Talking Pictures (8) – Image and Genre

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Goff James, Eight with Two Squares, 2017, FL 3.54 mm, Exp 1/8 sec, f/2.6, ISO 400

All images used here are the copyright of:

© goffjamesart/photography/poetry

Welcome followers and visitors to my blog and another update in my photography diary. The task set was to create and select six personal images across six different genres and then present them for discussion within an open forum. This is the sixth image in the series entitled “Eight with Two Squares”.

Fine Art Photography / Photographic Art / Artistic Photography / Creative Photography  – Definition

Fine Art Photography may be defined as;

  • having no universally agreed meaning or definition,
  • referring to an imprecise category of photographs, created in accordance with the creative vision of the artist/photographer that involves a combination of differing processes – photo-collage, photogram and photography,
  • producing a personal conceptual impression in which the narrative maybe evocative, atmospheric or provocative,
  • primarily being about the artist and where the intention is artistic aesthetic,
  • an incorporation of mixed-media, installation art and assemblage art,
  • not about capturing or documenting reality objectively but going beyond the literal representation of a scene or subject,
  • intentionally being artistically subjective,
  • capturing what the artist sees – an expression of vision,
  • the camera being utilised as a tool to create a work of art and containing elements of artistic control,

“Art implies control of reality, for reality itself possesses no sense of the aesthetic. Photography becomes art when certain controls are applied.”

Ansel Adams

  • revealing that it was created by an artist and not by just the camera,
  • involving an original, deliberate creation and that every aspect of making the photograph in the field and in the photographer’s post-processing digital studio, including the printing, are an individual expression from within the artist, 
  •  not re-presenting objective reality literally but rather through subjective intent.

Reference List

https://photographylife.com/what-is-fine-art-photography

http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/fine-art-photography.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-art_photography

 

20171027_102333abcde Eight FBO

Goff James, Eight with Two Squares, 2017, FL 3.54 mm, Exp 1/8 sec, f/2.6, ISO 400

The image is a composite creative art photograph made up of four different layering processes – the first being a photogram constructed from organic and inorganic materials, the second being photo collage made up of elements pasted onto the surface of the photogram and thirdly a photographic image taken of the work and the final elements were attached in the photo editing process.

The image was taken indoors in normal natural daylight conditions. The camera, in auto mode, was hand held directly above the final composition. Within the image the depth of field is particularly shallow due to focussing so close. A large aperture of f/2.6 was selected to maintain as much sharpness as possible. As the subject was static a long exposure time of 1/8 sec. A slow film speed of ISO 400 was utilised.

Consequently only the very centre of the image can be considered to be in the sharp zone. However the multiple foreground objects remain clearly defined whilst the background and the objects therein and their edges lack precision and are softened through blurring. The crispness of the number eight was achieved by introducing this element in the photo editing process and with the use of layering and filters.

From a compositional perspective the cropped numeral eight, on the blurred grey hued background, dominates the frame and is located off centre towards the left frame edge. The five subsidiary elements are comprised of;

  • the two thin lines that extend across the image from bottom to top,
  • the six fragmented rectangles set one upon the other at the lower right frame edge,
  • the two square shapes – the one situated top right of the composition complemented by the other and found in the bottom left section and finally
  • the triangle descending from the top left frame edge.

The muted background monochrome hues have been accentuated during the photo-editing process through colour adjustment and the use of a Difference Layer. The editing modifications that have occurred have accentuated the crisp outlines and colouration of the foreground shapes making the overall composition sharp and strong.

The process of creating this image contains within itself a sense of creative irony in that though there is a degree of artistic control this image which is unrepeatable contained the seeds of its its own destiny.

There was no certainty with regard to the initial stage how the selected object would have been recorded even though the projected light source remained static. The process of creation, from the outset, was inherently unfixed and dynamic and the final outcome was similarly defined.

The staging of the composition reflects the influence of Cubist artists such as George Braque (1882-1963, French), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spanish) and the American artist/photographer Man Ray (1890-1976)

“… colour acts simultaneously with form but has nothing to do with it …”

George Braque

The reasoning behind this work was to permit the image to act as an inspiration for a painting composition. However the image works as an independent piece its own right.  The figure eight acts as the pivot for the composition. The shapes appear to have been stencilled onto the surface. There is no concrete evidence to suggest that the number eight acts in some overt way as some kind of symbolic or subliminal gesture other than as part of the title of the image. The work is intrinsically a study of shapes within shapes and their fragmentationt in a narrative inspired by movement.

The image not only possess a provoking geometric asymmetry, a feeling of monumentality but also an exploded perspective which is accentuated by its broad spectrum of monochromatic shade and texture as well as its minimalist abstraction. A pleasing counterpoint is created through the use of contrasting light and dark areas as well as the varied textures employed. The viewer is drawn into a strange world  and has to search the image to truly perceive all its content.

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards you can remove all traces of reality. There’s no danger then, anyway, because the idea of the object will have left an indelible mark.”

Pablo Picasso

The image echoes the genre of photographic construction built up from multi-layers possessing no solid centre but is open to space. It contains a variety of solid shaped elements that seem to float around the dark coloured figure eight the focal point of the composition. The light background is more representational of the natural world. The monochromatic nature of the composition, the various shapes and contrasting textures  creates a sense of rhythmic cohesion.

The composition is a shallow arrangement of planes made up of mundane everyday materials, objects and processes.The pictorial element represents a conglomeration of fragmented forms devoid of volume. The image represents an aerial view of a shape-scape set within the framed edges an empty vista which permits the viewer see into and through it into to the background. The work is characterised, to a large extent, by its very indeterminacy.

As Surrealist poet Robert Desnos wrote in 1923, Man Ray

“… succeeded in creating landscapes which are foreign to our planet, revealing a chaos …” 

Speaking of Pablo Picassos Cubist work André Salmon stated

“ … delivered from painting and sculpture…[photography] … liberated from the imbecilic tyranny of genres.”

Reference List

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/265487

https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/1088?locale=en

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-braque-georges.htm

Talking Pictures (7) – Image and Genre

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Goff James, Lily, 2017, FL 50 mm, Exp 1/4sec, f/13, ISO 3200

All images used here are the copyright of:

© goffjamesart/photography/poetry

Welcome followers and visitors to my blog and one more update in my photography diary. The task is to create and select six personal images across six different genres and then present them for discussion within an open forum. This is my fifth image in the series entitled “Lily“.

Macro Photography – Definition

Macro photography can be defined as;

  • close-up  photography; Macro photography (or photomacrography[1] or macrography,[2] and sometimes macrophotography[3]),
  • in which the subject of the photograph is usually very small or is a very small detail of a larger object resulting in a larger than life size image,
  • an image taken from close-up or extreme close-up range allowing it to appear on the sensor plane equal to life size or greater,
  • photographing small animate or inanimate subjects in close detail,
  • photographing everyday objects and making them appear extraordinary,
  • producing photographs of small items larger than life size.
  • referring to the art of making very large photographs).[2][4]
  • as one in which the size of the subject on the negative or image sensor is life size or greater.[5]
  • to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size.[6]

 

  1. Thomas Clark (2011). Digital Macro and Close-Up Photography For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 29. ISBN 9781118089200.
  2. Graham Saxby (2010). The Science of Imaging: An Introduction (2nd ed.). CRC Press. p. 269. ISBN 9781439812860.
  3. Webster, Merriam (1996). Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Ed. Merriam-Webster, Inc. p. 698. ISBN 0-87779-711-0.
  4. Michael Freeman (2010). The DSLR Field Guide: The Essential Handbook to Getting the Most from Your Camera. Focal Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780240817200.
  5. 
Marom, Erez. “Macro photography: Understanding magnification”. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  6. Photography.com. “Macro Photography”. Archived from the original on 2008-11-06. Retrieved 20 May 2012.

    Reference List

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/macrophotography

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macro_photography

    http://www.photokonnexion.com/definition-macro-photography-close-up-photography-photomacrography-macrography/

    http://www.shawacademy.com/blog/what-is-macro-photography/

 

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Goff James, Lily, 2017, FL 50 mm, Exp 1/4sec, f/13, ISO 3200

 

All images used here are the copyright of:

© goffjamesart/photography/poetry

The image is a studio close-up macro photograph of a single lily head. The camera was laid on the same static base which supported the flower head and directly in front of it. The studio lighting was moderately high key and was positioned above and to the left of frame as well as from behind the camera position.

Within the image the depth of field is very shallow due to focussing so close. Consequently only the central anthers are in the sharp zone of the image ensuring that the foreground image remains clearly defined whilst the background is softened through blurring. A  small aperture of f/13 was selected to maintain as much sharpness as possible. As the subject was static I used a long exposure time of 1/4. A very fast film speed of ISO 3200 was utilised.

From a compositional perspective the single flower head, on the plain velvet background, fills the frame and is located centrally but off set obliquely avoiding a direct frontal image. The vibrant colours of the blossom have been accentuated during the photo-editing process and set against a monochrome background. The image is imbued with sheer audacity and boldness.

The editorial modifications that have occurred have accentuated the strong outlines of the petals. However utilising a cut bloom and photographing it in the studio under the artificial light sources has impacted upon the blooms naturalness but it still possesses a remarkable sense of elegance.

The magnification of the lily is so detailed that the background is eliminated. Enlarging the petals far beyond life size proportions forces the viewer to observe the small details and the relationships between the various structures that might otherwise be overlooked.

‘The subject matter … should never obscure its form and colour, which are its real thematic contents.’

Georgia O’Keeffe

By doing this the lily head is transformed into an iconic representation of flowers through integrating the intimate and the grandiose within a single form. A symbol of beauty, sensuality, feminism, contemplation, and inspiration. O’Keeffe always insisted that there was no hidden symbolism, just the essence of the flower.

However the very nature of the flower invites the viewer to imagine its luscious sensuality but to question the relevance of its symbolism within the context of the composition.

The image conveys a monumentality of presence which is further accentuated by its very minimalist nature. Though the image is a reflection of a perfectly formed flower there is a sense of an emerging abstraction form from within.

The lily head is bathed in a crisp ambient light, every element quietly asserts its essential properties and presence.The composition is uniformly vibrantly coloured with its fluorescent pinks, greens and oranges integrated within and counterpointed by the monochrome tones the background.

The image not only possess a pleasing geometric symmetry, a broad spectrum of shade and texture, a sense of blowsy lusciousness but also a provocative sensuality with its apparently  implied erotic imagery.

The staging of the composition very much reflects the influence of 20th Century American artist Georgia O’keeffe,1887–1986.

However, O’Keeffe insisted that her works were simply depictions of the beauty of flowers. O’Keeffe may have been emphasising the androgyny of the reproductive parts in order to counter the idea that her subject matter was connected to her gender.

“You hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower. You write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower—and I don’t.”

Georgia O’Keeffe (1939)

The focal point of the image are the lily’s anthers located directly centre stage that are the central pivot to the precise outlines of the petals and accentuate the imposing monumentality of the lily.

A pleasing counterpoint is created through the use of contrasting light and dark areas as well as the varied reflective qualities of the light off the various morphological parts of the flower head.

The single lily not only creates shapes, patterns and textures but stands as static monumental structure within the composition providing a sense of cohesion. A strong sense of rhythm and movement is created through the manner in which the folds in the velvet cloth are echoed in the petals of the lily.  The convergence of the invading diagonal central lines of the petals, the dot patterning, sepals, stamens and carpel accentuate this sense of flow.

Reference List

https://gardencollage.com/inspire/art-design/women-artists-legacy-floral-paintings/

http://uk.phaidon.com/agenda/art/articles/2014/february/05/what-do-you-see-in-georgia-okeeffes-flowers/

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/69.278.1/

http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo118.php3

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-okeeffe-georgia.htm

http://www.theartgorgeous.com/5-facts-on-georgia-okeeffe/

https://www.widewalls.ch/georgia-o-keeffe-flowers/

All images used here are the copyright of:

© goffjamesart/photography/poetry

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Have a great day.