Four photographs illustrating changes in depth of field:
The first tulip was taken with f 4.5 shutter speed 1/320 ISO 100 with macro 105mm lens. Able to go v close with lovely shallow depth of field creating soft green background and the light shining beautifully through the delicate red petals. The tulip in its wider context was then photographed f6.3, the narrower aperture needing longer exposure of 1/80 to create longer depth of field. The dandelion was likewise photographed in its grassy context f4.5 1/800 on macro 105mm lens. f4.8 1/800 for the extreme close up, subject to gentle processing in photoshop to emphasise light and shade with curves, permitting great attention to detail.
Four photographs illustrating selective or manual focus
The first three photographs were all taken with macro 105mm lens, the fourth going close up with a wide-angle/zoom lens, all using manual focus to create precision of focus. The first three were done on manual settings and the fourth on aperture priority. Manual settings are preferable because of the ability to light meter, which gives great flexibility in terms of capturing detail while balancing colour and facilitating as much vibrance as possible to maximise processing potential.
Four photographs using shutter speed to blur/freeze movement
- f16, ISO 100, shutter speed 0.3 allowing camera movement to blur the light and create artistic abstract from simple coloured lights.
- Panning and adjust shutter speed in inverse ratio to speed of movement f18, shutter speed 1/15, ISO 400 using prime 50mm lens.
- ISO 100, f16, 3s exposure. Intense spotlights in Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, use long exposure to create light paint effect by rotating camera.
- Extremely long exposure – 98.2 seconds. F22, with ND filter. Camera on tripod. Self portrait at Hammersmith, I moved into then out of shot for one third of exposure time to create ghost effect, long exposure smooths the water of the river and gives haunted feel to the clouds in the sky, augmenting the ghost effect. ND filter only way to facilitate creative use of long exposure in daylight.
Five images on the theme of natural/Man-made
- Exhibit at Tate Modern. This is a man-made textile/drape hanging from the ceiling and covering almost an entire wall. The ceiling of the room was blue. So I lay on the floor beneath the bottom of the curtain-style exhibit to obtain a far-reaching perspective, and the man-made ceiling from this POV appears like natural blue sky. This was a piece of art in its own right but by taking an abstract photographic approach I was trying to make a further artistic development of the art, bringing out an interesting collision through colour and perspective of man and nature. For me this illustrated the potential opened up by the RHACC course – ‘the sky’s the limit’ – yet the sky is actually a man-made ceiling so it really is a limit. Yet it is also limitless, like the sky.
- A second exhibit at Tate Modern had reels of film frame in a plain frame on a wall. Again by using 50mm prime lens it was possible with shallow depth of field and careful positioning to obtain perspective, to show these pictures literally ‘reeling off’ into the distance, moving out of focus into some blurry past, or is it a blurry future? So the natural light and shade created by the perspective gives movement to these series of ‘stills’ making an ironic abstract photograph of actual still photographs from ‘moving’ image representations.
- Heavily processed in Photoshop using layers/masks, this photograph using long exposure and long depth of field on a tripod on bankside on The Thames positions a piece of rubble-drift washed up on the tide, a relic of the nature adrift amid the stones and seaweed of the water of the river, against the wholly man-made artifice of the City of London. I was so lucky that the perspective was just made for this photograph, the very shape of the wood in its natured state mirroring the billion-pound artificial structures behind it. Enhancing the blue and light of the late evening sky, combined with the night lights, added to an almost SF quality, a perspective through times well as through light and space. So we can almost imagine the river as it might have been thousands of years ago, and look forward through the photograph and through time itself to the present – and then the future.
- This is a window at Tate Modern photographed from an unusual sideways perspective so that instead of stretching up it reaches sideways. Processing then to make the concrete pink rather than grey creates an enticing abstract work of art from a photograph of what is in reality an extremely utilitarian brutalist concrete piece of man-made industrialism. The leading lines draw the viewer in, but instead of moving towards light, as is normal, the shadows created by the change in perspective from the natural to the abstract POV mean the leading lines move from light to dark. Combined with the ‘pink’, associated with prettiness and not brutalism, this is intended to create an uneasiness in the viewer. What is wrong here? Why do I sense a dislocation, a feeling that something is wrong, when the light and the pink tells me it should all be nice and pretty? This is a creative tension in the photograph between the rules of nature, imposed on and manipulated by the will of human.
- St Dunstan-in-the-East, London. This church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666,rebuilt then bombed in WWII. It is now preserved as a garden in the midst of the City of London. Through the gothic tracery can be seen on one side the Shard, and on the other the Gherkin, while nature climbs and creeps all over, in the form of moss, foliage and some quite beautiful flowers. This is a wonderful place to experiment with framing and with the man/nature theme of this project. In the distance through the window – framed according to the Rule of Thirds, we see the Shard. Yet right in front of us is the crumbled medieval structure, where we see nature winning the battle in the very heart of the City of London, one of the world’s main financial centres. Will the same fate await the Shard one day, we are led by the perspective and the dynamic of the picture to speculate. And what does this tell us about the Church today, once such force of strength and power in the City? Also the Shard, gleaming in the distance, is not in the City. It is in Southwark, south of the river. Is this where the future lies, when it comes to the pinnacle of financial success? Is the river a metaphor for the channel? Does this have a post-Brexit message for us? Perhaps this is now becoming a bit fanciful, but this is just one of the wonderful ways the beauty of natural and man-made structures can interact with light through time to inspire images that engage us in both learning and reflection.