The Art of Photography
Feedback and changes to Assignment 1: Contrasts
I started on Part 2 of TAOP as soon as I had sent off Assignment 1 to my tutor. Completing all the exercises and Assignment for Part 2, followed by the work on exercises and Assignment for Part 3, has meant that I haven’t given as much attention as I wanted to making any additions/changes.
I was pleased that the specific feedback was generally positive in terms of images produced; how they met the brief; print quality/layout and also my blog.
Some suggestions for improvement were made though:-
“You’ve taken a lot of trouble with this image but as you say, it was difficult to get the angles you needed. This might have been a case of going for a different, simpler more abstract image. You had one on your blog!”
It is rounded of course and it was taken after I had submitted Assignment 1.
This is the top of the arch
I decided that I still wanted to have something even rounder which would, somehow, represent a contrast to the hard diagonals of the Gherkin. There are two possibilities so far:-
A terracotta, celtic cross surmounted a gravestone in Watts cemetery which is a small peaceful place in Compton, Surrey .
The London Eye which is not only round but very large.
“…it’s a very interesting image which communicates powerfully. Very well observed”. However, the suggestion was made that the image might have worked even better framed more tightly and, of course, it’s much better to do this in camera rather than cropping afterwards.
I did further cropping to this:-
Obviously I could have cropped to just the girl but I still wanted to see some kind of context for her.
Still/Moving/Both in one picture
It was pointed out that I had “fallen into the trap of assuming that the viewer will associate that the people walking are ‘moving’, when in fact the camera has frozen their movement”. I’ve had another go at this and the lady with the pram actually stood still whilst I took the picture.
Thought to work quite well but including other distracting elements in the frame. My tutor thought that another image in one of my blog posts (of an air balloon in Egypt) communicated both large and small. I’m still thinking around this one and keeping it in mind when I’m out photographing but haven’t found what I think is a good one as yet. The London Eye is certainly large but it isn’t contrasted against anything small.
My tutor suggested that I have a look at the work of Lee Friedlander and the way in which he fragments the world in his photography through various means. She linked this with a comment I’d made on my blog in quoting from an article by Dziga Vertov, a Soviet film director. Vertov compares the effect of perspective in drawings and paintings (which proposed that the spectator was the unique centre of the world) against that of the camera, particularly the movie camera, which ‘demonstrated that there was no centre’. Do I feel that Friedlander’s work might fit this theory? This is a difficult one because I think that Friedlander’s work is so very different. The feeling I get when viewing his images is of being alongside him, looking from inside out. His perceived world, as seen through his camera, is right in front of my eyes. I don’t just see straight ahead. It’s as if I’m turning my head to take in a multiplicity of viewpoints. I think he’s got quite stuck in my head because, recently, I was experimenting with b+w conversion and posted this on my Flickr stream.
Some comments likened this to a British version of Friedlander’s ‘America by car”. A pale imitation, but I’m realising that I do feel drawn towards juxtaposed images, reflections and frames within frames and this is slowly creeping into my photography.
15th August 2011
Additional Thoughts 28th May 2012
I am going to go with the Celtic cross which contrasts in many ways with the Gherkin. Both are ‘man-made’ but the one is by hand and the other by both men and machine.
I will leave this as it stands. Tighter framing is still something that I’m working on.
I’m not happy with the one above as there isn’t enough stillness there. Wondered if this might be a better one:-
You can see by the blur that the people in the chairs are definitely moving whilst other people are standing there.
I still haven’t really come across a situation with such a juxtaposition which really appeals to me. It was this type of scene I was thinking of
This shows the immensity of the lower facade and entrance to La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous basilica in Barcelona. This is an old photograph from a compact camera so I wouldn’t submit this, but it gives an idea of what I’ve been looking for.
When I began this part of Art of Photography I spent quite a while trying to understand and explore all the different aspectsof colour and have documented this in my write-ups on the exercises. I became interested in the way that colour-blind photographers approach their work; started to appreciate the impact of de-saturated colours and also discovered that I enjoyed converting to black and white. I visited “Figures and Fictions’, an Exhibition of Contemporary South Arican Photography on a recent OCA Study Day and also took the opportunity for a solo visit to ‘The Cult’ of Beauty’ Exhibition and the work of the Aesthetic Movement. There were wonderful colours there in the paintings.
It’s summertime now and I love the colours of all the flowers but have tried to resist just concentrating on these and produce some variety.
Colour harmony through complementary colours
1. Red and Green
The ratios is meant to be 1:1. There are more green hues in fact, but the red of the jackets is a strong red, particularly the expanse of the jacket on the young man in the forground. To me this does give a balance.
2. Violet and Yellow
Ratio 1:3. A still-life flower arrangement where I carefully counted out the number of flowers in each colour, allowing for the fact that the yellow flowers are larger.
3. Blue and Orange
4. Red and Green
This is against the backdrop of the pale blue sea, shrouded mountains and sky. The green tower of the buoy is taller than the red base is wide but it has less density so I think the 1:1 ratio is just about maintained.
Colour harmony through similar colours
5. In the warm range of the colour circle
I saw these sheds on a recent walk around a local Garden Safari and was immediately drawn to both their lines and also the faded colours.
6. In the warm range of the colour circle
There is quite a lot of orange here but there is also the pink of the banner and the bouncy castle in the far background, (white added to red).
7. In the warm range of the colour circle
This was a chance shot whilst I was at Canterbury Cathedral. It was fairly gloomy in the cloister with the bright sun outside and the red gowns caught my eye. This young couple were so obviously enjoying themselves as they looked around. At first I was undecided as to whether the red of their gowns constituted an accent colour but the red takes up almost a quarter of the composition and harmonises with the warm, yellowy tone of the old stone walls.
8. In the warm range of the colour circle
A pub by the Monument in the City of London. Bright light outside and cool and dim inside. The young man was wearing a yellow jacket which haronises with the yellow menus. His pale red drink looked so refreshing (if you zoom in you can see that it’s strawberry cider). After a while he put on his yellow headphones and switched on his laptop – lost in his own world whilst busy London passed by.
Colour contrast through contrasting colours
9. Orange, bright blue and pink
In one of our local Charity shops. I first saw the amazing boots with the bright blue laces. I commented what a wonderful colour they were and the helper agreed, saying that she thought they went really well with her rights. What an exuberant mix of colours! I had to get a photograph of them and, thankfully, she agreed to pose. The blue of the carpet sets it all off very nicely. I wish I had the courage to mix and colours in that way.
10. Red, green and blue
Psychedelic lighting in an underpass near to Waterloo Station.
11. Many colours, with orange as a contrast
The window display in this shop shouted out at me as I walked past. I think it’s the large amount of orange, which contrasts with the other colours and provides an opposing ratio with the blue.
12. Peppers in a blue box
A small area of colour against a much larger background of another colour.
13. Sky mirror
Now installed in the heart of the City of London (across the road from the Gherkin). As we crossed the road it was the yellow on the hoardings that caught my eye first. The yellow is an accent within the frame of the mirror. It could be said that the yellow on the hoardings is too much to constitute an accent with the whole image though. If the young man’s tee shirt had been a brighter blue that could also have constituted an accent.
14. Lady in blue
A startling blue (and outfit) especially on a Sunday amongst the old, yellow-beige walls of Split.
15. Blue balloon in the rain
It began to pour with rain during the garden safari and I had to retreat to my car. The blue balloon (announcing a garden) looked bright, albeit somewhat forlorn.
One blooming on its own.
I’ve enjoyed this Assignment the most up to now and the time of year has helped considerably with such a richness of choice. I feel much more comfortable with colours in photography. I’ve also decided that it’s time I had another attempt at learning to draw so that I can use pastels and watercolours as well and so I’ve enrolled on a Course to start at the end of September.
4th August 2011