Thursday, 19 February 2009

Assignment 1: The theory and practice of contrasts

I have been working on 'contrast' photos for Assignment 1 for a few months now, and have finally submitted my work! It's an exciting feeling.
It's been a real challenge and very rewarding to have produced a group of photos that I'm happy with, some are stronger and some weaker, but I feel like overall I've achieved the objectives ... hopefully my tutor agrees with me!!

100mm f/2.8 macro lens, Canon 30D, f/4.5, 100mm,1/13sec, ISO 100, Tripod, natural light in kitchen. Minor sharpening, crop applied in-computer.

100mm f/2.8 macro lens, Canon 30D, f/2.8, 100mm, 1/15sec, ISO 100, Tripod, natural light in kitchen. Minor sharpening applied in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/8, 55mm, 1/60sec, ISO 100, Tripod, natural light conditions, morning, cold and still. Minor sharpening and crop applied in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/9, 70mm, 1/2sec, ISO 200, Tripod, artificial light (underground). Minor editing, sharpening in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/22, 46mm, 1/2sec, ISO 100, Tripod, natural daylight. Minor editing, sharpening in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/2.8, 63mm, 1/250sec, ISO 200, Tripod, natural daylight. Minor editing. Minor sharpening, editing in-computer.

17-35mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/16, 17mm, 4sec, ISO 100, Tripod, natural daylight (dark area, lots of tree foliage). Minor editing, sharpening and vignetting in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/22, 24mm, 5sec, ISO 100, night, artificial light from show-ride. Minor editing, sharpening in-computer.

100mm macro f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/8, 100mm, 1/3sec, ISO 100, Tripod, natural light in kitchen. Minor editing, sharpening, crop in-computer.

100mm macro f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/3.2, 100mm, 1/30sec, ISO 100, natural light in kitchen. Minor editing and sharpening in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/4.5, 35mm, 1/60sec, ISO 400, natural light, sunshine. Minor editing, sharpening, conversion to B&W, vignetting, crop in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/8, 24mm, 1/200sec, ISO250, circular polariser, natural light, sunshine. Minor editing, sharpening, crop in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/4.5, 28mm, 1/125sec, ISO 200, circular polariser, natural light, sunshine. Minor editing, sharpening, crop in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/5, 70mm, 1/30sec, ISO 500, tripod, indoor, light from lamp. Minor editing, sharpening, crop, conversion to B&W, vignetting in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/2.8, 24mm, 1/60sec, ISO 400, natural (low) light. Minor editing, sharpening in-computer.

24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/7.1, 24mm, 2sec, ISO 200, indoor artificial light. Minor editing, sharpening in-computer.

Still/Moving in one image
24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 30D, f/11, 38mm, 1/2sec, ISO400, Tripod, artificial light (underground). Minor editing (including slight rotation) and sharpening in-computer.

Comments welcome...

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Project 15: Cropping

I found 3 photos that could be cropped to find interesting photos (harder than I thought it would be!) for this project.

Photo 1: The first photos is of a (new) building in Edinburgh with a reflection of another (old) building in it. It is on quite an angle (the photograph that is), which makes cropping difficult.
32mm, 1/100s, f/4.5, ISO200

Photo 1A: I started with a vertical crop of the reflection with the new building providing the 'frame' of the photo. I think this works quite well - I like the tree coming into the reflection and have used the rule of thirds here.

Photo 1B: Next I tried a horizontal view, this time choosing a series of reflections, in different window. I split up the image into 3 vertical bands, with different building/reflections in each, which I think works well.

Photo 2: This photo is a low-wide-angle of the canal in Edinburgh. The reflections on the water are nice and the colours are quite strong also. I think this is actually better than any of the crops below, because the wide angle works well on the nice reflections and doesn't make the scene feel busy at all.
24mm, 1/100s, f/9, ISO100, Tripod

Photo 2A: I started with a vertical crop of the tall building and it's reflection. It is a little uninspired?? Possibly because the building is close to centre of the photo.

Photo 2B: A second vertical crop with the boat at the top of the photo and the water reflecting the sky at the bottom. This feels quite unbalanced to me and doesn't really work.

Photo 2C: So based on the two above, I tried a square crop incorporating both the tall building and the canal boat, which I think works a bit better. However this photo is quite busy.

Photo 3: This photo was taken at Aviemore, and is a portrait shot of a tree (silhouette) with some mountains and lake (partly frozen) in the back- & mid-ground of the photo. I think it's quite a strong composition already.
17mm, 1/13s, f/22, ISO100, Tripod

Photo 3A: This is a landscape crop of the hills with the dark horizon near the bottom third line and the tree strong on the left third line.

Photo 3B: Then I chose to focus on the water - partly frozen and bobbing about, with another lovely reflections (gosh I've got a theme going on here!!) of the bright sky which lifts the image.

So I didn't actually mean to choose 3 photos which had an element of reflection, it just happened that way! Oh well, It was interesting to look firstly for photos with photos within them, and then to try to see different options. I think generally speaking I still like the original composition best, but that might change the more I look at these photos!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Stills Exhibition: Close-Up

Close-Up, curated by Dawn Adesand Simon Baker
Open Mon-Sat 11am–6pm Sun 12noon–5pm
The Fruitmarket , in Edinburgh, is possibly my favourite gallery. The exhibitions are normally compact, certainly varied and always thought-provoking. Also the food is excellent!! I recently went to see Close-Up which has finished but there is always a good exhibition on there.
Closeup was great - it was mostly (but not all) old b&w photos - from people like ManRay (his 'Dust Breeding' photo was there as a contact print), Karl Blossfeldt (lovely detailed photos of plants showing fabulous design structure), a very cool surrealistic film by Dali called 'un chien andalou' (actually directed by Lois Bunuel) which is famous for the opening scene which is a close-up an an eye being slit open - which would have been quite shocking when it came out in 1929!! Simon Starling did an interesting series of shots zooming in progressively closer on a ManRay photograph, getting deeper and deeper into the molecular level of photography - a different take on 'close-up'. I also really liked some of the other more modern (1970s) photographic series, such as close-ups of various body parts, often of the photographer him or herself! Eg Carolee Schneemann, "Portrait Partials", 1970. All in all it was a fascinating exhibition, with a wide range of mediums (film, slides, photos, books) all with the 'close-up' theme. It was great to be refreshed with different ways of looking at everyday objects and by extensive use of black & white (or monochrome) to look at light and texture carefully. I really enjoyed this exhibition and went back for a second visit!

John Hilliard, "The most plausible Theory". This is 3 photographs, each of the same pool of water, each with 3 different focal points. Fascinating photos! Stand back and taking in the scene, the 1st is detail, near ground, sticks in water - some shapes in mid- and back-ground not identifiable. 2nd - we can see the light object in the water - a watch under water, now foreground is blurred, as is background. 3rd photo - we now see the background - it's the reflection of a tree (with a man's body hanging in it!), and a cloud. We still see shapes in the foreground that match up to photos 1 and 2. A very (very?) large aperture with extremely narrow DOF for each photo. Project 2 done very well!!! The story is about a man falling with a parachute or something, but the execution is amazingly good! I really like this! I put a photo below for my own record. Also here is a link to some of his other work at the tate. And a talk that looks quite interesting.
Photo taken at the Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh, John Hilliard, The most plausible theory, 1976.
From the Fruitmarket website:
The latest in The Fruitmarket Gallery’s series of group exhibitions curated by eminent scholars, writers and artists, Close-Up explores the defamiliarising effects of bringing a camera lens very close to its subject. Trans-historical and cross-generational, the exhibition brings together selected experiments in close-up film and photography from mid-nineteenth century microscopy; avant-garde film and photography from the 1920s and 30s; post-war conceptual art; and contemporary art from the 1990s and 2000s.