Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Continuing Working at the ideas

In an attempt to stop me going rusty and to have me continue to learn the skills from the TAOP course, I have gone back and looked over the exercises and using them as a loose basis I created a brief for myself.

In this case I wanted to have another try at the lighting exercise and have a go at a combined dark field and edge lighting experiment.,

I setup the softbox behind a piece of A4 black paper which was clamped to a lighting stand a little in front of the softbox.

 Brandy Shot
D80, Aperture f27, Speed 1/180 sec, ISO 100, 145mm (35mm Equivalent 217mm), Matrix Metering Mode, Flash White Balance, tripod mounted, 55-200mm, Single Studio 180W Flash head with softbox.
Dark Field Brandy

I am pleased with the colouration of the brandy and that the curviture of the inside of the glass is shown by the small amounts of defracted light within the glass itself.

Large Brandy Glass
I then moved on to a larger glass, one which was almost as wide as the piece of black paper once it was composed on the table.

D80, Aperture f27, Speed 1/180 sec, ISO 100, 95mm (35mm Equivalent 142mm), Matrix Metering Mode, Flash White Balance, tripod mounted, 55-200mm, Single Studio 180W Flash head with softbox.

Dark Field Goblet

I converted it to black and white and then used photoshop to adjust the saturation colour on the glass to give it a very slight blue hue as I wanted to show the bowl shape of the glass.

Crystal Glass 
Again I changed glasses, this one was slighly smaller, but it had the one advantage of being cut crystal. This allowed the light to reflect around more within the glass as the crystal cuts helped to deflect and disfuse the light.

D80, Aperture f27, Speed 1/180 sec, ISO 100, 105mm (35mm Equivalent 157mm), Matrix Metering Mode, Flash White Balance, tripod mounted, 55-200mm, Single Studio 180W Flash head with softbox.

Dark Field Crystal Both Sides

While I was pleased with the glass and the light effect it produced I was not too happy to see that a lot of the table below the stand and the glass was being reflected up into the bottom of the glass. Next time I will have to place down non reflective black card to stop the reflections and to soak up some of the bounced light.

Crystal Glass Single Side

I adjusted the glass and the lighting stand holding the black piece of paper a little and then had another go at the crystal glass, this time I wanted only to capture one side of the glass.

D80, Aperture f27, Speed 1/250 sec, ISO 100, 105mm (35mm Equivalent 157mm), Matrix Metering Mode, Flash White Balance, tripod mounted, 55-200mm, Single Studio 180W Flash head with softbox.

Dark Field Crystal Single Side

Using the slightly faster shutter speed meant that with the adjustments I photographed the glass capturing only the light refelecting from once side. I was really pleased with this image.

What I learned
At the end of the shoot I looked over the images and ditched quite a few as I was not fully happy with the performance of the lighting; I have overlooked the power of the lighting and had set it too high forcing me to change ISO, speed and Aperture because once I started shooting I forgot that I could adjust the lighting power down even further. I did however get a few images that I was particularly happy with, including the single edge of the crystal glass.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Ansel Adams: Born Free and Equal
Josef Albers: Interaction of Colour
Eugene Atget: Paris
Steve Bavister: Lighting for Portrait Photography
John Berger: Ways of Seeing
Karl Blossfeldt: The Complete Published Work
Clement Cheroux: Portfolio of images by Henri Cartier Bresson
Graham Clarke: The Photograph
Charlotte Cotton: The Photograph as Contemporary Art
Edward S Curtis: Native Americans. A portfolio of images published by Taschen
Magdalena Droste: Bauhaus
Steve Edwards: Photography. A Very Short Introduction
Michael Freeman: The Photographers Eye
Reuel Golden: Masters of Photography
John Hannavy: A Moment in Time. Scottish Contributions to Photography 1840-1920
John Hedgecoe: The Photographers Handbook
Roger Hicks/Frances Schultz: Still Life and Special Effects Photography
Fil Hunter/Steven Biver/Paul Fuqua: Light. Science and Magic. An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
Johannes Itten: The Elements of Colour
Ian Jeffrey: How to Read a Photograph
Tony Mendoza: Ernie. A Photographers Memoir
Steve Mulligan: Understanding Composition. The Complete Photographers Guide
Museum Ludwig Cologne: 20th century Photography
NPG: Vanity Fair Portraits
Bryan Peterson: Understanding exposure
Phaidon: The Photo Book
Phaidon: Century
Prestel: Icons of Photography - The 20th Century
Man Ray: A Portfolio of images published by Taschen
Susan Sontag: On Photography
Sara Stephenson: Light from the Dark Room
John Szarkowski: The Photographers Eye
Taschen: Photo Icons 1 & 2
Thames & Hudson: Magnum Photos
Thames & Hudson: The Great Life Photographers
Edward Weston: A Portfolio of images published by Taschen

just some of the influences!

I would just like a moment to note some of the photographers and artists whose work has an influence on me and who I had discovered as part of the Art of Photography Course.
Ansel Adams – I came to his work quite late, I enjoy looking at his landscapes and I can be lost in the composition for hours, but it was his work capturing the life of Internees which really captured my imagination, his portraits are perfect and work well as a narrative as well as a capture of space and time.

Edward Weston – I have always loved the indoor work on peppers as Weston has captured the shape, contours and contrasts of the subjects in simple but impressive monochromatic images.

Alexander Rodchenko – When I first encountered “Portrait of Mother “ by Rodchenko I was very impressed, with one single image he has shown his influence on film makers and on designers. His use of composition and rhythm in a image have had a great influence on how I see shapes and patterns.

Rankin – Rankin’s’ monochromatic portraits remind me of the production and promotional images created by many Hollywood photographers of the 20’s 30’s and 40’s. I have always been fascinated by this style of portraiture and the creative work that these photographers produced for Time Magazine and Vanity Fair.

Jack Vetriano – I has always liked his work but I have at time struggled to understand what he was presenting. Thanks to the course I now have a better appreciation of his work and some of his portraitures have had an influence of me.

Edward  Curtis – I found some of Curtis work at the start of the course and his simple monochromatic images made me want to see more of them and to examine his work.

Roger Hick and Frances Schultz – their work together in the production of advertising images has had an influence on me as it has taught me to little on the lighting requirements and skills needed to create these images.

The number of images and pieces of work and their artists which have influenced me is a very long list. Thankfully to the teachings of the course I have found a greater appreciation for art and artists than i had before. I know enjoy looking at art and being able to start to understand the representation and with a simple understanding fo colour theory and composition I can now start to understand why some images are more striking to me than others.

Following a Narrative

One of the images I came across when studying up on Narrative was by Ansel Adams, the image itself was insightful and in one single frame told the story. I then started to follow this up and find more images regarding this subject and its place in history and before I knew it I was reading a book by Ansel Adams called “Born Free and Equal” which details life for Americans of Japanese descent who were interred in camps during the Second World War. While reading this book I discovered another photographer whose images I was impressed by, this photographer was Toyo Miyatake an internee and official camp photographer. Miyatake had studied by Edward Weston, another photographer of influence to me; due to this discovery am I now searching for more of Miyatakes work.