Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Week 64: How to compliment II.

This is obviously the second instalment of my complimenting experiment. Two forms of lighting, and a similar set up. Photography is studying light. However a photograph is on the periphery of seeing real light. It stands back and let's you decide how to view the light that is captured by what Berger would call "a mechanical eye."


Much like a previous project involving the doorway being an analogy for the shutter of a camera, I have been assessing the frame that is created by light. In staged and constructed images you have complete control over what the audience will see and what the audience will miss out on. Christian Metz speaks about this kind of "off-framing" in his essay "Photography and Fetish" where he compares the moving image (Film) with the still (photography).

"The filmic off-frame space is étoffe, let us say "substantial," whereas the photographic off-frame space is "subtle." In film there is a plurality of successive frames, of camera movements, and character movements, so that a person or an object which is off-frame in a given moment may appear inside the frame the moment after, then disappear again, and so on, according to the principle (I purposely exaggerate) of the turnstile."

He explains that the plurality of film allows the director to have more leeway with what he can or can't show. With photography it is final, whatever is cut out of the image is none existent to the audience, they can assume, but apart from assumptions everything outside the frame is frame-dead. However, I've decided there is a number of flaws to his point. Lighting that is outside the image can easily be figured out by a keen eye. Also, reflections of what is cropped out are visually existent but are not physically existent within the crop. For example, the catch-light in the eye of a studio model.

This photograph is showing the relationship between perception and light. Specifically constructed light situations are given to compliment in different manners. My advice (and that's all it is) to anyone that wants to experiment with light is simple. Time has to be taken, slow it down, move the lighting until the ambience is perfect, be picky, for God's sake meter it and note the reading down. The image is similar but the ambience is completely different. In this photograph, you can really make out the skeletal construction of the corset. The softness of the face contrasts really well with the simple harshness of the outfit. I genuinely believe that "photographers" need to understand how light actually works because that is literally what you are studying. The bare physics of it. I'm learning stuff everyday that surprises me, it's nothing abstract at all. The mood and emotional perception of a photograph is dependent on the physics of light, there are equations for these concepts.

Song listening to right now: Mother - Pink Floyd

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Week 63: How to compliment.

For a while now I've been thinking of different ways models are complimented in fashion. I think the best way to compliment a model is through light. So I did a little visual research through certain magazines and decided to experiment.


Again shot on the Hasselblad. So this week and next week I am going to post a similar image, but with different light situations. You (as the audience) can decide which is more complimenting. The dress is from Cape Town, SA. It has an almost exoskeleton like corset that encompasses a fitted slim dress. This post is almost a cliffhanger for you guys, wait and see what the image looks like with a different lighting arrangement.

Song listening to right now: Desperado - Eagles

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Week 62: JD and smokes.

This blog has a role, it acts as an archive. This archive will eventually tell a long story of my progression through professional photography. I have always been told to keep reading, keep reading stories that nobody else is reading. Why? Because a narrative is much more than a progressive tale.

A narrative can be a singular image. A narrative tells a story, whilst a portrait reveals an individual. If a photographer can reveal the story of an individual through a portrait we can simultaneously produce a narrative. So is it right to conform to a linear progressive tale? Or can it be done simultaneously? This argument of the line and the circle has been mentioned before when talking about time/fate. The difference is, that both are possible in photography.


Shot on my Hasselblad 553, Kodak Tri-X 120 film.

Song listening to right now: Lithium - Nirvana

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Week 61: Forward.

So after spending some time assisting Dan Tobin Smith, I have realised that a lot of great opportunities have been coming my way and I haven't hesitated to snatch them. So this week I have had a few thoughts on future life.

Futurology is obviously the specialised study of foresight and how things will turn out. It's probably one of the most interesting topics you can debate about once you really sink your teeth into it. In 1932 H.G Wells requested there to be "Departments and Professors of Foresight", which eventually influenced a lot of sci-fi writers and consequently inspired inventors. Inventions are the spawn of minds that are naturally riddled with futurology. Looking into what is needed is actually looking into what will be needed. So what is forward? Is it a misconception of the ever-moving present? Probably not, since there isn't really such thing as the present, as soon as we think of a moment it's already in the past. To compare this to my medium, a photograph is instantaneous but whether it's a century or the smallest decimal of a second, it will always take time to capture light. However in real life as soon as we think we are living in the present it becomes the past in an instant. As we try to trap the present with the shutter of the camera, that little box of time will have elements of the past as it opens and shuts. So the present is either ever moving or non existent.

I've been trying to apply some of this to my life and foreseeing how it will pan out. If I can estimate where I am going to be, (as a result of past events and experience) then I will try every route possible to get there.

Thank you if you read this part.

The description of this photograph is similar to the previous week, as it was the same shoot. However, the photograph is placed in this week's post to show something that is an indicator of how things will turn out for me in the future. This was a job that got me noticed. I also met a lot of contacts that day which helps me to mould my future schedule.

Song listening to right now: Wild Side - Mötley Crüe

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Week 60: Pure Zandra.

This week I headed down to Pure and met up with a couple of the guys from placement. It was a fantastic day.


So I ended up meeting Zandra Rhodes, a forceful face of fashion and a lovely conversationist at that. I photographed some of the stunning models she decorated with her effervescent new collection of dresses.

Song listening to right now: '81 - Joanna Newsom