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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Exercise: An organised Event

For this exercise I chose another local fete. Unforgettably I had to cut the trip short but I think I managed to capture a couple of reasonable images. The better ones were when people were preoccupied with some of the entertainment. Other images tended to be taken at some distance.

I am starting to feel more confident in capture images of people unaware but still have that bashfulness and air that I am invading peoples privacy.....I just need to keep taking and looking for more opportunities.

The Photograph as contemporary art

Reading 'The photograph as contemporary art - Charlotte Cotton' was at first rather hard going..... after perseverance though it become a really intriguing read with some wonderful images, such as Yang Yong Fancy in a Tunnel 2003. I just love the pose here, the almost through away gesture , the cloths, location and even the person in the background. I also wonder what, if anything she is firing at?

The section that really interested me though was the penultimate chapter entitled 'Revived and Remade', I have considered this in some of my past photography but never in the context that this chapter has described.   In the past I have tried to recreate the feel of 1950's photography by creating scenes and in post production which as worked well, but this chapter was more than that in taking a past art form and recreating it in modern times, extremely nostalgic. A great example of this was the work of Trish Morrissey [b. 1967] in her project Seven Years. Recreating scenes from the 1970's from memory and family photographs, with detail in clothing and props found in her parents attic. I think the quality and thought of these images recreates yesterday beautifully...

Finally, I was engrossed when Cotton described peoples' perception of themselves in images. Typically in not wanting to accept what the image reveals. Age is probably one of the reasons for this as well as self perceived looks. This will have left many images thrown away or destroyed. It was interesting to see the work of Joachim Schmid, who has taken these discarded photographs and reused them in his own work. In it they describe a moment in time that was captured which clearly the owner didn't want revealed. The following example from the book shows a young lady  asleep, perhaps past out drunk, the background doesn't suggest she is in a bed and the fact that she only has her underwear may even suggest that she didn't quite make it to bed in an almost splayed out position. So not surprising when someone took this unflattering image it was discarded  and torn in four. Revived though it describes or suggests that moment in time of that particular person ad invokes plenty of thought.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Exercise: Standard Focal Length

To complement the wide angle and long focal lengths we are tasked with taking images of people at a standard focal length of 40mm o 500mm. This still involves taking images quite closeup, so hard for people unaware, but rewarding in the fact that the perspective is as it should be.

This exercise I found harder. I do not own a standard lens and I often find myself automatically zooming in and out without realizing. As such I didn't capture too many images on a day out in the sun at a fair recently in this range.

Of the 3 images shown here I really like the last one with the dog pulling away, it seems to have more going on with it. I had to be quick with the camera to capture this one at 28 mm with a 1.6 crop is 44mm.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Exercise: Standing Back

In this exercise we are  to take images of people unaware at focal lengths  between 80mm ad 200mm. This is a lot easier to do with such as large lens as you  are more removed from the subject. This is a great was of capturing people without them knowing, the downside is that you stand out a little more with a much larger lens and will need faster shutter times to compensate for the longer focal lengths to prevent camera shake.

All in all probably the easiest of the exercises to find examples of and to complete. The following two images were taken at the extreme end of a 200mm lens and the final one at 125mm.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A public space

For this exercise we are to photograph people in a public space showing how the space is used. I took the same trip to the coast to explore this and on the day I concentrated more on this type of photography and I found it more comfortable and easier to obtain better images in demonstrating people and space.

Space was abundant in this resort and people were very much separated so it was obvious how people adopted their own space and how they used it. In the first image I could have zoomed in more but I wanted to give a sense of the enormous space so left this at a wide 17mm. This reminds me of 'We English' by Simon Roberts, a fantastic exploration of how we use our space in England especially around the coastal resorts, as I write I am now thinking that I should have revisited his work for more inspiration.

The lady in the image was using her iPad to take pictures of a local wedding party.

Here again are the same couple but taken after another pass later on as they gaze over to the wedding party assembling on the beach.

I took many images of the numerous life guard huts trying to capture an ideal moment in time. As no one was drowning there wasn't much to be done, but I found this one opening up her stretch of the beach and getting the hut into working order by raising the flag; this was my favorite of the afternoon, the signage demonstrating that she would soon be 'On Duty'. This image was taken at a standard length of around 60mm

The following two images I have included as they seem to contrast the day. One with open airy spaces and the other looking quite cramped 

The final image of this exercise I have included really does bring home some of Simon Roberts' work, displaying space and the use of it as a small family sets up camp with chairs next to the peer. Again the wide angle lens capturing the space and the limited use of it, portraying a pleasant family day out undisturbed.

Close & involved

This exercise I thought was going to be the hardest but it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. In it we are tasked with taking images of people with a wide angle lens close up....not an easy task at first thought.

This I found daunting as there is nowhere to hide and it may be more obvious that your subject is fully aware of you taking pictures of them. What I did not expect though was that in using a wide angle lens you can appear to be taking a picture of a scene and not an individual. I realised this by looking through the view finder knowing what I was going to capture and then looking with my eyes tracking the direction the lens was pointing in. Remarkably most of the subjects would be completely unaware that they would in in shot; this was the most valuable lesson learnt from the day.

The area I chose was a coastal resort with a fair number of people but no madding crowds. I noticed and older gentleman and I thought he was going to use the binaculars, this shot didn't work, though I have shown it below all the same.

My favorite shot from the day shortly followed the older gentleman looking out over a veranda to the ocean. Using the wide angle at 17 mm he had no idea I was taking an image of him. It has caught a pensive moment in time, gazing over the ocean and the wide angle has worked well stretching the sky so that the viewer of the image feels that there are there in the scene.

Sadly, this was by far the best image of the day using this wide angle technique. One last attempt that I will show was of an interesting 'rapper' character who must have been hot in the midday sun, but he stayed staring at the sea for ages....

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Capturing the moment

This exercise is all about capturing a moment in time. This could be a moment that is predicted or an unexpected moment in time. The art is to judge a scene and look at opportunities perhaps even waiting for opportunities.

This was not an easy exercise for me as a found my self working away from home. Having taken my camera I tried to explore opportunities but sadly the area was a central commercial city and at the weekend was rather devoid of people. The best I could do was to capture wandering lost souls like myself or some of the workers perhaps travelling home.

The first two were of a lady who was obviously herself a tourist, I first found here looking up towards a street sign and then after taking a picture of it. I captured both moments in time, what I should have also captured more clearly was the actual sign she was interested in...

Both of these were taken from across the street using  a 70mm focal length on a 1.6 crop camera.

The only other one I liked from this day was a worker waiting for a bus ride home. To me this captured a moment in time in home waiting for the bus in the background with a wait sign in the foreground counting down. Overall not one of my best days out, I think this was down to local knowledge and poor preparation  Tomorrow I have planned to go to the coast where I am hoping there will be more people.