Archive for the Weekly Wonderings Category

As pretty as a picture…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings on 22 July 2018 by misselisabethuk

Periodically I reflect on the photographic work I have made both personally and for my degree.  This is a really important part of the artistic journey for me as it helps me to grow ideas and technique; pulling apart what you have done and reinventing your work with a different perspective or skill, or thinking about the creative things you want to do next, spurred on from an initial idea which may or may not have worked out first time.  Usually there are far more ideas than I can achieve in the hobby time, however, these ideas go down in my notebook ready for the right moment to try them out.

During a particular post submission reflection I thought about the images I had recently taken and, through messing around with the filters in Photoshop, applied an oil paint filter to a few still life images that I took.  I actually felt like one of the ‘Masters’ (delusional I know).  Anyway I thought I’d share the results of my toil and struggle with you….

Pretty nice effect I thought!

This led me on to reflecting on two sayings I remember hearing as a child;

1 –  As “Pretty as a picture” and
2 – “He/she’s no oil painting”.

I never really thought too much about what these two sayings meant only that I knew the first was a compliment and the second was not.  Now I am studying in a relevant field I asked myself what were they actually saying.

Some background on these two sayings can be found below:

Pretty as a picture

Very attractive, as in She looked pretty as a picture in her new hat.
The noun picture alone was used to describe beautiful objects from
the early 1800s on; this locution, however, dates from about 1900.”

He/she’s no oil painting

“If you say that someone is no oil paintingyou mean that they
are not attractive.  A person is not attractive to look at. Physically
unattractive. 
 Jack’s a nice guy, he’s just no oil painting, you know?

[The links to the online sources where I obtained the above information are below in the references section, for your reference.]

Oil paintings as I have learnt on my degree course used to be treated as a commodity for the well-off, they would have been specifically commissioned, cost a lot and were a symbol of social standing.  They were usually placed in a prominent place within the household, entrance or hallway, so all who entered could admire them.  Oil paintings were and still are considered a thing of beauty (and some very expensive) which is why so many of them are hung in museums and exhibition halls for us all to look at and admire.

A lot of emphasis was put on the beauty of the oil painting, it’s textures and later the subjects and this is where the saying comparators derive from.

This interestingly links to photography.  Initially photographers used paintings as their inspiration and benchmark; mimicking composition, lighting and general aesthetic.  Also in the early days of photography it took a long time to take a single exposure, although some would argue not as long as having a painting done, however, time was a factor – to create a work of art you needed the luxury of time.  It was therefore accessible to those who had the means, you would have been of a certain class to be able to afford such a hobby, where the required time and materials were available to you.

That said photography was not considered an art form until much later in its development and in a reversal some painters now use photographs as a source for their work… topics probably for another post…

Hope you are all having a great weekend and this post has given you some food for thought.

References:

Farlax (ONLINE) The Free Dictionary, Available at:   http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pretty+as+a+picture (Accessed: 22/07/2018).

Farlax (ONLINE) The Free Dictionary, Available at:   https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/no+oil+painting (Accessed: 22/07/2018).

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Flat Lay Photography…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24 February 2018 by misselisabethuk

I recently watched a tutorial by Makelight’s Emily Quinton on flat lay photography (autumn theme) and it really inspired me to pick up my iPhone camera and give it a go.

What I think caught my imagination most was that up until now photography for me was getting out my Canon DSLR, checking batteries and memory cards, then going out for a couple of hours taking photos and then coming back and post processing 100s of images.

This is where I am going wrong… Post processing for me is probably one of the worst parts of the digital photography process.  I don’t have a lot of time or space to be setting up my ‘proper’ camera up in a studio type environment to take images all the time.

Emily showed me that even using an iPhone camera you can still do photography for online images and only having a small amount of time here and there should not stop you from doing your photography.

So I put some of her teachings to the test and produced the following images which I am really proud of:

I even made a montage of the images for my Instagram account (@misselisabethuk):

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I don’t think I did too badly….  If you have any questions about how I created these images then please drop me a line.

If you want to see more of my work please head on over to my website at : www.misselisabeth.co.uk

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend and that this post inspires you to have a go at  flat lay iPhone photography.

To 35mm or not to 35mm, that is the question…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , on 10 February 2018 by misselisabethuk

So a while back now, blimey 1 October 2016, I went to see the William Eggleston Portraits Exhibition at the NPG and thought I would take my new (old) 35mm film camera out for a spin.

I have just got round to scanning in the images I took that day and thought I would share them with you.  Before I do though here are the technical bits:

Camera: Fujica Compact Classic Vintage 1960s 35mm automatic retro film camera
Film: Kodak Colourplus ISO 200 Ext 24

And now to the results:

The camera handling and results were not too bad considering.  I was using manual mode so used a Sekonic lightmeter to meter the light and that was relatively easy to do, although the image taking process took longer and meant that there was less chance of capturing a spontaneous moment quickly.

The original prints were processed by Boots.  I’ll be honest I wasn’t 100% impressed with the quality of them so there is still a bit of experimenting with who provides the best processing services.  A lot of them nowadays you have to send off in the post.  Maybe I’ll develop my own at some point in the future.

I hadn’t got a 35mm film developed for a long time and there are now print, digital and both options.  I could only afford one option so I opted for prints which maybe in hindsight was the wrong decision considering the sharing of images is now digitally online.

As a result I had to scan them in myself to share with you and to be honest I haven’t got the greatest scanner for these purposes so feel the results posted here could have been better.

My favourite shot from the day was this one:

5

I think the composition of getting the underground staff outside the underground sign and having a cigarette was lucky.  One of them spotted me snapping away which was funny.  I also liked the smoke frozen in motion and the shadows to the right hand side giving some contrast to an otherwise quite bright area.

For Christmas 2018 I got a pinhole camera and have just finished building that, so today I started taking photos with it.  I’ll post the results on a blog post once they are available.

Until next time, I hope you are having a great weekend!

Tea with Alice…. flash back to July 2016

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

Recently I was asked to contribute some images to a charity fundraiser flyer and found myself going through some I took in my early days of photography, when it really was just a hobby hobby, before I signed up to a photography degree and joined a photography club etc.

It was going through these images when I realised I hadn’t posted any of the themed photo shoot images I took with Pinup Doll Alice Oxley back in July 2016.  I had posted a blog with the portrait shots of Alice but not the more themed ones.

So, a year on, I thought now was the time to put some of these images up for you to see. The theme was a 50s style tea party and I had big plans for the shoot but when the day came it was windy and I had to abandon some of the ideas I had.  This taught me that you should ‘always’ have a plan B and expect to re-assess your plans on the day and think on the hoof.  Also not to plan anything too elaborate, keep things simple where you can if you are working solo.

That said it was a brilliant shoot, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and think it was from that moment on that I realised that this was THE hobby for me.  Here are some of the images from the shoot:

Hope you enjoy this post and have a great weekend!

Lois Loren – Photoshoot – 1 July 2017 – The Images

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

Following on from my last blog:

Date: 1 July 2017
Location: Underpass, under the Ito Way, Gillingham
Model: Lois Loren Rochester, Kent
Make-Up Artist (‘MUA’): by Lois

I now have some images I can share of my shoot with Lois:

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If you want to see more of my work then please head on over to my website at www.misselisabeth.co.uk

 

Let loose with a camera at the London Aquarium…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , on 7 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

I bought a ticket via Eventbrite to go to the London Aquarium (28 June 2017) to learn some techniques for taking photographs underwater.  This workshop I thought was very reasonably priced at £25.00, given entrance to the Aquarium during normal opening hours was not much different.  It felt a bit ‘night at the museum’ only ‘..at the Aquarium’ with up to about 30 people there after closing.

The evening started with a presentation given by INON UK on composition and low-level lighting techniques.  To summarise some of the points of interest raised:

  • get the camera settings right first before taking a shot,
  • think about contrast (opposing colours), textures, the focal point (the eye) and rule of thirds,
  • get close up to subjects.  Your underwater mask will make subjects appear 33% closer and 25% bigger,
  • shoot at eye level,
  • heads wins / tails lose.  Try to get the subject approaching rather than swimming away,
  • try to capture reflections, light shafts and silhouettes for more creative outcomes.

Once the talk was over the practical started.  I attempted panning with the sharks, capture a glimpse of a hiding seahorse, swam with the turtles and laughed at the clown fish to name a few.  I thoroughly recommend this experience if you can take time to go, and what’s more the proceed from the evening go to charity.

Here are the results of my efforts:

Not bad for a first attempt and I would definitely give this a go again and although I am claustrophobic when it comes to being underwater, I was even tempted to try the real thing.  See if I can pluck up the courage…

And so I come to the close on another photographic exploit.  I hope you all have a great weekend, until next time…

Lois Loren – Photoshoot – 1 July 2017

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 7 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

Had a really great shoot with Lois last weekend we tried a lot of different things out, from ideas I had initially when booking the shoot to some that just came to us on the day whilst being in this amazing location.  Lois and I have worked together a number of times now so we are familiar with how each works – what works and what doesn’t.  There is also a trust that comes with working with someone a number of times, that the result is going to be something that you are both going to be proud of.

Before any shoot Lois and I set up a Pinterest board and both add our ideas to it so we get a feel for what we are both aiming for on the day and it is from there that we decide the wardrobe, makeup and props for the shoot.  I try to limit the wardrobe to a couple of options and then play around with composition and lighting.  Usually we get more than we need to on a 2/3 hour shoot.  I’ve found that unless you have a big production always go simple, it’s the simple ideas, simple wardrobes that work best as you can get creative with lighting, poses etc as well.  There is an endless stream of potential outcomes anyway without getting two complicated with wardrobe and props, which risk too much time being spent on them rather than the photographic output.

Prior to the shoot I did a recce of the location I had stumbled across (not literally) when I was out running one morning. These are the photos I took initially of the location, a few weeks prior to the shoot:

I wanted to see what the light was like and envisage what it might be like on shoot day, trial what settings I needed on my camera and what lens/es I needed to use to get different shots.

I decided for this shoot that I would be a bit more camera orientated as I have been trying out different cameras and mediums of late.  So I decided I would parallel run with my Canon 5D mark III as my main camera, then have some fun with a Konica C35 automatic 35mm camera loaded with a Kentmere ISO 400 black and white 35mm film (still to be developed) and an old Polaroid Impulse camera loaded with a colour 8 exposure Impossible film.

After a shoot I pull all the images together and send them over as digital contact sheets to Lois to choose from.  So, for this post I cannot show you all the digital contacts or film output but what I can show you is one particular digital shot that I had in my mind’s eye which I have already shared in Instagram and the output from the Polaroids.

First the Polaroids:

I was really pleased with these, they give a real 80s vibe and I will definitely shoot Polaroid again.  The other image which I wanted to share on this blog post is one of the digital images already shared on Instagram:

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I wanted to express the feeling of isolation and thought that this was a good metaphor for the idea of limbo, “Limbo is a place where all you can do it wait”.  Recently a person I am close to suffered a mental health episode and was sectioned and whilst this is difficult for that person, those around them are also dealing with a situation which is equally if not more distressing.

It’s difficult to capture the situation in its entirety in this blog post but by having first hand experience of this I can see that both sides are equally isolated, in limbo at the hands of the human condition.  Although we are more aware of mental health nowadays, people in general still do not want to talk about it and those that face living with someone with mental heath issues are often avoided, ‘tarred with the same brush’, because people feel awkward and are unable to deal with it.

As a result of this I have also been thinking more about us as a human race; we strive to prolong life by keeping our bodies fit but ultimately not a lot is known about the brain and what can be done for the ageing brain and maybe, just maybe, the concept of zombie-ism is that the body lives on but our mental capacity dies leaving a body fit as a host physically but with an unfit brain….. hence a zombie craves a new brain to survive…. food for thought?!

On that note, enjoy your day it’s a beautiful day in the UK and I am aiming to get outside and take some more Polaroids, black and white this time.  Take care all.  Peace!

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