Photography, A Beginner’s Guide,Talking Pictures, Image and Message (3) – An article by Goff James


Goff James, Self Portrait 1, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200)

Sometimes, especially for a beginner, it is good to look at photographs one has taken as well as those of other photographers; by doing so, one is able to learn to understand better what photography is all about.

In my last article we looked at portraiture. Today I have selected looking at staging still life and have again used one of my own photos for you to look at and consider. The still life was set up on a table at home. No complex lighting accessories, just drew the curtains, closed the doors and a simple lamp and torch.

The concept is to try to develop narratives through the medium of still life and the use of symbolism. I have to confess that still life is one of my favourite genres.

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Goff James, Self Portrait 2, 2017, (FL 18.00mm, Exp.1/5sec, f/8, ISO 3200)

For this article I have selected alternative objects to experiment with. Again I  selected the Manual Mode on the camera as it gives one greater flexibility working with different lighting and the development of narratives.

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Goff James, Self Portrait 3, 2017, (FL 18.00mm, Exp.1/5sec, f/8, ISO 3200)

In this series of still life images I included six objects in an attempt to create a narrative related to a particular individual. In a sense it is biographical.

Apart from the lighting the only other variable is the candle. I wanted to to see if by changing the significance of whether the candle was lit or unlit changed the impact upon the interpretation of the image upon the viewer.

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Goff James, Self Portrait 4, 2017, (FL 32.00mm, Exp. 1/5 sec, f/4.5, ISO 3200)

Low Key lighting was once again adopted. I find this kind of ambient lighting adds subtlety and a sense of heightened drama to the final outcome.

Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos; the same applies to considering your own and others photos.

There are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it. 

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take or consider how to look at or stage a photograph.

Don’t worry about what you might think is right or wrong in talking about or taking photographs.

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have fun. Just Enjoy the process.

Happy Photography.

Art Photography Poetry

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