Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Movie Week Reviews

So the first movie I saw this week was Manufactured. Going into the movie I had no idea what the film was about and even after 20 mins of the film I still didn't really know what the purpose of the documentary was. I liked the topic of the documentary which in the end was about China and their employment industry, however the way the film was layed out made me lose interest in the subject very fast. Within the first couple of minutes my attention had been lost because of the never ending panning shot of the factory workers which went on way too long. After that I felt the film had a stop and go sort of rhythm to it which for me wasn't appealing. The change between moving shots of the industry workers (which had a lack of commentary in my opinion) and then going to still shots of photos made the film very slow moving. The still images were really great photography and defiantly had a lot of symmetry to them which I liked but I feel they could have been incorporated into the film in a different way.

The next movie I saw was Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?. I had seen the movie before and was skeptical about watching it again because I honestly didn't like the story at all and was not a fan of the humour the first time around. I decided to watch it again because I wanted to focus on the film making aspects of it. I enjoyed watching the 'painting with pixels' segment before the film because it gave me insight into what the film making process was and the immense amount of work that went into the film post-production. The before and after shots they showed when explaining the color correction process was what interested me the most, if they hadn't done this process the movie would have had a completely different look and feeling to it. Seeing how they started out with a black and white scene and then slowly re-saturated it was an amazing effect. Throughout the movie I looked at the colors and tones of the scenes and really appreciated it and all the work that went into producing just the colors.

Today I watch Pecker and just like manufactured I had no clue what the film was about going into it. I thought the first bit of the movie was unrealalitic, when Pecker was going around taking pictures of random people everybody posed for him. If you try to take pictures of strangers here they look at you like your crazy and are doing something illegal. Pecker is one of the strangest movies I've ever seen from the creepy 'Little Chrissy' to his girlfriend who never stops talking about her laundromat and of course the large Virgin Mary doll that his grandma carries around and who could forget the scene at his sister's gay disturbing I don't even know what to say.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DT 13.2: Blogging Non-School Related Photos

So this picture was taken at the beginning of Christmas break. I was out working on a different assignment and I ended up driving down a beautiful street filled with overlapping trees. So I got out and set up my tripod it was probably about -40°C and because it was already dark my shutter speeds were close to a minute having used ISO 100 and F/22. I definably hadn't been expecting to be outside so I set up my tripod took the picture and ran back into the car while the exposure finished.

This picture was taken the same night in Assiniboire Park. There wasn't any street lights so the only lights were from the headlights of my car. There was ever less light so my exposures at times were almost 3 minutes, so I did the same thing as before took the picture and sat in the car while I waited for the exposure to finish.

A couple days before Christmas I babysat my nephew so my cousin and her husband could go to a Christmas party. My nephew Emmett loves to play with my camera so most pictures that I have of him are him reaching for the lens, so I love the first picture because you can actually see his whole face. The second picture is of him fresh out of the bath and ready for bed, as you can see.

This was Christmas eve during the day at my cousins house. Unfortunatly I couldn't spend Christmas with her and my nephew because they were going up to Falcon Late that day to stay with other family. So we hung out, opened gifts and had lunch. In the end I shouldn't have gotten Emmett anything because all he was interested in was the wrapping paper from the gift.

These pictures are from New Year's Eve. Me and a couple of friends went out to the bar, so the first picture is a self portrait of myself getting ready, it's definatly not my best look, but my hair turned out in the end. The second picture is of my friends Kendra and Kyla, right after we got to the bar. It ended up being a fun girls night out.

This picture is from the day after New Year's, me and some friends got together for dinner. This picture is of my friend Melanie and her boyfriend Gabe the two of them were the only ones that would pose for pictures. I was ever lucky to get one good shot from that night because my friends are all very camera shy and also make me delete any candid shots I get.

So this picture is from an equipment yard off Route 90. I really liked all the different heights of the machines but I couldn't get a good shot with all the fencing. There was a huge snow bank in front of the yard so I climbed up the very steep 15 foot hill, probably not the best idea considering I have awful balance and directly on the other side of the hill was a very busy street. It worked out in the end and I was able to get a higher view of the yard, and thankfully I didn't get hurt.

So this picture was from last night. I wanted to go see the Olympic torch but it was so busy and there was absolutely no where to park! I settled on heading over to the Provender bridge to take pictures of it because for the first time they had added color lights to the bridge.

Friday, December 4, 2009

AT 11.2: Yousuf Karsh Critique

Audrey Hepburn

The first thing I noticed was the vignetting in the bottom left and top right corners of the image. To achieve the vignetting you have to burn in the corners, using this technique really brings your eye in toward the center as is the case in this image. He also might have flashed the paper beforehand to achieve the soft grey that exists in the background. Without knowing for sure I would say that he reduced exposure time on her face to keep it brighter and added extra light/time to her sweater and hair which are very dark and don’t contain much detail. You notice, especially on the left side around the contour of her face a lighter shade of grey compared to the rest of the background, you can also see the same grey around the collar and front of her sweater. This difference in tone is probably the result of burning and or dodging around the face and sweater. On the outline of her face you can also see a much darker shadow in comparison to her creamy light skin. This could be due to the lighting he used or when he was burning and dodging he added the slightest bit more light/time to the skin on the contour of her face. That little bit of dark shadow around the edge of her face is a nice contrast to the lighter shade of grey surrounding it but it also gives the image more depth and form. In terms of composition it’s a very simple glamour shot but it works because her beauty and fame is what makes it intriguing. The lighting appears that it was hitting her from above on the left side. This lighting creates some incredibly flattering shadows. The shadows produced from her eyelashes on the soft skin under her eyes is what stood out most to me. The slight tilt of her head and the shadows he’s created give the subject form and thus a look of three-dimensionality. The reason why I chose this image from the exhibit is because I feel it represents my personal style more then the rest. Almost all of the other images were low key and had a darker look to them, this image however has a brighter and more approachable mood.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CI 12: Color Block

I really enjoyed doing this assignment because I love working with colour and creating different moods with them. I had difficulty filling the entire frame with one single color without it looking somewhat dull and uninteresting. I tried to find exsisting subjects this time instead of staging, which added to the level of difficulty. The person I asked to critique the photos said that the photos of her favorite colors were also her favorite pictures, and like wise with her least favorite color, they ended up being the pictures she liked least.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Field Trip to the Zoo!

I had been to the zoo the week beforehand to work on Ross' assignment so I found myself very uninspired there. I had shot over 200 frames of the animals the first trip so I decided to go a different route and shoot the animals surroundings instead of the actual animals. I had just bought a macro lens so I used that for the majority of the images so I could get a feeling of how it works. I think in the end my images turned out pretty good considering how I felt about the zoo in the beginning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AT 6.2: Photographic Hero

In the biography of Robert Doisneau by Peter Hamilton Doisneau himself explained what he carried in his personal camera bag. His interview of Doisneau was done in the late seventies so keep in mind at that time he was also working with color film. Doisneau talked about using two different Nikon cameras one for color and the other for black and white. Also found in his camera bag were lenses varying in focus length from 18-105mm, kodachrome 25 and Tri-X films and a multitude of gelatine filters. After the images were captured Doisneau used Mocrodol X a Kodak developer for black and white film. Some benefits of using this type of developer are that there is very little loss in film speed and it also produces a lower graininess film. For his prints he used kodabrom resin coated paper. Some benefits of this paper is the clean crisp whites that are very evident in a lot of Doisneau`s prints. It also has an outstanding print quality which was especially important in the mid forties when the photographic industry was adversely affected by world war two because of the lack of production of good quality film. For developing his prints he used a Kodak paper developer called Dektol, which was a popular choice for photographers because it offered a uniform rate of development and you could process a high number of prints without having to make a new batch of developer.

Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville, is probably Doisneau’s most famous photograph having been reproduced for the last 60 years since it’s capture in 1950. This image is the photo that first attracted me to Robert Doisneau’s work, for the first part of this assignment. What first caught my attention in this image is the location the photo was taken. Paris is one of my favourite cities that I’ve visited and I think this photo encapsulates the pure romance of Paris that still exists today, 60 years later. On the other hand it also shows the fast-paced bustle of Europe’s most visited city. Although there are multiple people in the background that could have overpowered the main couple they don’t because of the low depth of field or blurred background. The low depth of field found in the image is created from a low aperture number. The motion blur of the man on the right side of the background and the chair in front of the main couple was produced by having a slower shutter speed. Having a slow enough shutter speed to blur parts of the image but to keep the main couple in focus is quite a proficient way to create interest in the image. During this time in Doisneau’s career he was working for Paris Vogue, against his better judgment and was photographing high society more often then not. It’s clearly visible in this image he was trying to photograph in the same theme as his work for Paris Vogue. His earlier and later pieces in his career show more of the general population instead of high society. In my opinion the element in the image that stands out the most is the high contrast in the background compared to the foreground. The background is very washed out having almost no blacks. The foreground on the other hand has the full range of really bright whites and very dark blacks.

Le Remorqueur du Champ de Mars was taken in 1943 by Robert Doisneau. He loved to photograph the vivaciousness of Paris and he did so by producing images full of romance which you can see in the first image I talked about but as well as through children. I found many images of children in his collection of work that photograph kids just being kids. This image depicts this side of Doisneau`s work well because of the fearlessness and energy that the children bring to the image. What I liked about this image is again the contrast of the photo but especially the brilliant white of the girls dress against the dark shadowy metal of the Eiffel tower. When viewing the image my eye automatically saw the girl first because of this contrast. I believe that she is more the main subject then the boy who you see second because the tones of himself and the bike blend into the background a lot. A compositional element that is very present in this photo is the natural framing that the arc from the tower creates. I think this element brings closeness between the two children, they look like they have more of a relationship because the arcs are encircling them together. What I loved about this image is the everyday normality of playing children. When you ordinarily think of Paris or the Eiffel tower you think glamour, fashion and romance but this image has none of that. The photo breaks the barriers of what most people think of when they picture Paris.

Le Fox Terrier du Pont des Arts was photographed in 1953. What drew me to this image was the beautiful haze in the background that gives the image an eerie and almost spooky look. This aspect of the photo is reinforced by the way the man is curiously looking to the side as if there is something in the misted background that caught his attention. The low depth of field allows the haze to become an important part of the image. There are a lot of compositional lines in this image which add awareness to every inch of the photo. The lines of the railing are the first lines that stood out to me but there is also the curved line of the dog’s leash and the space in the concrete also creates a strong line. I also liked how the man in the middle ground looked like a replica of man in the foreground. Their hats are very similar as is the angle of their heads. Their foot stance and placement are the most alike aspect in the photo.