Insperational photographers and images

My interest in photography began in the editing of photos and I hope learning more about cameras, how they work and how to take better photos would be a good way for me to learn how to make a better edit. Because my interest in photography comes from editing photos, my inspirational photos have been edited to some degree, I will specify for each photo if it is a RAW or if the photo has been edited in some way.

I am going to show four different photographers and what I like about them and then focus on two.

Cisco Giestas

Cisco Giestas

This was a photo edited by a French man named Cisco Giestas. It is what is known as a double exposure which means it is a photo within a photo. The snowy tree landscape shot blends into the shot of a wolf standing in the snow. Both photos have to be linked by a theme, in this case, cold as they both contain snow and a white base colour scheme is adhered to by each image. This editing technique showcases an interesting way of looking at each image, but can also postulate a further meaning. In this case ‘what the wolf is made of’. The natural beauty of the location is only seen because the wolf is made of it which shows the wolfs environment, but on a deeper level his home. It shows even animals are made and sustained by the environment they live in.

Sara Shakeel

Sara Shakeel

This was done by Sara Shakeel as a series of images empowering women. This series consisted of Shakeel covering over stretch marks with glitter and sparkling diamonds, a very simple edited, but the implications are fascinating to me. In an age where stretch marks are considered ‘ugly’ and most advertisements and magazines are editing them out, this edit does the opposite, it highlights the natural outcome of growth in women (I say in women as she only edited women for this project, I am aware both men and women get stretch marks but men are not scrutinised for them in the way women are). This series empowers women by showing they are beautiful and that the media that would say otherwise are wrong. She posted all the images online and the series blew up and shows a step forward for female empowerment through her innovative ideas in photography and editing. This is an example of using editing to make an image which just using a camera could not achieve, this is also a reason I am interested in photography.

Peter McKinnon

Peter McKinnon

Peter McKinnon’s photos have always had a natural beauty to me. The way he uses colour in his photos makes them stand out and emphasise the beauty of whatever he is shooting. Colour has always fascinated me in photos and Mckinnon uses a duo-tone technique to make his photos burst, in this photo the red and grey/black are used to show the coldness of the city and highlight the beauty of life against the cold. (I have not studied how to read a photograph yet and so can only comment on what I already know). The composition of this image is also used to focus the photo on the tram. Obviously, the tram is symmetrical in this image, but the tram tracks and power lines in this image also draw focus toward the tram. The depth of field is also perfect with a slight blur around the outside of the tram.

Peter McKinnon 2

Again McKinnon uses colour as a method of enhancing his photos, not exaggerating them beyond realism, but making the colours burst. This photo accents the blue in his tattoos in the foreground and the blue in the blurred background. The focus is another reason I like this photographers work. The depth of field is very short, just the subjects left arm and head are in focus, the rock in the foreground and right arm and rest of the background are out of focus.

Peter McKinnon Collection

Kevin Cobos

Kevin Cobos

Kevin Cobos is a freelance photographer out of Chicago with a website, and does all sorts of photography. Although he photographs a range of subjects, one consistency in his work that I particularly find interesting to look at is the uniformity he displays in all things.

This image could show a jumble of houses with no coordination but the low to high-key light from bottom to top as well as the edges of the building being left out create the houses own form of conformity and beauty.

Kevin Cobos 2

This shot IS just a lot of trees but the uniformity of the trees creates an interesting image to look at. The green of the trees gets deeper and richer as the image goes from top to bottom.



Going into Photography

I thought it would be a good idea to introduce this blog by setting my prior knowledge of photography, and what I will be using this blog for.

Prior knowledge

I have worked a lot with film cameras and so have a good understanding of shutter speeds, ISO, aperture etc. and the effect of these on how a film looks, however I have not studied their effect on a still frame in as much detail. I have shot photos on my phone up to this point, mainly for my own desires, never being paid.

The main reason I wanted to take this course was because I have always had an interest in the editing of photos, more of this can be seen on my personal photography blog: I have for a while wanted to take better photos for the purpose of making more complex edits in Adobe’s Photoshop and other editing softwares.

I also wanted to have a better knowledge of cameras for the making of films. I have mainly learnt through trial and error up to this point and don’t want to have holes in my knowledge of cameras for filming. If I can make my photos better I will have the ability to make better-looking footage.

Finally, I am a Film Studies student and thusly all of my other modules are theory based, I wanted to make my hobby my elective and so I chose Photography.

Blog Contents:

This blog will cover the following;

as well as be a reflection of the readings each week, how they influenced my photography knowledge, any updates to my ability to take photos and any concerns or issues I face in this module.

Practical knowledge that I will cover:

  • Camera handling – How to hold, and adjust controls, on the move
  • Using camera in M mode
  • Changing shutter speed
  • What shutter speed to select and why. Minimum recommendations
  • Changing aperture
  • What aperture to select and why
  • Manually focusing
  • The impact of shutter speed: motion blur, avoiding shake, jumpology
  • Controlling exposure using shutter speed and aperture
  • Lens angle
  • The effect on Depth of Field of aperture, lens angle, point of focus
  • Depth of field blurring and how to control it
  • Why to change ISO
  • Changing ISO
  • The impact of ISO
  • Auto-focus
  • A mode
  • S mode
  • RAW: why to use it and how
  • RAW editing dialogue
  • The significance of resolution. What is DPI?
  • Photoshop basics
  • Creating a contact sheet in Photoshop
  • Histograms and their uses
  • Data bending
  • Flash basics
  • 3 point lighting basics
  • Search / advanced search / reverse image search
  • Composition principles, rules of three
  • Lighting principles
  • Other design principles

Other updates:

I will also be showing my photographic progression in photo posts, as well as any techniques I will be trying out.