February 2009

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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?


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!


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.


 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.