctrl + – (no Ctrl 0 in Lightroom like there is in Photoshop). You can increase the zoom further by using the double arrows next to the 2:1 ratio. The fab part of navigation is when you then start to explore the pre-sets. Most frequently I use the General Presets, occasional use of the Colour Presets, and rarely the Black and White Presets.

Exercise

Open the General Preset menu by clicking on the arrow to the left of it. Hover over each of the options whilst looking at the image above in the navigator. You get a preview of how the pre-set will adjust your photo. Do the same with the Colour Pre-sets. Click on one of them and it will adjust your photo, and then you can press Ctrl Z to undo the change.

There is also a + – symbol next to where it says pre-sets in the same panel. This is useful when you realise that you make a lot of similar global changes in your photo developing. You can make the changes to a photo and then press the + symbol, give your preset a name, and you have your own preset. This saves time, but get used to developing your photos first (Tutorial 4 and 5 will explore global and local developing).

I don’t use the copy and paste, you can add your own develop settings into the currently selected preset, or you can copy a presets settings and then paste them into a photo. I am not familiar with this process and I don’t feel comfortable changing around these settings by using the copy and paste. You do not need to use the copy and paste option as once you have used a preset you can still make your own local and global developments to your photo anyway.

Lightroom History

When you are developing photos in Lightroom you are developing a full size virtual copy in a non-destructive manner. It doesn’t matter how many changes that you make, you can always go back to the original settings. You can do this by using Ctrl Z, which is fine for going back a couple of settings, but what if you have used the tools (tutorial 4 and 5) and have made lots of brush strokes and altered a lot of settings and don’t like what you have done? Use the slider on the left of the screen and go down to history. As you haven’t adjusted anything other than chromatic aberrations and lens profile then your History won’t reveal much. However you can see that in my history settings it shows a few of the developments that I have made:- Dark tones, dark tones, lightones, vibrance, clarity, add brush stroke etc.

Develop-5

I have made some awful edits on mine and I don’t like them. I can now step back to anywhere in the history. By hovering over any of the settings, I can view how my photo looked at that point by looking in the navigator as I hover over the history changes. Then click on a change that I want to go back to. Being able to view our adjustment history in the navigator is an excellent tool from Lightroom (Adobe)

Exercise

Click on one of the Lightroom Colour Presets, we are doing this to ensure that you have made a change to your photo (a basic development), now you can compare your developed photo with the original. Press Y and your screen will look like this.

Develop-6

By clicking where it says YY you can alter how you compare the before and after settings, side by side, above and below, or split view side by side and split view above and below. Give it a go. To go back to having just your developed photo (after) on screen press Y.

When you are developing a photo and you want a quick view of the original photo, you dont have to see it side by side. Press the \ and it will bring up the original and then press it again to return to your current stage of development.

I personally do not use the three boxes to the right of where it says before and after because I don’t fully understand how to use them. If I want to go back to any previous settings I just use the history brush.

Next time, in tutorial 4,  we will look at the global developing tools and see how we can begin to develop the whole photo. In tutorial 5 we will make local adjustments.

Review – Tom Hunter

Brief:-

Tom Hunter http://www.tomhunter.org/gallery/ – Look at the two series Life and Death in Hackney and Unheralded Stories. Do you notice the connection between the people and their surroundings? How does Hunter achieve this? What kinds of places are these photographs set in? Are they exotic, special or ordinary, everyday places? There’s something ‘mythical’ and yet also ‘everyday’ about Hunter’s pictures. Look carefully at one or two images and try to pick out the features that suggest these two different qualities.

Tom Hunter provides information about his art alongside the two galleries required for review by the brief, and I have been able to add to this with further reading online. Hunter uses local people in their own environment, a place that is familiar for he and them. The photos are staged with “sitters” (not models). They are local people who he either knows, or he discovers locally. Although the photos are meticulously staged so that they represent a painting from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the sitters are so familiar with the environment that only a few appear to be staged photos. Hand on heart – I have no idea about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and no art history, so I have had to do some research)

Hunter gave an interview to the Guardian Newspaper in which he says “The whole idea was to elevate the status of my sitters; to take the attributes of classical painting and put them on to my sitters. That was my political motivation. I’ve always been political, and it’s very important to me that people don’t see Hackney as a mythical place. It is a real place, and it’s somewhere everyone up and down the country can relate to. These things are going on in every town and county. You don’t have to go to Afghanistan to find a war zone. People are shooting each other every day in Hackney.” (Aitkenhead, D; 2005)

Do I understand the political intention behind staging people in their local setting to reenact news-stories, as a way of engaging the viewer with what is going on in front of their eyes? Yes. Do I understand the propaganda instigated by the capitalist minority so that they can further influence and control the behaviour of the proletariat, and corrupt their minds so that they scorn those who live an alternate lifestyle or who are socially excluded, and that this is social control? Yes I do.

Most of the external of the settings appear to be edgelands. The spaces between the city and the countryside, and they also appear to be less affluent. Hell that’s not true, they appear to be places of poverty and degradation. We are seeing marginalised people in marginilised communities. The kind of places that governments make quick promises to, and take slow actions about. These kind of areas can be found in cities and towns throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Interestingly the London Borough of Hackney is no edgeland. Its is in the heart of London and borders with the City of London (business district).

I do not see these places as being exotic (foreign, non-native, tropical) and only three of four of these pieces of art appear to have anything mythical about them. Maybe if I had a history with fine art I may have seen more mystery and myth within the series. Staging photos so that they mimic famous paintings does not necessarily create a magical feeling to those with no knowledge of those works. Although having read from Hunter site, his interview in the Guardian and a review by Robert Wilkes (Wilkes, R; 2014) I do have an understanding of the intent of adding an aesthetical feel to political issues as a way of engaging political dialogue.

Exploring the everyday and mythical

DMJ0104Z_09.tifFig 1

My thoughts –  A dilapidated house from the 1960’s. I would have guessed at an earlier period if it had not been for two miniature colour photos of children on the fireplace to the right of the scene. The woman is alive (colour of skin) and is wearing lipstick and eyeliner that is still very neat with no smudging,(so we are not viewing heroin chic of the late 90’s and no apparent drunkenness). Its 8.50 and I would guess PM as there is the reflection of a light in the painting of the female religious figure on the wall – top left. She is divorced and the wedding band is now on her right hand. Is she preparing to go out for the night to meet her friends? Despite this she is grieving and feels alone, dirty ashamed and unloveable (Symbolism – empty made bed, that’s stained and dirty, the floor has no carpet, the wall paper is terribly faded, there is no longer a mirror above the fireplace and there is now just white paint). She sees herself as a fallen woman, prostrating before Jesus and Mary (Mary statue, Jesus Painting, Cross on necklace on the Jesus painting, female religious painting). There is clearly the overlay of the myth of the fallen woman – a label that puts women on a pedestal as being saintly then humiliates them for being human, and the myth of Christ as portrayed (Catholicism – WHITE (WTF?), halo, saintly, GOD in the form of man).

The reality is that it could be any one of us in this situation and at different times throughout our life we all feel alone, ashamed, tired, grief and not good enough. When compared to Death of Sardanapalus by Delacroix and become aware that a man is laying on a bed staring out from his bed at an orgy, with a woman dead at his feet, we are then reminded that the woman on Hunters bed has suffered at the hands of man. That is so familiar that most of the 3.6b women on the planet can relate to. The myth that is alluded to is a familiar and frequent reality for many.

the-way-home-high-2009-emailFig 2

My thoughts – When I first viewed the series Life and Death in Hackney, this was the photo that I stopped at. The reason being that all of the others looked like candid or street photography. However this photo did not. It reminded me of a painting, and this was the one photo that looked staged. The canal has indeed become a stage so that Hunter could recreate the painting Ophelia by John Everett Millais. The blue trousers, the grassy bank and shrub with its flowers and bloom and its petals in the canal, provide a very surreal scene. However the bridge and industrial buildings in the background bring us back to the present day. The title suggests that there has been a misadventure on the way home, but the staging stops me from having emotion relating to it. I don’t believe the story because of the staging. I find that is a shame. Because the story is tragic, and it is tragic because it is real. Hunter read a newspaper article about a woman who had been found dead in a canal. This leaves me with the dilemma and tension between the beauty and art of the photo, and the tragedy of the narrative. I do not like that feeling, but its an incredibly clever piece of art that brings together myth, tradgedy and beauty – all of which are very real and very human.

References

Fig 1 – Hunter, T; 2010; Death of Coltelli; At http://www.tomhunter.org/unheralded-stories-series/

Fig 2 – Hunter, T; 1998; The Way Home; At http://www.tomhunter.org/life-and-death-in-hackney/

Aitkenhead, D; 2005; Life is Grand; In The Guardian [online] at https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/dec/03/photography (accessed on 14/06/2017)

Wilkes, R; 2014; Reinterpreting the Pre-Raphaelites: Tom Hunter; At https://dantisamor.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/reinterpreting-the-pre-raphaelites-tom-hunter/