June 2008

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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.


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



… Reserve your space by calling 07941373678 …

Nothing to do with photography but my love for bike design — this is simply gorgeous:


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.



Overall cast of colour.


Balance of complimentary colours.


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.



Hope to see you all there next week. Any questions leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.


From this:


to this:


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.


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.



© 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


© 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.


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.


© 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.


The event even attracted the local media —



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.


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


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.


Compositional Elements assignment.

DUE DATE – 12:06:08 @ 6:30 pm.


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!



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


©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.


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!