Saturday, 2 August 2014

Wk 2 Lewis Hines - Depth of field

Lewis Hines

    Lewis Hines was a photographer, teacher and sociologist.  As a teacher he encouraged his students to use photography as an educational tool.

    Hines noted body of work is that of over 5,000 photos depicting child labour in America.  When he worked as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labour committee between 1908 and 1924.  As he was often denied access into factories or other places where children were working he would go undercover.  He carefully documented the details of his subjects and the context in which the photo was taken.  Today these details pay tribute to the many subjects which he shot and the stories of their lives.

    Lewis Hines shot in large format and black and white.

    In class we have been looking at Depth of field and the impact it can have on photos.  Lewis Hines used Depth of field to tell a story with his photos.

    Power house mechanic working on steam pump - Lewis Hines 1920
    This is a great photo, i like how the curved lines soften the image and frames the man perfectly.  This is an example of a wide or deep depth of view, every detail of this photo can be seen very clearly.  Lewis Hine would have used a high f stop number to capture this photo.  This would of been chose because he would have wanted the detail of the objects in the mid and background to be in focus
    Icarus, high up on Empire State - Lewis Hines 1931
     This amazing shot, illustrates Lewis Hines commitment as a photojournalist.  I wonder on what ledge is Lewis Hine standing on to take this photo. He would of used a high f stop number for this photo to allow for the worker and his background to be seen.

    Young doffers in Mollahan Mills - Lewis Hines 1908

    Ivey Mill Little one, 3 years old who visits and plays in the mill.  Daughter of the overseer Hickory N.C - Lewis Hines 1908
    These two are examples of narrow depth of field.  The subject(s) are in focus.  The leading lines direct the eye to the subject(s) highlighting what Lewis wanted the viewer to see.  He would of used a small f stop, this accommodates for the main subject to be in focus and the other areas to be out of focus.

    Friday, 1 August 2014

    Wk 2 Depth of field Artist: Sebastiao Salgado

    Sebastiao Salgado

    Is a Brazillian social documentary photographer and photojournalist.  He started taking photographs in his 30s.  Sebastiao Salgado works on long term, self assigned projects.  He devotes years at a time to document the stories of people and places.  Many of his works have been published as books The Other Americas, Sahel, Workers, Migrations and Genesis.  His most famous pictures are of the gold mine in Brazil called Serra Pelada.

    Sebastiao has an amazing body of work.  The images i have chosen showcase how he uses Depth of Field to capture the essence of his subjects.

    This is an example of wide depth of field.  As we know wide depth of field focus range covers a large area front-to-back.  Depending on a lens camera range this could be from several yards in front of the focus plane to nearly infinity behind.  These types of photos are often associated with landscapes and architectural photography. It is useful to show a multitude of visual elements or characteristics.

    Sebastiao would of used a high f stop setting to capture this photo as the foreground and background are in focus.  He also would have been positioned quite high to easily to be able to include the moutains nestled under the clouds in the background. 

    Sebastiao uses this technique to show us the beautiful elements of this landscape.  I love the way he captures the land in all its majesty.  The leading lines created by the water and sides of the hills and mountain move you towards the light at the top of the image.  I also like how he has captured the light which sit on the hillside.  Being in black and white also provide us with a different perspective, we are not just attracted by the colours but become more aware of the curves and textures.  
    Title: The Brooks range 1994, Artist: Sebastiao Salgado, Medium: Photographs, Size: 88.9 x 61cm,  Location Alsaka
    This photo is an example of narrow depth of field.  As we know with narrow depth of field, the area in front and behind the focus point is very slim or shallow. That means that objects right in front and right behind the focus point is already going out of focus.  These types of photos are used to isolate the subject from its environment and is used in portrait work, macro photography, and sports photography.

    Sebastiao uses this technique to capture the emotion of his subject.  This photo taken at close range reflects the trust that he builds with his subject.  The cupping of the hands around the subjects head reinforces the face as the focal point.  Sebastiao portrays a confronting view of this subject by using a close crop image.  There is nowhere for you to run away from the emotions as your eye is lead back to her face through her scarf, veins and hands.

    Title: Gourmand- Rharous 1985, Artist: Sebastiao Salgado, Medium: Photographs, Size: 40.6 x 50.8cm, Location: Mali
    He would have used a small f stop setting for this shot.  Although this is a close crop you can see in that the objects in the background are relatively out of focus.  This type of shot retains the focus on the subject.

    Thursday, 31 July 2014

    Vantage points

    Wk 2 - Vantage Points

    Week 2 - woooowzers i honestly feel like i've been doing this for a lot longer then just two weeks.  I'm still finding my feet, and trying to keep on track.  So far so good, just need to keep practicing!

    Yesterday we went on a class trip - a short one, just up the road to the Otara town centre.  The aim of this trip was to take some photos from different vantage points.  Vantage points are the varied angles in which you can take photos such as high, low or even straight on.

    Here are some high and low angle shots that i took:

    High angle shot

    f/4, 1/125, ISO 100
     This is a shot of a ponga log, one of many which is used as a fence.  I like how the light contrasts with the darker areas.  It highlights the rough woody texture of the log.  The grouping of circles give the log a curved fan like appearance as  though it has been pulled together and tighten further down by a string like a bouquet.
    f/4.0, 1/200, ISO 100
    This shot was taken on a wooden lounge chair, which sits with other wooden furniture by the playground at the Otara town centre.  I really like this shot, the curved lines are soft the angle gives are flattering to the subject.  It evokes a sense of serenity and peace.

    Low angles


    f/3.5, 1/1600, ISO 100
    This shot was taken of the sculpture piece which stands at the entry of MIT Creative Arts building.  This angle gives a perspective which gives the piece a sense of strength and dominance.  The lines shooting into the sky further reinforces this.

    I'm looking forward to practicing more on my angles.  Ben Long from speaks about vantage points helping you see mundane things from a different perspective.  That speaks volumes to me especially as a newbie, sometimes i get so swayed by an idea of a photo that i miss an opportunity to capture a moment or subject which might may be the best shot i've ever taken.

    f/4, 1/100, ISO 100
    Here is a low angle taken of Jaeden while he was exploring the climbing web.  This angle is not very flattering on women,  but a lot better for men as it gives them a stronger 
    Here is a high angle shot.  A lot of selfies are taken as high angle shots and we all know how to take advantage of this angle.

    Wk 2 Fore, Mid and background Artist

    Herbert List 

    (October 7, 1903 – April 4, 1975) A German photographer,  who was a classically trained artist began taking photos during his travels as an apprentices coffee dealer for Heidelberg coffee dealer in 1921 while studying literature and art history at Heidelberg University between 1924-1928.  These photos were taken at his leisure without any reference to his artistic knowledge.

    His work is influenced by his fascination with surrealism and his love for Bauhaus art.  A combination of craft and fine art.  Photographing still life and his friends.  His work have appeared in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Life and Magnum Photos.

    This week we are looking at the photographic elements of fore, mid and background.  Having details in these three areas helps lead the viewers attention around the picture and hold their eye so that they can move back and forth the picture without getting bored.

    Title: Switzerland Lake Lucerne, Artist: Herbert List, 1936

     Here is a great example of fore, mid and background.  The glasses in the foreground draw the viewers attention, the ripples in the foreground add motion and texture.  The contrast of light and dark, reinforced by the glasses are mirrored in the mountains sitting in the background.

    Title: Greece Cyclades Naxo Island Poseidon Temple Cella Portal 1938 Artist: Herbert List Medium: Photograph
    I really like this photo - its reminiscent of Greek mythology and the amazing structures which were created to house the deity statues.  The doorway in the foreground is a very linear structure because of this it resonates with rigidness and strength.  In the mid ground the water with the piece of land  stretching out forms a line directing the eye toward the mountains it background.  All three elements form a continual cycle which keeps the viewers attention for longer.

    Wk 1 Francesca Woodman and Richard Avedon - Shutter speed

    Theme: Blur and frozen movement

    This week we are looking at blur and frozen movement.  Shutter speed - what we know is that the shutter speed controls the duration of the exposure.  Meaning how much light is allowed to reach the sensor.

    Less light (1/1000 sec) - is a fast shutter speed.  This allows for movement to become frozen
    More light (1 sec) - is a slow shutter speed.  This allows for the shutter to stay open longer producing images where movement is blurry.  These are often used for artistic images.

    Francesca Woodman an American photographer who is best know for her black and white picture of herself and female models.  Below is an example of a slow shutter speed, where Francesca is moving.

    Untitled - 1975-80 Francesca Woodman

    Space, Providence Rhode Island - Francesca Woodman
    Richard Avedon - American fashion and portrait photographer.  He is known for breaking the photography boundaries in the fashion and political world.  He was able to capture the rare emotion and unique essence of his subjects.  In addition to his work in the fashion world, Avedon was a master in portraiture and worked in political photography as well.
    Veruschka dress - Richard Avedon 1967
    This is an example of a fast shutter speed shot - capturing the subject in motion

    Tuesday, 29 July 2014

    Wk 2 - Aperture Priority (AV)

    Week 2

    Aperture controls the area over which light can enter your camera.

    More light f/1.4 = Shallow Depth of Field (narrow)
    Less light  f/22  = Greater Depth of Field (wide)
    (The Depth of field is the area of the image that is in focus)

    Our task in class was to take a photograph with three elements: one in the foreground close to the camera, one in the middle ground and one in the background.  Focus on the element in the foreground.  Shoot this scene with the lowest aperture your lens will allow, then F/8 and then F/22.

    I chose the tripod to be in the foreground, the model to be in the middle ground and the trees to be in the background
    Aperture: f/1.8, Shutter speed:1/2500, ISO: 100
    As you can see in this photo the tripod is in focus, while the middle and background is out of focus - This is what is known as a shallow or narrow depth of field.

    Aperture: f/8.0, Shutter speed: 1/125, ISO: 100
    At this setting the depth of field stretch out towards the subject. If the subject was closer to the tripod you would be able to see her more clearer.  Although she is some distances from the trees in the background her features are a bit blurred.  I'll post up another example to illustrate this.

    Aperture: f/22, Shutter speed: 1/120, ISO: 100
    At this setting all the elements are clearer.  The middle and background is sharper and you can see the details are more clearer.

    These photos are examples of fore, mid and background -
    f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 100
     This photo was taken with a narrow depth of field - the minion in the foreground is the subject who is in focus and the two in the mid and background are blurred
    f/22, 1/13, ISO 100
    This was taken with a wide depth of field.  Everything in the picture is clear.

    Monday, 28 July 2014

    Wk 1 - Bulb Function

    Bulb function

    is a shutter speed setting which allows for long exposure times (wikipedia).  This function is used when there is not enough light available, such as shooting at night.  When taking photos at night the shutter needs to open longer.

    Bulb function task:
    Take three photos at 3", 6" and 8" - with your subject moving out of the shot 3/4 of the way through or stand in the shot. It took us a few takes to get this right - especially as it was hard to see her.

    These shots were taken outside at night.  Here are some of our pictures taken with the help of my model Pela

    Shutter speed: 3.0", f/22

    I asked Pela to walk through this photo after 1 second - you can see her shoes 
    at the bottom of the shot

    Shutter speed: 6.0", f/22
    Pela walked through this photo after 3 seconds

    Shutter speed 8.0, f/22

    I asked Pela to take a step every 2 seconds

    Shutter speed 7.0", f/22

    Pela started walking through after 3 seconds, 
    you can see her figure as well as her shoes at the bottom of the photo
    ore time is equivalent to more light, so when you lack light, you can almost always compensate by keeping the shutter open longer. - See more at:
    More time is equivalent to more light, so when you lack light, you can almost always compensate by keeping the shutter open longer. - See more at:
    More time is equivalent to more light, so when you lack light, you can almost always compensate by keeping the shutter open longer. - See more at:

    Week 1 - Shutter Speed (TV)

    Week 1

    This week we are looking at Shutter speeds.  The shutter speed controls the durations of the exposure.  It is the length of time the shutter is open and where light can get in through your sensor.

    Less light 1/1000 sec - freeze action
    More light 1 sec - artistic blurs

    Our exercises in class this week was to play around with different shutter speeds.  It’s my first time using a proper tripod and I must say it’s a wee bit more sturdy and fiddly then the budget ones I’ve used before.  It’s a bit daunting setting up a shot with all this fresh info churning around in my head.  On top of it all there’s a knob for everything on this darn tripod – eek!!! i feel for my poor models having to wait patiently while i sort it all out.  Sorry guys!

     Anyway here are some examples of shots at varied shutter speeds I've taken during the week.

    Still portraits

    Shutter speed: 1/80", f/10
    Shutter speed: 1", f/36
    As you increase the size of your aperture, you let more light into your image sensor.  This requires a shorter shutter speed.  You can see in the above the photos the aperture sizes chosen by the camera are relatively small.  As the shutter speed slows down more light comes into the camera.

     Moving Shots

    These are examples of fast shutter speeds used to freeze motion
    Shutter speed: 1/250", f/5.6

    Shutter speed: 1/250", f/6.3
    These are example of slow shutter speeds used to capture motion blur
    Shutter speed: 1/30", f/11
    Shutter speed: 1/5", f/11
     As the shutter speed becomes slower, where there is rapid movement the motion is captured as a motion blur.  The bottom photo highlights the fact that i needed to place my camera on a tripod - yes Caryline i hear you - "remember to use a tripod for shutter speeds under 1/60th second"

    Panning shot

    Panning a camera results in a motion similar to that of someone shaking their head from side to side (wikipedia)
    Shutter speed: 1/30", f/14
    Shutter speed: 1/10", f/18

     My panning shots were a bit of a fail, i'm not 100% sure if i was doing it right - so i definitely need to practice this.  Above are the practice shots that we did in class, from what i remember if i do this panning shot right my subject should be in focus.
    f/8, 1/20, ISO 100
    This is one of my attempts, she got a bit bored of me and trotted off.  
    f/14, 1/60, ISO 100

    f/22, 1/60, ISO 100
    I got my subject to run back and forth