Category Archives: Photography

Van Styles

Whilst still thinking along the lines of photography, I became more interested in looking at the work of other photographers and looking at what techniques they used to make their pictures stand out and look appealing. My favourite photographer at the moment is Van Styles. He started with photographing and videoing skateboarding which has had a great influence in his work, which moved on to photographing models for streatwear and fashion shoots. I decided to look at some of his pictures and how they linked with the theories and techniques we’ve looked at and used.

All the pictures i’m using as examples are taken from his blog which has a mixture of photos from his work with models, to landscapes and random moments. 

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I like the colours on this picture of the beach, the pink shades make the sunset stand out and it just looks really cool. 

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This picture was shot using black and white film at night which gives it the iconic grainy texture. The lack of colour makes the lights really prominent. The rule of thirds has been used with the main detail being framed in the center. This give it a level of symmetry which makes it visually appealing. 

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This one uses perspective and lines to make it really stand out. All the lines in the tunnel point your eye toward the light at the end which is the main focus of the image. I also like the balance of light in the foreground and background, where the mid-ground is a lot more shadowed, making the end of the tunnel seem even brighter.

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This last one also uses the rule of thirds with the toy bear as the main subject. I particularly like the lighting on this one with the darker, and more grimy foreground, contrasted with the clearer and brighter background. 

 

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Time-lapse

Today I made a time-lapse video. Putting my phone against the window, I used an app to take pictures ever second of the road outside (beautiful view, I know). I chose this short interval so that I could do the time-lapse of a short duration as I need my phone and didn’t want to leave it for too long. There was also the limitation of storage space for the images. If I was to do this again, I would use a longer interval and do it over an extended period, saving the images on to something with more storage space.  I took ~300 pictures and then cropped them down to 720p resolution using command line tools in terminal. From here I used FFmpeg to put the pictures into a 25fps video and add a fade-in to the beginning so there wasn’t a sudden start to it. I made a watermark to go on the video in Illustrator and then some music using the loops in GarageBand to accompany it. For the music, I went for a deep house style, as that is typically what is used in time-lapse videos in my experience.

The whole project was put together using FFmpeg to make this nifty little video. This different way of editing pictures and making the video came was very useful for batch cropping and resizing large quantities. If I was to do this using Creative Suite software it would’ve taken a lot longer to do despite achieving the same result.

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Photo Alphabet

We were tasked with forming an alphabet using pictures of things we find around Bournemouth. The challenge meant that taking pictures of things that are already letters such as signs, or road markings weren’t allowed so we had to scout the environment for anything that was iconic of a letter in the alphabet.

For the letters I was trying to go for less obvious things that would look like letters, and tried to avoid setting up situations. In some cases I made slight adjustments to things I saw in order to force the letters. When taking the photos, I didn’t want to deviate too far from my normal life, I wanted everything I found to fit in around me and my student life. For example, a lot of the letters were found in my flat as thats where I spend a lot of my time, and some were found while I was out skating. I wanted my alphabet to be representative of me, my life as a student/digital media designer, and my interests.

As I don’t have a camera to use here in Bournemouth, I resorted to the one on my phone. I liked using my phone for this as it allowed me to fit the search for letters into just a normal day, without being encumbered by a large camera. I used the square photo option on my phone for multiple reasons. Firstly, I wanted all the pictures to be uniform, a consistency across my alphabet so they fit together nicely as a set. This meant I didn’t allow myself to edit the pictures afterwards, with cropping or colour adjustment, forcing me to think about composition and making sure that the letters are clear in each picture. Secondly it fit nicely with my obsession of Instagram  which uses square photographs. There were a lot of missed opportunities for pictures of things that where iconic of letters as I didn’t like the concept of taking pictures in public places and people giving me weird looks for being so fascinated by fence. This exercise made me look at my surroundings very differently, constantly looking for things that had potential to be letters through selective cropping with the camera.

Below is a gallery of the letters I find and will be updating it as i find more.

Whilst I enjoy photography and taking pictures of cool things, this task didn’t really interest me and I won’t endeavour to finish my alphabet. It was a useful exercise to sharpen my skills as an amateur photographer and will defiantly impact my composition in the future.

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Panoramas

Recently we have been looking at photography and image manipulation as part of the course. We looked a stitching photos together to make panoramas using a free program, Hugin. After the workshop I had a quick attempt of my own, in my room as I wasn’t really feeling getting up and going somewhere interesting. Image

This is a lovely panoramic image of the left side of my room, showcasing my wonderful posters, noticeboard and partly my very tidy desk. Clearly the image isn’t perfect, mostly due to bad photography on my part as using a spinny desk chair clearly isn’t the best way to take a panorama.  To get a good panorama, the camera needs to be pivoted around a single point so the depth and distance doesn’t change. Spinning in my chair meant that the whole camera was moving rather than pivoting (is there a difference?) and it make it more difficult to line things up on the edges of the pictures.

When I first came down to bournemouth I went down to the beach to bask in its sandy glory. Naturally, being as excited as I was, I took pictures on my phone of the picturesque scene. One of them being a panorama using the built in feature on my phone. This one came out a lot better than more more recent attempt, but I feel the simpler scene had a lot to do with that. Panoramas work well when there isn’t drastic changes in the foreground and background, making landscapes ideal. However with Hugin, it has a bit more trouble trying to find reference points to stitch together images which can result still in bad panoramas. Panoramas are such a hassle.

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