Exercise: Higher and lower sensitivity

Object

  • Choose a subject that is marginal where light, movement and depth of field are only just possible.
  • Take 12 photographs starting with an ISO of 100 and then higher..
  • Make notes on the results.

Exercise

All the pictures of this busy street scene, were shot in Manual mode with an aperture of f/5.6 and shutter speed of 1/125.

 

The picture that looks best for me is the 4th with the ISO setting of 640. The lower sensitivity settings of ISO 100 / 200 / 400 resulted in the image being too dark. Once the ISO was increased over 640 the image became too light – first the white areas, as seen in the images with ISO 800 / 1000 and then the whole image from ISO 2500 onwards.  The higher the  sensitivity – the more noise there is in the image.

 

 

Feedback on Assignment 3

Considering the mental block I had getting this assignment completed, the feedback from my tutor was much, much better than what I hoped for! It has been really helpful to read all the positive comments and reassuring that I’m on the right track with both the practical and research / theory side.

I’m really enjoying the research and reading around the practitioners suggested by my tutor and am again reassured that this will be beneficial for the final assessment. However, I am getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of access to publications for specific practitioners. So far I have managed to request and reserve books with Oxfordshire Library Service except for 1 publication which they do not stock. For the next Assignment – Light, none of the books recommended by my tutor are stocked! I have requested them through the Inter-Library Loan Service but realise this may take several weeks. I have managed to get admission to the Bodleian Library in Oxford but am only allowed access during vacation, the next one being 27th March by which time I’m hoping to have submitted the assignment!! My tutor suggested approaching the nearest University that runs the BA Photography course and ask if I could access their library as a reader. I may end up clocking up the mileage to do this if I start running out of time, but it is really frustrating :-(

On the whole, I’m feeling really pleased with the way the course is going. I admit that the last 6 months have been a struggle and I have found it really hard to motivate myself and engage with the coursework / exercises. I feel that is behind me now and along with the positive feedback from my tutor I’m feeling really motivated to crack on and get AOP finished by the beginning of summer!

Exercise: Judging colour temperature 2

Object

  • Take a similar situation to the last exercise and shoot the same 3 kinds of picture but vary the white balance settings to:
    • Daylight / sunlight
    • Shade
    • AWB – Automatic White Balance
  • Compare the 3 versions for each and note differences.

Exercise

We were asked to think about the 3 photographs taken in the last exercise and decide whether any colour correction would be preferable – for example, would the shoes in the shade look better if they were neutral or slightly less blue and would the image taken in the low sun look better less orange? I looked at the images one by and then looked at all three together. Independently all the images looked acceptable to me but interestingly when viewed together my preference would be to colour correct them.

I used the same pair of shoes for this exercise and the results are as follows:

Full Midday Sun

Shade at Midday

Full Sun Late Afternoon

Looking at the 9 pictures as a set, it is easy to see that for each situation; full midday sun, shade at midday and full sun late afternoon all looked better with the appropriate White Balance setting – daylight, shade and AWB.

Full Midday Sun and Full Sun Late Afternoon

In both these situations the daylight White Balance setting resulted in a truer representation of colour than the shade White Balance setting which gave the images an orange cast. The AWB setting in both instances were extremely close with minimal difference.

Shade at Midday

As with the shade White Balance setting in the above situations, this was more orange than the daylight or AWB but is a true representation of the shoe colour in the shade. The daylight and AWB settings again produce very similar results, although I think the AWB produces a slightly bluer tone.

this has been quite a useful exercise – I normally only use AWB but experimenting with daylight and shade White Balance settings has made me much more aware of how to judge colour temperature and what looks best in different situations.

 

 

Exercise: Judging colour temperature 1

Object

  • This exercise requires a clear and sunny day and a subject which does not have a strong colour.
  • Ensure White Balance is set to Daylight mode in camera.
  • Take 3 photographs:
    • 1 in full sunlight during the middle of the day
    • 1 in shade during the middle of the day
    • 1 in sunlight when sun is close to the horizon
  • Compare the results.

Exercise

I was quite surprised by this exercise – as the course notes suggested, I didn’t really see much difference in the shoes whilst I was photographing them. This is because our eyes adapt to different colours and we are less aware of the changes as we always expect the colour of a subject to remain constant.

Looking at all 3 images together, it is easy to see that the colour differences are quite extreme. The sun is at its highest at midday and therefore the shoes look colourless or white. In the shade they appear blue – a reflection of the sky caused by the scattering of blue wavelengths. Finally – as the sun approaches the horizon late afternoon – the colour appears orange / reddish, red being the colour of the sun as it reaches the horizon.

 

Exercise: Measuring exposure

Object

  • Produce 4 – 6 photographs that are deliberately lighter or darker than average and make notes on why.
  • Take 5 – 6 photographs of any subject and for each one take 2 that are darker and 2 lighter than the average exposure: -2 / -1 / 1/ +1 / +2
  • Decide whether the picture looks right with the central exposure and if any of the other exposures are acceptable and make notes on why.

Exercise

Part 1

To be honest am struggling to see exactly what the difference is between part 1 and 2 of this exercise so thought I would find some examples of images online  that are purposely lighter or darker.

The first two images are examples of Low Key lighting. This is where there is less exposure in the image making it appear dim and gloomy, but adding drama to the image with the use of silhouettes and shadows and textures.

Low Key

low key 1

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://blog.theassociation.tv/wp-content/uploads/low_key_lighting_1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://blog.theassociation.tv/notes-from-the-manual-high-key-and-low-key-lighting/&h=243&w=396&tbnid=-w_vvgO2XJ5KmM:&zoom=1&docid=AMGbuW3GU0ak-M&ei=XFTSVI2YH9DiatyOgqAI&tbm=isch&ved=0CFsQMygYMBg

 

key 2

 

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3429/3289448299_d657bd770d.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.lightstalking.com/low-key-photography/&h=685&w=1024&tbnid=Q19uRrUCieEQ-M:&zoom=1&docid=ewU6rH-JD3YwVM&ei=XFTSVI2YH9DiatyOgqAI&tbm=isch&ved=0CEIQMygMMAw

The next two images are High Key where more exposure creates a pale and luminous effect which is less dramatic than the shadows in low-key images.

High Key

high key 1

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fphotoslaves.com%2Fhigh-key-and-low-key%2F&ei=DlbSVJG8DonYarDRgLgI&bvm=bv.85076809,d.d2s&psig=AFQjCNGwkMibjd51jDsRae-WmsBNv6TsBQ&ust=1423157073335476

 

high key 2

 

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fexplore%2Fhigh-key-photography%2F&ei=rVbSVOD2LIvmarKJgpgJ&bvm=bv.85076809,d.d2s&psig=AFQjCNGi5RgWF9Au5toxZ58JvoC-6UhnbQ&ust=1423157225859157

Part 2

I recently bought a second camera – Canon 70D and haven’t had much time to play around with all the different functions. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try out the different metering modes and work out how to use the AEB – Automatic Exposure Bracketing.

The Canon 70D has 4 metering modes:

metering modes

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=canon+evaluative+metering+symbol&biw=1366&bih=621&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=hEDTVPHCE8fxaquTguAF&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#imgdii=_&imgrc=okpvw49FDstNBM%253A%3BqPvljoEZ9XE4HM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.learn.usa.canon.com%252Fapp%252Fmedia%252Fimages%252Farticles%252Fphotographing_snow%252FMetering_Icons__hero.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.learn.usa.canon.com%252Fresources%252Farticles%252F2011%252Fqt_photograph_snow_article.htmlp%3B416%3B312

Evaluative – Suits most scenes including backlit subjects.

Partial – Suits backlit subjects and bright backgrounds.

Spot – Used for a specific small area of the subject.

Centre Weighted – Used for subjects with average brightness with particular emphasis on the centre.

Firstly, I decided to take 4 pictures using each of the metering modes and the results are as follows:

 

The roses on the windowsill were against a bright background and although there is very little difference in the 4 modes, the partial metering has compensated for the brightness in the background by lightening the tones of the roses at the front.

I have chosen 5 objects / situations from around the house to under and over expose and have started with the roses above.

1. Statue

Metered Exposure

Imp

+ 1 Stop                                                                          + 2 Stop

Imp +1     Imp +2

– 1 Stop                                                                           – 2 Stop

Imp -1     Imp -2

In this situation, the metered exposure is pretty good as she is quite old and grey in colour! I think the – 1 Stop also works well as the under exposure emphasises the features of the hair and face.

2. Fruit Bowl

Metered Exposure

Fruit

+ 1 Stop                                                                         + 2 Stop

Fruit + 1     Fruit +2

– 1 Stop                                                                          – 2 Stop

Fruit -1     Fruit -2

This fruit bowl in my kitchen is next to the window so as well as the overhead spotlight there was natural lighting from the left of the image. The metered exposure was ok, but the one that works for me is the under exposed image of -2 stops. I love the deep colour of the fruit and the way the light has highlighted the tomatoes whilst the background is in shadow. This exposure also eliminates the reflection from the shiny surface of the tiles.

3. Clock

Metered Exposure

Clock

+ 1 Stop                                                                          + 2 Stop

Clock +1     Clock +2

– 1 Stop                                                                          – 2 Stop

Clock -     Clock -2

This clock is placed well away from any natural light source and the metered exposure made the clock appear quite grey – which it’s not!! Both the over exposed shots look better than any of the others as it makes the white look purer rather than grey.

4. Plant

Metered Exposure

Plant

+ 1 Stop                                                                          + 2 Stop

Plant +1     Plant +2

– 1 Stop                                                                          – 2 Stop

Plant -1     Plant -2

This plant is against a south-facing wall and although it was overcast there was plenty of natural light. Therefore I would say the metered image looks best and the slightly under exposed image of – 1 Stop which does increase the colour of the bricks in the background.

5. Watering Can

Metered Exposure

Can

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ 1 Stop                                               + 2 Stop

can +1can +2

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 1 Stop                                                 – 2 Stop

can -1

can -2Like the statue above, this watering can is quite weathered and grey. The metered exposure is the best representation and the – 1 Stop exposure works well as it brings out the natural markings on the can.

 

 

Summary

This has been quite a useful exercise to do in that it has forced me to think about how the available light falls on the subject, the colour and texture of the subject and the effect I want to create in the final image. I will certainly think about over exposing white subjects to avoid a grey image and maybe under exposing darker / coloured subjects to make the colour more pure. I naturally favour low-key images that use shadows and silhouettes to add drama and interest and am looking forward to experimenting with lighting to achieve this effect. I am also going to try over exposing some subjects to create high key images.

 

Assignment 3: Colour

 

I can’t quite believe I have arrived at this point and am ready to submit my assignment, given the despair I previously felt about my ideas and images taken. I still keep coming up with ideas on a theme that might be better, and recently came across the following quote in Digital SLR Photography Magazine (Digital SLR Photography / February 2015 / Issue 99 P.17) by Imogen Cunningham:

“Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”

I really identified with this quote, it seemed to sum up exactly how I was feeling – I like this photo, but I’ll get a better one tomorrow! However there does come a time when you need to move on otherwise I was in danger of being stuck on Colour forever!

I did mention in my last assignment post:

https://alisoncheshire.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/photographers-block/

that I would take some Martin Parr inspired still life shots to accompany my street photography pictures for the assignment. I had intended to present them in a similar way to his montage styles in Think of England (Parr, M (2000) Think of England. London. Phaidon Press Ltdwhere the images displayed across two pages of the book would somehow be related using clichés. However, having reviewed my street photography images I felt that I had enough images to meet the criteria of the  assignment without having to do this. Now that I have narrowed them down to the final 16 I am fairly happy with the end results and think they make an interesting and varied set.

Although I have not included any still life images, I feel this is ok as with a couple of images where I found an interesting background, I did have to wait for the right person / colour to move into the frame and this in a way is a conscious arrangement. The majority of my pictures though were uncontrolled and based more on observation and reacting quickly.

Assignment

Object

  • Take 16 photographs illustrating the following colour relationships:
    • Colour harmony through complementary colours
    • Colour harmony through similar colours
    • Colour contrast through contrasting colours
    • Colour accent using any of the above
  • Make notes for each photograph about how the colour works and make a sketch for each to show the balance and movement.

Final Images

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1. Colour harmony through complementary colours

Complementary colours are those that face each other across the colour wheel and when used together, balance each other in a harmonious way.  The three pairs of complementary colours are Red / Green, Orange / Blue and  Yellow/ Violet. To create complete harmony the hue should be taken into consideration when using complementary colours, for example orange is much brighter than blue. The ratios suggested by poet / playwright J.W. Von Goethe for each colour occupying space in the same frame are: Red / Green 1:1, Orange / Blue 1:2, Yellow / Violet 1:3

1. Orange / Blue

IMG_0144a   IMG_0144b

This photo was taken in September and I was attracted by the sunlight shining through the tie-die sheet. I believe the event was a charity raising awareness for children in Africa and the workers were all wearing bright orange sweatshirts. I wanted to compose the picture from the front but couldn’t capture the sunlight highlighting the patterns in the sheet as the sun was then behind me.

Composing the shot from the back actually worked quite well as I was able to capture the blue kiosk on the other side of the street which really helps to accentuate the orange and balance the picture. The proportions are also correct in that there is more blue – the darker colour than the bright orange creating a nice harmony.

Finally, I like the orange ice cream cone in the background. It helps provide rhythm to the image with the sequence orange, blue, orange, blue which draws the eye across the frame.

2. Red / Green

IMG_2075a

This image is all about the red and green but I was delighted to capture the expression of self-importance from this young woman’s stare! She is the focal part of the image and her expression is contradictory – on the one had it is unapproachable, back off, don’t come near me and on the other it is challenging! I was quite glad there was a barrier and piece of glass between us!

Another reason I was so pleased to have captured this expression was because it reminded me of an image by Martin Parr from The Last Resort in a book I have at home where there is a woman with a very similar expression :

Phillips, S.S. (2007) Martin Parr, London, Phaidon Press Ltd

New Brighton, Merseyside, England from The Last Resort 1983 -86

LON6977

Copyright Martin Parr / Magnum Photos (only being used for educational purposes)

http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&ALID=2TYRYDXP0ZQW

In my image I think the red and green are very well-balanced within the frame as they are roughly equal with a ratio of 1:1. The red dominates the left hand side of the frame and the green on the right. Again there is rhythm in the image with the sequence red / green / red/ green from left to right across the frame providing a sense of movement even though the woman is static inside the booth. This movement from left to right is reinforced by the sloping railings and the way the woman is facing.

Finally, I like the way the red flyer on the right breaks up the green side as does the green on the booth breaking up the red. This little detail has helped to balance the image very nicely.

IMG_2075c     IMG_2075b

3. Yellow / Violet

IMG_2004a     IMG_2004b

This is one of the images that I spent a long time debating if it was good enough to include – mainly because the proportion of yellow and violet are roughly equal as opposed to the ratio of 1:3. However I have included it as the yellow / violet combination is really hard to find on people in the street and I spent a good half hour stalking the owner of the yellow wellies around the market until she stood still long enough to get a decent shot! I think the composition works well though – the yellow boots and violet trousers only take up about a third of the frame and the leaves in the foreground lead the eye to the boots and then upwards with the toe pointing to the burgers and kebabs. The whole picture could be described as “grubby” from the leaf debris, dirty wellies, rubbish and finally the unhealthy stigma of fast food.

4. Orange / Blue

IMG_1833a     IMG_1833b

I loved the dreamy reflection of this boy in the bus window and the way the sun was highlighting his  hair. It was pure luck that the seats were orange and blue and in the right proportion of 1:2. Unfortunately there is a distracting blur in the left corner caused by the seat in front of me. This was unavoidable on a bumpy bus ride – I did try to crop it out but lost too much of the seating which lessened the impact of the colours.

There is a bit of two-way movement in this image as the eye travels from left to right over the back of the seats and rests on the boys reflection in the window. The sunlight is obviously moving in the other direction highlighting the boy’s hair.

2. Colour harmony through similar colours

Similar colours are those that are placed near each other on the colour wheel or described as either a warm or cool range of colours.

5. Red / Orange / Yellow – Warm Tones

IMG_2089a

I spotted these two ladies deep in conversation at the back of a restaurant down a narrow back road. I liked the way there was a shaft of sunlight highlighting the red and orange brickwork and yellow bins. Red, orange and yellow all sit next to each other on the colour wheel and convey a sense or warmth associated with fire and the sun. The shaft of sunlight in this image also increases the  sense  of warmth. These warm colours contrast nicely with the cool tones of the grey drain pipe, road and white wall, all of which are in the shade. The image could almost be divided into half by a diagonal line across the frame, separating the warm and cool tones and creating a good balance.

IMG_2089b_edited-1     IMG_2089b

6. Violet / Blue – Cool Tones

IMG_0122a     IMG_0122b copy

This image is a great example of cool tones. there are no warm tones at all even though the sun is shining from behind the camera directly onto the subjects. I particularly like how the left feet of both women are in exactly the same position. This along with the directional gazes of people walking towards me along the diagonal line of the pavement create a nice two-way movement.

7. Yellow / Green

IMG_1946a     IMG_1946b

I was really pleased to find this composition – taken in October before the leaves had fallen. The Autumn sun was low and bright causing lovely shadows on the  wall of the building. In theory I would class red, orange, and yellow as the 3 warm colours on the colour wheel and green, blue and violet as cool. Although the bright yellow building is in the shade, the picture still evokes warm feelings because the saturation is such an intense yellow and balances nicely with the yellowy green leaves highlighted by the sun. Also the sun has lightened the tone of the green making it look warm. Again there is a nice sequence of yellow / green / yellow drawing the eye across the frame.

8. Green / Blue / Violet – Cool Tones

IMG_1309a     IMG_1309b

I composed the background of this image using the bank green sign and frames of the cash point machines and then waited for people to walk into view. Luckily all of them were wearing blue jeans and the women were both wearing violet tops. There is no physical movement in the image as the people are all static but the eye is drawn from left to right across the frame due to the gaze of the young woman on the left and the shadows caused by the directional sunlight.

3. Colour contrast through contrasting colours

Colour combinations are considered contrasting when they are spaced about a third of the way from each other on the colour wheel. In some combinations the colours look like they clash and others can be vivid and eye-catching.

9. Green / Violet

IMG_0112a     IMG_0112b

I was attempting to take shots of the tomatoes and chillies at the market for the colour relationships exercise. This dear old couple were affectionately stroking each others hands whilst waiting to be served and I couldn’t resist capturing the moment, using the hands as the main focal point of the image and letting the red and green serve as the background.

The womans coat was a beautiful violet colour contrasting with the green background and appears quite intense due to the sunshine directly onto her, whereas the man was totally in the shade. I did crop the edges of this picture to centre the hands and used the bodies to balance each other at the edge of the frame. The highlights  on the red tomatoes add extra interest to the top of the frame and brings an element of warmth to the picture.

10. Red / Blue

IMG_1949a     IMG_1949b

I made use of the sunlight to compose this image and waited for somebody to walk into the frame. I’m not sure if the man’s t. shirt was blue, or white but appearing blue because of the shade. Which ever way, it appears the same tone as the blue door providing balance and a nice contrast against the red. There is strong movement in the image from the light and shadows and the direction of the man walking.

11. Yellow / Red

IMG_2079a     IMG_2079b copy

This is my favourite image for the assignment mainly because it is just a simple image:

  • The yellow sweatshirt is balanced by the yellow leaves and water hydrant on the ground
  • The white of the sign balances the white trainers , stripes on the sweatshirt and bollard and the highlighted edges of the seat
  • The black lettering balances the black trousers, bollard and background

I was able to take my time composing this shot because the man was totally engrossed with his phone. I paid a lot of attention to the bollard so the white stripe was in line with the grey stripe on the sweatshirt and the white top positioned against the black background so that it stood out in the frame. I also positioned myself to get all of the Express Pizza lettering in and enough of the red signage at the top of the frame to contrast with the yellow. Although the red and yellow clash the white and black help to balance the image and make it quite eye-catching.

In the feedback from my last assignment, my tutor suggested I read Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes (Barthes, Roland (1993) Camera Lucida, vintage Classics, London). I have to confess I found it extremely hard going and will benefit from reading it a second time! However, Barthes use of the terms Studium and Punctum to describe the meaning of a photograph is absolutely fascinating. In a nutshell when a photograph stirs and interest in the viewer he refers to this as the Studium. The Punctum is the rare detail or element that rises up out of the photograph disturbing the studium to pierce the viewer with either pain or delight.

In his book Barthes quotes:

“It is this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me”.

“Punctum is also a sting, speck, cut, little hole – and also a cast of the dice. A Photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me)”.

I was really taken with this idea and it is now something I look for when looking at the work of other practitioners. When I loaded this particular image onto my computer, I kept returning to look at it not just because of the eye-catching red and yellow but there was something else happening in the image that I could not put my finger on. When I finally spotted it, it was a eureka moment!! The Punctum in this image was the young man’s device hooked up to an outlet of some sort (assuming electrical) in the bollard!! Just what on earth was he doing?? What a chancer!! The delight I got in finding this little detail was piercing – just how Barthes describes it!

12. Red / Blue

IMG_2026a     IMG_2026b copy

I was fascinated by this lady – assuming she was a tourist, heading from the bus station, through the market towards the taxi rank. She was extremely polished and classy, her clothing coordinating with her grey and red luggage and she just looked so out-of-place in the market! This is a contrast in itself!

Although there isn’t much blue in the image there is enough in the background and the clothing on others to make the red stand out providing a nice contrast and eye-catching image.

13. Red / Blue

IMG_2890a

IMG_2890b IMG_2890c

This festive lady and her bored husband caught my eye at the christmas market. Her jumper and his expression are priceless! I particularly like how the royal blue shade of her hat is repeated at various points in the image which helps balance the contrasting red in what would otherwise be an image of cool tones.

4. Colour accent using any combinations

Colour accent is where one small spot of any colour sits against a larger background of another colour.

14. Yellow / Blue

IMG_1299a

Although there is pink in the shop window, it is the blue tones that dominate the background. I think I can get away with using this image as a colour accent of yellow / blue as the lady’s dress is also blue – if it had been any other colour, it wouldn’t have worked. This image took a long time to take as i was standing on the other side of the road and had to wait simultaneously for gaps in the traffic and people to walk into view. It would be a much better image if the sunflowers were in front of the shady doorway in order for them to stand out more, but any later and the view would have been obscured by a passing car.

IMG_1299c      IMG_1299b

15. Yellow / Red

IMG_2865a     IMG_2865b

In comparison to some of the other pictures, this one was relatively easy to take as the man was stationary. the only thing I had to decide was where to place him in the frame. Remembering the positioning a point exercise in part 2, I placed him near the edge of the frame to avoid a static composition. This naturally gives a bit of movement from left to right across the frame.

Red and yellow are contrasting colours – perhaps the image would be more striking if the colours were the other way round? A red background and yellow as the accent colour since it is brighter than the red?

16. Orange / Blue

IMG_2888a    IMG_2888b

Orange and blue are complementary colours and as orange is the brightest colour in this image, it is correct that the orange should be the accent colour. This was taken late afternoon in December, the light was very low casting cool shadows. the stall holder’s face is bathed in light from the bulb and acts as a second point of interest as well as creating some movement between her and the bag.

Bibliography

Digital SLR Photography / February 2015 / Issue 99 P.17)

Parr, M (2000) Think of England. London. Phaidon Press Ltd

Phillips, S.S. (2007) Martin Parr, London, Phaidon Press Ltd

Barthes, Roland (1993) Camera Lucida, vintage Classics, London

Shore, S (2004) Uncommon Places. London. Thames & Hudson

Eggleston, W (2002) William Eggleston’s Guide. New York. MOMA Press

Self-Assessment

Demonstration of visual skills

Since completing part 2 I have thought a lot more about the design and composition of my images. During this assignment I have actually quite surprised myself by using lines and shape to create tension and movement automatically rather than trying to remember to do so. It has been really interesting learning how to use colour as part of a composition and I’m beginning to instinctively use colour when wanting to create certain effects with my images.

Quality of outcome

After a bit of a shaky start on ideas at the beginning of this assignment, I am quite happy with the quality of my final images. Although I didn’t achieve what I initially set out to do with the work of Shore and Eggleston and subsequently feeling like a failure, I now feel I am beginning to create my own style of documentary / street photography particularly with the use of people. It has been interesting to look back on the images for assignment 2 and see how many images included people even with the architectural theme.

Demonstration of creativity

As mentioned above, I feel my style and personal voice are really developing and I am now more confident at going out into the street and photographing strangers to get the images I want. As with Assignment 2, it is interesting that I preferred to go out and find situations / subjects to shoot, rather than plan the details beforehand. Maybe this has contributed to the amount of time it has taken me to gather a set of images that I am happy with along with the mindset that “there will be better opportunities tomorrow”!! However, maybe this is a good thing – Martin Parr took his Think of England images over a series of 4 years and after all – Rome was not built in a day!

I have already scanned the criteria for Assignment 4 and see that the images should all be of the same subject. This will certainly require pre-planning and more thought about the outcome – very different from the approach I have taken so far. I will definitely need to think creatively to achieve different images for only one subject.

Context

Although I didn’t particularly like the work of Eggleston (Eggleston, W (2002) William Eggleston’s Guide. New York. MOMA Press) and Shore (Shore, S (2004) Uncommon Places. London. Thames & Hudson)  I have realised that you can learn so much from studying the images of other practitioners and it is just as important to do this with work you greatly admire as well as work that you don’t. Having read Camera Lucida, I now really scrutinise images to interpret their meaning and peel back the layers to try and reveal a bigger picture / story. In this context I feel my critical voice is beginning to emerge and I’m looking forward to discovering new photographers and their work over the duration of the course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise: Colours into tones in black and white

Object

  • Set up a still life using red, blue, yellow and green and include a piece of grey card.
  • Take one exposure so that the grey card appears mid grey.
  • Convert the image into black and white.
  • Use processing software to experiment with red, blue, yellow and green filters.
  • Note how each filter changes the colours.

Exercise

I set up a still life as shown below and with the grey card.

IMG_2919

I have Photoshop Elements 11 at home and to convert an image to black and white you use the option Enhance>Convert to Black and White. Elements then offers a selection of pre-set options as seen in the screen print below. These styles differ according to how much red green and blue has been used and the effect of each can be further adjusted by using the sliders on the right.

 

print screen

The following images are the results using the different styles offered by Elements.

The Portraits, Newspaper, Urban Snapshots and Scenic Landscape themes had very similar amounts of RGB on the slider scales. The Infrared style had a higher amount of green and the Vivid Landscapes had a higher amount of red. On p.119 the course notes state:

“What you can see from this set of prints is that each filter lightens the tone of any object that has the same colour, and darkens the tone of the others”.

I wasn’t really able to see this in the pre-set options in Elements, so decided to experiment with my camera and some coloured filters that I have in a studio lighting kit.

Firstly I switched my camera to Monochrome to get a basic black and white image shown below. When writing up these notes, I realised I had taken the image at a different angle from the images above so I have done a rough sketch to indicate the colours.

IMG_2928     IMG_monochromecolour_edited-1

In my studio kit I have red, blue and yellow filters. One by one I held up each filter in front of the lens and still working in monochrome pressed the shutter. Not having a green filter I used the blue and yellow filters at the same time to try to make green. I’m not sure if this is a true green filter but did it for experimental purposes. The results are as follows:

I don’t think the green filter worked and it is hard to tell the difference with the blue filter as it doesn’t seem to have lightened the background. The best results were the using the red and yellow filters – these have definitely lightened the tone of the cotton reels in the same colour whilst darkening the others.

Outcome

Although this exercise isn’t conclusive it is worth remembering that in principle, using a red, yellow, blue or green filter will lighten the tones of the same colours in a black and white image whilst darkening the others.