Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Experiments with the light

I am really happy that our new part time lecturer is a professional photographer doing freelance. Ben Robert gave me a lot of inspiration, really great tips and tricks. Our task for this project was to play with the lighting sources in an interesting way. We should consider which kind of lighting we will use to practice natural daylight, professional studio equipment, usual home torches or something else. I have decided to make an unusual experiment. I have recently seen a Pika Pika video short film on youtube and then read an article about artists who were drawing with the light. And about Pablo Picasso as one of innovators of this technique.

I was greatly interested in the technique probably because I understood the method when watching the video for the first time. It was such a simple and fun thing to do that I just could not hold myself from doing that. So I have started with buying pocket light souses for the project. It was not that easy. There was nothing really suitable in the Mall and I thought about Ben’s tip: “Be fresh with you ideas and use creativity to solve problems”. I went to Bury Park and found some very cheap and suitable LED Lights. I bought about 10 of different once. Next step was to find an assistant. I asked my class mates to do the project together told them that I have an interesting idea for it. Anastasia Gusiatina was the first person I asked and she said “Yes” without thinking.

So after two evenings of cooperation and about 6 hours of shooting we had about 400 images to work with. And here is what we achieved:

Kit: Nikon D80, Af 18-135 f/3,5-5,6 G zoom lens, tripod, wireless tripod, laptop, Photoshop CS3, LED lights.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Vernacular

The Vernacular is a part of Documentary, which is my favorite style of photography. Out of whole documentary genre I have chosen forensic photography a fundament for my project. Idea for it came to my mind after a little bit of research. I was inspired by police crime scenes photographers working in United States in the beginning of 20th century.

My idea was to do series of portrait where models were lying on a surface in a pose of a dead body but being completely alive and completely emotional. I am planning that as a long going project which will involve a lot of interesting, unusual people, shot on a various backgrounds.

While giving a birth to the idea I have found a very interesting branch of modern fashion being partly inspired by forensic. A couple of really amazing photosessions/projects made in this style their aim was to bring a taste of death, brutality, fear of forensics to the fashion. Dead bodies and scenes do catch the interest of people. That is pretty weird but there is a plenty of examples: Lenin’s mummy on the Red Square in Moscow, popularity of Rotten Com, horror movies.

High Fashion Crime Scene series are very alike with the concept of my ides. I was trying to get the association causing images. I want the viewer to see the connection between my art works and those images made by USA forensic policeman photographers.

Kit: Bronica SQ-Ai, Fuji Color Pro 400, 50 mm f/3,5, photo tripod, Photoshop CS3, Lightroom

Friday, 14 November 2008

Visual Communication and research skills. Assignment 1. Flatness and Space.

Flatness and Space.
"A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into" ~ Ansel Adams

"Welcome to the second year Pavel"- that is what I was said just after finishing my university registration procedure. And I thought: "Damn! Pavel the summer vocations are over you are not a fresher anymore! Show me some nice works this year!". Words of Ansel Adams come to my mind every time I make a photograph, especially when I am a SECOND year student.
Our first assignment this year was called "Flatness and Space". The aim was to shoot a minimum of one roll of film, develop it and print a series (minimum 3 photographs) that responds to "Flatness and Space". We had to transform the 3-dimensional world that exists within a flow of time to a 2-dimensional static picture. Eva (our tutor) advised us to consider how things in the back of our image can be put into juxtaposition (Pavel loves his old, dusty dictionary) with things at the front. Keeping that in my mind I have started brainstorming, thinking, searching, looking, waiting, thinking, brain...
...Finlay after e-mail check, I decided to go to Brighton and just simply catch some moments on a seashore. There was an "Iraq through the lens of Vietnam" exhibition (scary material) going in University of Brighton.
That was a surprisingly beautiful, chill, autumn day. Lovely elderly couple sitting in a cafeteria, a a big bold ex bodybuilder with five hairy dogs, hippies playing guitars near temporal bungalow an a beach, thousands of small, black birds above the pier. It was probably my best film ever. But definitely not the most successful one.
Unfortunately that was a firs experience with medium format camera ever. Lesson: Stupid mistakes and daylight overexpose the film (crying). Fortunately I had some extra rolls in my bag.
From my point of view images came out quite well developing and printing process ran smooth, yes I am happy with the work I have done. I hope that "Iraq through the lens of Vietnam" did not affect photographs to much but gave them that darkish, surreal, moody taste and you easily will be able to "look into them".

For the project I used: Bronica Sq-Ai, 80mm f/2.8, ilford hp5 iso 400, old German light meter, Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 9000 ED, ilford photo paper...

My favorites are: Double exposure and the one with people.