I love an untidy garage! I have no idea what anything in there is used for but the mess of tools, paint and fuel smells is very intriguing to me and I think it tells me a lot about the owner.
This was a fun project on a rainy afternoon.
Just before Easter we were given an assignment to create a still life image that we may be able to use to highlight our Final Major Project.
Although it was suggested that we might have time to made available to us to create our image in the studio, as I am photographing Constable’s landscapes I discussed it with my lecturer and she agreed that I could do my assignment in Flatford by the River Stour.
Due to inclement weather on several days during my visit I didn’t have a lot of time to complete the assignment. I had planned to take a photograph of my tripod and camera with my walking boots and some ‘Constable props’ by it on the bank of the river. In the end I remembered to take an additional camera with me so that I could swap it and put that on the tripod and use my ‘good camera’ for taking the photo. I called in, early in the morning to my National Trust guide friend and collected a print of Constable’s portrait and one of his many books. At the river I tried a few different arrangements and took a few test shots, adjusting things until I was happy. I decided not to include my walking boots in the end as I had chosen what looked like a sunny spot on some grass but was actually quite wet and muddy and deceivingly cold.
I could have done with a cloth and some polish to clean the portrait before photographing it but overall I think this will do just fine. I particularly like the duck that is just swimming along in the background and slightly out of focus especially as Constable included ducks in so many of his paintings of the area.
I was using my Sony Alpha camera with my 18-200mm lens and as it was so bright I was able to use ISO 100, f4.5 at 1/400 sec. I was keen for the props to stand out from the background.
It Lightroom I increased the clarity and the vibrance slightly and upped the grain as I didn’t want it to look too ‘smooth’ and perfect. I used Silver FX Pro to change a copy of the image to black and white and apply a small vignette.
Then, to reflect the layering in my final photos I opened both the black and white and the colour image in Photoshop then selected the portrait of Constable in the colour version and pasted it onto a new layer in the black and white version. I reduced the opacity in order to line the two images up precisely before increasing it again. then, on an adjustment layer I added a radial transparency graduation that blurred the edges of the join. I wasn’t happy with that as there wasn’t much of the portrait visible so I undid that move, adjusted the graduation settings and applied it again. It took a few attempts and in the end I was quite satisfied with this.
Before exporting and applying my logo I created another version and cropped it squarely so that I have two versions that I can use for different applications.
I couldn’t resist reposting this blog post from Anete Sooda after she came to photograph some of my family history. It has nothing to do with any of my projects but I am very pleased with the photos she has created.
NOTE: This is back dated to w/c 21st of March As for this week – it was time to stop milking Latvia’s photographs and continue working on project. One of the back-up ideas was to photograph memoriums of people passed away. I have mentioned before that my idea involves items related to the person- photographs, […]
Jaromir Funke was a Czechoslovakian photographer who was prolific during the 1920s and 30s. According to the American National Gallery of Art, Funke described his style as Devetsil in Prague, and cubism, surrealism and Bauhaus abroad.
Funke’s images are abstract and focus on the light falling around the shape and structure of objects.
While I can identify some of the objects, most I cannot. The photographs have become patterns that draw the viewer in and invite them to explore and wonder at the various interlocking shapes.
If we are looking for truth in an image I really don’t think this is where we would find it. The shapes are put together in such a way that they represent other objects and shapes and other than the shadows there is little to identify the objects they represent in the photographs.
This week I thought I would have another go at creating a Blakemore type photograph for part of the Vanitas assignment. I wasn’t happy with my previous attempt that felt a bit rushed and I hadn’t filled the frame as well as I could have done. Blakemore used natural light to take his images and I wanted to do the same.
I set my workstation up in front of a large bay window, my camera was placed on a tripod in front and I used a reflector to reflect light back onto my subject. Although Blakemore would have used a larger format camera, I used my Sony A7 with an 18-200mm lens.
I wanted to use ISO 100 and an aperture of f8 and set the shutter speed around that depending on how bright the sun was. It began as quite a bright morning but clouded over as I was working.
I started by taking couple if shots of the soil that I had put in a tray and then started playing about and laying out the items that I had found in my own garden. I included holly, ivy, piece of rotton wood, a piece of coal and even part of a fossil but because my husband also repairs our cars from time to time he also leaves behind bits of metal, washers and nuts and bolts and I wanted to include them in my image too.
At first I filled the frame too much. I included almost everything that I had brought to use but it was far too cluttered. For my next attempt I took most of the greenery out and left a scene mostly of man-made items. Finally though I took out everything that was shiny and looked new’ish and replaced it with some rotten sunflower heads that I had been saving. This was the image I liked best. The rotten flowers and wood echo the worn and rusty metal items – all are well past their best and destined only for the rubbish heap.
In photoshop I opened my chosen image, created a fill layer and pasted the soil image into it. I changed the opacity to 50% and used the eraser tool to rub through the soil layer and highlight some of the items below. I changed the colour to black and white but preferred the muted tones of this desaturated version.
These are the two images that I merged together.
For our Truth Assignment we have been exploring photographic truth and what makes an image truthful or not. There are many differing opinions and some critics even suggest that truth is simply an illusion.
I chose a simple pair of egg cups and attempted to photograph them truthfully.
I guess that the last photograph is the most truthful and most honest. In all of the photographs I have shown the texture and shape of the egg cups but in each of the other images I have obscured part of them and not allowed the viewer to see the full picture.
I have photographed the egg cups from unusual angles and in the third image, unless you have been told that they are egg cups you may not even realise that that is what they are.
There is no scale in the photographs either so unless you already have an understanding what an egg cup is you have no idea of how big or small the object is.
In all of the images though I have selected the lighting, the ISO that I shoot at and the shutter speed and aperture. The very fact that I have selected to photograph these in the studio and not in their natural habitat of the kitchen cupboard means that my opinions and my ideas have caused me to represent the truth in a particular way, a way that is personal to me. I guess the question is, is my truth the same as someone else’s?