Exercise 3.3

Brief:

1. What do the time-frames of the camera actually look like?

If you have a manual film camera, open the camera back (make sure there’s no film in the camera
first!) and look through the shutter as you press the shutter release.

What is the shortest duration in which your eyes can perceive a recognisable image in bright daylight?

Describe the experiment in your learning log.

2. Find a good viewpoint, perhaps fairly high up (an upstairs window might do) where you can see a wide view or panorama.

Start by looking at the things closest to you in the foreground.

Then pay attention to the details in the middle distance and, finally, the things towards the horizon.

Now try to see the whole landscape together, from the foreground to horizon (you can move your eyes).
Include the sky in your observation and try to see the whole visual field together, all in movement (there is always some movement).

When you’ve got it, raise your camera and take a picture. Add the picture and a description of the process to your learning log.

 

Process:

I don’t have a film camera so couldn’t do the first part of this exercise.

For the second part I went to Putney bridge and set my camera to shutter priority mode and did as described in the brief.

 

Photographs:

 

Research:

None.

 

Analysis:

This exercise is to help get you used to observing.

In this photograph of the Thames from Putney bridge I did as described in the brief.

What I noticed once I got the image into post processing was the little things that I hadn’t noticed whilst taking the shot.

The most obvious was the sea-gull that I should’ve expected to be around water but just didn’t notice until afterwards.

It’s often the little things that make or break an image.

 

Reflections:

This reminds me of days at the rifle range and the watch and shoot exercises we did.

you’d be told a direction but not a distance, then when given the command “up” you had a couple of seconds to put two well-aimed shots on target.

It’s all designed to get you thinking and observing.

Observational skills can’t be taught, they can only be developed through practice.

I can only observe through my experience that people have a tendency to not look up.

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The frozen moment Exercise 3.1

Brief :

Using fast shutter speeds, try to isolate a frozen moment of time in a moving subject.
Depending on the available light you may have to select a high ISO to avoid visible blur in the photograph.

Try to find the beauty in a fragment of time that fascinated
John Szarkowski.

Add a selection of shots, together with relevant shooting data and
a description of your process (how you captured the images), to your learning log.

 

Process :

All of these photographs were taken on my trusty D5200 and 18-55mm lens.

As is required in this section I used shutter priority mode and set the ISO to 800.

This left me with little to control depth of field except my distance to subject, sometimes that wasn’t within my control either.

 

Photographs :

55mm. f 5.6  1/1000 th. sec.

55mm. f 7 1/1000 th. sec.

55mm.  f 5.6  1/1000 th. sec.

55mm. f 5.6  1/1000 th. sec.

55mm.  f 9   1/400 th. sec.

 

contact sheet.

 

Research :

Before deciding how to approach this assignment I spent some time looking at other photographers work in this field.

Many of my fellow students seem to have emulated Harold Edgerton and his “aesthetic properties of milk” shot.

This to me is a very pretty but way over done subject.

I also looked at some of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work along with Robert Capa.

I decided on a street photography style whilst walking around a Fair at Parsons Green in London.

 

Analysis :

As you can see in the contact sheet, many of my images were under exposed and had to be fixed in post processing.

I was so concentrating on keeping a high shutter speed and capturing an image that I quite forgot about exposure.

Also the nature of this crowded enviroment together with my short lens meant that I had to crop in most of my images, something I try to avoid normally; the distances involved in combination with the 55mm. end of my only lens meant that the focussing square in the viewfinder often covered the subject’s head never mind and eye.

I think a 70-200 mm. zoom would’ve been ideal.

I find you have to be careful with subject selection when freezing motion, as can be seen with the Police car, it might well have been stationary.

The best subjects for these turned out to be the ones where motion has to be occurring as in the slide picture.

The lady and her daughter in the cup ride and the woman selling the bubble gun’s are more subtle in their implication of movement.

 

Reflections :

I dislike shutter priority mode more than automatic.

I definitely need more practice with this mode and need to lower my ISO every opportunity I have.

A longer lens and a full frame sensor would’ve helped also.