Saturday, 23 August 2014

Random: Ode to Dona!

Dona! you're my hero... this post is dedicated to my awesome classmate.

During classes i often take notes, either by hand or i would type them up.  When it comes time to post up notes on my blog i often refer to my handwritten notes or a few word documents on screen at the same time.  Yes, Yes i know time consuming!

Anyways lil miss Dona rocks up to my workstation during our break, sees the mess that is my collage of notes and suggests that i just post my notes on blogger and save the docs under each theme.  Huh i thought! what a brill idea, i never even considered that... so to miss Dona i say thank you for the great suggestion! its was such an A- HA moment that i couldn't help but blog about it. BTW, Dona - short for Donatella is 18 years old and has an amazing eye for photography.  She is my model for my light exercises.

Below are the blog addresses for the other wonderful students in our class, who i am also learning a lot from.  Some of us are total newbies (ME!) and others are pretty darn pros, check out their blogs as we journey though our photography class together.

Wk 5 Contrasting and complementing Colour Artists

David LaChapelle

An American fine arts photographer, film and video director.  He is noted as having an "exceptional talent in combining a unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages". (Davidlachapelle)

During the 80's he caught the eye of renowned leader of pop art Andy Warhol.  He was offered a job working for Andy Warhol  at interview magazine.  Where he shot his interpretation of celebrities for over 15 years.  David speaks of using beauty to draw the viewer in, this is evident in his use of beautiful models and colours  which are usually strong vibrant and placed in the image to attract the eye.

Title: The rape of Africa 2009 Artist: David LaChapelle 
In this image David LaChapelle uses contrast colours  of red, blue and yellows as well as complimentary colours such as orange and blue as well as violet and yellow.  The colours work to create harmony.  This piece uses colour to reinforce the theme of contrast.  The reds are the most dominant colour in this scene, it keeps my eye moving around the photo long enough to see the finer details of this piece.

I'm not a big fan of clutter, which David LaChapelle has a lot of in his photos.  However once i started to listen to what he's about and the concepts behind his work it really takes on a different way of looking at his work.

I didn't really know too much about David LaChapelle other than the Kardashian family Christmas card he shot last year.  He's a really interesting artist and i've enjoyed listening to his interviews and viewing his work online.  He has a great way of using colours to portray a message.

Mario Testino

A Peruvian fashion photographer known for his portraitures features in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair.  Chosen in 1997 as Diana, Princess of Wales photoshoot for Vanity Fair he has been employed by the British royal family ever since.  He is an iconic figure in the fashion business and have produced some of the defining images of an era.

Title: Carmen Kass 2012 Artist: Mario Testino

I love the colours in this photo, the colours on the model is segmented and add a boost of colour from such a small infusion.  These vibrant colours are contrast colours which are layered (just as the clothing on the model is) in front of the blue of the sky.  To add more depth Mario Testino uses fore, mid and background as well as a low angle shot capturing two thirds of the sky background. 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Wk 5 - Evaluative metering

We've been working in manual mode for a week.  I must say i do miss the priority modes because of their automatic functions.  I feel like such a newbie , i'm still finding my feet with all the functions of the camera i'm really glad we have the internet to dive into.  It's been a great tool to use paired with class content.  This way of learning is really beneficial to me.  My two go to sites are Digital Photography school which have heaps of tips and tutorials from a wide range of photographers and Eric Kim's Blog which provide a lot of tips, information and inspiration especially for new photographers.  I stumbled onto Eric Kim when i was doing research on my one of my weekly artists.  

With my photos, i've been sticking with the evaluative metering mode.  We have been asked to try out some of the other metering modes.  On the camera i am using - Canon EOS 1100, there are three metering modes, evaluative, partial and centre weighted.  Others have a four option called spot metering.  When in these modes the camera gives a meter which measures the reflected light.  To get the right exposure you need to ensure to place the arrow on to the 0 any numbers before the 0 will equate to an underexposed shot and any numbers after the 0 will equate to an overexposed shot.

The photos below are low angle portraits of my subject infront of the sun using the different metering modes:

f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 100
f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 100

Evaluative metering mode -The meter divides the scene up into zones, then analyzes each zone for highlight and shadow.  Then it takes an average for all the zones and determines the exposure based on that figure. 

The meter divides the scene up into zones, then analyzes each zone for highlight and shadow. It then takes an average for all the zones and determines the exposure based on that figure - See more at:
The subject is placed with the sun behind her.  In the evaluative metering mode the front of the subject is lit well.  The background seemed balanced and the rim light on her hair is very apparent.
f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 100
f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 100
Partial metering mode - The light in a smaller part of the scene is measured and the exposure is set based on that reading.  Effective when the background is much brighter than the subject. 

The readings were the same as the evaluative metering mode.
f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 100
f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 100
Centreweighted-Average metering mode - metering is weighted at the centre and then averaged for the entire scene.  This metering mode focus' attention to correctly exposing the subject. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Wk 5 - Let there be LIGHT!

Light - The source of all things right

There are several components to consider when using light all of which will influence how photos will come out.  These components are Direct light, Diffused light and Reflected light.

Direct light - Causes shadows.  Direct can be natural light ie sunlight or artificial light ie light streaming in from a window. 

f/8, 1/100, ISO 100
Here is my subject Miss Dona in direct light.  The light on Dona's face is uneven and only highlights the areas of her face that is in the direction of the light source. 

Diffused light – Light can be diffused either by shinning it through an object or by bouncing.  This will take out shadows.   The diffuser is used between the subject and sun allowing enough light to come through for subject to be lit up.  You can diffuse light without a diffuser by shooting on cloudy days, going into shady spots on a sunny day or shooting indoors.  A reflector is used to diffuse light, other types of materials that can be used as white diffusers are muslin and silk.  The best metering mode to use is evaluative.

f/8, 1/80, ISO 100
Here is Dona under a diffuser, as you can see the light is more even and there are no shadows.

Reflected light - This is used for shadow problems, of it there is a need for more light or for light to wrap around a subject.  Different colour papers can be used as reflectors.  The colours server to enhance the intensity or soften the light on the subject. 

Gold – casts a stronger light that gives a gold and warm appearance
White - casts a very soft, clean light.  In low light situations the white reflect must be very close to the subject
Silver – cooler appearance, good for low light or where a strong light is required
Black – black defines the edges does not diffuse light

f/8, 1/400, ISO 200
Here is Dona standing in front of the sun.  The back light is bright compared to front.  There is rim light, which differentiates Dona from her background.  This appears around her hair and on the side of arm.  To introduce more light in front of Dona, we used used a white and gold reflecter.

Dona with Gold reflecter

Dona with White reflecter

Below are more photos from our class exercises
f/8, 1/400, ISO100
While we were shooting we noticed the silhouette of the branches behind the diffuser which we used as a backdrop.  Here the light on Dona is diffused there is no front light.  The next photo you can see the difference when the white reflecter was used.
f/8, 1/80, ISO 100
I moved position at this time and zoomed up which caught the rim light on the side of Dona's hair.  Dona has a fantastic smile which is framed nicely by the branch and the side of the diffuser.  Too bad i didn't take note of the branch, it looks as though its going through her head doh!

Here are some photos taken with a diffuser and reflectors.
f/8, 1/200, ISO 100
 My subject without any reflectors

f/8,1/200, ISO 100
 This shot is my subject with a white reflector - the light is even over her face
This shot my subject has a gold reflector under her.  There is a warm glow around her face

f/8, 1/200, ISO 100
At this time the sun had come out from behind the clouds, this shot was taken under direct sunlight
f/8, 1/250, ISO 100
This shot was taken with the diffuser - you can see that the light is even over her face and a lot softer.

Wk 5 - Colour


Understanding how colours work is an art in itself.  We looked at the the colour wheel and how colours fit together.  Using colours to produce photos can be further enhance the mood of a photo.

The colour wheel has three primary colours (red, blue and yellow), these colours are mixed to make other colours. 

Colours can be split into temperatures. The wheel is divided through the middle from yellow/yellow green to violet/violet red with the warm colours based around the orange and the cool around the blue.
  • Warm colors — such as red, yellow, and orange; evoke warmth because they remind us of things like the sun or fire.
  • Cool colors — such as blue, green, and purple (violet); evoke a cool feeling because they remind us of things like water or grass.

 When warm colours and cool colours are used together they are called contrasting colours.
Another way of using colour is by matching colours which sit opposite each other on the colour wheel these are called complimentary colours. 
f/16, 1/60, ISO 100

Here is my example of contrasting colours.  Taken when the sun was setting in the Manukau Habour.  The warm colours are in the sunlight which has yellow orange and red orange.  The cool colours are reflected in the blue green of the sky and blue of the water.  To frame the shot, i chose branches from a tree.  I used lines of the hills, the branches and the reflection of the light on the water to move the eye around the photo and keep the viewers attention.

f4.5, 1/50, ISO 200

Here is my example of complimentary colours.  They are violet and yellow.  I can see that i didn't focus really well in this photo.  I can hear Ben Long from saying how the LCD doesn't provide an exact view of your photos.  I'm starting to realize how true this is, just over the last couple of days since we have been chasing the early morning and late afternoon light many of the photos which i thought were good have come up on photoshop nothing like i thought they would be.  I have learnt a few good lessons about this a) take more shots of the same subject in different angles b) use the tripod more c) slow down!!
f/16, 1/50, ISO 200  - Photoshop view
Camera view
 Well not entirely, i obviously photoshop'ed the second photo.  On my LCD screen the image looks a bit similar to that of the second photo.  Colours are different and also sometimes when i take a photo the photo on the screen looks like its in focus, but then when i open it up on bridge its not.

f/13, 1/30, ISO 1000
I have no idea why my ISO was sooooo high!!! eeeeh its just craziness
f/20, 1/20, ISO 3200
I just clicked why my ISO was up on that day - "confessions" i was having some trouble with my photos being underexposed so i switched the ISO onto auto while i adjusted the aperture and shutter speed obviously i didn't switch to manual settings when i took these.  

Anyway... i swear to you that when i took these photos they seemed pretty focused, but i do recall that when i was taking this the camera was having trouble focusing on it because of the colour.

Below are some colour examples -
f/5.6, 0.5, ISO 200
Complimentary colours - Red and Green
f/5.6, 1/6, ISO 200
 Complimentary colours - Orange and blue
f/5, 0.5, ISO 100
Complimentary colours - Violet and yellow

f/11, 0.3, ISO 800
Contrasting colours - yellow and blue
f/16, 1/60, ISO 100
Contrasting colours - yellowy orange and blue