Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Assignment 5 - Applying the techniques of illustration

The aim of the last assignment was to tell a story with pictures, and apply some of the techniques described in this part of the course.

I decided to create a travel guide or a small brochure for somebody traveling around Estonia, and took one place outside Tallinn as an example of where the one could go. It is a small town on the north-western part of the country - Paldiski.

First of all, I will show the images that I have included into the assignment.

The first picture is a view of the coast line. Probably, it is one of the most interesting things to see in Paldiski. That's why, I would put it on the cover page of the brochure.

18mm; f/13.0; 1/80 sec; ISO 200

Starting the story with arrival to the place...

18mm; f/5,6; 1/160; ISO 200

12mm; f/7.1; 1/160sec; ISO 200

The only reason to shoot this cat with wide angle lens was to manage to catch this moment...

12mm; f/7.1; 1/160 sec

The next two pictures I would use in combination, as an example of juxtaposition, and showing some of the interesting objects on the coast...

90mm; f/10.0; 1/200; ISO 200

14mm; f/13; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

 The next one is to continue the story about the the coastline that was started on the cover of the brochure.

14mm; f/13.0; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

Continue the story with a couple of shots from the town itself, and another example of juxtaposition...

12mm; f/6.3; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

92mm; f/6.3; 1/60 sec

And as a separate chapter of the trip - some pictures of the industrial part of the town..

These pictures are more like strange symbols of industrial content of the town - black leaves, bricks, walls on the background, broken windows, and a graffiti - "Merry Nuclear Christmas" and "Do not Smoke!".

65mm; f/5.6; 1/80 sec

38mm; f/5.6; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

A couple of very straightforward objects of industrial content of the town.

65mm; f/6.3; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

18mm; f/6.3; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

And  a logical final shot for the trip - getting dark, sun going down... the end of the trip...

185mm; f/6.3; 1/125 sec; ISO 200

And here is the brochure that I would put together with the pictures above. This would be a small brochure, from three parts, that are put together, and can be one of those advertising stuff that can be normally found for free in the hotel, trains or bus stations, airports, etc.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Exercise 5.5 - Juxtaposition

For this task the main idea was to photograph the objects that would have connection with each other. This was the easiest part of the exercise.

90mm; f/3.2; 1/13 sec; 
white balance - incandesce; 
with flash and diffusing filter 

And I would use this picture as an illustration to the book of poems. However, I would use the shot with another white balance, if it was to illustrate the book. The background should look a bit colder and contrast with red berries. 

Furthermore, I would even play a bit with the background and colours and wold eliminate all other than red colours from the picture.

This would be a small book with short poems, one on every page. And the name of this book would be something like "The Colour of the Soul" (of course, written in some thin Italic style). And the colour of the berries would depend on the poems in the book. 
At the moment I left them as dark red... Switch on your imagination to think of the poems that would be associated with this colour...   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Exercise 5.4 - Rain

The main idea of this exercise was to illustrate the rain in one picture, keeping it simple, trying to avoid middle-distance shots of rainy street, trying to make it attractive.

Well... I don't know, how attractive it is, but I personally like the shot I have made. This is rain from behind the window. And I could not choose, which shot I like more, so I decided to place both of them here.

46mm; f/9.0; 1/125 sec 

30mm; f/8.0; 1/80sec

The first thought that I have, looking at these two shots is that it was very rainy that day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Exercise 5.3 - Symbols

The idea of this exercise was to list the symbols for several subjects. For some of those I have even found some pictures taken by myself some time ago.

1. Growth:

The first thing that comes to my mind is growing tree or a flower.

2. Excess 

It can be anything. One thing that could definitely work is the excess of snow we had in Estonia previous winter.

3.  Crime 

There are several options possible as well:  from dark streets to the strangers in the streets and views of the old prisons. One of those I have found among my pictures:

4. Silence 

Here I have chosen the picture of the sea during sundown. It always leaves the impression of patience and silence. The single person on the picture adds up to the composition.

 5. Poverty

The best shots that I could come up with were from one local market in Shanghai. The second shot would also work for excess subject.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Exercise 5.2 - Evidence of action

The idea of this task was to show some action or something that has happened with just one shot.
As I was shooting my niece during her aerobics competition just recently, I decided to use one of these shots for this task. I thought that it was illustrative enough for this exercise.

200mm; f/6.3; 1/200sec; ISO 800

The lighting was not very good in the sport hall. And to have the picture of the moving child sharp enough, I had to use the high ISO sensitivity. 

I think that the posture, the moving hand and the face show exactly what is needed to show here. It is the aerobics performance, and the child is trying really hard to make it good. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Exercise 5.1 - A narrative picture essay

For this task I had to choose an event and create an essay with pictures only. In other words, take right pictures in right place and put them in right sequence. I decided even no to bother specifying the exposure values for this task, as the main point of the exercise was to tell the story of he event. So, here it is...

I have chosen a local bikers festival for this task. The whole event has started from the the main square of the city Narva, which is in north-eastern part of Estonia. Over 1500 bikers come there once a year from al over the Europe.

They made a tour around the town all together, showing their bikes to all the public interested in the event. 


When taking these pictures, I tried to use panning technique as much as possible, to have the object frozen and background blurred, showing the movement of the objects.

After the town tour all bikers parked on another square, where all public could go around and explore different kinds of bikes and scooters, take pictures of cool bikers, have a chat with them, as k questions, if they were interested in knowing something about bikers experience.




As was a bit limited by the format of blogspot.com, I could not put the shots in the right angles. And as part of bike festival, there was also exhibition of retro bikes and bikers accessories. However, I removed these pictures, as they did not fit nicely into the whole sequence and did not add too much to the story.

That's basically it... how it was this summer at Narva bike festival...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Assignment 4 - Applying lighting techniques

The purpose of the assignment was to apply different lighting to the same object in order to show different properties of the subject.

There were 5 different properties to show:
1. Shape - stressing the edges and with minimum focus on the details of the object
2. Form - show as much of volume of the object as possible, playing with shadows
3. Texture - showing more of the details of the object
4. Colour - playing with exposure settings, show as much colour of the object as possible

Though there were different options of using artificial light during this part of the course, I decided to use more of natural lighting and play more with background and shadows together with the sun light.

For this assignment I have chosen the white flower Calla as a subject and went to the seashore to use natural shadows and sand and water as a background for the pictures. I have also made a couple of shots inside and with artificial light to practice a bit more of different lighting.  

For all shots I have used my macro lens Tamron 90mm f/2.8. For a couple of shots I also used flash Nikon SB-700 with diffusing filter on it. For all pictures the white balance was set at daylight and ISO 200 applied.

1. Shape

f/4.0; 1/4000 sec;

f/4.0; 1/4000 sec

f/3.5; 1/3200sec

On all three pictures the background contrasts with the object in a way to stress the shape of the object. However, I would say that the first two shots work better for showing the shape, because there is more of the background seen on the shot and the f/4.0 allows to have edges sharper and stress the shape of the flower the best.
I would choose the second shot as the best one, because there is minimum of the details and the angle of shooting shows the shape of the object the best.

2. Form
f/3.2; 1/100 sec

f/3.2; 1/125 sec

These shots were taken inside and the flash with diffusing filter was used here. I put the flower against the sunlight, added some blue and green colours to the background to stress the contrast and highlight the volume of the flower. Because the sun itself created too harsh shadows, I used the flash with a filter to diffuse some of the unnecessary light. I have also experimented with shutter speed here. These two shots seem to give the best results. And the second one with shutter speed of 1/125 sec seems to work the best, because it gives slightly more shadows, giving more volume to the object.  

3. Texture
f/4.0; 1/4000 sec

f/8.0; 1/2500

f/3.2/ 1/500 sec

Here I experimented with both lighting and background to show texture in different ways. On the first picture the texture is mostly represented by the background. Water and sand together give nice impression of the texture surrounding the object. The slight shadow on the white part of the bloom also gives some sense of texture. On the second picture I came possibly close to the object, decreased aperture to f/8.0 in order to show the texture of the bigger area of the surface, and here i focused 100% on the texture of the bloom, ignoring the background.  And on the third picture I made the aperture possibly large (f/3.2) in order to give a depth of field that would be enough to feel the texture of the central yellow part of the flower. I also used the flash with diffuser to avoid unnecessary shadows that would distract attention from the main focus area. I still doubt about using the flash with diffuser in this case.
To me all three might be counted as pictures representing "texture" in different ways. However, the second one seems to work the best, because the texture is shown not by some small part of the image, but by the image as a whole.

4. Colour

f/5.0; 1/4000 sec

f/5.0; 1/4000 sec

f/3.5; 1/500 sec

For the last part of the assignment I tried two different ways to bring out the white colour of the flower. On the first two shots I tried to use the purple dark background that would help to highlight the white colour of the flower itself. I used the aperture of f/5.0 in order to make the edges sharp enough to be in contrast with purple and green colours. I could not decide, whether I like the horizontal or the vertical option of the shot more and published both for the assignment. On the third shot I did it the other way around. I made aperture bigger (f/3.5), used flash with a diffuser and used longer shutter speed of 1/500 sec. In this way, there are no details (because of depth of field caused by big aperture), no shadows because of flash and diffuser, and the whole picture is light and soft, which in general creates the sense of white colour and purity. I think that the third picture works the best for this assignment. 

Though I did not use too many special means for this assignment (special diffuser, foils, incandescent or fluorescent light), I tried to show as much as possible by sing natural light and flash unit. I also tried to show the needed properties by experimenting with background.

The part 4 in general was very useful for trying different lighting techniques and experimenting with different tools to reach some special results.