Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CI Field Trip #!

This Monday we took a field trip to The Zoo in my creative imaging class. After a long shoot week and tonnes of homework the week before, it was nice to be able to just go out and shoot without having a specific assignment in mind! I had gone to the zoo the monday before we went to complete an assignment for a different class, but I was still able to get some new and interesting photos. I tried to capture a little bit of everything and think I ended up with a good variety of images. Take a peak at the shots I took!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

AT 6.2 Photographic Hero

For this assignment I choose Irving Penn, a famous photographer known for his unique portraits and fashion photography. He was born June 16th 1917 in New Jersey and just recently passed away on October 7th 2009 at his home in Manhattan. Penn graduated from Pennsylvania Museum School for Industrial Art in 1938, some of his drawings were published in Harper's Bazaar and he also painted. As time went on he became known for his post World War II feminine chic and glamour photography. In 1953 Irving Penn opened his own studio, after working for Vogue Magazine for many years.

The thing I like best about the way he shot most of his photographs is the way he was able to use such simple white or gray backgrounds to create amazing photographs of people which were still interesting and could tell a story about the person. Penn also created another simple background by placing two backdrops together to form a deep corner, where he would place his subject. Even though he used such simple backgrounds, the images still told so much about the subject by the unique way he was able to capture them. The plain backgrounds in the image made the subjects pop because it made them the only focus in the image which really works well. He didn't need anything else in the image to help tell a story about the subjects because the way he portrayed his subjects were strong enough. Irving Penn was one of many photographers who tried this in photography, but he was one who was able to use it more effectively than others.

It appears to me that a lot of his close up portrait work is printed in square format which could mean he cropped his mages, or they could have been shot in square format I guess depending on which camera he used. The equipment, materials, and methods Penn used varied in line with the assignment and his interpretation of it. He sometimes used Lecia or Nikon's with a selection of different lenses, or 4x5 or 8x10 Deardorff view cameras, Rolleiflex or Haselblad cameras. He taught himself to print his own images using a turn of the century process the uses platinum instead of the conventional silver, which produced velvety tones in the images and was also one of the most permanent printing processes. He also wasn't afraid and did a lot of experimenting in the darkroom, such as bleaching his nude prints to make flesh appear more harsh and unforgiving. Penn's black and white printing was done in his own studio, but any color printing was sent to an outside location.

I am a big fan of the way he did close up portraits and the way he framed the subjects inside the frame. Although even when he did full body images the way and the place that he put them in the photograph also worked really well. His use of the simple backgrounds really makes his subjects pop and proves you can can tell great stories with out even including a background. Irving Penn's images tell stories about his subject just by the way he poses them and crops them in the photos and I absolutely love this! You shouldn't need to include anything else in a portrait than the subject to get your point across and he does an awesome job of it.

Along with fashion photography, Irving Penn's work includes a lot of interesting still life studies. His portraits include a wide variety of different people including Tribal Warriors of New Guinea, Moroccan and Peruvian woman, all the way to a series of Female Nudes, the Hells Angels and Hippies of San Francisco, just to name a few. Even though Penn is a master of studio flash, he shoots most of his work window lit or it natural lighting.

Irving Penn is an amazing photographer! I admire his work because his styles are of wide variety and he is great at all of them. I would love to be like him one day making photography my career, opening my own studio and being such a success for most of my life. Irving Penn lived to the age of 92, living a long and great life.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Composition at Home

So for this assignment we had to capture 6 different design elements. It wasn't finding the different kinds of design elements that I found tricky, it was getting a good image of each of the six. It was difficult because I ended up shooting this assignment on a rainy day, which meant slow shutter speeds and using my tripod. It was awkward setting up my tripod to shoot some of the objects that I choose because they were mostly small in size and all in different locations, like my kitchen floor or bathroom counter. I think I took a total of around 100 shots just to get 6 good ones, a lot of my other shots in the assignment were blurry or just out of focus. I did end up getting the 6 images I needed, but I was unimpressed by the amount of decent shots I got out of the 100 that I took. I need to start clearing my mind more when shooting these assignments because I still have too much on my mind when doing them and I think that is what is taking away from my work and outcomes sometimes! The rain was a big thing that had my mind out of focus on the assignment, but I realize now that I can't let stuff like that affect my work because you will never always get great shooting weather, you have to work with what you get. Here are my final six shots for this assignment:

Symmetrical Balance