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.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CI- Composition at Home

I enjoyed working on this assignment because it makes you look at the familiar in a whole new way. I found that line was the easiest element to find around my home because you can find lines in almost anything. The element I found the most difficult to find was symmetrical balance, asymmetrical composition was a different story but that wasn't an element in the assignment.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reflection of CI: Working the Subject...100 Creative Ways

I dont`t mean to be blunt but I hated this assignment. My three objects were so different and didn`t go together at all. By the middle of the 100 shots I was ready to throw my objects in the street and hope that they got run over....o.k. that`s a little dramatic. However much I didn`t like this assignment I did get to explore my backyard in unbeleivable depth and detail. I did learn how to think outside the box and come up with sometimes stupid but creative shots without changing scenery or subjects. I know the purpose of this assignment now, but at the time I was wondering what the hell I was doing balancing a styrofoam head (one of my objects) on the edge of a diving board in the middle of the rain.

I know it`s a good assignment now so I defiantly think that Sarah should assign this project to the students next year but it should only be 1 object just to make it that much harder.

Monday, September 21, 2009

DT- Lines Assignment

I had a really awesome time doing this assignment. Although I found it challenging at times, it made me really focus on what was around me. I found by the end of the couple of days I worked on this project I couldn't see anything but lines. I would see shapes, colors and subjects and I would try to mentally visualize how I could convey them into lines. This assignment forced me to look beyond obvious lines such as lanes on the street or horizons and to find lines that you wouldn't normally see unless you were looking for them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Time Blogger

My favorite genre of photography is black and white architectural shots with lots of contrast. I have a whole wall of black and white photography in my room that I took while in Europe. On the other hand I prefer to photographic children. I love to see their facial expressions and movements that to me are so innocent and soft.
I hope to learn a lot this year, but my primary focus is to build on my existing knowledge of photography and develop new skills that I have yet to explore. I've been using Lightroom for quite a few months now and I've become fairly proficient in the program but I'm sure there's lots more for me to learn. Some new skills I'm hoping to gain this year is to learn new photographic techniques such as panning and motion blur like we'll be practicing tomorrow on our mysterious field trip.
One of my best memories of taking pictures is when my nephew Emmett was born. He was six weeks early so he was in the NICU, when I saw him for the first time it was amazing he was so small but still so beautiful. I got to take a few pictures of him but I couldn't use a flash and I was shooting through the plastic of the incubator, so the conditions were less then optimal. Even though the pictures turned out to be awful with the wrong exposure, lots of reflections and blur they are still some of my most precious pictures that I have ever taken. So it just proves that even if you have all the proper photographic technique it doesn't mean you'll end up with a picture you'll cherish, it's the story within the image that makes a great photo.