Evaluating Different Photo Montages – Different Perspectives in Photography

In class, we had to evaluate each other’s work. What did I think of the different photo montages ?

IMG_0505

IMG_0504

Here is the feedback I received for my photo montage.

photo

feedback

SELF EVALUATION

Looking at my photo montage, I can say that the connections between each image are definitely there, since the connections to make a face definitely place the montage on an entirely new meaning. The composition is definitely telling a story, as through the connections, we can see that we need to believe in ourselves, and that greatly influences who we are as a person. It shows a personal journey in life, which is definitely telling a story. Overall, I can say that I have created a photo montage, as the key was the word’s original meaning of “fitting” and juxtaposition. I definitely made it meaningful. However, I could have improved by ensuring that the face was clearer, such that the story could have been communicated better. Many did not get the message until I told them what it was about or they viewed the artistic intention. Even still, I needed to explain it further to them. Therefore, this is I something I could work on to help people identify the main message.

REFLECTION – How does creating a joiner with these photos differ my perspective on the subject of the photo ?

If you originally looked at my photographs, you would just think that the message was light – a bunch of light, at that fact, that is travelling in who knows how many directions. However, now that juxtaposition is applied into the montage, the connections change everything completely from a bunch of light to a personal journey – a face staring into the sky. Something that was originally about light turned into something more personal – self-discovery. Something that anyone could have understood turned into something that some may not feel with or understand. The overall subject suddenly feels a lot more abstract – a lot more mystical. Therefore, a joiner could change a usually seen idea to something that isn’t commonly found, and that’s what makes photography more unique.

My Photo Montage – What’s The Message ?

This is my final product – the photo montage ! I decided to name it “Light Choreography”, because the light seems as if it is dancing.

photo (4)

Artistic Statement/Intention

Who said light travels in straight lines ? Anything can happen. When you are down, light brings you wonder. When you feel like the entire world is against you, you must remember that there is one thing – light. Life is like a flower, and we start at the bottom, and by shining light on ourselves, we climb up before reaching a petal at the top. When is something we cannot control but where is something that we can change. Remember that the light you shine on yourself is who you are. There is never saying no to hope.

(99 words)

Explanation of The Artwork – How It Becomes More In Depth

If you have noticed carefully, joining up the colorful lines of light gives you a face staring into the sky. The black sky is the face and the colorful lines of light give it an outline and therefore it’s shape. I am trying to say that from this face, the light you shine on yourself represents who you are. The flower was meant to depict that if you rise, light will welcome you. Motion is utilized based on the movement of light in different directions, hence light choreography.

Inspiration

David Hockney was the one that inspired me for my artwork. From his montages, I took the fact that he took many images of the same thing, which resulted in my experimentation with light. Later, he joined everything together that could still give off that aura, which I tried to communicate with a display of light. Here is an example from one of my previous posts. He took photographs of the same subject, but still joined them together, and what could have been an ordinary world turned into a fantasy. In my montage, I tried to do that by trying to make it more abstract, and therefore more of a world of fantasy. I turned the cars upside down and the light into something as never seen before to try and add on to the effect. Therefore, I would say that this work is my inspiration for my montage – something abstract and dreamlike.

Hockney Montage 2

Developing A Photo Montage – Mix and Match – The Art of Experimentation

Continuing from the time I mentioned how I edited the photographs, I will now talk about the techniques utilized and the experimentation involved in mixing and matching the photographs into creating that very meaningful montage. The final montage will be uploaded tomorrow, along with the artistic intention.

Firstly, we have the technique. The photographs taken for my montage were actually from my balcony at night (you’ll see them soon). It’s a very clear city view, with no light displays of any sort. It’s just a scenery where you would find some buildings, lamp posts and a few shop lots and cars along the way. I will be breaking this explanation into three parts (there were three types of photographs).

1. Light Drawing – What I did was using my DSLR, I set my shutter speed to about 1.5 seconds and with an aperture of maybe 5.0. After focusing on the overall scenery, I pressed the shutter and quickly turned the camera 90 degrees clockwise, ensuring that the center still remained. This must be finished before the shutter has another “click” sound. You will find that the camera started from the original picture, but the many lines of light associated with turning the camera are also included, giving an awesome light display.

2. Light Car – Capturing cars that seem to be a quick spectrum of light is pretty easy. By setting your shutter speed also to about 1 to 1.5 seconds, taking the photo will not only capture the shot at that instant, but everything during the 1 to 1.5 second duration, which means that many lines form and these may produce stunning results.

3. Bokeh Flower – By using my mother’s flower on the balcony as the model with the city skyline as the background, I used a shutter speed of about 0.5 or 0.6 seconds and the lowest aperture I could go – 3.5. You must remember that what aperture does is the ability to focus on a subject. A low aperture would put focus on the subject focused on, while a high aperture would give almost equal focus to all elements of the setting. Shutter speed, meanwhile, is how long the camera takes before it’s second click, giving either more time to capture events over a period or giving less time to capture things at 1/4000 second, for instant. By using this effect and a lot of trial and error, you get the flower as such, with the background appearing as circles of light.

Meanwhile for the experimentation, I was quite unclear at first, when I thought of just connecting a few lines together based on the direction of the lines of light. By the end of my first mix and match session, here was what I got. (I am sorry if it wasn’t that clear…)

photo

However, after this, someone suggested to me that I should connect the lines of light to form the outline of another character – another person, which would make it generally much more meaningful. From my next two experimentations, here is what I got.

photo (1)     photo (2)

The first one, if you look carefully, is supposed to depict the face of a lonely boy looking into air. Can you picture the lines ? I’ll tell you more for the second one in my next post, as so not to spoil it, as I used this as my base for the final product.

Anyways, I added in some of my remaining photographs in from the light car and put it at the sides, before getting this as my final experimentation.

photo (3)

The final product is close to this, so stay tuned for tomorrow with the final montage and the real artistic intention !

A Process of Editing – Telling A Story

As I compiled a few photographs for my photo montage with my DSLR based on my theme of curving light, I was looking through them and found that editing actually made the photos look really cool and refined them, enhancing the message (and wonder) of the photograph as a whole. Through two simple steps of editing by using the “neon” and “boost” features on Picasa, I managed to make the photographs look more abstract, while adding a nice touch of red to them. I have a few screenshots of the editing process. I will reveal more of the original photographs and edited ones later, as I don’t want to end up uploading repeats or spoil the montage for both the audience and the teacher, including the techniques used to capture them !

Fullscreen capture 352015 94410 PM

Fullscreen capture 352015 94703 PM

Fullscreen capture 352015 94832 PM

Composition Matters

Composition. It’s something that we always incorporate into our photography, yet we never realize that we implement the rules of composition. For me, composition is about the skill of knowing how to seemingly fit each and every element of your scene into a photograph to make it seem stunning and perfectly done. We all experiment, don’t we ? We try and focus on our subject, change the angle or viewpoint we look at things, and even change our shutter speed and aperture in order to get those precious moments sharp and clear. According to photographymad.com, here are the ten major composition rules, and from my opinion, you will need to master the first nine to master the last rule – experimentation. Here are the ten rules and the pictures for each rule from the website. The link is attached below. (Note: The description is my own understanding of the rules.) No copyright intended.

Rule of Thirds – The fact that your subject is not exactly at the center point of the 3 x 3 grid but rather on the lines of the center square adds some balance and interest to the photograph.                      Lighthouse with rule of thirds grid

Balance – When you have your rule of thirds, you need something to ensure that your subject doesn’t become the only thing in the photo. Something needs to ensure the effect isn’t too big. That’s balance.Road sign with building behind

Leading Lines – Lines are something that really draw us into a photograph, which is why for my photo montage, where we are following the theme of motion, I am really focused on making lines and shapes. Going back to the topic, lines capture the eyes very well, especially when they are unique, Lines like zigzags, curves, and diagonals will really help in boosting the interest and therefore the composition of your photograph.                                Road winding through mountains

Symmetry and Pattern – Having an obvious focus point can bring about unexpected compositions, even if we think that symmetry is just plain boring. Objects  both natural and man made will produce some fancy photography.           Chapel entrance

Viewpoint – Often, we just decide to take things from their perspective at the front, which often gets boring. Take time to think about where you can get the most unique views that no one else can easily experience – just like what we touched on last quarter, where the unexpected brings upon curiosity towards photography. Think about a place which seems like Utopia and looks abstract; the leading lines, balance and patterns will naturally come into place.Man sitting on beach photographed from above

Background – Often the background interrupts with the balance of a photograph, because what is in the back often  influences where in the photograph we look.Therefore, finding a suitable background is key in creating a focus.  Female violinist

Depth – It something that we often lack, yet it makes it seem realistic, making us feel like we are actually in it ourselves. Layers also help in creating depth as the eye naturally thinks that depth is present.  Sheep in field will misty hills in the background

Framing – Focus is not always a key. Ensuring that the objects around us such as trees become the perfect frame for our photography. This also helps in “leaving the subject alone” and giving it more impact.Lake framed by hills either side

Cropping – Although this is more of an editing technique (for those that are “original” photographers), cropping helps eliminated the background, which is where that element comes into place. Cropping is technically not an editing technique anyways, in my opinion, because it’s just cutting the photo up and presenting a section of it, where we eliminate what we dislike and keep the focus alive.                                                Ceramic ornaments of characters hugging

Experimentation – With a modern age of photography constantly being on the rise, there is no worry about running out of film or having too less shots to experiment. Describing experimentation in three words ? Easy. TRY AND TRY. A balance of all nine is essential to know WHAT IS SUITABLE AND WHAT ISN’T. Only then can you do an effective type of experimentation.                               Lone tree in field illuminated with golden light

Now, let’s take a look at the photo montage. Composition really matters in a photo montage because we need to know what is the best place to place things into it to make it seem stunning, realistic and yet abstract. It needs to be perfectly fitted, and each and every element MUST be considered. That is why I defined composition as a art where you fit pieces together above; it’s just like cooking, where you mix and match with your ingredients and the different brands of food until you get that stunning combination of flavors that your adore. With photography, knowing what goes where helps enhance your message.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 What will you be composing  today ?

REFERENCE:

 “10 Top Photography Composition Rules.” Photography Mad. Photography Mad, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

(For those that want the link: http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules)

The Look Of A Professional – David Hockney

Born in 1937 in Bradford, England, David Hockney attended an art school in London. He studied at the College of Art in Bradford from 1953 to 1957 and finished his studies at the Royal College of Art in 1962. In the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles. Here, he had access to many swimming pools, which he painted, eventually garnering attention. Most of his early works were filled with Expressionist elements, before moving on to pop art. After that, Hockney taught in places such as Colorado, Iowa and Berkeley.

Using a Polaroid camera, he captured “Shower Pictures” using his acrylic. Now, I have decided that it does not look suitable at all. However, if you are really curious, you can go and have a look. Moving on, in the 1970s, he also did stage design for performances such as “The Magic Flute” by Mozart in 1978 at the Glyndebourne Opera.

Most of his montages came about in the late 70s, where we combined many Polaroid shots to form “photo joiners”. The work is relatively abstract and looks like one of Picasso’s Cubist works. In the late 80s, he did media work.

Here are a few montages by Hockney and my short response to each of them.

hockney

This montage feels like there is a boy exploring the environment around him. The boxes that surround him look very magical, for me, like floating pieces. The tree looks rather mystical with no leaves on it.

hockney

This looks really abstract and make what seems like an original photograph very geometrical and complex. It feels like the world is coming to an end, because the blue roof figure on the left looks as if it is crashing down. The whole thing looks weird but works.

hockney

(Pearlblossom Highway by David Hockney)

The many stop signs make me wonder if this is a stranded land which no one has gone to. It makes me tempted to go there, and all of the visible lines make it seem as if there is something new there, something fresh and something that will take me by huge surprise.

According to The Guardian, Hockney always remains enthusiastic in his artwork, regardless of his age, constantly challenging viewers to broaden their minds. His art speaks for itself. Although he is in 70s, his enthusiasm is like that of a young boy, and what we should consider when taking on anything.

Useful Links/References:

“David Hockney Biography – Infos – Art Market.” Art Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2015.

Kermode, Mark. “Hockney Review – an Intimate Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man.” The Guardian. The Guardian, 30 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Apr. 2015.