…. TEACH

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As part of the run up to our Urban Photo Festival Masterclass we sat down with World Press Photographer Dario Mitidieri to discuss his most recent work Lost Family Portraits. Dario also describes what it was like being a young photographer during the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square, why his most iconic work on the children of Bombay is still relevant today and what has most surprised him over his career. See the full article HERE. 

Tickets still available for Nov 5 + 6  Masterclass can be found HERE.

We are in great company

The Urban Photo Festival is underway and The Mango Lab is in good company. See here for complete program.

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November 5+6 will be an opportunity for young photojournalists, students of documentary photography and photographers looking to tell stories with their photos to shoot with a seasoned and awarded professional.

My company, The Mango Lab, is proud to present a photography weekend Masterclass with the incredible photojournalist and World Press photography award winner Dario Mitidieri as part of this year’s UrbanPhotoFest. It will be a unique weekend experience where participants, under Mr. Mitidieri instruction, will shoot to a unique brief which will pursue the idea of memory, photography and archive. This will be followed by an edit and discussion on the projects.  For more up to date information follow our Facebook page or our website.

A few tickets are still available.  Maximum 15 participants. Head here to book.

 

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The Reportage Photography Autumn exhibition session entitled Documents was a huge success. Congratulations to all the short-course students for their energetic commitment to the pursuit of the personal project in addition to the weekly lessons and micro-assignments. A solid understanding of subject was evidenced in the individual essays through not only a personal understanding, point of view and ethnographic observation,  but the inclusion of both a historical and stylistic integrity which permeated through and seen in the collective aesthetic and narrative.

Equally important was the show of confidence in presentation before an audience.  Comments from the guests and invited crits were positive as they felt completely immersed in the individual conversations and stories developed and exhibited.

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Each semester the Documents show is especially important to me because it highlights an area of the visual learning process I feel strongly about. It too often is overlooked when students of photography choose an autodidactic approach, learning as they piece together quick tips off Youtube videos, apps, magazines and trust their learning process to social media ‘likes’ and ’emoticon-nents’. While all of this is indeed important information mining one should not overlook nor avoid the experience that comes with live presentation. Having completed my Masters examining social media and mobile image sites like Instagram and Flickr where an identity is built through visual capital, popularity  and immediate trends, I see the live moments between aspiring photographers and audience as fine, fiberous tentacles extending deep into the pedagogical soil –  setting in place a root which anchors a trust in the artist’s self.  The process often will tease out a depth of analysis and reflexive qualities that only q+a and exhibition can. Practicing professionals have this available to them through peers, editors, art directors, critics, and lectures. But the student – especially of the short-course taxonomy-does not face the same valuable critical analysis. My practice-based research of over fifteen years has shown the obvious – the more a student engages in the practice of presentation the more they evolve in terms of developing the finer points behind the understanding of their own work and process. Performance and dialogue aid in creating critical feedback which later in the image making process they can reference and capitalise on in the development of their projects.

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All photos © Julia Massey Stewart 2015

Documents is a unique course event because, while we have intelligent discourse and the occassional polemic from class to class through our group crits or guest professionals, it is during these final shows the relationship between audience and presenter flesh out a level of confidence and honest reflection in the pursuit of the project for the student.  As they step up to the podium, their work lies naked on the walls, the audience eagerly waiting to hear the story of the story.

The move to hard copy print, even if only an inexpensive inkjet collection,  also facilitates this exposure. There is no hiding. No gloss through Powerpoint tricks or jazzy digital speak. No dissolves or fades between images. Traditional print placed on a white wall allows for a pure and honest study of the work. The work is viewed in its entirety and remains on the wall for the entire evening so the curation of the images must lay there cohesive and balanced, like a smooth paragraph of words.  If this does not happen the audience can feel the bumps in the visuals, and once it is pointed out it remains an obvious glitch. Despite this vulnerability before audience I often witness in the students a complete understanding and confidence in sharing their subject. This takes a combination of courage, a leap of faith and trust in one’s abilities not only in the story – but the holding out for that ever so fragile approval in terms of the ‘look’ as is the case in photography. From their first evening onto the course to Documents presentation day, the students’ personal transformation is considerable. They move from shyly talking about about their own work to solidly ‘communicating’ it. This is especially true of the ESL (English as a Second Language) students who face the additional challenge of not only learning the English language but communicating both the visual and conceptual language to a foreign audience in their newly acquired vernacular.

Congratulations to all the graduating students – you should be very proud and I, as always, feel privileged to witness this.

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The Reportage final assignments are receiving their final touches and edits. Lots of great work to be seen at the Autumn Session last class presentation entitled Documents. What our invited guests will see are personal photographic essays exploring the relationship between teen self-esteem and dress code, the hidden costs of eco-travel, a London portrait as seen through an immigrant’s eyes, a lyrical look at litter and common spaces, environmental portraits of a ‘border’ block on the edge of The City, a typological diary on recycling, the overlooked and unseen of Camden and a portrait of a Thai boxing gym and it’s athletes (see photo courtesy of Marlene Beca). We have sent out the invites and look forward to your joining us.

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Just wrapped up the Spring Reportage 2015 short course at Central Saint Martins. Ten weekly ‘micro’ projects culminating in one final major assessment project on June 25th. Student projects included portraits of an Afghan in a dystopian London, the gentrification of Soho post-Paul Raymond, the spiritual borderland between church and finance, a disturbing multimedia discourse on the subject of the rising trend of Facebook Lolitas, and a reflexive study on the Tube and its users through property, destination and reason.

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I invited photojournalists Giorgia Tobiolo, Eugenio Grosso and photographer Nick Tucker to guest crit and they added an additional layer of professional opinion and suggestion. Congrats to the students on polishing off the ten weeks with a high quality response and best of luck to all. Reportage Photography will resume again in the autumn session as I am now involved with Summer short courses.

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To round things off for the 2014/15 year Director of the Snap Photo Fesitival’s Laura Babb (part of the winter guest panel) wrote a lovely piece first hand account about our her visit to the final assessment night and reaction to the work of the students she commented on HERE. Thanks for a wonderful year folks!

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I have just returned from the Snap Photography Festival in the gorgeous location of fforest farm just outside of Cardigan, Wales. This was a week long festival dedicated but not exclusive to wedding photography. I was one of a guest speakers asked to talk about photography, not about the wedding image industry per sé, but creating assets that kickstart creativity as one aims to pursue that allusive personal approach. Although my workshop was the last one on Thursday evening I made the decision to travel to Wales and spend the week living and breathing workshop fever (albeit I had my own fever going on and my chest infection meant the breathing was not going to be that easy). I have been to expos, participated and spoke at various conferences and photography and design festivals, so although this was wedding biased, I thought it would be interesting to meet a group of folks and form new relationships around what we all shared – a admiration for communicating visually. What I eventually  discovered is what I wanted to speak about here. I wanted to describe an aura, the vibe of the festival that floated amongst the woodsmoke, that warmed hearts like the evening sunsets, and created an surprising impressionable image that I think a majority of participants will carry away with them for a very long time.

To begin I’d like to be upfront and say I used to be a wedding photographer. In those old school days where to shoot the black and white option did not mean flipping a VSCO app but carrying an extra body dedicated to T-max 400 film. In fact, long before the digital revolution, it was not uncommon for me to be seen with about six to eight cameras of various formats loaded with different films and fixed lenses, all part of my usual wedding artillery. I’ve shot internationally, been published in magazines, and had the highs and lows that come with creating memories for clients that will be handed down through generations. I’ve even taught classes to photographers looking to hang their own wedding photography shingle. So I know a thing or two of the approach, the methodology, workflow and professional demographic which is part and parcel of the wedding photography industry. But what I witnessed in these five days at fforest was something dramatically unique. A revolution of sorts which seemed to leave no stone unturned. If ever I felt I was in the middle of a zeitgeist this was it. While my own lecture was about investing in your own paradigm shift, coincidentally, now as I reflect on the week while back at the office, I feel that was happening organically in the fields, the speaker’s tent and the fireside chats throughout the week at fforest farm.

Wedding photography is one of the most easily accessible photographic career options for any aspiring photographer. For anyone jumping into the photography pool this constant feed of quantifiable work means anyone confident enough to sign up to the task of pushing a shutter button and be paid to record one of life’s most treasured memories can start earning straight out of the starting blocks. But the wedding photographer has to beware – like food and fashion blogs, wedding blogging has equally excelled in gaining mass appeal and audience. Social media has made that even easier, transforming styles, approaches and various philosophies and etiquette into a visual language unlike anything we have seen before. Collaborative mood boards for a bride can be built using Pinterest and/ or Instagram and she can carry it with her everywhere in the form of a smartphone. In any given year the lead up to a wedding can include countless wedding shows around the country, blogs, books, magazines, podcasts, Youtube videos, curated imagery, personal imagery, shared imagery, television reality shows, tweets, Instagram hashtags, Facebook groups and followings, forum discussions, and much, much more contributing to a Roman orgy of choice that even the healthiest of brides can suffer from image overdose. Technology created the gate for which all this may pass. Pre-web having an over enthusiastic aunt or mother would have been crisis enough. Now we can have a countless number of ‘cyber-style’ grating family members in our pockets 24/7. This wedding image frenzy can mean that if not careful, the young and not so young photographer can be pulled into an industry contrail, locked into a client-side performance, servicing a heavily saturated wedding ‘aesthetic’ at the expense of a personal voice. Effort on the visual rather than the visionary.

So if that sets the scene for what the wedding client is going through as they plan their wedding what struck me about what Google dragged in for the Snap Photography festival was a crowd of shooters and speakers that seem to be shaking a stick at this approach. These folks have yet to reach the toe of the diffusion of innovation curve. Forget Innovator – more like Dreamer – and this is a very good thing. At Snap I was seeing an event that was gathering momentum around a handful of visionaries – young, creative photographers, raised on a diet of the beta years of social media and now applying their craft comfortably as meta-photographers.  There was something definitively unique about not only their commitment to making imagery, but a philosophy towards their clients. These artists were a unique collection of parts – part hipster, part humanist, part designer, part artist, part braveheart, part systemic, part craftsperson, part family – these brand savvy young guns were folks on a transformative journey seriously committed to redefining not only the aesthetic of wedding imagery, but the lexicon around it.

(For those sensitive to the f- word look away now).

“Fucking love your clients” is not your usual branding speak nor is “Just find what you love to shoot and fucking embrace it” … “Don’t let anyone else fucking tell you different” and “Find your fucking tribe and surround yourself with them”. Yes, yes …these were some of the lecture sound bites which stung ears not accustomed to such colourfully verbose language in a professional setting. But I found the sting lay not in the language but beneath the rawness of the expletives where there lay hugs, lots of tears and a supportive colony of industry professionals doing pep talks and workshopping in a manner hard to find anywhere else in the wedding photography industry. This wasn’t about chasing money and building package add-ons and upsells, it wasn’t about one speaker ego tripping another, this wasn’t about portfolio gloss and kit building, no … this was something very different. Having a few days to digest what I witnessed I came to this conclusion – this was about leading by example. Workshop leaders became mentors creating the atmosphere for individual spiritual alignment – connecting brand, audience, and self in an altruistic art form. There existed an aura of ‘quest’ and ‘journey’ in the air. In fact, throughout all the colourful language it seemed that only ‘branding’ was the odd word out. Branding was something which needed to be redefined, yes it is a commercial spine connecting all the moving parts of a business – but it seemed an unjust word. Branding was stifling, suffocating the organic ethos, the ultrusim which radiated from the hearts of these professionals. Branding was having to speak a language because nothing else had been thought of yet. And I left thinking that these folks are onto something -that they are on a quest to unhook Social Media 1.0 in terms of the wedding photography industry and all the industry vernacular and turn it into a direction we know not yet where.

On the night before my presentation a group of us collected around a warm fire in the workshop lodge. We spoke about the industry and we spoke about something quite fresh and interesting – the energy that it draws from the practitioners. And one thing stood out from that talk which in over my twenty years in the photography industry I have never heard as clear as I heard on this night – these photographers were tired. Not because of the industry. Not because of politics or continuous moving posts as we shift from one technology to another. They were tired from the falling in love with their clients. Because in order to do this it means an emotional investment far beyond any wedding photography How To book or YouTube video on lighting and technique. This was further supported by my visit from workshop to workshop where I witnessed photographers showing lovely aesthetics yes – but there were stories behind the images that went so deep that each speaker knew that they were not only image makers.  It bothered me for a time that I couldn’t put my finger on it. And then I realised that for these folks who attended this festival at fforest farm what made them so unique was that they were memory makers and they truly felt a privilege in that. The commitment to deliver from a point of privilege was an emotionally invested act. And through all the clamour we may have come to associate with the wedding photography industry here was this rising heartbeat beating in a forest in Wales.

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Congratulations to Ben Quinton for his cover shot on The Guardian this weekend. Readers may have first heard of Ben when he photographed our Photographers’ London course at Central Saint Martins for a MIR magazine (link)  and then went on to photograph CSM for Monocle so we feel we’re in great company. He recently came and spoke to our Reportage Class and was guest crit on their final assignments where they found his practical experience and professional opinions insightful and fresh.  Ben is an exceptional chap and we’re so happy for him for his cover shot. Well done Mr. Quinton!  See www.benquinton.co.uk for a gander into his work.

Typology

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Typology and the Beautiful Nothing workshop folks – outside of the links that were given by the DVJ here are a couple more:

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Autumn Field Study 

Wow. Talk about a chilly week here in London town for my visitors to the Photographers’ London Easter school at Central St. Martins. But despite the weather the students had a great time and I really enjoyed seeing them creatively grow over the course of four full days. It’s always a pleasure to see students come in with their original work, post it on the bare white walls and have their creativity scrutinised by their peers and me. I feel it takes a brave step to do this and have absolute respect for those committing to this process. For this group particularly they also had to engage with the ESL aspect of the class – meaning they not only were learning to communicate and express approaches to their visual language but do so in a language that was not their native tongue. Huge double respect. Having a multicultural group from Japan, Russia, Thailand and Brazil, all having come over to take part in this class, is always an honor, and I love it. For some this was their first time moving from automatic settings to manual operations of their Dslr’s and the work was just incredible.  Really.

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Photographers’ London Student Work Easter School 2013

Of course being out on the street and not in the studio means we encounter the elements, and life throws us some serendipitous moments and in those we meet some exceptional local folk. These people don’t know it but they make London proud. On this occasion I’d like to take the time to acknowledge two people in particular who we met on this week’s journey. First their is Scott at Snappy Snaps Mayfair.  Being on the road means we often have to make use of one hour lab facilities. Scott has a lovely location which sits nestled in the wonderful and quaint Shepard’s Square in Mayfair, just off Curzon Street. The moment we walked in he welcomed all of my students as  if we were family coming home. His robust and enthusiastic personality is full of stories and he makes for quite an entertaining character. Scott went the extra mile for our class with a tour of the equipment and the printing process and gave the students freedom in his post-production area to cut and trim and shape their work. The report back from the group was that this really added some colour to their visit to London and they truly enjoyed their time with Scott.

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Another person I must mention is Jimmy Hughes at the Leica Camera shop in Mayfair. Hit that link and you can see Jimmy in his IMMACULATE environs – he’s the one on the right. One of the girls from our group who was visiting from Japan had her father’s Leica lens Ricoh camera and somehow it got a speck of dirt  in it meaning every picture she took had it irritatingly in the center of her frame. Both Scott and myself tried all we could to get it out but it needed a specialist. Scott let us know about Jimmy and with a race against the clock (they closed in thirty minutes) we walked the twenty minute walk through beautiful Mayfair and ended up at Leica just before close. If you have ever wanted to see GORGEOUS shop design get over to this shop. It’s just stunning. And the Leica display is as juicy a camera display you’ll ever see. But I digress. Jimmy came out to speak to the students and took the camera, went into his glass and stainless steel lab and came out a couple minutes later with the camera all good as new. But rather then just handing it off he gave the glass a mini lecture on lens dust and went into detail about how the lens worked with f-stops and dust and aperture and how, if this happened again in her travels she should do this and that. We left the store, walked up the block and they all commented on how both Jimmy and Scott had really made their day. So there you go.

There are times London can feel really hard, cold  and unfriendly but then, the luck I have in the workshops I do, is I often get to see the opposite. So on behalf of the graduating class of Photographers’ London 2013 Easter School — thank you London for an amazing week.

On the Wall

Was invited to this show last night by a former Art of the Snapshot student who is now graduating with his Photojournalism MA.

Congrats to Michael McGuiness on this spectacular achievement and his project “Monday Comes Very Quickly”. He says “This project of ‘photographing the unseeable’ uses photography to demonstrate how people with mental health issues are being positively supported in their ‘wellness’ treatment plans, within the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, enabling them to live as part of the community leading purposeful and fulfilling lives”. You can follow his developments here on the BBC and get his insight in pursuing a degree in photography.

You can see this fabulous show entitled “Here and There” if you’re around the Baker Street tube station. The show runs for only a couple of days but if you love photojournalism and want to see what’s up and coming – make a visit. Show runs only until Thursday September 13th with doors open 11 am until 7 pm. Click on the image below for more deets on getting there and links to the graduates and their portfolios.

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 Holy toledo … here it is.

This summer my Photographers’ London at Central Saint Martin’s was sold out – twice. With the Olympic train running into town and the city never looking so fine plus our first summer school being run out of the swish new King’s Cross location — well it felt like the epicenter for learning.  Then one day I get an email letting me know that a groovy Russian travel mag is going to sit in on my course and experience , photograph and write about it. Fabulous!

This week the finished product came out. Written by Anna Prazhina and photographed by Ben Quinton with images in collage from the students well … here it is….

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But hey … why look at a jpegs of it when you can flip through this cool mag yourself by clicking on the cover below. We’re on page 50.

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Well we wrapped up a ten week evening short course of Art and the Snapshot at Central St Martin’s this week. A fantastic group that was not afraid to debate and challenge each other on their points of view regarding art and photography. Congrats on a successful ten weeks through one of the colder winters in a while! Best of luck to all of you in your photographic paths.

Where is Karl?

All over the place this autumn. But here’s the sticky on where and what I’ll be chatn’ ’bout in the next few months.

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Art of the Snapshot 06.10.10 – 08.12.10 (10 weeks) Adult Ed Wednesday evening classes. 18:00 – 20:30 Central London

Photographers’ London 09.10.10 -06.11.10 (5 weeks) Adult Ed Saturday day classes. 11:00 – 17:00 Central London

The Saturday Club  One Saturday in September, October, November and December TBA. Chiswick, London

Learning to See in Photography 20.09.10 –  29.11.10(10 weeks) Adult Ed Monday evening classes 19:00 – 21:00 Clapham South, London

Photography Digital Intermediate Level 22.09.10 – 30.11.10 (10 weeks) Adult Ed Tuesday evening classes. 19:00 – 21:00 Clapham South, London

Photography Digital Beginners Level 24.09.10 – 02.12.10 (10 weeks) Adult Ed Thursday evening classes. 19:00 – 21:00 Clapham South, London

 

DEADLINE FOR ENROLLMENT 2

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Whatever one’s photographic experience, at some time we all have passed into photography through the doorway of the snapshot. Its power in catching the narrative, documenting a moment, or expressing an emotion in an instant, almost void of any technical or formal perfection has allowed for a photographic ‘democracy’ to all who pick up a camera. In this series of workshops we will use the informal nature of the snapshot to serve as a vehicle to promote and explore concept and interpretation. Uncovering what is your own visual identity, isolating the voice that makes a body of work original. Through exercises exploring aesthetic and analytic photography, concept generation and story telling, and the importance of the edit and presentation of one’s work, you will examine what your components of visual voice are and how you can express what it is you see or believe to your audience. Students are asked to bring 10 – 15 unbound samples of personal work for a presentation on the first day.

Follow this LINK to book your space now. 

DEADLINE FOR ENROLLMENT

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This course is aimed at people who may be new to photography or new to London. During the course your classroom will be the City of London, where you will explore the workings of your camera while daily photographing a theme. Each day will include an introductory talk and technical seminar followed by a field trip to put into practice the skills learned. This course will not include any darkroom practice, so students are asked to budget for their own developing costs, as well as a travel card to cover visits around London. On the first day students are asked to bring in ten examples of past snapshot photographs (mistakes encouraged) for discussion and critique. Locations will include places where we can explore the following photography topics; people and portraiture, architecture and the urban landscape, nature, travel.

Follow this LINK to book your place.

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Photographers’ London – Class of Winter 2010.

Just completed my Photographers’ London short course at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. What a fabulous group! A good mix from all sorts of professional and cultural backgrounds and diverse skill levels created a good mix for learning and talent sharing. As a lecturer and course designer I am always left thinking at the end of each workshop about just how much I take away from the experience. Each workshop seems to get better and better …. and I feel completely blessed.

One thing I will take away from this workshop is a discussion I had with a student about the importance of being current. In photography there is so much to be current about. Changing trends, evolving artists, industry standards and practices, online resources for the evolving artist/ photographer. The list is rich and grows daily. And the more on offer, the more students absorb and use it.

This made me think about the importance of the role of lecturers as information messengers or conduits. Only five years ago it was about knowledge of good technical books to have on offer for students, but now it is so much more about websites, social networks, online and offline galleries and most recent – apps. In photography the student bar has been raised from learning the technical to exhibiting that knowledge in the form of produced work. Social networks have been the most immediate exhibition galleries for many students, their first line of contact in the show and tell of work. I have always been an advocate of the release of one’s work into the universe and this practice keeps the creative process alive. The shelf life of the photographic/ educational practice remains open and that is instrumental in the act of creating and learning. Thankfully social networks have accommodated this for the student.

Web resources have also been prolific in establishing additional learning resources and assisted in the pace of which students learn. I have found that taking students to current photography websites and photographer’s portfolios has allowed comparison and in that established a dialogue to talk about the work. This interaction – talking about pictures – stitches together the gap between technical and creative…. it gives students dimension to what is possible.

As a lecturer, listening to students and taking the pulse of one’s courses is invaluable in the growth of teaching and improving the workshops.  Something worth knowing. Or is it learning?

Easter Courses available at CSM

DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION FEBRUARY 22nd, 2010

Art of the Snapshot

Photographers’ London

Lovely little tool to understand DOF

DOF Calculator

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1/8 sec. f22

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1/250 sec @ f 4.0

Here is an example of a past student’s work showing a slow shutter speed and then a fast shutter speed but the EXPOSURE VALUE remains the same. Just because the shutter speed and aperture changed for creative content purposes, he still was able to dial in the correct ratio with aperture, shutter speed and iso to get these exposures.  Two things you can notice – first the water has been frozen in movement BUT the dof has also been altered because of the need to stop down to an aperture size of 4.0. The amount of available light will affect the ability to accomplish this. Remember that standard shutter speeds are:

  • 1/1000 s
  • 1/500 s
  • 1/250 s
  • 1/125 s
  • 1/60 s
  • 1/30 s
  • 1/15 s
  • 1/8 s
  • 1/4 s
  • 1/2 s
  • 1 s

Your digital cameras will have additional values found between each of these “sets”.

Creative Shutter Speed

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For those looking for additional info read shutter speed. There will be terms we have not yet touched on so it may seem a bit confusing or complicated for right now but by next class the terms around shutter speed will be familiar.

For Photoshop at SFX

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Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Art of the Snapshot | Wednesdays 6:00 – 8:30 pm | Beginning January 13th, 2010 for 10 weeks.

Photographers’ London | Saturdays 10:00 – 4:00 pm | Beginning January 16th, 2010

St. Francis Xavier College

Learning to See | Mondays 7 – 9 pm | Beginning January 11th, 2010 for 10 weeks.

Intermediate Digital Photography | Tuesdays 7 – 9 pm | Beginning January 12th, 2010 for 10 weeks.

SOLD OUT Beginner Digital Photography | Thursdays 6:30 – 8:00 pm | Beginning January 14th, 2010 for 10 weeks.

Working with Photography: From Blogs to Books | Thursdays 8:00 – 9:45 pm | Beginning January 14th, 2010 for 10 weeks.

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I had the privilege of  producing a gorgeous new book of work by a talented group of photographers working only with a toy camera. A Toy Camera Portfolio showcases the wide scope of toy camera photography that exits and all the creative opportunity that rests simply in camera. The work is rich in character and highlights the individual voices of each artist.

Enjoyed one of the more challenging workshop roles this year which was teaching multiple studio flash light ups to folks who never worked with studio flash before. Flash is always a next wave of creativity so it was exciting to watch the group understand building a flash lit scene. They are processing their work and hope to put it up on The Mango Lab website this week.

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yawn | karl grupe 2009

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I took a group to a local lab to get a behind the scenes look at the  how their images are processed. For many attendees this was their first time discovering the power of the post production procedure and just what is involved in establishing quality prints. Thanks to John, Anthony and Rob for their time and knowledge.

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There was a buzz in the air last night as The Mango Lab opened its doors to the Kite Studios Open House event. The courtyard looked fabulous lit up and a busy mass of people roamed in and out of galleries and studios shopping for local art. Our own Mango Lab sold 12 pieces of work and the red dots on the freshly painted walls looked very inspiring. Many positive comments about quality of the work and interest in taking part in future Saturday Clubs – so our invite list has grown quite considerably. We had the computer on hand displaying the first edition of SEED and again people were commenting on how high the quality of the work was. It is lovely to witness this and although I was teaching for most of the evening and only caught the back end of the event Julia was glowing with all the energy that was in the air. Looking forward to more events at The Mango Lab in the future!!!

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This collection explores what happens when we move closer in on a city and listen to what it whispers. These photographs represent intimate conversations, an ear to the chest of the urban body.

Photography by:
Mikio Oba
Beatriz Palma
Richardo Toledo
Karl Grupe
Julia Massey Stewart
Janet Durrant
Jen Kavanagh
Nadja Sumichrast
Paul Loades
Marija Pocekutova

Curated by Julia Massey Stewart and Karl Grupe

Designed by Karl Grupe

This Wednesday from 7 – 10 pm. It’s Open House and there will be artists showing anything from painting to glass blowing and of course the exhibit. Prints will be on sale from £10.00 each with 10% being donated to the charity – Unique. Love to see you there.

Directions

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nEW Student Work

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The Long Pause exhibition at The Mango Lab was a huge success.  Fabulous work folks.

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The Location = An office park in Chiswick, London (6:30 pm)

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All images photographed on Sony k800i mobile phone.

Julia from The Mango Lab curated an exhibition for Oxford University Saints Hilda’s College.  An event which celebrated and displayed the portraits of some of the college’s most successful women.

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Oh it’s a VERY busy autumn 2009. Classes sold out, classes added because classes were sold out and those sold out! Wow! Fabulous to see that so many people love photography as a visual art form.

Autumn 2009 the courses running are as follows:

Beginner Digital Photography

Intermediate DigitalPhotography

Learning to See in Photography

Working with Photography – From Blogs to Books

Art of the Snapshot

Photographers’ London

In addition to that,  our own Mango Lab Studio is hosting its second Saturday Club event and that has doubled in participants and we look forward to the October exhibition and open house.  Mix that in with building 7 books for clients and shifting into winter triathlon training and you have one heckuva autumn. I refuse to believe in winter this year. Being busy helps.

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Photos from the first showing of The Saturday Club at The Mango Lab around the theme “Order and Chaos”. Work presented by Lucy Tomkinson, Mikio Oba, Hugo Salvaterra, Paul Loades and Karl Grupe. A fabulous night and a huge thank you to all of you who came out and a special thank you to those who helped out – Vikki and Penelope.

The next brief is entitled “The Long Pause” amd will be photographed and presented around a soundscape. Please see The Mango Lab for further details if you wish to sign up to this workshop weekend. Spaces are limited to 25 and filling up quickly.

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Just wanted to send out a huge thank you to all those who attended the sold out course at CSM. What a fabulous week! It was wonderful to witness your growth over the five days we had together and I wish you all the best in each of your photographic endeavours.

Here’s what some of the students said:

“Karl you are a complete inspiration Thank you!”

“A motivating and energetic course. Learned loads.” 

“You made learning fun. I wish I could take another one of your courses but I need to fly back home next week.” 

Remeber to stay in touch and I look forward to hearing of your successes in the future.

Thanks again and all the best!

Karl

Digital Photography
Want to learn how to take a good picture
with your digital camera? This workshop
covers the basics of digital photography
including downloading images onto the
computer and techniques to edit and
enhance your images.
Mon 11th May 2009 6pm

Welcome to an evening investigating the spectacular world of digital photography. We have a very busy evening ahead of us so let’s get started!!!

Outline for the evening:

• introductions and handouts

• Digital photography and traditional or “wet process” photography comparisons.

• Buying a camera – compacts (including mobile phones), hybrids and DSLRs (systems + rentals) – comparisons and discussions.

•  The Digital Camera – from sensor to exposure – the fundamental points.

-  the lens – focal length, focus, aperture

-  the camera – – sensor size and quality, buffering time, photography modes (auto, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual) shutter speed, iso, white balance, EV, in camera meters(spot, partial, center weighted, evaluative, matrix)

-  the film  – camera cards, formats and sizes

– the eye – having a vision, seeing and capturing the image. Composition, instinct, and technical ability.

• Moving the image to computer. Setting up a file, camera card direct, USB cable, others?, transfer of images.

• Printing work – Image adjustment software – Picasa, Gimp, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop CS4.

• Beyond the image – Print on demand applications (BLURB, Lulu), creative options (moo, Snappy Snaps), Photo social networking sites (Flickr, Jpeg magazine)

• Where to next – SFX Autumn term,  for updates on courses and photography info: twitter: karlgrupe

•  Invitation Wandsworth Photocompetition 09 Opening

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Untitled.

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Train no. 1950

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I really am diggin’ the new prospectus look for CSM. The magazine format. Here’s Misha, fellow who took my Toy Camera course. Apparently I’m a “funky monkey, kooky kind of kat”… Guess that’s a Santa Monica kind of compliment.

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After some discussions about file size and quality we moved on to an in class written test. I have marked the papers and overall they show a confidence in moving forward to produce the compositional and project based work which we will be pursuing in the remaining classes. See you Thursday with the marked exams!

PS. For those interested in what we will be covering this week – we will go over the exam in detail, answer any outstanding questions, and then move into composition.

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We moved from two dimensional to three dimensional expression this week – looking for a visual connection between the two. Once the sculptures were completed we examined the impression the viewers had when interpreting the work of the artists. What sort of character did the sculpture take on when it came to listening to the shape, form, volume and treatment of the material. What did they “hear” in the artist? What values or judgments did they form?

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A fantastic evening with alot of discoveries being made.

Reminder that next week we move on to the photography in terms of expression through compositional elements – PLEASE BRING YOUR CAMERAS.

See you next week!

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Students of my Art of Photography course at SFX Autumn 2008 have now their own book of work. Visit Blurb for a view.

OK. So now you are beginning to understand the visionary process and employ the shutter speed and aperture to create more visually interesting works. This is a good thing. But what we have discovered is that there are some still stuck on adjusting the shutter speed/ aperture to make certain that your EXPOSURE is correct in addition to settling the condition of your aesthetic vision. The things on your image check list should consist of:

  • do you have the correct amount of ambient light to begin building your image?
  • have you set the camera sensitivity (ISO) so that you can begin to build an exposure around the ambient light available and your potential image?
  • have you evaluated if this is a shutter priority or aperture priority image?
  • if the light is contrasty have you selected what part of the photograph you wish to expose for?

Class 5 we explored the use of the SPOT meter – or if you don’t have one use your lens  – zoom in on the subject and use EVALUATIVE meter to calculate your subject’s exposure.

The thing to remember about SPOT is that it takes up only  1% – 3.5% of the total viewing screen. This means it is extremely accurate and you need to place the subject in the range of the “spot”. If your subject is outside of it you chance over or under exposing your image if the light is a considerable expsoure difference.

*** NOTE — that images which are not exposed exactly do have some flexibility later in post production phase. Through image processing software you can correct your images to a degree and “save” a work. ***

 HOMEWORK:  Have for next class two photographs which show opposing results. First photo is to be a silhouette while the next you will have to expose the subject showing no silhouette. See you in two weeks.

Fabulous to meet all of you folks this week. Great group and look forward to the weeks ahead.

For those who could not make the first class we explored creating a visual message through the simple symbols created using lines and dots. A very primitive method of communication however still extremely successful in offering a platform for interpretation and testing the results of the final diagram. We discovered that with each movement of the pen comes the potential iconographic assoiciation which will either be read correctly by the viewer or have the potential to deviate away from the intended  message. We also discovered that in the event of deviation how imortant the artists imput – his/ her concept behind the work – can steer us along a new path of understanding and a reinvention of a visual code.

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 Homework – To collect and bring in for next week 10 images which are photographs you have taken and feel confident about. Please have them in paper form – either as photocopy/ inkjet print or photoprint — we need to see them all at once and reposition them in a display. Digital images/ laptops etc. will not be useable for this exercise.

See you next week.

As we approach Week 5 of the 10 week course, it is a good a time as any to review where we have come.

By now you have come to understand the mechanical layout of your individual cameras. You should know the whereabouts of all the following:

shutter button

focus – manual and automatic

focal length – zoom function

exposure compensentaion +/-

aperture location and control

shutter location and control

iso and its function

meters – spot/ center weighted, matrix, partial, evaluative

Automatic, Semi automatic (Tv, S, A, Av) and Manual modes

White balance and use

You have seen the difference in the performance of the dslr to the compact point and shoot, witnessed the difference in use of focal lengths and what you can visually achieve in employing them, and you have come to understand exposure creation in terms of automatic, semi auotomatic and the manual mode. Finally you have been introduced to the use of your camera meter and the variety of meter measuring techniques available within yours.

The last two classes we have moved away from simple exposure creation to exposure creation with a creative purpose. Those elements included – the creation of blur and/ or freezing an object for visual effect and most recently the use of wide and shallow depth of field for visual creative effect. Next week we will be examining those works and cast our crit on your work.

In the weeks ahead we will move towards the expecatations, use and compositional elements of a photograph.

The Architecture of an Image

Most people have heard of  RULE OF THIRDS  when used to describe composition.

However an image can be built by the items listed below in isolation or in combination.

LINE

one

two

three

four

five

SHAPE

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven

eight

VOLUME = Shape with depth.

one

two

three

four

five

PERSPECTIVE – Line with vanishing point.

one

two

three

four

PERSPECTIVE – Point of view. Depth of Field. Focus.

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven 

eight

nine

LIGHT

one

two

three

four

five

six1

six 2

seven

eight

MONOTONE

one

SYMMETRY

one

ASYMMETRY

one

Picture for Exercise One

Behind the Gare St. Lazare by Henri Cartier Bresson

Jim Harrison, Montana by Alec Soth

Picture for Exercise Two

Fairway Motor Inn by Alec Soth 

HOMEWORK.

Using only paper, light and shadow,  create a series of five photographs which serve as samples of one or more of the above compositional elements. Have 5 images ready for viewing. Images can be on any online gallery you wish.

Samples:

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Saturday Workshop

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Evening, low light and fireworks.

Although a strong emphasis will be placed on fireworks, many of the ideas here can be transferred on to low light work. 

………..

Let’s prep!

………..

Equipment.

Camera – with night time mode, shutter priority or manual mode.

Zoom lens.  28 – 200 is a good lens to get everything from a wide angle “scene” shot to the more detailed abstracts.

Tripod or bean bag. To secure the camera and keep it steady while your camera operates in a slower shutter speed to allow the time needed for light to accumulate in the exposure.

Remote Shutter Release or shutter release cable.  Allows for fingers not to touch the camera and create an initial movement or camera shake thus blurring the image.

Flashlight. You will be working in the dark. So to find things, look at the ground if you need to move the tripod, or adjust parts of the camera a small flashlight is essential.

Warm Dress. It’s night. Everything moves slower in the evening or dark. Exposures take longer to set up, there will be waiting time. Being warm will keep you focused and enjoying the process. Being cold really can change your mood and make you cut corners and thus miss opportunities.

iPod. If the area is secure and one does not have to be street aware for security purposes having a bit of music playing while taking your photographs can make you feel like you are creating your own video and add to the experience and keep the creative juice fresh.

A second pair of eyes. Security is paramount in evening photography. So is health and safety. Its dark. People don’t see things like tripod legs or a camera bag’s strap. Or they do and the see opportunity when you are not looking. Be aware of these things in the night. Also with the recent developments with the Terrorism Act 2000 Section 44 (don’t get me started) if you can approach an officer BEFORE you set up to shoot you may have better luck.

OK now we are ready to set off and shoot. Right? Well almost. Let’s do some planning first.

1. Weather. Clear skies. Cloud. Low cloud. Rain. Temperature. All will have an affect on the images. Lights will look different due to the atmosphere. If its cloudy out the sky will fill with smoke and clear, crisp shots may not be as possible as the smoke builds into the clouds or if the breeze is bowing the smoke in front of the fireworks.

2. Perspective.  Thinking through the look of the shot/s will have you already in planning mode. In fireworks you need to think of the show. Anticipation of other photographers jockeying for prime locations should be anticipated. Also just because you have set up a tripod does not mean that others will respect that. If its really crowded people WILL stray in front of your view. If you are shooting up into the sky this will not be a problem, but if you are looking to get architecture mixed in with the shots then unless you want people in the shot this will be a problem. Look around for things that will add value to your shots. Lakes, rivers, water bodies in general will reflect the works and the lights therefore adding a nice forground to the work. Architectural elements and details may work as well but anticpate the light being different in the evening and throwing your idea out the window. Be prepared with a Plan B. Choose an area with an open space and an unhindered view of where the fireworks will be exploding. Be on the lookout for trees or lamp posts or buildings that might get in your way. A silhouetted tree or even a person can sometimes look great in conjunction with fireworks. Arrive early since you may need to do some research about the best places to set up to get a great view of the display.

3. Camera kit set up.  The tools have already been suggested. Know where everything is and work with a light, minimal kit so you can easily pack and set up during a performance.

………..

Let’s shoot!

………..

The one thing that all low light/ evening and firework photography share is that it’s about the shutter.  This translates into it being about time. The longer the shutter is opened the more light builds up and drags across the recording material. Longer shutters leave long, arching light trails. To balance the long shutter speed and still get good exposures you will need to work with the ISO and aperture if in Manual mode. If you are in Shutter priority just changing the length of the shutter speed should have an effect. 

Since the shutter is open we want to have the motion blur but keep the static objects sharp. This is why a TRIPOD is essential. It minimises photographer movement. Subject movement against a sharp background makes the image interesting.

Therefore:

Use a long exposure

For SLR camera users, set your camera to Shutter Priority and select a shutter speed of 1-4 seconds. BRACKET by using different shutter speeds as you shoot to see which looks the best for your fireworks display. By setting the camera to Shutter Priority, the camera will choose the best f/stop for your selected shutter speed.

For point and shoot users, some cameras have a fireworks setting. But if your camera doesn’t have this feature, try setting your camera to “Night Portrait.” This is usually an icon of a person’s face with a star next to it. Explore your camera’s menus, buttons and knobs to see what you’ve got. Do not use “Night Action” setting because that will select a fast shutter in conjunction with a bright flash.

A SLOW to MEDIUM ISO.  Choose a film speed of 50 to 400 ISO. Faster speed settings can cause your shots to be grainy. Your camera’s main menu has this setting and you’re able to control this function.

Use FINE IMAGE QUALITY. Choose your highest/ best image quality.  A higher resolution image, will result in fewer images but if you ever want to go and print them afterwards you will have a print size resolution. It’s best to download your image card before you set off to shoot so you don’t run out of memory before the big finale.

SAY NO TO FLASH. Let the natural light create the scene. Leave the camera on AWB (auto white balance.

Finally ….

SHOOT. SHOOT. SHOOT. and then SHOOT!   Play. Bracket. Zoom in and out. Try zooming in and out while the firework is exploding. Work that shutter speed. Remember that if you are in Manual Mode set the aperture at f8 or lower.

A TIP. Arrive early. Be ready for the warning/ test fireworks. You can take a test exposure then.

A FINAL TIP. Don’t forget to catch a shot of the people in the crowd looking up into the sky and being lit by the fireworks. You can get some lovely portraits of people this way. Or look behind you!

Enjoy your evening!

CHRISTMAS CARD DEADLINE LOOMS —- IMAGE DUE NEXT CLASS

 We reviewed the components that are required in making an exposure. From there we went on to discuss in detail the various meters in a camera. Spot, Evaluative, Center Weighted, Evaluative, and Matrix were all discussed and reviewed where each would work best.

For next week students are to experience shooting in low light/ evening situations and record examples of night traffic by creating the following:

-  one completely abstract image of lights blurred eveywhere.

– the second image is to have the background sharp but the only evidence of the cars are to be the headlights and/ or rearlights bled across the picture.

Next week we will be intrducing Panning so please come prepared with you cameras fully charged and dressed for outside.

See you soon!

Class 4/10 – Review practical situations with camera – introduce camera meters – spot/ matrix/ center weighted. — Homework due of capturing a silohuette.

We also had a great time going out and capturing blurred lights and panning effects in Clapham South using our meteres and slow shutter to create the effect.

You have a break next week as it is midterm but that does not mean that I have let you go without the homework!

Due for our return –

1. Photographs which show the background sharp but the moving lights blurred – remember to consider your location!

2. Photographs which show everything blurred in an abstract manner.

3. Photographs which freeze the object while its moving but the background looks blurred – panning.

4. Photographs of an object lit at night.

All these photos are to be taken in low light – dusk or evvening — dusk if you wish to get an indigo looking light source.

Have fun with it!

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We have to go through some admin stuff first — so that means checking all the following boxes:

1. Fire exits and procedure.

2. Toilets

3. Class start times and end times and importance of getting the homework done for your own learning.

4. Introductions

5. Christmas card

Done that — Ok.

Well here we go … learning about these amazingly complexed tools in our hands in the form of the camera.

Before we begin though thought you might like a look ahead to our weeks together.

W1. Introduction/ Exploration/ introduction of vocabulary/ registration to online gallery.

W2. Shutter speed explore/ lab 1.

W3. Shutter speed review/ lab 1 due/ Aperture explore/ lab 2.

W4. Aperture review/ lab 2 due/ Metering/lab 3.

W5. Lab 3 due/ Focal length/ white balance/ image type and file size.

W6. Composition – Line

W7. Review photos of line. Composition – Light, shade and shadow

W8. Light, shade and shadow due. Composition – Expression

W9. Expression assignment due.

W10. Light lab due/Class reviews and comments/Exhibition.
We begin the course by introducing the terminology and concepts behind the following:

* ambient light
* meters
* focal length
* aperture
* depth of field
* shutterspeed
* iso
* white balance

By the end of the class most of you will able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

Your homework over the next week is to set up a photographic account to view your images in places like Flickr or something similar.

Have a great week!

Howdy gang.

NO CLASS ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 9th!!!!

Well here we go … learning about what these amazingly complexed tools in our hands can do when we have them trained beyond the one command we have known till now — “automatic boy —– that’s it — just be automatic! ” .

We began in this course to introduce the terminology and concepts behind the following:

By the end of the class most of you were able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

You were given the task for the next class of trying to make your first manual exposure on your camera without guidance. This was a personal headshot.  Please have that image placed in your Flickr account and ready for observation.

Today we will be reviewing shutter speed and then moving on to aperture and depth of field.  We will be reviewing shutter speed and underexposure, normal exposure, overexposure and introducing lens quality and speaking about focal lengths, selective focus, plane of focus, hyperfocal distance and finally looking at aperture and depth of field.

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plane of focus/ selective focus/ shallow depth of field

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plane of focus/ selective focus/ shallow depth of field  (excepth black and white – wide dof)

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plane of focus/ selective focus/ shallow depth of field

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wide depth of field

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wide depth of field with hyperfocal use.

REMEMBER THAT NEXT WEEK THERE IS NO CLASS SO YOU HAVE THE WEEK NEXT WEEK TO PRODUCE THE FOLLOWING ASSIGNMENT. 

DUE DATE Thursday October 16th.

Have the following images ready for observation witing your FLickr account.

1. one shot of an image purposefully underexposed.

2.one shot of the same image normal exposure.

3. one shot of the same image but overexposed.

4.  select a subject which will benefit/ be enhanced by a WIDE focal length and take the picture in an Aperture Priority mode.

5.  select a subject which will benefit/ be enhanced by a NORMAL focal length and take the picture in an Aperture Priority mode.

6.  select a subject which will benefit/ be enhanced by a TELEPHOTO focal length and take the picture in an Shutter Priority mode.

7. select a subject and using selective focus (using the help of a telephoto focal length and a wide aperture) create an image.

8.  select a subject and using selective focus (using the help of a telephoto focal length and a wide aperture) create an image but this time moving the plane of focus onto something else.

Have a great week and we’ll see see each other then.

Ciao.

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We have to go through some admin stuff first — so that means checking all the following boxes:

1. Fire exits and procedure.

2. VERY IMPORTANT – toilets

3. Smoking

4. To break or not to break – now that is THE question.

5. Class start times and end times and importance of getting the homework done for your own learning.

6. If there is any one needing additional assistance in terms of learning to speak to me at the end of the class.

7. Oh yes — almost forgot — eating and drinking in the class — but please not around the computers.

8. Handout of student ID cards — if they are available.

9. MIDTERM Oct 27 – 31, 2008.

10. Passwords for computers/ set up/ class photo

( I think now will be a good time for everyone to introduce themselves ).

Done that — Ok.

Well here we go … learning about these amazingly complexed tools in our hands in the form of the camera.

Before we begin though thought you might like a look ahead to our weeks together.

W1. Introduction/ Exploration/ introduction of vocabulary/ registration to online gallery.

W2. Shutter speed explore/ lab 1.

W3. Shutter speed review/ lab 1 due/ Aperture explore/ lab 2.

W4. Aperture review/ lab 2 due/ Metering/lab 3.

W5. Lab 3 due/ Focal length/ white balance/ image type and file size.

W6. Composition – Line

W7. Review photos of line. Composition – Light, shade and shadow

W8. Light, shade and shadow due. Composition – Expression

W9. Expression assignment due.

W10. Light lab due/Class reviews and comments/Exhibition.

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We begin the course by introducing the terminology and concepts behind the following:

* ambient light
* meters
* focal length
* aperture
* depth of field
* shutterspeed
* iso
* white balance

By the end of the class most of you will able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

Your homework over the next week is to set up a photographic account to view your images in places like Flickr or something similar.

Have a great week!

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9:00 am.

knock knock knock.

oh — i know it’s the postman. he’s here with my copy of the book.

(open door – it’s him. sign paper – contain my excitement – close door – now jump up and down releasing said contained excitement).

rip open solid packaging and there she is.

wrapped in beautiful plastic. YUM.

and the wait is now over.

I have been very eager to see how this one would turn out and I am really pleased with it. Great work by the summer alumni of the Toy Camera course at CSM. Those of you who ordered I think you will be quite impressed by it. Those of you who didn’t or waiting for my report on production once i got it — get yours here.

Now back to flippin’ through the pages….. cha cha chaaaaaaa.

 

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A book I had the pleasure of designing which features the awesome work of the summer school TOY CAMERA students from Central Saint Martins. Click on the link to take a preview of the first 15 pages. Amazing what you can do with a bit of plastic and loads of enthusiasm and creative drive. Applause to the artists!

It was wonderful meeting you all on Tuesday and Thursday evening. The photography program has been growing year by year, moving from strength to strength. Beginner Digital Photography has SOLD OUT for the autumn term and the school is now taking bookings for the winter term. However there are still some courses to indulge in if you would like your learning to grow in the visual field.

The Art of Photography. This course is open to anyone who has a love or desire to visually communicate. Whether you are required to do so in your job or are looking to create more interesting photos for photo competitions and online photo communities, this is a course focused on developing an eye to see the picture. You will investigate your use of the visual language and through a series of exercises, in class crits and a gallery visit progress towards a personal style which will serve as your visual voice.

Intermediate Photography (link). Feel you know the basics but need a bit more of a challenge in the technical front? Looking for some practical exercises which require you to think not only creatively about your photos but also focus on the technical aspects of it? This is a class that makes you use the basic technical approaches to a higher standard as we will be looking at not only that you can complete an exercise, but its execution is done to a certain quality level. This is a course where you control the camera, not the other way around. Basic knowledge of shutterspeed, aperture, iso, meter reading, focal lengths and white balance is required. We will do a brush up class in the first, and if required, the second week. We will be introducing Photoshop in this class as the next step to shooting your photographs is digitally developing them. Students will learn about the Photoshop environment and how it can compliment the digital photographer.

What people said about this course.

Introduction to Photoshop (sample 1) (sample 2) (sample 3) (sample 4) (sample 5). You have your photographs in your camera but now what do you do with them. The digital capture has allowed many amateur photographers to move into the digital darkroom with ease. No longer do you need to renovate your bathroom to accommodate the chemistry and enlarging equipment of the analog technology – processing, retouching and project production are all available to the person who owns a computer and has the access to the software and a printer. Just like in traditional photography where darkroom knowledge helped produce better photographers, Photoshop can produce better photographers because of the way you begin to view and study images. From such basic tool as cropping, contrast control, burning and dodging and levels to more complicated applications such as filters and layers in combination with text use – you will learn about the creative milage you can get with a single digital capture. After this course you will see what a lab produces is for sale is something you can easily do at your fingertips. From funky portraits to greeting cards to calendar art — classes follow the format of a lecture focusing on a feature followed by exercises with a practical application.

So lots to think about. Feel free to contact me about any of these and I look forward to meeting you soon.

K.

Notes to discuss:

• Online vs. in store purchasing

• the difference between makes of cameras – sony to canon to nikon — where do you see the difference?

• what is a point and shoot?

• what is a dslr?

• which one is the right one for your needs A? or B.

• trading up – should you do it? moving from point and shoot to dslr?

• (of there is time) accessories – tripods, flash systems, lens, lens shades.

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photo credit: Karen Apps from Street and Studio assignment

To all of those who attended the Photography and Narrative week long workshop at Central Saint Martin’s I would just like to say thank you for an extraordinary week. I know we only had the four days but the amount of information we covered and the level of work which grew in that time was something to be proud of. I wish you well in your future endeavors and do keep in touch with word of your photography journey.

Karl

For those wanting to know if there is a week evening course I teach at Central Saint Martins the answer is Art of the Snapshot. This course is great for those exploring photography and visual communication as a self actualisation process. In this course students develop skills and sensitivities towards photographic expression. Using the “snapshot aesthetic” they come to understand who they are as visual communicators and form a basic foundation in understanding what it is they want to say as artists – as photographers. The combination of photography and the senses exercises encourages the student to photograph not only with what they see but what they sense. Photography as a reaction is developed so the imagery becomes more about a knee jerk reaction to stimulus resulting in the photographic image.

A laboratory of experiments awaits and the final results will be put together for a self published book.

If you ahve any questions let me know but those interested in applying the DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 10th, 2008.

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A fabulous workshop come an gone and I am really mouth dropping amazed at the quality of the work from these artists in the making. A group of talent by far. I would like to thank Maribel, Emil, Misha, Cari, Sofia, John, Ariadna, and Lodovica for an absolutely fabulous week and drive to complete all the briefs. Another Toy Camera book coming around the corner, the work looks brilliant so watch this space folks!

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SFX Intro to Digital Photography OPEN

It is that time of year when school exhibitions are up, galleries are opening their doors and wall space to the developing artist, and the general public get to see who is doing what and are introduced to the latest aesthetic from the young graduates pouring out the doors of the nation’s colleges and universities.

Not one to miss a party, we are going to have our own Summer 2008 Grad Show. You are going to be both participant and guest.

The brief for next week is to produce one personal piece. That work can be of any genre – documentary, portraiture, still life, abstract, nude, architecture, cityscape, landscape… you choose. REMEMBER- this is a personal piece.

The minimum size dimension is 5×7 inches and they are to be presented in PRINT format – you will be posting these up on a wall for viewing. The amount of images you wish to show are maximum of 12. But if it is 2 or 12 you are showing — all must be consistent around a theme or idea that you are visually inspecting, documenting or manipulating.

The image/s will be graded by your following class colleagues on the basis of:

• technical accuracy – sharpness, exposure, depth of field. (if the artist decides to push the boundaries with these it will be marked on how well it was executed in ordr to support the theme).

• composition – colour, layout, light, line, shape, balance, perspective, layering

• originality – how well thought out and produced was the idea.

• content – connection between intent of idea and the visual

• “wow” factor – its emotional impact.

You will need to provide a written examination – called “concept statement” along with the work so that colleagues can understand what the connection is to your photograph/s. Examples can be found on www.karlgrupe.com (Project 1 – “ Home as a Metaphor” and Project 5 – “Art of Noise”).

There will be an award given to Best in Show so put your competitive caps and go for it.

Good Luck.

CHASING LIGHT

Your next and final assignment will be one which is inspired by the greatest contributor to the “wow” factor of photography – LIGHT. This assignment will have you chasing light – looking only at light and its qualities and photographing it — what it falls onto or illuminates is secondary – the key point here is to shoot images of light.

The two images below were shot simply on a camera phone. Nothing else was done to them. So you don’t need to make the assignment hard on yourself by forcing to find things – just look and see and respond. Look at light and how it works itself around a subject – either artificial or natural light — open yourself up to being drawn into the light first.

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For this final assignment please have images in your Flickr portfolio – a minimum of ten light inspired images. ENJOY!

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… Reserve your space by calling 07941373678 …

Great class tonight folks! Hope you enjoyed seeing what is capable when you begin pushing the limits of the camera and begin superimposing the abstract onto a subject so that it oozes with new life and excitement.

Your next task is to focus on colour as a means to create emotion or perk an interest in a subject. This exercise is all about hunting out colour and looking how colour can work both compositionally and emotively. BUT DON”T FORGET all of what you have learned up until now. Think as the photographer you are becoming. Think about all the tricks of the trade that you have used up till now and employ them in exposing for colour. You can still go for the abstract loook but as long as it is about colour then you have answered the brief.

For next week we are looking for 10 examples which show colour in all its glory. It can be minimal, primary, subtle or loud and obnoxious — but let it be about colour.

Please find below a variety of colour photos I shot in different landscapes. Beneath each photo is a description of how colour can be used.

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Overall cast of colour.

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Balance of complimentary colours.

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Spot colour.

And to get you in the mood and all colorific — get charged up by either of these videos — clic the pic and watch.
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Hope to see you all there next week. Any questions leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.

Ciao.

From this:

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to this:

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You have 90 minutes. Good Luck!

A class which moved up the learning curve quite quickly last night. It seemed that as we investigated others work it became more understandable how people can translate ideas into the manner that they do. As we moved from presentation to presentation one could see the personal signature that accompanied the work from each individual. It was interesting to see how humour, empathy and irony formed commentary within each mosaic and only became more obvious when correlating statements to the the visuals. In this way it was learned how shape, light, subject, colour, perspective, focus, all contribute to the visceral invitation which characterises the individuals approach.

This exercise was a foundation study to examine the voice within. One’s natural vocabulary before any practice and further application. It was a starting point.

You have a week’s respite of homework. Next week we will be embarking on a tour into the Common where we will practice outdoor portraiture – pray for no rain! If it is raining we will have to go to Plan B – which may be an introduction to Photoshop.

It was requested that I present you with your next assignment which will be due in two weeks or July 1st 7:00 pm. So here you go.

CREATING A PHOTO ESSAY.

This exercise will have you telling us a story. The topic is open – it can be a story about a place, a person, an event, an adventure. You will use the camera and what you have learned to date about creatively adjusting your approach in order to invent a visual and visceral sparkle to showcase your subject. Your final product will be placed on Flickr and will be prepared for a slide show.

There are two additional instructions to this exercise. First it MUST be photographed in black and white.

Second, you are to write out a small concept statement (no more than a paragraph) about what the story is within your subject – what are you communicating? This is your “angle” on the subject — a point of view you attached to the work – something that you are applying about the subject. For instance, if you were to photograph Soho — pick a theme or something that you discovered about Soho that you want to share with the viewer.

Good luck and see you next week.

Leaving the study of LINE behind, having recognised its power to direct and set up an architectural structure to a photograph we are now going to go another direction where we are going to make the viewer grasp a bit in order to get a foothold on what they are looking at.

Compositional Elements assignment 3

DUE DATE – 19:06:07 @ 6:30 pm.

THE ABSTRACT FORM

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© Karl Grupe

Using the camera to capture that which the eye does not see is a very effective tool in creating creative, punchy images. There are many ways in which this can be achieved – over/ under exposure, white balance play, dramatic out of focus images, intentional blur, obscure cropping, colour play through colour filtration. And all of these are obtained by adjusting the controls on the camera and nothing else.

Y our assignment for next class is to have a selection of 10 images which have been created by turning the real into the surreal simply by amplifying the controls on the camera to create effects. You are now taking the rules and tech knowledge that you learned over the workshop and going against the grain. Getting magical and creating, making.

Enjoy your adventure!

Next Photo Club : Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:30 – 2:00 pm. Meet at Building Three.

Outdoor Portraiture 2

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© Karl Grupe 2008

Building on the lecture that took place last month we will be putting into practise some of the skills we heard about. Please bring along your digital camera – DSLR would be terrific – with batteries fully charged and the cards ready for some pictures.

If you have a friend or colleague who would like to model for you even better — bring them along as well.

We will be looking at portraiture not as a fly on the wall approach – but a studied one. Even if the shot is to look like a lifestyle image– we will still require a process.

I will be bringing along some goodies for you to get used to like light shapers, bouncers and reflectors — all so that you can see the effect that light has when shaped differently. Hopefully it will be a sunny day – so fingers crossed.

This club meeting will make you aware of all the elements to consider in outdoor portraiture so that your images in the future will be of a higher standard.

See you soon.

 

Excellent work around the class folks. As I walked around the room looking at the work you produced I saw all of you were able to establish mood and emotion – even if the class feeling seemed like you may not have succeeded at it. Creating emotion in photography is certainly not an easy task. It takes us away from simply documenting something and requires us to project a thought or condition on our subject which we hope translates over to our viewer. Colour, light, expression and viewpoint become instruments which we use to form the mood. It is how well we arrange these with the aide of our technical approach which will determine how well we have succeeded at the task. The final image is a record of your progress — did you stop too short, mastered it completely with just the right amount of tension and energy, or did you overdo it and cause your viewer to become lost in the dialogue.

A mood has volume and it can be a range moving from the soft to the loud. It may be something which is easily read or requires reading and understanding before we feel the weight of its visceral punch. But no matter what it is or says – you are the maestro — you create it.

For those who missed the class today, after examining the work of the Emotion assigment students were introduced to the next weeks challenge. The class had from 8:00 – 9:00 to shoot it, and if they did not bring cameras they were to work under the same conditions – 60 minutes to photograph the work. Please download the PDF to get the assignments and we will see you next week with the 25 images ready to be built into a grid.

Assignment

REMEMBER!!! – These phrases are simply stimulants — by no means do you have to go out and collect or find the literal association to each. Let the words and phrases heighten your awareness and locate imagery beyond the obvious.

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© Trenton Oldfield 2008

The CPT Photographic Awards came and went. What a beautiful day! The weather was spectacular – and everyone enjoyed a lovely community event. I have to say that my experience judging this particular competition showed me just how much photography is loved by all ages. The enthusiasm that comes with the work is infectious and everyone working on the project gets a bit of the bug. I absolutely had a wonderful time. Thank you Ali for dreaming up this event and for asking me to be a part of it. John and Co. at Snappy Snaps Chiswick came up trumps again offering amazing prizes to the winners. And of course thank you to Julia for all your help and the providing the photographs of the event.

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The event even attracted the local media —

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The overall winner was created by Trenton Oldfield. A lovely image depicting a mood of what it feels like to be a kid again and discovering the river. It kind of reminded me of a Norman Rockwell painting.

A standing ovation to all those who entered the contest and hope to see you again in the next one.

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Trenton receiving his award courtesy of Snappy Snaps Chiswick.

We examined photography based on its iconographic information — and listened to what makes a photograph “speak”. What mood it suggests, what narrative it presents. We looked at the articulation of elements – from technical approach to content – and deconstructed images in order to examine the importance of elements. We also examined the insertion of political or social reference, and how a picture resting within a context can contribute a powerful execution of a point of view – even if the technical application falls short.

Sites we visited to have this discussion were –

World Press Photo Awards 2007

Life Before Death

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Following this discussion it helped to inform people who are struggling with the assignment on creating a “emotive” picture out of something/ someone.

That assignment is now due on TUESDAY, JUNE 10th at 7:00 pm.

It is very important that you have that assignment ready for class so we can move on to our next discovery.

See you next week.

CLICKclick.

Compositional Elements assignment.

DUE DATE – 12:06:08 @ 6:30 pm.

Line

The formation of line allows the eye to be led through a photograph. It is a strong compositional element which can form directions for the viewer when the viewer looks at the work. Line can set boundaries, define shape, evoke mood, or most even lead the viewer towards a direction.

Exercise No.1

Produce 10 images that show line. It can be a literal documentation or something which you observe and organise pictorially. Be sure that LINE dominates the photograph. Use this word “line” to be the stimulant to thinking and observing the world in this way. Suddenly lines will pop up all around you and some will even make great images!

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road in grey by Karl Grupe

Think of the shape of line, the direction, the colour. Think of plays on the word of “line” and see if something clever comes up. Whatever you do use “line” as an inspiration and then as you begin to record it, as you are shooting keep asking yourself “how can I make this clearer or better – how can I improve on this.” This focus should pave way towards stronger image making.

Enjoy and see you next week back at the ranch.

Outdoor Portraiture Workshop 1

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©karl grupe

Photographing portraiture can be challenging. The most important thing working for you is how well you know the person. The more of a relationship you have, the more of a “fun” process it can be. It is when you need to photograph strangers that the challenge begins to stack up.

The workshop you are taking part in today will be about the focused portrait. By this I mean one where you and the sitter are spending time working to create a look. This look can breakdown into two categories — traditional and lifestyle.

Here we will break into a talk about the two different lifestyle approaches. Talk through the pros and cons of both styles and see which ones you like. We will also look at the work at this stock agency to help define the two.

Now that we have an idea of the various style that are out there we can look at how we can begin to compose the shoots we are looking for.

I like to look at things in terms of pre production, production, post production.

And if we have the time we will shoot some portraits today!

See you at 12:30!

I have been asked to judge and award a photograph competition for Chiswick Pier – a riverside organisation that in addition to taking care of the Thames, west of Hammersmith Bridge, provides an educational service which introduces students to the river.

This is the first year of the competition and the number of entries has been good. It was a wonderful experience to see work which was done truly for the love of photography as everyone tried to answer the guidelines of “Summer Spirit of the River”, with the focus being this area west of the bridge.

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The competition is over and the images selected so if anyone likes to take a peek at the work it will be exhibited Saturday June 7th between noon and 5 pm. I will be giving out the awards on the day – at noonish — and then giving a small talk about the work and how the winners were selected.

Location is the Chiswick Pier. See “A” on map. Come out and spend the after noon taking in sun, photographic art and a beautiful stroll along the Thames. See you there!

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Welcome to an OPEN HOUSE session of Introduction to Digital Photography one of the courses offered at SFX in Clapham South and taught by Karl Grupe.

While we have only two hours with you today we hope to cover some truths and misconceptions about digital photography.

On tap for today is:

Is digital photography working for you? Most of us have made the transition over to digital from film, but still experience no improvement in our work. Why is that? What did we think digital meant to us? What did the salesmen say? What do we actually own and how can we use it?

So let’s start jammin’.

What is photography then? What are we doing? What is the process?

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All along the process we have control or we don’t have control of certain technical components. Control allows us to cheat a bit on reality — over emphasise, exaggerate, illustrate — all things which take us away from simply documenting and into photographing.

Before we look at some digital work let’s look at some cheap plastic camera work — nothing digital here just plain light, film and a pinhole into a light tight box — Toy Camera.com

Now that you see what can be done with plastic cameras let’s look at what you have — digital compact or DSLR. What is it good at? For that we go to the link taking us to the course material and the components which we need to learn and work with.

Knowing your gear, what its good at doing and what its not and using it to your advantage. That’s a secret worth knowing.

Finally — the most expensive cameras and lenses in the world DO help — but preparing, watching, seeing and REACTING is the work flow of a photographer.

Good luck!

Well first off — CONGRATS to you Man U fans in the course — hopefully you enjoyed your moment last night and now are ready for some photography!

I will be with you again after the break – which by the way is next week – so you have Julia tonight. This course was selected as one of the popular and successful courses to be spotlighted at this week’s Adult Learners week — so I am down the road playing ambassador for the course.

Tonight you should have reshot the work you brought in last week. The idea behind the assignment is that once you review, you correct and improve and hopefully that was the case for you. Reviewing the process and approach is all about gaining experience in a field or subject area, and each time you photograph a topic – from flowers to people — there will be a new set of circumstances which will challenge you — thus forming a knowledge base. If you look at how professional photographers approach their work they will say that research and preparation made it possible for the shoot to be successful. They may also tell you — and this is the case for sure with many wildlife and nature photographers – that they had to come back to a scene more than once and reshoot it. It is then in the reshoot everything came together, all at once, in a matter of fractions of a second. The point is they were ready, they were prepared.

In this way I hope you found repeating the assignment enlightening in terms of a more acquired knowledge about your subject and your approach. In this repetition you are forming the basis of becoming an “expert” in your field and that will account for something should you approach it again in the future.

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In class assignment – 20minutes

On a sheet divided into two columns like last week, look at your work and decide where new problems came up, and which problems from the first approach you were able to change into solutions. Spend some time now on this before we go on to the next part.

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What REALLY COUNTS in this exercise is finding solutions to the challenges to improve your photography. What this spells out is some times the problems can be with the camera — technical bits and pieces like metering and shutter speed and aperture stuff — what you are learning about in this class – but also it can be things which have nothing to do with the camera — they are in real time and you have to make practical, creative (or both) decisions in order for the photograph to become successful. Things like:

  • changing the time of day you chose to shoot
  • the time of year you chose to shoot
  • the selection of the background
  • the angle or quality of the light
  • the quality of your subject
  • your point of view
  • the fashion of the times
  • your subjects interest in being photographed
  • the time you have to work with a subject
  • the security around a subject
  • your confidence and knowledge of a subject

(NOTE – This would be a good point for anyone in the class to add their experience and what affected their own work to the class and discussion can take place in how you solved it. )
The point is that photography is so much more than just what is going on in the camera. It is about what is going on IN FRONT of the camera. The camera can be at times the last part of the equation — it can simply be the device which freezes everything you set up in the experience. Its role is nothing more than a recording. If you look at it in this way you understand that good photography is not so much about having the best cameras and lenses but about how you arrange those things happening in life and freeze it. So the responsibility of good photography lies not only in knowing how to calculate light and arrange shutter speed and aperture — but how to arrange and design.

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In class assignment 2

The “decisive moment” is a term coined by photographer Henri Cartier Bresson. The idea is that there is a moment in time, in any activity where the camera can capture the alignment of life in such a way it becomes nothing more than art. I am paraphrasing it here, but is the basic idea.

Hopefully this site can be pulled up MAGNUM, and his portfolio run- PORTFOLIO .

As you look at the images examine how simplistic they are — this was not with digital photography… it is simply arranging the technical bits to meet the ambient light bits and then taking the photograph. These examples show how important knowing and arranging life into the camera is in the construction and success of a photograph. Please read his quote on the left of the screen — it sums it all up.

 

ASSIGNMENT

You have two weeks to get this done so you should be able to do this.

You are to use your cameras in automatic mode for this one. YES AUTOMATIC!!!  The reason is that it will free you up from any sort of technical thinking and have you focus arranging real life in to photographs. The only thing is to shut off your camera flash and capture everything under existing light conditions AND if you can change your camera to black and white mode and shoot all the images in black and white.

Use your camera to photograph images recording life and living. Looking for the DECISIVE MOMENT, capture images at the peak of their happening — when the moment  recorded tells us a story. This is your first time at this so treat it as an experiment, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just watch life going on and select areas of it where you see something happening or about to happen. Look at the HCB work again and again and interpret and apply. Let it communicate to you and then go out and see if you can create it yourself.

For our next class a portfolio of 15 images are due.  All black and white and in Flickr ready as a slide show.

Have fun with it folks!

 

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Wow— I like this new format for showing off the courses on offer at CSM. Great job and idea.

So for those of you interested in workshops/ courses I am leading for the summer —

Art of the Snapshot (pg 37) Mon – Fri 10:00 – 16:00, 1 week, 21 July – 25 July ’08

Photographer’s London — DATE TBA

Photography and the Narrative (pg 38) Tue – Fri 10 – 16:00 4 days, 26 Aug – 29 Aug ’08

Toy Cameras (pg 39) Mon – Fri 10:00 – 16:00, 1 week, 11 August – 15 August ’08 (see book)

Join quick and early. Summer courses go quite fast.

Clickclick.

This one just came in from Rob — Thanks Rob —

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Howdy gang.

Well first off sorry I could not be with you tonight. However  you have “good cop” Julia in my place and she gets to see all your work you produced last week — hope she is impressed!

Today you should have two things — a daisy image and a still life example you shot over the week — both on Flickr.

First let’s look at the daisy. What you need to be observing is now that you were able to create your own maually and technically correct photograph, how did you go about composing it — how did you organise the information on your “canvas” – the viewfinder. Did you simply point the camera at it and shoot or did you get in there and make a photograph? How many of you began to think about the importance of composition?

Take some time to walk around the class and look at the Flickr images on all the computers. Look at how people arranged the photograph. Look at the details — look how the grass falls, and the lines of the stems cut across the picture. Look at the quality of the daisies- are they full and vibrant, radiating life and health, or are they dried up and looking tired. Look at the camera angle — is the photographer an ant, climbing through a jungle, or are you a six foot giant looking down on these tiny buds and finding pattern. Did you do a portrait of a daisy or a landscape of daisies? How many of you photographed in portrait mode and how many of you in landscape mode — and did either support the composition of the work?

Phew — we got alot of mileage out of those little flowers — so now we can move on to the homework assignment. Please load up your image you took on your own and have it in front of you. Take a plain piece of paper and draw a line down the middle and write out two columns — see the sample below.
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With you image up there on the screen, start listing the points in each column. Be as detailed as you can be. Really spend the time to think through the technical challenges and triumphs and then all the other factors which entered the equation — from creative to logistics. And if you did not do the assignment then you will also be able to do this as well because the reasons you didn’t will be answered under the “challenges” column.

Once you are done and you have talked through these as a class with Julia don’t throw this paper out — this will be a scorecard for you to reflect on as we go through each assignment and you can measure your progress or what things changed or remained the same from assignment to assignment.

So during this discussion meter reading, shutter speed and aperture control and maybe even ISO will be the hot topics to discuss. Julia will assist you here.

For next week then — the assignment is to go out and shoot the same thing again — the same topic and this time pay attention to the weak areas and try to resolve them. This work is then to be posted for next week on Flickr — and we can look at the before and after.

See you next week.

Great class last night folks. Hope you enjoyed it and took away some of what was said.

First it was very important to establish the ability to SEE instead of just look at something. Even something so ordinary, if you spend time observing and developing a curiosity for it, you can take that and trasnform it into something wonderful. And many of your drawings reflected that. They were very good.

It didn’t matter in the quality of the drawing – what mattered was the process behind it — the perspective that you took, the observation that you made. This is the real creative process. Just because you feel you can’t draw does not take away from the creative path you took to get your message you message “out there”. This is why being shy or making excuses for lack of a skill can be a dangerous thing because it erodes any attempt at communicating. Its like having an idea but refusing to talk about it for fear of how you are going to say it. But once you get it out there, in the open, then it will shaped itself.

Next we looked at the “focal length” or viewpoint that each of you took. some went wide while others went for that close up sort of “shot”. Some filled the page while others took a portion of it. Some were technicians while others were abstractionists. And some struggled because you wished to be technicians bit felt you did not have the skill to apply to your desired look — ahh a common complaint that transfers over to photography. This is where trial and error are important tests along the way of communicating an idea. Photography is not a perfect science. It requires test, observation, mistakes, and accidents until you arrive at what it is you wish to communicate.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT.

We looked at documenting a subject and creating an emotional statement based on that same subject. We began to observe and list how we add elements to a subject to draw out an emotive reaction from our viewer. People will be easier than still life because people have have expression which is an expressway to communicating a feeling or emotion. Still life is much more difficult to work with — you have to turn the inanimate into something living, breathing.

For next week — have two photographs — one a simple document snapshot of what it is you will be working on to creating an image filled with emotive context and then the emotive shot itself. A kind of “before and after”.

Good luck with it —  and remember you are EXPERIMENTING HERE — this is the only way you develop yourself as a photographer — there is no right or wrong in this — no exactness — it is like trying to produce music — it may come in a flash of inspiration or be something that takes weeks or months to develop. The main thing is to simply be doing. The rest will uncover itself along the journey.

See you next week.

This in from Sarah – one of my students. Thank you Sarah.

Postcards from the Park photography competition — go check it out over HERE. I got the address right off of Google but there was a broken link thing happening when I tried it. Maybe that will be fixed asap.

The closing date is August 1, 2008 and believe it or not they are taking in MOBILE PHONE photos as well. Wow!

These photos of course will be turned into postcards and be part of a national exhibition.

But a good place to see if you can get yourself some publication and as I always say — just get it out there.

CLICKclick.

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UPS shows up and I miss him. Instead I get my neighbor shouting across the drive “HEY!” as he waves the brown flat package. Heart starts racing. I know what it is. First impressions about Blurb – the packaging is great. My book is treated with respect.

(open package and sealed in plastic wrap is THE book….looks nice in plastic…..rip open plastic and there it is….hmph…turned out better than i thought).

What a fantastic exercise this was in creating this sort of product. I am very pleased with Blurbs service, product and result. I hope my students feel the same when they look at their work in print.

Good work today gang.

Just a recap — you experienced the following:

Observing ambient light to make a calculation about your ISO.

Adjusted the ISO to set your camera sensitivity and give you a better window to work within.

Relied on your camera meter to tell you if the current shutter speed and aperture measurements were in the ball park or way out there.

Selected shutter speed, aperture or a combination of both to create your exposure.

Not bad for class 2!!!

So now for the week ahead.

Please post ONE daisy photo on flickr. And over the week create, IN MANUAL MODE, a still life image and post on flickr. We are looking for a couple things here to suit the brief. First making sure that you can operate comfortably in manual mode and use your meter and make the correct adjustments. Next, we are looking at where your compositional skills lie.

Have fun with it, spend time really looking and studying your subject — because now — with manual operation — you are becoming real photographers.

Ciao!

BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK

Ok now that the PR is done let’s continue. Last week I believe you were not able to access this for reasons beyond both Julia and my control — but here you are now (I hope!).
This will be your space to come and visit over the remaining weeks ahead to collect assignments you have missed or to just keep in touch with what is going on with workshops or other things photographic.

The link above – SFX | Intemediate Digital Photography is yours.

Last week you were given a few tasks so we could see where strengths and weaknesses lie as a class. After marking all the papers the two common areas are in metering and focal length.  We will begin the course by examining each of these in isolation.

Before we do that though, (thought you’d get away from it eh?), you also have an assignment due. For those who missed completing it I’ll take the time to say it here –it’s very important to have work completed because this course revolves and evolves around your response to the briefs and the work we have at hand to examine. Photography is all about the product — in this case imagery – so having product here on time is paramount.

Tonight’s schedule is looking like this:

First – we go through the written work and take a peek at what you know or don’t know. Some areas were not so black and white/ right or wrong answers — I was looking for your knowledge base and if you were in the ballpark or outside waiting for the ball to fly over the fence.

Second – You will be exhibiting your work that you photographed over the week. The things to take away from this exhibition is to first expose your creative (as well as technical) side to the class. Start getting into the feel of realising that as a photographer you are also communicating and your approach to your communication is very important. Observe how others approached the assignment and what processes they employed at getting that shot you may envy. Think through what forces were working for or against you on this assignement and take note of them so that in future work you can avoid the same pitfalls. If I use myself as an example– I cannot shoot when very hungry – especially when travelling. I feel defeated and tired and not inspired because I am hungry. Also I cannot work well when I need to be somewhere else shortly. A recent trip to Scotland showed that my photography changed from the technical medium format art work I was looking to shoot to the more personal toy camera approach because I was in a rush to get back home.

This assignment will be obeserving first if you understood the requirement — next it will observe how you creatively worked with the properties involved.

This should take you to the end of the class. If it doesn’t then please give a read to this before we move into studying focal lengths. If it does then FOR NEXT WEEK PLEASE READ.

Oh — all of you should have received my email earlier today. It is your class list so that in the future if you need to ring someone about homework — they are only a few finger tap tap taps away.

See you next week.

Rainy weather plan: Topic: Purchasing a Digital Camera.
Confused over the options that exist for buying a digital camera?

Looking to upgrade but not sure into what?

Photography is developing into a serious hobby and you are now looking to buy something with more creative potential?
We look at the categories of cameras which are out there – from digital point and shoot to high end DSLR and how you can make your purchase more fulfilling by understanding your needs and sourcing out the correct camera for them.

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Sunny weather plan: The Outdoor Portrait.
With the weather now brighter and warmer, after a 45 minute discussion looking at examples indoors, we move to the gorgeous outside to examine what are the important aspects that come into photographing portraits in the outdoor light. We look at subject matter, location, equipment, light, camera angles and body expressions.

Feel free to bring a friend to have as a model!

See you soon!

Hello.

Welcome to the first class. Unfortunately I am unable to make it here tonight but you have Julia at the helm for the first class so you are in good hands. (Julia you can use this place to brag about yourself here!) For the next ten weeks this space will be your place to find notes and get an idea of what has been going on — just in case you missed it. So please mark it down in your notes. To see a selection of notes from other classes — you can see it under this link.

I understand that tonight is a full house so we best get busy.

We have to go through some admin stuff first — so that means checking all the following boxes:

1. Fire exits and procedure.

2. VERY IMPORTANT – toilets

3. Smoking

4. To break or not to break – now that is THE question.

5. Class start times and end times and importance of getting the homework done for your own learning.

6. If there is any one needing additional assistance in terms of learning to speak to Julia at the end of the class.

7. Oh yes — almost forgot — eating and drinking in the class — but please not around the computers.

8. Handout of student ID cards — if they are available.

9. No class May 29th — MIDTERM.

10. Passwords for computers.

( I think now will be a good time for everyone to introduce themselves ).

Done that — Ok.

Well here we go … learning about these amazingly complexed tools in our hands in the form of the camera.

Before we begin though thought you might like a look ahead to our weeks together.

W1. Introduction/ Exploration/ introduction of vocabulary/ registration to online gallery.

W2. Shutter speed explore/ lab 1.

W3. Shutter speed review/ lab 1 due/ Aperture explore/ lab 2.

W4. Aperture review/ lab 2 due/ Metering/lab 3.

W5. Lab 3 due/ Focal length/ white balance/ image type and file size.

W6. Visit to professional lab.

W7. Aesthetics and Concepts – lecture in composition with “line” lab.

W8. Line due. Review and discuss/ Mood in photography with “colour” lab.

W9. Colour lab due/ Light in photography with “light” lab.

W10. Light lab due/Class reviews and comments/Exhibition.

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We begin the course by introducing the terminology and concepts behind the following:

By the end of the class most of you will able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

Your homework over the next week is to set up a photographic account to view your images in places like Flickr or something similar.

Have a great week!


 

 

TOYCAMERA edit…

 

By Karl Grupe, Joonas…

Book Preview

Well we are striding into spring. I am very excited. Already had the summer motorcycle out and enjoyed a couple of evening rides in spectacular weather. Great weather, great light, let’s get busy making some photographs!

Just to get you inspired here are some announcements around recent academic fronts as we head into this new season.

The summer schedule venues have been confirmed for our workshops (until July 2008). The following courses are available at Saint Francis Xavier College in Clapham South, London.

  • Intermediate Digital Photography – 6 seats left.
  • Digital Photography for Beginners – SOLD OUT.
  • Intro to Photoshop – 4 seats left.

If you have any questions about the courses leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Ok — so you are getting in the frame of mind of a photographer. Now you know how to use the camera in its manual mode, you know how to adjust for the right exposure and you know more and more about the aesthetic and conceptual elements which make up a photograph or a body of work.

Now the practice begins!!!

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Tonight you were exploring creating photographs which are in minimalistic style of the Chiswick Park environment. You were creating visual “swatches” which on their own may be interesting but in a body of work will establish a theme and focus to the work. This is the visual exploration which assists in developing your eye. Think of it as visual practice — like a pianist who spends hours going over a score of music to perfect their performance you are now engaging in that same study. Photography becomes more than just taking the grab shot. Photography becomes a manner in which you SEE.

For next week you are to bring in a minimum of 24 images of the Enjoy Work assignment to be displayed. The images should be the coupon size images that Snappy’s gave you — 4 x6 with borders and on gloss paper.

This will be your first visual assignment with a focus. The brief is simply to capture Chiswick Park in a minimalistic pattern (see example above)which when brought together in a series of images DEFINE the experience of the space. Feel free to continue this exercise over the week — perhaps catching it in different light forms or in better lighting conditions then we have tonight. Maybe the way YOU SEE it is under a different light. With more shadow and contrast and brighter colours. If that is the case then create those if you can.

Where to now?

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So I am at Brighton with my Toy Camera workshop and while they are out completing their assignment I came across this kid contemplating using the waterslide. He looked so mature as he stood there trying to figure it all out — like he was investing in a new car or a house. What were the risks?

Ok — raise your hands up if anyone of you out there has felt like this from time to time. Those of you who didn’t — you’re lyin’.

tree.JPG– interesting, talented, friendly instructors who seem to care.

taught me to develop a style and discover a voice.

– good course, interesting and well taught.

– found it motivational to make me go out and take pics. Enjoyed the class, teachers were nice. Feel like my photography has come a long way because of this course.

– fun course with a lot of practical involvement and class discussion + encouragement to explore ideas.

– really enjoyed the course. learned alot. EXCELLENT TUTORS!!!

enjoyed the material and the course. Fab!

Thank you to all of you who attended and we wish you great success in your photographic pursuits. Keep in touch!

NEXT COURSE: St. Francis Xavier College Tuesday April 28th, 2008 7 -9 pm.

IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR IMAGES – KNOW YOUR LAB.

Wednesday April 2, 2008 12:30 – 2:00 pm

Have you ever wondered why your photos are not looking as polished as they could?

Have you felt a bit unsure about what to ask a lab when trying to get an image to look a certain way?

Have you felt out of your depth when talking technical in order to print the work you are looking for when at a lab?

Do you have images which you would like to turn into art works but not sure how to go about it – where to start?

We are pleased to have with us Anthony from Snappy Snaps Chiswick for this month’s PhotoClub.

A lab is a very important and functional part of your photography system. You can have all the best equipment, choose the best locations and lighting, have the perfect subject matter before you, execute technically perfect shots, but if your lab is not of a high standard, and not approachable to listen to your needs, then all that pre production and production will fail in another important step – post production or PRINTING.

Locally Snappy Snaps Chiswick has proven itself in both residential and commercial printing. They are an extremely friendly and approachable bunch who are passionate about serving their customers the best product they can. This club meeting is a chance to meet with one of their printers/ managers and understand the process of printing and photographer/ printer relationships.

If you want to see your prints turn out better than they have been in the past come along to this club meeting and learn about what you can do when you next visit a lab to imporve the quality of your photographs.

Space is limited so please register early.

See you there!

LAB VISIT

Tuesday April 1, 2008

After an extensive review of the mechanics of the camera we are now on our way to working with creating images with vision and aesthetic. Before we move in that direction we are going to visit a professional lab where we will:

– be given a tour of the facilities

– witness the procedures in place that are responsible for creating your prints

– learn how a printer at a lab interprets your work to give you the results you receive – and what you need to do in order to get things the way you want.

– see the opportunities that are out there for your images – from mouse mats to wallpaper for your home — you can be your own artist in residence.

Please bring up to 36 images on film, cd or other digital storage media for printing on Tuesday. You can also bring old works which you were not pleased with and have this lab print it and see if there is a difference in the result.

This is always a very successful class and students walk away from this feeling more empowered about their photography.

We are meeting AT THE LOCATION and class will begin at 6:45 and probably go later – 9:00 we usually end as we are printing the work on site right before your eyes so you can observe the entire process.

See you then!

Well we have come to the end of the course. For those of you wondering what we are going to cover  – the MYspace assignment is due –see link here. We are going to have a question and answer sesh, we’ll talk about whats next – where would you like to go- and then we can wrap it all up with some lovely admin stuff we need to do. Have a great Easter and see you next week.

Ciao.

 

As the course comes to a close we have gone from the technical aspects found in a foundation course (shutter speed, aperture, focal lengths, metering etc) to some foundation level compositional elements (line, texture, light, volume, abstract). Our last remaining classes are a brief introduction leaning towards what one would come to expect to expand on at the intermediate level.

From technical to aesthetic we now move towards CONCEPTUAL — the use of photography to produce and support an idea, belief, or commentary one may have about… well …. really anything at all. The aesthetic – the way a work begins to present itself – can shape into something visually lovely to look at or it can be something which seems tedious and not “entertaining”. Having learned the basics we can now move towards examining how forming a voice comes from the relationship of style and concept mixed with subject matter.

Below are six photographers of various levels of practice and certainly different interests but what one can see is the distinctive styles in each of their work.

James Nachtwey

Max Oppenheim

Wye Ho

Stephen Gill

Christina McNeill

Cheryl Jacobs

 

Please find your assignment below. Good luck and see you next week.

Download your assignment here.

Big thank you to all of you who attended. The group was full of energy and some amazing growth and personal work was realised. Came away from it all feeling pretty jazzed. I wish you all the best with your photographic endeavors and feel free to contact me to let me know how you’re doing.

Ciao.

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Great workshop tonight folks. As we begin to turn the corner and apply some of the techniques we have been learning it is time to see if you can creatively match what you are learning to do technically.

To date you have understood and can make use motion as a means to communicate an idea or mood and as of today you can use depth of field to isolate a subject and make the viewer focus on them by setting the backgroud and/or forground out of focus.

***** EXERCISE *****Â

Over the week try to get an image – a portrait - which is an example of shallow depth of field. Remeber to begin to think about your composition here and start concentrating on the elements which are being placed into the photograph.

 A checklist:

1. will you photograph the image in portrait or lanscape mode?

2. what is happening in the forground and or background and does it support the theme or idea of the photograph that you are setting about to create?

3. colour or black and white?

4. what is the light like – direction it is coming from – the quality of it? Is this photograph going to be something postive and happy or something dark and brooding or mysteroius – and how is that light working with the mood you are creating?

5. Hair, clothing, makeup — is it all working to show the sitter in their best light?

6. camera angle/ focal length — are you choosing a camera angle/ zoom length which also benefits the sitter and the image as a whole? If the image is being distorted or cropped tight — what does this communicate to the viewer?

7. expression – happens not only in the mouth but in the eyes and the body language — if the person is looking uncomfortable and being difficult then that will translate onto the image. Since this is your first exercise work with someone who enjoys being photographed to make your life alot easier.

That’s it — enjoy the exercise and have a great Easter.

K

A review of all things technical which we have covered to date. Following this we explored depth of field and aperture and spent the evening creating photographs of still lifes which had a shallow depth of field.

NO HOMEWORK WAS GIVEN.

Workshop 4 will be a review of the depth of field, aperture control, understanding metering and we will end off with an in-class portraiture assignment.

See you on the 18th!

Reviewing what has been accomplished to date:

• learning the basic instruments of the camera and how to use them in manual mode.

• analyse an image and determine what has gone wrong in the photography.

• present work in an online gallery format and edit the work so there is a less distracting flow of content.

• study and comment on our own work while observing if there are some common or recurring characteristics we focus on in our visual “voice”.

• establish a ongoing visual vocabulary, both literal and figuratively speaking, in order to have an in depth dialogue when speaking about creating, observing and presenting works.

• experience and experiment with compositional elements – motion blur and freeze, depth of field, line, colour, abstract.

• learn that the camera can be used as a documentary device or a tool for creating the abstract, the unreal, the illustration.

Your next assignment will be the last in the aesthetic field. Following this we will move to documentary exercises – telling stories with photographs. Before we do we will examine the most important thing in photography besides creativity and that is light.

Following today’s discussion you will be set on the task of capturing between five and ten photos lit by as many different light sources.

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The remaining weeks consist of the following:

W7. Today – Abstract assignment due and introduction of light task.

W8. Light task due. Interpretation assignment given in class – “25 things”

W9. 25 things due. Telling a photo story discussion. “mySpace” assignment given.

W10. “mySpace due”. Wrap up. What’s next?

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Hello everyone!

*************************ANNOUNCEMENT ************************

MARCH PHOTO CLUB – THE PORTRAIT

March we will be focusing on portraiture. We will examine styles of portraiture, what makes a good portrait, working in different lighting conditions and working with people. If you are interested in photographing people, at home or abroad, then this will be a club you won’t want to miss.

MARCH 5th @ 12:30 – 2:00. Bring cameras and lunch and we’ll see you there.

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February saw us looking at low light photography and examining the effects of manual operation. We witnessed and practiced ways to correct in low light by use of using shutter speed, iso and aperture. The results allowed us to relieve ourselves of the hard and unflattering flash that tends to pop up immediately in AUTOMATIC mode. With the additional choice of manually adjusting the white balance we witnessed how, if we keep the camera steady, we can create a lovely photograph using existing natural, albeit low, light.

Following on from that we examined bringing in flash but with the adjusting of the shutter – extending the time to allow for increasing the background ambient light – we could combine ambient light with flash for interesting effects – a process known as dragging the shutter.

Finally we discussed “red eye” and what causes it and how to correct for it.

See you in a month.


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WELCOME BACK GANG!

Oooooo…. you know what day it is today — assignment due day! And Julia will be with you now so you have to be on your best behaviour.

I have really enjoyed working with you and watching the work blossom to another level. I hope you are feeling you are becoming better photographers and better at understanding and appreciating photography.

Thought we would place a calendar of events up here for you so you know what to expect over the next five weeks. So here it goes:

W6. Light assignment due/Editing/ Crit and discussions/ Review of Construct and assignment given. Download assignment HERE.

W7. Construct assignment due/ Editing/ Crit and discussions/ Review of Style and assignment given.

W8. Gallery or Lab tour/ Concept assignment given.

W9. Style assignment due/ Concept discussions.

W10. Concept assignment due and closings.

Have a great five weeks and I look forward to seeing your work on Flickr.

 

Hello. Well here we go … learning about these amazingly complexed tools in our hands in the form of the camera. Above is an image which is one of my better selling stock images. It was not a difficult shot to take at all. I was just observing and was ready for what was about to happen. It was all about time and place and all the little things in between which you will learn about over the next ten weeks.

Seeing and visualising also produced these works:

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Before we begin – let’s take a look ahead to our weeks together.

W1. Introduction/ Exploration/ introduction of vocabulary/ registration to online gallery.

W2. Shutter speed explore/ lab 1.

W3. Shutter speed review/ lab 1 due/ Aperture explore/ lab 2.

W4. Aperture review/ lab 2 due/ Metering/lab 3.

W5. Lab 3 due/ Focal length/ white balance/ image type and file size.

W6. Visit to professional lab.

W7. Aesthetics and Concepts – lecture in composition with “line” lab.

W8. Line due. Review and discuss/ Mood in photography with “colour” lab.

W9. Colour lab due/ Light in photography with “light” lab.

W10. Light lab due/Class reviews and comments/Exhibition.

We begin the course by introducing the terminology and concepts behind the following:

By the end of the class most of you will able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

Your homework over the next week is to set up a photographic account to view your images in places like Flickr or something similar.

Have a great week!

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Howdy gang. Welcome to my blog. Have some fun poking around here if you’d like.

Now for the video assignment I have given you these just to inspire — to begin examining the effect of mixing visuals with music and how your opinion/ mood can be altered by involving the hearing sense, and how your opinion of the music can be shifted by pictures are feeding you with an imposed perspective. Also consider the tone of each – does the music overpower the imagery or vice versa or is it a synchronised blend which takes you to a higher state of appreciation for both. An important item to consider is how long your patience in the video is and note when/ at what time you being getting “bored” with it — try going through a bunch of videos here on YouTube and see what your interest threshold is. Please watch them through to the end because during some of them there is a shift in the flow.

ENJOY!

Hong Kong Night Show

A reaction to the Iraq War

Mountain biker

Graffiti

Skateboarding

Virginia Tech

London

Fun use of Polaroid look – Sia

Sabastien Salgado

A geologist’s dream?

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A fabulous workshop and thank you to everyone who attended. I wish you the very best in your photographic journey and look forward to seeing your new work in the future.

In tonight’s study we discovered that we can use FAST shutter speed to record and FREEZE :

fast moving water/ waterdroplets

birds in flight/wildlife

vehicles in transport

skateboarders

carnival rides

air shows

sporting events

hyper kids/ parties

people movement/ facial – expressions

fireworks

SLOW shutterspeed allows us to BLUR to

emphasise movement – dance

distorts the object – to give a colour wash

abstracts the person, place or thing

carnival

fireworks

VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE TRIPOD.

FOR NEXT WEEK Now that you are using shutterspeed, aperture, iso and metering we are going to move into compositional work. Our first study is COLOUR.

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Over the course of the week seek out images which emphasise COLOUR. Colour will dominate the composition of your work. For next week please have eight to twelve images loaded on your Flickr account that show your interpretation and discovery of COLOUR.

ENJOY!

CHASING LIGHT

For those of you who have completed the PORTRAIT assignment – here is an advanced preview of what is coming up for submission and examination on February 26th, 2008.

Your next assignment will be one which is inspired by the greatest contributor to the “wow” factor of photography – LIGHT. This assignment will have you chasing light – looking only at light and its qualities and photographing it — what it falls onto or illuminates is secondary – the key point here is to shoot images of light.

The two images below were shot simply on a camera phone. Nothing else was done to them. So you don’t need to make the assignment hard on yourself by forcing to find things – just look and see and respond. Look at light and how it works itself around a subject – either artificial or natural light — open yourself up to being drawn into the light first.

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For next class after we return from our midterm break, please have in your Flickr portfolio a minimum if ten light inspired images. ENJOY!

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Due to the computer glitch we had tonight the Shoot from the Hip assignment (to be placed on Simple Striking Portraiture pool ) is due next week and your portrait assignment is due the following week. For those who did not make the class tonight please read on.

Following investigations and tours of the content supplied for the “shoot from the hip” assignment we went on to examine concept in photograph with a focus on the portrait. We explored how powerful a tool concept can be in setting up a direction to process a visual tableaux resulting in a final representation of your journey towards that photograph. And the more we learn to understand the visual language the more we can understand the complexities of what it is you are saying.

Have fun with it and see you next week.

Keep seeing.

Great class last night folks. The samples you all showed were right on the mark and you should pat yourself on the back for getting the first stage of manual exposure making correct. We are now shifting our basic exposure away from shutter speed priority to aperture priority. Your assignment over this week is to produce a food still life which is an example of shallow depth of field. Here are some samples. Study them for their exposure, lighting, styling and composition.

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3 pears on a line
Polaroid sx-70 film
Karl Grupe 2007

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pear and curtain
Polaroid sx-70 film
Karl Grupe 2007

Remember that in this class we explored what you need to do to the aperture to make it create a shallow depth of field. Don’t forget that if the exposure is looking too bright (overexposed) or too dark (underexposed) you have the option of adjusting shutter speed, ISO, and/ or light level to make the exposure more acceptable.

Have fun with it and remember to not eat the still life until you have got the shot!

See you next week.


Hey there folks. Just some notes for ya.

We talked about in camera meters to make you aware that there exist options in your equipment to personalise your exposures to get a more accurate rendition of what it is you are trying to communicate to the viewer.

We also spoke on the subject of file size in your image capture and what sizes are needed for when. We also compared jpeg to raw files and where and when to use them. There is a really good article on this that I found here.

Moving on to composition we studied three different photographers and witnessed three distinct styles and methods/ inspirations behind the work they pursue. From those wishing to simply create the beautiful to those who are more interested in using photography as a means to document a social experiment or observation (which can escape the attempts to make things aesthetically beautiful) – the camera is a tool only. Like a laptop to a writer or a paint brush to a painter – the camera is the means which the artist has decided to use to communicate their own vision. This means it is not a finite box which you photocopy life through. It has the capacity, through your concept and vision, to provoke, educate, entertain.

Following this discussion we moved on to look at the work you pulled together and brought to class and examined it for its content and link to your own personal style, voice, experience and/ or vision.

SHOOT FROM THE HIP
Next week please have ready your “shoot from the hip” experiments. 1 -10 samples were asked for but if you shoot more then by all means shoot and publish more. Please have no more than 20 though!

The larger the body of your work the more we can see into your vision and direction. SO more is definitely better.

I also found some MUCH better examples than what we saw in class. These show that it is how creative and “freestyle” this process can be.

Sample 1 Sample 2

Sample 3 Sample 4

Sample 5 Sample 6

Have a good week!

Howdy dooo!

Happy New Year — ok ok so its a bit late — but I only see you folks once a month!

Hope life and love are lookin’ cheery for 2008 and now let’s get some crackin’ images to boot.

The January meet up had us checkin’ out some work shot to the theme “shooting from the hip”. Here is a cool and “hip”  shot using this method by Marten :

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February 6th, 12:30 – 2:00 we will be checking out low light image creation. For those of you frustrated by the flash popping up every time when you are shooting in low light, or having images blur or look out of focus althought the camera was on automatic, this is a club meet not to be missed. From photographing inside a room to outside in the night or fireworks – these two hours will work at educating you on the workings of low light and how to get that camera of yours ready to shoot for this light level.

See ya there.

Howdy gang.

Well here we go … learning about what these amazingly complexed tools in our hands can do when we have them trained beyond the one command we have known till now — “automatic boy —– that’s it — just be automatic! ” .

We began in this class to introduce the terminology and concepts behind the following:

By the end of the class most of you were able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

You were given the task for the next class of trying to make your first manual exposure on your camera without guidance. Please have that image placed in your Flickr account and ready for observation by Thursday’s class.

Have a great week and we’ll see see each other then.

Ciao.

Great meeting all of you and it looks like we have a great 10 weeks ahead. This is going to be your space to catch notes, look for signature shots of the week by yourself or fellow students and hopefully grow during the next process in your image making steps.

Just a recap —

We reviewed shutter speed, aperture, iso, wb, and focal lengths last week. The next session we will continue with the technical material in the areas of metering and image file size. You will also be presenting the five images that you collected in terms of compositional interest in the categories of either style, concept, and or construct. Please be ready with these for this Tuesday.

Oh yeah — PLEASE…. have a Flickr account set up soon so we can look at your work.

See you then!

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wall detail, rnc, greenwich, london  2008

Great day today on the cruise and the photography out in Greenwich. I hope it was successful for you. Just a reminder that 10:00 am this Saturday we will be reviewing the examples from the assignment that you shot. Please have them produced and ready for show.

The schedule for the day is to review the work, introduce editing skills to achieve a narrative and create a hierarchy of images in terms of selection process. Following that you will be given the next assignment which will take place around the Camden Locks.

Enjoy your week and see you Saturday.

Over and Out.

Just a reminder folks we are heading here this Saturday for our visit to shoot architectural still life. Remember to meet at Westminster Pier for 10 am.

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Marija has arranged our date in January. Please make a note that we will be clubbing January 9th 12:30 – 2:00 pm.

The December club meeting took a look at visitors work and we had a chat about “shooting from the hip” as a method of photography. So the January sesh will review anyone who decided to pursue shooting from the hip. For anyone wanting to come on by but missed last sesh – “shooting from the hip” means photographing subjects without looking in the viewfinder or LCD screen of your camera. It’s an inconspicuous and instinct based way to take photographs of people who you don’t want to know that you are taking photos of. It can also be used by those who believe in the motto “don’t think, just shoot”. Here are some samples — From the Hip Group — take a look at the +1000 images and see what is effective and what is not so effective and then spend time inventing your own way of using this experimental method.

Post your work up on a online gallery and on the 9th we’ll project your images on the big screen and evaluate your process and results.

A great afternoon to show and tell about your favorite hobby and get feedback.

If you have questions please leave comments here and I’ll get back to you asap.

See you then!

Wow —- what stunning work folks. I hope you are as impressed with your own progress and work examples as I am. Huge congrats to you all for your recent success and to the ongoing development of your visual dialogue and understanding.

This is a reminder that next Monday and Thursday will be Photoshop introductions so please bring along images to work with on either in on a CD or on a USB sticks. The classes will be a tour of what Photoshop can do on a basic level to improve your immediate work – see it act like your own digital darkroom.

See you Monday at 6:30!

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ANNOUNCEMENT!!! – THE CLASS HAS REQUESTED LAST CLASS DRINKS ON TUESDAY DECEMBER 18th, 7:30 pm.  Don’t miss out! Trying out the pub across from Gunnesbury Station. Set your calendar for the last day of class and we’ll see you there.

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Leaving the study of LINE behind, having recognised its power to direct and set up an architectural structure to a photograph we are now going to go another direction where we are going to make the viewer grasp a bit in order to get a foothold on what they are looking at.

Compositional Elements assignment 3

DUE DATE – 11:12:07 @ 6:00 pm.

ABSTRACT FORM

Using the camera to capture that which the eye does not see is a very effective tool in creating creative, punchy images. There are many ways in which this can be achieved – over/ under exposure, white balance play, dramatic out of focus images, intentional blur, obscure cropping, colour play through colour filtration. And all of these are obtained by adjusting the controls on the camera and nothing else.

Y our assignment for next class is to have a selection of 10 images which have been created by turning the real into the surreal simply by amplifying the controls on the camera to create effects. You are now taking the rules and tech knowledge that you learned over the workshop and going against the grain. Getting magical and creating, making.

Enjoy your adventure!

Leaving the study of LINE behind, having recognised its power to direct and set up an architectural structure to a photograph we are now going to go another direction where we are going to make the viewer grasp a bit in order to get a foothold on what they are looking at.

Compositional Elements assignment 3

DUE DATE – 06:12:07 @ 6:30 pm.

ABSTRACT FORM

Using the camera to capture that which the eye does not see is a very effective tool in creating creative, punchy images. There are many ways in which this can be achieved – over/ under exposure, white balance play, dramatic out of focus images, intentional blur, obscure cropping, colour play through colour filtration. And all of these are obtained by adjusting the controls on the camera and nothing else.

Y our assignment for next class is to have a selection of 10 images which have been created by turning the real into the surreal simply by amplifying the controls on the camera to create effects. You are now taking the rules and tech knowledge that you learned over the workshop and going against the grain. Getting magical and creating, making.

Enjoy your adventure!

Due to many people ill or on travels the assignment which was due today will now be due DECEMBER 4th @ 6:30 pm. Please have it in print or  online gallery form. The assignment on “line” can be found here – please read the blog to find out presentation options and assignment notes.

See you next week!

 

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first class by Karl Grupe

The next club meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 5th, 2007 12:30 – 2:00 pm.

We will discuss Photography and Composition and look at what sort of ingredients help in making a photograph successful. This will be a 60 min discussion. The following 30 mins will be a trouble shooting tech session, hopefully making you aware of what may go wrong for the Christmas season.

Please bring in any of your own work for critique and feedback.

Feel free to invite a friend and we’ll see you soon.

To know more about Karl Grupe, please visit www.karlgrupe.com.

Ciao!

 

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PHOTOGRAPHERS LONDON at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

DEADLINE FOR ENROLMENT DECEMBER 15th, 2007.

Start date January 12th, 2008 Saturdays 10 – 4

This course is aimed at people who may be new to photography or new to London. During the course your classroom will be the city of London, where you will explore the workings of your camera while daily photographing a theme. Each day will include an introductory talk and technical seminar followed by a field trip to put into practice the skills learned. This course will not include any darkroom practice, so students are asked to budget for their own developing costs, as well as a travel card to cover visits around London. On the first day students are asked to bring in ten examples of past snapshot photographs (mistakes encouraged) for discussion and critique. Locations will include places where we can explore the following photography topics; people and portraiture, architecture and the urban landscape, nature, travel.

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ART OF THE SNAPSHOT at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

DEADLINE FOR ENROLMENT JANUARY 15th, 2007.

Start date February 16th, 2008 Saturdays 10 – 4
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Ping Pong, Dublin C-print 700mm x 550mm

Whatever one’s photographic experience, at some time we all have passed into photography through the doorway of the snapshot. Its power in catching the narrative, documenting a moment, or expressing an emotion in an instant, almost void of any technical or formal perfection has allowed for a photographic “”democracy”” to all who pick up a camera. In this series of workshops we will use the informal nature of the snapshot to serve as a vehicle to promote and explore concept and interpretation. Uncovering what is your own visual identity, isolating the voice that makes a body of work original. Through exercises exploring aesthetic and analytic photography, concept generation and story telling, and the importance of the edit and presentation of one’s work you will examine what are your components of visual voice and how can you express what it is you see or believe to your audience. This course involves assignments that require students to use photographic labs or desktop printing facilities at home or work in addition to local travel to galleries and an assignment on location. Please budget for this. Students are asked to bring 10 – 15 unbound samples of personal work for a presentation on the first day.

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ANNOUNCEMENT!!! – MAKE UP CLASSES ARE SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY DECEMBER 10th + THURSDAY DECEMBER 13th. Times for both days are 6:30 pm – 8:00pm.

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Compositional Elements assignment.

DUE DATE – 29:11:07 @ 6:30 pm.

Line

The formation of line allows the eye to be led through a photograph. It is a strong compositional element with directions for the viewer to look INTO the work.

Exercise No.1

Produce 10 images that show line. It can be a literal documentation or something which you observe and organise pictorially. Be sure that LINE dominates the photograph. Use this word “line” to be the stimulant to thinking and observing the world in this way. Suddenly lines will pop up all around you and some will even make great images!

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clouds in g minor by Karl Grupe

Think of the shape of line, the direction, the colour. Think of plays on the word of “line” and see if something clever comes up. Whatever you do use “line” as an inspiration and then as you begin to record it, as you are shooting keep asking yourself “how can I make this clearer or better – how can I improve on this.” This focus should pave way towards stronger image making.

Enjoy and see you next week back at the ranch.

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ANNOUNCEMENT!!! – MAKE UP CLASSES ARE SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY DECEMBER 10th + THURSDAY DECEMBER 13th. Times for both days are 6:30 pm – 8:00pm.

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OOoooooo there better be a few nice and shining red apples for teacher next week!

What happened?

The exhibition was a lead into our next half of the workshops – a focus on creating creative/ conceptual content.

For those of you who enjoy working with prints – Anthony at Snappy Snaps is certainly a good starting point — and you have all those credits to use up. So please bring in the assignments in print form if you choose to not go the web upload/ portfolio route.

For those who wish to display on the projection screen you will require a online gallery and Flickr is one which we have exampled. You can of course use any blog or personal site like MySpace or Facebook to show your imagery — whatever works for you.

It is very important that these assignments are completed since each will be the main topic of discussion and you will be presenting your work for critique and exploration.

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Compositional Elements Stage One assignment.

DUE DATE – 27:11:07 @ 6:00 pm.

Line

The formation of line allows the eye to be led through a photograph. It is a strong compositional element with directions for the viewer to look INTO the work.

Exercise No.1

Produce 10 images that show line. It can be a literal documentation or something which you observe and organise pictorially. Be sure that LINE dominates the photograph. Use this word “line” to be the stimulant to thinking and observing the world in this way. Suddenly lines will pop up all around you and some will even make great images!

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Closed Casino by Karl Grupe

Think of the shape of line, the direction, the colour. Think of plays on the word of “line” and see if something clever comes up. Whatever you do use “line” as an inspiration and then as you begin to record it, as you are shooting keep asking yourself “how can I make this clearer or better – how can I improve on this.” This focus should pave way towards stronger image making.

Enjoy and see you next week back at the meeting room.

A reminder to have set up some sort of online photo gallery account for the next workshop.

Flickr is an example of such a venue. However, as I mentioned, if you wish to have a critique from a photographic print perspective – especially with regards to presentation/ layout – then prints are the only way to go.

Tonight we reviewed last week’s exercise. “25 things” allowed us the opportunity to react and create images through a series of stimuli. The result was a matrix of pictures. But this matrix allowed for us to witness how each of you have, inherently, your own approach, your own style, already, so early in this stage of your photographic experience.

Building on that knowledge and observation – the next assignment is an exercise in story telling.

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Office by Karl Grupe

scanned Polaroid SX 70 film

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600 second Office by Karl Grupe

Scanned polaroids from Mamiya RB67

Assignment: My Space.

Practice. Offer an opportunity to reflect on that which has become unobserved and through the pursuit/ art of picture making have the learner “seeing” on a wider level.

In other words develop a more visually savvy eye.

Work. Choose a space which you wish to begin your visual study of. It can be absolutely any sort of space. One which has meaning to you or not. A place which serves simply as a function, an intimate space, a secure space, a new space. It simply must be a single space.

From here you are to develop a character study of that space. Your goal is to, through your pictures, bring the viewer into that space and “read” into it as much as they can. Yes , it could be one single photograph which documents the entire space, but we are looking to dig further here. We are looking to draw out the character of the space as much as seeing simply what it looks like.

You are to begin thinking about how you wish to present this as well. Your “exhibition” is an extension of your images. The presentation is used to enhance or amplify the images. So please consider this as an additional visual appreciation.

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Home as a Metaphor by Karl Grupe

scanned Polaroid SX70

As many images as you would like. Examples are given here of my style/ approach to the exercise or if you go to Project 1 and read the concept statement you will find a good example of a personal study of a space (it may take a bit of time to load) . And something which was thought out to a large degree from images to film/camera choice.

Have fun with this, enjoying the ride that photography can take you on, and see you next week.

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Don’ t forget that next week we are at fugitivesfleurs. The Private View is from 6-8:30. I will take you on a group tour at 6:45 with introduction to the artists work consisting of

  • history of the artist
  • ideas behind concept and development of the exhibition
  • decision behind the curating – size/ format/ framing/ materials/ image placement
  • and hopefully – if her schedule can accommodate us on the night – a brief interview with the artist herself.

This exhibition will serve to launch us into the remaining classes with a study on composition, voice and concept. So do try to make it. Please bring your invite with you.

I will meet you at the bottom of the stairs at 6:45 to begin our tour and discussion. If you arrive before that please feel free to take part in the evening. If you arrive later, please look for us in the exhibition itself.

Directions: 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT, Institute of Physics

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See you there!!!

Notes for those who did not get to make Snappy Snaps Chiswick visit and a recap for those who did.

1. Your recorded image is only part of a process. The lab you work with to produce your images into print or other media is vital to your success as an image maker. Shop around for a lab who will listen to your requests – understand how you like your images to be printed. This can take some time but is worth it in the end.

2. Once you have an image there are many variations on how that image can be printed. Simple colour adjustments (more blue, less red, stronger yellow etc.), contrast, or light/ dark levels can have an amazing affect on how your image is read. All these are at the hands of a mini lab. These are not specialty items — a good printer knows how to use these effectively.

3. The quality of your prints will be a result of the quality of service the labs provide towards their own equipment and supply. Higher quality photographic paper, better optics in scanners and processors, a consistent schedule of replenishment of the chemistry in the printers, all work towards a quality product.

4. The printer at your lab will not always interpret what it is you need… let them know what you want and they will help you get to that point. Don’t be afraid to ask — better printing comes about from asking and understanding the potential of your image.

5. Once you have a quality print — the real adventure begins. Canvas printing, enlargments, specialised custom printing, specialty borders and framing — all allow the image to take on a new feel and grow closer to a final “art work”.

A lab is a lab for a reason — a place to play and experiment with your work. To turn things around a bit adding an edge to your imagery. Think of it as the next phase in producing your prints. In the professional world what one does with their prints after capture is called “post production”…. sounds pretty high end huh?

A great night and I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves.

See you next week.

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Polaroid off Hasselblad 503CM by Karl Grupe.

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What a fabulous group – in size and energy this was. I want to thank you for coming out on the 7th.

To recap, we spoke of all the options that are available and quite easily accessible/ affordable to take each of our photographic gems and create something for the home/ office or as gifts. As a guide we looked at 55max. We also reviewed Snappy Snaps.

Following along with the art and design thread we looked at samples from the Lomo, Holga and Polaroid SX70 cameras. Work from past students on Lomo and Holga . And a shot of mine on the SX70. The important fact about each of these is that they are FILM for starters and offer no exposure controlling options. The creativity is in matching subject matter to the character of the camera – something which is kinda lost in digital worlds. Also one must be prepared for happy accidents and/or creating them — throwing the film in the washing machine before exposing it was one suggestion. Seriously!

Our next club meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 5th, 2007 12:30 – 2:00 pm.

We will discuss Photography and Composition and look at what sort of ingredients help in making a photograph successful. This will be a 60 min discussion. The following 30 mins will be a trouble shooting tech session, hopefully making you aware of what may go wrong for the Christmas season.

Feel free to invite a friend and we’ll see you soon.

Don’t forget to bring cameras for the meeting and comments for future ideas in the comment box would be appreciated.

Ciao.

 

Notes

“25 things” is due. 4×6 or 5×7 inch glossy pictures with white borders please.

This class will be running through various exercises in determining your visual eye, and establishing the ground work for the rest of the remaining workshops which will focus on composition and personal style.

See you at 6:30!

Foodshow 3

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Toy Camera Workshop, Central Saint Martins, London UK
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Toy Camera Workshop, Central Saint Martins, London UK

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From the series “Seaside views and other various collections” Brighton UK.

Toy Camera Workshop, Central Saint Martins, London UK

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From the series “Seaside views and other various collections” Brighton UK.

Toy Camera Workshop, Central Saint Martins, London UK

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From the series “Seaside views and other various collections” Brighton UK.

Toy Camera Workshop, Central Saint Martins, London UK

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Harriet Poole

From the series “Seaside views and other various collections” Brighton UK.

Toy Camera Workshop, Central Saint Martins, London UK

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Xavier Agullo

From the series “Seaside views and other various collections” Brighton UK.