These images were the results of my shoot. I haven’t whittled them down to five photographs yet but I wanted to show the variety of shots I got. I decided to visit my spot repeatedly over the course of about two hours, documenting the changes in light, formations of the water and shapes of the clouds. As you can see, I experimented with white balance a lot which have created the pink, purple and blue hues which completely change the mood of the photographs. I also used a wide variety of shutter speeds to create the creamy effect of the water hitting the rocks and to capture the cloud movement, giving the impression that they’re looming over you. I did this shoot in Clevedon, setting my boundaries on the rocks, I wanted to work in a small area because I really wanted to focus on this one view out to sea. I have done photography as a hobby for years but never really got into landscape photography so it was good for my own personal development as well as part of this exercise.
In today’s still image carousel day, we engaged in a variety of location based exercises to get our minds used to thinking before we snap photographs. The purpose of this task was to get us to observe what was around us.
Exercise 1 was ‘sitting still’, meaning we had to find a secluded spot and sit there for 20 minutes without taking any photographs. We had to pay attention to life around us and the goings on of life. I found a spot next to the river and stared at the ripples the wind made on it, then I watched a child screeching in terror because he was being made to sit in his pushchair. I watched people walking along in front of me, all in their own world but rarely looking around them, either engrossed on their phones or looking straight ahead.
Exercise 2 was to focus on ‘viewpoint’. I returned to my previous location considering different angles and heights to shoot from and the general positioning of the camera. I spent 30 minutes photographing my location, taking into account what was around me in a 360 degree way rather than just ahead at eye level.
Exercise 3, ‘light’, involved us finding a new location to work in. I had already shot outside so I went for an interior location instead. In the cafe I decided to go in, there was potential for a lot natural light to pour in through the large, high windows but it was an overcast day so unfortunately I didn’t get to capture that. Instead, I focused on the spotlights they had and how they illuminated the space below them, casting dramatic shadows on whoever stood beneath them.
Exercise 4 was to consider the framing of our photographs. For this section, I decided to elk around rather than stay in one specific location, meaning I could create many frames e.g. between bars and railings and using the form of buildings to create a very symmetrical image in which I positioned myself straight in the middle of them. I also experimented with taking photos of people walking around the busy harbor side but by placing them in different areas of the frame, having them in the corners rather than the centre.
Exercise 5 was the final exercise, which brought all these elements together to concentrate on the overall composition of our images. The image below is my favorite from this section of the carousel day because it captures a ‘deciding moment’ which I had been reading about the night before. I sat watching the scene unfold in front of me and pressed the shutter just as the bird took flight.
This is my favourite image from the carousel day – the lack of mobility meant I viewed my surroundings in a different way, looking up and down for example rather than the static view we usually have. I also found I payed more attention to what I actually see when looking around. If I were to be walking along and happened to look up, I’d usually just see sky but by taking the time to observe and area and compose an image, I noticed that I liked the way the lines of the telephone wires and the top of the building sit parallel to each other and the limited variety of tones and colours group themselves together.
Michael Ståhle is a photographer that I discovered while browsing Flickr and who sprung to mind while we had our still image workshop in town focusing on a ‘sense of place’.
I think Ståhle’s work does this well, the images above show the complete contrast of the mood in different places by the use of framing, lighting and viewpoint.
The reason I began looking at his blog in the first place is because I was looking for travel blogs and searching the travel tags page when I discovered his photographs of China which were beautiful. This then lead me to his overall body of work which I came to realize was extremely varied from portraiture, landscape and the study of fascinating architectural landmarks.
I thought his work would be a good one to research because of the variety of his work. His images are so vibrant and captivating. He takes photographs of normal, every day objects and scenes and makes them interesting. This is why I thought he would fit in with the theme of ‘a sense of place’ as this is what the majority of his images are about.