Assignment 2 planning part 4

Texture blending

I thought I would try some of the images I took on Friday blended with a texture layer. I have been collecting a great number of image resources from photo magazines for the last few years, these include a number of textures. Looking through my collection I chose to experiment using the texture below.

texture

I added the texture as a separate layer to several of the station images. I tried several of Photoshop’s blending modes and settled on using ‘Vivid Light‘. This blend process is described below:

Vivid Light

Burns or dodges the colors by increasing or decreasing the contrast, depending on the blend color. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened by decreasing the contrast. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened by increasing the contrast.

(Incorporated, 2016)

The six images I created are shown below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am pleased with the results and would really value other people’s opinion. I used the same texture and blending mode on each of the images for a degree of consistency. Not sure whether to try a different texture and blending mode with each image. Personally I think that this will just appear rather random and muddled.Further experimentation could be made using a different single texture and a different single blend mode.

Reference

Incorporated, A.S. (2016) Blending modes. Available at: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/blending-modes.html (Accessed: 24 October 2016).

Assignment 2 planning part 3

Hmm… Well I spend few hours at Waterloo and Euston Stations Friday afternoon and used the tube to get between them. There were a reasonable number of people about at each location and less down the tube. I took quite a number of images, but on reviewing them when I got back home I was less than happy. Most were blurred manly down to camera shake and me trying to focus on moving people. Lighting was very mixed and shutter speed increase was a contributing factor. I might have had better (noisier) results if I had used a higher or even auto ISO.

I really want to photograph larger crowds, so I will really have to be there during rush hour. I was also very concerned about getting stopped or quizzed by station staff or security so didn’t make use of the tripod I had with me. However hindsight being a wonderful thing I thought I would check online exactly what Network Rails policy was towards photographers and photography was. I was actually pleasantly surprised and wish I had read it before now. The following link explains it in-depth:

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/777.aspx

An extract from the information page is shown below which may be of interest to fellow students:

Photography
You can take photographs at stations provided you do not sell them. However, you are not allowed to take photographs of security related equipment, such as CCTV cameras.

Flash photography on platforms is not allowed at any time. It can distract train drivers and train despatch staff and so is potentially very dangerous.

Tripod legs must be kept away from platform edges and behind the yellow lines. On busy stations, you may not be allowed to use a tripod because it could be a dangerous obstruction to passengers.

(policy, 2016)

Now that I know this I could have used my tripod providing I had taken care! To quote Alanis Morissette “Isn’t it ironic!“. Therefore I shall treat this visit as another scouting trip and plan another trip. Though as already mentioned I would see larger crowds during rush hour times. So timing is critical (07:00 – 09:00 and 17:00 – 19:00), and with a larger amount of people even greater care when using a tripod. Also trying different positioning to get more faces and crowds coming towards camera would be better. I know that on the underground tripods are a no-no and only small camera photography is permitted. They may well classify my SLR as a large camera and get all official, so would have to be careful.

I did have a play around with stacking and merging some of the images I took to try to get the effect in the images I wanted. I want to have elements in the composition in focus and others in movement. Not just a slight blur but a stacked blur to really emphasise the movement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I may also try blending textures to achieve my desired outcomes.

Reference

policy, c. (2016) Railway enthusiasts. Available at: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/777.aspx (Accessed: 23 October 2016).

Assignment 2 planning part 2

Time, oh time where does it go? Flowing through your fingers like sand…  Guess I am getting kind of wistful due to the creative malaise I have been in and my subsequent disappointment at my lack of progress.

Inspiration

As with my previous assignment I started a Pinterest board based on Crowds and can be found here:

Several of the pinned images covey the sense of claustrophobia and panic that I want to try to convey in my images. I have never suffered from claustrophobia or panic attacks, however in the last few years I have found that I am considerably uncomfortable and irritated when in crowds. I grew up in London and left in the 80’s, but now commute in everyday to work. Though I am fortunate that do not need to use the bus or tube. I wish I could fathom why I feel this level of discomfort, it is disconcerting. Maybe it is a sign of age and me becoming a grumpy old man. Or maybe there is something else, something more subliminal. Though I guess it is down to the depression I suffer and cope with.

What defines a Crowd?

noun: crowd; plural noun: crowds

  • a large number of people gathered together in a disorganized or unruly way.

synonyms: throng, horde, mob, rabble, large number, mass, multitude, host, army, herd, flock, drove, swarm, sea, stream, troupe, pack, press, crush, flood, collection, company, gathering, assembly, assemblage, array, congregation, convention, concourse

  • an audience, especially one at a sporting event.

synonyms: audience, spectators, watchers, listeners, viewers, onlookers, patrons, house, gallery, stalls

  • informal derogatory

a group of people who are linked by a common interest or activity.

synonyms: set, group, band, circle, company, fraternity, clique, coterie

  • the mass or multitude of ordinary people.

noun: the crowd

synonyms: majority, multitude, common people, populace, general public, mob, masses, riff-raff, proletariat, rank and file, the commonality, the hoi polloi, the canaille, the great unwashed

  • a large number of things regarded collectively.

(Google, 2016)

Intended Action:

Tomorrow is Friday 21st October and I am not working that day. It is my intention to take a trip into London and make a start on some of the images for Assignment 2. In my previous scouting mission I have tried to seek out some of the vantage points that I may use to take images from around the station:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As can be seen in the images above there are not great amounts of people, but it shows that I would be able to take images from above, at eye level or even low down if required.

I have this vision of crowds of people like a forest or crashing waves, masses of; heads, feet, bodies and belongings. Making it hard to progress or move as one would wish. Almost like an elemental force. I can very much imagine that mass hysteria in very large groups can appear like that. Psychological, hormonal and primal drives can take hold of people resulting in great behavioural changes. This is not to say that I will be able to obtain a full range of images, but I will try to produce something that will convey the essence of a crowd.

I also hope to move down into the tube station and the surrounding Waterloo Station area to help me fulfill my brief. I intend to use common compositional devices and basic camera techniques such as; “Rule of Thirds”, leading lines, aperture to control depth of field and shutter speed to imply movement. Also if possible to try to use a tripod and remote shutter release to help maintain steady well exposed images.

Reference:

Google (2016) Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=crowd%20definition (Accessed: 20 October 2016)

Assignment 2 first impressions and planning part 1

First impressions

My first impressions on reading the brief for Assignment two was great, we have three choices. After rereading the brief a few times and pondering I settled on the idea of “Crowds”. I then drew in a long breath and wondered how I would approach this. I have been reading a book called ‘Basics creative photography 03: Behind the image: Research in photography‘ (Caruana and Fox, 2012), recommended by my tutor. The first chapter covers aspects of basic research proposal planning and I found elements of this a helpful starting point.

Inspiration for project working name

At the weekend I was watching a Star Trek original series episode called “The Mark of Gideon“. The premise of this episode was based around a planet that was so vastly overpopulated that its citizens had no space or privacy. The inhabitants are healthy and no one seems to ever die in the totally germ-free environment. All they every want is the freedom to move or to have space of their own.  I started to think that this might be the basis for a good Crowds storyline and also a suitable working title.

Mark of Gideon 1Mark of Gideon 2Mark of Gideon 3Mark of Gideon 4

(3×16 – the mark of Gideon – TrekCore Star Trek original series Screencaps, no date)

What do crowds symbolise

I tried now to  In thought about the words that the phrase “Crowds” evoked.  I came up with a list of 60 words and decided to make these into a word cloud, as shown below:

wordcloud

Where to find crowds

I thought on where I could find crowds:

  • Underground
  • Markets
  • Shops
  • Subways
  • Concerts
  • Railway Stations
  • Bus Queue
  • Bars
  • Sports Venue
  • Airports
  • Demonstrations

However many of the above would be dependent of various factors including; time of day, size of the event; location etc.

As I commute into London every day I feel that Waterloo railway station would be a good location. It has many places for crowds to be found:

  • Platforms
  • Concourse
  • Shops
  • Upper mezzanine floor
  • Tube station
  • Subway
  • Stairs
  • Escalators

Who will this collection be for

I then thought about who this collection was for and to be viewed by. This assignment will be for my tutor to be viewed and act as a guide to my progress and development through this part of the course. Also potentially to be viewed and evaluated by my assessors towards my degree. But ultimately for me as a platform to practice, develop my skills and demonstrate my creative progress.

Reference:

Caruana, N. and Fox, A. (2012) Basics creative photography 03: Behind the image: Research in photography. Lausanne: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.

3×16 – the mark of Gideon – TrekCore Star Trek original series Screencaps (no date) Available at: http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=91&page=6 (Accessed: 5 September 2016).

Assignment 2 Brief

Assignment two Collecting

Create a series of between six and ten photographs from one of the following options, or a subject of your own choosing:

  • Crowds
  • Views
  • Heads

Use the exercises from Part Two as a starting point to test out combinations of focal length, aperture and viewpoint for the set. Decide upon a single format, either vertical or horizontal. You should keep to the same combination throughout to lend coherence to the series.

  • Crowds: Crowds make a great subject for photography, not least because they are so contemporary. A city rush hour is a good place to start but events also offer great opportunities to photograph the crowd rather than the event. The foreshortened perspective of the telephoto lens will compress a crowd, fitting more bodies into the frame, but it can also be used to pick out an individual person. A wide-angle lens can capture dynamic shots from within the action.
  • Views: If you choose to make a collection of views you need to be prepared to do some walking so keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum – you’ll walk further and see more. A tripod will be important to allow you to select a combination of small aperture and slow shutter speed to ensure absolute sharpness throughout the frame. The weather and time of day will be crucial, whether for urban or landscape views. A wide-angle lens is the usual choice but Ansel Adams also used a medium telephoto to foreshorten the perspective, bringing the sky, distance and foreground closer together.
  • Heads: Frame a ‘headshot’, cropping close around the head to avoid too much variety in the backgrounds. The light will be paramount and a reflector is a useful tool (you can ask the subject to hold it), throwing light up into the face, especially the eyes. The classic headshot is buoyant but neutral which is quite difficult to achieve, but try to achieve a natural rather than an artificially posed look.