Assignment One for The Art of Photography course investigates the theory and practice of contrasts. The task is to identify subjects that best express the extremes of different qualities and take pairs of photographs, which bring out the essential differences. Choose sixteen photographs and group them in eight pairs, clearly marked with the contrasts they aim to demonstrate. In addition, produce one photograph that demonstrates contrast 'in one picture'.
¹Charlotte Cotton: The Photograph as Contemporary Art (London 2009)
Graham Clarke: The Photograph (Oxford 1997)
see also posts on this blog tagged 'cafe creative crumbs' for additional reading list
Tokina 11 - 16mm f2.8
Canon 50mm f1.8
Photoshop Elements version 5
Shutter release button and remote
Nd1000 b/w filter
All images are taken in RAW and jpeg
All images are processed from RAW in Photoshop Elements version 5.
The levels have been altered in the RAW editing software in Photoshop Elements.
my oca profile
Before embarking on this course, I felt that my photography was disengaged from 'me'. Whilst I was taking striking landscapes, they were also 'safe', not very personal and didn't really express anything about me. I am a private person, inhibited and self-conscious by nature. This I feel was being reflected in and effecting my photography.
As part of my journey, and at the beginning of this course, it was important for me to explore this issue and start taking risks. I need to learn that although I hope you and others enjoy my photography, it is not the reason I am taking them. And if my art is not to everyone's taste, get over it!!
For this assignment, seeking objects that represent the contrasts was not how I wanted to interpret the brief. I wanted to make a defiant and bold first step. I have decided to lay myself bare on all levels challenging myself photographically and personally, offering the viewer a higher level of honesty and openness than I have allowed in the past.
This project is entitled 'this is me - stuff it'. I have never turned the camera on myself before. I am happy behind the camera and have the occasional snap of me in the family albums. This assignment has been used as a self-portrait using the contrasts to help me overcome my own inhibitions, highlight pertinent issues in my life and in some. addressing certain cultural stereotypes. There is also an intended level of irony and humour (I don't want to take myself too seriously).
I experimented with daring to bare all in the safe environs of home. In all honesty I did surprise myself and really began to enjoy the theatre and drama required in composing the shots. This spurred me on to continue exploring this theme. The approach has been successful in making me less fearful in my photography.
I have had many ambitious ideas in my head but have found it extremely difficult to execute them with many failed attempts in the process. A 10 second delay and remote shutter release button has made this possible but inevitably has made composing, directing and being the starring role in the images very tricky - although a whole load of fun too!!
This set is highly personal and experimental. I have considered the pairs not as literal 'opposites' which I found to be too constraining but as individual images that need to be considered in their own right. However, I hope the links are strong enough and sit comfortably enough side by side to be understood as contrasts. I hope this set of images offers an original and personal interpretation of the brief.
The full set will follow in the next post.