Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Finding my Way Around.....

So here are some more of the explorations shots I have been taking in and around my area...some are just random, wondering what would they be, others were picking up on the visual theme of physical signs which tell the residents and those passing through about the neighbourhood. After taking pictures of the stables, and noting the other signs appearing in my images I started looking to include them as a linking theme. Paul Graham's Troubled Land series has a linking visual theme of the political signs in Northern Ireland. I've looked quite a bit at his work and wondered how it could influence mine. But signs aren't enough so am thinking I need to incorporate something else to make the images work, the urban/greenery theme is a possibility.

Far too dark...I know in some of Grahams stuff, Shimmer of Possibilites has dark images but they have also other points of interest like the contrasting lights in the background....this one of mine is just naff ;o)

Roadside Vendor Paul Graham from A Shimmer of Possibilities

Fun shots after the thunderstorm and a blocked drain.......

One of the local primary school's had the usual signs outside asking for vouchers, advertising the local superstore, along with the usual 'No Parking' sign. This image was a possibility for inclusion but I dismissed it after a while because I thought a school a bit of an obvious choice, however it did also spark the idea that while including signs I would like to see if I could include the different generations within my images too.

While musing on signs I continued to revisit places, shoot different scenes, examining anything and nothing, seeing where it went. I got quite frustrated when it seemingly went nowhere.......and the clouds were still there and the rain still fell..............

Revisiting some signs that were spotted before and trying new angles, also looking at new ideas..........

Back to the cemetery, the same sign a different place, but I felt I wanted to include more of the gravestones.

A missing cat sign, they spring up on posts from time to time. Quite sad really, but I thought an ideal trace of the people inhabiting the area, I wasn't very keen on the background though....

Same missing cat sign, I preferred this location so made a mental note to return. Shooting different signs and noting where they were meant I could review my images and could go back and reshoot to improve them.

While driving to work one day I noticed a sign shop which has recently closed down, I thought this would possibly work as a subject, a closed sign, in a sign shop, another visual link of signs. I also noted the tekephone cables crossing the sky and thought when I took some images I'd try to compose the shots similar to those of Stephen Shore. He photographed the small shopping strips so if the pictures worked they would have that double link. After work I rushed to get my camera. On parking my car in a side road I  saw the bus shelter complete with grafitti, another sign and trace of people, I stood for a while waiting for various vehicles to come past, or hopefully pedestrians. Unfortunately due to the weather not many people were about on foot. Then I moved to shoot the sign shop, once more hoping to capture passing cars or people.Yet again the grey ominous clouds came overhead; it started to rain again! Some of my images when I reviewed them, had rain spots on the lens therefore were discarded before I even considered any other aspect.

Having taken a variety of shots decided that some of the images would benefit from the inclusion of people. Especially if I want to expand upon the idea of including the generations. So this is where I am now...decided on signs............and trying to make it work within the course brief and my own artistic ideas... I started off using f5.6 but decided I wanted to have more of the background detail, I found I was drawn to th eimages of others that had greater depth of field, and gradually increased to f16. I was happy with this although f16 does present problems of a slow shutter speed in low lighting conditions. This was a compromise I was prepared to make as I still have not mastered properly the technique of hyperfocal distance. Where shots did include movement I wanted to demonstrate by having the pedestrians/vehicles slightly out of focus again using SHore as a reference as some of the vehicles in his pictures are a little unsharp, Some images were rather underexposed but hoped this could be corrected in processing if necessary.

With the poor weather it was becoming very apparent that I couldn't wait/hope for better weather and that maybe another concept could be to show that images do not always have to be shot on brilliant sunny days, that in life a little rain does fall (or a lot as is now)the grey skies a reflection on the mood of the people due to the current economic climate.

An issue that transpired with using my 18-55mm lens at 18mm and f16 was chromatic aberration which needed to be processed in ACR. Due to some sloppy processing this was not always completed sufficiently therefore I need to make sure I check for this as it is a basic error.

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