Yay, I’ve just had a lunch date with a couple of friends and fellow artists. It’s done me so much good. I’ve come away feeling refreshed.
My motivation is high, and I’ve just finished the third piece of embroidery, but I haven’t had the energy to get out with my camera. However, I have been taking photos on my phone, which is keeping my foot in, and I’ve just been reminded of the value of smart phone photography.
Richard and Action Man would like to wish you all peace and joy. May you be well, may you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, may you be happy and have the means for happiness, may you live with ease.
Cork is one of the most beautifully decorated cities that I know. They really go for it with their Christmas decorations.
Action Man and I took a walk this morning so that we could enjoy the lights.
Some of the shop window displays are truly wonderful.
Brief:- In this first exercise, you’ll use fragments of still life images to create a combined design. Arrange a still life set-up that includes a background (preferably an ironed white or black sheet) and three distinct objects. It would be helpful if at least one object was sized at least 0.5m or you’ll be photographing everything in macro. Use either sunlight from a window or one single source of electric light to cast shadows and bring out the 3D form of the objects. Photograph around the objects, both close and wide shots, not all from the front. Capture the edges and the lines of the objects as well as defined shapes within them – for example the sound holes of a violin. Capture edges where light and shadow create a sense of depth or recess. Take pictures of the textures and colours of the objects. Think of this project as collecting impressions and perceptions of these objects and let this guide your camera. You’ll need approximately 20 well-exposed images.
The idea behind this exercise is to imaginatively combine the different photographs into a single conclusive design. Have a look at some Cubist paintings and sculpture as inspiration. Notice how one object blends into another and how different viewpoints of the same object co-exist in surprising ways. The classic example of this is Picasso’s combination of the front and profile of a face, as in Weeping Woman, which you can see on the Tate’s website. Then look at Brendan Fowler’s Spring 2011 – Fall 2012 on the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) website, which attempts similar arrangements with photography. Combine the photos by arranging prints or by using Photoshop to assemble the images as different layers. Cut the images and choose only fragments of each image, matching up lines so they flow and placing shapes in meaningful juxtapositions as defined points in the composition. You should find the composition grows into a large picture. When you’ve finished the design, photograph it or save it as a finished picture.
The final result is not as good as I would have liked, and I certainly could go back an rework this photo. It doesn’t fulfill the brief in relation to cutting and layering parts of different images to combine shapes and planes.
What it does do is make use of parts of three different photos, which have been shot from different perspectives, using the same single light source and turned them into a fourth photo. It hints at the kookaburra being created out of the shadows of the other subjects. I followed a YouTube tutorial on pixel dispersion to mingle the shadow from Action Man with that from the first kookaburra. It took a while to get used to, and once complete I felt the image was somewhat flat. I decided then to make use of the third bird, to see if I could make it appear as if it was being formed from the shadow. The result is OK. Now that I have an idea of how to use the technique I could make better use of it in the future.
I haven’t followed the brief if you’re a purist, but I am pleased with my interpretation.
Having recently received a small amount of compensation I have bought an Olympus OMD EM 1 mk ii. YouTube is a wonderful place to watch tutorials so that I can get to know the camera and how to set it up. Having to camera’s means that I can choose and attach the lens at home for each camera, and hopefully not have to make any changes whilst out. This will reduce the likelihood of getting dust on the sensor. It also means that I have quick options whilst on a shoot. This will be useful at Farnborough airshow, where I want a wide-angle lens for the static aircraft and telephoto for those in the air.
Having a break from my studies until after Farnborough has been wonderful. It has meant that I have caught up with so much of my personal photography projects. I have been able to complete much of my eating disorders photography, although I have no idea how I am going to shoot for PICA or orthorexia, these are also eating disorders, but I trust my creative process.
Naturally I have been walking around with my camera strapped around my neck. It would be wrong not to right? I have been walking around the same places that I have taken many photo’s previously, as I haven’t had the opportunity to travel this past week. I was fully aware that the majority of photo’s that I was taken would be deleted, so why do it?
Photography is about observation, learning to see and gaining understanding of light conditions, and for me it’s mindfulness. If my camera is in my hand I walk slowly, I look around for opportunities to explore composition, to find something new, to spot a bug or a butterfly and to exploit light and tone. This is all good practice and makes me more intuitive as a photographer. Mostly though I love photography.
The recent weather has been a wonderful opportunity to get out with my camera and explore snow.
I had heard that a camera on auto will underexpose as a way of compensating for the brightness of the snow, and this means that you lose detail and texture.
The morning was very cloudy and I shoot in manual rather than auto, and was aware that setting the white balance to cloudy would add a touch of warmth to the photo.
The best way to learn is explore and experiment, so I bracketed most of the photos that I took. This has given me the opportunity to learn how I should expose in snow, to get the results that I want.
Two mistakes – I only used cloudy for my white balance and also only used spot metering. This means I’ve only garnered partial information relative to exposing photographs in snow.
I prefer spot metering so that I can expose the subject/object correctly, which is great if you have one. This has worked very well on specific photos, and I’m happy to make adjustments in Lightroom to develop the background. Evaluative (centre weighted or scene) may have been more appropriate for general landscape/seascape, especially when trying to shoot weather fronts over the sea.
On the whole I have preferred the under exposed photos, but that’s because of the drama in the sky. The correctly exposed photos were better for the subject and for the snow.
Were my photos a true reflection on what the conditions were on the day? Not the ones I have selected. Why? The feel and mood are personal expressions of my journey and the walk I took, under exposed, moody skies, drama, emotion – they present a narrative which I will present on my blog either tomorrow or Saturday. It will fit in with my coursework on sequence.
Although I stuck with the cloudy setting I do know how to change the colour temperature of a photo using white balance and camera, and believe that a touch of warmth was correct on the day. To make the clouds any cooler or warmer would have looked unnatural.
Centre weighted or scene average could have improved the land and seascapes, but again I feel competent in how I can develop those photos to enhance the scene around what I exposed for, other than the weather fronts, which turned out poor.
If You’re not shooting in auto then you can alter the exposure to capture the detail that you want, snow, cloud, weather, landscape.
Biggest mistake, not checking the ISO, which meant I could have had much lower iso and had more control over shutter speed and capture more movement. Five hours of photography and didn’t remember to check and alter my ISO. I just assumed the quick shutter speeds were due to the snow. A school boy error that I feel stupid admitting. But hey. This is my learning log and reflects my learning.