Inspired by light, passion and mystery. All images are copy-writed to myself, unless stated otherwise. No images may be used without consent.

Archive for the ‘Summer Task 2011’ Category

Photo Diary-Walt Disney World Photographs

I always like to take photographs where-ever I go, but usually with my point and shoot Nikon coolpix camera. So when I knew I was going on holiday to America with my family and boyfriend I decided to take my proper digital SLR camera, my Lumix G1, with me so I could take some photographs.

Here are 28 of the best photographs out of the 894 I took. Some were taken on my Nikon point and shoot, others on my Lumix G1. But even though I was on holiday I always had the photo diary task in the back of my mind, so I took normal holiday shots and thought out photography shots.

Walt Disney World is, I think my favourite place to photograph especially when the sky is vivid blue and full of fluffy clouds. Everything is colourful which when photographed retains its vibrancy. I have always enjoyed photographing on holiday, I like to retain memories in pictures, the pictures remind us of of good times we had with important people. My photographs show a place I will always go back to, Universal and Walt Disney world, but what they dont show is the memories behind each image because I hold them, a photograph is a thousand words, but only to the people who experienced the event in the photograph.

Walt Disney World is my ‘Happiest place on Earth’.


John Hinde

You are probably thinking how does John Hinde relate to my research towards my final project about macro Lego photography. Well, I am going to create mini film sets with my Lego and according to the book I am reading ‘Our True Intent is all for your Delight’ The John Hinde Butlin’s photographs, John set up the images for his postcards before he photographed them. So he is creating a set the same as I will be, just with real people instead of Lego. I really like John Hinde’s work, I first came across his book because Martin Parr (one of my favourite photographers) had written the introduction to his book. After looking through all the images I found I really loved Hinde’s work and I enjoyed reading how he created each image.

I know its going to take a lot of time and effort to set up my Lego scenes, but using Hinde as inspiration I know I can achieve what I want.

Photo Diary-Recent Trip

Here are a few photographs from my recent holiday to Florida. I went with my family and my boyfriend David. We stayed in the Saratoga Springs hotel on Walt Disney World property, so we could easily get buses to the Disney parks and my dad gave me and David a lift to Universal for 2 days to see Harry Potter world. I just wanted to put a few photographs on here now to show a glimspe of the photos I took. They are not photo-shopped at all, I have 894 photographs to go through on photoshop so I need a bit of time to do that. I will create a nice series of photographs, maybe 10 or 20 together. Here is a sample of some of the images I took.


Testing Macro Lego photography

I borrowed one of Pete’s lenses that would fit onto my Lumix camera, he said it was a macro lens. I really liked using it, it was hard to focus at first but I got used to it after a while. I only took a few photographs to try out the lens, I really like the results and I will peruse more macro photography for my project.

What is Cinematography? Interview with Danny Cohen

The original interview can be found here.

Danny Cohen has received an Oscar and a Bafta nomination for his cinematography on The King’s Speech.

The London-based film-maker previously worked with King’s Speech director Tom Hooper on the Emmy-nominated HBO TV series John Adams, and Channel 4’s Longford.

Cohen’s other film credits include The Boat That Rocked, Glorious 39, and This Is England.

But what is a cinematographer – and how do you become one?

What does a cinematographer do?

My job is to help the director realise what’s in his head.

The cinematographer creates a consistent look for the film and makes images that help tell the story. It’s what’s in the frame, the lighting, getting the mood right – getting images that push the story along and keeps the audience inside, not outside, the film.

What’s the relationship with the director?

There’s a dialogue that constantly goes on between the director and the cinematographer [also known as the director of photography, or DP]. You’ve both got to be there for every single shot. A lot of other work – like production design, costume and hair – has to be nailed before you start filming.

Once you get the trust of a director, they know they can rely on you to do something very interesting. It’s a very complicated relationship.

What were the challenges of working on The King’s Speech?

We shot the film in November – January. If you make a film in the UK in winter, one of the biggest things you confront is that it gets dark at 4.30pm.

So it’s about being able to control the light: Lionel Logue’s consulting room was a biggish room with a skylight, so we put a lighting rig outside the skylight and a blackout tent above the lighting rig. So whether it was day or night, we could light the scene however we wanted.

A big interior set-up was Ely Cathedral [which doubles for Westminster Abbey]. Controlling the light was a major challenge because of the size of the location. We used massive lighting balloons which give ambient daylight – hopefully it looks natural on-screen. If you looked slightly wider than the frame you’d see the chaos of a film set, lots of lights, lots of people and equipment.

Is there a particular shot in the film which was hard to achieve?

There is a walking and talking scene between Logue and King George in Regents Park, where we used lots of smoke machines to give it atmosphere. There was low winter sun which always looks fantastic because you get long shadows.

We worked out where the sun would be and had Geoffrey and Colin walking towards us to have them backlit and so we could play the sun into the lens.

That’s an example where we were all lucky – it could have been windy or raining.

Some reviews have noted how you abandon traditional framing techniques in The King’s Speech. How did you approach that?

You want images that unsettle the audience, so if you put an actor in the wrong position in the frame it’s going to feel uncomfortable. In a weird way, doing the things you shouldn’t in this case benefited the story.

Normally you shoot faces with longer lens to get big close-ups with out-of-focus background. What we did to a certain extent was use very wide lenses, but very close to the actors. In the consulting room, the camera is right in Colin’s face but you still see the walls and never lose the context of where he is. That’s not the traditional way of shooting historical drama.

How did you get started in cinematography?

There’s no right or wrong way. You can go to film school, but everybody’s different. My first degree was a social science and nothing to do with film. I’d always done a lot of stills photography. I ended up as a photographic technician at Middlesex Poly and then became a camera assistant on small documentaries and pop promos and commercials.

It’s all about chance meetings. I ended up as a camera assistant and clapper loader for eight years working with lots of cameramen with different styles, so that was my film school.

I worked with the French cameraman who shot Betty Blue. Going to work was like going to a master-class every day.

How well do you know your fellow nominees?

I’ve never met any of them. Until the Baftas, Roger Deakins [who beat Cohen for his work on True Grit] was my favourite cinematographer! I’m a huge fan of all his films – one of the first he did was Defence of the Realm, a small UK thriller and it looks amazing. The Big Lebowski is a big favourite of mine.

What difference does an Oscar nomination make?

It’s recognition, it shows people think you vaguely know what you’re doing.

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews for American magazines. People, bizarrely, find it really interesting.

What’s your next big movie?

We just finished Johnny English Reborn in December. Essentially it’s a Bond film. Having thought I’d never get asked to do a Bond film, I thought it was a fantastic opportunity because it’s about spies, gadgets and car chases. Working with Rowan Atkinson was exciting. We did some fun stuff.

Close-up lenses Research

Add a close-up lens to the front of a normal lens.
This is the easiest way to get close-ups, the quality may suffer, particularly with the higher magnification close-up lenses but it is the easy-to-carry, cheap and cheerful way to get results. The equipment consists of filter like screw-in lenses that go on the front of the lens. Often they are called “dioptres” and may be called numbers like +1, +2, +4. The +number refers to the dioptre measurement of the lens and the higher the number, the greater the magnification possible. The dioptre measurement is the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens measured in metres. Therefore a +1 dioptre lens is 1 metre focal length, a +2 is 500mm and a +4 is 250mm. These add-on lenses are available in a variety of filter sizes and qualities. If you don’t wish to get heavily involved then a set of uncoated close-up lenses to fit your favourite lens is the way to go. Coated close-up lenses cost more and will yield a better image, and two element close-up lenses (much more expensive) will give better results particularly with longer tele type lenses.

The effect of these close-up lenses increases as you add them together. The +1 and the +2 screwed together will yield +3. Be aware that although you will get greater magnification, you will also get greater image deterioration. If you do try this the usual method is to put the strongest one closest to the lens then the lesser one. For the above coupling you would screw the +2 on first then add the +1 to that, then any filters or lens hoods.

The close-up lenses have more effect on longer focal lengths. Attached to a 50mm lens on the camera the +4 close-up will yield closer focussing but nothing amazing. Try a +1 close-up lens on a 200mm or 300mm lens and the effect is much more exciting.
This situation makes the decision of what thread size close-up set to buy a bit more interesting. If you intend to be mildly involved with macro using close-up lenses then it would be best to buy the set that fits your 70-200 or 75-300 lens then buy adapter rings to make the close-up lenses fit your other lenses with maybe smaller thread sizes. They are called step-up rings and are much cheaper than buying a second set of close-up lenses.

Even though I own macro lenses and bellows I also own a +2.9 coated double element close-up lens (expensive) that with the appropriate step-up rings will fit nearly all of the lenses that my wife and I own. The one close-up lens and the few lightweight step up rings take only a small space in the camera bag for those times I don’t want to carry the proper macro lens.

Upside. They are relatively cheap, are light and don’t take up much room in the camera bag and the normal camera internal TTL light metering takes them automatically into account and no adjustments are required.
Downside. More stuff added to light path adds more optical problems, flare, distortion etc. If used on tele lenses you really need to have the more expensive double element models that are also hard to find. The more powerful the close-up lens, the worse the image. Try to use around f/8 or f/11 on the lens to make the best of the situation.

I found this article here.

I was really interested in reading this article, because I now want to learn about how to use different photographic equipment to achieve new results. I want to try out many different things for my final year, and gain a lot more experience in different fields of photography.

Tips for Macro Film Photography

”The term “macro” is used very loosely and tends to mean any photographic situation where you get close to the subject.
Real macro photography is where you are working around 1:1 ratio and closer thereby giving an image on film that is equal in size or larger than the subject being photographed. The range from life size on film (1:1) up to ten times enlargement on film (10:1) is be the strict definition of macro photography. The range from 1:10 (1/10 life size on film) to 1:1 on film should properly be called “close-up” photography.

Most lenses don’t get very close at all so that close-up you tried of that nice flower or interesting bug often turns out disappointing.
Zoom lenses usually have a “macro” setting where they may get close enough to give maybe 1:4 ratio (image on film is 1/4 the size of the subject). Any normal 4″x6″ print made from that negative will yield a picture of the subject about life size due to the approximately 4x enlargement needed to make the print. But if it was a small flower/bug it still will be a small flower/bug on the print.

Life gets more interesting when you get closer to the subject and get closer to the 1:1 image size. Enlargements made now will start to be spectacular as the image on the print can be much larger than life size.

Understand that in all macro photography as the lens gets closer to the subject and the image gets larger on the film, the light reaching the film is lessened. Also the depth of field gets very shallow and to combat this, very small apertures are called for which lessens the light to the film even more. Both these things in combination mean that normal hand held exposures are usually out of the question. A tripod is needed for steadiness  plus flash is needed in nearly every circumstance to give decent illumination.

Often the image size on the film is the important feature so the focus is done manually to get the size of the image correct then final focus on the subject is done by moving the whole camera to and fro. To make life easy a mechanical attachment is added to the tripod head to allow smooth movement of the camera making the final focus easier.

What you need to get things happening is a camera that can be used in aperture priority mode and manual mode and preferably having TTL control of the flash. A good sturdy tripod is essential as camera shake is magnified greatly when working in macro. To avoid shaking the tripod you need a remote release, this may be a mechanical or electronic release, or you can employ the self timer and use the 10 second delay until it fires to let the arrangement stop shaking after touching it. A TTL controlled flash, two are better, can be of another manufacturer as long as all the TTL extension cables fit and work correctly. And the focussing rail mentioned in the above paragraph makes focussing easier, this can be store bought or made by an enthusiastic handyman. The rest of the macro equipment needs to be chosen after reading the descriptive text.’

I found this article on this website.  It gives a simple description of how to achieve decent macro photographs with a film SLR camera. I like the sound of printing macro images larger than life size, this will create amazing images I think, especially with Lego figures. I can imagine a series of close-up images of Lego figures, then the same Lego figures photographed in their film scene enviroment from many different angles. I am starting to get excited about the many different ways I could approach my idea with photographs!

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