Saturday, 28 November 2009

Photoshop workshop

I spent the whole day in Harrow receiving one-to-one tuition from Giles Angel, who is a very talented photographer and retoucher. Ideally, I want spend as little time on post-processing as possible, but there are times (particularly with infrared) where some tidying up is required due to hot spots and lens flare.
Giles took me through Bridge, RAW and CS3, working on several of my images. He also explained the importance of colour space, and when to shoot in JPEG or RAW in order to minimise post-processing.
Alot to take in but hugely beneficial!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Manchester Weekender - Part 2

I went to Manchester Cathedral (to escape the torrential rain!) and took some shots of buildings reflected in puddles:

When I got back to the hotel, I took some early evening shots of moving traffic through the window, using a polarising filter and tripod. I reduced the orange cast caused by the street lights:

What have I learned?
I should be able to find opportunities to create lines and shapes using light trails and motion blur.
I will try to get a shot of a famous landmark reflected in a puddle as I think this might be more interesting than a direct shot.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Manchester Weekender - Part 1

I'm in Manchester for a salsa festival and spent the morning in Manchester Art Gallery. I bought 3 books:

The Photography Book
This showcases the work of 500 photographers and gives a precis of some of their most iconic work.

Colour in Art by John Cage
This discusses the impact of colour in art and various themes from an artist's perspective.

Surrealist Art by Sarane Alexandrian
This looks at the development of the genre and discusses the work of various artists.

What have I learned?
I wasn't really interested in paintings before, but I now see less distinction between paintings and photography. The same basic principles apply - composition, colour and balance etc.
I think infrared may be a form of surrealism and I would like to explore this further by reading and experimentation.

Monday, 16 November 2009


My tutor (Russell Murray) sent me a welcoming email and made the following comment:

"Checked out your Flickr site, and it's so refreshing to see someone who's prepared to explore ideas and experiment with form and style - and has a good eye for composition".

I'm at the top of a steep learning curve, so this is very encouraging!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Background reading

I started reading The Photograph by Graham Clarke. The first chapter is "What is a photograph?" It discusses the purpose of a photo and the objectives of the photographer.

What have I learned?
There's so much more to a photograph than I'd previously considered:
What's included?
What's excluded?
The 'story' behind the image (open to interpretation)
The photographer's intent - Why was it taken? How should it affecct the viewer?

Things to do:
The Photographers' Gallery, Ramillies St
British Library - "Capturing the 19th Century in photographs" 30/10/09 - 07/03/10

Thursday, 12 November 2009

First post!

Hi, I've just enrolled on 'The Art of Photography'. This will be my first OCA course.

I have kept written reflective diaries in the past for other courses, but this online version is a whole new experience!
I am steadily working my way through the study pack and hope to get stuck into the first exercise in the next few days ...
I had a look at assignment 1 - contrasts, and I've short lists of the contrasting pairs so that I can carry them around with me. They're written in a random order as I don't want to approach them as a continuous list.