Unit 1: theme work


Painting with light in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. Theme work on light, reflections, shadows. The Turbine Hall is currently occupied by the Danish collective Superflex. A giant playground, for photographers as well as grown-up kids! Intense spotlights create strong shadows from the swings, and also provide pportunities to ‘paint with light’. The giant mirror ball swinging overhead the stripes carpet works with light balance effects, exposure compensation, zoom and distorted reflection. (I’m one of the dots in the middle of the first and last photos, lying on the floor, shooting up!) Even ordinary fluorescent lights offer similar creative opportunities. Working with shadows, exposure compensation of +2 achieved the best results. The mirror ball was ‘blue’ with negative and automatic WB, ‘orange’ with 0 ev and fluorescent WB. To achieve the light effects, I didn’t move the lights – I moved the camera. 3″ exposure and the smallest aperture (16) my 50mm prime lens can achieve.

Below: Practising with depth of field, composition (leading lines, rule of thirds etc), reflections, balance in the permanent exhibits on the fourth and second floors of Tate Modern


Unit 1: aperture priority

An evening walk around the Serpentine in Hyde Park. I waited for a day when a good sunset beckoned to go into London to catch Henry Moore’s famous arch on the Serpentine, taking it from both sides of the river as the evening drew to a close, along with the fountains at the western end. This week in class we were practising aperture priority – so with A priority and manual ISO, we can relax and rely on the camera to adjust shutter speed itself. Aperture priority is the only setting where exposure compensation works, and I shot most of these on -2 to enhance colour depth without darkening them too much as the light faded. This was necessary as I was shooting into the sun. I changed aperture for different depth of field, and took most of these on mid-range aperture apart from the water fountains on 1.4. The beauty of the sculpture also gave an opportunity to practise framing, while the fountains and the conveniently arranged seagulls and swan allowed experiments with balance and composition. I liked using the shadow from the sculpture to do an artistic selfie!