Artefact!

Recently I visited a friend’s house and we had a day out in a park where their were a lot of squirrels. These squirrels were very different to what i was normally used to as they were tame and fed of your hands. I saw this a great opportunity to get up close to the animals and make the most of what I wouldn’t normally be able to do.

I also wanted to capture the animals in their natural surroundings and not just focus on the fact that they were so tame. even though this was a great experience photographing animals in their natural habitats looks natural, I like to see this in animal photography. Although I grabbed the opportunity to get up close to the animals.

To get the images of the close up’s I set my camera to a portrait setting. Even though this probably wasnt the best setting to use I found that it worked really well with what I was trying to achieve. it gave me clear photographs and also brought out all the detail in the animal.

I have had a look at Igor Siwanowicz who is an animal photographer, he hasn’t photographed squirrels but what I found interesting and what related to what I was trying to achieve was the closeness that he got to the animals and comparing it to how close I got to the squirrels.  Igor Siwanowicz mainly photographs insects and smaller kind of animals but what amazes me is how close he gets to the animal and the detail that he can capture. I also have had a look at his work as he is a professional photographer, comparing it to mine as I am still only an armature and seeing if their is much difference. I like to do this with some of my work as it shows me how i can get better and also gives me inspiration to go out next time and try that little bit harder. I wasnt able to get as close to the animal as  Igor Siwanowicz has been able to but being such a different animal i think that I have achieved something that is not always out their for people to be able to photograph.

Here is a few images of  Igor Siwanowicz work….

 

I have slightly edited my images on Photoshop. I have done this because I was having to take the images so quickly because I only had a short amount of time with being so close to the animal that I wasnt able to create the perfect shot that I wanted to create. although at times I did get a good picture and I havent had to edited them.

Here are the images of my close up of squirrels.

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Film Review – Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon “Breathtaking combination of high flying action” Winner of 4 Oscars 115 Minutes Set in 19th century, China, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon follows to martial arts masters Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien who is fighting against an arranged marriage, in the process Li is torn between his deep and long denied feelings for Shu, and his wish to tame and teach Jen. This was a really interesting film from the start I was immediately drawn in. I think I was immediately drawn in by the soft gentle music but with the loud voices it made me very tense and on the edge of my seat. Throughout this film their was incredible sound effects that really caught my attention and kept my attention. I thought that the way that they didn’t over do the sound effects and that they were loud and subtle but really made me o edge and move my body with the sound effects as though I was in the scene. The whole way through this film I was questioning myself to what was happening and couldn’t wait for the film to carry on so I could find out the answer. This really made me interact with the film and feel part of what was happening and this is what I like to feel when I am watching a film. Another technique that I really liked during this film were that parts were really close in to the subject and I felt that this was very intimate. When the subject matter was drawn really close in I felt a real impact on my feelings and made my feeling a lot more effected. Also the way that when their was fighting their was a lot of bird-eye views of the people fighting. I really like this and thought that it really drew me in to what was happening. This made me watch and drew me in. Their was parts in this film that I must say disappointed me. To wards the end the fighting got really far fetched and very far out of the ordinary. Also the way that the characters were flying across buildings and water really spoilt the moment and the film in these scenes. I felt this because this could never be done and the actions were so over dramatic. In a film I want it to be the most realistic it can be to make it seam real. Drawing in to the end of the film I stared to get confused as to what was happening and why they were doing their actions. I just thought that as the film was ending it died down and wasn’t so interesting their was no emotion and I didn’t feel as interested as I did at the begging. I thought that this was a real let down to the film and I don’t think I would want to watch it again. I think an ending should be dramatic in this kind of film and this didn’t happen. Was disappointed.

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Simon Norfolk

Recently I have taken a trip to London to look at Norfolk’s “Walking through Afghanistan” exhibition.

I really enjoyed looking at the exhibition as their was some really interesting photographs, images that I didn’t think Afghanistan would look like. These images gave me a completely different perspective on Afghanistan on how it looked now.

In October 2010, Simon Norfolk began a series of new photographs in Afghanistan, which takes its cue from the work of nineteenth-century British photographer John Burke. Norfolk’s photographs reimagine or respond to Burke’s Afghan war scenes in the context of the contemporary conflict. Conceived as a collaborative project with Burke across time, this new body of work is presented alongside Burke’s original portfolios. The exhibition takes place in conjunction with an earlier complementary exhibition in March 2011 at the Queen’s Palace in the Baghe Babur garden in Kabul, supported by The World Collections Programme and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which resulted from a series of workshops with Afghan photographers, featuring work by Fardin Waezi and Burke alongside Norfolk’s own work.

The Level 2 Gallery programme has been made possible with the generous support of Catherine Petitgas

Afganistan

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I really enjoyed this trip as we got to meet Norfolck himself and ask questions about the project he did in Afghanistan.

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Pinhole Camera

I have made my own Pinhole Camera using the instructions I found below on the internet.

http://www.makingyourown.co.uk/make-your-own-pinhole-camera.html

I wanted to have a little look at what a pinhole camerea really does and what is a pinhole camera.

Now, using my Pinhole camera I am going to take some street photography.

What is street photography?

Street photography uses the techniques of straight photography in that it shows a pure vision of something, like holding up a mirror to society. Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter, and often concentrates on a single human moment, caught at a decisive or poignant moment. On the other hand, much street photography takes the opposite approach and provides a very literal and extremely personal rendering of the subject matter, giving the audience a more visceral experience of walks of life they might only be passingly familiar with. In the 20th century, street photographers have provided an exemplary and detailed record of street culture in Europe and North America, and elsewhere to a somewhat lesser extent.

Many classic works of street photography were created in the period between roughly 1890 and 1975 and coincided with the introduction of portable cameras, especially small 35mm, rangefinder cameras, most famously the Leica, as used by Henri Cartier-Bresson, among others.

Street photography often means somewhat different things to different photographers, but in essence street photography involves wandering the streets and making photographs of daily life as it unfolds before your eyes and camera. 

Street photographers typically react to situations and usually have no specific subject matter in mind as they set out to make photographs. Street photography is very much about life in general and usually don’t involve the concept of visualising photographs in advance of taking them. I use words like ‘typically’ and ‘usually’ as some street photographers may happen upon a scene with a certain play of light and shadow for example, and then stake out that scene until something happens. That something is often some sort of human element in the scene. In fact some people will argue that human presence is a prerequisite in street photography.

Boy stepping up on a light poleWhat is Street Photography?

Street photography uses the techniques of straight photography in that it shows a pure vision of a scene. It’s therefore up to the photographer to place emphasis on the selection of what elements to include and exclude from the composition – and of course this has to happen in a split second. It is not generally accepted to edit the contents of a street photograph – such as editing out a discarded coke can in Photoshop in post-processing.

Man lying on a carWhat is Street Photography?

Most people will agree that for a street photograph to be successful the scene has to move the photographer in some way. If it moves the photographer – and if the photographer is skilled at capturing the decisive moment – there is a good chance it will also move the viewer.

Effective street photography is about telling a story in a single frame, not simply recording what was there at a particular time and in a specific place.

Girl in a beauty parlour by Chris JLPhoto by Chris JL

The term “the decisive moment” was of course coined by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson who helped develop street photography as a style or genre.

Cartier-Bresson was an early adopter of the 35mm format and a master of candid photography. You can learn more about Cartier-Bresson in the excellent documentary The Impassioned Eye which is available on DVD. I personally own the DVD and enjoy watching it as a source of inspiration and as a wonderful biography on one of the most influential photographers of the last century.

Street photography generally involves getting close to people – and often within their comfort zones. This means the photographer often becomes part of the scene rather than a distant observer. It also means shooting with wide lenses; usually nothing longer than 50mm. Consequently some street photographers prefer shooting in places like crowded streets in big cities, fairs, carnivals, parades or even on a busy ferry or bus.

Portrait of a man in black and whitePhoto by sketchy record

 

Street Photography Shooting Techniques

 

How you shoot on the street is of course a matter of personal choice, but some shooting techniques might work better than others.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to shoot successful street photographs:

  • Don’t be sneaky and don’t try to hide your cameras.
  • If someone objects to having their picture taken, don’t take it.
  • If someone turns away as you’re about to photograph, respect their privacy and refrain from shooting.
  • Don’t lurk around in the background with a long lens as this will often be interpreted with scepticism and suspicion.
  • Participate in the scene rather than be a voyeur.
  • For more candid pictures try to blend in with the crowds and be subtle in your camera movements. Don’t constantly put your camera to your eye. Instead relax and put your camera down and just be one of the many people on the street. Then raise your camera when you are one or two seconds away from the shot you want. Click the shutter a couple of times, and then put your camera down again. If you get noticed, smile.
  • Embrace the fear and shoot through it. Even more experienced street photographers have fears about being yelled at, chased down the street or worse. While this fear may subside over the years, it will probably never disappear completely. Acknowledge it and make a conscious decision to embrace the fear and shoot through it.
  • Travel light. All you need is a camera body and a few lenses and film or memory cards.
  • Don’t carry your shiny new high-tech camera bag out on the street. Instead carry your gear in a more casual shoulder bag or messenger-style bag.
  • Leave the khaki-50-pockets-photographers-vest at home and wear simple and relaxed clothing. Dress like the people you’re photographing.
  • Switch to manual focus, estimate the distance to your subject and pre-set your focus. This way you’re ready to shoot and frame when an interesting moment happens.
  • Pre-set your focus and ‘shoot from the hip’. You don’t necessarily have to bring your camera to your eyes to capture a moment.
  • Keep shooting ‘through the moment’. You want to capture that decisive split second of a moment, so keep shooting as events unfold.
  • Smile, smile, and smile some more. A smile can defuse most negative situations you might find yourself in.
People looking up at somethingPhoto by Joe Holmes

Street photography might not be for everyone, but it is a style of photography that can teach you a lot about composition in photography along with the significance of freezing a moment in time.

I have found a street photographer that really caught my eye. His name is Matt Stuat.

About

I am not sure which came first, being nosey or an interest in ‘street photography’, but a fascination with people and the way they live their lives is why I enjoy the business so much.

I can’t hide behind lights and technology, I am reliant on a small Leica camera, patience and lots of optimism. But what I get in return is the chance to make an honest picture which people know immediately is a genuine moment and which hopefully burrows deep into their memories.

Have a look at this link for images of his work.

http://www.mattstuart.com/Photographs/Colour

As I was looking at different street photographersI cam across a Street Photography festival that is happeing 7th to the 17th July.

http://londonstreetphotographyfestival.org/ Have a look at this link for more details.

I am now going to go out with my Pinhole camera and take street photography photographs. What i want to capture is what happends in a day to basis on the streets, the natural side of what happends. I want to capture the real side of the streets and not a edited version.

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Use of lighting within Photographs

For this task I am looking at different kinds of lighting within photographs. I am going to look at how different light affects different photographs and what effects different lighting have on a photograph.

Silhouette Lighting 

First i thought i would look at a lighting effect that I think really stand out and looks really effective within photography. This lighting technique is called “SILHOUETTES”.

I really like this Photograph, purely because the contrast in colours with the focal point really stands out. The use of silhouette lighting in this photograph I think works really well. I think it almost looks as though the subject matter (the model) is raised up out of the photograph. i really like the way that the lighting in this photograph is directly behind the model, its like she is blocking the light from coming through but it makes her stand out from the background. I think that having the light blocked by the subject matter, makes the focal point stand out and also gives a real glow to the other surroundings. 

 

This is a different kind of silhouette photography to which I have looked at in my previous photograph. I really like how the lighting is behind the subject matter and I think this really emphasises the subject matter and really makes it stand out. the fact that also the lighting is kind of framed by the walls leads your eyes to the back of the photograph then i feel the light pushes you back to the form of the photograph. I think the way that the light has been used in this photograph really moves your eyes around the photograph. another thing that really stood out to me in this photograph was that because it is a dark photograph with little light that is framed by the walls gives the photograph a really depth of field.

infrared Lighting

Whilst I was looking at different lighting I came across infrared lighting.

Click here for full size original image

Even though in this photograph the lighting is almost symmetrical through out I really think that the main light source comes from behind the trees in the sky. I really like the contrast in this image with the black and white then the bright but almost dull blue. I think that the opposite in colours really works and makes this picture really stand out.

Click here for full size original image

This is another photograph that has been taken using infrared. I really like the way that the light is just creeping out from the clouds it is little light but is really effective. My eyes a really drawn to the clouds and I think that the clouds are the main source of light within this photograph. I think having the light behind subject matters and just having it just slightly really makes a photograph stand out a lot more.

Use of different light in photography

I really like the use of light in this photograph. I love the fact that the light is so strong and really catches your attention. I also like the fact that the light is so far back in the photograph and is also behind the detail in the photograph yet it stands out so much and really draws you in. I also like how the lighting in this photograph defines the detail in the photograph making a contrast from the light to the darkness. Another thing that really stood out to me in this photograph is how the light is facing up. It’s not glaring at you and I feel as though im stood far away from this photograph but it still has a big impact on me.

Low Light and Night Photography - In the night

I really like the effect of light being reflected on the subject matter. You can’t actually see where the light is coming from all you see is just the reflection of the light. I think this has a real impact on the mood of the photograph and I find it really pulls me in because the light reflection is really pulling me in.

 

Here is another example of light reflecting of the subject matter. I really like the effect and i think it gives of a sence of romantic and sexual atmosphere. I think that even though the photograph is romantic or sexual the way that the light is used gives of that feeling.

Natural Light in photography

I wanted to look at what I think is the most obvious light in photography and that is using the natural light from the surroundings. just adjusting how you take the photograph and using the natural light that is their.

I have found a photographer that uses natural light within all his photographs. this photographer is called Robin Goodlad.

Goodlad says …

“All photographs are taken using a combination of Nikon F4/F90/D3/D200 cameras, with a variety of Nikkor lenses ranging from 11-18mm, 14-24mm, 35-70mm, 80-240mm and 500-750mm. I strongly believe in using only the natural light that is given to us; colour filters are never ever used; the only filter used is a polarising filter to cut out stray light and enhance colours naturally. Images are post edited in Photoshop, however only to fine tune exposure and balance; no effects are used, I very much believe that with landscape photography, what you should see naturally is exactly what you get.”

I also agree with what he is saying because I think natural light looks more effective and beautiful than edited lights. but what I do think is that landscape should only be natural maybe use other types of lighting in other types of photography.

I think this photograph really emphasizes the use of natural light. I really like how the lighting is bouncing down on the water because natural light comes from above, but I like the fact that it is reflected of the water and this is what we would see with our own eyes.

My Own photographs with different lighting

I wanted to put this photograph in because I think the light is very direct. it is being reflected of the handles and mirror of the bike but I think the light is very in your face and defines parts of the photograph.

this photograph is just using the natural light from around me at the time. I really like how I have blocked the main source of the light which is the sun with the subject matter which is the bridge. I like how the light is coming through the gaps and shining down. I also really like that in parts of the photograph the light is reflecting of and it makes it look very bright and it also looses just a little bit of the detail because the light is reflecting on it.

This is one of my favorite photographs that I have taken. I have not edited this photograph at all this is all natural. what I really think that stands out in this photograph is the way the light behind the trees and also has a glow on it. I think that this looks really effective and also I think being in the background gives of a great sence of depth of field.

I took this at sunset. I really like how you are drawn straight to the sun going down and it is a silhouette of a landscape. I really like the contrast that the light has got from the rest of the photograph and it has just a little hint of a glow on the rest of the detail in the photograph.

here again in the photograph you can’t actually see where the main source of the light is coming from but it is reflecting of the water. I also like how their isn’t just one main place where the light is shining down on it is reflecting of the surf board which is close to the front of the photograph then another place right at the back of the photograph. I think the way that the two different reflections of light and how they are in line with each other helps you move your eyes around the photograph and really bring you into the photograph.

I took this photograph when I was in a concert watching Lionel Richie. I really like how the light is panning down on the subject matter to really point it out and as the light hits the floor it spreads out. I also really like how you can see where the light is coming from but it is just subtle. until it hits the subject matter it’s really bright and makes the subject matter stand out.

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References for DVD

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Research DVD

For my research DVD I have chosen to look at Beauty within a photograph and what makes a beautiful photograph, and also why do we see somethings such as face pulling and a person e.g a girl with no make-up on not posing not a beautiful photograph. I want to research why we don’t take more photographs of ugly things and why they are ugly, what makes them ugly?

I have chosen the paragraph “The Heroism Of Vision”

“Nobody ever discovered ugliness through photographs. But many, through photographs have discovered beauty. Except for those situations in which the camera is used to document, or to mark social rights, what moves people to take photographs of finding something beautiful. (The name under which Fox Talbot patend the photograph in 1841 was the calotype: from Kalos, beautifull.) nobody exclaims, “I find that ugly thing….beautiful.” It is common ifor those who have glimsed at something beautiful to express regret at not having been able to photograph it. So successful has been the camera’s role in beautifying the world in photographs, rather than the world, have become the standard of beautiful. House-proud owners may well pull out photographs of the place to show visitors how really splendid it is. We learn to see ourselves photographically: to regard oneself as attractive is, precisely, to judge that one would look good in a photograph. photographs create the beautiful and – over generations of picture-talking – use it up. Certain glories of nature, for example, have been all but abandoned to the indefatigable attentions of amateur camera buffs. the image-surfeited are likely yo find sunsets corny; they now look, alas, too much like photographs.”

What really struck out to me in this photograph was all about beauty. It made me think that we all have to pretend to be someone else when we have our photograph taken because we want to be seen as beautiful (“to regard oneself as beautiful”).

What i also thought about when I was reading this paragraph was people inner beauty and who we are. Even as babies, our first glaze at our reflection opens up an entire new world where we examine the relationship between the self and the perception of the self. i think as we get older we never stop looking at ourself and examine our faces looking at how we look to other people. We pull funny faces in the mirror exploring the relationship between the self. These are the real faces of who we are the inner beauty coming out. I want to know why we don’t let out inner beauty of who we our come out in a photograph and why we are shy to show our funny faces we pull at ourself in the mirror.

Jan Van Eyck

Eyck was officially the first known self-portrait artist in history. I wanted just to look at a self-portrait artist to see how they portray themself in a photograph. I have found that in his photographs his faces have no expression it is as though he doesnt want to show people what he is really like and his emotions and his inner beauty of who he is.

 Albrecht Durer at age 29 in 1500

The Pioneer

After Jan Van Eyck started toying with the idea of self-image in 1443, Albrecht Durer was officially the first known self-portrait artist in history. Although relatively unknown as a painter during this time, being more famous for his highly-influential prints, he is credited with a large number of self-portraits. One in particular is infamously prominent; it is his self portrait at age 29, and he has painted himself resembling Christ. Imagine how controversial this must have been at the time! Particularly since the authority of the church itself was being called into question with the aid of the arts and sciences.

A portrait is a man’s great truth, and great truths tend to produce more questions than answers: did Albrecht really consider himself as omnipotent as Jesus? Or did he merely want to remind his audience that an artist’s creative spirit is God-given? Not only were his portraits intense and self-dramatizing, they, in fact, openly questioned the connection between the image of the self (via the portrait) and the soul (by ‘impersonating’ Christ). Thus his legacy was not his portrait per se, but what it represented.

I think this paragraph that goes with this photograph I really think evaluates what I have said. He is almost trying to be someone else and I think he feels more comfortable with showing himself as someone else and not him self.

People not showing who they really are I think is a bit upsetting because everyone should be proud of who they are and not scared to show this.

Narcissus

We look into mirrors every day. Some of us stare longer than others, but the fact remains that ever since Narcissus first caught a glimpse of his own image in a pool of water, we have been enamored by how we are perceived. Even as babies, our first gaze at our reflection opens up an entire new world where we examine the relationship between the self and the perception of the self. If you notice infants making faces in mirrors, it’s not about them practicing their most adorable expression to use against adults. Rather it is an exercise in helping them ‘see’ their own personalities, and how their thoughts and feelings are translated onto their faces. Jacques Lacan, notable psychotherapist and disciple of Freud, refers to this event as the ‘mirror stage’. The moment this occurs we are (or should be) temporarily blinded by obsession and praise for ourselves. This stage inevitably happens repeatedly over the course of our lifetimes, when we look into a mirror and a newer version of ourselves is revealed.

The degree to which we are fascinated varies immensely from person to person over each individual’s existence. At one end of the spectrum, an over-inflated sense of self can arise; a blatant narcissism imbued by the eccentricity of unabashed vanity. It’s no surprise therefore that such individuals suffer from an acute ‘mirror-mirror-on-the-wall’ complex.

At the other end, there is an empty schizophrenic inexistence. Individuals who suffer from this type of self-reflection feel that their worlds are crumbling; that they, themselves, are crumbling. The only thing that helps them maintain a semblance of balance within the realms of reality is the recognition of their mirror image; alas, I can see myself. Hence I am here, and I am real.

Unless drowned by either extreme, the majority of human beings tend to drift somewhere along the middle of this spectrum. Seeking the middle ground is ultimately what leads to profound insight, self-awareness, and enlightenment. It is by following this path that we can truly attempt an answer to one of life’s most magnificent and most impossible questions: who am I?

I really thought that this paragraph was really beautiful to read and I felt that Narcisses was really proud of who he was and really wanted to show people he was comfortable with who he was and what he saw he thought it was beautiful. This paragraph also emphasises that people suffer from self as steam and don’t like to look at their reflection because they see it as ugly and not beautiful. I really think any ones reflection is beautiful because their is only one of you and who you are so you should show it more.

I do think we are more comfortable with showing a self-portrait but again is a photograph of us posing, not being naturall in front of the camera. I think that the more relaxed images and people showing their inner beauty is a lot more beautiful in a photograph.

I looked at a photographer called Nigel Barker who is a fashion photographer and really knows what makes a beautiful photograph.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qn–7KZakA

I really think after looking at these 2 videos listening to what Nigel has to say really back up what I have previously said. A beautiful photograph is someone showing their inner beauty who they are.

I interviewed a couple of people to see whether they would show themselves in a photograph pulling faces and whether they would publish it and also what they think makes a beautiful photograph.

The results I got were…They would not show themselves doing this as they feel they would get the mickey taken out of them. And they think a beautiful photograph is someone with make up on posing for the camera.

I think people feel like this because we see so much false beauty in magazines and on the TV that we feel pressured into looking like this so it makes us scared to show who we really are. I also think by showing what we look like also makes us feel as though we are being judged. 

This is a short video but i just wanted to emphasise that people always look for beauty and we feel like the more beautifull you are the further in life you will get. This video kind of liks as to how we feel about showing our self face pulling beacuse we will be judged for it. 

 

Looking at this research I done I still feel that a beautiful photograph is someone showing their inner beauty and someone showing this makes a photograph beautiful. This is what makes a beautiful self-portrait.

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