I haven’t had the feedback through from my last tutorial yet so I have concentrated on other areas of the course this week.
I was however intrigued why the footpath in my photograph of Flatford Mill and Constable’s painting of it was so different. According to the National Trust website in 1705 an act of Parliament was passed to make the River Stour navigable and then a turf-sided lock was installed in 1708. The turf in the lock was eventually replaced with wood in 1776, the same year that Constable was born and it is this lock that Constable included in his paintings. In 1838 a new wooden lock was installed next to the original lock so that the old lock could continue to allow boats to navigate the river while the new lock was being built.
In 1926 the wooden lock was replaced by a concrete lock and that was restored by volunteers int he mid 1970s. More recently in 1990 a weir was included in the lock construction to help manage the water levels during the winter.
The River Stour Trust website explains that “a distinguishing feature of the locks was the lintel that prevented the locks from collapsing inwards. This was almost unique to the Stour. The early designs of staunches or flash locks had a single gate that upon opening would release a sudden surge of water. Boats moving downstream would wait above the lock until the gate was opened and a ‘flash’ of water carried the boats with it. Later designs comprised two sets of lock gates and a central chamber. Craft enter the chamber and water is released either from or into the central chamber. This brings craft to the same level as the water beyond the second pair of gates to continue passage along the river.”
Although Constable included the lock in several of his paintings he often chose to leave out the lintels because this interfered with his sight-lines!
This week I’ve also been considering the copyright implications of using another artist’s work within my own.
According to the .gov website artistic work is copyrighted automatically and, for paintings, usually lasts for a minimum of life plus 70 years. This would mean that if there was no extension to the copyright it became available for Constable’s paintings in 2007. Additional to this, users may be allowed to use copyrighted material in a teaching environment or if a ‘less than substantial part of it would be seen.’ I plan to reduce the opacity of the representation of the Constable paintings I am using by 60-70% and blend out the edges so that I would actually only be using perhaps 20-25% of the original image. I think I should be ok.
This week I managed to take a few more photographs in Flatford of some of the Constable scenes. I will write up my efforts as soon as I can.
I also took the opportunity to shoot a roll of film on the 6×9 Rangefinder. It will be a couple of weeks before I can get into Hull to get it processed but I will do that as soon as I can.
This week I showed the print outs of the panoramas that I have done so far to someone who really liked the Alkborough image. They have asked for a copy that they will frame themselves. This means that I will need to work out a way of printing the image, or a portion of the image, at a size large enough to show all of the detail but not too large that it is too big for the room.
Other than that, I haven’t really managed to get much of my FMP done this week. I did a wedding on Saturday so I have been concentrating on getting the bride and groom their photos instead.
I had some good feedback this week from my tutor who seems to like the photographs that I have produced so far. In my 1 2 1 on Thursday we talked quite excitedly and could have gone on for another hour! He said he particularly liked the Lincoln Cathedral images.
We talked a bit about this image that he really liked and which I like too but sadly it hasn’t stitched together well and particularly in the bottom left corner it appears unfocussed.
I will receive written feedback from the meeting in due course with a few more hints and tips for research.
For most of this week I have been in Essex in order to take some more photos at Flatford however the weather has been so dismal that I have been unable to do so. In order to fill my time with something useful I decided to go over to Ipswich to the Christchurch Mansion where the website says they have a gallery which houses a permanent display of the largest exhibition of Constable paintings outside of London. Sadly that gallery had just closed so that they could install a temporary exhibition in their!
The weather was warmer and drier this weekend so I planned to take a drive over to Lincoln to try out the 6×9 Rangefinder. I loaded a film into the camera but then couldn’t take a photograph with it. The shutter button just wouldn’t press down. It was only when I took it into college that someone pointed out that I had the lock on still! Sometimes the simple things really flummox me!
While I was in Lincoln I visited the Usher Gallery and had a look at some great paintings of the Cathedral by Peter De Wint, Lowry and William Logsdail among others.
Lincoln from the south with Bargate, Peter DeWint 1824
Lincoln, Laurence Stephen Lowry, 1959
Lincoln Cathedral, Exchequergate and Castle Square, William Losdale, 1904
West Front, Lincoln Cathedral, Thomas Matthews Rooke, 1940
Lincoln Cathedral from the South West, Frederick MacKenzie, 1845
Lincoln Cathedral, John Buckler, 1799
I also practised taking some more panorama photographs of the Cathedral using my digital camera. Because the Cathedral is so tall I tried taking lots of sweeps and joined the panorama both horizontally and vertically. Although the images have lots of detail in them, the taller images are distorted. The best photos are those with fewer horizontal rows.
I printed a few of the photos out on A2 paper this week to see what they would look like. The photograph of Alkborough is disappointing and would need to be printed out much, much larger if the detail is to be seen. I’m pleased with the detail in the other Lincoln panoramas and just now need to think a bit more about proportion and what width by height will look good in the space that I will be exhibiting in.
I don’t have much to report this week. The weather has been really cold and on the days that I set aside to go and take photographs it has been pouring with rain.
In class last Thursday I did a short presentation of my progress so far and was pleased to be able to share my panorama with everyone. Comments were very positive and perhaps because I am getting on quite well with the project no one really said anything negative.
I’ve collected the 6×9 Fuji Rangefinder camera from the stores and had a quick lesson about how to use it. I just need to get on with it now!
I discussed the idea of doing panorama photographs with my tutor and some of my classmates. It seems to have gone down ok but it looks like the only way I am going to be able to do it is by taking several photos and stitching them together.
I still want to use film so I am going to experiment with a 6×9 Fuji Rangefinder camera that we have available to borrow from the college stores. It is classed as a medium format camera so the negatives will be quite large and have plenty of detail in them. I will need to scan them into the computer and stitch them together in photoshop to get the panoramas though.
We also talked about nodal points which I still haven’t really got my head around. Despite that I have been to Alkborough flats and practised taking photos for a panorama using my usual camera and a nifty bracket that my tutor lent me. I can attach it to the underside of my camera making it stand backwards of the tripod to compensate for the distortion that can occur as you sweep the camera round. You can see more in the blog entry Alkborough Panorama.