Project 2 Exercise 1.4 Frame

Research on Formalism click here

Frame

This final exercise is asking me to take a number of photographs using the ‘frame assist’ on my camera. Frame Assist is known by many names, Rule of Thirds, Golden Mean, Grid View, Photographers Mean and so on and so on, but in the main,  I have known it to be, The Rule of Thirds.  Now saying that, its not exactly a rule, more of a guide, to help with the composition and framing of an image.

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Quite simply the rule of thirds is depicted by a grid (like the one on the left). Two vertical and two horizontal lines, that intersect in 4 places, where the green dots sit. In photography a point of interest should be placed on any intersection, where you can see a green dot. Its said that our eyes look for intersections in a photograph, looking at the lines making it more balanced, and a pleasure to the eye.

Click here to see further research on Where Do You Look

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the portrait photograph on the left, of my son, daughter-in-law and little grandson, I have over laid the rule of thirds.The left upper intersection crosses over my sons eye, and the right upper section crosses over my daughter-in-laws smiling mouth, which is fine, but the right lower intersection crosses over my daughter in laws hand which is a distraction.

One might argue that the hand is cradling the baby and gives the message of love and protection, but hands in the open flat position, tend to be over exaggerated, looking very large in relation to the rest of the body. Her hand looks almost as big as her face. It could also be argued that the leading lines the fingers take, are pointing you upto to the babys face

(Read more on lines click here)

The lower left intersection crosses over the babys elbow. You do not need to have every intersection on a point of interest. Too many elements in an image may make it seem cluttered and not very pleasing to the eye. Sometimes less is more.

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On a recent trip to Ireland we visited a few places and happen to stop near the coast for a bit to eat, I saw this sculpture in the image on the right, and thought it was interesting. As you can see the birds (upper left intersection) and the bench (lower right intersection) are not quite on the cross section. If I had moved one pace to the right they would have been a perfect fit. As it is, the curving line coming from the base of the sculpture leads the eyes up the birds, and finally down to the bench. As we travel through the image, we are taken to  the mountains in the back ground, then notice the sea in between.

Having said that, a horizon in the centre of the image is said to be not as pleasing to the eye as having it 3rd way up or down. I could crop this to make it more pleasing, but as it is I think its fine, If I crop the sky it will become unbalanced, If I crop the foreground, there will be too much sky, (note though, that if the sky was the subject this would not be a problem) So, in my opinion it’s fine. I find this image quite relaxing with few elements that make it a simple image to look at…. and as I said at the beginning, rule of thirds is a guide, rather than a rule

Read more on the effects of cropping Click Here

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On a recent visit to Beeston Castle in Shropshire, I took the grandchildren for a day out. I noticed a pull ring attached to a large stone and told my granddaughter that if you could pull open the stone you would become a real princess! She tugged and pulled at the stone, I thought it was a great photo opportunity. The expression on her face says it all, she is a very determined little lady.

Her eyes are at the point of interest cross section, while the tree root acts as a pointer to her face. The large rock gives balance to whole image and the grass gives the image an even plain/background.

Another ‘grid’ used by photographers today, to help with composition and framing, is known as the Fibronacci Sequence Its a mathematical sequence used by Italian born Leonardo Pisano, in the 1100’s. It was something he came across when he was trying to work out how many rabbits he could breed in a month, if he started with 2 rabbits.

Although the actual sequence was first mentioned by the Indian mathematician, Pingali, between the 5th century BC and the 2nd or 3rd century AD. Pingali is also the father of the binary system, in todays terms, what we would associate binary with is, computer technology, our thinking maybe that binary is relatively a recent invention, but binary has been around since the 2nd century 1500 years before German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz discovered it in 1695.

fibonacci-and-thirdsThe Fibronacci Sequence is a mathematical curve that sweeps round as seen in the figure on the left. The curve touches the edge of the frame when the proportion is a square. It does not match the exact position of the lines in the rule of thirds, which are in pink (in the same figure) Although the 5th square does hover over the bottom right intersection in the rule of thirds pink line.

Exercise 1.4 Frame

Take a good number of shots using the frame assist, no need to bother about the rest of the frame, but making sure that there is something of interest at one or more of the sections. I found this exercise very hard, as I wanted to move from where I actually took the photographs for them to be framed better, but as the instruction was ‘dont bother about the rest of the frame’ I didnt!

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Panasonic DMC-FZ45
f/3.5    1/13sec
ISO 800
Focal Length 20mm

The photograph of the right was taken on a visit to Newcastle, while walking in The Walker Park. There were many aluminium sculptures. These mushrooms where about 6ft high amongst the trees in the woodland walk. I didnt set the frame assist as I was too busy looking around for something interesting to photograph. I did however want to get the mushrooms in the top right intersection.
It was a very dull cloudy day, in the evening, so I set the camera to fit the bill.
Looking at the photograph, I feel it is a bit heavy to the right as there is nothing of interest on the left hand side. The tree in the middle (behind the mushrooms) is something I would normally avoid as it contributes to the unbalance.

The thin light coloured trunk on the extreme right of the frame, creeps in and becomes a distraction. Ideally I should have moved further to the left and avoided the negative area to the right, using the big tree trunk to balance the frame/mushroom.  If this was the only position I could take the photo in, I would have cropped the Light coloured thin trunk tree out

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Panasonic DMC-FZ45

f/3.7    1/20sec
ISO 800
Focal Length 27mm

On the same walk, I saw the big log lying on the ground and decided to use this as a focal point to aim my camera at. I thought the spider sculptures would add interest. Again though, the tree at the centre of the picture is not where I would normally place such a disracting element. I would have moved to have the log in the lower right hand intersection, with the two large trees framing the spiders and the log in the foreground.

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Panasonic DMC-FZ45

f/3.1    1/30sec
ISO 460
Focal Length 7mm

At the school Christmas Fayre, my granddaughter wanted her face painted. It was difficult taking photographs in a school environment as other parents may not have liked to have their children photographed. But I managed quite a few by making sure that only my grandchildren where in the frame.

The classroom was fairly bright and no flash or extra lighting was needed, but my granddaughter was backlit which meant I couldn’t get the twinkle in her eye. I know that I could use Photoshop to improve on this to add a twinkle, but my use of PS and Light-room are limited. I would have liked the eyes to be a little sharper.

The background had enough DoF to mask out childrens work, but the light from the window at the top right hand of the frame is a little burnt out, and as its almost the same colour as the make-up on the face, it lessens the impact/interest I was hoping the face painting would have.

P1230147aaPanasonic DMC-FZ45
f/2.8    1/250sec
ISO 500
Focal Length 4mm

Writing a letter to Father Christmas always brings a smile, and this little one is no different to any other child writing a list.

Here I wanted to use the wooden reindeer as foreground interest, adding to the story of Christmas, I also wanted to include the Father Christmas figure on the bookshelf behind my granddaughter, but he might have been better moved to the left, to balance out the colour a little more.

There are mainly reds followed by blues (sky and cabinet) Father Christmas would have been better placed on the window above the green bottles with the white card behind him. I would have then increased the DoF enough for the viewer to know it was a Father Christmas figure, but not too sharp to detract from the main subject. Backlit again from the window, give a nice glow around the hair. On the whole the image is a bit cluttered, increasing DoF would eliminated this problem.

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Panasonic DMZ-FZ45
f2.8  1/60sec
ISO 250
Focal Length 4.5mm
Flash Used

Finally they get to meet the Father Christmas. He was seated in a small wooden hut at the back of the school and the only lighting was from the open door, therefore I used a 1/2 flash setting for short distances as I didn’t want to over expose the scene.

It was hard to decide what element to line up with the rule of thirds cross section, and I had to be quick about it as there was a big queue of impatient children waiting their turn to see the main man. In a split second I concentrated on the granddaughter.

My grandson was too high in the frame, and focusing the intersection would have meant that there was far too much empty space to left, and the feet would have been out of the frame. I tried to get the distance of the grandsons head and the granddaughters feet equal distance from the top and bottom of the frame respectively.  I could have taken the shot as portriat instead of landscape, but then I would not have got the fireplace, stocking and Santa’s bed in the frame.

The star on the left would also have been mostly cut out showing only the tips.  The star on the left is balanced against the sign on the right, which is at the same height. Whilst the bed is balanced by the fire place and socks.  The stools and the pictures on the floor, together with the star and sign act as a frame for the main subjects.

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Panasonic DMZ-FZ45
f2.8  1/60sec
ISO 500
Focal Length 4mm

Back for a walk in the park in Newcastle. The evening light left a glow on the trees. I focused on the bench as my point of interest. The path leads up past the bench to the glowing trees in the distance, but the fence on the right of the frame looks out of place.

The large trees on the far right and left of the image, frame the glowing trees in the centre of the photograph and work with the path to lead you to them.

The whole image is very heavy on the right with the Fountain, bench and fence. Also the lighter colour on the ground (bottom left) becomes unbalanced against the grass on the right. Reviewing this photograph, I question whether the bench is really the focal point or are the glowing trees of more interest?

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Panasonic DN+MC-FZ45
f/3.2   1/60sec
ISO 160
Focal Length 9mm

I moved forward a little to include the fountain, but this really didn’t work at all. Focusing on the fountain meant that the bench was hanging off the frame, far to close to the edge for it to be of any interest at all. There are too many vertical elements that stand  in a straight line, these would have been better if I had moved to the right and changed the perspective somewhat.

(To read more on perspective click here)

On the whole the image is again unbalanced with the fountain, bench and part of the fence (just in frame) for me to comment further.This photograph would normally be put into the delete file!

P1230573aa Panasonic DMZ-FZ45
f/3.3  1/60sec
ISO 250
Focal Length 13mm

Walking further into the park I found a lake with ducks and a number of sea gulls. There was not much in the way of interest, although the sunset glow was still reflected on the trees. On the far bank were some wooden posts so I thought I would concentrate on those.

The sky was a little dull and this was reflected in the water. On reviewing this photograph I found it flat, and the three elements, which I deem to be, the water, the trees and the sky, did nothing really to complement each other. The horizontal lines these elements create, layer the image into thirds, but having the edge of each layer resting on the rule of thirds line does nothing to the aesthetics of the image.

The vertical trunks and the bank on the right of the image do lead in to the line of posts,  but that is all it does. There is nothing of interest besides that. The odd swimmng duck get lost as its far too small to add any impact to the image.

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Panasonic DN+MC-FZ45
f/4   1/30sec
ISO 800
Focal Length 50mm

Moving closer to the fountain, there were 4 little cherub type figures holding a horn and sitting on a dolphin like creature. I decided to focus on the cherubs face and fill the frame as much as I could. I photographed the cherub that had the sun to the right of me so that I could get some reflection on the statue without my shadow being added to the frame, or the sun being behind the statue causing it to become a silhouette.  The cherub fits nicely in the frame and the detail is highlighted by the shadows from the sun. The light and dark areas give the sculpture form and interest is generated in the various shapes and lines. I am happy with the DoF but there is a little screw that shines brightly on the cherubs shoulder, which I could have photo-shopped out, but, to my understanding thats not the idea of the exercise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NOW having said all the above, there are times when the subject looks just right in the middle of the frame, here are some examples.  Meet Mavis and Mildred, two cows I met up north when visiting family.

Twirlng Dervish Print 40 x 30

A belly dancer that graced us on a Turkish Night whilst on holiday this year, I must add that, here in this photograph and in the photograph above, symmetry comes into play. Symmetry is pleasing to the eye and many will find that this will prove to be of interest to the viewer.

The same could be said for the photograph I took at Audlem Fayre, where there were many classic cars on show.

Reflections of Austin dpi

New Years 2015 Print 40 xx 30

Ye Olde Chandlers Print 30 x 40

Olive grove Shed Print 36 x 38

As for the other 3 photographs above, The bonfire, taken on New Years Eve to see 2015 in, The Chandlers Shop at a museum in Hartlepool and the Olive Press Shed taken in Turkey, they are not symmetrical, and have empty spaces. In the bonfire, its the dark area, in the other two its the wall.

In my opinion they work because they have enough interest in the rest of the frame to warrant a closer look. There are just enough elements within the frame without making the photographs too cluttered.

All the photographs here are presented as the good, the bad and the ugly, warts and all.

contact she 1

more contact sheets click here

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Fibonacci-sequence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingala

http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Leibniz.html

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Project 2 Exercise 1.3 (2) Line

Shooting Flat Photography

There may be times, when, as a photographer you want to shoot something flat, without perspective. This may be a part of building, car, or a piece of artwork, in fact it could be anything. But what does flat really mean? Basically, in everyday language, it means, square on. The camera should be square on to the thing being photographed. Although anything could be photographed flat, in the majority of cases this method is used to reproduce a copy of an image, be it a painting or the written word.  There are some rules that you must adhere to, so that you get an even photograph, where it is sharp in every area. The first thing that has to be noted is that you will need the use of tripod.

Depending on what it is that you want to photograph, will dictate the best place to site your subject. If you are photographing a piece of art, it should be hung on a wall at a height you can easily raise your tripod to. If its something like clothing, maybe for advertising purposes, again, it should be hung up so it is facing you.

For photographing objects, they should be placed flat on the floor or on a table. If its the case that you are using the floor, then make sure the legs of the tripod will not be a problem and end up in the shot. If you are using the table, make sure your tripod will reach such a height that you can place it over the object being photographed, and still be able to fill the frame with the object you are photographing.

If  you are photographing a building, then make sure you are able to be at a suitable distance, and still be able to fill the frame with the image. There may be limitations of how far away from the building you can go, this maybe due to a small pavement (and ending up on the road), busy pavement or limited access not allowing you to get close enough to the building, like a fence in the way. Each venue will have its own problems, so its advisable to visit the building before you plan your shots, in order to iron out the difficulties that you may encounter.

A tripod is a must for flat photography, as you will need to make sure your camera is positioned square onto the centre of the object you are photographing.  Failing to do this will result in problems with perspective in the final image. Additionally, if you are photographing a piece of art, it should be hung level. Depth of field may become an issue, so use a smaller lens, remembering to slow down the shutter speed, and this is another reason you will need the use of a tripod.

Even though you maybe using a tripod, it is advisable for you to remotely operate the shutter if you can, as this will eliminate camera shake. If you do not have a remote, then one tip is, to set the camera at a 2 sec pause, which will give you chance to press the shutter and move away before the image is shot.

Use a low ISO setting (100), as this will combat the grainy look and you will end up with a sharper picture. If you have the capability on your camera, then shoot in RAW as you will be able to pull back more data, giving you are shaper image.

And finally, use a neutral background so that there is no distraction in the final image, and make sure you position the camera, so that it is placed central to the object you are photographing.

Exercise 1.3.(2)

I started off thinking I wanted to shoot a photograph I had taken on holiday, with the grandchildren and my husband. I got my two cameras ready, tripod set up, cleared the kitchen table and covered it with a neutral background. Then I placed the photograph on the table. And here was my first problem. The tripod did not reach far enough over the kitchen table for me to get the camera square onto the print. I tried moving the print nearer the edge of the table, but then I got a shot of the floor and tripod legs. so I abandoned that idea. Leaning lesson number 1, now a point to remember, make sure the thing you are photographing can be placed square onto the camera so it fills the frame, with no other things in the way.

walla (1) wall (2)I went outside, there I had planned to photograph the bricks at the side of the bungalow. I set up the tripod, fixed on the camera and……I couldn’t understand why the bricks didn’t look level. Learning lesson number 2, check to see if you are working on even ground. The fact that you have the tripod legs all the exactly the same length, doesn’t mean the tripod is level. so after some jiggling around, all was square

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I thought about photographing the mesh chicken run, I was looking for something with lines and that not only had the mess lines, but there was the wall and the horizon. Maybe I could create something interesting with that. The mesh was at an angle to the wall so I tried to straighten it. I found it was too heavy for me to move. It had been there all summer and the grass had grown around it. Finally I managed to move it a bit, but lesson number 3 was learnt. Make sure you have the necessary help with some projects, know your own limitations. In the image to the left, you can clearly see the problem, because the mesh was not flat against the wall, it was difficult to get both the wall and the mesh to be square in the camera.

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Next to the mesh was the trellis, with a poorly looking kiwi fruit plant that in 4 years, had never yielded any fruit. The trellis was not uniform, some of the cross sections were wider/narrower than others, but I liked the way the sun shone through, leaving a shadow in the background, I was pretty pleased with the outcome. I set the 2 sec timer as the ground (grass) was uneven and soft after the rain and the tripod was not as solid to the ground as I would have liked. To the right is the result of the trellis shot.

The sun shining on the bleached wood made some areas of the trellis a little washed out, but I think this gives a better contrast between the wood and the shadow.

hutch (3)hutch (2)

The Chicken hutch had some really nice geometric shapes, not exactly straight lines but still interesting. I could not get too close the hutch to fill the frame as a shadow of my out line was cast, so I decided to take in the surrounding area. Lesson number 4 learnt, Make sure there are no restrictions to stop you getting close to the thing you need to photograph. The conflicting lines from the hutch, trellis, wall and mesh, made a very busy shot. So I honed in to just the hutch and the trellis to see what how that would turn out.

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The photograph on the left is the finished image I want to use for this exercise. It has the complex lines of the hutch, with diagonal lines from the trellis on the left and horizontal/vertical lines from some chicken wire to the right. Even though there are various lines they are all flat and this is what I was trying to achieve.

Oil painting has been a passion of mine for over 50 years, I started painting as a child and loved it. It is a passion that I have practised on off over the years. I decided to photograph one of my own paintings as there was one hanging in dining room. Its on the wall already, and I need to see what difference techniques were needed to photograph a wall hanging, contra to the photographs I have already taken out in the garden.

painting (4)

Lesson number 5, make sure the tripod being used can be placed square onto the work hanging on the wall. If not take the painting down and re hang it according to the hieght of the tripod. Or use your table to get the height needed.  As a disabled person, I had to get help climbing onto the table and placing the tripod in the correct position!

In the photograph above, I could see the dark area in shadow from the window, I needed some more light reflected upward, but as I don’t have any fancy studio lighting I switched on the light. This did not have the desired effect, but as I was shooting in RAW, I would have enough detail to fix it on the computer when I processed the RAW file.

painting (3) paintinga (1)

PC078620In the left photograph above, the painting was lined up using the spirit level on the tripod. Most of todays’ tripods have a spirit level, which is really useful when on uneven ground. Luckily enough, my dining room table was level and I didn’t need to adjust the legs on the tripod, in the same way as I did when I was outside on uneven ground.

After taking various shots outside and the painting as a wall hanging, the other practice needed was flat on a level surface. I have already ruled out using the table. I decided to use the kitchen worktop, utilising the natural light from the window. The pegs from a previous exercise came into play.

tripod (3) pegs (1)

In order to get the camera square to the pegs I had to use a little initiative and leaned the tripod over using some books. I used a 2 second delay as it was not as steady as I would have liked it to be, but it did the job.

The pegs in the image below, on the right, move the line out of the frame, this is similar in bricks, mesh and trellis above. In  the previous exercise, where the lines should not have crept outside the frame as the perspective would have been unbalance, the viewer needed something to focus on at the end of the line. But in this case, especially if the line is taken to the frame, the work, in my opinion, becomes a piece of abstract art.

tripod (2)

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While I had the tripod in the correct position I thought I would experiment with a number of different objects and the results are below.

spoons (1) spoons (4) spoons (6)

I thought the spoons in the photograph on the right made an effective pattern, my thoughts were, if I had enough tea spoons I could carry on the pattern to make a spoon-daisy shape.

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In the photograph above on the right, I had been collecting Iris seeds and had them in a container to over winter them. It was difficult to line the camera up with the plastic container as it was almost transparent, but eventually I got the shot I wanted.

bishop (4) bishop (1)

The images above, are the same chess piece, the bishop. I was experimenting with this to show that from differing flat angels the thing you are photographing can dramatically change in appearance. Again I deviate from the exercise of working with lines, but I have learned that flat photography can have many outcomes with the final look of a shot and in some cases, turns an every day item into something abstract.

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In the photograph above on the right, I mixed up all the pencils in my drawing case so the colours were all mixed up and not in the natural colour order as they usually are. The silver colouring in the pencils dance when you look at them like some abstract picture.

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While doing a little research on abstract art, I came across this piece of work by an artist I don’t know, Noah Halpert. I couldn’t really find out much about his work, but this is the quote I found about his painting found to the right. It caught my eye because it reminded me so much of my final pencil case shot above.

Quote “Some see life as a painting.  When you are born, you were given an easel, a brush, canvas, and most definitely a fancy beret.  The stick on mustache can be added a little later. Suppose that you started your painting based off of how your family’s painting looked.  They provided a lot of love, nurturing, and that other stuff that makes you who you are today.  While growing up, you can be very naive to many things going on around you, or just too immature to understand.  Sometimes this painting or grand work of art can be seen as a definitive person, place, or thing;  a finalized work of art.  Often, it is never considered that maybe this painting is actually an abstract, or something that may never be fully finished.  It takes time and reflection to realize that each day, each event, person, place, or thing, might simply be a brush stroke to a grand work of art. Not all strokes are even, contain enough paint, or even enhance the beauty of this painting.  They represent happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and all of your emotions”  Noah Halpert

Click here for more information on Alfred Stieglitz an early 20th centrury photographer who went against the norm. He married abstract artist,Georgia O’Keeffe, who shared his views.

And finally, my own little piece of abstract line art, my hand in 3d

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Read More about Cropping V Framing click here

Research on John Szarkowski click here

Read more about Formalism click here

Tutor Report & My Reflection/Review of THE SQUARE MILE

Review of report for the assignment The Square Mile

Tutor Comment

 When you receive this report, I suggest that you go through it carefully and make notes about it. You will also find it useful to comment on the various things I have included links for. Those responses can then go into your learning log.

My Comment

So here I am making my notes

Tutor Comment

You say you have chosen to use black and white images to bring out the line and detail which it does and gives them a uniform feel across the set. However in some of the unedited images you have a strong sense of a single colour. For instance Image captioned ‘I am frightened of the dark…’ the brown colour throughout unites the image and still allows us to focus on the detail of the face and line as the colour by being limited doesn’t distract.The same could be said for ‘No Parking spaces…’ which has a predominantly blue range of colour; matching his jumper to the signage behind and the sky in the reflection. This might be a happy accident but by spotting things like this we can then use them to our advantage in the next shoot, looking for how we can use colour to our advantage.

My Comment

After looking again at my submitted images, I understand the comments made about colour. This is fine and I will work on it. I should be more observant and use colour to my advantage. Colour can be a good centre for the viewer to focus on.

Tutor Comment

In your 500 word refection you pick out several artists who you feel have been influential. I wonder if next time in your learning log you can say more about the specifics of how they are influential, as well as discussing what you find successful or interesting about their work and how you have developed your work in response to their technique, idea, etc…

My Comment

With reference to the artists and how they inspired me, I thought I had done this here:

https://lpbcourtney.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/assignment-1-the-square-mile-methodolgy-and-planning/

But reading through it again I only mentioned the things I like, not what I was going to use in assignment. So in future I will be more specific in my methodology, but, I did have a full explanation in the original draft of my assignment, but I went well over the 500 words and ended up editing it to this

  • Gavin Barnard – I actually went to the burn with him
  • Keith Arnatt – same poses, b&w
    · Tina Barney – natural emotions, allowing the individuals to be themselves
    · Karen Knorr – using text to add 3rd meaning
    · Tyler Sheilds – kink the spectator to ponder and question
    · George Rousse – changing perception of the image, not just taking what we see

What I wanted to say if I had more than 500 words is: Barnard -the fact that he used inanimate objects, that had not connection to each other, other than they were destroyed in the burn and they actually took me there. I wanted to have the same effect in my images.

Arnatt – he used black and white which knit the whole thing together, and they were of similar subjects, I want to use a similar effect by changing mine to black and white and having similar poses

Barney – Used a lot of natural emotions, this I used by giving as little as possible direction to the people holding the mirror.

Knorr – This is were I got the idea of the captions, I did think of a few while I was taking the shot, looking at the surrounding and the expression/body language of the person holding the mirror. All the captions are made up

Sheilds  used colour and black and white. The images had a theme going through, then I came to ‘Death by a Rolls Royce’ and had to look twice to see the connection, to me this put a kink in the story and made me think, I used this in one of the images where you actually see my hand and the camera in the shot.

Rousse The painted circle he uses made me think of the round mirror, and putting a different perspective on things,

But point taken, I have to be more specific, like a mathematician, not just showing the answer, but how I got there…..

Tutor Comment

You reflect well on the problems you have encountered and you mention your own reflection creeping in. Sometimes it can be interesting to take a risk and  use the thing you consider a weakness and exploit it. What would it have been like if you had taken some more photos where you were deliberately included in the reflection? Maybe just parts of you and the camera to reveal the process itself and add another layer. You might still have decided that you preferred the images without, but sometimes by doing this you can find something else that actually works really well in an unexpected way.

My Comment

On the comments about taking photos to more or less back up my comments, (i.e. having my reflection in the image) I see how this can be useful to show my thinking , that I tried it and it did/didn’t work or yes you are right, it may have an unexpected outcome in my thinking. I did take one and actually put in as one of my submitted photos

Tutor Comment

Your learning log is well laid out and clear which is good. I can see from your contact sheets you have tried various poses as well as cropping to get the image you wanted. When on location, to give yourself the best quality image, as well as taking wide shots and different angles, try taking some closer shots rather than cropping so much. If you still need to crop in post-production you will loose a lot less of the image and maintain a larger better quality image for when you get to the printing stage. It is important to begin considering the difference between framing and cropping as you continue through the course.

My Comment

Yes, cropping and framing is something I should think more about. I was out in the back only this morning taking shots for ex 1.3 (1) Line. Then coming back in to crop and show the difference in the amount of pixels and the relationship in perspective when zooming, getting closer to the subject and cropping. Thanks for pointing this out, I will give more thought to it in the future. But I did only crop 1 image in the images I submitted

Tutor Comment

I am interested by the captions you have used for the images and wonder what you think they add to the image? It would have been useful for you to reflect or discuss the captions you choose to give the images, as these have a real impact on how your audience will respond and react to the images. How did they come about? Where they done afterwards, or are they a quote from the person in the photo, or something else?

My Comment

The captions I used were all made up, either at the time of shooting or later at home when viewing the images, For example the chap in ‘No Parking Spaces’, I thought he has a cheeky smile and I noticed the car parked on the pavement in the reflection, so I had his ready even before I took the shot. I thought I had explained how I came about adding captions when I wrote about Karen Knorr and how she used made up captions in her series of photographs that I researched.

Tutor Comment

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take creative risks

with your images.

My Comment

Think about how to best do this

  • Frame your images in different ways to try and avoid the need for cropping. This won’t always work but it will help make you more aware of what you want in the image.

My Comment

Don’t really understand this, because I do know the image I usually want, I do plan and even draw the image sometimes. But I will take it on board

  • Try to reflect in more depth on the context and artists work you are researching.

My Comment

I think I do this, maybe I don’t record enough, exactly what I see and think about the people I read about, so I will take this on board and record more of my own thoughts on what I have reseached

My Final Thoughts

On the whole, I think I was able to follow the assignment criteria and work towards what was needed, I think I need to carry on thinking outside the box when working through the projects and take on board what I have learnt from this exercise and the tutor comments.

 

Part 1 – Assignment 1 – The Square Mile – Planning
Part 1 – Assignment 1 – The Square Mile – Assignment
Part 1 – Assignment 1 – The Square Mile – Images
Part 1 – Assignment 1 – The Square Mile – Tutor Report
Part 1 – Assignment 1 – The Square Mile – Review and Reflection

Project 2 Exercise 1.3 (1) Line

Creating ‘Depth’ in a photograph can be achieved by using parallel lines to create the illusion, and making sure when taking the photograph you stand in the correct place to give the right perspective. Depending on what you want to achieve in the finished photograph, will depend on what shapes you use to create the depth. There are different ways to create depth or an illusion in a photograph or image. Julian Beever, is a street chalk artist, who is a master of illusion when it comes to visual art. He specialises in trompe l’oeil images.  Trompe l’oeil, meaning deceive the eye. Below are two photographs, one taken from the from the right angle and the other from the wrong angle. The difference is quite eye opening….

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The 5 Most Talented 3D Sidewalk Artists

So getting back to our sense of perspective and depth, we can use lines and vanishing point to achieve depth. What is a vanishing point? The definition is “the point at which parallel lines appear to converge”. Thinking about a very long road or about railway lines, the further they go the more closer/narrower and smaller they get.

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In this photograph (on the left) taken recently when I visited my family in Malta, notice how the cars get smaller and the buildings don’t look as tall. This is one way in which depth can be achieved. The parallel lines of the buildings, cars and road, almost meet at the end of the road, giving a sense of depth, a far off look. In Malta, especially in our village, we have many long narrow roads, and I am always fascinated with the photo opportunities I have when visiting family.

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P1030815The photograph on the left was taken at The Tarxien Temples in Malta, stones that are akin our own Stone Henge, but which are considerably older. The line of the walkway leads you in, then under the stone doorway to the opposite side of the ancient circle. Using lines to lead you to a shape of interest are another way in which you can create a sense of depth. Moving the spectator/viewer through a path to experience that which is at the other end.

Using lines and perceptive in this way, is like leading a person by hand and saying, come this way, this is what I want you to look at. 

The subject/shape at the other end becomes something almost tangible, there is something there they can see and almost touch.

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Thinking back to Julian Beever’s chalk drawing, and the importance of where you stand to portray the image as you want, can also be applied to photographs. For example, the two photographs here where taken on the Bridgewater Canal of the Barton Aqueduct Bridge. This is a swing bridge that spans the Manchester Ship Canal. In the first photograph on the left, I was stood up in the bow of our narrow boat when I took it, and it gives a sense of depth, deceiving the eye into thinking that the other end is further away than it actually is. In the next photograph I was sitting down. These two photographs were taken seconds apart, yet because I changed my position, they differ in the perceived distance from me to the end of the bridge. So it is important to plan and make sure you are in the right position to give the strength to line you want to portray. How deep do you want your image to look? 

You can alter the perspective by moving around, moving to the left or the right, even,holding the camera higher up or lower down as in the example I gave of the Barton Aqueduct Bridge. Another way is to move further away, this also changes the perspective of the shot. But its important to note that, if the shot is taken with the foreground close, a wide angle lens will fill the frame, but if you are further away, you will need to think about using a longer focal length to fill the frame with the image.

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Altering the focal length will alter the image, I have heard people say, I look fat in that photo, or that photo slims me down. Believe me when I say the photo does lie.  I like to think of it as the ‘tall and thin’ and the ‘short and fat’

Below is an example from this website http://nofilmschool.com/2014/11/primer-focal-length-lenses which shows the difference in the shape of the girls face.

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But this is not the only way to create depth, the parallel lines that are used to give perspective to an image may end up in oblivion, into a nothingness, because it ends up being too far away to see.

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The tow path in the photograph on the left taken on the Grand Union Canal, leads you to the High Bridge and beyond, till the view disappears and you cant see any further. This is another way to add depth to photograph, this is also achieved in the examples below of the tunnel and locks.

The Hatton locks are among the longest continuous locks a narrow boat can navigate and seem to go on for ever. The photograph needed to portray this. The lines takes down the locks to the trees and church, then moving past the church to the mountains, creating distance and therefore depth in the image. In the case of the tunnel, not only are we drawn by the water line, but also by the arching roof as it gets smaller till at last we end up in the light at the end of the tunnel.

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In the image on the left, taken at Market Drayton in Shropshire, we are guided to the top of the street where the building become almost a blur. Not only are we increasing depth from the line created by the buildings and the narrowing road, pointing, till they form almost a triangle, the pattern made by the cobbles also lead us in to the far distance. Triangular shapes act as an arrow beckoning us forward to the furthest point.

In my younger days when I attended art college, we were taught perspective in a simple way. We took a pin and placed it in the centre of a board, then we were given string and told to attach a number of lengths of string to the pin in the centre. We where then given a photograph, similar to the one here, and asked to replicate all the lines we can see, by taking the string form the centre to edge of the frame. I can still hear my tutor nearly half a century later saying, ‘and my dear students, that is perspective!’

Its also important to remember that the lines you are using to guide the viewer to the point were the lines converge or almost converge, should not carry on out side the frame, if you want to give a sense of depth to your image, they have to lead to something, be it a shape, subject or oblivion with in the frame, otherwise it would seem that there is nowhere to go once you have reached the edge of the frame.

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Having something prominent in the foreground will also add to the illusion of depth in a photograph. Above, (left) we have a fairly short path, that really looks longer than it actually is. Its a short cut from the carpark in Market Drayton to the main street. Besides having the two posts to mark the start of the lines in the foreground,which are quite big, taking up a lot of the space in relation to the rest of the image, we also have the old cobbles directing us to the other end.

The next photograph was taken with St Marys Church behind me, The gates are the entrance to the church, with the walls on each side taking us upto and through the gates.  As we look down through the gate, the road takes us to the Tudor House Hotel. Here we have the yellow lines as well as the pavement and buildings, working together and leading us to the final destination. So adding something prominent in the foreground will also work when you want to add depth to your photographs.

When we use a prominent shape in the foreground, the ‘triangular’ shape leading up to the converging parallel lines is not so obvious, it starts after our eyes have navigated through the foreground image.

Exercise 1,3 (1) Line

Take a number of shots using lines to create a sense of depth, Shooting with a wide angle lens (zooming out) strengthens a diagonal line by giving it more length with the frame.

My initial thoughts were keep away from railway lines and roads, I wanted something different. My thoughts were to go out and take a number of shots in the fields showing ploughed lines, or trees in lines, or maybe the escalators in the shopping centre, but it was not to be. Instead I had to think of something I could do indoors.(See Blog research and Reflection dated 04/12/2014)

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The stage was set. 4 place mats, one salt cellar, a number of cloths pegs set up to resemble columns the like of which would be found in Rome or Athens, and a sheet as the background. Camera and tripod set up level with the kitchen table.

I wanted to portray the effect you would have got if your were a roman coming back from a victorious  battle and making your way down the long parade to the big villa at the end.

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Starting far away and with a wide angle lens I took various shots which looked like pegs on a table mat and not like columns in Rome!

I changed my position with each shot which gave the different perspective to the respective images. The lower I went to become level with the kitchen table, the better the shot was, getting me closer to the image I want to end up with. I needed to move in closer and try again.

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As can be seen in the image to the left, after moving closer to the table I was getting there. The lines seemed longer and I was now getting the narrowing effect I wanted.

 P1230355In the end I achieved my goal. Having the camera level with the table and looking straight down the columns on each side I got the desired effect. Now I can lead the spectator down the parade past all the columns to the Roman building at the end in triumph.

As I had all these pegs in place i wondered what would happen if I placed a mirror at the end, would it lengthen the column of pegs of have some other effect. Would it have the reverse effect of the perspective we see from the front?

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When I places a mirror at the end of the column, it didnt seem to have a big effect, till you look at the place mats reflected. They did, quite increasing, carry on getting smaller and narrower. Maybe if I had carried the peg columns further on we would have seem a difference in the way the pegs were perceived.

P1230360In the final image on the right, I have added the salt and pepper sellers, filling the foreground, I think this added to the image and leads the viewer straight down towards the pegs at the far end. I have achieved depth in the image, (and the pegs don’t look like pegs anymore) 

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So onto the ploughed field visit that I had planned. A chopping baord, kitchen work top, natural light form the window (without the reflection from the window pain) and ofcause the soil, in this case, a jar of mixed herbs from the kitchen cupboard.

Learning my lesson from the previous shots, I lined the camera on the tripod, level with the kitchen work top, and I got the desired effect, but something was missing. So I added a backdrop, first the monkey plant holder then the kitchen roll.

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So I added a backdrop, first the monkey plant holder then the kitchen roll. This seemed work better, adding a focus in and giving an increased perception of depth.

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Finally I decided to move around a little and took more shots from different angles and positions as can be seem in the shots below.

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The final shot was what I wanted to achieve. Lines reducing in size and having the focus in the foreground.

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I even have a tractor in this shot, on the upper left of the frame, but to everyone else it may look like an empty herb jar!

Another shot I wanted to take was, to lie down in the middle of a road, surrounded by tall buildings. But for health and safety reasons this was not practical. So, I decided I would lie down under some tall trees, and see how they would appear. But as I was working indoors today, the door frame had to be my cancellation prize. The result of lying on the floor in the doorway is below

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Below are some other attempts of shots I took for this exercise

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The spoon end of the wooden spoons, in the images above, certainly reduce in size. The middle photogragh has the spoon end nearer the camera, thereby increased in the perceived size, whereas in the last wooden spoon photograph, the spoon end looks smaller

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Further Reading on Perspective and Distortion

Lens Distortion

Optical Distortion

Shooting Flat