Finals for MA Exhibition

After much deliberation, I have now chosen my final images for the MA Exhibition which will be taking place in October at the University of Hertfordshire. I have 6 images in total and these will be submitted for assessment alongside my artist statement and evaluation. After the assessment has taken place, I shall be deciding whether or not to exhibit all 6 or a smaller selection. Once they have been printed and framed this decision will be a lot easier to make, this will give me a chance to see how they work together as a collection.

Time seems to have passed by so quickly and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time left to get everything done and completed, but this is where my time management will be of the upmost importance. I still need to make some final adjustments and edits to a couple of the images but this should not take long.

The Photoshop tutorials with Holger Pooten have proved invaluable and he has widened my scope with my current project and I shall be experimenting with some new methods and techniques that he has shown me, to create some new and interesting landscapes. I shall be blogging about these techniques on a later post.

Overall I am feeling a lot more positive about the coming weeks.

“Everyday’s a Picnic!” Exhibition

IMG_0344

 

The “Everyday’s a Picnic!” exhibition is now showing in The Foyer (FMM Building) at the University of Hertfordshire and will be on until September 25th 2014.

Shoot & Reshoot

Today I decided to go out and do a reshoot of the Schlumberger Gould Building on the West Site in Cambridge, as the weather proved to give me the perfect setting. I am hoping that I can obtain a better image from this shoot and will be experimenting with stitching the images together tomorrow. I also decided to try and shoot at other locations. The first location was at Madingley Reservoir. Despite it’s name there seemed to be no evidence of any water or a reservoir that I could see but I did not venture in too far as there were warnings of CCTV in operation and I was not sure how safe the area was. I primarily went there because I had spotted some kind of transmission mast and this is what I was interested in. I also travelled to Burwell, where there is a sub station but I did not end up shooting there as there were too many obstacles in my way, mainly trees.

 

Madingley Reservoir

 

Madingley Reservoir

Madingley Reservoir © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir

Madingley Reservoir © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir

Transmission Mast © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

I shall be stitching and editing the images from the shoot tomorrow to see if I have obtained anything that will be worthwhile keeping for my final project.

 

Photoshop Tutorials with Holger Pooten

Earlier this week our MA Photography group had a Photoshop tutorial with photographer Holger Pooten. This I found to be very useful as I use Photoshop often within my practice. Just when you think that you know all there is to know about the Photoshop software, you find out that there are more techniques than you had originally thought. It is believed that most photographers only use a small percentage of Photoshops editing tools and these will be specific to the type of photography that they are involved with.

We began by looking at colour management:

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We discussed the importance of calibrating your equipment so that you have a consistent workflow. However, calibrating your camera can be a little impractical, especially if you are shooting outside or taking pictures for documentary purposes. Calibrating your camera may be a good idea if you are primarily shooting in a studio with the same lighting set up. Corrections can be made in Photoshop. We also discussed the benefits of shooting in RAW.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 15.20.43

We were shown the best way to deal with our RAW files whilst preparing and editing them in Photoshop.

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The points highlighted are the most important and most commonly used.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 15.22.31

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The 4 most important elements within Photoshop are:

  • Hue / Saturation
  • Contrast
  • Colour
  • Brightness

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I found this lesson to be really informative and surprisingly I did learn something new, as well as different ways (some easier) to complete a task. We will be continuing with more Photoshop Workshops next week and we are free to ask questions and seek advice on techniques that are specific to our final images for the upcoming Final Major Exhibition. I believe that we will be looking at Lightroom too.

References

Screen shoots are taken from a presentation compiled by Holger Pooten. His work can be viewed via the link below.

Holgerpooten.com, (2014). Holger Pooten Photography. [online] Available at: http://www.holgerpooten.com [Accessed 1 Aug. 2014].

“Everyday’s a Picnic!”

Following our day out at Hatfield House, the University of Hertfordshire has decided to exhibit the images that we obtained. The Exhibition commences 5th August and will continue through to 25th September 2014.

The exhibition is entitled “Everyday’s a Picnic!” and is a showcase from the following artists:

 

  • Richard Brochu-Williams
  • Ziyang Chen
  • Beth Coles
  • Gareth Evans
  • Matt MacPake
  • Lisa Mason

 

Picnic_Invite

 

Editing

Today has been a day for editing some of the images that I have obtained over the last couple of weeks. I have not accomplished much today despite my efforts, as my computer decided that it did not want to play ball and proceeded to freeze on me a couple of times whilst I was in the process of editing. Fortunately for me, I managed not to loose the work after having to reboot my computer, so that was a huge relief for me.

The editing consisted of tidying up the images where the stitching had not been applied properly. In most cases this is due to the parallax.

Parallax in Photography

Parallax error can be seen when taking photos with many types of cameras, such as twin-lens reflex cameras and those including viewfinders (such as rangefinder cameras). In such cameras, the eye sees the subject through different optics (the viewfinder, or a second lens) than the one through which the photo is taken. As the viewfinder is often found above the lens of the camera, photos with parallax error are often slightly lower than intended, the classic example being the image of person with his or her head cropped off. This problem is addressed in single-lens reflex cameras, in which the viewfinder sees through the same lens through which the photo is taken (with the aid of a movable mirror), thus avoiding parallax error.

Parallax is also an issue in image stitching, such as for panoramas

(Wikipedia, 2014)

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Editing in CS6 to correct stitching errors

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Editing in CS6 to correct stitching errors

I have a little way to go before my images are finished but I believe that paying attention to detail will pay off in the long run and I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Tomorrow I will be having a Photoshop Seminar with photographer Holger Pooten and hopefully he will be able to give me some advice and show me some new techniques. Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be a productive day!

References

Wikipedia, (2014). Parallax. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax [Accessed 28 Jul. 2014].

Schlumberger Gould Research Centre

Today I took a walk to the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre to do a shoot for my project. I chose to go today, as I had the opportunity to go there at the optimal shooting time (between 12pm-3pm) and the weather was suitable. I am hoping to obtain a good enough set of panoramic images for stitching into a panorama. The Schlumberger building is an interesting looking building and despite living only a mile away from it and seeing it on a daily basis, I had absolutely no idea what the function of the building was or what it was used for until I did some research afterwards.

“The Schlumberger Gould Research Center (SGR) on the western outskirts of Cambridge, England, is a distinctive marquee-like structure housing multidisciplinary research teams of more than 100 scientists and technicians. Research focuses on drilling, chemistry, fluid mechanics, and seismics, through a combination of theory, experiment, and computational simulation.

Founded in 1982 as Schlumberger Cambridge Research under the leadership of Bernard Vivet, the center was renamed as Schlumberger Gould Research at an inauguration ceremony on October 4th, 2012 in recognition of the retiring Chairman and CEO, Andrew Gould, and his career long commitment to research and development.

With a strengthened focus on drilling, the company is now embarking on the development of the integrated drilling technologies needed in the future to produce oil and gas safely, efficiently, and with the required environmental care. The Schlumberger Gould Research Center is expanding to become the primary company research facility for these developments.”

(Slb.com, 2014)

Charles Babbage Road

Charles Babbage Road, Location of Schlumberger Building © Richard Brochu-Williams

Schlumberger Building

Schlumberger Building © Richard Brochu-Williams

I took several panoramas whilst visiting the Schlumberger Building and I am hoping that I will be able to produce a good image from these. I will be editing and stitching tomorrow.

References

Slb.com, (2014). Gould Research Center, Schlumberger. [online] Available at: http://www.slb.com/about/rd/research/sgr.aspx [Accessed 27 Jul. 2014].

Kirby Muxloe

I have been taking advantage of the good weather that we have been having and I travelled to Leicestershire to practice some more panoramic shots. This shoot was not the urban landscape that I have been photographing of late but it was a good opportunity for me to practice my technique and to keep myself familiar with the software that I am using. I find that if I do not do this on a regular basis, when I come back to use the software, it takes me twice as long to achieve my desired results because I have forgotten how to do certain things. By regularly practising, I become accustomed to what I am doing and I find that I work more efficiently.

Kirby Muxloe has a wonderful castle and this was the setting for this shoot. I really enjoy visiting castles and I am enticed by the architecture. The sense of history and what has gone on inside these magnificent constructions really draws me in.

The well known British proverb “An Englishman’s home is his castle” meaning: An English person’s home is a place where they may do as they please and from which they may exclude anyone they choose, strikes a chord with me and I think that my castle images work well with the stereographic format, as this provides an environment of it’s own for the castle, suggesting further that not only is the castle a place of privacy but it can be encapsulated in it’s own little world, providing a kind of private retreat.

I am continuing to photograph castles alongside my urban landscapes and I shall be comparing the two, to see which images have produced the best results.

Kirby Muxloe Castle, 360º Equirectangular Panorama

Kirby Muxloe Castle, 360º Equirectangular Panorama, © Richard Brochu-Williams

Kirby Muxloe Castle, Stereographic Projection

Kirby Muxloe Castle, Stereographic Projection © Richard Brochu-Williams

I was pleased with the results that I achieved during the weekend at both Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire & Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire. It was certainly a productive weekend.

References

Oxforddictionaries.com, (2014). an Englishman’s home is his castle: definition of an Englishman’s home is his castle in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). [online] Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/an-englishman’s-home-is-his-castle [Accessed 22 Jul. 2014].

Rickney’s Quarry

Trip to Rickney’s Quarry

Rickney's Quarry

Location of Rickney’s Quarry. Image from Google Maps

Rickney's Quarry

Location of Rickney’s Quarry. Image from Google Maps

This weekend I decided that I would travel to Hertfordshire and scout out a location that a fellow student had advised me about, as she thought it would be a good setting for my project. I did a little research beforehand and saw some pictures that others had captured at the same location but unfortunately when I arrived a lot of the old equipment had been removed. I still decided to photograph, as it had taken me an hour to travel there and I thought it would be a good idea to see what results I could achieve with the landscape and the materials that still remained. There were some concrete structures and walls that were covered in brightly coloured graffiti and I thought that this could work well within my images.

Rickney's Quarry

Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire © Richard Brochu-Williams

Rickney's Quarry

Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire © Richard Brochu-Williams

I found an image that I really liked which was taken at the same location but this piece of equipment had been removed by the time I went to do my shoot. The image can be viewed via this link.

When I first arrived here, I was a little apprehensive about gaining access. When I drove up to the location I quickly noticed that there were other cars parked outside of the gates and that there was no signage with “Private Property” so I saw this as my queue to enter. I assumed that the other cars parked there were owned by people who had dogs and that this was a location that was used frequently by dog walkers. I did not come across anybody else whilst I was there but the area was very large, much bigger than I had anticipated. I took my panoramic shots and then left. I was not too full of hope about the image that I could achieve from this shoot, as the main piece of machinery that I wanted in my image was no longer there. When I got home I played around with my images and was pleasantly surprised. Below are the panoramic images that I took before they were stitched together and I have also included the 360º equirectangular panoramic image, but I have decided not to post my stereographic image, as I still have work to do on it and it is a possible contender for being included in my final project and I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

Panoramic Set

360º Equirectangular Panoramic

Rickney's Quarry

360º Equirectangular Panoramic © Richard Brochu-Williams

I am pleased with the results that I have achieved from this photo shoot, considering that initially I thought I would not obtain the results that I had hoped for. I am looking forward to working on my stereographic projection and having the image completed and gaining some feedback from it.

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.

References

Raven’s Eye Photography, (2014). Panoramio – Photo of 20th Century Fossil. [online] Panoramio.com. Available at: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/36949635 [Accessed 19 Jul. 2014].

Hatfield House Picnic

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a picnic, if not a little hot. We had the pleasure of meeting up in the park at Hatfield House and setting up a picnic to be photographed. This was a side project and was not strictly related to the work that we were producing for our final major project but it enabled us to bond as a group and gave us the opportunity to try and incorporate some of the styles, methodologies and techniques that we would be using within our major project. I decided to capture a 360º panoramic shot of Hatfield House and project this as a stereographic image.

Hatfield House - Stereographic

Hatfield House – Stereographic © Richard Brochu-Williams

Hatfield House - Equirectangular

Hatfield House – Equirectangular © Richard Brochu-Williams

This was also a good opportunity to capture more images to form part of our Instagram mini project (#picnicification). These can be seen below and also viewed at instagram.com/brochuwilliamsphotography.

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.

When we had finished our picnic, I took a walk around the gardens of Hatfield House and took some photographs. There were plenty of sculptures to see and I was pleasantly surprised with how big the gardens actually were.