Sunday, 27 March 2011

Assignment 5 Ideas

For the last assignment I've decided to document a process I'm going through at the moment which is programming an Android app. This may seem a bit random, but I like the approaches that people have taken showing a recipe being followed, and rather than capture and event, I want to show a narrative of something I can control and am involved in. It means I have to use myself as model, which takes myself out of my comfort zone, and I can save a few favours for when I am doing PaP next.
Here are my initial ideas, which may make no sense to anyone but myself :-)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

OCA Rollwithit Competition entry

Putting a brick, then my camera in the loo was worth it!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Exercise 45 - Rain


I read this exercise a while ago so the next time I saw rain, I started taking some pictures. I decided not to use any of the rain pictures produced for the lighting section as I wanted to take pictures with the idea of a magazine cover focused in my mind.


After I took the photos I waited until I got the the exercise. I've done this in advance of exercises 43 and 44 but mainly because I want to mull over the symbols for a bit and frankly I was looking forward to this one so I skipped ahead!
I've never done any type-facing or layout before so this was really fun. The following covers were made in order shown with the last one being my favourite.

This is my first attempt. I didn't want to go with a weather themed magazine cover and I must admit, I was a bit stumped about what sort of magazine would have rain as a cover story. So I don't know if this is the wrong way round, but I took the photos first and came up with the idea second.

I like this cover and I think it works well. The image shows the possible perspective of someone looking out their window and considering the dismal prospect of not being able to hang their laundry!

This was my next attempt. I really liked the rain image, but I don't think it works as a cover shot as the branches are too prominent.
Also, I had to use colour backdrops with most of the text to make it readable.
This doesn't work, and doesn't look like a real cover.
So this was abandoned.

Then I used my last, and favourite photo. 
I like the image because it's not immediately obvious what it is a picture of, and from a layout perspective the blurs caused by the rain on the window allow for easy to read text so...

After playing around with it, here is the final image.
I'm really pleased with this and think it fulfills the task requirements well.

Exercise 43 - Symbols

A thought exercise! I haven't done one of these since an Oxford Philosophy distance learning course I did years ago.
Anyway, thinking of symbols for a number of concepts. I need more than one symbol for each subject and a short note explaining how I could use it in a photograph.

seeds, saplings, vines.
Nature springs to mind immediately. You could have a series of marks on a door frame with a child's age written next to it. A certain mind set might verge towards some more adult symbolism!
I think if I was to take a single photograph to represent growth, I would probably lie flat on the ground, find a sprouting blub and use the fish eye lens - which I'm a bit obsessed with at the moment.

Food! Burger wrappers spilling out of a bin, Gregs bags which contribute to so much litter.
Symbols of excess should be immediate and in your face. I like the idea of taking a picture of a man with a load of gold jewellery and teeth or a woman wearing furs standing in a grand hallway with lots of gaudy chintz.
Being realistic, if I were to take this photo now, I'd go for food excess and get someone swigging a milkshake whilst they had food down their face and a burger in their hand. Food excess is the easiest to access to seems like a lazy choice, but because it is the easiest to access, it's one of our societies biggest problems.

Symbols of crime are often closely associated with symbols of punishment, a masked man, striped prison tops, multiple arrows, bars, locks, crowbars etc.
I'd like to take a picture that showed corporate crime where a man could be seen at a desk in a respectable shot, but there were small indicators around the scene that indicate his criminal nature. There could be some files marked confidential, a report of fraud, a variety of credit cards in different names, or passports with different names and the same man in each of them. There could be a small bag of concrete on the floor leaning on the desk with some rope and a pair of black leather gloves etc.

Symbols for silence, hmm, this is a more difficult one. A gagged man, one of those orange bills like the gimp in pulp fiction wore. Silence can be evoked by emptiness, a room with the door left open or a dark street at night. Anywhere where there should be, but arent people. An empty escalator. I'd take a picture of two people sat staring at each other with their mouths closed.


Poverty can be shown through symbols of waste, dereliction and most importantly through people. Where clothes are torn or dirty and people look malnourished or diseased.

this is a difficult one to plan a photo for. I wouldn't want to take a photo of real poverty under these circumstances and faking it seems brutal. An empty purse would be a good work around. Or a bank statement with a hefty minus figure.

Exercise 44 - Juxtaposition

I wanted to do The Lion The Witch And The Wardobe for this but despite having a very lion-like cat called Aslan I couldn't find a witch or mini wardrobe!

So a quick glance at the bookshelf and I saw Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors, a collection of short stories.

And I came up with this. What I like about it is that the name of the book is also the same as a common phrase so the juxtaposition between the candle, smoke and mirror creates and obvious meaning.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Exercise 42 - Evidence of Action

This image shows evidence of an event. There are 2 main props, the empty wallet, the bloody knife and the obscured body.

I used my fish eye so that the edges of the scene were warped and the eye would be drawn to the centre of the image which is where all of the evidence is.

Evidence of Action

Looking at it now, I should have moved the objects around a bit to make the eye search the image, but it works ok as it is.

I decided to do the image as an HDR because I haven't done one for ages. I took nine exposures, three using auto-exposure bracketing and six using white balance bracketing. I then merged them in photoshop.

I used the self timer and posed in the shot myself.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Assignment 4 - Feedback

Recieved my feedback for assignment 4.

Overall Comments
You have done well with this assignment David; You have fulfilled the briefs well in that you have used a variety of lighting techniques to get the best out of the 4 themes of shape, form, texture and colour.

I have one or two issues with some of the submissions and will go into detail in my comments on the individual images, but generally they are well executed and show a lot of thought and consideration.

I'm pleased about this bit too:
I have commented in the past about including some information about the influences of other photographers work and it’s good to see you doing this on this occasion


Frustrating comment:

Frustrating because I always get this mixed up!

Favourite comment:

Colour 2
I really like your use of the blue ice bunny to contrast the brass colour of the bunny – it shows good imagination and a useful influence of another photographer

Simon made a cropping suggestion which I will think about and also pointed out that my WB might have been a bit off on another. He suggested that I could have taken some shots of the back of the bunny, I did try one, seen here

but it lost something for me.

I'm going to continue with the exercises for part 5 and then after that is submitted, work through changes and fixes for all the assignments.
You talk of possibly using a wider aperture to increase detail but wanted to keep the background blurred. I think that you mean you could have used a narrower aperture (smaller hole) ie something like f8 or f11. Widening the aperture say to f5.6 or even f2.8 will result in a narrower depth of field.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Focus on Imaging

Went to Focus On Imaging today. It was good, Canon had pulled out which was a bit of a shame, as I am a canon fanboy! But the expo was good, I listened to a few demonstrations but it was more hard sell than educational.

This is my favourite image from the day, which I have played around with in photoshop. I didn't take my SLR and there werent many photo opportunities.

Next exercise idea


I saw this Guardian Eyewitness photo and thought you should see it:

Get the Guardian Eyewitness app for iPad for free by visiting

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Exercise 41 - A Narrative Picture Essay

Pre-Shoot Planning - see previous post 

Post Shoot Thoughts:
This went well, but I'm not going to write much about it, as a narrative picture essay, it should tell its own story: