Following on from colour we explored the art of composing a photograph. When photography just got going, people were composing photos like they composed paintings. We talked about conventional composition techniques. After class, I walked back into the city via the backstreets to practise a few techniques.
Like showing perspective (in this case, diminishing) to give the photo depth.
And repetition to lead the eye.
This week I started another photography short course, an extension to the course I took this time last year.
To get us all thinking about photography, the first week concentrated on light and how to capture it. When you think about it, photography is just about capturing light as it reflects off various subjects. It’s how we capture that light that makes things interesting, and in an age where everyone seems so snap-happy, making ‘interesting’ images getting more difficult to do. Well, I guess we can only try.
As an exercise, we went a few doors down to the Paddington Reservoir to look around, and eventually snap a few photos. Last year I had a go at a few shots there myself, but this time around the light conditions were very different. It was midday and very bright. That made for some interesting shadows.
But what I liked the most was how the bright light reflected off surfaces, like water.
For the last week of assignments we were free to do any project we wanted. I found it very hard to settle on a theme. Luckily near class I found Paddington Reservoir Gardens. What a magical space it was. On top was some interesting architecture.
But look down and I found a sunken garden.
And a library.
This shot became my project – the world from above.
More shutter speed work to capture movement, this time at my local railway station at peak hour. The commuters really did form a stream when captured at a slower shutter speed.
Slowing it down completely, with an exposure of one second, while zooming in, was great fun. This could be a scene out of a horror movie – a ghost is streaming out of the TV.
In class, we learned how to ‘paint with light’. All you need is a very dark room, a light source, and a very long exposure.
At home, I took my version of a ‘selfie’.
After the depth-of-field homework, we worked on experimenting with shutter speed. This was something I rarely did intentionally, so it was exciting to explore new or rarely used techniques. I soon found out that it was both fun and frustrating, in pretty much equal measures, but I agree with our teacher that the pictures do have more of an energy to them than the majority of ‘frozen moments’.
During class, we went out to Oxford Street to ‘play with traffic’ and pan passing vehicles. It took a lot of shots just to get something that worked well, like this cyclist.
And this close up of a car braking seemed like an accident in motion.