Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 2: Revised Proposal

For the second project, the idea we're to work with is the idea of Time. I want to portray the idea of timelessness of man-made structures, and the flow of society around these places/objects. The world we live in, here, in Wellington, is almost entirely constructed by humans. The roads we walk and drive on, the buildings we work in, they are all the products of our societys over-active need for progress. The world we make has no concept of the passage of time. I want to show the flow of time around and through this man-made world.

For the techniques I want to use, I really want to capture these moments in a brief space of time, but I really want to show everything else, society around the man-made world, continuing to move, I want to show that the world is immortal. Since it has no concept of the passage of time, is the man-mad world not in itself immortal? I want to see how the world flows by the places we ourselves have made. I want to experiment with a variety of compositions with the world and the "flow". Looking at the exposure time, I want to show the people still there, but not in a specific spot. I want to see the motion, I want to see the flow. So, in that respect, the exposure length will be something along the lines of 1-8 seconds, depending on the space and situation. The aperture that I want to use will have to be small, both to capture a large depth of field for the buildings, as well as to counteract the large amount of light entering the camera as a result of the long exposure.

I saw some of the ideas shown in the "time" lecture slides, and loved how some photos really just captured the moment, and I thought, "I want to capture the timelessness of buildings, the timelessness of the world around us, while we carry on about our busy lives." I think showing the way people move around the buildings in time would be a really interesting-but-ordinary feature, and showing that flow effectively would look phenomenal.

Ideally I want to end up with a series of photos, where the inherent idea transfers seamlessly across all the photos. The idea I have really wouldn't be suited to any kind of time lapse or stop motion, but could possibly be suited for a short video. We'll see.

First Flash Experimentations: Slow!

And this was my attempt for slow, again with some fun sound I made.

video
Slow!

First Flash Experimentations: Quick!

I messed around a bit in flash, and created these short clips, one for quick, and one for slow. Having never used flash before, I also tried implementing sound into the videos for fun! 


video
Quick!



DSDN 101 Project 2: Kerning Exercise

A small exercise we had to do on kerning, and analysing how letter spacing can be very important. We had to space our own letters, choosing however spaced we wanted them to be, except the only constraint was that the spacing needed to be the same. Surprisingly, not as easy as it seems.

DSDN 144 Project 2: Photo Choices from First Shoot

For the first time shoot, I very much tried to work as a solo photographer, with no-one helping me or aiding the shot. I was trying to create the effect I desired in my proposal, however, i came to realise that this simply didn't work nearly as well as I had imagined. Nonetheless, I did take some shots which I believe have potential.

The static building in the background works really well. While working with people will be a mainstay, I want to incorporate buildings more than static people. Like Alexey Titarenko, I really want to show the flow of people around the static world that we build up around ourselves. 

This was one of the few shots I was able to achieve which really had the ability to be something. The static old man on the bench really showed the flow of society around him while his life was paused as he sat on the bench. 

Waiting at a give way sign as everyone passes the car on the main road was an example that worked really well. Cars when paused, don't have a tendency to still move, unlike people. The car comes through really crisply, and we see the rest of the world in motion around it.

This car shows even more significantly what I was trying to achieve with the  flow, as one can also see the person in the car, static, while in the background we still see people on the sidewalk moving too. 

While some of the images have potential, I noticed that working with the actual physical surroundings is far more effective, and much more crisp. The people-blur around the buildings shows a much more amplified "flow", and we also get the sense of the timelessness of buildings. I have an idea to explore the flow of people and life around these buildings, these monuments that we ourselves build and exploit, while yet their lack of motion is so alien to our world. Everything moves. Even trees and plants, however, man made objects are designed to stay steadfast. Saying it like that almost seems odd.
I will be re-doing my proposal to suit this new concept.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 2: Contact Sheet / First Shoot

I went and did my first experimental shoot, and this is the contact sheet.


DSDN 144 Project 2: Precedents

For this project, Time, I really wanted to find some precedents that manipulate our perception of time. I want to see how it is they can portray such ordinary things in such extraordinary ways.

My first precedent is Alexey Titarenko, a photographer who in his series "Time Standing Still" explores the hopes and dreams of the Russian people destroyed, and where time literally seems to have stopped for these people. The bleak black and white imagery portrays the people in a depressed state. His ability though to pause time for some things in his shots, but then for other things in the same shot, time continues. He really shows the flow of the people and life around singular things that don't move and for which time has truly stopped.

Taken in St. Petersburg, copyright Alexey Titarenko

Taken in St. Petersburg, copyright Alexey Titarenko


The way the people in the shot move but the buildings standing still has such an ethereal feel to it, despite it being common to see that in longer exposure shots. The black and white lends everything a timeless feel, as well as simplifying the overall information that we recieve from the image. This helps convey the sense of time much more efficiently.



My second precedent is Michael Weseley, a German photographer who does extreme long exposures to show extreme amounts of change. His shots generally extend over periods of time longer than 3 months. He chooses his locations based on knowledge of change that is about to occur. In a way, this shows extensive foresight and necessary planning, as well as time, which I simply don't have. However, his images are still very inspiring.
Taken in New York, copyright Michael Weseley

Taken in New York, copyright Michael Weseley


These photos just speak so deeply about the connection of time and space. The time it has taken to make the space what it is, the time it has taken to see the change, the time it has taken to form the photo. It all appears in these images. It's completely fascinating looking at his images, because regardless of the fact that each photo is just one photo, there is so much depth in each image. Completely awesome.


My third precedent is Chien-Chi Chang, a man whose photos usually explore the concept of isolation, alienation, but then also connection. However, a few of his shots explore time through a long exposure, showing the flow of people around the city, and through that their alienation to it.



Taken in Yangon, copyright Chien-Chi Chang
Taken in Paris, copyright Chien-Chi Chang


The portrayal of people in the midst of the city, flowing around and through the city, through both space and time is just as much what I want to portray as well. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Antiques Hunter: Gothic Revival Dining Set


Screen Capture from Trade Me (Auctioned Piece Webpage), taken 16/04/12

The very strong representation of the Gothic Revival style in this dining set caught my eye while browsing Trade Me for workable pieces for this assignment.

Mills (n.d.) states that "Heavy woods finished in a dark stain, such as rosewood, oak and walnut, are used to construct Gothic revival furniture." This dining table set done in walnut conveys the strength and durability of Gothic Revival. This marks the passing of much more finicky and delicate Rococo. The furniture created at the time was designed to last. The style was representative of religion, which, since it links to God, conveys longevity.


Image from Trade Me (Auctioned Piece Webpage), taken 16/04/12


Mills (n.d.) also states "Upholstery choices are generally heavy fabrics, such as velvet, brocade or leather." The choice of leather for seat covers is distinctly Gothic. Campbell (2006) states "... Gothic architectural features - Pointed arches, lancets, tracery, crockets, quatrefoils and trefoils, and naturalistic foliage - were applied to furniture...". These features make this piece a very specific style. The quatrefoils cut in the tops of the chairs, along with the arch designs as a stylistic support underneath the table, the foliage design in the legs of the table and the top edge lining, as well as the crocket inlay along the top edges of the chairs; all define this piece and its identity.


Image from Trade Me (Auctioned Piece Webpage), taken 16/04/12

I still have one doubt about the piece. The seller states the piece is "early 1900s", which is at least 40 years after the high point of Gothic Revival, which would mean that it isn't original Gothic Revival, however the style is still heavily imbued into the piece, and it is impossible to doubt the nature of the antique and its workability for this project.

Trade Me Link: http://www.trademe.co.nz/antiques-collectables/furniture-woodenware/furniture/19001949/auction-466962094.htm


References
 
Campbell, G. (2006). The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts, Volume 1. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
 
Mills, A. S. (n.d.). Characteristics of Gothic Revival Furniture. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_5730871_characteristics-gothic-revival-furniture.html

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tech Lecture 4: Change

For this Tech Lecture, we were asked to take photos that showed change. Compositionally the same, the photos were meant to show a "spot-the-difference" kind of thing. 

What I wanted to capture was the change over time while working at my computer. I wanted to see what kind of things change over the course of a few hours working on projects. Surprisingly, very little actually changes physically. A few things move, but the most noticeable change overall is in the light. Showing the shift from the afternoon to after the sun has set, that shows the most interesting change. 

I did manage to show change, however, the physical changes were not as dramatic as I had hoped, however the light provides an interesting alteration. 



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 2: Proposal

For the second project, the whole idea of it is to capture the connection that photography has with Time. What I really want to discover, and what I've set out to do is to capture the moments in people's lives where their lives are figuratively paused. What are those moments in society where, relative to everything else, one stops moving and stops living one's life by "normal" standards. I also want to try and capture the nature of this pausing. Is it voluntary? Or are we controlled by society and told when to pause our lives?

For the techniques I want to use, I really want to capture these moments in a brief space of time, but I really want to show everything else, society around the person, continuing to move, I want to show that life only pauses for them and maybe say a few other choice people, while the rest of society goes on living. I want to experiment with a variety of times of day, but mostly have long exposure shots. 1-5 seconds of exposure. I really want to capture the person in the middle of the hubbub of society, so taking a central or rule-of-thirds viewpoint on the subject will be ideal. Keeping my distance from the object will be paramount, since ideally I want them to not know I'm there and literally stop and do their pause. Depending on the light and situation, I'll have to vary my use of aperture settings, so I'll have to see regarding that. I literally want to use the camera as a sort of "time machine".

I saw some of the ideas shown in the "time" lecture slides, and loved how some photos really just captured the moment, and I thought, "I also want to capture the moment, but only the moment for THAT person. I only want to capture their moment, and have everyone else continue on.". I think showing the everyday moments where we chose and sometimes are chosen to pause will be a really interesting idea to present, and should show everyday moments for the audience in a new light.

Ideally I want to end up with a series of photos, where the inherent idea transfers seamlessly across all the photos. The idea I have really wouldn't be suited to any kind of time lapse or stop motion, but could possibly be suited for a short video. We'll see. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tech Lecture 3: Ultra-Fast, Ultra-Long


This shot was taken at a 400th of a second, and still parts of it are blurry! I want to try some more shots with ultra-fast exposures,  also experiment with a larger depth of field too, just so I can also get more in focus.


This shot was taken at 5 seconds exposure length. The light trails of the car look pretty impressive, but what I really like is that the reflections off the car from the street lights still come through! It really makes the trails more interesting, but not as contrasting. I want to experiment a lot more with this, seeing the result is really exciting!

Monday, April 2, 2012

DSDN 111: Final Models & Drawing


The final 1.5mm card model I created! Exploring the concept of the word "symmetry" here, through rotational symmetry, more specifically. I'm very pleased with how it finally turned out, and it has a really good feel to it.


The final wire and thread model I made explored a shape I originally created in card, but then saw as being better and more refined when created in wire and thread. The thread zig-zags on the frame serve the purpose of creating a 2-dimensional plan between those sets of wire. The whole thing was created from a single piece of wire and again seeks to explore the idea of rotational symmetry. I drew on existing shapes and feels that I used in the cardboard model also.


The drawing I did is an abstract representation of the shadows created by the wire model and the thread involved in the design. The drawing was done in pen, and I used three separate shadows to create the final result.