Experimenting with flash

While looking for subjects for exercise 3.1, freezing movement; I tried an experiment comparing an image of a spinning fan taken with and without flash.

The images below are taken at roughly the same shutter speed but the flash seem to have almost frozen the fan’s motion.

It’s after you zoom in on the flash image that you can see the safety screen behind, almost super imposed on the fans blade.

55mm. 1/80th. sec. f 5.6 ISO 1600

55mm. 1/60th. sec. f 5.6 ISO 100

iTTL flash.

The effect is quite startling.

As it didn’t entirely freeze the fans motion I didn’t include it in my images for exercise 3.1, maybe practice some and include it in later exercises and assignments.

Research Point

Brief :

Do your own research into some of the photographers mentioned in this project.
Look back at your personal archive of photography and try to find a photograph that could be used to illustrate one of the aesthetic codes discussed in Project 2.

Whether or not you had a similar idea when you took the photograph isn’t important; find a photo with a depth of field that ‘fits’ the code you’ve selected.

The ability of photographs to adapt to a range of usages is something we’ll return to later in the course.
Add the shot to your learning log and include a short caption describing how you’ve re-imagined your photograph.

Tony Ray Jones and Ansel Adams.

Of the Photographers mentioned in this section there are two that stick out to me.

Tony Ray Jones and Ansel Adams.

Tony Ray Jones was, in my mind; a social photo-journalist whose excellent series on the English at play is truly sublime.

The way he framed things to include multiple stories or themes in one image resonated with me, maybe because I grew up in the 60’s.

His colour work taken in America is also very good.

I can see why he is so influential.

At the dawn of this millennium the Oxford photographic archive sent out a photographer to mimic the work of one of their archives, same views etc. just a hundred years later on; a beautiful collection put side by side with the plate images in a calendar.

This is what needs to be done here with the English at play, it would be a worthy project and I might do it in slow time.

This image here of a man working reminded me of something.

A picture I took looking through the entrance to an Oxford college.

This to me has a similar feel to it, from the lighting to the subject.

Ansel Adams is one of those rare photographers that are so well-known that they don’t need an introduction.

Most famous for his work in Yosemite but also did some excellent portraits and architecture work.

I particularly like the following pictures.

Ansel Adams, US National Archive

Ansel Adams, Baton practice, Manzanar.

His series on Manzanar internment camp produced many wonderful images and proves to me how versatile Adams truly was.

You can see the influence of the F64 group in all his work as they’re mainly sharp throughout the image.

Page 50

Photography 1: Expressing your Vision, page 50 mentions two photographers on one page, Gianluca Cosci and Mona Kuhn.

There can be no better comparison of art over salesmanship then these two.

I know art is subjective and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but really!

Cosci’s work, with the exception of some of his reflections in glass and the picture frames is awful.

The low to the ground, shallow depth of field urban pictures are truly bland in an epic sense.

They’re the kind of pictures, that if I took them would be relegated to the files bin on my computer.

I was a car salesman for many years in the U.S.A and knew that when I heard such gushing descriptions of something I was being sold a bill of goods, i.e something sub-standard.

Contrast these to Mona Kuhn’s work !

The use of good light, excellent framing and stunning subjects makes Khun’s work brilliant.

I may be being harsh on Cosci but if you where to display both these photographers works together, opened it to the public and took a poll I’m certain Kuhn’s work would be way more popular.

To me photography has to illicit a response, Cosci’s work does this but in a negative way.

In order for it to be considered good it must make people look and at least say “Hmmn” if not “Wow”! anything else is average.

Alec Soth

Having looked at Alec Soths work on his web site I must say that most of his images are powerful.

When taken as a collection, such as broken manual; they also tell a story.

He seems to have the ability to relate with his subjects and get some of these wonderful characters to allow him to photograph them, the survivalist in this Gillie suite must have been a hard sell.

From the book  Broken Manual by Alec Soth & Lester B. Morrison, 2010

His compositions, to me at least; are pretty simple for the most part but incredibly poignant.

There is a sense of lost hope and sadness to a lot of his work which I find depressing to some degree.

Overall I like most of his images and the stories they tell.

 

Reviews by Campany and Colberg on Thomas Ruff

There were four points that stood out to me in Campany’s review of Thomas Ruff’s work that appeared in IANN magazine no.2 @ 2008.
The first was “It’s potent ability to solicit individual and global responses that cannot be entirely reconciled”, this is what I felt when first viewing his work; is it Photography, art or just a good printing job ?
The second was his questions about the information we now have at our fingertips , how it affects our lives and more importantly how it shapes our perception, morals and desires.
He also questions what we mean by ‘from the internet’? Is the internet an archive” ? , he goes on to say “In fact Ruff tells us they are from the internet”, meaning Ruff’s images.
My take on it is this, the internet is the mother of all archives; a Pandora’s box of mankind’s best and darkest thoughts and achievements.
The last point he makes is about how Ruff presents his work using very large prints that are beyond what is normally excepted for quality images i.e pixelated.

In Colberg’s review that appeared in his blog “jmcolberg.com/weblog/2009/04/review_jpegs_by_thomas_ruff/” I only took one point of view and a good quote from Ruff himself.
He says that Ruff is possibly “one of the most creative and certainly inventive photographers of our time” and that the more traditionalist photographers could question whether it is indeed photography at all.
He also has a  quote from the Artist himself that was an Excerpt from a conversation with Max Dax, Dreissig Gespräche, edition suhrkamp, 2009; telling how he actually came up with the concept of his jpegs during his time in New York city the week of the 9/11 attacks.
Thomas Ruff has done similar work using images from NASA entitled M.A.R.S .
On a personal note I prefer his more abstract art as I find his jpeg and mars series to be too much like Andy Warhol’s work and it’s hard to compete with Warhol.

My take on framing and cropping images.

The following definitions are from the on-line

Cambridge Dictionary.

Frame :

a border that surrounds and supports a picture, door, or window.

Crop :

to remove some or all of the edges from a picture, leaving only the most important part.
To me Framing or the frame of an image is the whole that the photographer wants you to view, it contains all the elements they think are important and none that aren’t.
Cropping an image is a way to eliminate unwanted elements or distractions and also a means to reframe the image to something more pleasing such as a Dutch tilt or reframing the subject to follow the rule of thirds.
Cropping an image also reduces the image quality some, where as framing does not.
To me cropping is a useful technique as long as you don’t find yourself using it on every image.
Framing has to be done with deliberation if possible, even photo journalists, sports and wildlife photographers try to avoid cropping if they can as editors are increasingly accepting only unaltered JPEG’s .

Auto mode photography.

I understand that the OCA want you to use auto mode so that you can concentrate on form, lines and technique.
I have my camera set to flexible program mode as my Nikon very often focusses on the wrong area.
I find auto mode constraining rather than liberating, nothing worse than getting a good shot ruinned by being out of focus.
Having said all that I do switch my camera to auto before turning it off just incase something pops up in front of me but that’s it.
these two photo’s are a case in point, the ice bucket challenge photo only gave a few seconds notice; literally point and shoot and hope the camera caught it, which it did.
The other is the “kind” photo in my Square mile series where it focussed on the womans shoulder.
Overall I prefer Aperture priority over the others.

Ice bucket challenge.

 

The kind.