Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Image and Message (2) – An article by Goff James

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Goff James, Beauty, 2017 (FL 50.00mm, Exp. 1/4, f/13, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Beauty 2, 2017, (FL 50.00mm, Exp. 1/4, f/13, ISO 3200)

This is the second article on Image and Message (Image and message 1.)As a beginner one needs now to develop ideas with regard to attempting to continue to develop narratives within the context of Still Life and symbolism.

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Goff James, Mimicry, 2017 (FL 50.00mm, Exp. 1/4 sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Waiting, 2017, (FL50.00mm, Exp. 1/4sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Blush, 2017, (FL50.00mm, Exp. 1/4sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Moonlight, 2017, (FL50.00mm, Exp. 1/4sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

Try selecting some objects to experiment with this week. Experiment with Manual Mode on the camera. It will provided one with a greater flexibility and also extend ones confidence and learning to use the camera.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting. Set up a simple still life. One can set it up inside or outside, then, with the objects that one has collected experiment with developing simple narratives.

Remember there is no right or wrong way of doing this. Experiment and gain confidence!. Don’t be afraid of making what one may think are mistakes. Mistakes are great teachers. Each error is a step forwards.

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Goff James, Stranger, 2017, (FL 50.00mm, Exp. 1/4, f/13, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Stranger 2, 2017, (FL 50.00mm, Exp. 1/4, f/13, ISO 3200)

Remember Low Key Lighting is a good place to start. Lighting, of course, is influenced by many variable factors; but try to control the lighting conditions, whichever type you choose, within the dedicated working space.

I particularly like the ambient atmosphere created by low light levels. There is a softness and subtlety to the end results.

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Goff James, Embrace, 2017, (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Embrace 2, 2017, (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

Regarding the selection of objects try and mix and match man made and organic objects. Working with the different objects; and, their many different juxtapositions permits one to create and develop new ideas with regards to narratives.

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Goff James, Break Up, 2017, (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Break Up 2, 2017, (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Seduction, 2017 (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/7.1, ISO3200)

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Goff James, Seduction 2, 2017 (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/7.1, ISO3200)

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Goff James, Violation, 2017 (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/7.1, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Violation 2, 2017 (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/7.1, ISO 3200)

In the images I have used in this article I have deliberately given each image a title. Try to experiment with the possible varying tensions created either covertly or overtly within a narrative; that, may be or may be not present in an image; whether it be in black and white or in colour.

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take a photograph.

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

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Image and Message (1) – An article by Goff James

In previous Photography – Beginner’s Guide articles I have spoken of many things to help one have a better understanding of using a camera; now, is the time to take another leap of faith and start experimenting with Still Life and creating a narrative within an image.

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FL50.00mm, Exposure 1/10sec, F.32, ISO 3200
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One has to try to make use, indoors and outdoors, of the best lighting one has available. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

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Remember the Auto Mode; but time to be a little more adventuerous and experiment with the Manual Mode. If one is fortunate enough to have access to a photo editor; time to start experimenting with it too. One can create some stunning effects.

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Develop an interest in experimenting with objects and Still Life that will allow one to create narratives with specific overt or covert meanings.

In the selected images above I was drawn to the juxtaposition of organic and man made objects within an image and how they relate to one another. However choose that which is of interest.

The images presented here are some that I have put forward for you to think about whilst you experiment finding out more about Still Life, developing narratives, lighting, focus, your own camera and taking photographs in general.

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take a photograph.

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

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Light and Focus – An article by Goff James

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Goff James, Memories, 2017

As a beginner it is always a concern trying to master some of the basic skills required in using any camera. What about the light? What about the focus? Don’t worry; just experiment.

My previous articles, hopefully, may have been of some help and encouraging in removing some of the complexities in understanding the technicalities and theory of photography. 

I trust now that you may be experimenting with taking photographs inside and outside in attempt to create successful images.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with such things as high key lighting, low key lighting, daylight, depth of field, colour versus monochrome, symbolism, composition and developing narratives.

Remember it is still early days working with your camera. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

There are no right or wrong ways. There are no right or wrong photographs; only your photographs.

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Goff James, LT 1, 2017
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Goff James, LT 2, 2017
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Goff James, LT 3, 2017
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Goff James, LT 4, 2017
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Goff James, LT 5, 2017

The images presented here are some that I have put forward for you to think about whilst you experiment finding out more about lighting, focus, your own camera and taking photographs in general.

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take a photograph.

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

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – The Photoshoot – An article by Goff James

Ones first photoshoot is all about handling whatever camera one has and getting the feel of things and confidence building. Landscape is a good place to begin. Here are some of the images from my very first outdoor photoshoot. I made loads of mistakes and still do. Remember it always has to be fun. Laugh! Laugh and laugh some more!

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Goff James, Autumn Ripples, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Autumn Leaves, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/640sec, f/8, ISO 3200)

For the beginner everything is a new challenge a new experience filled with many mistakes and missed opportunities. However set the camera on Auto Mode and let the camera make the decisions.

On my very first shoot; it was one of those autumn afternoons where the light was bright but no dramatic cloudscapes and the air was crisp. A great day to be outside; taking photographs and having fun.

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Goff James, Autumn Gold, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/100sec, f/8, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, A Touch of Red, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/1600sec, ISO 3200)

After overcoming the initial urge to to point and click the camera at everything; which, is an essential part of a beginner’s learning trying to get to grips with the camera. The next step is to attempt to look observe and select much more carefully.

There are so many other factors to contend with on the camera – Aperture Values, Time Values, Film Speed, Auto Mode, Manual Mode and so on. Remember; don’t panic or get stressed out. Photography is about having fun.

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Goff James, Autumn Greens, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/3200sec, f/10, ISO 3200)

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Goff James, Autumn Blues, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/4000sec, f/11, ISO 3200)

Although working with the theory and the actual process of taking a photograph is enough to give anyone a headache!  Remember it is just great to be out of doors and trying to be a photographer with the camera constantly in ones hands.

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Goff James, Autumn Flows, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/1250sec, f/9, ISO 3200)

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take a   photograph.

Experiment. Make mistakes. Laugh. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide -An intrduction to “Joiners” & David Hockney – An article by Goff James

Photography can’t lead us to a new way of seeing. It may have other possibilities but only painting can extend the way of seeing.

David Hockney

David Hockney (DH) created images referred to as the “joiners” which occurred accidentally.

DH noticed in the late sixties that photographers were using cameras with wide-angle lenses to take pictures.

DH did not like such photographs because they always came out somewhat distorted.

Whilst working on one painting he took Polaroid shots of the living room and glued them together, not intending for them to be a composition on their own.

Upon looking at the final composition, he realized it created a narrative in its own right.

Joiners came into being.

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David Hockney, Mother, Date and Location Unstated

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David Hockney, My Mother, Bolton Abbey,1982, Location Unstated

The main obstacle for DH was how to overcome the limited perspective of a stationary camera.

A single photograph can only show one point of view, usually for a small period of time.

DH Stated that;

All photographs share the same flaw … Lack of time.

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David Hockney, Don and Christopher, 1982, Location Unstated

DH argues that Cubism helped to topple the single perspective in the hand-arts, but with photography it still exists.

The idea behind Hockney’s grids was to inject multiple reference points into photography, in short to make it cubist-esque.

Cubism is a process of discovery.

Image volume is fragmented into planes which are autonomous and independent. That which is viewed is composed of multiple perspectives. Colour, light and contrast become irrelevant due to the dissolution of the volume. It is the experience of the whole that becomes the critical factor.

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Paul Cezanne, Bibemus Quarry, 1895, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

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Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

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Georges Braque, Violin and Jug, 1910, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

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Juan Gris, Violin and Glass, 1915, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

The task for this photomontage exercise was to create a portrait and  experiment with the camera to build an image using many different angled viewpoints.

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In these images I set the ISO at 50, Aperture Value 5,6 and a Time Value of 1/60. This enabled me to hand hold the camera and provided a shallow depth of field.

For any beginner using such vocabulary and statements are a great leap of faith in understanding the basics of photography.

I confess, I still have to refer to my faithful portable paper chart to check.  Initially I built the portrait up in a spiral then abstracted the image even further creating a multi-planed cubist-esque image of the sitter.

Don’t worry about the theory and remembering the vocabulary of photography.

Experiment. Make mistakes. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Reference List

https://photomuserh.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/david-hockney-photography-will-never-equal-painting/

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2004/mar/04/photography

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Introduction to Speed and Movement – An article by Goff James

Progress learning how to take a decent photograph with a new camera can be slow. Remember however slow or frustrating it seems the important thing is to enjoy the experience.

One just has to take it one step at a time. Don’t worry about forgetting things and making mistakes; it is the forgetting and making mistakes is the road to learning.

Shutter speed, also referred to as “exposure time”, represents;

the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor.

Slow Shutter speed creates an effect called “motion blur”, where moving objects appear blurred along the direction of the motion.

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Goff James, Movement, 2017

Slow shutter speeds are also used to photograph lightnings or other objects at night or in dim environments with a tripod.

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Marc AdamusEndless Falls (2007)
Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

http://www.marcadamus.com/photo/endless-falls/

Fast shutter speed is typically whatever it takes to freeze action.

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Bob Martin, Title and Date Unstated.

http://www.bobmartin.com/gallery/test-gallery/

Aperture size affects the Depth of Field in an image and which area of the image will be sharp.

A large f-number such as f/32, (smaller aperture) brings all foreground and background objects in focus.

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Paul White, Autumn Grindleford, Date Unstated

http://paulwhite.co.uk/personallandcape-photography/

A small f-number such as f/1.4 (large aperture) isolates the foreground from the background by making the foreground objects sharp and the background blurred and out of focus.

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Aaron Siskind, Martha’s Vineyard, 1954-59

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-siskind-aaron.htm

DSLR Camera Settings

The manual and semi-auto settings give one more creative control of a DSLR camera.

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A (Av) Aperture-priority /Autoexposure

The user selects the f-stop and the camera selects shutter speed that will produce a good exposure.

S (Sv) Shutter-priority / Autoexposure

The user sets the shutter speed and the camera selects the f-stop that will produce a good exposure.

M Manual Exposure

The user controls both the shutter speed and f-stop.

The common shutter speeds are:

1s  1/2s  1/4s  1/8s  1/15s  1/30s  1/60s  1/125s  1/250s  1/500s  1/1000s  1/2000s

Fast shutter speeds such as;

1/250s will freeze faster moving subjects, depending on their speed of movement.

Slow shutter speeds such as:

1/30s and slower will create motion blur with moving subjects, depending upon their speed of movement.

One has to remember that depending on the choice of lens  one should ideally select a shutter speed of at least 1/60s to prevent camera shake without using a tripod.

Don’t worry about the theory and remembering the vocabulary of photography.

Experiment. Make mistakes. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Reference List

Andrew Johnson, 2017, Lesson Transcript

https://photographylife.com/what-is-shutter-speed-in-photography

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Introduction to Exposure – An article by Goff James

Today’s article is about understanding the function of exposure in DSLR photography.

The various terminology and options open to one for controlling the exposure of an image can be rather overwhelming.

Taking photographs with a DSLR can appear, to the beginner, quite complicated. Simply it is about understanding something called film speed (ISO). ISO (Film Speed) can change.

Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO are three different settings that affect exposure.

Exposure Basics

Exposure on a D/SLR is controlled by using the correct combination of:

SHUTTER SPEED / (TIME VALUE) and,

APERTURE SETTINGS (APERTURE VALUE),as well as

FILM SPEED (ISO)

DSLR-Exposure

http://nofilmschool.com/2012/05/dslr-beginners-guide-exposure-diffraction

Shutter Speeds, Aperture settings and film speeds are able to creatively combined in many different ways to produce different creative effects.

(Andrew Johnson, 2017, DSLR Camera, An Introduction)

Exposure, the choice of aperture, shutter speed and ISO have a significant impact on the look and feel of ones images.

Exposure permits light to hit the camera sensor to record an image.

Remember to activate the camera meter by half-pressing the shutter release.

Aperture affects the Depth of Field, or how much of an image appears sharp.

Shutter Speed also affects image sharpness, with slower shutter speeds leading to blurred images

ISO enables one to use the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed when the amount of light would normally prevent you from doing so.

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However, increasing the ISO also reduces the quality of ones images.

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http://www.techradar.com/how-to/photography-video-capture/cameras/the-exposure-triangle-aperture-shutter-speed-and-iso-explained-1320830

Don’t worry about the theory.

Experiment. Make mistakes. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Reference List

https://digital-photography-school.com/aperture-priority-and-shutter-priority-exposure-lesson-1/

http://nofilmschool.com/2012/05/dslr-beginners-guide-exposure-diffraction

http://www.techradar.com/how-to/photography-video-capture/cameras/the-exposure-triangle-aperture-shutter-speed-and-iso-explained-1320830

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Back to Basics – An article by Goff James

A DSLR camera and what DSLR means. 

DSLR is an abbreviation that stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. For a beginner getting ones head around such acronyms can be a puzzle, painful and off putting.

Understanding how the technology transforms pointing a DSLR camera into capturing an image is another leap of faith. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera

When taking a digital photograph one is able to see the subject before taking an image by the mirror.

When taking an image the mirror will swing up and light will go to the sensor instead.

1. Camera lens

2. Reflex mirror

3. Focal-plane shutter

4. Image sensor

5.Matte focusing screen Condenser lens

7. Pentaprism/pentamirror

8. Viewfinder eyepiece

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera

With a D/SLR camera one sees exactly what the lens sees.

One can change the lens on a digital DSLR. Digital SLRs have large image sensors that produce high-quality photos.

A D/SLR has a near-zero lag time, and is ideal for action photography.

The Anatomy of a Digital SLR

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http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/what-is-a-digital-slr.html

Some simple mechanics of a D/SLR camera.

The Key Elements.

Light passes through the lens and strikes a mirror (green).

The mirror reflects the light up to a focusing screen.

Light passes through the focusing screen and enters a block of glass called a pentaprism (orange).

The pentaprism reflects the image so that one can see it in the viewfinder.

When one takes a photo, the mirror flips up and a shutter (blue) opens that exposes the digital sensor (red) to light.

What-one-sees-is-what-one-gets! Through using the viewfinder one can precisely compose the image and adjust the focus.

Don’t worry about the theory and technical terms.

Experiment. Make mistakes.

For the beginner remember three things;

1. The Auto Mode; and,

2. that photography is about having fun with whatever camera one is using; and

3. that today’s mobile phones produce quality images as good as any first level DSLR   camera.

Happy Photography.

Reference List

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera

http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/what-is-a-digital-slr.html

Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow! – An article by Goff James

Recap – Speed v Size, Clear v Blur!

Aperture, shutter speed and focal length are a DSLR’s vital ingredients.

Exposure is the result of two factors;

  •   Speed of shutter opening and closing and is measured in fractions of a second:         1/1000 (Fastest) … 1/2 ( Slowest),
  •   Aperture size (width of opening through which light passes) is measured in           f-stops; f/1,4 (Open Maximum) … f/32 (Closed Minimum).                                                      

If one combines a fast shutter speed 1/1000 with the widest aperture setting of f/1,4 the resulting image is crisp and clear

A clear image attempts to capture a scene in perfect focus.

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Marc Adamus, Vibrant, 2007, Fall, Wild Rose, Aspen, Jasper, Athabasca, River, Sunset

In this image entitled Vibrant, Marc Adamus appears when looking out over the foliage in the foreground to have applied a narrow shutter speed and in so doing has kept everything in focus. Within the image there is an interesting interplay between textures, light, shapes and shadows. The rule of thirds has made for a balanced composition. This is an ideal compositional combination when photographing a landscape.

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Goff James, Skytrain, 2017

In this image entitled Skytrain, I have used the platform barrier to draw the viewer’s eye into the image and creates interest. The barrier, train, buildings and their shadows are fused almost almost into abstraction and are the main source of interest. Compositionally the use of the black and white format accentuates the dramatic tension within the image.

If one combines a slow shutter speed 1/2 with the smallest aperture setting of f/32 the resulting image is blurred.

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Ernst Haas, Swimmers, 1984, Olympics, LA

In this image entitled Swimmers, Ernst Haas appears to have used a slow shutter speed (- set on a tripod – may have locked the focus on a specific point – has moved the camera as he fired the shutter [panning]) and in so doing the resulting image is blurred. The blurring adds a great sense of drama to the image.

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Goff James, Glow Flow, 2017

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Goff James, Moving Forwards, 2017

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Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, 1978(2/3), Gelatin Silver Print, (Dimensions Unstated)

In this image of Richard AvedonIrving Penn has adoptedIn this image entitled Skytrain, Goff James has used the the platform barrier to draw the viewer’s eye into the image and creates interest. that draws ones eye into the photograph. The sitter is captured in a three-quarters perspective that breathes life into the image. The longer focal length has blurred the background and flattened the depth of field. In so doing Penn a has raised the the subject from the background and out towards the viewer.

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Goff James, “LT”, 2017

The result of an incorrect combination of aperture and shutter speed is an overexposed or underexposed image. Consequently a dramatic effect is created.

Don’t worry about the theory.

Experiment. Make mistakes. Have fun.

Happy Photography.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Reference List

Glenwright J., (2008), Digital Photography Step-by-Step, London, Collins.(https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/)

https://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/dslr-tips-for-beginners-how-to-use-shutter-priority-mode/

Spotlight – Understanding Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Twist or Tilt? High or Low? – An article by Goff James

In photography, it is always worth trying to get to grips with finding and exploring differing viewpoints and in so doing try to create more dramatic images using fast shutter speeds in the style of Aleksandr Rodchenko.

When one is out and about with ones camera; it’s worth searching for; and, using different vantage points that are both thought-provoking and engaging. The shutter speed of ones camera allows one to freeze movement as well as create precise sharp architectural images. Don’t be over concerned about technicalities; remember Auto Mode; and just click away. 

 “One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.”

Aleksandr Rodchenko

Don’t worry about the theory. Make mistakes. Have fun.

Happy Photography

goffjamesart.wordpress.com