Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Street Photography [Robert Doisneau] – An article by Goff James

Welcome followers and visitors to my blog and another update in my photography Beginner’s Guide to Photography.

This week I will be talking another look at Street Photography and looking at an image by Robert Doisneau.

As I have stated in previous articles one can learn so much about photography by looking at; and, talking about other photographers’ work.

Street Photography may be defined as;

  • featuring subjects in candid situations featuring unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public spaces. [1]
  • not necessitating either the presence of any urban environ or any human presence within it. It can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.[2][page needed][3]
  • reflecting society as it manifests itself and non-manipulated where the subjects are unaware of the photographer’s presence. The photographer, in a sense, can be viewed as an extension of the flâneur – a casual street observer.
  • being ironic, amusing and be distanced from the subject matter. It frequently focuses upon a single human action captured at a decisive or poignant moment. The vocabulary of street photography is subtlety with no inherent premeditated message.
  • providing a very literal and extreme rendition of the subject and provide a more unfamiliar visceral experience beyond the personal experience of the viewer.
  • being able to document a particular scenario and defined by its very candidness.

being aloof and impartial in the nature of any particular activity delivering a true depiction of that which is being observed.

1.Warner Marien, Mary (2012). 100 ideas that changed photography. London: Laurence King Publishing. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-85669-793-4.

2.Colin Westerbeck. Bystander: A History of Street Photography. 1st ed. Little, Brown and Company, 1994.

3.”Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-04-21.

http://www.urbanpicnic-streetphotography.com/what-is-street-photography/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_photography

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 19.03.28
Robert Doisneau, Le violoncelle sous la pluie, Paris.
1957

https://www.phototraces.com/creative-photography/famous-street-photographers/

Compositionally the black and white image with its subtle diffused tonal qualities presents a street view imbued with the muted low key natural back lighting on a typically miserable, misty, mysterious, rain filled morning.

The image captures the very essence and spirit of place through the light and atmospheric qualities. The work is possessed with the sense of the powerful understated energy that is both ethereal and mysterious.

The image presents a shallow depth of field with the clarity of focus centred upon the silhouetted cello, umbrella and the man holding it affectionately and protectively over the cello shielding it, rather than himself, from the rain.

The suggestion is that the importance of the instrument takes precedence over man. His head turned directly towards the right frame indicates his attention is focused elsewhere to something beyond the frame of the image.

The perspective and texture of the cobbled street with its many leading lines from the bottom of the frame lead directly to the location of the cello.

The actions of the man draws the viewer directly into the image.

This instigates an engagement and dialogue with both the photographer and the experience of that which has been observed and photographed.

The staging of the image is both theatrical and comic in nature and filled with understated wit and humour. Placing the cello in the position one might expect to see a woman suggests a love of music.

A visual statement is being made with regard to a society’s perception of the arts in general. The image questions the role of the arts as not being viewed simply as an intellectual feat, but evoking a similar kind of emotional sensual depth.

The dark shadowing of the pavement edge acts as a stage on which a certain performance is being presented. The artefacts in the background act as props to accentuate the importance of that which is presented front of stage.

The central positioning  of the cello framed between the gap in the balcony handrail, the two men, the umbrella and the cropped lamplight accentuate the images narrative.

That which is reflected here is the photographer’s compositional concept and through his arrangements of the juxtaposed elements has created an intriguing vision of society reflecting cubist, surrealist, abstractionist and minimalist elements.

The image demonstrate a subject’s passion for music in an original way, choosing to show how the cello as an integral part of his life, rather than a mere instrument played for performance.

This concept is echoed by man seen painting in the background and highlights the notion of a devotion to art, as even the rain cannot deter him from continuing his work.

The dynamism of the image is created by the way in which the photographer has imbued it with the sense of humanity.

The use of a monochromatic palette has captured a small cast of characters within the context of certain time involving two specific activities – music and art.

Doisneau has juxtaposed conformist, unorthodox, innovative elements with a tongue-in-cheek attitude through his promotion of anti-establishment values.

I trust that you find some of these ideas useful within the context of your own photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment and allow different ideas to develop as you go along.

Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos and creating photograms; the same applies to considering your own photos, other photographers’ work as well as applying different artist’s ideas too.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Remember there are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it.

Your photographs are your world.

You can do what you like. 

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 funJust enjoy the process.

Happy Photography. 

Thank you for your visit.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Reference List

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Doisneau

http://www.daphotoclub.org/uploads/3/4/7/8/34789262/newslettercamcl-06june15.pdf

https://www.phototraces.com/creative-photography/famous-street-photographers/

https://www.robert-doisneau.com/fr/robert-doisneau/

Open Box – Photography quotation of the day

Diane Arbus (1923 – 971) was an American photographer. Arbus worked to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people.

Arbus worked with a wide range of subjects including; strippers, carnival performers, nudists, dwarves, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families.

Arbus photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park.

Arbus is noted for expanding notions of acceptable subject matter and violates canons of the appropriate distance between photographer and subject.

By befriending, not objectifying her subjects, she was able to capture in her work a rare psychological intensity.

In his 2003 New York Times Magazine article, “Arbus Reconsidered,” Arthur Lubow states,

“She was fascinated by people who were visibly creating their own identities—cross-dressers, nudists, sideshow performers, tattooed men, the nouveaux riches, the movie-star fans—and by those who were trapped in a uniform that no longer provided any security or comfort.”

Michael Kimmelman writes in his review of the exhibition Diane Arbus Revelations, that her work

“transformed the art of photography (Arbus is everywhere, for better and worse, in the work of artists today who make photographs)”.

In her lifetime Arbus achieved some recognition and renown with the publication, beginning in 1960, of photographs in such magazines as Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, London’s Sunday Times Magazine, and Artforum.

In 1963 the Guggenheim Foundation awarded Arbus a fellowship for her proposal entitled, “American Rites, Manners and Customs”.

She was awarded a renewal of her fellowship in 1966.

John Szarkowski, the director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City from 1962 to 1991, championed her work and included it in his 1967 exhibit New Documents along with the work of Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand.

Arbus’ photographs were also included in a number of other major group shows.

In 1972, a year after Arbus’ suicide, Arbus became the first photographer to be included in the Venice Biennale where her photographs were “the overwhelming sensation of the American Pavilion” and “extremely powerful and very strange”.[

The first major retrospective of Arbus’ work was held in 1972 at MoMA, organized by Szarkowski.

The retrospective garnered the highest attendance of any exhibition in MoMA’s history to date. Millions viewed traveling exhibitions of her work from 1972 to 1979.

The book accompanying the exhibition, Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph, edited by Doon Arbus and Marvin Israel and first published in 1972 has never been out of print.

© Diane Arbus, Two boys smoking in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1963, 1963

Bio Reference Attribution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Arbus

Photo 1 Attribution © Allan Arbus, Diane Arbus, c.1949

Source Attribution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Arbus#/media/File:Diane-Arbus-1949.jpg

Photo 2 Attribution © Diane Arbus, Two boys smoking in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1963, 1963

Source Attribution http://www.artnet.com/artists/diane-arbus/two-boys-smoking-in-central-park-nyc-1963-a-AJUI2kcjjfiPh1LrFI51oA2

View more Open Box photography quotations

Thank you for your visit

I cordially invite you to subscribe to Goff James Art Photography Poetry at goffjamesart.wordpress.com (Doing so will allow you to be notified whenever new content is published on my blog).

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Photography, Still Life Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Image and Genre an article by Goff James

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Goff James, Study, 2017, FL 23.00mm, Exp 1/5sec, f/13, ISO 3200

Welcome followers and visitors to my blog and another update in my photography Beginner’s Guide to Photography.

In previous articles I have spoken frequently about the value of looking at and discussing not only ones own photographs; but, the works of other photographers’ works too.

The above image is one of my own still life photographs created, at home. No fancy studio set up or studio lighting here. An old velvet curtain draped over a clothes airer made the backdrop and all set up on the dining table, all curtains drawn and a simple source light. I used a reading lamp.

This is the image I will be talking about today.

What is Still Life Photography?

Still Life Photography – Definition

Still Life Photography may be defined as;

an image that present either a covert or overt narrative within either a staged or unstated scenario,

as conveying a concept through, an image, an emotion, the use of objects as symbols or a pre-determined narrative.

the depiction of inanimate subject matter, typically a small group of inanimate common-place objects presented within the context of the traditional or contemporary still life artistic styles.basically possessing two sub-types, found and created. 

Found Still Life can be defined as;

random collections of objects which are arranged without any outside interference to their arrangement. The image is presented in situ.

Created Still Life may be defined as;

a collection of objects that have been arranged in a specific manner containing a particular pre-selected theme or narrative.

Reference Attribution

http://lensmagazine.net/about-still-life-photography/

http://www.shawacademy.com/blog/top-15-genres-of-photography-that-you-need-to-know/

http://study.com/academy/lesson/still-life-photography-definition-techniques-examples.html

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

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Goff James, Study, 2017, FL 23.00mm, Exp 1/5sec, f/13, ISO 3200

The image is a photograph of a still life within a studio/room. A makeshift tripod was used and the lighting was deliberately very low key coming from back left frame. 

The image possesses a very narrow angled interior shot with one low key light situated behind and to the left of the camera.

The image possesses a very shallow depth of field ensuring that the foreground image remains clearly defined whilst the background is blurred.

The staging of the composition very much reflects the influence of 17th Century Dutch Still Life artists such as Jacob van Walscapelle, (Dutch, 1644 -1727) and Willem Claesz, Heda, (Dutch, 1594 -1680).

Though modest in size and compass, this still life photograph possesses a remarkable sense of simple elegance and restrained grandeur.

Assembling only a few objects on a plain velvet background, the image conveys a monumentality of presence even though it is quite a relatively simple composition.

The image is bathed in soft ambient light, every figural element quietly asserts its essential properties and presence.

The composition is uniformly hued with warm tones of muted red-amber counterpointed with the cooler tones reflected in the glass and silver objects.

The two crystal glasses, glass decanter filled with water and spectacles sparkles against the somber dark background.

This is echoed in the silver candlestick, tankard and watch. The ripe apple not only invites the viewer to imagine its ripe taste but to question its symbolism within the context of the whole narrative presented.

The spectacles and the silk scarf spilling over the edge of the closed book invites one to reflect upon life and learning.

The white silk scarf not only plays against the very dark backdrop of the wall but also links the objects together.

The dark velvet of the background and foreground acts as device to both isolate individual and groups of objects accentuating their own contribution to the overall composition.

The remaining mundane common-place objects all present their own particular symbolism which, upon contemplation, may or may not provoke an interpretation from the viewer.

In addition to their simple beauty, these items are also part of a long iconographic tradition within still-life painting itself.

At first sight the photographic composition appears to welcome the viewer in to a simple elegant space. Yet the crystal glasses are empty with one resting on its side, the glass decanter does not contain wine but water the remaining objects have been set as if to indicate that whatever pleasures had been taking place have ceased.

A number of objects in the photograph hint at the transience of worldly existence – the snuffed out candle and the extinguished match, the watch all  symbolise the transience of existence and the abruptness by which life can end.

As the viewer reflects upon such matters and is drawn even further into the composition the eyes, in their travel across the image, reveal a deeper complexity.

Within the reflections found in the silver tankard and more subtly within the glass decanter are two different views of what lies behind the photographer – the room itself.

If one views the image from the bottom up I have attempted to use the rule of thirds to dictate how the image is laid out.

The velvet cover, book, watch and half the circle of the glass on its side in the foreground travel approximately a third of the way up the image, the middle third is taken up with the silk scarf, apple, tankard, standing glass, the decanter base and candle stick stem and the top third is composed of the top of the decanter, the extinguished candle and the top expanse of the dark velvet drape.

Similarly if one views the image from left frame to right frame the rule of thirds reinforces the images classical composition set up.

The watch, apple and tankard are located in the right vertical third. The middle vertical third holds the scarf, spectacles, candlestick, box of matches and glass decanter.The final third is where the two crystal glasses are situated.

Compositionally there is a diagonal line that runs from the top left hand corner to the bottom right hand corner passing directly over the central nose-bridge of the spectacles that creates two right-angled triangles.

The right angle to the left contains  both crystal glasses, half the spectacles, box of matches and the book. Whereas, the upturned right angle at the top of the image contains the remaining objects.

An unseen central vertical line ascends from the middle base, up through the glass lens, passing between the edge of the decanter and the outer edge of the curling smoke and accentuates the symmetrical nature of the composition by dividing the frame vertically into two halves.

The focal point of the image is the glass decanter, placed off-centre, accentuating its dominant  presence within the composition.

The top of the decanter forms the apex of a triangle with its base stretching the whole of the baseline frame edge and containing the majority of the individual objects.

Two further right angled triangles exist one to the left containing the two crystal glasses and the other to the left holding the tankard, apple and watch.

As well as the sensual muted tones of the composition these  other various compositional criteria not only reinforce but unify the classical nature of the composition.

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 differing objects.

The various objects not only only create textures but stand as static structures within the composition providing a sense of cohesion.

A strong sense of rhythm and movement is created through the manner in which each object has been placed, their reflective qualities and the flow in the folds of the velvet itself.

Reference Attribution

https://www.nga.gov/Collection/paintings/Dutch17thcentury/subject-browse/still-lifes.html

More photography by Goff James

I trust that you find some of these ideas useful within the context of your own photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment and allow different ideas to develop as you go along.

Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos and creating photograms; the same applies to considering your own photos, other photographers’ work as well as applying different artist’s ideas too.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Remember there are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it.

Your photographs are your world.

You can do what you like. 

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 funJust enjoy the process.

Happy Photography. 

Thank you for your visit.

I cordially invite you to subscribe to Goff James Art Photography Poetry at goffjamesart.wordpress.com (Doing so will allow you to be notified whenever new content is published on my blog.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

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

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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. 

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Photography, A Beginner’s Guide, Talking Pictures 2 – Images Speak – An Article by Goff James

Goff James, “LT”, 2017

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 I suggested that landscape photography was a good place to start. Today I have selected an eclectic mix of some of my own photos for you to look at and consider.

See what they say to you about narratives within images. No writing required just your own thoughts about what they might be offering as photographic stories. Try it out. Remember it is all about having fun.

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Goff James, “LT”, 2017
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Goff James, White Rectangle, 2017
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Goff James, Trapped, 2017
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Goff James, Skytrain, 2017
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Goff James, A Touch of Red, 2017 (FL 18.00mm, Exp. 1/1600sec, ISO 3200)
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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, Flux, 2017, (FL 50.00mm, Exp. 1/1000sec, f/6.3, ISO 3200)
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Goff James, Tryst, 2017 – FL 50.00mm, Exp.1/13sec, f/13, 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, Violation 2, 2017 (FL 39.00mm, Exp. 1/5sec, f/7.1, ISO 3200)

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. Its not a test. Today it is just you and your own thoughts about the image. 

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

Happy Photography. Happy Writing. Happy Thinking.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

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 – 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.

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Art Photography Poetry

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

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Talking Pictures (25) – Genre: Landscape [Marc Adamus, (d.o.b unstated-to date, American)]

 

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Marc Adamus, Edge of the Sea – Forever Dreaming, 2007
Olympia National Park Washington

MA’s pursuit of landscape has endowed his work with visual drama and artistry capturing the many moods of nature and open spaces. The works are filled with visual passion that appear to reflect the photographer’s own interests.

I particularly like the manner in which MA  captures the very essence of light and the fleeting atmosphere that imbue his works. There is the sense of the epic, majestic and the bold. His style is unmistakeable – etherial, sublime.

His images manage to capture the viewers attention immediately through the works possessing a sense of magic and energy of that which has been observed.

The appeal of his portfolio is further accentuated by the originality of his innovative technique and the way he explores the varying possibilities that lie within a given landscape. The viewer becomes engaged with the works through what MA refers to in his Artist Statement as:

“This is nature through my eyes”.

It is  those very perceptive eyes  that also reveal an abstraction of landscape.

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That which is exciting about MA’s images is the manner in which he is able to present the genre of Landscape as relevant, exciting and with many possibilities. MA’s work demonstrates how digital photography enables one to overcome some of the limiting factors which appeared to hinder conventional photography in the past. It is the way that MA has confronted these challenges, his means of communicating his creativity and through his narratives engage the viewers’ senses. However there are limitations to photography as a two-dimensional medium. However it is the skill that MA possesses in his craft to overcome these limitations within landscape that I find really exciting.  As MA stated:

… a great photograph is not merely documenting the scene at hand, rather it is about fusing the essential vision of the artist with the landscape.

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Marc Adamus,  Forest Fire (2008)
Boulder Mountain, Utah

Camera motion during the exposure has created an abstract rendition of Red Willows and Aspen catching the light of sunset on Utah’s Boulder Mountain.

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This black and white rendition of snowy highlights on a burned black forest in Far North British Columbia adds a heightened dynamic tension.

That which is extremely satisfying about AM’s process of working is his meticulous attention to detail, the way in which he refines images through digital editing, optimizing and adjust contrasts, colours, tonalities, luminosity, etc. in an attempt to better present the actual experience and emotional connection of being in situ.

As MA states landscape … photography is infinite … one doesn’t have to go far … Landscape is found on ones own doorstep and this I find appealing.

As MA writes:

“It’s not about where you are, but how you see”.

“Never be afraid to explore, to wander, to find a new direction”.

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Marc Adamus, Distortion Jefferson Wilderness Oregon
(Date Unstated)

One may question the relevance of my inclusion of MA and his portfolio of landscape images in researching the genre of still life. I argue that genres per se have only imagined boundaries. Consequently that which MA presents to the viewer through his images as a visual narrative with their abstraction of shapes, colours and textures is applicable to my understanding of the concept it represents.

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Marc Adamus, Two Against it All Canadian Rockies (Date Unstated)

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MarcAdamus, Sun Magic (2009) Painted Hills, Oregon

Reference List 

https://www.marcadamus.com/

 

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© Marc Adamus