Category Archives: ASSIGNMENT 3

Assignment 3: The Decisive Moment – Images

 

 

 

 

 

the look

  1. The Look

In this shot (1) I particularly like the look on the woman’s face, it is almost saying “talk to the hand”, not listening” or “let’s get on with the shopping”.  I edited the orange light on the right hand side so that it was not so distracting.

Piolice

2.Police on Duty

In this shot (2), I was just leaving when the two policemen arrived and stood at the barrier.  They agreed I could take the shot.  The older man was from the outset, a little self-conscious and on all shots he had his eyes closed.  I like the context of this one – police doing their job wherever they are needed.

Little girl

3. Little girl

Being a newish grandmother, this little girl caught my eye toddling through the shopping centre with an adult pose, hands behind her back.  I considered editing the white space to the left out but it really changed the composition and context of the shot.

 

-Dave

4. Anything but shopping

This shot (4) is of my husband who had been very patient.  I thought it was reminiscent of a Thomas Leuthard shot.  Although I did not capture or attempt to capture the same composition the concentrated look and the blurred background is similar.  I feel that the bigger space behind the subject gives the shot more context and story.

 

_1100135

5. Lost

At Cabot’s Circus this couple (5) was quite obviously lost or looking for something.  They stopped just below me giving me the opportunity to compose the shot using the shadow as a leading line to the couple and their activity.

Glass walk

6. Glass Walk

The Glass Walk image (6) allowed me to combine architectural detail with the capture of a young girl admiring it.  The almost monochrome effect of this shot is lifted by the detail of the street below in the right hand corner.   Soon after I shot this the girl took off at a run which I captured but she bent her head and it was obstructed by the hand rail.

balloons

7. Balloons

In this shot (7) the little girls are clearly excited by their balloons but the woman on the right is in a hurry to get past.  I particularly liked the movement and the vague look of impatience on the woman’s face.

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Assignment 3: The Decisive Moment – Reflection

Reflections using the assessment criteria assessment

Demonstration of technical skills

  • Equipment:
    • Cameras
      • Canon 5DMKIII
      • Lumix GX7
    • Lenses
      • Canon 25-104mm
      • Lumix Vario 45-200mm
      • Lumix Vario 14 -42mm
    • Settings
      • Aperture priority/Manual
      • Auto Focus
      • RAW format

Composition

  • Using feedback from my tutor for Assignment 2, I extensively researched Street Photographers (See Research) and paid particular attention to composition. Especially, at Cabot’s Circus I took time to visualise the shot and how the shot might be framed.
  • I also looked to some contemporary Street Photographers for influence e.g. Vineet Vohra and Rui Palha for use of stairs and escalators, Brend Schaeffer, Valerie Jardin and Thomas Leuthard for lead in lines and the use of architecture. I have a long way to go but I feel that I have improved on previous attempts.
  • I thought hard about where to position myself and took most shots from a high position or a low position looking up. This worked to a greater or lesser extent especially those looking up (see Contact Sheets) however, what did help greatly was that I had more of an idea of what I wanted my shot to look like.
  • I was more patient (especially at Cabot’s Circus) in waiting for the shot to appear.
  • I used a shallow Depth of Field on the more candid shots.

Quality of outcome

  • I was much happier with the outcome of the shots compared with Assignment 2 composition improved and I visualised the outcome more.
  • However, a number of my shots lacked vibrancy and contrast and were a little under exposed when I downloaded them even though they and the histograms looked alright on the back of the camera. Therefore, I did some editing using Lightroom.  On two candid shots there was some distracting back ground (a yellow strip in one and a red sale banner in the other), I used Photoshop CC to reduce the impact of these on the shot.  I have a lot to learn in using the “digital darkroom”.  This is the first time I have attempted this type of editing and I am quite pleased with the results.
  • Printing was a nightmare. I used two local well respected printers and I was very disappointed with the results.  In one the contrast was way too high to the extent that it blew out highlights (I had already printed these at home on my Canon 100S printer and they were fine), the other was on low quality paper even though I had ordered them on high quality.  I therefore, decided to attempt to print them myself.  I still need to learn about how to resize photos that have been cropped but overall I was quite pleased with the quality.

Demonstration of Creativity

  • Feedback from Assignment 1 stated that I did not take risks, I feel that I have been riskier with this assignment but still have a long way to go.  I would love to emulate some of the photographers who obviously get down low the take some amazing shots but as yet I have not got the confidence to do so.
  • That said, I feel that the shots which include architecture and depth of field are more creative than previous shots and I have tried to tell a story in the shots using lead in lines and the rule of thirds to place important features.
  • I have learnt a lot about “The Decisive Moment” and what it means from the more received definition of Henri Cartier-Bresson to a more contemporary definition that would include the work of Diane Arbus. No matter what the approach I take I have learnt that the planning of the shoot is of utmost importance to capturing “the” shot.

Assignment 3: The Decisive Moment – First Thoughts

First Thoughts

My first thoughts for this assignment were that I was NOT going to do street photography.  I find it emotionally challenging. However, the weather and circumstances worked against me and I found myself considering another go at street photography.

mind-map

My first thoughts included a number of subjects and a number of locations.  As I was about to start the shoot a very strong storm (Imogen) blew through, causing damage and making outside photography impossible.  I waited and then visited Slimbridge Nature Reserve.  I took several images of various exotic birds but for most I was rather too far away and the cold weather was a limiting factor.  I re-considered my options and decided to shoot in shopping malls.  I started in Newcastle Metro Centre and did a second shoot at Cabots Circus in Bristol.

Notes

 

Based on feedback from my last assignment and before the shoots I considered:

  • composition
  • framing
  • leading lines
  • reflections
  • simplicity
  • backgrounds
  • architecture

Again taking into account feedback from Assignment 2 I researched a great number of famous street photographers paying particular attention to how they composed and framed their shots and how they used other “props” such as reflections to lead the eye around the image.

Research

It isn’t hard to see the influences of the “Old Masters” such as Cartier-Bresson, Capa and Adams to name but a few, of the Decisive Moment in many modern photographers work.  For me the interesting thing is how they then use it to develop their own unique style.

Thomas Leuthard

Thomas Leuthard  particularly caught my attention in the way that he captures the essence of ordinary life and the candidness of his work.

“Street photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”  Leuthard T. (2011) http://thomas.leuthard.photography/ebooks/GoingCandid.pdf   (accessed 28.2.2016)

Valerie Jardin

I particularly liked the way Jardin  uses structures as well as reflections and candid shots for context.  Like Leuthard he also writes and shares his expertise freely.  Hi work helped me make a final decision between colour or black and white.

When is color preferred? The color can be an integral part of the story, which also means that a black and white conversation would take away the most important component of the image, and it would not make any sense. Jardin V,http://digital-photography-school.com/7-tips-anonymous-approach-street-photography/ (Accessed 28.1.2016)

 

Diane Arbus

I have long admired the work of Diane Arbus and her ability to capture the most unusual and interesting aspects of life.    An on-line biography of her quotes:

“ During her wanderings around New York City, Arbus began to pursue taking photographs of people she found.” Biography.com Editors

Whilst her photography does not quite fit with the received definition of the decisive moment as she quite obviously sought out her “subjects”  As Eric Kim  points out, we can learn a lot from her about street photography. 

 Arbus was not always comfortable about the type of people she photographed earning the question by some of whether she (or we who view her work) was voyeuristic or not.   That said there is no doubt that some of the expressions tell such as story that they may well be classified as a decisive moment.

Lee Friedlander

As part of feedback from assignment 2 I researched Lee Friedlander to help me understand composition and how he used reflections and objects to dissect the frame to lead the eye around the image.

His work is challenging for me because he often dissects the frame in places where I wouldn’t have even considered and might have discarded shots that I have taken (I will come back to this in the Reflection section).

Friedlander

©   Lee Friedlander, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1971

Molyvos

©Lynda Wearn, Molyvos 2012

While I am not suggesting that this is a good shot in any way I am now thinking, having reviewed Frielander’s compositions that if I had positioned myself in a slightly different position so that the ladder and sail had somewhere to lead the eye to, the fact they are in the middle of the shot would not have been important.

A few of the other photographers I researched:

Rui Pahla

    • Eric Kim
      • Eric Kim is a young photographer photographer from Berkley, California who has a mission statement:Influenced by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Besson, Pahla an amateur photographer, takes some of the most inspiring and candid street photography I have seen.  He has the ability to get in close and capture shots which seem to reach into the souls of his subjects.   
        • Vivian Maier
          • Another American photographer although born in Hungary and spending most of her youth in France, Maier’s use of reflection in self-portraits is inspiring. She photographs herself at work, at the hairdressers, shopping and in car wing mirrors.  In fact almost anywhere and she obviously carried a camera with her most of the time.  Maier died in 2009 aged 86 and I have not been able to find anything written about her on the web. http://www.vivianmaier.com/gallery/self-portraits-color/#slide-2 – Accessed 29.2.2016

         

    “My life’s mission is to produce as much “Open Source Photography,” to make photography education accessible to all.” http://erickimphotography.com/blog/start-here/ Access 2.3.2016

    A prolific user of social media Kim has interviewed many photographers and it is through the interviews published on his website that I was introduced to many of the photographers that I researched.  He describes himself as a teacher of photography but in fact he himself is a great photographer and has been interviewed in his own right.

    • Garry Winogrand
      • Winogrand another favourite of mine was a prolific street photographer who left behind an enormous archive legacy.  He was described as always being on the streets and hated the description of “Street Photographer”.  He did not think that photographs told a story but did think that the photograph should be more interesting and more beautiful than what was photographed.   Eric Kim on 10 Things Garry Winogrand can Teach you about Street Photography  http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2012/08/20/10-things-garry-winogrand-can-teach-you-about-street-photography/ – Accessed 3.3.2016
    • Helen Levitt
      • Levitt has been described as the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_.  Her photographs taken on the streets of New York of ordinary everyday life; children at play, adults in conversation and shopping and elderly people observing her intention was not to tell a story nor to document social history but to capture what was visually interesting in the poor neighbourhoods she worked in.  Levitt continued to work into her 80’s and died at the age of 96 in 2009.   Levitt http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Helen-Levitt.html (Accessed 2.3.2016)

All of the photographers that I researched take very interesting and compelling street photography and although different in style they together bring the concept of how to take effective street photography together.  In my next assignment I will be using some of the techniques and compositions I have read about to improve my street photography.  After all it can only get better after my last attempt (I hope).

 

 

 

 


 

Assignment 3: The Decisive Moment – Exercise 3.2 (part 1)

Research

Having done a fair amount of research into the “pioneers” of street photography for this assignment I wanted to get a feel for contemporary photographers and how they approached their craft.  I was blown away by the quality, style and artistry of modern photographers.  It isn’t hard to see the influences of the “Old Masters” such as Cartier-Bresson, Capa and Adams to name but a few, of the Decisive Moment in many modern photographers work.  For me the interesting thing is how they then use it to develop their own unique style

Thomas Leuthard

Thomas Leuthard  particularly caught my attention in the way that he captures the essence of ordinary life and the candidness of his work.

What is street photography? It’s not that simple to explain. Sure you can go to Wikipedia and find an answer there. In my words, it’s the documentation of life in public in a candid way. Nothing is setup, nobody was asked and it will never be the same again. It’s like holding up a mirror to society. It’s a single human moment captured in a decisive moment.

Leuthard T. (2011)

Valerie Jardin

I particularly liked the way Jardin  uses structures as well as reflections and candid shots for context.  Like Leuthard she also writes and shares her expertise freely.  Her work helped me make a final decision between colour or black and white.

When is color preferred? The color can be an integral part of the story, which also means that a black and white conversation would take away the most important component of the image, and it would not make any sense. Jardin V,

http://digital-photography-school.com/7-tips-anonymous-approach-street-photography

Diane Arbus

I made no reference to Arbus in my last assignment and having  long admired her work of and her ability to capture the most unusual and interesting aspects of life I felt she deserved a mention.    An on-line biography of her quotes:

“ During her wanderings around New York City, Arbus began to pursue taking photographs of people she found.” Biography.com Editors

Whilst her photography does not quite fit with the received definition of the decisive moment as she quite obviously sought out her “subjects”  As Eric Kim  points out, we can learn a lot from her about street photography.

Arbus was not always comfortable about the type of people she photographed earning the question by some of whether she (or we who view her work) was voyeuristic or not.   That said there is no doubt that some of the expressions tell such as story that they may well be classified as a decisive moment.

Lee Friedlander

As part of feedback from assignment 2 I researched Lee Friedlander to help me understand composition and how he used reflections and objects to dissect the frame to lead the eye around the image.

His work is challenging for me because he often dissects the frame in places where I wouldn’t have even considered and might have discarded shots that I have taken (I will come back to this in the Reflection section).

 

Friedlander

©   Lee Friedlander, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1971

 

Molyvos

©Lynda Wearn, Molyvos 2012

While I am not suggesting that this is a good shot in any way I am now thinking having reviewed Frielander’s compositions that if I had positioned myself in a slightly different position so that the ladder and sail had somewhere to lead the eye to, the fact they are in the middle of the shot would not have been important,

A few of the other photographers I researched:

  • Rui Pahla
    • Influenced by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Besson, Pahla an amateur photographer, takes some of the most inspiring and candid street photography I have seen.  He has the ability to get in close and capture shots which seem to reach into the souls of his subjects.
  • Vivian Maier
    • Another American photographer although born in Hungary and spending most of her youth in France, Maier’s use of reflection in self-portraits is inspiring. She photographs herself at work, at the hairdressers, shopping and in car wing mirrors.  In fact almost anywhere and she obviously carried a camera with her most of the time.  Maier died in 2009 aged 86 and I have not been able to find anything written about her on the web. http://www.vivianmaier.com/gallery/self-portraits-color/#slide-2 – Accessed 29.2.2016
  • Eric Kim
    • Eric Kim is a young photographer photographer from Berkley, California who has a mission statement:

“My life’s mission is to produce as much “Open Source Photography,” to make photography education accessible to all.” http://erickimphotography.com/blog/start-here/ Access 2.3.2016

A prolific user of social media Kim has interviewed many photographers and it is through the interviews published on his website that I was introduced to many of the photographers that I researched.  He describes himself as a teacher of photography but in fact he himself is a great photographer and has been interviewed in his own right.

  • Gerry Winogrand
    • Winogrand another favourite of mine was a prolific street photographer who left behind an enormous archive legacy.  He was described as always being on the streets and hated the description of “Street Photographer”.  He did not think that photographs told a story but did think that the photograph should be more interesting and more beautiful than what was photographed.   Eric Kim on 10 Things Garry Winogrand can Teach you about Street Photography  http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2012/08/20/10-things-garry-winogrand-can-teach-you-about-street-photography/ – Accessed 3.3.2016 
  • Helen Levitt
    • Levitt has been described as the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time (Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Levitt Accessed 3.3.2016.  Her photographs taken on the streets of New York of ordinary everyday life; children at play, adults in conversation and shopping and elderly people observing her intention was not to tell a story nor to document social history but to capture what was visually interesting in the poor neighbourhoods she worked in.  Levitt continued to work into her 80’s and died at the age of 96 in 2009.