Archive for November, 2012

November 20, 2012

Exercise: Rhythms & Patterns

by Suzy Walker-Toye

On p99, the last exercise for part 2 is of patterns & rhythms. Photos with Rhythm lead your eye in a pattern to a beat. And for photographs with patterns your eye can imagine the pattern continuing on out of the frame.  Following on from yesterdays post these photos of rhythms & patterns are also all from central London buildings.

There are quite a few so I’ve put them into this clickable gallery, click the images to see larger. As you can see there are some triangle influences here too…

my favourites are #1 and #9. Next to do is the assignment for this section.

November 19, 2012

Exercise: Real & Implied Triangles

by Suzy Walker-Toye

The section on shapes end with an exercise on real & implied triangles (p92). Does anyone else think of the Eddie Izzard sketch about Darth Vader eating triangular food? No? Just me then. Ok, so I went for a walk in Central London to take photos to cover this, the previous (with the Batman building) and the next exercise. As it turns out I really enjoyed taking photographs of bits of buildings! I thought they’d look better in black and white but as usual I just couldn’t part with the colour for most of them.

The one above is triangletastic, looking up into a triangular section which is reflected in the shiny windows causing even more triangles. The one below is part of a construction saw I saw on the walk to work (one of the few here not from the south bank).

The one below is also looking up and if I had been shooting with a wider focal length would have made a giant triangle so this one is an implied triangle with little real and reflected triangles in it too.

This is another looking up one, I thought the negative space of the sky made an almost implied triangle but there are other triangles by perspective in it too.

The one below is another from the 1/2 finished building. In this one the inverted triangle leads your eye down to the little worker men at the bottom. I should have taken more time over this one, the men are a little close to the edge of the frame for my liking but it was touch and go for getting to work on time at it was. This is why you should never take photos in a hurry.

And now for something completely different….

The last part of the exercise very clearly states that it has to be a photo of 3 people arranged in a group such that their faces (or bodies) make an implied triangle. Well luckily for me it did not state 3 living people! Here is a family portrait from the Acme Family Portrait Studio of my kitchen table:

November 18, 2012

What is conceptual photography?

by Suzy Walker-Toye

I picked this up on twitter and really enjoyed watching these three videos, I hope you find them interesting too.






November 16, 2012

Exercise: Implied Lines

by Suzy Walker-Toye

The exercise on p85 is all to do with implied lines. The first part of the exercise is to find the implied lines in the photographs supplied in the coursework, to make a sketch and note down what the lines might be. I’ve done that in my physical notebook. I’ll finish up the exercise here with these photographs.

Firstly this one of the diver lighting up the corals…

This photo is actually an optical illusion. The diver swimming by happened to have his flash set on slave so when mine went off so did his. Now normally this would ruin a photograph however my flash was pointed at the corals in such a way it looks like the diver had a torch on the corals creating an implied relationship (even though in reality he was much too far away). This small version here shows the implied lines, the main arrow shows the “torch beam” effect. And the smaller implied line shows the space for the diver to swim into.

The next photo has the following implied lines. This one is less subtle with the lines of ridged sand leading you eyes from the shell to the rays, the foreground rays swimming forward and right and the background rays swimming straight right.

This guy on the front of the Duomo in Florence looks as though he’s impeaching the heavens. You follow his eye line upwards but the alcove that he’s sitting in all point inwards and the star pattern leads your eye back down to him again creating a circuit within the frame.

For the third part of the exercise was to plan and take a photograph that has these types of implied lines. I took this one of my little people in their snowy landscape. Even though the man in the foreground is blurred by the DOF your eyes still go between him & the woman in yellow because they are holding eye line and waving. The people in the background are much less dynamic so hold less interest in the composition, however they are all walking inwards keeping your attention within the frame and back to the woman again.

November 15, 2012

Exercise: Curves

by Suzy Walker-Toye

The exercise on p82 is a little like the diagonals exercise but this time with curves and circles. Curves give a composition softness that sharp lines would not. I took these going along in the car with my iPhone, I like the long exposure of them and how they emphasise the fireworks shape (that usually gets burnt into your retina for a few seconds). Notice the light trails of the headlights of the cars going past.


I took this one of the “batman” building yesterday lunchtime…

My wide angle underwater lens is a fisheye lens but its ok since not many things underwater have straight lines (apart from the odd bit of shipwreck but they tend to be quite curvy too).

And of course there are lots of circular things in the sea…

November 14, 2012

Exercise: Diagonals

by Suzy Walker-Toye

Looking back over my work, I seem to use diagonals a lot. The exercise on p80 is designed to make you aware of diagonals and how they can bring dynamism to your photos. I’m not sure that I agree that there are few true diagonals apart from stairs (the rest being a matter of perceptive or angle of the camera). Clearly the author of the coursework hasn’t been to London in a while, the place is littered with buildings that are not straight with diagonals and curviness abound.

For some reason (maybe because its easier on the eyes for a western reader, I dont really know) I seem to favour the diagonal going from left to right up the image. I had a dig around to see if I could find any that were the other way around – not many I must say.

This one is a matter of perspective of a very tall building, so not something I really intended to be diagonal but without a tilt shift lens theres not much you can do about it. However, I’d still label this vertical rather than diagonal.

This one of sun rays lighting up the fish eggs is more of a radial pattern….

November 13, 2012

Exercise: Horizontal and Vertical lines

by Suzy Walker-Toye

In this exercise on p76, we are encouraged to go out and make photographs or horizontal or vertical lines. I’ve talked about this a little in my PDF log (9th Nov entry) so I wont go into too much detail. Here are some images that shows verticals and horizontals

November 12, 2012

Exercise: Random Points

by Suzy Walker-Toye

I meant to add this as part of the previous post on points as an addition photo. There were some comments in the course work on random collections of points. The points on the previous post were deliberately placed. The buttons were just chucked down until they made a pleasing arrangement in the frame.

November 12, 2012

Exercise: Points

by Suzy Walker-Toye

Part Two of the course is all about elements of design. Points, lines, shapes etc. The first exercise on page seventy four for positioning a point within the frame was almost exactly the same as this one in part 1 Exercise: Object in different positions in the frame that I’m skipping over it to the second points exercise (p75) on positioning multiple points.

For this I used some small people to be my points on polystyrene (I was thinking of it as a winter scene)…

As you can see for two points I had to chance my DOF. They look like they are walking towards each other (but that is getting ahead or ourselves, into the exercise on p85 on implied lines). The are on a slight diagonal too which makes them seem more dynamic.

With three there is a (very flat) implied triangle but it still looks as though they are all walking along the same pathway in the snow.

with four there is a certain symmetry, I guess I cant stop my brain from seeing in patterns. They are leaning a bit which i’ve corrected in shot 5 but perhaps there was a strong wind on this snowing day?

For shot 5, the woman in yellow disturbs the pattern of them all walking along, she is slightly set back off the road waving to someone. I meant for it to be the lady in  purple but fro this vantage point it looks like she’s looking off screen at someone else which disrupts the balance of the photo somewhat.

The balance is restored with the addition of a 6th figure (with whom the woman seems to be waving). They are all still vaguely aligned with the snowy pathway from my imagination though.

I was having a think on how I would align them differently and this is an alternative arrangement of figures that I liked. Clearly a group os couples meeting up, the group as a whole makes a sort of diagonal line across the frame, with waving figures at each end reinforcing the group shape with implied eye lines.

November 4, 2012

Assignment 1: Contrasts

by Suzy Walker-Toye

This gallery is supposed to show 3 columns. If it shows more than that you may need to click into the post here to see it formatted correctly.

November 4, 2012

Writing reviews for Exhibitions

by Suzy Walker-Toye

I wanted to write a quick blog post about this because I’ve been surprised by a few related things recently. Firstly how many people turn up to study visits with a camera. I’ve only been on a couple of OCA study days now. On my first study visit I was surprised at the number of people snapping away, at each other, at the work on display – everything. My first thought, “I thought we were here to study”, my second, “what a good idea” if the gallery owner doesn’t mind (and in the Saatchi gallery they don’t seem to stop you – this has been where my two visits have been so far). I was expecting to use the photos as an aid-memoir for my write up and to put that write up in my private learning log. I have been surprised by the number of students who’ve actually used those photos in their public blog – thus demonstration a basic lack of understanding (or perhaps just a disregard) of copyright law. As digital artists our work is subject to those same laws so I would have thought we’d like it respected? I certainly do. My first study visit photos were in a private learning log so I could happily talk about the work (I’m a visual person, I have great respect for those who can read or write about a photo without looking at it or showing it but I’m not really one of those people – or at least, its not a skill I’ve yet developed) because the Saatchi Gallery never got back to me about a press pack.

This is the second thing that surprised me recently, the number of people I spoke to who didn’t know what a press pack is. And mainly the reason for this post. I used one for my recent Prix Pictet  and Wildlife of the year reviews.  Basically a press pack is a pre-prepared set of information and or some images (and the license to use them) that the PR company supply to members of the press who want to review/write about of otherwise promote their event. When a gallery make an exhibition they need to promote it, so it makes sense when you think about it. When I go to an exhibition that’s worth visiting I want to share it with the world so I contact the gallery or sponsors press team and ask for the press pack. Although not technically accredited members of the press, bloggers are an important promo tool for event markers and as long as you adhere to the terms & conditions of the press pack you’ll often get access to photos and captions and other information to use with permission. All legal & above board. The main terms to note are usually how & where they want you to list the copyright for the images. And that your post is all about the exhibition (and not using the images for some other random usage).

My request is usually an email or filled in contact for that is simple and to the point and not trying to be something I’m not – here is an example I’ve used recently:

Subject: Press pack for blog use?

I would like to inquire if you have available a press pack for the <insert exhibition name here> exhibition. I am writing up a review on my blog and would like to use some photos with credit & permission within it?
many thanks

I hope that clears things up for a few people but feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions. Also worth checking out is this post by Amano on Photographing Study Days.

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