Tutor’s Feedback for OCA Learning Log, Part Two: Digital Image Qualities and Assignment Two: Seeing Like your Camera

I have included the feedback that I have received in regards to this assignment. I will make any changes to my work, and will update them at the bottom of the assignment.

Tutors Feedback:

Overall Comments

Many thanks for submitting this assignment Chantelle.

The key issues I mentioned within my last feedback report were as follows:

  • Try to keep an eye on the balance of practice to theory.
  • Try to consider more about ‘why’ the picture is taken as opposed to ‘how’.
  • Try to be a little more reflective within your assignment annotation, rather than just technical.
  • Explore the debate between Monochrome and Colour within your writings.
  • Create a new blog specifically for DPP module.
  • Try to visit as many Galleries / Exhibitions as possible and review them.
  • Look closely at the work of Cartier-Bresson / Koudelka.

It would be worth trying to respond to these issues through various blog posts now if possible, especially identifying an embedded link for the research into practitioners and exhibitions visited … which I note you have already done through your Art of photography blog.  It is good to see the new DPP blog established … It will take time to build this back up again …. But you already have the experience in addressing this.

 

Feedback on assignment

As a technical exercise I think this assignment was very useful to you and in relation to shooting abroad, I think this has added visual interest to the imagery as well.  Many of the assignments at this stage do expect a level of technique to be employed and this can often come at the expense of creativity and visual exploration … which I don’t think was necessarily the case with this assignment.

You manage to tick all the boxes in terms of what the assignment specifically required and I thought some of the images of the church interiors were really interesting.  I especially liked the shot of the candles at Duomo Cathedral in Milan, which must have been challenging in terms of low light.  You had composed this shot well and used differential focus with a band of sharpness through the centre of the shot, with both the foreground and background dropping out of focus.  As you mentioned, it was a shame you couldn’t have used a small mini pod for some of these interiors, in order to select a slower shutter speed and higher ISO rating.  Some of the pods you can pick up now are really quite robust for their size and might be a worthwhile investment for the future.

Weather conditions can really impact upon location based imagery, with some practitioners being very particular about when they will and will not photograph.  Have a look at the work of the German photographer Hilla & Bernd Becher …. They required very specific overcast conditions to shoot their typologies of industrial machinery over the years .. also employing very strict guideline in terms of composition etc.

I liked the two dappled light images from the Snuff Mills, but just wondered how well these fitted in with the series from abroad ?

Lastly, in relation to shade  …. I have included some of HCB’s images below as excellent examples of how shadow has been used to strengthen composition.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

Your submission demonstrates your engagement with the project tasks and also provides evidence of some good testing and research taking place on the blog.  It might also be worth having a quick look at these two students blogs listed below to see how they have gone about design and navigation etc.

Try to keep going on this and perhaps take a look at these two for some inspiration:

http://darcyblog.wordpress.com/

http://oca-peopleplace.blogspot.co.uk/

Suggested reading/viewing

Callaghan, H.2006:The Photographer at Work. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press

ISBN-13: 978-0300113327

Conclusions and targets for next assignment

I’d like you to take a look at the work of Harry Callaghan for the next assignment Chantelle.  I can’t stress how important it is, to be able to know as much as you can about the photographic practitioners who have influenced today’s photographers.  Callaghan has also done some interesting work in colour.

My comments:

‘I liked the two dappled light images from the Snuff Mills, but just wondered how well these fitted in with the series from abroad ?’

I have taken this feedback into consideration, and I have decided that these images do not go well together with the Italian church theme of photographs, therefore, I will be re-shooting these images, in churches or cathedrals over here in the UK.

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Assignment Two: Seeing Like Your Camera

This assignment revolves around high contrast scenes. You will need to produce a set of photographs that demonstrate that you can pre-visualise how your digital camera ‘sees’ a scene. The ability to anticipate how your camera sensor will render a scene will help you produce a higher quality image which will need less post processing.

Part One:

Choose a minimum of four situations from the following:

  1. Street scene in the middle of a clear, sunny day. Narrow streets and high building which cast deep, long shadows.
  2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.
  3. Photographing people in the shade while in the background is in the sunshine, Example. a group portrait in the shade of a tree.
  4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light.
  5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.
  6. Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.
  7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.
  8. A scene with strong incident dappled light. These conditions are often found when photographing in a forest on a sunny day.

The locations and subject matter of the scenes that you photograph are up to you. You must submit three images for each of the four situations that you choose, in total that is 12 images. You will need to decide the most appropriate metering mode and settings for your camera. You are to shoot in JPEG. The aim is to get correctly exposed images straight from your camera, with NO POST PROCESSING.

With each set of images, you are to submit brief written notes about the technical challenges that each situations presented, how you dealt with the high contrast scenes and the decisions you took regarding camera setting and composition. Your notes should analyse the differences between how you saw the scene, how you thought the camera would reproduce it, and how the camera sensor finally rendered it.

I decided to choose the following situations:

  • Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.
  • Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.
  • Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.
  • A scene with strong incident dappled light. These conditions are often found when photographing in a forest on a sunny day.
  • Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

I was lucky enough to be going on holiday to Lake Como in Italy, and visiting surrounding areas such as Milan, Switzerland,which would be perfect for my assignment. My tutor recently advised me to step out of my comfort zone and begin photographing scenes, location, objects etc, that I hadn’t done before. Whilst in Italy, I never used a tripod, as I didn’t take one with me. I will discus if this had any effect on my images in my conclusion at the bottom of the page. I also used a new compact system camera whilst in Italy, I used the Samsung NX1000. This camera allowed me to change lenses, and was small enough to fit in my bag whilst I was sightseeing.

I decided to do some research into travel photography before I took my photographs for this assignment.

Taken from the Digital Photography Masterclass book, Travel has been a favourite genre of photography ever since new technology first enabled photographers to leave the studio, and now that the professional quality camera are more affordable and globe trotting is easier than ever before, travel photography has almost reached saturation point.

The attraction of travel and the opportunities it offers also present the greatest obstacle to taking your photography further. It is no longer enough to successfully convert the colour and beauty of a place that is magical and exotic to you; it has almost certainly been photographed before. To take your photography beyond the predictable, you need to reveal fresh insights. As we set off on our journeys, we share similar ambitions to the very first travel photographers, although, unlike them, we don’t need to take along a wagonload of equipment. We all want to record new sights and to be able to share them, and maybe sell them, when we return home. It is the dream of many people to combine travel with professional photography, but with almost every niche of the world accessible to tourists and hundreds of millions of travel snaps being taken each year, what hope of there is succeeding?

As a result of over exposure to travel photography, only photographs that offer more than one dimension will succeed. The foundation is naturally a stunning composition, a fabulous play of light, or a beautiful subject. If you can also capture a human emotion, tell a story in which one picture entices the viewer to look forward to the next one, and inform as you delight, then you will make a breakthrough. Obviously, you need razor sharp reflexes to respond to changing circumstances, your subjects moving unpredictably, the shifting light in situations that are unfamiliar to you. This call for well practised camera technique and equipment that can react quickly. You also need acute sensitivity to the friendliness or antipathy of your subject, and to the cultural and social subtleties to which you are a stranger.

Gary Arndt has more than 116,000 Twitter followers and has won multiple awards for his photography. He is known for his inspirational photos that span all seven continents. He quotes, “In 2007 I sold my home to travel around the world. Since then I’ve been traveling non-stop and have visited over 100 countries. During that time I went from being an absolute novice to an award winning travel photographer….This site is a collection over over 20,000 travel photos from my years of traveling around the globe. Travel photography has become my primary means of sharing my experiences with the world.”

I decided to research Arndt, as he has several collections of work taken around Italy. I am hoping that his travel photographs of Italy, will help inspire some of my photographs.

Below are some examples of his travel photography whilst in Italy.

Pisa 2009:

After looking through his travel photographs of Italy, I noticed that he has produced photographs, similar to the situations recommended for this assignment. I will discuss my thoughts below his photographs.

Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy

Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.

For this photograph, he has used the backlighting from the sun, to make this building stand out. With the building’s front being in the shade, he has been able to include all of the sharp, intricate details of the carvings and paintings on the building. If he had taken this photograph farther away, he may not have been able to capture all of the details, as the sunlight would have reflected into the lens too much, causing the building to be darker and in shadow.

Street scene at Pisa, Italy

Street scene at Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

  1. Street scene in the middle of a clear, sunny day. Narrow streets and high building which cast deep, long shadows.

This photograph is ideal for the situation described above. Taken on a sunny day, in a narrow Italian street. Surrounded by tall buildings. The sun casting long shadows on the pathways and on opposite buildings due to the shape and height of the buildings.

Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy

Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009, Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

This is a beautiful photograph. He has managed to use the only available light coming from the candles around the cathedral and the sunlight coming through the windows, in order to capture the insides of the cathedral. Even though it is a dark interior, he has managed to produce a well lit photograph. You can see all of the details on the walls and ceilings, the colour of paint on the ceilings and the colours in the stained glass windows.

The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa - Italy

The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

Similarly to the photograph above, he has used the light coming through the window, in order to capture this stained glass window. The details and colours are sharp and bold. He has also managed to capture the top section of Jesus on the Cross, in the bottom of the frame. It is very a unique and interesting composition, as it looks as though the stained glass window of the Virgin Mary, is praying over the statue of Jesus on the Cross.

Sculpture at pulpit of Cathedral of Pisa - Italy

Sculpture at pulpit of Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

With this photograph, he has managed to use available light again, in order to illuminate this sculpture. The details are strong and the photograph seems to fade towards the outside of the frame, with an almost shadow like appearance.

Naples 2011:

Inside the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy

Inside the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

For this photograph, he has managed to use the only available light, which is the sunlight through the windows, in order to light this location. There are shaded areas and shadows, but there are also illuminated areas, especially on parts of the buildings towards the centre of the frame. The details are clear and sharp.

Tall hallways inside Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy

Tall hallways inside Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

Similar to the photograph above, he has used natural window light for this photograph. The details are strong and sharp. The blue colour coming through the window is beautiful and works well with the beige, brown coloured stonework.

Close-up shot of the ceiling in Galleria Umberto I - Naples, Italy

Close-up shot of the ceiling in Galleria Umberto I – Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

I really like this photograph. It is an unusual composition, yet it works really well. The details in the roof of the Galleria are immense, and it’s not until you look up, that you notice the intricate details all around you. He has used the natural window light to photograph this location, but he has also used the backlit scene, as the sunlight has back lit the windows and the tops of the buildings are lit by in indirect sunlight, in this photograph. In my opinion, it’s a very hypnotising photograph, I really like it.

Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy

Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

This was a hard choice to make, trying to choose what this photograph comes under, however, I believe that it is a backlit scene, even though he has a very tight, cropped frame. The building is in direct and indirect sunlight, as you can tell that some sort of sunlight is shining on the front of the building as the middle section is lit up and illuminated. If it was entirely backlit, then it would be like the photograph Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, with the front part in shade.

Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy

Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

This photograph shows an example of a backlit section of building with indirect light, and direct lighting. Because this building curves around slightly, the sunlight has fallen onto the building differently in different places. In one section, the building is being backlit with indirect sunlight, therefore that part of the building is in shade, whereas the other part of the building is illuminated by direct sunlight, making it stand out. The section being lit by direct sunlight, appears to draw my attention more, and the statues stand out more, most likely because that part of the building is closer to the frame.

Amalfi Coast 2013:

For this set of photographs, I believe they could be a combination of

4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.

Because the Amalfi Coast is similar to Lake Como,  I decided to include this set of photographs into my research, as I hope to gain inspiration from them. I notice that he included several angles of the Amalfi Coast, and doesn’t just stick to one area. He also zooms in on sections of buildings.

Beautiful view of the ocean and cliff at the Amalfi Coast - Italy

Beautiful view of the ocean and cliff at the Amalfi Coast, Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3297-X2

GMA_3297-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3430-X2

GMA_3430-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Panorama of the buildings along the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Panorama of the buildings along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Detail of buildings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy

Detail of buildings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

After researching Gary Arndt, I decided to research Colby Brown.

Taken from his bio page on his website, ‘Colby Brown is a photographer, photo educator and author based out of Boulder, Colorado. Specializing in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography, his photographic portfolio spans the four corners of the globe. Throughout his work, one can see that he combines his love of the natural world with his fascination of the world’s diverse cultures. Each of his photographs tells a story of life on this planet.

Colby became a photographer back in 2006, rapidly rising in the ranks of the photo industry. Not too long after picking up his first DSLR, Colby was leading workshops for National Geographic in South America, further spurring his love for both travel and photo education. In 2011, he founded The Giving Lens, an organization that blends photo education with support for various NGO’s and causes around the world. TGL helps fight for child education, clean drinking water projects, species preservation, women’s rights and much more.

As one of the most influential photographers on the internet with an audience reaching millions around the world, Colby creates & helps run various social influencer marketing campaigns for some of the biggest companies and destinations in the world, including Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Iceland Naturally, Jordan Tourism Board, Australia.com, Travel Alberta, Visit California and many more.’

Similarly to Gary Arndt, I noticed that Colby Brown photographs situations similar to the desired for this assignment. I will discuss my thoughts below his photographs.

"Sunrise Over Bagan"

Sunrise Over Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

In my opinion, this photograph could be a combination of

4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

He uses the available light from the sunset, to back light the building. You can still see faint details on the front of the building.

The Begining of the Universe

The Beginning of the Universe, Vivid Sydney, Australia. Colby Brown.

I believe this photograph could be a combination of

6. Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

Even though number 7 recommends it be an indoor scene, I believe this outdoor scene works well for this situation. The building is being illuminated and lit by several artificial lights, inside and out. The artificial lights in and around the building, reflect onto the water in the foreground. Different colours and shapes are reflected because of the lights.

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala - 2010

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala, 2010, Colby Brown.

I believe this photograph could be a combination of

4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

This is a beautiful photograph, captured as the sun is setting. The colours are beautiful. It is a late evening landscape, but he has managed to back light the subject, causing him to be in complete shadow.

"Grand Reflections"

Grand Reflections, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Colby Brown.

I believe this photograph could be a combination of

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

6. Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

"Yi Peng"

Yi Peng, Chaing Mai, Thailand. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

Even though this is an outdoor event, I believe it can be classed as being illuminated by artificial light. He has captured this event with only the light from the lanterns available. The lanterns are of high luminance and make a really strong, beautiful photograph.

"Buddhist Prayer"

Buddhist Prayer, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

This is an indoor scene, and it is lit by a handful of candles. He uses the available light from the candles, to light the Buddhist Monk’s face and the surroundings. You can see the details on the wall and the texture of the flooring. It’s a lovely photograph, and it makes you feel as though you are sat with the Buddhist Monk.

"Petra by Night"

Petra by Night, Ancient City of Petra, Jordan. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

Similarly to the photograph Yi Peng, this is an outdoor scene, however, it is illuminated by the candles only. They omit high amount of light in order to reflect enough light onto the building, for it to be visible. The details are extremely sharp and strong, even with candle light. It is a beautiful and powerful photograph.

"A Homage to Buddha"

A Homage to Buddha, Angkor Wat City, Cambodia. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

This is an interesting photograph. He uses the light from the candles which have been placed on this memorial, to photograph this situation. I also think that he has used some other type of artificial lighting, as you can see white light towards the middle of the frame. Perhaps he used a flash, or small hand held light.

After researching these two photographers and looking at their travel photography, I have gained a lot of inspiration and thoughts as to how I want my photographs of Italy to look. They both have similarities to the situations advised for this assignment, which means that in order for me to produce great final photographs, I should stick to the desired techniques at the beginning of this assignment.

Below are my photographs taken whilst on holiday in Lake Como, Italy and my time spent in Milan.

Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light:

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, I took this photograph whilst inside the Duomo Cathedral in Milan.

Even though this assignment asked you to produce ‘Correctly exposed images straight from your camera’, meaning that the histograms should show correctly exposed images, for this situation, I wanted to try and under expose the images, as I wanted the artificial light to be the main focus. Indoor scenes are usually quite dark anyway, unless they are lit by bright artificial lights, however, knowing that I was going to Milan’s cathedral, I knew this location would work best for this situation, as I knew that churches or cathedrals usually had candles or statues that were lit by lights, and I wanted something ‘different’, other than inside a living room lit by a light. Inside the Duomo in Milan, the lighting was a mixture between dark and light. Nearer to the stained glass windows, the light was bright as it was a hot sunny day outside, however, I found the rest of the inside quite dimly lit. There were a only few areas that were lit by artificial lights.

Milano

Duomo Cathedral-Milano

duomo alter

Duomo Alter Histogram

I sat down facing this beautiful alter, with statues which had been illuminated by artificial lights. Towards the top, the light was shining in through the stained glass windows. I decided to test a scene recognition for this image, however it wanted to use the flash, which I didn’t want for this image. I didn’t want strong white light through the windows, causing strong highlight clipping and loosing the colours from the stained glass, as this would be then classed as ‘Indoors with strong natural window light’. I decided to use an ISO of 800 for this because it was dark. I also used a fast shutter speed of 1/40sec and a wide aperture of F/4 in order to pick up the light, but not over expose the window light too much. However, when I looked at the histogram for this image, it is under exposed, which I expected. When I zoom into the stained glass window, there is some highlight clipping, and these areas have info loss. The details are more clearer towards the top, and the statues at the bottom are quite blurred when you zoom in. I think this is due to the ISO I used. If I had the chance to re do this image, I would try to make sure there was no over exposure on the stained glass windows, and I would try and make the detail on the bottom statues clearer.

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Duomo Cathedral-Milano

duomo candle

Taking inspiration from Colby Brown’s photograph Buddhist Prayer, I noticed that nearer to the window, candles were situated in a very long line. There was a lot of light coming off of the candles. For this image I used ISO 400, I kept a wide aperture of F/4 and fast shutter speed of 1/40sec, as it was still dark, even with the candle light. I stood at an angle and only photographed a section of the line of candles, keeping only the middle part in focus (The candle I lit). Looking at the histogram, it shows it being under exposed, which I expected.

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Hotel Lobby Light

Hotel light

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa, I noticed that our hotel had beautiful lights throughout the bottom floor. They reminded me of stained glass windows, as they were made out of different coloured pieces of glass. Because this ceiling light was too big for me to stand underneath and capture it fully, I decided to stand at an angle to photograph it. By doing so, I would also be able to include some shadow areas, which would frame the light, and make it ‘Stand out’ more. It was dusk when I took this photograph, however, being in Italy,  the sunlight through the window was still strong which meant that I used ISO 200 with aperture of F/4.5 and shutter speed 1/125sec. The histogram shows the shadow areas as being under exposed which I expected.

 

 Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

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Chiesa Anglicana Cadenabbia

como big church red

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

This is a beautiful little church that was situated next door to the hotel I was staying in. I visited it on a very hot sunny day. Even though the sun was bright through the windows, inside the church was quite dimly lit. I did a few test shots and finally used ISO 800, Shutter speed 1/20sec, F/3.5. When looking at the histogram it shows it being averagely exposed, with only a slight rise in the shadow areas. There is slight highlight clipping on one of the windows. When zoomed in, I can see some noise in the image, I think this is due to the high ISO setting.

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Catholic Church – Cadenabbia

como small church

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

I found this small church behind our hotel the day after I arrived. It was pouring with rain, and no sun anywhere. Inside the church was extremely dimly lit,  no lights, and hardly any light coming through the windows. I stood with the door open behind me in order to let more light in. It took me a while to achieve the final image, I had to do a number of test shots, and scene recognition, but it wanted to use the flash, which would have been too harsh, and I only wanted the natural window light. I used ISO 800, 1/40sec, F/3.5 for this image. The window light isn’t as strong as I would have wanted it to be, however, the inside is still lit well, compared to how it was in real life, as it was quite dim. There is slight highlight clipping on the left hand side window, and when zoomed in, there is noise due to the high ISO. The histogram is almost average exposure, however, it is more towards the shadow area which I expected.

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Chiesa Anglicana, Cadenabbia.

 

como church window

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, and The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

I saw this small stained glass window towards the door of the church. The sun was shining directly through the window, however the inside of the church was still dimly lit in places. For this I used ISO 400, F/5.6 and 1/50sec. I did have to do some test shots, some had the detail of the paintings at the top, but the window itself was over exposed, and I knew it would cause a lot of highlight clipping, and loss of detail. I decided that I would rather have the detail on the window and the dark shadow area at the top of the image, than a over exposed image. After all, it was a ‘Backlit’ image, and I wanted to keep the detail on the window. This meant than when I looked at the histogram, it does show under exposure which I expected.

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Chiesa Anglicana – Cadenabbia

church windo como

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, and The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

This window was situated next to the door which I had left open. With the sun shining directly in through the window, I decided to do a scene recognition for this image first, to see what settings the camera thought the scene needed. It was ISO 200, but the test shots came out too under exposed, and there was a lot of black shadow areas with loss of info. I wanted an image that showed the detail of the angel paintings on the wall, but I wanted the main focus to be the light coming through the window. I used the ISO 200 and F/3.5, 1/40. The image is still dark, the histogram shows under exposure which I expected, however, this is how I wanted the image. The detail is good on the paintings. There is highlight clipping on the window, however, the detail of the dividing lines on the window is still clear.

 

 Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.

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Duomo Cathedral – Milan

milan

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Castel Nuovo in Naples and Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples.

When I visited Milan, it was a hot, sunny day. When I rounded the corner and saw the Duomo cathedral, I could not believe the size of it. The cathedral was in direct sunlight, and I knew that if I wanted to photograph it with some back light, I would have to stand at an angle to it. I did photograph it front on, however, it didn’t have the effect I wanted. I wanted an image which showed the detail on the front of the Duomo, whilst still having the blue sky behind it, which meant I would have to stand close to it. For this image, I used an ISO 100 because there was enough light from the sun. I also used 1/400sec and f/6.3. The histogram shows average exposure which I hoped for.

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Chiesa Anglicana – Cadenabbia

como church outside

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Castel Nuovo in Naples and Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples.

As the church was situated in a way that I couldn’t photograph it front on, I decided to go around the corner towards the side of the church which lead to a secret area. For this image, the church itself was in strong direct sunlight, however the side of the church was also in some shadow, especially towards the bottom, as it was facing away from the sun. For this reason, I used ISO 100 for this as it was sunny with F/8 and 1/320sec. I did some test shots to see if I could lighten some of the shadow areas around the side of the church, however, this over exposed the grey brick area. When I looked at the histogram, I can see that it is average exposed, with some high spikes towards the shadow area which I expected.

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Chiesa Anglicana – Cadenabbia

small church histogram front

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

This was the front of the church located next door to my hotel. There was a small front step area. I was unable to stand directly in front of the church to photograph it’s entirety as it wouldn’t fit in the screen. Therefore, I had to stand at an angle, to the side of the front step area. With it being a hot sunny day, the church itself was sat in direct sunlight. There was a garden to the left hand side of the frame, with large palm like trees. These trees seemed to break up the direct sunlight, making the front of the church shaded in places. However, the strong sunlight was shining behind the front of the church, as you can see towards the top of the frame. Taken with ISO 100, F/8 and 1/320sec. Looking at the histogram, the photograph appears to be exposed well, however, it is slightly high towards the shadows which I expected.

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Stained Glass Window, Duomo Cathedral, Milan.

duomo cathedral stained glass window histogram

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph, The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

As I rounded the corner, about to que to visit the catacombs, I noticed this huge stained glass window, it’s even larger in real life. Unfortunately, his section of the cathedral was cornered off due to repairs, therefore, I was unable to go round the corner, in order to photograph it front on. I had to stand an at angle to the window whilst standing away the que as it was busy. The sunlight was shining directly through the window, which enabled me to capture all of the details and the colours within the glass panels. I also managed to capture the several sculptures/statues to the left hand side of the stained glass window. Similar to how Gary Arndt captured Jesus on the Cross in the corner of his photograph The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

 Taken with ISO 800, F/4 and 1/40sec, looking at the histogram, I can see that this photograph is underexposed. I expected this due to this location being dark and only illuminated by candles.

 

Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

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Inside the Duomo Cathedral, Milan.

 

Reflection window histogram Jesus

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph, The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

As I was photographing the row of candles for the situation Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light, I looked up and noticed there was a figure of Jesus on the Cross, in a framed glass box. The glass box was reflecting the images from the stained glass window on the opposing wall, and the candles below were illuminating the framed glass box. It was very unusual and I thought it would make an interesting photograph, similar to Gary Arndt’s photograph of The Virgin Mary. I took this photograph standing front on to the glass box as I wanted to include as much detail in the Jesus figure as possible, whilst including the stained glass window reflection.

Taken with ISO 1600, F/5 and 1/80sec, the histogram shows an average exposure with high levels towards the shadow area which I expected.

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Candle stand reflection histogram

As I was standing to photograph the large stained glass window near the Catacomb entrances, I noticed this filigree style stand. I’m unsure of what it was however, it was used to help corner off that certain area. I found it unusual, as the candle light was causing the filigree pattern to reflect onto the wall behind the stand, almost like a mirror image. Unfortunately, this photograph is not clear and has some camera shake and noise, as I was being gradually bumped by other visitors queuing. I didn’t have enough time or the chance to stand and adjust my camera settings. Thus leading to a blurred image. However, I still like it as it is very unusual.

Taken with ISO 1600, F/5 and 1/4sec, the histogram shows it being underexposed which I expected.

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Lake como histogram

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s series of photographs Amalfi Coast 2013 and Colby Brown’s photographs The Beginning of the Universe and Lago de Atitlan.

This photograph was taken whilst looking out from the balcony of my hotel room in Lake Como. It was a hot clear night and the lights were reflecting across the water from the small commune of Bellagio. You can still see the snow on the tops of the mountains behind Bellagio. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a tripod, else I would have used it for this photograph. There is slight camera blur, as I had to rest my arms onto the balcony, in order to steady myself and the camera.

This was taken with ISO 1600, F4 and 1/4sec, the histogram shows it being underexposed which I expected as I didn’t want to use a flash, and I had to use settings which wouldn’t show too much camera shake and blur.

 

( Please note that I included the situation A Scene With Strong Dappled Light when I submitted this assignment to my tutor for marking, however, after receiving his feedback, I have decided to withdraw this category, as I don’t feel that it showcases my travel photography whilst in Italy, and it doesn’t work well for this assignment. I have therefore replaced this category with Number 6 Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day. I looked through my photographs taken whilst in Italy, and have decided that they would work well for this category and for this assignment.) I have still included the withdrawn photographs below, in order for people to see why I decided to make changes.

 A scene with strong incident dappled light.

For this situation, I decided to use locations where I live, Rather than in Italy, because where I visited in Italy, there were no Forests.

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Snuff Mills

Snuff mills

It was a really hot sunny day when I took this image, which meant that the sun was shining through the trees. I stood at the beginning of a pathway because there was a lot of dappled light and reflections of the leaves on the floor. It looks like a secret pathway in a garden which you want to walk down to see what is at the end. After taking some test shots, I decided to use ISO 100, F/9 and 1/13sec for this image. The histogram shows an average exposed image which I was surprised about, as I thought it may show under exposed due to the darker areas towards the top of the trees. This does kind of show in the histogram with a rise towards the shadow area, however, it is well balanced. There is some highlight clipping on the floor in the large open area which I expected as the sun was shining directly onto it.

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Snuff Mills

Snuff mills tree

I decided to stand underneath the tree in order to capture the light that was shining through gaps in the leaves. I tried to keep the tree in the centre of the image to balance it out. For this image, I took a few test shots, some wanted to use the flash as it was dark and dimly lit stood under the tree, however, I wanted to purposely make the tree a shadow and only focus on the light falling in through the leaves and the gaps between the leaves, causing dappled light. I used ISO 100 as it was still fairly sunny, with F/14, 1/13sec. Looking at the histogram, the image is average exposed with a rise towards the shadow area, which is to be expected. There is also a small amount of highlight clipping in the cloud area which is peaking through one of the gaps.

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Green bank Cemetery

Head stone

This head stone was sat by itself under a tree. The sun was shining through the leaves of the tree onto the head stone, causing some dappled light. I decided to focus on the head stone itself and get as close to it as possible, in order to not have too much shadow from the tree. I used ISO 100 as it was a sunny day with F/5.6 and 1/100sec. When looking at the histogram I was surprised that it was averagely exposed, I though there would be a possibility of some under exposure from the shadow area towards the bottom of the head stone, however, the setting I used managed to expose it well.

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed this assignment, mainly because I was in a new country. This was my first time visiting Italy, so I was unsure of what locations or scenes I would be able to photograph for this assignment. Before I left for Italy, I read through this assignment, making notes for me to take, so when I was over there, I would be able to remind myself what was expected for this assignment. With the inspiration gained from researching Gary Arndt and Colby Brown’s photographs, I had an idea of what I wanted to photograph and how I wanted the photographs to look. I also thought about my tutors advice, and I knew that for this assignment, I would need to step out of my comfort zone, and experiment with locations, subjects and settings.

I was unable to take a tripod with me, therefore it does show some noise and blur in some of the images, especially inside the Duomo cathedral and the landscape view taken from my hotel balcony. If I could have used a tripod inside the Duomo, perhaps I could have experimented more with the settings to make the image of the alter more clearer. However, inside the Duomo itself was quite busy and we were on a time schedule which unfortunately meant that there was not much time for me to keep adjusting my camera settings. I also had to watch out for other tourists who would appear from no where and walk into my shot, which then meant I had to re shoot an image. Although, this is to be expected in a tourist area.

Whilst in Italy, I used a new Samsung system camera (NX1000). It was the first time I would use this camera other than experimenting with it at home, as I bought it specifically because it was small enough to fit into my bag, and I was able to change lenses. This meant that whilst there, it took me some trial and error test shots, in order to ‘Get to know my camera’. When I got back home, and took the images of locations where I live, I used my usual DSLR camera.

This assignment was aimed at making you ‘See’ like your camera, in order to produce correctly exposed images. However, for certain images, I decided that ‘Correct exposure’ would not work in certain circumstances. Therefore, I either under exposed an image, or slightly over exposed the image, for my desired final effect or emphasis on a certain area or subject. I have noted under each photograph my decision for doing so. I think it is a personal preference.

Part Two:

Select one of the four situations that you chose in part one and think about what the lighting conditions should be in order to reduce the contrast of the scenes that you photographed or even make them low contrast scenes. Think about the different variables over which you can have certain control, such as choosing in which weather to shoot (Overcast, Sunny), changing the composition (Avoiding deep shadows) or having some additional sources of light (Fill in flash).

Once you have decided which conditions would result in low contrast scenes, photograph the same three images in your chosen situation, in those conditions.

After reading through part two, one problem is that firstly I would be unable to re shoot the images I took whilst in Italy. Secondly,  I am unsure if it would help with my images, if I was able to change any. Making changes may help reduce the noise or blur in some images, however, I prefer them how they are. I have taken quite high contrast images, and I am unsure whether or not making them low contrast, would create a better final image.

It suggests that you think about what lighting conditions you would change and think about “additional sources of light (Fill in flash)”. The reason I don’t think it would help my images, is that I have under exposed certain images for a reason, example. desired effect or for technical reasons, such as highlight clipping or over exposure.

If I had to choose an example and discuss what would happen if I changed some settings or weather, I would choose the image below. This is a high contrast image. It is taken in bright direct sunlight. There is an area of shadow which contains slight loss of info in some areas. However, the histogram shows an average exposed image. Changing the composition of this wouldn’t work, as there would still be shadow due to the placement of the church, I think this would be the case in any weather situation. Lightening the image to show the detail which has been hidden in the shadow area, would only result in an over exposed top half of the building, leading to slight highlight clipping.

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 References:

Arndt, Gary.

http://travelphotos.everything-everywhere.com/

http://travelphotos.everything-everywhere.com/Europe

http://travelphotos.everything-everywhere.com/Europe/Italy

Pisa 2009:

Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Street scene at Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009, Gary Arndt.

The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Sculpture at pulpit of Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Naples 2011:

Inside the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt

Tall hallways inside Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Close-up shot of the ceiling in Galleria Umberto I – Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Amalfi Coast 2013:

Beautiful view of the ocean and cliff at the Amalfi Coast, Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3297-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3430-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Panorama of the buildings along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Detail of buildings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt

Brown, Colby.

Bio

Sunrise Over Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

The Beginning of the Universe, Vivid Sydney, Australia. Colby Brown

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala, 2010, Colby Brown

Grand Reflections, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Colby Brown.

Yi Peng, Chaing Mai, Thailand. Colby Brown.

Buddhist Prayer, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

Petra by Night, Ancient City of Petra, Jordan. Colby Brown.

A Homage to Buddha, Angkor Wat City, Cambodia. Colby Brown