Timeless Beauty

For this part of the Interpretations assignment I have chosen to photograph the stars, after all, they are beautiful and timeless.

It has taken me several weeks to find the correct weather conditions but tonight was a very clear evening with no moon meaning it was dark enough to be able to catch the stars in their glory.

Living in the middle of a town it is far too bright to photograph the night sky properly from my street or garden so I drove out of town to a very dark quiet road and parked up in the track entrance to a field. I set the camera up in the car and then set it on a tripod where I wanted it before closing the car up and turning all the lights off.

I took several shots on different settings until I settled on some photos that I liked. I set it to manual focus and focused it to infinity and tried the shutter speed on both 30 seconds and bulb. As it was very dark I also had to point the camera in the general direction of the sky and again experiment until I had the trees in the right place. I also wanted to capture as many stars as possible without getting any star trails so I set the ISO to 1600.

TimelessBeauty-2

This image taken with a faster ISO and shorter shutter speed is my favourite and has captured the Milky Way.

TimelessBeauty-1

I quite like this image too as I appear to have caught a shooting star at the bottom of the shot.

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Slinkachu

Slinkachu is a photographic artist that uses remodels miniature railway characters, arranges and photographs them on the street and leaves them in place. He describes his Little People as both a photography and street installation project. Through the project he hopes to highlight what it is like to live in a big city. You can see more at http://slinkachu.com/home

Downpour

For my Slinkachu Little People photograph, for my Interpretations assignment, I was able to get my hands on eight models, but they were all sitting down. I spent a couple of weeks trying to think about what I might do with these eight sitting men but when I saw a piece of angle iron that my husband was going to throw away it came to me.

I got the double sided tape out and cut up the Scunthorpe Telegraph and arranged the men on the angle iron.

On a clear day, at lunchtime, I took the Little People to the top of the multi-storey car park and photographed them with the steel works in the background as if they were eight of the eleven men at lunch at the top of a New York skyscraper.

Slinkachuweb-1

I could have done with taking a box or some steps with me as I think I needed to get higher in order to emphasise the height of the men. The thick  wall around the car park made it very difficult to position the people lower than me.

I used an ISO of 400 and an aperture of F40 in order to get the foreground in focus and the background just a bit softer. I wanted to keep the shapes of the furnaces in the background but not distract from the men reading their papers on a girder.

Slinkachu tends to shoot in colour but for the purposes of this image I felt that black and white was more appropriate.

Slinkachuweb-2I couldn’t do this on my own and roped in two friends to hold the bar while I took the photo, one of which refused to show his face to the camera.

I chose not to leave my Little People in place. I felt that leaving an iron bar at the top of a multi-storey car park was irresponsible.

These short videos give a good overview of the work of Slinkachu.

Fireworks

I had a fun evening at a village bonfire party this weekend. I wanted to photograph the fireworks with some light trails but knew that it would be tricky.

I did some research beforehand and went armed with my tripod. For the fireworks I put my camera on the tripod and set it to manual. For clarity I set the ISO to 100, the aperture to around F8 and I played around with shutter speeds of between 2.5 and 6 seconds.

While I took a few photos where the fireworks filled the frame I also tried to capture some of the atmosphere and other activities that were going on around the field. Perhaps one of these would be a better entry for the ‘Into the Light’ element of the Interpretations assignment?

 

Cat

Why is it that when you point a camera at a cat it immediately gets up and walks towards you?

After several unsuccessful attempts at photographing my parent’s cat, Kelly, I roped my dad in to help with this part of the Interpretations assignment. He combed the cat and kept her occupied while I took some photos.

They were by some large glass doors where, on a dull rainy day, the light was very soft but bright enough to highlight the details on a black and white cat. I set the ISO to 400 in order to freeze the cat’s movements and keep the aperture to around f8. I shot in RAW and converted the photos to black and white in order to emphasise the monochrome colours of the cat.

I took several images but the first photo is the one I like best. You can see the shear pleasure in her eyes and in her stretched paw.

Still Life

Whenever someone buys me a bunch of flowers I try to take a photograph of them, usually a close up of the petals, as a lasting reminder of their generosity. After a rough week, a friend bought me these lovely orange and red roses. Instead of the usual snap I thought I would make them the subject of a still life image for my Interpretations assignment.

StillLife1webIt took me a week to get around to doing this but it meant that the flowers were nicely open. I arranged them on the table with the only apple in the house and as one of the flowers was just going over I removed the petals and scattered them in front hoping to give the photo a bit of a autumnal feel.

First of all the stems had been cut too long and the photograph appeared to be very green but once I had cut another couple of inches off and rearranged them in the vase it looked much better.

I used the natural light from a window and tried the arrangement in both portrait and landscape, with and without a gold mantle clock in the background to indicate the passing of time. This was the image I preferred.

I had another idea for this part of the assignment, to photograph tolls from the garage in an arrangement, which I will do if I get time before the hand in date.

Couple

For this part of the Interpretations assignment I had an idea that I would take a picture of an older couple sitting on the sea front sharing a bag of chips or something similar. I primed my parents and planned a walk along the seafront but before we got there I saw these two road sweepers chatting in front of this statue of two Franciscan monks.

A couple of couples
A couple of couples

I just couldn’t resist whipping my camera out and taking this shot. I really like the way the cleaners are mirroring the pose of the monks and the way their bright uniforms stand out against the austerity of the monk’s robes.

I have chosen to include it in my Interpretations assignment, but it could just as easily have been part of the Decisive Moment assignment.