Andy Grundberg is an American art critic, based in New York who over a period of the 1980’s and 1990′ has written a number of important essays of artists and their exhibitions which he has written for The New York Times, etc. His critical analysis of artist such as Walker Evans, Georgia O’Keefe, Joel Sternfield, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lewis Hine, Robert Heinecken, gives a very good insight into a great many of 2oth century artists both modernist and postmodernist with a helpful explanation as to the difference. I found this book as recommended reading on Amazon and I dare say I expect to find it listed among future recommended or required readings in my OCA journey. A good book to read.
This was my original image that I submitted to my Tutor and based upon his report I have amended the image through Photoshop. I have tried to reduce the high light on the door but I don’t won’t to remove as I won’t it to remain a clue to the real identity of the entrance and the door keeper.
I have cropped in a little and used the healing tool to extend the brick work on either side of the door.
This book is full of famouse / influential essays for photography and a particular essay of interest is ‘See Photographically’ be Edward Weston. In his essay under the section ‘Recording an image’ he describes an image being a piece of art when the artist has pre-visualized his intended work and selected the elements, composed and framed his picture through a planned process. This I feel simply sums up true art and can be applied to music, painting, sculpture any medium that can be hailed as art. additional good essays to read or re-read are Barthes expects from ‘Camera Lucida’ and Rhetoric Of The Image, Walter Benjamin’s extracts from ‘The Work Of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction’. Also there are some good essays on fetishism which helps to understand the full meaning and use of this term, which would typically be only associated with sexual deviations.
Again this was a book listed as recommended reading of my Art of Photography course which had no bearing to the subject matter covered in the syllabus. However, this book made sense with connection to the course on ‘Context and Narrative’ as many of the essays had been referred to or covered, yet it is odd that this book is not on the reading list. I found the book a little dry at times as the essays differ in style; but overall this is a book that I am glad to have read.
Further to my Tutor’s comments in his report for assignment 3, I decided to re-shoot image No.5, as my Tutor felt that the crop was too tight against the ‘soap-box’.
this is my new image.
D-800e, 24-120mm f/4 @ 92mm, 1/125 sec, f/13, ISO-125, flash used, daylight W.B. Adjustments in Lightroom, tint added in Photoshop, Hue 257, Saturation 3. Camera mounted to tripod and tethered to lap-top. A speedlight was mounted in a soft-box and remotely triggered using Pocket Wizard.
This is my new alternative presentation from my original work for assignment 2 based upon my Tutors comments.
My Tutor commented on two images that he felt should have been composed in landscape to be consistent with my other images and he felt that the last image was weak in comparison the the rest. I have therefor re-shot to offer better alternatives.
The first was referring to my dog and this was the original portrait version.
D-800e, 24-120mm f/4 @ 120mm, 1/20 sec, f/8, ISO-320, daylight W.B. Adjustments made in Lightroom to convert to black-and-white and then image tinted in Photoshop, Hue 257, Saturation 3.
This new version composed in landscape photographed in RAW and converted to black-and-white in Lightroom and tinted in Photoshop.
This next image Clive felt was weak.
Clive’s two objections were that again it has in portrait and he felt the colour was at odds with the black-and-white theme of the other images.
I can not re-do this picture to landscape as time has moved on and this bud has since flowered and gone. Furthermore, I was never one-hundred percent happy with it anyway, as I had struggled to come up with a better idea for an image. However, I have recently had a new idea that I like….
As you can see I have sketched out my idea of an image of myself suited and booted shaking hands with another suited and booted person whilst discreetly crossing my fingers. I want this image to denote a business meeting or interview and connoting a message of hope and optimism for the future. I set the camera up on a tripod, used one speedlight in a soft-box controlled remotely by Pocket wizards. The camera was set to manual and manual focus and tethered to my lap-top for picture control, I also used a separate Sekonic lightmeter to meter the flash.
D-800e, 24-120mm f/4 @ 120mm, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO-125, flash used, daylight WB. Adjustments in Lightroom to black-and-white and colour tint adjustments made in Photoshop, Hue 257, Saturation 3. On reflection of this picture, I now consider that a second light would have been in order, set in front of me and to the left to help separate my right arm from the background. I could mess about in Photoshop to get better separation; but for this exercise I wont.
Using Clive’s suggested tinting I have produced new tinted versions of the rest of the black-and-white images. The originals are on the left and the new tinted versions on the right.
I have just received my Tutor’s report for my last assignment for the Context & Narrative course and I am both pleased and relieved that my Tutor liked it and has given me a good report.
He comments that I didn’t mention if I used a tripod. This was an oversight in my blogging, as I had used it and I listed it as the equipment used but obviously I did not make it clear that the camera was mounted to the tripod for all my shots.
When setting up for the shoot, I reasoned that by mounting the camera, it would slow me down and help control the framing of the picture and although I didn’t consider it at the time it was important in order to be able to merge more than one image through Photoshop, if required. Which in fact was the case.
I feel that although I achieved what I set out to make, I still felt that picture wasn’t quite as good as I hoped. I struggled with the framing as the camera was fixed; and my dog was not, which caused problems getting all the elements in the right place. Perhaps I should have set the camera up a little further away or set the zoom to a wider angle for greater flexibility when cropping. However, I was working at my second choice of locations due to circumstances beyond my control and time had been wasted trying to get access to my first location choice, leaving me less time to work. All in all, I made the best out of a non-ideal situation and I am fairly happy with the final picture if not ecstatic.