Exercise 18 – How space changes with light

In this last exercise before the main assignment, we are asked to take a series of photographs for one or two locations that we can visit at various tines of the day.I was in Wales recently staying with family so I decided tot are shots from morning till late in the evening for the front lounge area, from the same location within the room.

(Click on any page to enlarge)

[186]

_dsc3091-2

For this first image we can see the morning sunlight just about to break through the front lounge of this cottage house. The lack of deep shadows means as the sun has not yet risen the light is very much diffused giving an overall soft light.

[187]

_dsc3009-2

This second picture is seen taken mid morning as the sun has risen high from the mountains over the Welsh border. You can see the bright sunlight coming in very strong from the front door area, along with a second smaller window just out of view in the background lighting up one of the leather chairs. I did no heavy editing to the image so to show the bright highlights on the floor mostly as the eye saw the image.

[188]

_dsc3087-2

Taken just after lunch time the light from the windows has now moved further west and harsh light has now gone, with a very slight diffused light starting to form on the wooden floor area. The camera is now able to pick up more shadow in the background towards the fire place.

[189]

_dsc3090-2

This final shot is taken after the sun has gone down and we are left with artificial light to show the room without the need for a long exposure. AS can be seen no sunlight is coming through the door on the right side of the frame as before. The room looks a lot colder now we only have artificial light, with heavy highlights around the wall lights and deep shadows under and around the furniture.

Conclusion:

This was a fairly easy exercise to complete than i first expected, even though I had to pick my timings over when it was best to take shots of the room while it remained empty. I left the camera pretty much in the same location and angle for the shots to make the comparisons easier. I would like to do this again given the opportunity with outside buildings and possibly include moving objects such as cars and/or people.

Advertisements

Assignment 2 – People and Activity

OCA Brief: ‘The object of this assignment is to plan and execute a set of images of people in some form of meaningful activity. This could be work, sport, a stage performance (music, drama), or at a social event.

You should produce a set of approximately 10 final, selected images, and you can choose between depicting the same person (or small group) at different kinds of activity, or different people at the same single activity or event.

Concentrate especially on two aspects: on telling moments, and on ‘explaining’ the activity (which means choosing viewpoint, framing and timing to make the actions as intelligible as possible).

In your learning log:

• Critically assess your finished work. Consider each piece individually.

• Identify what has worked well and what has been less successful and analyse the reasons for this’.

For this assignment we are tasked with taking images for submission which may include actual people who are aware, which was a little confusing to me at first, based on the main titles of all other exercises which are for people un-aware.

I had to be very careful how I picked my event based in Dubai, taking images of people can be rather sensitive. After looking around on the web sites and events magazines I came across a local photography and video show which was coming up called Photography Live. So armed with just my Sony A7 MKii and just two lenses so I would not be so conspicuous I set off for the event.

I needed to make sure I was careful in the image taking during the event, so to blend in I attended a couple of seminars and took the advantage of learning at the same time. After a while and two seminars later I started to take pictures in the most casual way, but all the time carefully constructing ideas in my mind of what I wanted to capture.

Even though the subjects for all previous exercises have been for people un-aware, I decided I would combine a mixture of people both aware and un-aware for my final submissions in Assignment 2 People and Activity, as this was not clearly stipulated in the brief. Overall the I spent more than 5 hours at the event over the course of late afternoon into evening.

All images are taken with a Sony A7 Mkii, with Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS and Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lenses. All images edited in Lightroom CC only and uploaded as JPEG. ISO was high due to low light and not wanted to opt for flash, so as to remain unnoticed as much as possible. All images shot in RAW in camera.

(click on any image to enlarge)

[163]

People and Faces of the world

People and Faces of the world

For this opening image, I had to keep coming back to the location for a number of reasons. Either people looking at the images would move out of the way when I brought the camera to my eye, or they would simply walk away in case they just didn’t wish to have their photo taken. So I waited for some length of time before I got this image. I like the way the image is composed showing every photo of faces look at the man. Not one image on display has a face looking away, even to the point of the old lady on the top left looking down at the man. In addition the main man looking at the images seems to making direct eye contact with the man with the Falcon in the image, as is the lady in the very top of the frame placed on the ceiling looking back into the frame. I played with turning this to B&W but thought the colours added to the overall image. 1/125sec, F6.3, 24mm. ISO 2500

[164]

Hot and Cold

Hot and Cold

As I walked around the show I came across this guy looking at his phone while on a stand. What caught my eye was his orange hair. Then after looking at the stand I saw it was called Hot and Cold Studios, which seem to match his hair in orange (hot) and the contrasting black sides (cold). I walked passed him a number of times and kept looking back, until finally I knelt down and took one shot and walked away so not to annoy him. He did look at me when I took the shot but just got back to his phone so all was good. I think the colour of his skin matches his hair and the writing on his shirt, and the black t-shirt matching his black hair and writing on the wall as well as his watch. 1/80sec, F6.3, 144mm. ISO 2500

[165]

Clean up

Clean up

During the show I came across this Sony stall. They were offering a free sensor clean and firmware update for all Sony cameras. As I was using a Sony A7MKii I left the camera with them and returned after around 30mins. When I took my camera after the service update I asked the guy if I could take a couple of shots of him cleaning a camera. So this was a staged shot, and in fact he just picked up a camera that had already been cleaned and posed for some quick shots. Some images I couldn’t use as you could see my reflection in the lamp, as well as the girl in the background looking at me. So I choose a close crop and turned into B&W for a contrasty look. 1/80sec, F4, 24mm. ISO 2500

[166]

Gorilla Pod

Gorilla Pod

Once again I felt a little bit like a stalker, following this guy around until I could get the right shot. When I first walked passed him what stood out for me was the Gorilla Pod with the long legs sticking out in front of the camera. I guess he was using them as a balance as he seemed to be taking video. While he was talking some video I walked up fairly close and took a few shots without him having any clue. I then looked in the other direction as if I was interested in something else so not to arise any suspicion. The idea of the shot was to show action while incorporation the surroundings. His facial expression shows one of concentration. 1/200sec, F4, 55mm. ISO 2500

[167]

Coffee break

Coffee break

This was a little cheeky shot I took while I sat and had a coffee in the make shift break area. While I sat at a table, still looking for prey, up came across these two people, one of them a host speaker according to his badge. As I had my drink I noticed the guys fuzzy hair and hoped that the two would remain in the same area so I could get a few shots of them. At first I made out as if I was taking some shots of the flower arrangement that was on my table. The two just carried on talking without any idea they were in fact the main stars of the show! Finally I took a few more shots just as the guy noticed me. He gave a grin and carried on while the girl I think had no idea what was was taking place. I like the flowers in the foreground that lead into the two people and the plain curtain background helps distinguish the hair and both faces well. 1/60sec, F5.6, 55mm. ISO 2500

[168]

Admire me

Admire me

This was taken during a demonstration of lighting techniques at the Sony stand. I stood to one side and looked for interesting compositions that would be a little different. As the girl model was in-between takes she prepared for the next shoot, and I saw in the background purely by chance that the two guys, one with his hand on his heart, and the other with his hand on his face, looked to be admiring the girl, almost as if they were in love with her. The fact that the model could almost be saying to herself look at me and admire me helped the overall shot. The white area behind her looks like a hat, but in fact is a beauty dish. The girl in the front and the two guys in the back bring in a nice triangle to the composition. If the two guys in the background had been looking in any other direction the shot would not have worked. I transferred to B&W to remove any colour distraction to help concentrate on the faces. I would have liked to remove the person just to the left of the models head, but I wanted the image to be as close to in camera as possible and not over edited it in post. 1/250sec, F3.2, 55mm. ISO 2500

[169]

Quick shot

Quick shot

During my walk around the show I kept passing this lady, who I thought was very pretty. Some ladies in the middle east wear the local dress even if not local, so I’m not sure if this person is local or from another non muslim country. Here you can see the  hijab or ḥijāb which is the name for the head dress worn by females, and the name in Arabic means ‘screen’ or ‘curtain’. I was looking at a demonstration of a DJI Phantom 4 drone been flown in a closed area. I was watching the drone and looked next to me to see this lady again, taking some video on her phone. I liked the pleasing side profile of her face and how the black and white of her dress and background separated each other. I also thought the position of her hand on her chin was very eloquent. The original image out of camera was almost full length, so I cropped to just above half to focus on the face and hand. I left this shot in colour as I liked the skin tone. 1/320sec, F3.2, 55mm. ISO 2500

[170]

Pay attention

Pay attention

From all the images I took during the photo exhibition, without doubt this one comes in as the most sneaky. While sat listening to a talk on social media, I turned around to see who else was attending. I noticed these two sat directly behind me, and at first they were spending time on their mobiles phones and sorting things in the white bag in the centre. After a short what I decided I would place my camera on the seat and face it behind me. Then with just pointing the camera up hoping it would be the right angle, took some shots without knowing if they would come out or not. I took about ten shots and later looked and managed to get one or two that I was pleased with. I like the fact the two people are not looking at the camera and the photo of the man with a view across his face is also looking into the frame at the two people. Again another example of composing a triangle. 1/400sec, F3.2, 55mm. ISO 2500

[171]

Afghan eyes

Afghan eyes

As the title suggests, after I reviewed this image the first thought that came into my head was the famous shot of ‘Afghan Girl’, by Steve McCurry. Not that for one moment I’m trying to compare this image to Afghan Girl in terms of quality or composition, or copy the same, but the striking eyes of the child in the centre photo just brought back memories of the image by McCurry. This is one for my favourite images from my selection of 10, as I like the elements of the two boys looking into the frame, while we have a nice balance of three elements looking back into the image from right, left and centre. The man waving is very surreal, and the old lady on the left of frame looking in is just inside enough to be seen, and to help, that image had blur which was a train passing, so all we can see is the old ladies face with no other distractions. The images on display were for judging, hence the more the stickers the better the image for gaining points for the overall winners. 1/1250sec, F3.2, 55mm. ISO 2500

[172]

In wonderland

In wonderland

Fully dressed in Alice in Wonderland outfit, along with matching props, I saw this girl posing for shots during the exhibition for people to try out camera that were on display. I walked around for a while and felt a little embarrassed if I’m honest as she always looked directly at each photographer that took photos of her. So I walked away from the area a few times before gaining a little courage to go back and make a few shots. At first I only took shots while the girl was looking at other cameras, but when I viewed the final images I had taken I preferred the one were the girl is looking at my camera. I moved around a little to see what viewpoint I liked the most, and this came out to be the best of the selection. Above the chair out of view was two bird cages, but I found that the face came away too much from the rule of thirds, and almost placed the models face dead centre of the frame..’dead centre is deadly’ as they say. So I opted to remove the top area of the frame and close in to bring the models eyeliner on one top left third. This image would not do justice in B&W with all the lovely colours in the chair, dress and background. 1/400sec, F5.6, 55mm. ISO 2500

Comparison with assessment criteria.

DEMONSTRATION OF TECHNICAL AND VISUAL SKILLS.

For this second assignment I have worked to cover both people aware and un-aware. The brief does not actually mention if this should be one or the other, even though the whole exercises have been mainly people un-aware. During the event I wanted to use a number of lighting conditions, such as flash or LED lighting, but the conditions have not provided for this type of additional lighting, as this would have brought attention to myself, and affected the subjects as they would have become posed, or not wanted any images taken of them, thus reducing the element of surprise and candid shots. I worked with the light I had available so adjusted camera settings as required, as well as white balance for colour  correction and skin tones.

QUALITY OF OUTCOME.

The assignment was hard to complete due to the location and cultures I am faced with in the Middle East. Picture taking of people in this area can be difficult and is a sensitive subject. I felt I did gain images which are natural and not posed, unless intentional. To gain these type of images was hard under what was a fairly enclosed area, unlike an open outside area such as a markets or street, were my actions with a camera would have been less noticed. I find taking photos of people when they are aware a little difficult, and prefer to be unnoticed whenever possible.

DEMONSTRATION OF CREATIVITY.

My ideas going into this assignment were to create as many natural shots as possible. This was achieved by making myself blend into the surroundings with the rest of the people which took time and patience, which in turn helped me to capture images from various angles. I hope the images include a broad section of what the participants were experiencing. I also wanted to give a sense of character to the people in the images.

CONTEXT.

Having read a number of blogs, readings in both web and books, such as Steve McCurry, Michael Freeman, Tom Ang and more, I have included a cross section of colour and black and white which hopefully compliments the image for affect to the viewer. Images were all colour corrected and cropped and other corrections such as noise, saturation and histogram adjustments were made. All images have the camera data under each for reference, and a brief description of how the image was captured and why in the explanations.

I have found this assignment hard due to time constraints, and taking images within the middle east can be difficult, due to local cultures and how many view picture taking in public an invasion of personal space. I find taking pictures of people a little hard, maybe because of my location in the middle east and am always concerned people may become offended. However I pushed through and without any issues..I’m pleased to say.

REF:

Hijab   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijab   [Accessed 25/05/16]

‘Afghan Girl’. Steve McCurry http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text    [Accessed 25/05/16]

Tom Ang Photographer  http://tomang.com [Accessed various dates]

Michael Freeman Portraits   http://www.michaelfreemanphoto.com/-/galleries/the-galleries/stories/portraits   [Accessed various dates]

 

Henri Cartier Bresson review

I’ve known of Henri Cartier Bresson of course before I started my OCA degree, but never took a closer look into his work until I came across a BBC documentary on then history of photography. It was only then that I saw the famous work of this french artist who lived form 1908 until 2004.

His most famous work maybe well know for his book The Decisive Moment, were he takes  some of his best work from around the world into 126 images, and was printed in 1952.

Bresson’s book  The Decisive Moment

After looking through his images its clear to see they are both artistic, with many images having people jumping which I saw as a common theme. They are also sad and violent, with images from war zones around the world, both with images of people after and even during death.

Breton makes the statement  “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms that give that event its proper expression.” Thes fraction of a second can be clearly seen in a number of images, again from the famous image of the man jumping the water, to the asian photograph of people seemly getting shot, and with one even looking like he has an arrow in his chest. 

Bresson apparently never cropped his photos, he believed that all of the image in camera was ‘the decisive moment’. ‘For the rest of his life, Cartier-Bresson’s approach to photography would remain much the same. He made clear his disdain for the augmented image, one that had been enhanced by artificial light, dark room effects, even cropping. The naturalist in Cartier-Bresson believed that all edits should be done when the image was made. His equipment load was often light: a 50mm lens and if he needed it, a longer 90mm lens’.

His images are dark, punchy, with very high contrast, and one of his comments was intact “You know William, colour is bullshit”. His Leica camera with only two lenses made it easy for him on the street, as well as situated in war zones. No heavy equipment to carry and always ready for the unexpected shot.

His images of people from all ages appeals, from the young playing in the streets to the old, poor and at the end of life bring emotion into the picture. He seems not to care almost for the risk of getting the shot, which brings the questions ‘ Does he ask for permission before taking the shot? Is it posed, or is the non posed shot really posed? How close to real life did it really look? Did he get the kids to play in the street or was it luck?

He truly was a master of People and Place.

Henry Cartier Bresson

Henry Cartier Bresson

 

REF:

Henry C. Bresson [Accessed 27 05 16]

https://steidl.de/Books/The-Decisive-Moment-0516515559.html  [Accessed 28-05-16]

Exercise 15 – A public space

“For this final exercise, transfer your attention from an organised occasion to a semi-organised public space. Some of the most accessible and usable from a photographic point of view are public parks. A public beach is another possibility. Instead of a single event, there will be a variety of things happening, even if not all of it is particularly active or focused”.

For this last exercise before my main assignment I took photos of a Donkey Derby event. I wasn’t sure if the event was going ahead as rain was forecast, but I took my camera along and although we did get some rain in parts, I managed to complete the exercise.

(click on any image to enlarge)

[149], [150], [151]

Spectators and organisers arrive at the Donkey Derby event, and despite some local rain all were happy to prepare the donkeys for the first of the mornings race…all in good fun of course.

[152], [153], [154]

One of the events among the donkey derby was a warm up followed by a demonstration of Judo from one of the local clubs. While the instructor showed some of the children students how its done, and they soon got a chance to get their own back!

[155], [156], [157]

The races were held all in good spirit, with some fierce competition even though this was all in good fun and for charity. (No animals were harmed during this event!)

[158], [159], [160]

Part of the charity event included dogs chasing a false rabbit on a pulley which was hand turned. Straw was used to stop the dogs crashing into the machine should they catch the rabbit.  While some couldn’t manage to hold on, some other fury friends didn’t want to let go.

[161], [162]

Some of the local folk having a blast and a chin wag. Then after its all over what better way to end the day with a nice picnic, along with a few cups of English tea in the fields before the rain returns.

Conclusion:

This was in interesting event to photograph. I included photos in order of the event from start to end, although I never saw and presentation for the winners of the actual Donkey Derby so I couldn’t take any photos for that portion. All images were taken without the knowledge of the people involved. I had a medium zoom lens which enabled me to be as close or far away from the subjects as needed.

 

 

Exercise 14 – An organised event

“For this exercise you will need to research and prepare in advance. Look for an organised event at which there will be plenty of people and in which you can confidently expect to be able to photograph freely and with some variety”.

I was due to attend an off road motorcycle course at a future date, but the organisers and one already arranged prior to my start date, so I decided to go along and take photos which was in every way an organised event, with plenty of opportunity to take lots of action pictures of people unaware.

(click on any image to enlarge)

[128], [129], [130]

Riders arrive at Hatta Fort Hotel, near Dubai. Bikes are prepared for the off-road course held by BMW which requires removal of wing mirrors, windshield, bike side boxes and other small parts that risk getting damaged during the two day course.

[131], [132], [133]

After a full safety brief and discussion on riding techniques and handling, the riders took to the trails, lined up at the start and prepared for a hard day of off-run training.

[134], [135], [136]

Some of the off road techniques proved difficult and dirty work at times. Some found it hard so all that was left is to push..not easy with a 240kg bike. Others gained confidence showing off some of the gained skills with a thumbs up after a hard first session.

[137], [138], [139]

While the riders had a deserved break, the instructors showed how to move a bike on the side stand, as well as some preventative off road maintenance should it ever be required. Then it was back on the bikes for part two…the mountain stage.

[140], [141], [142]

The riders were briefed on the mountain stage and the techniques required to negotiate hills and rocks. Before the start the riders walked the course in remove any loose rocks that may cause falls or bike damage, and to plan out the best course of action.

[143], [144], [145]

A tough section of the course caused some of the riders to lose control and fall…all part of the learning process! As the riders tried to lift the bikes, an instructor came over to demonstrate how best to lift a 240kg bike from the ground without hurting body or bike.

[146], [147], [148]

The final hours after two days proved a great improvement for the riders, seen here by showing off with a hands-off control manoeuvre and a ‘wheely’ from one of the instructors. A final group picture ended the course with very happy riders and a certificate to take home with new off road experiences gained.

Conclusion:

This was an exciting project for me as I love my off road biking also. Because I was not due on the course until a later date, it gave me time to take the photos and as the course was taken in a closed off location, I could easily move around without getting in the way of the riders. Various focal lengths were used during the picture taking process and some post processed into black and white for different effects.

 

 

 

 

Exercise 13 – Standard focal length

The brief. “The concept of ‘standard’ and ‘normal’ in lens focal length is that the view approximates to what you would see with the naked eye. This is a very loose idea, as a camera image is fixed and framed, while our eyes are constantly scanning and we have an awareness of a much wider area around the part of a scene that we are paying attention to”.

So why use a standard focal length lens?

They’re cheap, very cheap compared to many other high end lenses. They are usually very small and light, making them easy to carry in a small bag or pocket. Apertures can be small such as f1.2, f1.4 etc giving a nice depth of filed or ‘bokeh’. Due to the low f-stop they are a great lens for low light photography.

Field of vision is very close to the human eye so the image is as we see it to the naked eye in terms of composition.A lower focal lens would need to be used on an APSC sized camera due to the approx 1.4 to 1.6 x increase.

Below are some images taken with a standard 50mm lens on a full frame camera.

(Click on any image to enlarge)

[120], [121], [122]

Here are three examples of people taken with a standard lens. Each one taken in a different environment, i.e., indoors, outdoors and outdoors at night.

[123], [124], [125],

These images show people at work. The first is a workman with a blow torch in the streets of Dubai. The second is workmen loading a dhow on the waters of Dubai Creek. The last its the camel riders working out the camera before a morning race. Some of these images may work better with a longer lens, but again this shows the viewer how the images looked to the naked eye.

[126], [127]

The last set of images show people posed. These images are taken in the mountains of Hatta and by the ocean in Fujeriah.

Conclusion:

The 50mm lens, or sometimes known as ‘the nifty fifty’ can be a go to lens for just about any type of photography. It can be used for portraits, landscapes, street photography, indoor, close up (ok maybe with a close up adapter or lens kit) and night due to its low aperture setting of around f1.8 or lower.

It can be carried with little required storage space and is very light. It also makes the photographer move his/her feet. Sometimes we can get very lazy and find it better to just adjust the zoom ratio rather than look around and change perspective.

Many pro photographers state we should just have only a standard lens fitted to our cameras for a month or so and go out and take photos. This is a great way to teach us viewpoints, angles and gets us out of the lazy way of taking photos that is so easy with zoom lenses.

Exercise 12 – Close and involved

The brief is to “Switch lenses (or adjust focal length) to the widest angle that you have. A true wide-angle, judged from its visual effect, is around 28mm or less. One of the uses of a wide-angle lens is to be able to cover a large subject area in one shot, but here concentrate instead on using it close to people, and try to achieve a sense of putting the viewer right inside the situation — as you will inevitably be! From the point of view of comfort and confidence, this is quite a challenging way to shoot, but try your best. As with the previous exercise, note down both the problems and the advantages created by working with a wide-angle of view from very close to the people you are photographing”.

I have added a selection of images after looking through my Lightroom images, with a search for 10-20mm lenses.

(click on any image to enlarge)

[112], [113]

These two shots of Elaine show how you can use a wide angle lens to get up close, but care has to be made that you don’t put facial features or limbs out of proportion.

In the close up photo of Elaine on the chair, if I had got any closer it would have made her face and nose look two enlarged. Also any limb such as hands or feet in the frame would look enlarged if positioned in the foreground.

The photo of Elaine getting ready to ride her road bike was taken from a low angle to make more use of the foreground as the sky was grey and boring. Not getting too close while using a wide lens has brought the car and path into the frame giving a sense of place.

[114], [115]

The use of a 20mm lens is able to shoot the surroundings of this image of Dave relaxing by a beach. Although you cannot see his right hand fully, the items on the table such as the coffee and the cigarette packet give clues as to his choosen relaxing activity.

Donna on an Abra on Dubai creek brings you into the picture with the use of a 12mm shot. Being careful not to get so close again as to put any part of the body out of proportion means we can see and feel the landscape and location.

[116], [117]

At first look this may seem like just a photo of a truck. But looking closer you can see the feet of two workmen who have decided to take a quick afternoon nap in the back of the truck. Again the angle of the lens shows the location and where the truck is parked, tucked into a corner of the street.

Elaine was standing next to these Arabian horses in the desert. The 18mm view has allowed Elaine to be shown close to the horses and riders, thus bringing the viewer up close an personal with the subjects.

[118], [119]

I like these two images of a talented artist taken in Lincoln recently. The artist was painting in a local art shop and signing ltd edition copies of some of his paintings. The wide angle lens brings the viewer into the frame as if standing next to the artist. I particularly like image [118] where the wide angle has allowed me to include one of his paintings, a girl who is looking down at the artist signing an order form.

Conclusion:

In comparison using a wide angle lens on landscapes, interiors, architecture etc is easy. Bringing people up close however is a little more difficult, as we need to ensure we don’t position the lens close to limbs or faces which would bring them out of proportion.

I don’t normally use a wide angle lens on people so close, but prefer to use a longer focal length allowing me to keep my distance such as in an earlier exercise in this blog. But this exercise has pushed me out of my comfort zone and give me working knowledge of what does and does not work.

 

 

Exercise 11 – Standing back

Depending on your choice of lenses, select a medium-long focal length, ideally between 80 mm to 200 mm full frame equivalent. If you happen to have a more pronounced telephoto lens (300 mm or 400 mm for example), you might find it more interesting to do the exercise with this extreme focal length.

What practical difficulties do you note? Because of the extra distance between you and your subject, you may have found that passer-by and traffic sometimes block your view. And what special creative opportunities do you find that a long focal length and distance have given you.

For this exercise I went to a local pro golf event. I had a very long 28-300mm Canon tel-photo lens which I knew would get me close to the players and other interesting people at the event.

(click on any image to enlarge)

[102], [103]

On the first photo I was looking at this caddie and just as I took the picture someone came in front of the camera. You can just see the sleeve on the bottom left of the image. A second attempt was more successful and in the end I preferred the pose the caddie gave…deep in thought!

[104], [105]

Using a longer lens I was able to pick off people form afar. The first was during a live TV interview of one of the lady professional players, and the second was of pro-celebrity golfer and comedian Jim Davidson.

[106], [107]

Using a long lens for the first image of the golf bag has allowed the background to be totally of of focus, so the minimal DOP has taken away any distracting background, while at the same time allowing me to take the capture from an area not open to the public.

The second image of Tiger Woods would have been better, had it not been for other public spectators walking in front of the image. One draw back of being far away from the subject allows others to impede the shot at times.

[108], [109]

In the next two images we can see how distractions in the foreground can sometimes add, or take away from the overall effect of the image. The first photo of the two golfers would have been better without the intrusion of a caddie caring a flag, blocking the image. The second image of Tiger Woods is good as a single image should it have not had other people in the shot, but the people in the foreground asking for his autograph add to the atmosphere of the image giving it a sense of place and what Tiger is doing.

[110], [111]

In these last two images, we see two examples of using a long tele-photo lens taken at two different distances from the subject. The first is still on a high tele-photo setting, but being close has allowed me to get really close up on the face of Tiger Woods. The second is again using a long setting of 300mm, but this time not being able to get into the closed off area where Tiger was signing his card and autographs I was able to still capture an image which tells a story. The fact he was elevated on the stand stopped any other person walking into the image and blocking off the shot.

Conclusion:

Using a long focal length lens certainly helps get up close to most subjects, but the disadvantage means that if you are situated back from the subject you stand the risk of others people, or objects blocking the view. This is apparent when you maybe on the same level as your subject.

Given the right position however allows the photo to be cropped if needed and cropping out in camera what other distractions may have otherwise been in the picture. Of course we maybe able to crop in post, but the other advantage of a longer lens is being able to get very close to the action or subject.

 

 

Exercise 10 – Capturing the moment

The brief for this exercise was “The mechanics of this exercise are simple, but the results are many and varied. Find, as for the last exercise, a ‘comfortable’ situation, possibly even the same location. For this exercise concentrate on bursts of activity, from which you try to capture a ‘best’ moment.”

I decided to use the same bike show that I had for the first exercise in this project. I watched as a bike stunt rider performed his tricks (which were impressive) on his modified motorbike. This guy was part of the Redbull sponsored stunt rider team and was here on visit just for the Dubai bike show.

I watched as he throw his bike around a closed off track watched by spectators. He had another partner who was equally impressive doing similar tricks. I took a series of shots during the 10 min show and broke it down into a single image which I thought showed off the bikers skills the most.

(click any image to enlarge)

[86], [87] [88]

One of the event organisers was walking around filming the stunt bikers as they performed tricks to the crowd.

[89], [90], [91]

As a pair, the stunt riders worked closer and closer together making tighter turns, as the rear wheels skidded on the tarmac and the front wheels almost locked together.

[92], [93], [94]

Making the most of the closed track, one of the riders started to make the stunts more daring.

[95], [96], [97]

More impressive stunts.

[98], [99], [100]

From the total stunt show and one small mishap from one of the riders (not serious) the riders split up and I focused on the best of the two while he did his tricks.

[101]

_DSC2534

For me this was the ultimate stunt for the riders in the total set. Standing on the handlebars, moving around a closed track, while keeping perfect balance…very impressive!

Conclusion:

This was an interesting exercise making you think about what best shows off a final set of images. Many of the stunts were impressive, especially when you see it done just a few feet away, and not on the TV or internet.

Exercise 9 – Developing your confidence

For the first in the new projects entitled ‘People Unaware’, we are to “choose an outdoor situation where there will be lots of people and activity, and in which you will feel confident using a camera”. The brief further states “Take as many photographs as you comfortably can in one session. When you review the photographs afterwards, recall the comfort level you felt at the time, and consider to what extent this helped you in capturing expression and gesture.

For this exercise I went to a local event which was a motorcycle show. I took my Sony A6000 with two lenses, one a wide angle and a long tele-photo to help me pick out the subjects without giving much away in terms of my positioning and causing subjects to be distracted by the camera.

Click on any image to enlarge:

[73], [74], [75]

In this first selection I was keeping my distance and watched as people talked and moved around the show. One group of guys where looking at the motorcycles on display and talking to one of the owners. Sometimes just standing still and waiting for people to pass was a good option and not so conspicuois.

[76], [77], [78]

On the next group of pictures I observed as a photographer took photos of children and riders against a green screen. It was easy with so many people around to watch others taking selfies and talking to each other without the risk of been seen.

[79], [80], [81]

As you can imagine, I took my time with these shots!!! Two models were having a photo session with another pro photographer, so I could easily sit in the background just behind the main photographer and take photos (as others did) while the girls did their thing. I moved around to get side and front views while the session took place.

[82], [83], [84], [85]

On this last set of four photos, I watched a lady photographer as she also moved around much like myself, taking pictures of folks at the stalls and generally around the bike show. I also watched as one famous biker being filmed so I took a photo of the interview taking place as well as a behind the scenes shot of the cameraman.

Conclusion:

This was a fairly easy way to take photos of people in an open area without risk of being seen or becoming conscious of my presence to others and thus feeling embarrassed. Using a long tele-photo lens helped me keep my distance from the subjects and close in from afar without too much detection.