Monday, September 28, 2009

CI 1.3 "Working the Subject...100 Creative Ways"

From CI 1.3 "Working the Subject...100 Creative Ways"

Reflections on the experience of shooting this assignment...

I loved the experience of focusing intently and shooting my three objects from all sorts of different angles, f-stops, shutter speeds, depths-of-field, focal lengths and so on. I purposely chose three objects with which I felt I could tell a story. Once I set up the first scene, I found that there was essentially no end to the possibilities of different feelings and moods that could be conveyed by using different depths-of-field, and framing within the shots. The assignment went quickly, and I wanted to take more than 100 shots.

One of my three objects was a dragon statue with a long, curved tail. I found it effective to crop the tail (in-camera) at certain points along the curves of tail, feeling that the direction of the tail outside the frame would be implied by the portions of the tail that were inside the frame. I also found that the tail itself made a nice natural framing within some of the photos. By thoughtful use of depth-of-field, I was able to choose which elements of each photo would be in or out of focus. Sometimes the particular depth-of-field used was effective, and sometimes not. Likewise, in-camera cropping produced results that sometimes worked, sometimes not. In the cases where cropping did not work, it was because either not enough, or too much, of the particular element was included within the frame.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DT 2.1 Lines - Check out my slideshow

I found the main challenge while shooting this assignment to be the quality of the light. Because of time constraints, I found myself shooting, for the most part, from around 3:00 pm until around 4:30 pm (or there-abouts). The light wasn't the best. I did get out and shoot in the evening as well, and I had fun playing with some longer exposures and the lines made by the tail lights of cars and the lines of streetlights.

Another challenge is getting used to shooting in JPEG. Up until now, I've only been shooting in RAW, and it pains me to post unedited, untouched photos. But this is what I'm here to learn, isn't it - how to nail the shot to begin with. Also, remembering to check the white balance with each shot; in RAW you can change that after the fact without altering the quality of the photo.

An interesting experience I noticed when reviewing the photos is that the very first one I took for the assignment - the one with the wooden fence casting shadows on the sidewalk - is I think the most interesting of the lot. It has a definite rhythm and texture to it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Digi Techniques - Lesson 2 - In Class Activity

My favourite genre of photography? I guess if I had to name one, it would be "abstract photography". Abstract (adj.): of or pertaining to the formal aspect of art, emphasizing lines, colors, generalized or geometrical forms, etc., esp. with reference to their relationship to one another. From that point of view, you could say that a close-up of a bug's eye could be an abstract of the whole bug. A landscape of the Gunn Creek valley in Riding Mountain Nat'l Park is an abstract of the earth. And a photo of our planet is an abstract of the universe. So, I figure I've got the bases covered. So, there it is.

As for what I hope to learn in school this year... I want to gain confidence in my shooting, particularly if shooting for a client. I also want to learn to use on-camera flash, flash in general, and be able to make great portraits using flash. News flash: I'm not so great with flash. Lightroom is another thing I am very keen on learning. (Bridge sucks... I knew that on some level, but it has now become abundantly clear.)

One of my photographic memories would be from Thailand and framing up a good shot. It was good enough that I had to get my partner at the time to look through the camera so I could show it to her. When I picked up the photos from the lab, the woman working there said, "Hey, this here photo, you should enter it in our 'Picture Summer and Win! (TM)' contest." So I did, not thinking much of it. Some months later, I got a phone call saying I had one first place in my category, and they gave me a Nikon F60. Which was pretty sweet since I was already a Nikon shooter, having purchased my first serious camera - a Nikon FM10 - specifically for that trip to Thailand.