Thursday, 25 November 2010

Planning Assignment 2

I am still thinking along the lines of still life for Assignment Two. Always up for challenging myself nothing in photography is ever "easy" but I want to make myself think hard about what I am taking photographs of and the technical side of producing the images. Having read parts of On Being a Photographer and On Looking at Photographs (Jay and Hurn) I wanted to have a clear purpose behind the reason for taking each image, I wanted each image to be personal to me but to also illicit some kind of reaction/emotion/recognition from my audience, even if that audience did not share the same experiences they should be able to empathise with them and have their own interpretation/memories kindled.

Gauntlet thrown down to myself! I am hoping to find enough objects/scenarios that will translate into still life images that can encapsulate stages in my life/the end of things/moving on as the theme. Hopefully the images will speak for themselves and require no explanations.

I've had a quick squizz through Minimalist Lighting Techniques by Kirk Tuck Copyright 2009 published by Amherst Media Inc, and whilst a lot of it does not apply, as I don't have the lights, soft boxes or the room size there are some interesting pointers about how to set up for still life within a studio and some techniques that I can duplicate with everyday household items...bring on the sheets, kitchen foil and clothes pegs!

'The studio is all about “making” and not just “taking” a photograph. Out on the street, all you need to do is react to whatever transpires in front of you. The whole point of using a studio is to be able to control every aspect of your photography. In the studio, you decide what background to use, what kind of lights to use, the color and character of the light, and so much more. Of all the decisions you’ll make, the most important technical choices will concern the lighting—whether or not to use hard, chiseled light with deep black shadows or soft, effulgent light that wraps around your subject and provides soft transitions between highlights and shadows.' (p24)
Section 2, Light and Lighting Explained covers points such as fall off which I found quite relevant, and how the use of silver reflectors can flood areas with reflected light. A brilliant series of shots of an orange with different lighting techniques (p39-45) showed how to make an interesting shape whilst not creating harsh specular lights or deep shadows. A diffuser was made by using tracing paper and an old picture frame, fill light to the other side of the subject was a simple white T shirt on a hanger. Things to bear in mind when I set up my shoot.

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