Thursday, 17 May 2012

Assignment 2 : pictures and progress

After another visit to the London Embankment area and the chance to take some more images, the first in anything approaching an attractive light (even saw the sun for a while), I have started to formulate some ideas for submission photographs for Assignment 2.  The objective is to generate a set of photographs directed towards one type of subject, and to generate 10-15 images which exemplify the following effects.  Obviously, these are basically the design elements which have been covered in this part of the course.

·         Single point dominating the composition

·         Two points

·         Several points in a deliberate shape

·         A combination of vertical and horizontal lines

·         Diagonals

·         Curves

·         Distinct, even if irregular, shapes

·         At least two kinds of implied triangle

·         Rhythm

·         Pattern

From my attempts to take photographs to address these challenges, it is clear that some elements are easier to capture than others, and that those which appear to be easiest contain the pitfall of quantity and the associated problem of selection, which of course, is part of what I must start to learn.  I am struggling with one and two points, the simplest things to do I thought, and yes they are, but how to make an interesting photograph is proving to be a challenge ....I have lots of pictures of one and two things of course, but the Embankment area did not lend itself that well to this type of image, or not the type shown by Freeman (2007) or in the course notes anyway. 

There are clearly many different types of architecture available to photograph in my chosen area and I’m pleased with the way that vertical/horizontal, diagonal and curves are going, and rhythm and pattern too have some decent examples to build on.  Implied triangles worked quite well with people and faces, but I have so far not got an image outside this, and I need to get one, as the requirement is for at least two types of implied triangle, which suggests to me that I ought to be looking at three images, and they certainly don’t want to be three pictures of people!

As I have said before, I have decided to go for black and white in this assignment, so I have been spending quite a lot of time converting some of my wildlife images to mono and evaluating the impact of the various adjustments in Lightroom 4.  I chose to do this because I am familiar with these images and have a reasonable idea of what I might expect to see as far as tonality is concerned.  I have moved on from here to look at some of my London images and I’m getting a feel for the sort of conversions I want to do.  Most of my trips have been in flat light with the endless grey cloud cover we have experienced in the south of England for what seems like forever, and these are proving a greater challenge to get to a level that I am happy with.  My most recent trip coincided with a nice bright day with high cloud and a diffuse light, and these images have proven to be far easier to develop with the range of tones that I think I’m after.

In a post back in February, I mentioned that I was looking at the demo version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 program for black and white conversion.  It is certainly easy to use and some of the adjustments are impressive, especially the ‘structure’ adjustment if it is not overcooked.  I’m undecided whether to move to the pay version or whether to stick with LR4 at this stage, although I am sure that used correctly both are good, but SEP2 does seem to be growing in reputation as the premier black and white tool.

So what of the images?  I have uploaded a few that I am considering below, although clearly they may be superseded by photos taken in later visits.  These are candidate images for Curves, One Point and Diagonals.  All have just had a first pass at processing in LR4.  They represent a range of focal lengths from 24mm to 200mm and all were shot with a Canon 5D MkII.
Curves : Candidate 1

Curves : Candidate 2

Curves : Candidate 3

Curves : Candidate 4

One point : Candidate 1

One point : Candidate 2

One point : Candidate 3

One point : Candidate 4

Diagonals : Candidate 1

Diagonal : Candidate 2

Diagonals : Candidate 3

Diagonals : Candidate 4

Diagonals : Candidate 5

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