Contextual Research

Research point

Read the reviews by Campany and Colberg and, if you haven’t already done so, use them to begin the contextual section of your learning log. Try to pick out the key points made by each writer. Write about 300 words.
If you wish, you could add a screengrab of an image from Ruff ’s jpeg
series, and one or two of your own compressed jpegs (taken on auto mode of course!).
For this research point I have been asked to read both articles by Campany and Colberg on the work of  Ruff and his Jpeg Series of work and to pick out the key points of each.
Firstly I will look at Campany, he states “All photographic images come from archives.” from the dawn of the photographic art we have been driven to commit things to archive, to formalise and quantify the image put in front of us. We archive images using varied criteria from style to technique and much more in between. We also use various mediums to archive the Internet, Print, Photographic Negative and even our own memories. We use these archives in what ever from to influence our own photographic style. In Ruff’s Jpeg Series he may be drawing from many different archives but what he does is use the compression of the digital image into Jpeg from to created pixelated slightly abstract compositions, an exploitation of one particular archiving system.
Colberg reviews the print version of the Jpeg Series, he discusses how the images seem to work better in book form rather that the large format gallery prints, he describes viewing them in gallery format a seeing them as gigantic prints in the Zwirner gallery setting where, well, there was that whiff of things being just a tad too pretentious “. He also talks about how he appreciates that Ruff is pushing boundaries in this series, as photographers we seem the be driven by the desire to render images in minute detail, the more megapixels the better. I this series Ruff bucks that trend by making the most of inflated pixels to create what could be seen as graphic art as opposed to photography.
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Portrait Night

My local Camera Club hosted a Portrait Night yesterday and it was a pleasure to attend. Chris, one of the members brought along some studio lighting (Bowens flash heads). It was a great opportunity…

Source: Portrait Night

Portrait Night

My local Camera Club hosted a Portrait Night yesterday and it was a pleasure to attend. Chris, one of the members brought along some studio lighting (Bowens flash heads). It was a great opportunity to gain some experience for me as I haven’t done a great deal of studio work.

We had a chance to share experience and as we are all at different skill levels I enjoyed being able to help some of the less experienced.

Here are some of the images I managed to capture.

I took these with my Nikon D810 and Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I shot in Manual with a shutter speed of 1/250 at F8.

I am really pleased how these came out a with some editing in Photoshop and Portrait Pro, I feel they have a professional look. I decided to add a dual colour border using colours  evident in the images palette.

As the image was shot on a Camera Club meeting I had no input into the models attire, so If I were to shoot this model again I would discuss possible outfits with her to achieve the look I want to achieve. She has a lovely natural look and I would like to have shot some portraits of her with a pastel coloured top to complement this.

Exercise 1.2

There are essentially three classes of position [to place a single point]: in the middle, a little off-centre, and close to the edge. (Photography 1: The Art of Photography , p.72)

To be brutally honest this exercise is proving a bit of a challenge to me. We are asked to take two or three photographs in which a single point is placed in different parts of the frame. (A ‘point’ should be small in relationship to the frame; if it’s too large it becomes a  shape.)

If I am understanding the brief correctly we should use the position of the point to try and understand how the viewers eye will be drawn into the image.

The images that we are asked to take in the first part should be seen as test images.

Assignment One-Square Mile

In our earliest years we know a patch of ground in a detail we will
never know anywhere again – site of discovery and putting names to
things – people and places – working with difference and similitude
– favourite places, places to avoid – neighbours and their habits,
gestures and stories – textures, smells – also of play, imagination,
experiment – finding the best location for doing things – creating
worlds under our own control, fantasy landscapes.
(Professor Mike Pearson)

Brief

Make a series of six to twelve photographs in response to the concept of ‘The Square
Mile’. Use this as an opportunity to take a fresh and experimental look at your
surroundings. You may wish to re-trace places you know very well, examining how they
might have changed; or, particularly if you’re in a new environment, you may wish to use
photography to explore your new surroundings and meet some of the people around
you.
You may wish to explore the concept of Y Filltir Sgwar further, or you may deviate
from this. You may want to focus on architecture and landscape, or you may prefer to
photograph the people who you think have an interesting connection to the square
mile within which you currently find yourself.

Initial Response

When I  read the Brief, my first thought was to document a place/area that meant a great deal to me as a child. The place that I initially though of was Shipley Wood, this area of woodland meant a lot to me when I was a young boy as it was a spot that my late Grandmother used to take my sister and I for walks and we would spend many  hours exploring, playing and picking blackberries.

My second Idea was about a place that I find very relaxing and it is a great place for me to compose my thoughts, the Lake District. My favourite places to visit are Windermere and Ullswater. I have visited this area many times and my next visit was booked for the 10th September, so I decided to use this for an opportunity to work on this assignment.

I mentioned that I find this place relaxing and a great place for me to forget my worries and I wanted to get this feeling across in my images. I wanted to give the series of images a sense of being alone with ones thoughts and the calming effect that the waterside has on me.  I thought that this would best be conveyed by using Monochrome images and that I wanted to try something a bit different from my normal style, my normal style being Landscapes trying to capture as much detail as possible. I decided to try a more abstract approach to my photography and looked at the work of Matt Botwood  for some inspiration, in particular his Project entitled Ephemeral Pools.

Matt Botwood,  Ephemeral Pools

His use of monochrome abstract images taken from the environment around him really gives me a sense of thoughtfulness and contemplation that I would like to replicate in my series.

I also looked at the work of Frances Seward and her portfolio entitled Ethereal Photography.

Frances Seward Ethereal Photography

Frances uses glass and manipulates this to create abstract images that have an other worldly feel to them.

The final person I looked at was Gawainbarnard 

The series entitled Maybe We’ll Be Soldiers. I liked the way the landscape is used alongside portraits to to covey emotion and in my opinion unrealised potential or dreams.

Contact Sheet

This is a link to all the images I shot for this series.assignment-1-contact-sheet

Final Selection

These are the final Images that I selected for my series, I decided that each image should reflect a mental journey that the area has on me from a confused/stressed state to calmness and serenity.

Confusion.confusion

 

Menacemenace

 

Floodedflooded

Excitementexcitement

Focusingfocusing

Relaxingrelaxation

Calmnesscalmness

Serenity

 

serenity

I am pleased with how the series has worked out. The first two images in the series entitled Confusion and Menace take inspiration from the work of Matt Botwood mention earlier, the use of reflections of the landscape in the water are intended to represent the thoughts going through my head at the start of one of my walks.

In the second two images entitled Flooded and Excitement I focused on one of the waterfalls that rush down towards Windermere. My intention was to use a slow shutter speed to represent the motion of the water, as it turned out the heavy rain that had fallen in the area meant that had didn’t have to slow it as much as I originally anticipated and was actually able to shoot it handheld.

The third and fourth images entitled Focussing and Relaxing are meant to represent the negative thoughts and confusion evaporating from my consciousness as I relax into my trip. I was in two minds weather to include these images in the final series as the other images all contain a physical body of water and I was not sure if they lacked that continuity. After some reflection though I decided that the mist in the images helped them gel as a series.

The final two images  represent the end result of my physical and mental journey and the calming effect it has on me.

I shot all the images in colour and in RAW and converted them into Black and White in Lightroom, I made basic adjustments mainly by increasing the contrast and blacks to increase the impact of the images. In the final two images I increased the exposure slightly to emphasise the High Key effect.

If I where to develop the idea further I may decide to mix the images with some Self Portraits. I think this would help the images represent the effect the area has on me on a personal level, I would probably shoot the portraits in areas that create the initial feeling of confusion and stress such as the city centre or my workplace.

 

Assignment One-Square Mile

In our earliest years we know a patch of ground in a detail we will
never know anywhere again – site of discovery and putting names to
things – people and places – working with difference and similitude
– favourite places, places to avoid – neighbours and their habits,
gestures and stories – textures, smells – also of play, imagination,
experiment – finding the best location for doing things – creating
worlds under our own control, fantasy landscapes.
(Professor Mike Pearson)

Brief

Make a series of six to twelve photographs in response to the concept of ‘The Square
Mile’. Use this as an opportunity to take a fresh and experimental look at your
surroundings. You may wish to re-trace places you know very well, examining how they
might have changed; or, particularly if you’re in a new environment, you may wish to use
photography to explore your new surroundings and meet some of the people around
you.
You may wish to explore the concept of Y Filltir Sgwar further, or you may deviate
from this. You may want to focus on architecture and landscape, or you may prefer to
photograph the people who you think have an interesting connection to the square
mile within which you currently find yourself.

Initial Response

When I  read the Brief, my first thought was to document a place/area that meant a great deal to me as a child. The place that I initially though of was Shipley Wood, this area of woodland meant a lot to me when I was a young boy as it was a spot that my late Grandmother used to take my sister and I for walks and we would spend many  hours exploring, playing and picking blackberries.

My second Idea was about a place that I find very relaxing and it is a great place for me to compose my thoughts, the Lake District. My favourite places to visit are Windermere and Ullswater. I have visited this area many times and my next visit was booked for the 10th September, so I decided to use this for an opportunity to work on this assignment.

I mentioned that I find this place relaxing and a great place for me to forget my worries and I wanted to get this feeling across in my images. I wanted to give the series of images a sense of being alone with ones thoughts and the calming effect that the waterside has on me.  I thought that this would best be conveyed by using Monochrome images and that I wanted to try something a bit different from my normal style, my normal style being Landscapes trying to capture as much detail as possible. I decided to try a more abstract approach to my photography and looked at the work of Matt Botwood  for some inspiration, in particular his Project entitled Ephemeral Pools.

Matt Botwood,  Ephemeral Pools

His use of monochrome abstract images taken from the environment around him really gives me a sense of thoughtfulness and contemplation that I would like to replicate in my series.

I also looked at the work of Frances Seward and her portfolio entitled Ethereal Photography.

Frances Seward Ethereal Photography

Frances uses glass and manipulates this to create abstract images that have an other worldly feel to them.

The final person I looked at was Gawainbarnard 

The series entitled Maybe We’ll Be Soldiers. I liked the way the landscape is used alongside portraits to to covey emotion and in my opinion unrealised potential or dreams.

Contact Sheet

This is a link to all the images I shot for this series.assignment-1-contact-sheet

Final Selection

These are the final Images that I selected for my series, I decided that each image should reflect a mental journey that the area has on me from a confused/stressed state to calmness and serenity.

Confusion.confusion

 

Menacemenace

 

Floodedflooded

Excitementexcitement

Focusingfocusing

Relaxingrelaxation

Calmnesscalmness

Serenity

 

serenity

I am pleased with how the series has worked out. The first two images in the series entitled Confusion and Menace take inspiration from the work of Matt Botwood mention earlier, the use of reflections of the landscape in the water are intended to represent the thoughts going through my head at the start of one of my walks.

In the second two images entitled Flooded and Excitement I focused on one of the waterfalls that rush down towards Windermere. My intention was to use a slow shutter speed to represent the motion of the water, as it turned out the heavy rain that had fallen in the area meant that had didn’t have to slow it as much as I originally anticipated and was actually able to shoot it handheld.

The third and fourth images entitled Focussing and Relaxing are meant to represent the negative thoughts and confusion evaporating from my consciousness as I relax into my trip. I was in two minds weather to include these images in the final series as the other images all contain a physical body of water and I was not sure if they lacked that continuity. After some reflection though I decided that the mist in the images helped them gel as a series.

The final two images  represent the end result of my physical and mental journey and the calming effect it has on me.

I shot all the images in colour and in RAW and converted them into Black and White in Lightroom, I made basic adjustments mainly by increasing the contrast and blacks to increase the impact of the images. In the final two images I increased the exposure slightly to emphasise the High Key effect.

If I where to develop the idea further I may decide to mix the images with some Self Portraits. I think this would help the images represent the effect the area has on me on a personal level, I would probably shoot the portraits in areas that create the initial feeling of confusion and stress such as the city centre or my workplace.