For this exercise you are going to find scenes or parts of scenes that are each dominated by a single one of the primary and secondary colours. To produce images that match the six colours closely, you may find that you have to make a number of attempts. Don’t feel frustrated at the difficulty of making an exact match with each example – you will be refining your own ability to judge these colours.
The open-endedness of this exercise – exemplified by the phrase “you may find that you have to make a number of attempts” – led me to wildly overshoot for this part of the course. The exercises here and the one on colour combinations merged into one long set of shoots that also began to overlap with getting the assignment done; one moment I’d see something RED and bracket it, the next I’d see something YELLOW set against VIOLET and bracket it too, then I’d see a contrasting colour highlight and take a candidate picture for the assignment. The next day I’d go to reshoot the bits that hadn’t come out as expected and then be distracted by something else.
Eventually, I realised I just had to stop and get the assignment finished as a priority. Now, at the end of the course, I’ve returned to try to make some sense of the stuff I got lost in nearly a year ago. Here are the most exemplary versions of each of the six colours. The way the colours behave as they are move from over to underexposure is described in a hugely subjective way in the text that goes alongside them. Continue reading
the back garden, early
“This is an exercise to demonstrate some of the advantages of shooting when the sun is low. Obviously, there is no sudden moment in the day when the sunlight switches between low and high but, as a guide, the sun is low within about two hours of sunrise and sunset, except in winter when it stays low for much of the day. In summer, this may not be a convenient time to go out shooting, but the results from getting up really early can be very rewarding. You can choose any subjects for this project, but they must be in sunlight.”
– AoP Coursebook
So, while he was down for the bit between Christmas and Hogmanay, I dragged James out for a walk down by the River Lea. When we were heading back home over the derelict golf course the light had dipped far enough to try out this exercise. The instruction was:
Take as many pictures as possible, but aim to produce four as a final result. If in doubt, bracket your exposures. If you can, complete all these pictures on one occasion. There is a tremendous variety of lighting, and you can capture this variety by changing your view point.
You can’t just assume with a 12 year old, but James was willing to pose and to turn this way and that so, here are the results: Continue reading
“You will need a sunny day for this exercise, or else sun at different times on differentdays. You are going to photograph one scene from dawn to dusk. The number of pictures you take will depend on the time of year, but get at least one per hour, and more at the end of the day when the light is changing faster. Find a landscape location with a fairly definite subject that will catch the sunlight even when the sun is close to the horizon. It needs to offer a good, clear view that is lit throughout the day – containing an isolated building, perhaps, but convenient to reach, as you will need to keep going back to exactly the same spot. Try and keep the composition exactly the same for all the photographs; either remember which parts of the scene touch obvious points in the viewfinder (such as the corners or any markings on the screen) or draw a little sketch. Keep a note of the exposure for each photograph”
– AOP Coursebook.
I took these pictures over the course of three days, way back in November. I’d set my tripod up, leaning into the velux window in the attic, looking out from my work-room (it’s where I’m sitting typing now) to the northeast. The view was open to the south so the light would pass over the view revealing detail and creating shifting shadows for the whole of the period of daylight. Continue reading
I have finished working through the exercises from The Art of Photography, but have not managed to write all of them up into post-able combinations of pictures and prose. Similarly there are exhibitions I have been to and books I have read that have generated drafts which still need some work. I’m not going to start Context and Narrative for a couple of weeks (it’s always good to have a breather; I don’t think I could do two courses simultaneously either). And lastly, I need to do some basic neatening to get everything ready to be submitted in September for the November Assessment Event.
So, the next few posts here will mostly consist of exercises and reviews, well out of sequence (either in course terms or in terms of when I did something.
I need to work out how to display (and navigate) the material in a better sequence than the simple chronological by posting date one that wordpress defaults to, and I suspect it has to do with Pages. Let’s see…
“Imagine a magazine cover on one subject: rain. You have the entire cover space to work in, and you should produce a single, strong, attractive photograph that leaves no one in doubt about the subject. This is first an exercise in imagination, not always easy, and second an exercise in producing a photograph to a specification.”
This is what I settled on – the view from upstairs on a bus, as a woman with an umbrella crosses the road in front of us. As it is a magazine cover, it needs to be in portrait format; I cropped down to match the roughly 4:5 dimensions of the Guardian Weekend. There is plenty of space for text to be superimposed upon the image. It works as a compendium of many of the ideas I examined while working on this exercise, during the couple of properly rainy days we’ve had recently. Continue reading
“Produce one photograph in which it can be seen that something has happened. As a suggestion, include in the photograph something that has been either broken, or emptied” – AoP Coursebook
Not a set up shot, but rather then end of an afternoon’s digging out the borders when the sunlight had sunk to the point where it no longer lit the brick air-raid shelter, but was still pointing up the uneven, freshly dug earth. It’s fairly obvious what has happened and the angles of lines running through the frame and the division of the space work nicely, I think, but it would be better if the pile of dug up grass and other weeds was more obviously different from the raggedy lawn which only got cut the next weekend.