Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Penultimate Digital Photography session- Getting the story and getting the print

Last week in our photography class we were given a couple of pictures to analyse (described by me here as Geisha and 'Running Boy' both by Steve McCurry), my analysis went something like this- 

Line (that of the eyes of the protagonists for example).
The line in the pictures by Steve is drawn first to the human figure which  in both cases is fairly central.

Colour  The colours used are expressive, from my perspective I would associate the red of the Geisha with anger and ferocity but the cold fluorescent light drains emotion from the scene.

The blue (cool) that predominates in the running boy  figure picture though is balanced by the red hands, overall the blue seems oppressive and 'dark' the shadows are muted .

Shape Shape is an important element within both pictures – giving the subject in both case a route out but placing them 'centre stage'.
Form both pictures show a figure in motion one appears concentrated on the manner of the movement while the other is more concerned with the result of the motion

Tone – in the Geisha picture the electric lights give a flat even lighting and shadows are muted there is an accent on purpose by the subject– the more natural and nuanced light in the boy picture is more emotive leaving a focus on the boy being the subject being acted on by circumstances.

Texture there's a real contrast between the two walls that form a strong texture to the two pictures for the geisha the walls are almost clinical and detached giving a strong contrast to the human figure for the child picture the walls seem to form a different sort of labyrinth one that does have more of a human character but not necessarily a benevolent one

Space The Geisha dominates the space within her picture whereas the child appears (to me) to be a subject within the space

Depth -The handrail in the geisha picture provides a feeling of depth with its gradient and reflections other materials feel flatter. The Child's position is located by the right hand brown wall counter-pointed against the blue wall to the left

Focus The Geisha exists within a slowly tapering fields of focus , the writing on the wall signs is out of focus but can be read (exit) – the focus on the boy picture is similarly dispersed (as far as I can see)

Pattern the walls both have patterns the geometric pattern of the subway tiles on the walls anf ground is like a washable surface, functional rather than aesthetic uniform and 'cold' it even lacks graffiti – the stainless steel of the handrail too is industrial and cool


Viewpoint, The geisha figure is being looked down on as she climbs the stairs her eyes are averted from the camera and the make-up means her facial expression is hard to read.
The boy is seen in retreat be is alon and small in the frame (his height is about one quarter of the picture)

along with how we feel about the picture/s we're analysing.
Both pictures have a helical structure, in one (the Geisha) the subject is moving in a clockwise way to be at the centre of the 'stage' while the child in the other is moving away in a counter clockwise way and although the child's movement could be interpreted as a joyous skip and run there is an alternative interpretation that has flight in it.  

Outcome - well the exercise was really useful and reminded me of what I like in pictures, here are couple of mine that I like because they invite a narrative.

There are a  few stories in here

Window shopping story here

Printing Press

Let me in!
After a few years away from the constantly changing Ealing College (it's apparently the University of West London now) I renewed my acquaintance with the halloed institution yesterday for the penultimate OPEN Ealing photography session.

I went to the college for a video course in the 1990s and have also used the Library when I was doing an MA by Distance learning, and more recently I've attended a few public events there too.

We got the chance to have a play with the Photoshop software and select the pictures (3 of these each) to Print for display in next week's exhibition - the good news is that looking on the 'Macs' we were using, after an earlier lack of confidence in myself, my pictures  and my camera I really liked the way my pictures looked - no need for too much adjustment and they capture my continuity theme of some views in Ealing nicely.

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