Other transformation experiments P2,P4

P2, P4

CONSCIENCE CLOSURE

I have been intrigued by Duane Michals images like Spirit leaves the body or The bogeyman..I admire his clever and  challenging works and the images always leave me with more questions than satisfying answers. I thought , maybe their meaning could be unraveled, once I tried to do something alike.

This series shows how our inner feelings and conscience can come out while we are asleep. The ghostly feel of the images leaves the viewer to decide whether the person is battling inner demons or is visited by another presence completely. The images show the ghostly figure leaving the body and walking away which symbolizes any negativity which we hold on to. However the ghost then reappears in the last image showing that we can never be free of our inner battles.

I have set my camera on bulb setting and created each image of the ghost by covering the lens for about 30 seconds between each position. I used tripod and wireless remote control to avoid the shake and set my ISO on 200 so I could set my F stop to f14. As my scene was set by the window I didn’t use any other lighting.

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CONSCIENCE  CLOSURE in colour

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CARTWHEEL THROUGH TIME

In these series I’ve tried to show the fast moving phase of life through the movement of the cartwheel. It symbolizes that even when things feel upside down you can always land on your feet.

These images were taken with quite fast shutter speed 1/1250s -1600s and high ISO (4000) to freeze the moments so I could communicate the information into story- like moments. The lighting in the hall was natural, coming from the windows around the hall, where I was experimenting with yellow colour to show different photographic approach  to present information (as it is one of the strongest photographic colours). This was mainly inspired by motion studies and photographs of Edweard  Muybridge.

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ROCKING AND ROLLING

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P2,P4

Communicating the idea and creating an emotional connection with viewer:

Most of us create images because we instinctively want to express our thoughts and feelings about the world we live in. In many ways photography is like a simple conversation we have with others. Regardless of what emotion we wish to express, our body language, gestures and tone of voice all work together with the words we speak to portray our feelings. Every part needs to be ‘well balanced’ to truly tell a clear message. If one of these elements suggests a different message, the intention become confused. Capturing an expressive image, which clearly articulates our feeling and ideas, requires much the same unity of elements. To avoid the chance of sending mixed messages, or losing real focus on what first inspired us to photograph a particular subject, is to eliminate unnecessary details.

German etching fine art paper I chose to use this paper for its artistic coating that gave to my images painting- like feel with its distinct fine-grained texture surface. The density, colour graduation/ vibration and image sharpness enhances the work of art. It also guarantees archival standard so my prints will look the same in a years time. Etching paper lend itself better to a wider variety of photographic applications because it is less distracting, particularly in soft areas of an image. Black levels are very impressive with the paper and color rendition is excellent too.

Studio specific Health and Safety

Only people that need to be in the studio should be there. In a studio environment the common major risks are: Slips, trips and falls caused by people falling over equipment.
Issues concerning the use of electrical equipment. Less frequent risks: Issues of manual handling, the lifting and moving of heavy equipment.

Hazards and actions that can be taken to minimize the risks:

Sharps- use of scissors and utility knives are often required to cut cable ties, gaffer tape. When these are not in use they should be stored safely with blade covers on in a place where they will not be accidentally knocked.

Suspended equipment- ensure all suspended equipment is securely fastened and where necessary with secondary safety chains to stop items falling for example suspended studio lights, heavy backdrops.

Above head height working- Equipment or stored items that requires above head height working or, access to these items to be made by appropriate step ladders, kick-stools or scaffolding as necessary. The access to comply with agreed safe working practices.

Clear and UN-cluttered studio All the equipment in the studio is to be stored in the correct and safe way when it is not in use. Items to be stored in designated areas around the sides or outside of the studio, no equipment or empty boxes are to be left in walkways or places that people could trip over items.

Make sure all unused equipment is put away before you start your shot to minimize the equipment that could get in the way. Make sure all bags, boxes and equipment trunks are moved to a safe area at the side of the room so there are no trip hazards.

Tripods and Light stands- Make sure all of the legs on tripods and light stands are pulled opened to give the greatest stability. This reduces the risk of equipment toppling over on top of someone or damaging the equipment.

Electrical Equipment Risks

Trailing wires and leads- All wires to be taped down or run through rubber cable floor trunking protector. This is to stop people tripping over the wires and hurting themselves. Also to prevent damage and ware to the cables that will shorten the cables life. It is good practice to tape the cable to the bottom of the stand, this is because if a cable is pulled it will tug the light at bottom of the stand so that it is less likely to be pulled over. Keep the use of extension cables to a minimum. If socket bars are used, check to make sure that the combined electricity is not exceeding the socket bars allowance. When plugging and unplugging electrical equipment switch of both the equipment and the plug socket before putting the plug in. Check all the electrical equipment is up to date with PAT testing. A visual check to be carried to ensure there are no exposed wires, damaged leads, plugs are firmly pushed into sockets, no cables are stretched and the equipment looks to be in good condition and works as designed.

Lamps- Never touch lighting bulbs, even when cold. Incandescent lights work at high temperatures. If handled the finger marks and traces left behind can cause localized hot spots that will cause a bulb to blow, or even explode. Make sure you give the studio lights plenty of time to cool down after use. The lights and the housings get very hot. You don’t want to burn your hands picking up something that is hot and then drop it. Hot lamps the filaments are also more fragile and prone to breaking if moved when still hot.

Shooting in public: The biggest danger to the public is a tripod so use it considerately and not in a place where the public could fall over them. The second biggest danger is the photographer trying to get into dangerous places for that “unique shot”.

While shooting my project in regards to my own shots, they were taken from a public areas so I had to be aware of these particular laws. For example I was taking photos of the back of peoples houses so the subject and/or view was of a private property from a public space. I made sure that I wasn’t taking intrusive photos where by choosing angles and devices that abstracted the subjects, i.e using the metallic- construction bridge in the public to present the subject. Also I kept my shots of people to the bare minimum so as not to intrude on people’s privacy, as well as avoiding possible conflict if the subject was feeling harassed or did not want their image recorded.

The golden hour the hours proceeding sunsets where the natural light is less dominant and it makes a good environment to balance out “electrical” light for example taking long exposures or photos of building etc.

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Seemingly queer/ Transformation P3, P5

P5

SEEMINGLY QUEER

Transformation can be interpreted in many ways. In this case I decided to transform my images with the release of the new information. This would also transform the viewers feelings as they see each new image. I started with a close up of the glass to create ambiguity so the viewer wanted to see more. Then after revealing that it is a glass of water I added a human element to the picture. This then transforms the series and makes it more relatable to the viewer. I then wanted to play with the viewers feelings by infact making that image a picture in the frame. For this I used the leg to create a diferent perspective and surprise the viewer. The series then evolves as this image becomes another image on the wall. This sets the scene for a home life shot where the focus goes to the human elements on the sofa and the image that was previously prominent is now an incidental decoration on the wall. At this point the viewer may think this is the final scene but then I wanted to transform their opinion again into making that image to another picture on the wall but this time in an empty room. This also transforms the emotions felt as it could be interpreted that the image of happiness from the human element is now just a distant memory. I concluded the story by taking a shot of that image on a mobile phone to represent the times in which we live. Everything turns out to be digital and we are living through pictures online. We follow other peoples journeys and emotions and perhaps forget to live our own lives, too. In each image you can find the glass of water, this is a constant through the series and can symbolize that there is always hope. The glass is always half full and by finding those things that are constant in our own lives we can get back to those happy times. By noticing which things or people are always there in each shot of our lives, even if they are only in the background, we can focus more on those things or people and find out what exactly we should be putting our time and energy into. The series is titled Seemingly queer to emphasize that everything is not always as it first seems. By playing on the word queer it leads the viewer to make conclusion of the home life situation and to appreciate the emotion felt in the family scene.

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Seemingly queer

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German etching fine art paper I chose to use this paper for its artistic coating that gave to my images painting- like feel with its distinct fine-grained texture surface. The density, colour graduation/ vibration and image sharpness enhances the work of art. It also guarantees archival standard so my prints will look the same in a years time. Etching paper lend itself better to a wider variety of photographic applications because it is less distracting, particularly in soft areas of an image. Black levels are very impressive with the paper and color rendition is excellent too.

Sources of information: I’ve researched various artists as Gregory Crewdson (one of my favorite), Duane Michals, Stan Douglas ( as I find his cluttered images with the mood that they have so interesting), Edweard Muidbridge ( who developed a fast camera shutter and used to make the first photographs that show sequences of movement), Jenny Saville and her Close contact series, Vincent Laforet, Francesca Woodman, William Eggleston, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Martin Parr..

http://evelynbencicova.com/ – photographer who constructs compelling narrative scenarios that blur the lines between reality, memory and imagination, set within curiously symbolic environments. Creative Lighting Techniques for Studio Photographers by Dave Montizambert, Bryan Peterson – Understanding Exposure

Research P1/ Stan Douglas

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RESEARCH/ STAN DOUGLAS

Dancer II- was the first image that made me research artist Stan Douglas, although his works differ from the initial image the research became interesting as I was scrolling down and opening new pages.

His photographs examine how images and memory shape interpretations of history. To create them, Douglas often assumes the role of a photojournalist who travels back in time to reinterpret key events in social and political history.

After conducting intensive research, he re stages these events using actors, costumes, props, and sets. These pictures are carefully composed down to the slightest gestures and period styles.

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Dancer II, 1950, 2010. Digital silver print mounted on Dibond aluminum.

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Ballantyne Pier, 18 June 1935, 2008
Digital C-print mounted on Dibond aluminum

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Gastown riots

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Hastings Park, 16 Jully 1955 2008

2012-04_Exodus-05_REPRO 2012- Exodus, 1975

MacLeods Books, Vancouver 2006 Laserchrome print

MacLeod’s Books, Vancouver 2006 Laserchrome print

Artist's cabin 2009

Artist’s cabin 2009

Powell Street Grounds, 28 January 1912, 2008, from the series Crowds & Riots

Powell Street Grounds, 28 January 1912, 2008, from the series Crowds & Riots

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In his work, Win, Place, or Show, Douglas uses two channel video installation to show two men fighting and then arguing continuously in an “ever shifting and altering array of combinations” (Open File, Stan Douglas, 1). This work deals with Douglas’ interpretation of the modernist idea of urban renewal.

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https://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/stan-douglas-talks-about-making-photographs-that-recreate-moments-of-transformation

Research P1/ Eadweard Muybridge

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RESEARCH/EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE

Eadwear Muybridge developed a fast camera shutter and used other state-of-the-art techniques to make the first photographs that show sequences of movement, it was the zoopraxiscope (the forerunner to the motion picture projector) his invention in 1879- that allowed him to produce that first motion picture. Muybridge made his most important photographic studies of motion from 1884 to 1887. under the auspices of the These consisted of photographs of various activities of human figures, clothed and naked, which were to form a visual compendium of human movements for the use of artists and scientists. Many of these photographs were published in 1887 in the portfolio Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements

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(zodpraxiscope 1870)

a-shock-to-the-nervous-system-eadweard-muybridgeA shock to the nervous system (1887)

Eadweard-Muybridge-A-man-standing-on-his-hands-from-a-lying-down-positionA man standing on his hands from a lying down position (1887)

Muybridge_Woman_dressing_1887Woman dressing (1887)

art1_1708195cHead-spring, a Flying Pigeon Interfering

484c8c1c51593a3e06b412ab5e96f53dPlate 69 – Two boys running (1887) Collotype, 19″ x 24″

Research P1/ Duane Michals

Duene-MichalsRESEARCH\ DUANE MICHALS P1

“short story telling, going back in nature, transformation of reality & truth”

I don’t get straight people, but I understand what they look like.

“I never photograph sunsets and I never photograph moonrises. I’m not interested in what things look like.”

“I am an expressionist and by that I mean that I’m not a photographer or a writer or a painter or a tap dancer, but rather someone who expresses himself according to his needs.”

I chose to research Duane Michals because I feel there are many parallels between our life, styles, and circumstance.

For me Duane Michals is a photographer that I admire. His work is clever and challenging, but – for me rather oddly cold. The individual images are not unappealing, but they don’t capture my attention so much as the idea which tickles the intellect without ever satisfying it. One of his most famous image series, ‘Things are Queer’ (1973)  leaves me with more questions than satisfying answers. But then, maybe if their meaning could be unraveled, they would cease to be quite so queer. The work is a circular story with the first and last image being identical, but the importance of the image is altered by the story. So, in the first image we have what appears to be a bathroom suite. In the second image the camera perspective moves slightly closer to the wall and fittings, and a foot and lower leg that are so large as to be out of proportion with the fittings is introduced into the scene..

Things are queer

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The Fallen Angel, 1968, (8) 5 x 7 Silver Gelatin Photographs                                              These photo sequences to me have many dimensions.

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The Bogeyman, 1973

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The Kentucky Kid, 2001, (10) 5 x 7 Silver Gelatin Photographs

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In his Sequences, he arranges several images in a line or grid to examine ideas of beauty, spirituality, religion, sexuality, and death. Together each piece forms a short story that evokes thought and lingers in the mind. As one progresses through the piece, there’s a tension between each of the photographs, as if the viewer is experiencing the peak of a comic book. Some of the pieces are comical but the others have hints of philosophy, exploring ideas of the human condition, madness, and existence.

The spirit leaves the body 1968

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Dr.Heisenbergs magic mirror of uncertainty 1998

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The return of prodigal son, 1982

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The Poet Decorates his Muse with Verse, 2004

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The most beautiful part of a man’s body (1986)

I think it must be there,
where the torso sits on and, into the hips,
those twin delineating curves,
feminine in grace, girdling the trunk,
guiding the eyes downwards
to their intersection,
the point of pleasure.

duaneMichals

The unfortunate man The unfortunate man could not touch the one he loved
It had been declared illegal by the law
Slowly his fingers became toes and his hands gradually became feet
He began to wear shoes on his hands to disguise his pain
It never occurs to him to break the law.

duaneMichals-unfortunateMan

https://pois.pt/en/culture/the-most-beautiful-part-of-mens-body-duane-michals-in-conversation-with-the-art-curator-francisco-lacerda/

We can do it!/ Studio practice portrait P1-P5

We can do it! Inspiration.. P1

Sitting here today thinking how we all inspire each other to create and recreate Art made me also recreate this powerful and motivational image for my photography project.

I find strong women very inspirational because they always go through the fight and struggle to achieve their goles. The theme of strength and determination can be seen in women from history all the way to my previous series of black swan.

Research: P1

Michelangelo’s 1509 portrait of Isaiah inspired Norman Rockwell Rosie the riveter (most iconic image of working women 1943) to portray Rosie with a flag in the background and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s racist tract “Mein Kampf” under her feet.

Michelangelo 1509 portrait of Isaiah

1942- Powerful image of a strong-woman inspired another artist J.Howard Miller to produce American World War II wartime poster today known as We Can Do It!This image was used to promote feminism and other political issues beginning in the 1980s.

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We can do it! / Initial images P2,P3,P4,P5

I have decided to recreate this image in my living room. I stuck yellow card on the wall, painted the ends with the blue acrylic paint. My model was standing in front of the wallpaper slightly so that her left side was towards the wall . Then I positioned a large soft-box above and in front of my model, adjusted power to achieve a pleasing lighting effect around the face. I had a little problem with shadows as I didn’t have another source of light that would soften unwanted shadows. Then I enhanced the images in camera raw filter.

(F8, 1/100sec., ISO160, fl 30mm)

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(F10, 1/100sec., ISO160, fl 40mm)

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(F8, 1/100sec., ISO160, fl 42mm)

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This is my final image “We can do it!” edited in Photoshop P2,P3,P4

IMG_0923 Quick Selection Tool

IMG_0919 Curves

IMG_0922 Solid Color

IMG_0920 Refine Edges

IMG_0921 Selecting the edge sharpness (intensity)

IMG_0916 TIFF option LZW

DSC_0059 copy 4 P3

Communicating the idea and creating an emotional connection with viewer:

Most of us create images because we instinctively want to express our thoughts and feelings about the world we live in. In many ways photography is like a simple conversation we have with others. Regardless of what emotion we wish to express, our body language, gestures and tone of voice all work together with the words we speak to portray our feelings. Every part needs to be ‘well balanced’ to truly tell a clear message. If one of these elements suggests a different message, the intention become confused. Capturing an expressive image, which clearly articulates our feeling and ideas, requires much the same unity of elements. To avoid the chance of sending mixed messages, or losing real focus on what first inspired us to photograph a particular subject, is to eliminate unnecessary details.

Studio specific Health and Safety

Only people that need to be in the studio should be there. In a studio environment the common major risks are: Slips, trips and falls caused by people falling over equipment.
Issues concerning the use of electrical equipment. Less frequent risks: Issues of manual handling, the lifting and moving of heavy equipment.

Hazards and actions that can be taken to minimize the risks:

Sharps- use of scissors and utility knives are often required to cut cable ties, gaffer tape. When these are not in use they should be stored safely with blade covers on in a place where they will not be accidentally knocked.

Suspended equipment- ensure all suspended equipment is securely fastened and where necessary with secondary safety chains to stop items falling for example suspended studio lights, heavy backdrops.

Above head height working- Equipment or stored items that requires above head height working or, access to these items to be made by appropriate step ladders, kick-stools or scaffolding as necessary. The access to comply with agreed safe working practices.

Clear and UN-cluttered studio All the equipment in the studio is to be stored in the correct and safe way when it is not in use. Items to be stored in designated areas around the sides or outside of the studio, no equipment or empty boxes are to be left in walkways or places that people could trip over items.

Make sure all unused equipment is put away before you start your shot to minimize the equipment that could get in the way. Make sure all bags, boxes and equipment trunks are moved to a safe area at the side of the room so there are no trip hazards.

Tripods and Light stands- Make sure all of the legs on tripods and light stands are pulled opened to give the greatest stability. This reduces the risk of equipment toppling over on top of someone or damaging the equipment.

Electrical Equipment Risks

Trailing wires and leads- All wires to be taped down or run through rubber cable floor trunking protector. This is to stop people tripping over the wires and hurting themselves. Also to prevent damage and ware to the cables that will shorten the cables life. It is good practice to tape the cable to the bottom of the stand, this is because if a cable is pulled it will tug the light at bottom of the stand so that it is less likely to be pulled over. Keep the use of extension cables to a minimum. If socket bars are used, check to make sure that the combined electricity is not exceeding the socket bars allowance. When plugging and unplugging electrical equipment switch of both the equipment and the plug socket before putting the plug in. Check all the electrical equipment is up to date with PAT testing. A visual check to be carried to ensure there are no exposed wires, damaged leads, plugs are firmly pushed into sockets, no cables are stretched and the equipment looks to be in good condition and works as designed.

Lamps- Never touch lighting bulbs, even when cold. Incandescent lights work at high temperatures. If handled the finger marks and traces left behind can cause localized hot spots that will cause a bulb to blow, or even explode. Make sure you give the studio lights plenty of time to cool down after use. The lights and the housings get very hot. You don’t want to burn your hands picking up something that is hot and then drop it. Hot lamps the filaments are also more fragile and prone to breaking if moved when still hot.

Research/ Darian Volkova P1

Darian Volkova is widely known in the ballet world. She is a St. Petersburg based photography artist, a ballerina at Hermitage Theatre of Classical Russian Ballet, and a continuous explorer of the unique field of ballet photography.

Through her work the art of ballet speaks for itself. Her photo stories reflect the plasticity of the artistic form, the dynamics and images of sculptured static moments, the results of strenuous daily work of ballet performers, and their inspiring movement and flight.
As a ballet photographer Darian Volkova captures and transforms into lasting memories the work of prima ballerinas.

Darian Volkova

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Research/ Henry Leutwyler P1

Henry Leutwyler

This portrait photographer was told he wouldn’t make it as a photographer. He was rejected from a top Swiss photography school, and when he opened his own photo studio in Lausanne- photographing watches and chocolates and cheeses- he went bankrupt. But at age 25, Leutwyler moved to Paris and began apprenticing with the French photographer Gilles Tapie, who helped him find his stride as an editorial photographer. A decade later, in 1995, Leutwyler moved to New York City, where his portrait photography began to appear in Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker..

He was granted unprecedented backstage access to the Company during the winter of 2012. The resulting book, Ballet, reflects 30 years of his passion for the art form, realized in 30 days of photographing. Leutwyler inhabited the shadows of the stage and became “invisible,” recording images of the dancers using nothing more than his 35mm Leica. He was able to explore the performers’ immediate space, affording a more abstract portrait of their frenzied existence in an art form predicated on perfection.

I am quite jealous about his backstage access to the ballet as it allowed him to capture the uncommonly raw backstage images but in my project I want to recreate some of the flavor that I see in his images and of course my imagination of the dancers fight with their own feet.

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BALLET NO 210

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Dance Slippers used by Vaslav Nijinsky in Spectre de la Rose

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ONCE UPON A TIME OR OUCH, HAPPY NEW YEAR

misty copeland by Henry Leutwyler

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FRED ASTAIRE’S TAP SHOES

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BALLET NO 108

Still life/ If these shoes could talk P2- P5

P4

I decided to use the theme of Black Swan for my still life because there is still so much to explore in the theme of dance with shoes being  main part of the dancers life. But often goes unnoticed by the audience. A shoe can tell a whole story that no one apart from the dancer will ever know. Visual representation of the years of hard work that goes into the dancers life. I wanted to show how the shoes are so worn out but the dancer must never show this in her career or performance.

Communicating the idea and creating an emotional connection with viewer:

Most of us create images because we instinctively want to express our thoughts and feelings about the world we live in. In many ways photography is like a simple conversation we have with others. Regardless of what emotion we wish to express, our body language, gestures and tone of voice all work together with the words we speak to portray our feelings. Every part needs to be ‘well balanced’ to truly tell a clear message. If one of these elements suggests a different message, the intention become confused. Capturing an expressive image, which clearly articulates our feeling and ideas, requires much the same unity of elements. To avoid the chance of sending mixed messages, or losing real focus on what first inspired us to photograph a particular subject, is to eliminate unnecessary details.

DSC_0030 blog

DSC_0054 blog

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DSC_0121 blog

DSC_0141 blog

DSC_0144 blog

Studio specific Health and Safety

Only people that need to be in the studio should be there. In a studio environment the common major risks are: Slips, trips and falls caused by people falling over equipment.
Issues concerning the use of electrical equipment. Less frequent risks: Issues of manual handling, the lifting and moving of heavy equipment.

Hazards and actions that can be taken to minimize the risks:

Sharps- use of scissors and utility knives are often required to cut cable ties, gaffer tape. When these are not in use they should be stored safely with blade covers on in a place where they will not be accidentally knocked.

Suspended equipment- ensure all suspended equipment is securely fastened and where necessary with secondary safety chains to stop items falling for example suspended studio lights, heavy backdrops.

Above head height working- Equipment or stored items that requires above head height working or, access to these items to be made by appropriate step ladders, kick-stools or scaffolding as necessary. The access to comply with agreed safe working practices.

Clear and UN-cluttered studio All the equipment in the studio is to be stored in the correct and safe way when it is not in use. Items to be stored in designated areas around the sides or outside of the studio, no equipment or empty boxes are to be left in walkways or places that people could trip over items.

Make sure all unused equipment is put away before you start your shot to minimize the equipment that could get in the way. Make sure all bags, boxes and equipment trunks are moved to a safe area at the side of the room so there are no trip hazards.

Tripods and Light stands- Make sure all of the legs on tripods and light stands are pulled opened to give the greatest stability. This reduces the risk of equipment toppling over on top of someone or damaging the equipment.

Electrical Equipment Risks

Trailing wires and leads- All wires to be taped down or run through rubber cable floor trunking protector. This is to stop people tripping over the wires and hurting themselves. Also to prevent damage and ware to the cables that will shorten the cables life. It is good practice to tape the cable to the bottom of the stand, this is because if a cable is pulled it will tug the light at bottom of the stand so that it is less likely to be pulled over. Keep the use of extension cables to a minimum. If socket bars are used, check to make sure that the combined electricity is not exceeding the socket bars allowance. When plugging and unplugging electrical equipment switch of both the equipment and the plug socket before putting the plug in. Check all the electrical equipment is up to date with PAT testing. A visual check to be carried to ensure there are no exposed wires, damaged leads, plugs are firmly pushed into sockets, no cables are stretched and the equipment looks to be in good condition and works as designed.

Lamps- Never touch lighting bulbs, even when cold. Incandescent lights work at high temperatures. If handled the finger marks and traces left behind can cause localized hot spots that will cause a bulb to blow, or even explode. Make sure you give the studio lights plenty of time to cool down after use. The lights and the housings get very hot. You don’t want to burn your hands picking up something that is hot and then drop it. Hot lamps the filaments are also more fragile and prone to breaking if moved when still hot.

For my reference: placing spot light with barn doors above my objects (dancing shoes on satin material), and intensity of the light. Very important- white balance

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Cruel and tender/ initial images/Black swan P2- P5

BLACK SWAN

When I heard the title Cruel and tender, I immediately thought of the black swan, because for me the contrast between the tenderness of how a dancer looks while performing is so contradictory to the lifestyle they must lead, and the cruel suffering they must go through to achieve the physical tenderness.

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P4 This picture relates to the tenderness and beauty of the physical exterior as can be seen on the image above that the ballet dancer is trying to achieve. This tenderness contrasted against the pain, suffering, and the weight felt by the dancer inside as shown by the dancer on the floor. The floor boards appear to be running away from the dancer to mirror the speed at which the dancer must progress to the top of her carier due to the fact that a dancers life is so short and the pressure is so great. Psychologically yellow colour is most fatiguing to the eye,  because of the amount of light that is reflected. I wanted the floor to be a big part of the image as the yellow colour reflects the strength that the dancer needs both mentally and physically in order to live out this passion.           In this image I used high angle shot to create a feeling of vulnerability in my subject and allowing the viewer to sneak peak into a private world where everything is not as glamorous as it seems on the outside.

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I used low angle to create symmetry to double the effect of the chain to make the chain prominent feature of the image and also so the viewer is on the same level as the dancer so they can feel the expressed emotion. The mirror line shows the split emotions that the dancer would feel. I used the line of the mirror and the barre to strengthen my photographic composition to engage the viewers eye and make the image more powerful. There was a natural light coming from the back of the camera which I used to highlight my use of the colour as the light was catching the chain adding to the prominence of this feature.

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P4 This are powerful images to follow the first image because they quickly bring the viewer to the harsh reality of a dancers private life and allows us to feel the glimpse of what the dancer may be feeling, thinking or contemplating. In such a high pressure situation sometimes it can feel like there is only one way out. The viewer does not know whether this is the reality or something the dancer is considering or dreaming about. For this reason I wanted to make this images slightly dream-like which is why I was experimenting with blurring technique with the focus on the ballet shoe as this is the only thing we can be sure is reality in this image. I used high angle shot to create a feeling of vulnerability in my subject and allowing the viewer to sneak peak into a private world where everything is not as glamorous as it seems on the outside.

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In this image I used very low angle to make the dancer and the world look bigger, stronger, and more powerful. Using the rule of third to compose my visual image I wanted to create the effect of a painting- like composition.

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P5 For these images I created a split lighting in the kitchen as  this technique produces a sense of drama to a portrait. A half of the subject’s face is lit, while the other half is left darker. I achieved split by placing the main source to 90° relative to the axis of the face and approximately at the height of the face. To show two sides of the ballerinas feelings. One needs to be perfect dancer physically and the other is to give in to the desire to over indulge.

Communicating the idea and creating an emotional connection with viewer:

Most of us create images because we instinctively want to express our thoughts and feelings about the world we live in. In many ways photography is like a simple conversation we have with others. Regardless of what emotion we wish to express, our body language, gestures and tone of voice all work together with the words we speak to portray our feelings. Every part needs to be ‘well balanced’ to truly tell a clear message. If one of these elements suggests a different message, the intention become confused. Capturing an expressive image, which clearly articulates our feeling and ideas, requires much the same unity of elements. To avoid the chance of sending mixed messages, or losing real focus on what first inspired us to photograph a particular subject, is to eliminate unnecessary details.

Studio specific Health and Safety

Only people that need to be in the studio should be there. In a studio environment the common major risks are: Slips, trips and falls caused by people falling over equipment.
Issues concerning the use of electrical equipment. Less frequent risks: Issues of manual handling, the lifting and moving of heavy equipment.

Hazards and actions that can be taken to minimize the risks:

Sharps- use of scissors and utility knives are often required to cut cable ties, gaffer tape. When these are not in use they should be stored safely with blade covers on in a place where they will not be accidentally knocked.

Suspended equipment- ensure all suspended equipment is securely fastened and where necessary with secondary safety chains to stop items falling for example suspended studio lights, heavy backdrops.

Above head height working- Equipment or stored items that requires above head height working or, access to these items to be made by appropriate step ladders, kick-stools or scaffolding as necessary. The access to comply with agreed safe working practices.

Clear and UN-cluttered studio All the equipment in the studio is to be stored in the correct and safe way when it is not in use. Items to be stored in designated areas around the sides or outside of the studio, no equipment or empty boxes are to be left in walkways or places that people could trip over items.

Make sure all unused equipment is put away before you start your shot to minimize the equipment that could get in the way. Make sure all bags, boxes and equipment trunks are moved to a safe area at the side of the room so there are no trip hazards.

Tripods and Light stands- Make sure all of the legs on tripods and light stands are pulled opened to give the greatest stability. This reduces the risk of equipment toppling over on top of someone or damaging the equipment.

Electrical Equipment Risks

Trailing wires and leads- All wires to be taped down or run through rubber cable floor trunking protector. This is to stop people tripping over the wires and hurting themselves. Also to prevent damage and ware to the cables that will shorten the cables life. It is good practice to tape the cable to the bottom of the stand, this is because if a cable is pulled it will tug the light at bottom of the stand so that it is less likely to be pulled over. Keep the use of extension cables to a minimum. If socket bars are used, check to make sure that the combined electricity is not exceeding the socket bars allowance. When plugging and unplugging electrical equipment switch of both the equipment and the plug socket before putting the plug in. Check all the electrical equipment is up to date with PAT testing. A visual check to be carried to ensure there are no exposed wires, damaged leads, plugs are firmly pushed into sockets, no cables are stretched and the equipment looks to be in good condition and works as designed.

Lamps- Never touch lighting bulbs, even when cold. Incandescent lights work at high temperatures. If handled the finger marks and traces left behind can cause localized hot spots that will cause a bulb to blow, or even explode. Make sure you give the studio lights plenty of time to cool down after use. The lights and the housings get very hot. You don’t want to burn your hands picking up something that is hot and then drop it. Hot lamps the filaments are also more fragile and prone to breaking if moved when still hot.

Shooting in public: The biggest danger to the public is a tripod so use it considerately and not in a place where the public could fall over them. The second biggest danger is the photographer trying to get into dangerous places for that “unique shot”.

While shooting my project in regards to my own shots, they were taken from a public areas so I had to be aware of these particular laws. For example I was taking photos of the back of peoples houses so the subject and/or view was of a private property from a public space. I made sure that I wasn’t taking intrusive photos where by choosing angles and devices that abstracted the subjects, i.e using the metallic- construction bridge in the public to present the subject. Also I kept my shots of people to the bare minimum so as not to intrude on people’s privacy, as well as avoiding possible conflict if the subject was feeling harassed or did not want their image recorded.

The golden hour– the hours proceeding sunsets where the natural light is less dominant and it makes a good environment to balance out “electrical” light for example taking long exposures or photos of building etc.

Sources of information: Studio photography books and websites-

http://evelynbencicova.com/ – photographer who constructs compelling narrative scenarios that blur the lines between reality, memory and imagination, set within curiously symbolic environments.

Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image (Voices That Matter) by Scott Kelby

Basics Photography: Lighting by David Prakel

Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting by Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua and Fil Hunter

Creative Lighting Techniques for Studio Photographers by Dave Montizambert

http://www.lightingdiagrams.com/Creator

Smartphone apps: Photo Studio Buddy Lite – Android,

Cruel and Tender exhibition at Tate Modern – Archives

Twilight exhibition at Victoria and Albert – Archives

Freeman M – The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos (Focal Press, 2007) ISBN 9780240809342

Terry Barrett – Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images

Susan Sontag – On Photography

Bryan Peterson – Understanding Exposure

David Präkel – Photography Exposure (Basics Photography – Series)

Ian Jeffrey – Photography: A Concise History (World of Art)

Graham Clarke – The Photograph: A Visual and Cultural History (Oxford History of Art)