New Blog….

Following on from several succesful (I think) Street photography trips to London, and a Canon Sponsored double page feature in this months Photography News… and in no way connected to the fact this blogs limit is bulging and spilling over.

I am creating a brand new self hosted website centering around my street and urban photography adventures it’s also connected to my INSTAGRAM

Announcing…..

Londonist Captures

The intent is to showcase some of my imagery from London and other towns and citys as well as eventually be a guide to those places for fellow creatives.

You’ll see images such as these.

Please do consider taking a look and perhaps subscribing to the site as I would love it to grow.

London Street at 35mm

I must admit to being a tad forgetful when it comes to updating the blog these past few months. I am so busy flitting here and there trying to find a style, a niche or a type of photography I enjoy.

Recently I’ve been taking a few trips to London and trying some varied styles of street photography. Here are just a few images from a recent trip.

As you can see they vary widely in not only colour, composition and style but also subject. All have one thing in common that they are taken at 35mm on my Eos R, a camera that I love.

The hardest shoot ever..

So as many people who read this blog will know, I have a fear of shooting people. Actually that’s not strictly true, I thoroughly dislike shooting people in any way, shape or form. It’s not that I dislike people or the art of shooting them, it’s the fact I have absolutely no idea how to pose them, how to accurately tell their story in a shot and how to then edit that to its fullest. It just sets off my anxiety… It’s something I need to work on.

I’ll be honest I’d much rather be in a field shooting deer, birds or insects than in a studio space or room shooting humans for any reason.

So with that in mind I totally went against every instinct I have and I agreed to help a fellow (now ex) RACC student when she shot a friends wedding. It was without doubt the biggest learning curve I have had and I’m not entirely sure I could even glean a little satisfaction from it. In fact it’s almost cemented my view that I cannot happily shoot people and animals are much much easier.

From the onset it was hard going, a Dimly lit venue with terrible lighting, no flash could be used and outside it was absolutely pouring down, which ruled out the lovely shots in the park or sunshine that initially we thought would be great.

In some shots we were hitting iso 12800 which luckily the 5d mark 4 can handle pretty well. Out of the 1000 or so images I took there are perhaps 80 usable and decent quality images to select a set which is actually surprising given the terrible lighting at the venue.

Trying to get and arrange a large group of people to pose, smile and cooperate when half pissed and hungry was a challenge in itself and one I can only admire wedding photographers for dealing with.

So putting all that aside I thought I’d show 1 image from day which I am pleased with. Backlit by a window in the world’s smallest bridal room I hope I managed to make it a nice shot.

Many lessons learned from that day, not least that weddings are not my forte unless it’s one of those kooky animal ones in a forest somewhere.

I will (no doubt) go against my instincts and try again and again because I suppose you can never stop trying new things and learning.

Level 3 in review

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 2, 4, 5

It’s come to the end of my level 3 course and, obviously, I am more than a Little sad that it’s over to be honest.

I won’t be doing level 4 at RACC as they don’t offer the course, for the next term, but will continue on my little journey somehow with some good friends I have met along the way on these courses. Perhaps at a photo club or Society or perhaps I may drop in and pester Zig at RACC every so often just to keep him on his toes 🙂

So what have I learned this year, well to begin with, an appreciation of the art form and its deeper meanings. I have further learned to look past the image and explore what the photographer is trying to tell us either through composition, tone, texture or colour and content. There is no set pattern to what to expect from a photo and as the art is always evolving you must evolve with it and explore new ways you can portray your work.

Alongside this I have felt encouraged to experiment with techniques and styles I hadn’t before and to not be afraid to go wrong in trying those styles.

I have Learned to critique images, both my own and others, and to use that critique make selective judgements on how to present a flowing set of images or project that gels with a particular theme or approach to a subject matter or topic.

To see the tones and lines within images that “join” them with others to create a meaning or conscious collection of similar work. To objectively select images and also discard those that do not meet criteria or objectives.

I have also learned a bit more about the Importance of different media types for different Images or approaches to printing for different markets or uses. Different images or edits may affect what media you use as will the setting, lighting, framing and audience.

So here is a gallery of images taken during the level 3 course from all projects and terms both final images and prospective ones as well as other test images and such.

Visiting Rachael Talibart’s studio

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 1, 3

Had a very good and inspiring morning today, visiting Rachael Talibart’s open studio as part of the Surrey open studio month. I discussed her stunning work previously HERE

Set in the grounds of her lovely house in Weybridge she has a beautiful studio/gallery setup and I had a pleasant few hours fuelled by tea and cakes chatting about all her work and some of her techniques and methods, as well as seeing her photographic equipment.

Had the chance to discuss my projects. With her and she loved the idea of the rust Images I had taken as a transformation idea, and it turns out she had done some very similar work.

We spent time talking about the best way of printing and display and I will definately be booking a workshop or 2 with her in the future at the coast.

An extremely interesting and inspiring day which will bear fruit along the road.

A single shot – but it’s my favourite

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 2, 4, 5

Just had to Post this one single shot from my time In Dorset as its my favourite image. Desaturated totally I find this beach shot to be stunning and quite abstract. Taken on the Canon M5, A spur of the moment whilst on the beach with my daughter.

The more I look at the Image, the more I see patterns in the sand and shells.

Transformation – Coastal texture

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 2, 4, 5

A quick outing to Mudeford Quay today brought some Interesting textures. Following the line of thought of Transformation of surface Definately possibilities for the Final project. Yet to figure out whether these would be best presented in colour or black and white but I like both so the choice may not be easy. The vivid colours of the rust look just as eye-catching in black and white. These are basic edits so there is further exploration to be done here.

The macro lens really helped here most of these tiny scenes are less than 5cm long. All present a tiny abstract view of the object, a total disconnect from its reality.

From rust eating away at a ships anchor to peeling paint on a boat through to the bark peeling away from a tree. All symbolise a material transformation brought on by decay of one form or another. And a transformation of perception of the actual subject.

I’ll continue this during the weeks other visits.

Transformation – Aaron Siskind

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

More and more I am finding myself drawn to the theme of Rust, Rot and Decay as previously blogged HERE. Today, as part of our visit to The Shape of Light exhibition at the Tate, One photographer in the surfaces and textures themed room of the exhibition stood out to me as someone who very much encapsulated the type of images I have recently been taking, and considering as an approach for this term, and that is Aaron Siskind. Here’s a quick bio.

Aaron Siskind (December 4, 1903 – February 8, 1991) was an American photographer. He is considered to be closely involved with, if not a part of, the abstract expressionist movement.
Aaron Siskind was born to a Russian-Jewish immigrant family in New York City. The first art forms to catch his interest were poetry and music, which led him to believe he would become a writer. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School, Siskind earned his Bachelor of Social Science degree in Literature from the College of the City of New York in 1926 and went on to teach English in the New York City public school system for 21 years.

A camera given as a gift for his wedding to Sidonie Glaller in 1930 galvanized his interest in photography. He was said to have spent much of his honeymoon taking pictures in Bermuda.

“We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect.. but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs.”

It was in the 1940s that Siskind’s photographic interests moved away from socially centred, literal documentary works toward the more formal, poetic, conceptual images for which he became internationally renowned. This shift from document to metaphor embodied images of weathered fragments and textured surfaces through which he explored ideas of decay, fragmentation, and regeneration.

He created pictures by closing in on his subjects, framing out distracting elements to enhance the emotional sense and concentrate the viewer on the aspect he found compelling. Later he focused on surfaces to further condense the energies of splashed paint, graffiti marks and crumbling materials. In his later work he focused on natural formations — tree trunks and lava fields — where he isolated expressive figurative forms. Siskind was an explorer of the visual world, and as he travelled he created pictures he hoped would express enduring truths about human experience.

Aaron Siskind found emotional joy and tension in the process of discovering subjects and photographing them. His photographs emphasise the lines, textures and shapes of objects. The photograph on the top is of a wall which has been painted and postered, but Aaron has taken a photograph when both the paint and paper has started to peel off.

The photograph on the underneath is of a brick wall, however he has used an interesting camera angle to capture the surface texture and formation.
I like these photographs as I like the way that Siskind has captured the details of the different surfaces. I also like the way he has used different camera angles to capture more of the surface, having the bottom part focused, and the top blurred using Dof techniques to emphasise the scale. I love how his other photographs show the textures of decayed layers. I have previously taken some similar style images below.

I also have taken a few in the past which I think also look great and very abstract for Nature images. They show the contrast and fragmentation of natural objects in a constant change.

I had started to shoot in a similar way HERE last week in London and Zig said to try a flat surface approach rather than angles or angular surfaces so I will be looking into that this week and whilst away on holiday as I am sure I can find many rusting and decaying surfaces at the coast. As I mentioned above I am increasingly finding my gaze narrowed in on this project to a final theme or potential outcome which is great, and of course has to happen, but I really want to keep a few avenues open for this until I can pare down the idea to a final outcome.