March 2008

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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.

A while back a group of us got together to volunteer our time to Comic Relief. What an awesome night it was and it felt so good to be on the phones and help raise money for such a good cause. As an expat it was a great way to meet people from all over the UK and have a quick chat while filling out the forms for their donation.

Being Comic Relief I thought it was only fitting to put down the professional guard and expose the more comic side to my persona – thanks Julia for this great shot!

cr.jpg

If you have not done so – I STRONGLY recommend getting involved with Comic Relief.

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.

artofsnap.jpg

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.