Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Trees in the landscape

I feel as if I have only begun to explore my first project.

My aim here was to capture images illustrating trees and landscapes. I wanted to communicate something of the relationship between humans and trees, and how this characterizes the places where they exist - or existed - together.

Lots of the images need more work, and there are many more that I would like to take. But I had better leave this for now and concentrate on my next project.

Lots of different photographers have inspired this work, but there are four key ones:

 Fay Godwin

Edwin Smith

Ken Scott - not so easy to find, but some examples at this link:!prettyPhoto

and Henri Cartier Bresson

Here is a selection of some of the more successful shots:

50mm, ISO 200, 1/60, f1.8

Crimsworth Dean
17mm, ISO 100, 1/500, f3.5, polarizer, tripod

Musbury Clough
55mm, ISO 100, 1/125, f7.0, tripod

Barnfield Park
35mm, ISO 100, 1/30, f6.3

17mm, ISO 100, 1/30, f10, tripod

28mm, ISO 100, 1/640, f3.5, polarizer, tripod

New park, Salford 7
17mm, ISO 100, 1/160, f10

Garden, Prestwich
55mm, ISO 100, 1/125, f4.5

Dunham Massey Deer Park
17mm, ISO 100, 1/200, f5

Housing development, Salford 7
35mm, ISO 100, 1/80, f5, polarizer

Kersal Moor
35mm, ISO 320, 1/400, f8

St Paul's Churchyard, Salford
55mm, ISO 100, 1/10, f16, tripod

Abandoned railway, Clifton
50mm, ISO 200, 1/80, f2.8, tripod

50mm, ISO 100, 1/1000, f2.0

Dunham Massey
55mm, ISO 100, 1/100, f8

Old schoolyard, Salford
20mm, ISO 200, 1/200, f8

Kersal Moor
55mm, ISO 200, 1/100, f13

Near Kiln Field, Helmshore
55mm, ISO 200, 1/5000, f2.8

Near Junction 17, M60
28mm, ISO 800, 4sec, f11, fill in flash, tripod

Rushy Leach, Musbury
28mm, ISO 200, 1/2000, f2.8

Swinton Grove Park, Ardwick
50mm, ISO 200, 1/640, f3.5

17mm, ISO 200, 1/800, f2.8

New park, Salford 7
35mm, ISO 100, 1/250, f4, polarizer

Edith Tudor-Hart: Quiet Radicalism

This was the title of an exhibition I went to see at the Open Eye gallery in Liverpool in March.

 Family, Stepney c.1932

Austrian born Edith Tudor-Heart was a photographer, Communist-sympathiser and spy for the Soviet Union who used photography as a tool to communicate her political ideas.

Whitechapel c.1935

After studying at Bauhaus, she fled Vienna in 1933 to escape persecution and settled in Britain. She became an early photojournalist and was later instrumental in setting up the notorious Cambridge Spy Ring.

Gee Street, Finsbury c.1936

During the 1930's much of her work documented the living conditions of working communities in London, the North of England and Wales.

Fountain Hospital, London 1951

Following the war her focus shifted towards social care (her own son suffered from schizophrenia). She produced some amazing and compassionate images that were used in print campaigns for children with special needs and disabilities.

This was a very small exhibition but hugely impressive. I think this is reportage work of the highest order.

All images copyright the estate of Edith Tudor-Heart/Wolf Suschitzky and thanks to the OE Gallery for some excellent notes.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Colour temperature and white balance

Over the last two months I have been experimenting with the camera settings a good deal. And I have been spending a lot of time sitting around reading the manual.
The whole issue of colour, how it is recorded and how it changes according to the temperature of the light is really interesting.

 So some of these experiments have been pretty laid back (!) - but little differences (for example in colour and white balance) can be adjusted in camera.. that I can really fine tune which colours and tones I want to emphasize... the whites appear...
 ..and all this can give each image a subtly different look.

On the other hand, the effects can be dramatic. Taking a custom white balance setting from something blue...
 ..gets some interesting effects.

Or maybe red:

I like this; it's lots of fun, and something creative to play around with. It also mirrors what is possible in post-production.
I have been learning to use - and experimenting with - software like Aperture, Photoshop and Lightroom (above) over the last few weeks. The adjustments that can be made are very sophisticated, with the basic tools in Camera Raw just the beginning.
The effects of colour temperature changes are interesting when you are turning colour shots like this..
50mm, ISO 200, 1/640 at f3.5
..into black and white:
The same shot with a yellow filter and some other processes applied.