Exercise 3.4 – Documenting Change

Brief:- Everything changes, weathers, grows or otherwise shows signs of transformation. Changes in the weather can create a drastic change in the appearance of a place. Cooking something changes it. People tend to look sprightly in the morning and worn out at night. Make a sequence of photographs that shows the same subject, from the same position, but in different states. You can choose any subject you like, but clearly identify it and note down the conditions of change you want to show. Produce at least three images in a sequence – a triptych – that shows the three states of the subject and communicates the change you’ve identified.

This is my first attempt at this exercise, but I have another conceptual piece that I aim to finish over the next two or three days.

Note down the conditions of change you want to show! ummm, no. My reason for this is that I didn’t want to show anything, I wanted to explore how different weather and shooting at different times during would impact the subject. It was an experiment. There are times that I can go out and shoot, and then re shoot at a later date, and times when this is not possible for me. There are times of day that I don’t go out. So for me to explore lighting and conditions was the goal. Having read this section before beggining any of the exercise meant that I took these photos over a longer period of time.

Grid-No-Layers

Now I must explain that I went back to sort of the same spot, many many times, but never quite knew where that spot was, and didnt record the focal length, so these are a bit higgledy piggledy (love that saying). The changes are lighting and the weather. The subject is meant to be the post and the weed/twig, and to explore how these have been affected. In the first photo I like the clarity of the weedy thing, and notice how the water has spread the strand apart and frozen them into place. The second photo has mid morning winter sunlight that defines the edge of the post, makes the ice clearer so that you can see the grass below, and adds colour to the twig. The thirs has diffused lighting, and with the exposure for the snow the post and weedy twig are almost silhouttes. I can only say yuch about the fourth photo. Its horrid. So why have I included it? Because it fits in with my aim of exploration. It was taken at 2.30 in the afternoon, one month ago. Without water, ice or snow, the grass hides the colour of the sticks and this suggests to me diffused lighting on an overcast day – but I didnt record what the weather was like.

The learning for me to take away from is to explore how light and weather affects a subject, but take a pad with me to record the position, time of day and lighting conditions.

Documenting Change

Documenting Change

Documenting Change

Documenting Change

Re-Worked Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology

Thank you so much for all of the helpful comments on my original. I have taken them on board, and I think the most important learning for me was in relation to the curtain tie back. I felt an attraction to that photo, I liked the neutral tones which emphasised the thread of the tie, and I also liked the contrast between the straight drape and the curve of the nylon/silk of the tie. However this series is about rope. Its so easy to choose a photo based on preference without realising that it doesnt fit with the theme.

I took on board the comment in relation to having the lobster pot in the middle, however with replacing the tie back I chose to use a second lobster pot, so have placed them on the left and right of the middle row, and the purple chord and rope in the middle. This means the tope row is predominantly beighe rope, the middle row is colour, and the bottom row includes rope and metal. The border is now smaller, as is the gap between the photos.

Rope-2-no-layers

The brief asks us to record peoples comments, so here they are.

12 thoughts on “Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology”

  1. A really impressive set of photographs Richard. Worth the effort in assembling and post processing. The variety of rope is enormous and the range of colours surprising. The boat is different, but it does not disrupt. To my eye it causes pause for thought. On the other hand the far left shot in the middle row looks like a rope tie back on a curtain rather than rope on the shore. I think the size of the border is a matter of personal taste. I like your wide one. Your mid grey is bocming your signature perhaps? Lovely. Well done.

    Liked by you and 1 other person

  2. Really like the idea and also the variety of rope you have found.
    Just hope you were not trying to “string” us along – sorry could not resist a pun.
    Great piece of work non the less

    Liked by you

  3. Good set of pictures again Richard. I love the first crab/lobster pot one with the geometric pattern coming from just off centre, almost like a Spirograph. I think I might be tempted to put this in the centre? I agree with Sarah the 4th picture does oddly look like a curtain tie back. I think the 8th one also has some nice textures and colour. Well done and I look forward to seeing your final arrangement

    Liked by you

Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology

Brief:- Decide on a specific subject and work on making a series of photographs over several days. It’s best to choose a subject you have daily access to – your workplace, your home, a friend or a particular activity, for example – but you must be clear at the outset what your subject is. You have two important pieces of information before you’ve even begun to take pictures: you have your subject and you have your method of presentation. Now think about how you’ll approach the subject itself. For example, making wide shots from a distance would be very different from getting close into the action. When you’ve made the final selection of photographs, print them and place them in a grid or linear series. Invite people you know to comment on them and note down their responses.

This series is not my planned version, which I am still working on, however when opportunity beckoned I took it. During my recent holiday on Lindisfarne I was aware of how much rope was lying around. All of which had some connection to fishing, some of which was coloured and bright, others not so. I figured that I could make use of the rope for a typology.

Rope-Grid

My Favourite things by Michael Wolf is colourful and very pleasing upon my eye and I am glad the coursework asked us to review his series (here). I had this in mind whilst I was photographing the rope.

Presenting the different photos in a grid has not been easy. Differing colours, textures and other items has made the layout challenging.  Yet again I find that the midtone grey is a very suitable background, and it allows the images to stand out so that the focus is upon them. Perhaps I need to reduce the size of the border and spaces between the photos? I’m not sure.

What I like about this kind of series is the consistency. Even though there are background objects (boat, anchor, chain) the ropes with their different texture, colours and uses, are all prominent.

To add to the consitency I tried to get a similar white balance, exposure and contrast in Lightroom, and then took the photos into Photoshop, set the crop ratio to 3:2, and turned some of the photos around so that they are all in portrait. I cropped closer to the rope in all of the photos, but the boat doesnt match the others. However, I like the photo and it highlights a different use of the rope.

It has been a fun exercise to complete whilst I am still developing a much larger typography which is coming soon.

I would be grateful for any critique, feedback and suggestions. Have a fab day.

Review – Michael Wolf – My Favourite Things

Hong-Kong-Break-1--5-pieces-2015Fig. 1. Hong Kong Break #1 (5 pieces) (2015)

Initial thoughts – Similar verticles create ease on the eye and link the photographs together. Similar tones. I like the fact that the workers taking their breaks are only partially visible. The apparent poses follow the theme of suggesting a person taking a break. The lines, tone and glimpses of the subjects create a series that has consistency and flow.

Hong-Kong-Flora-1-2014Fig. 2. Hong Kong Flora #1 (2014)

Initial thoughts – Although the photos have different colour schemes they also have a similar tone. The grid format of presentation works well here and emphasis the shapes of the windows and pipes. I believe that this works well because it highlights that the flora is not the main subject per say. These are not biological photos of flowers and plants, but they represent the hardiness and gentleness of nature in over coming the harshness of man made structures. However, I also find there is a beauty in the combination of structure and nature, and I think its the balance that is provided between the hard lines and gentle flora.

The emphasis on part three of the courseowrk is communication and narrative. A story is told in both of these examples of Wolf’s photography, and an individual photo would not have the strength that his series convey. Presentation as a series reinforces the visual alliterative, and the lateral and logical processes required to deconstruct photography and discover a personal interpretation.

 

Illustrations

Figure 1; Wolf, M; 2015; Hong Kong Break #1 (5 pieces); Online AT: http://photomichaelwolf.com/#my-favourite-thing-groups-2/6 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 2; Wolf, M; Hong Kong Flora #1; Online AT: http://photomichaelwolf.com/#my-favourite-thing-groups-2/10 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

References

Gallery Fifty One; 2018; Michael Wolf : Blind walls and night trees – My favourite things: Online AT: http://www.gallery51.com/?navigatieid=237&exhibitionid=110 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Michael Wolf (photographer); Online AT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wolf_(photographer) (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Review – Dan Holdsworth

Brief:-As research for this assignment, look at the work of two photographers and note down your responses. Dan Holdsworth http://www.danholdsworth.com. Why do you think he often works at night? Is it because there’s less people and traffic about to clutter the view? Is it because of the effect of light in a long exposure and the sense of artificiality or ‘strangeness’ that brings to the image? What happens to your interpretation when the views are distant, wide and the main emphasis is on the forms of the man-made landscape? Is there a sense that these images are both objective (because you are looking out at the world) and subjective (because they seem to deliberately conjure up a mood)?

Initial Thoughts

I am aware that when I make my initial notes and present them in my learning log, I need to expand upon these to turn them into a critique. My notes often form an impression of my thoughts but the lack of detail can leave people unsure of my meaning. However I am going still going to record my initial thoughts for each of Holdsworth’s series that I have looked over, in my own way,  and then answer the questions at the end, followed by a reflection.

Spacial Objects 2015

Spacial Objects no 17 C-type print

Physical installation, large dimensions, over two meters tall. Constructed shapes, bold colours, reds, greens and blues of various hues. Constructed linear shapes, angles, bright highlights, deep shadows, some blacks but not many. Geometrical.

I am aware that this series is not photography, however it has relevance to me for two reasons. I had no understanding of photographic series before beginning Foundations in Photography. I had been working on a series about homelessness, but wasn’t aware of how to link photographs together in any way other than typography. Spacial Objects is typographical, coloured geometric shapes that have the same physical dimensions. But more than this they are of similar tone and use of highlights and shadows. The geometry is of linear angles, but there are circular patterns as part of the texture.

The other relevance to me from this series is seeing how an artist develops their photography over time and builds upon existing pieces of work. His series California from 2003 explores man-made structures and geometry; Mirrors from 2014 is a representation of natural form and structure where angular geometry is introduced by the axis of symmetry and thereby bringing man into the natural world; Spacial objects – a physical installation – man made geometrical shapes, which are a reflectiin of the best of man made and natural structure.

Mirrors FTP 2014

Mirrors FTP 2014 cg05a C-type print

Landscape, geology, rock forms taken from a distance, possible from above (flying over?) 180 degree symmetry rotated around mid-point. Muted colours of natural landscape possibly from igneous rock. Good tonal range, few blacks. Ice and snow in some of the photos in the series. Excellent depth of field, crisp, sharp photos. What is not being shown? Why has the half of the image that is used to create the symmetry included and not the other half?

Upon the first viewing of this series I have to say that I was somewhat perplexed. I asked my self:- What do I think he is trying to convey? and I responded that I had no idea, they are pretty photos that demonstrate excellent photographic technique, and are a great example of how a series of photos work well together. Similar tonal range and image ratio. Similar in hue and saturation, a typology of igneous rock formations.

I had to take a break and re view the photos. This time I asked:- What is missing from this series of photographs? Now were getting somewhere. I do not see any signs of life. No animals, no trees, no people. And what I now see, after reflecting upon what is missing, is that Holdsworth is using symmetry to bring the man-made “marks” into the natural form of the earth. The mirrored formations have sharp edges and create unnatural patterns which add an artificial dymension and destruction into a part of the world that man has not damaged through encroachment. It’s a very clever way to highlight the relationship between nature and man, without showing anything of man.

Blackout 2010

Blackout 2010 11 C-type print

Metamorphic rock formations, snow-covered mountains/glaciers at night. Either artificially lit, or long exposures then when digitally developed the skies have been darkened to black. I suspect there is a form of artificial lighting. There is light drop off at the far side of the scene and highlights at the bottom left. If the photos were taken with bulb exposure there would be some light drop off, but the sky would be brighter and we would see stars or clouds. The scenes are not lit by the moon. To have that level of lighting the moon would need to be higher in the sky than is suggested by the lack of light in the distance, and there would not be light drop off.

Surreal, ghostly, as if looking at the surface of the moon whilst being in a “moon rover” The photographs in the series have a definite sense of space, depth and timelessness. We are shown the “unseen”. Very few people will have seen these landscapes at night, and the artificial lighting means that we are exposed to the light that resides within darkness. This series appears more metaphorical to me, with the psychological aspect of looking within our shadow to see our light. I remain unconvinced by the series and of my analysis of it.

California 2003

California 2003 02 C-type print

This is a small series of only three photographs. A road, a factory and a car park (possibly from a petrol station or shopping mall).

Taken at night. Artificially lit, but the lights are from street lighting or building lights rather than lighting that has been introduced to the scene. Man made, sterile, angular, solid, defined, harsh lighting, are words that I would use for this series. Whereas the terms flow, movement, texture, smooth, balanced tone, are words that I think of when considering Blackout and Mirrors.

Questions from the Brief

Why do you think he often works at night? Is it because there’s less people and traffic about to clutter the view? Is it because of the effect of light in a long exposure and the sense of artificiality or ‘strangeness’ that brings to the image? What happens to your interpretation when the views are distant, wide and the main emphasis is on the forms of the man-made landscape? Is there a sense that these images are both objective (because you are looking out at the world) and subjective (because they seem to deliberately conjure up a mood)?

I have looked at a mixture of Holdsworth series, some that have been shot at night and others during the day. My belief is that Holdsworth deliberately avoids shooting people, and in doing so he is trying to get the viewer to question the relationship between man and nature, and natural geology and geometry, in comparison to man-made structure and geometric marks.

There is a subtlety of texture, movement and tone in the landscape photos. The mountains in the Blackout series may have strong lines and angles but the interaction of a multitude of lines, textures and structure has a fluidity to it. This is a contrast to the series that I looked at with man-made structures (California) that have many straight, rigid lines. I believe that the series Mirrors exemplifies this. By introducing symmetry to the natural landscape Holdsworth is making a statement about the structures that man makes, and how “man made” interferes with the beauty and flow of the natural world.

This sense is added to by the lighting. In California the artificial lighting presents a sterile environment that eliminates nature. It highlights straight marks, straight lines and an inability of Man to add to the environment. The lighting in Blackout – whether it’s artificial or long exposure – brings out the surreal and creates flowing, ghostly ice sculptures. These have a multitude of texture and detail, and create a feeling of awe. The wonder of looking at the moon or the surface of Mars. We are seeing the unseen.

Holdworths work does not feel objective. I find its highly subjective and is leading the viewer to consider the impact of man upon the environment, the difference between the sublime and the sterile, and the confined and the free.

I have felt out of my depth with this review. Partly because as a student I am considering photography in a more serious manner, and partly because I have been reflecting upon themes, that Holdsworth presents, in a context that I have no familiarity with. I also have a thought that maybe I have over complicated this.

I am not used to the concept of a photographic series. Yes I have grouped my own photos together. My project on Homelessness is my first attempt at this, and I had only considered the importance of theme, or a basic typography. Holdsworth many series have their own individual theme, and fit into an overarching schema which explores:- marks, shape, form, structure and light. His most recent series Spacial Objects builds upon his previous works, by trying to represent the best of space, geometry, light and structure that runs through many of his series of work. Spacial Objects is an installment of man made physical structures, that have some of man’s rigid geometric shapes combined with nature’s flow, space and texture.

Each individual series is made of photos that are a similar aspect, tone, lighting, hue and saturation, and also have contours and lines that are common throughout. This has been a wonderful, if somewhat challenging, opportunity for me to gain some understanding into how to present a series of work and how an artist builds upon previous knowledge and experience as they develop and mature.

References

Fig 1 Holdsworth, D; 2015; Spacial Objects no 17; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Fig 2 Holdsworth, D; 2014; Mirrors FTP cg05a; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Fig 3 Holdsworth, D; 2010; Blackout 11; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Fig 4 Holdsworth, D; 2003; California 02; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Keys, R; 2017; Homelessness; Online at http://www.photosociology.info/homelessness (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Exercise 1.11b – Capturing Stillness and Movement

Brief:- Choose a subject that includes both stillness and movement. Seek out a variety of different instances of this subject. Make a series of photographs that shows the visual effect of stillness and movement within these different but similar settings. When you’re assessing your photographs, try not to think in terms of what is ‘photogenic’ in the usual sense of the word. Go beyond that. Ask yourself if your photographs communicate what you intended: stillness and movement. Do your photographs communicate any other ideas? In other words, are they symbolic or metaphorical? This capacity to take something unintentional and make something out of it is a sign that you’re developing as a photographer. If you’ve discovered a metaphorical aspect to your photographs, develop a new series based on this.

I have been making photos for this brief for a while now, exploring with people, road traffic, boats, racing cars, aeroplanes, and finally decided on roundabouts. So over the past two days I have been out to re-shoot the photos, so that I could get the images that I want. Its taken me a while to get used to what shutter speed is best for different subjects depending on the amount of motion of freezing of motion that you want.

I have tried to make a series that has a level of tonal and colour consistency, and tried to show a selection of movement and stillness within them.

This was my first attempt at trying to present a series. I have put photos together/next to each other before, but had not previously considered that series requires a consistency and flow that joins them together. The result isn’t perfect but I will develop further as time goes on. I have really enjoyed the process. Its taken a while, and the results are not perfect, but overall I am pleased.

Roundabout Series

Boat Series.tif

For both series I made initial selections in Lightroom by assigning an attribute, then reviewed only those selctions by highlighting which attributes I wanted to see in the same grid. Once I had developed the photos and taken them over to Photoshop, I then realised that some of the selections did not work together. I went back to Lightroom, changed some selections, then I redeveloped by selecting all (Ctrl + A) and then Sync develop settings. This meant that I had similar white balance and tone. I made individual adjustments, then press G to view in grid, to see if the adjustments were bringing the range closer together.

I had to go a step further and see if I could blend a Typhoon jet aeroplane into one of the images. It doesn’t go with the series but watching a few YouTube videos on selecting and blending was rally useful and I have learned a new skill.

Exercise-1.11-4

References

Webflippy; 2016; Photoshop Tutorial – How to cut out a tree in Photoshop

Dewis, Glynn; 2015; Tricky Cut Outs made EASY and FAST: PHOTOSHOP #76

Smith, Colin: 2015; How to combine photos in Photoshop with Layer Masks, seamless blending technique