Thursday, September 27, 2012

Inhuman Portraiture

I am a firm believer in fear. In that one singular emotion having much power. For some people it runs their lives but for the rest of us it just comes and gets to us at certain times. I personally am a pretty fearless guy if I can say so myself. I've got a good logical head on my shoulders about nearly all illogical fears. Except one. I bet you've been wondering "What does this have to do with the painting mannequin?" Well, that's my fear. I'm afraid of mannequins. Larger ones of course, and not to any degree that it causes me pain to go shopping, but still, it's in my mind and I accept it. I've taken that fear and put it to use. I've used it as fuel in a fire of inspiration I started the other night. I've got this little guy (and I couldn't tell you why, by the way, I certainly am no painter/sketcher) and I've been playing around for a couple days when I started thinking of what I could do with him.

The last two photos are the beginnings of a series I'm working on that I'm thinking about calling Student. Basically using this little guy to emphasize some of the challenges faced by students nowadays (kinda following the idea, write what you know, except in my case, its shoot what you know). Respectively I might call them OSAP and Essay. The first two are part of a set that was trying out how to light the little guy, and getting a hang of being able to form a subject for what is essentially portraiture, completely however I want.

*If you don't care about photography you could probably skip this paragraph*
The lighting was fun and I used a whole range of lighting sources to see the effects; some ambient room light, a tabletop (warm halogen) lamp, another (cool, tungsten) lamp, a computer screen and a candle. I found that the unearthly lighting was best achieved with the cooler light sources and the candle. It seemed that both extremes of colour warmth achieved satisfactorily creepy effects. Another trick I used was in the background. See the first three? Seamless, white, 90 degree coverage background with no seam. It's a miniature cyclorama I made with a sheet of printer paper, some sticky tac and a cup. Basically you make the paper curve from the tabletop to the vertical back and stick it there so it doesn't move. Pretty simple, but I got the idea from one we have at school that is about 6 metres long by 2 metres tall and 3 metres deep. Aside from all that, Tripod, telephoto lens, closed aperture, long exposures, the basics for this kind of stuff.

Overall, I'm pretty damn happy with the results and I know I'll be pursuing this some more.
Archipelago Photography

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


So I'm taking a photo of a telephone bank just inside the door of a subway station. There's no one around so I take a little time to set up my shot, and then all of the sudden a voice comes booming over the loudspeaker "THERE IS NO PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE SUBWAY SIR!" I nearly had a heart attack. And I didn't even think to take my shot. :(
I did however make a whole bunch of photos earlier on  the subway. It's a fascinating subject with lots of cool metaphors and visual styles possible. Perhaps I'll have to risk another incident with "The Man" and explore more of this cities most interesting transit system.

Flying Vermin

Maybe it's because I'm still new here, but I don't hate the pigeons, I think they are kinda cool. They are so used to human contact that you can get so up close with them and they won't even flinch. That makes them interesting subjects, and some of the most calm wild animals I've ever photographed. The story behind the second one is interesting. I had seen the pigeons gathering at one specific place for about ten minutes and then, like clockwork, this man arrived. He stopped and the pigeons swarmed him but not touching him. Then he began to feed them. I deduced he must go there often at the same time and so they were waiting for him. Cool huh?