Saturday, 29 May 2010

Reflections on photography

Open University Course - week three
Messing about in the dark
May 2010

From being well ahead on the course, life's manic schedule has pushed me behind.

I have just completed the assignments for week three which was all about capturing movement and working in low light conditions. The movement exercises were really challenging, forcing me to take full control of the camera in manual mode. This is pretty scary territory for someone who spends most of his time in automatic, or sometime auto creative when I feel a bit adventerous. This pushung of the boundaries is what the course is all about and whilst I produced some images which were technically useful, they were not the sort of thing I would want to share outside the confines of the OU discussion forums.

Night photography is, however, another thing altogether. I love the images a good camera can achieve in the dark / very low light and for this exercise I actually used an image I took at Castlefields Manchester during our Easter trip, and one which has featured on the blog before.

I am aiming for an artistic image of how it felt at the time rater than a completely true representation if what was there. I also find it is easier to make compositional mistakes when you can't see much of your subject, so I felt no compunction in using the various dark room tools at my disposal to make adjustments.

It's interesting that whilst the image attracted positive comment in its original form, my subsequent rework resulted in a quantum leap in positivity. 

Here are the two versions so you can compare them for yourselves:

Place for Reflection - reworked

 Place for Reflection - original

Is well as recropping the image I have cloned out the concrete block on the top right, levelled off the waterline, lost the shadowy floating chip box and used the burn tool to pull out some of the mid tones in the otherwise burned out light and rock beneath it.

I am pleased with the end result, but you are best judge, what do you think?

As to the course, I have just completed two weeks reading in two days which is just as well because we are off on the boat for whit week and I have my computer marked test when I get back - not that I give a jot for the results. Getting OU points is must certainly not that this is all about.

Expect more on depth of field and colour when I have done the practicals, and where better  to do this work than about Wand'ring Bark?


Northern Pride said...

Nice shot Andy, it's tough fitting in studying AND life isn't it?!
Looking forward to catching up with you both next weekend.

Halfie said...

It could have been a "Spot the Difference" competition, but now you've told us most of the changes! The straightening and burning out correction are certainly improvements, but I quite liked the "floaters" (well, you expected me to say that!) A great picture.

nblazydays said...

Yes the editing has done marvells to the original photo. The course is certainly doing a lot for my photography, I am really enjoying it.