Sunday, 28 November 2010

Exercise: Measuring Exposure

This exercise is in two parts, first we are to produce four images that are lighter or darker than average and make comments. The second part is to produce five or six photographs of any subject, for each one we are to make five exposures: -1.0, -05, 0, +0.5, +1.0 stops. I first had to read my camera manual as the default step for my camera was 1/3 stop! We are then asked to comment on which versions are acceptable and if they were how we expected the image to appear.

The first image was that of a dark BBQ cover, here the camera has over exposed the shot to make it an overall grey colour which is not true.

The second image is that of a door, in this case the image is under exposed as the major of the image is supposed to be bright white. The camera once again has gone for a metering that tries to obtain an overall grey image.

This image is similar to the first and is over exposed, the paintwork on the car is a very deep black but here looks almost grey.

Firstly, apologies for the rather drab image of washing. Not exactly Persil white here again as the camera has opted for an underexposed image.

The following 5 exposures of a wood store all work in one way or another (expose compensation is shown in the left bottom corner). The overexposed images could show a sunny day, in fact this image was taken against a north facing wall so there would not have been any sunlight here.In the over exposed images show a great contrast which appeals to me and gives more depth.

The next sequence of 5 images has different results, The over exposed ones are too over exposed and the image is washed out. The zero compensation image is a good rendition of the original but I actually prefer the under exposed images with more contrast and intensity.

This sequence taken of a modern church does not work at all on under exposed images. It is a white building and the camera has over compensated, therefore the only true likenesses are the over exposed images.

The next set once gain show that over exposure doesn't seem to work in my garden shots whereby the image is just washed out. This was taken in sunshine so the light would have been strong. I much prefer the darker images with more contrast, they also show more detail in the Gnome.

The final images of this exercise were taken on the bank of the Thames. I chose this composition as I believe that all of the images work well here. The over exposed show a bright sunny day, although some of the highlights have come through too strong. The under exposed show great contrast and colour. The shot were taken around 4 pm in Autumn which I think also helped in not having such harsh sunlight.

The Photograph

Today I have finished the book that accompanied the OCA Course The Art of Photography, aptly titled The Photograph by Graham Clarke.

I found this book quite facinating, but at the same time very hard going. At first I was unsure where this book was taking me but I persivierred and am glad that I did as this book has given me insight into a world I had not appreciated. The use of traditional photographs from the 19th and Early 20th Centuries was quite an eye opener, many of the photographers here were clearly way ahead of thier time and preduced remarkable images with the technology available.

I found the chapter on The Body quite revealing as a photographic art form, quite challenging really. I was intrigued by some of Diane Arbus' images, I found these  of great interest and will need to looking into more of her work.

This book has helped me to hone into the areas of photography that I am interested which is predominantly Documentary, whether that be in landscapes or people. I found a lot of the photographs in the Documentary section really compelling and inspiring. Robert Haeberle's 'People about to be shot' [1969] in particular as well as Dorothea Lange 'Migrant Mother' [1936], I found to be particularly strong images?

The fine art section also opened my eyes. In this section I tried to image the photograph as a painting and whether or not people would want to place it in a frame and mount it on a prominent wall in their house? I think that all of the images in this section fit this criteria. One image I was really taken with was Edward Weston 'Nude' [1936] shown left. The way in which the body is constructed with the curves, lines and shadows, with the models face out of shot really does make a work of art from the human body. I have looked at other images Norton has done and think that this is by far the best I have seen.

One thing that struck me is that most classic images are still in black and white, which I like, using colour only to emphasise an element in the photograph.

In all a fine book which I will keep and revisit.