Today I will be making a reflective evaluation of my personal methodologies of practice and identifying and evaluating new things that I have learnt during my time working on this project. This will be done in two separate posts that will appear on this blog, both consisting of around 500 words each. I have started the preparations for my 15 minute presentation but still have some more work to do on this before it is completed. It is important that my presentation is clear and concise and covers all of the required information as stated on the assignment brief. I shall be working on these over the coming days and will be posting them to my blog in due course.
Today has been a productive day with regards to preparing my final images ready for assessment at the beginning of next month. There were a few minor problems with the printing, which was all due to me not sizing my images correctly. All my images had been saved at different sizes and this was causing a problem but the staff at the Document Services were more than helpful and very patient with me. This is something that I will not be making a mistake on again…I have learnt my lesson.
I am more than happy with the prints that I have obtained and I spent the rest of the afternoon framing my images and I feel that they work well with the frames that I have chosen.
Tomorrow I will be attending the University for the last of the group teaching sessions for the Major Study modules. We will be looking at our Reflection and Evaluation and making sure that we meet the demands of the assessment process. I am hoping that tomorrow will be as productive as today and that from tomorrow I will be able to dedicate my time to producing the presentation that I will be giving on the 2nd or 3rd September.
Reflecting on yesterday’s tutorial with Holger Pooten, I decided to do some research into some photographers and artists that use panography within their work. There are many ways that a 360º panorama can be captured and displayed, some of which are inventive and particularly eye-catching.
Mareen Fischinger is a German photographer and has a passion for everything that involves photography. As well as being a photographer, Fischinger is also involved with photo production services for national and international clients, including art direction, casting, booking of make-up/hair & styling, location scouting and retouching services. Her panographic images caught my attention, not only because they are aesthetically beautiful but because they are abstract in their nature and they have made me think about the other ways in which I can approach my work when shooting a landscape scene.
The first image reminds me of one of my own images that I shall be using for my final assessment. My image also contains office buildings which are similar in their architectural style and I also have a crane present within my image.
As I had some images with me during the Photoshop tutorial, Holger suggested that I played around with these to experiment working in a similar style. We kept the images in a sphere shape (in keeping with my stereographic images) but in hindsight I think that the experiment would have looked better laid out from left to right.
Experiment with Holger
Holger showed me new techniques and methods within Photoshop that will come in very useful for future experimentations & creations.
Whilst researching I came across another photographer & artist by the name of Sven Fennema. Sven has an interest in landscape and architectural photography and is inspired by the geometry of buildings, their shapes and their lines. I have noticed that on his website he has also included panoramic tours, this is something that I experimented with back in April this year but I was unable to upload the tour that I created to this blog.
I have also looked into the work of David Hockney, who also has created landscapes from multiple images. Due to copyright I cannot post any of his work to this blog but his images can be viewed on his website.
What I like about the images that I have found during my investigation, is the fact that they are stitched together rather crudely and not seamlessly (with the exception of Sven Fennema) and in my opinion this adds to the aesthetic properties of the image and creates an illusion of texture. This is definitely a technique that I will be experimenting with in the future. It’s a shame that I do not have enough time to experiment with this technique fully at the present time, as I feel that I could have produced some good work from using these methods.
4rtgallery.blogspot.com, (2014). Simply Creative: Panography by Mareen Fischinger. [online] Available at: http://4rtgallery.blogspot.com/2013/06/panography-by-mareen-fischinger.html [Accessed 5 Aug. 2014].
Hockneypictures.com, (2014). DAVID HOCKNEY. [online] Available at: http://www.hockneypictures.com [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].
Mareen Fischinger Fotografie, (2014). Mareen Fischinger Fotografie. [online] Available at: http://mareenfischinger.com/places/panography/ [Accessed 5 Aug. 2014].
Sven Fennema – Fine Art Photography | Panorama – Fotografie, (2012). 360° Panography. [online] Available at: http://www.sven-fennema.de/panography/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].
Wikipedia, (2014). Panography. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panography [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].
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.
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.
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.
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].
Taking a look back at previous blog entries, I rediscovered the images of John Davies and found these to be inspiring. John attended the University of Hertfordshire back in March this year and I found his presentation to be of interest and very informative. In hindsight, I can see that by looking at his images, I am able to gain some inspiration for my upcoming shoots. The images that can be seen below are far from what I had initially set out to take but I think that these types of landscapes will work well with my stereographic projections.
The original research I undertook can be found on this link and I have found some more images of John’s that have inspired me. It has also made me think about the possibility of producing black and white imagery.
All images © John Davies. All rights reserved.
Davies, J. (2014). John Davies Photographer – home page. [online] Johndavies.uk.com. Available at: http://www.johndavies.uk.com [Accessed 5 Jul. 2014].
Usually when I plan a day out, I look for somewhere that is calm, serene and where I can enjoy some unspoilt views but this will be a trip of a different kind. I have been scouting for areas that would be considered by many to be eyesores. This will form part of my experimentation for my final project. I have decided that I want to look for landscapes that could initially be deemed as unsightly and my plan is to turn them into new works of beauty and intrigue, giving the viewer a whole new look and perspective onto that particular landscape, opening their mind and allowing them to discover new elements within the image.
Places of interest
Burwell Substation, Cambridgeshire
The Burwell Substation is located near to me and will be a good place to photograph for my experimentation. If for any reason I need to return to take more pictures, I will not have far to travel.
Sizewell A & B, Suffolk
Each shoot will take up a day but hopefully I will obtain enough images from each to produce good quality panoramas. I will make sure that I take plenty of pictures once I am at the locations so that there will be no need for me to return. I hope to be shooting in these locations from the beginning of next week.
Branton, I. (2014). Sizewell A & B. [image] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sizewell_nuclear_power_stations#mediaviewer/File:Nuclear_power_station_at_Sizewell_-_geograph.org.uk_-_210830_retouched.jpg [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].
EDF Energy, (2014). Sizewell B. [online] Available at: http://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-stations/sizewell-b [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].
Edkins, K. (2014). Burwell Main Substation. [image] Available at: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/485683 [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].
Edkins, K. (2014). Burwell Substation. [image] Available at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Entrance_to_Burwell_Substation_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1280791.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Entrance_to_Burwell_Substation_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1280791.jpg [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].
Flickr, (2014). Daveyboy_75. [online] Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveyboy_75 [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].
Google Maps, (2014). Google Maps. [online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/preview [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].
On Tuesday, the MA Photographic Media group got together and we discussed our plans for the Final Major Project. It was a good opportunity to showcase our ideas to one another and to get some feedback and comments from our peers. It has made me reassess the type of images that I want to capture. My initial plan was to capture landscapes that had a personal link, such as a place that I like to visit or escape to but I have been thinking about looking at landscapes which are unconventional and could be perceived by most people to be “ugly”. By transforming them into stereographic images, they could be made to be abstract and a thing of beauty. I undertook some research on the internet to find photographers that had photographed non conventional landscapes and made them into a thing of beauty and I found some high quality images by photographer Anna Filipova.
Here is a sample of some of Anna’s work from her “Northernmost Mines” project.
All images © Anna Filipova. All rights reserved.
The images were taken in Svalbard, in a community that is traditionally based on mining. These images challenge the way that we look at a landscape and makes us ask the question “just what is it that makes a beautiful landscape?”. For me personally, I love the grittiness of these landscapes and the fact that they are in black and white adds to this and brings out the textures within the images. It is definitely a refreshing change from the rolling hills, trees and sunshine.
I have considered the types of places that I could visit, such as landfills or places which are derelict but I need to make sure that this would be feasible for me to do. I would possibly need permission to visit some of the places and I need to weigh up if it would be worth my while. In the meantime I plan to research on the internet for possible places to shoot.
Anfilip.com, (2014). Anna Filipova. [online] Available at: http://anfilip.com [Accessed 26 Jun. 2014].
Skidmore, M. (2013). It’s Nice That : Photographer Anna Filipova makes the ugly beautiful with her new series Geothermal Energy. [online] It’s Nice That. Available at: http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/anna-filipova [Accessed 26 Jun. 2014].
I decided that I wanted to do another test shoot so that I could become more confident at stitching my images together and using the software efficiently. I drove out to a nature reserve near to my home and decided to shoot there.
These are the 16 images that I obtained:
The following pictures show some of the editing processes that I went through to obtain one final image.
As you can see in the above image, the stitching had not worked as well as I had hoped. Therefore I decided to tidy up the image in Photoshop.
- I selected the part of the pavement that had not lined up correctly by using the pen tool.
- I then copied (via layer) and placed the new layer where the missing path was.
- I then used the transform tool to make the new layer blend in
- Finally the clone tool is used to remove the part of the path that is no longer needed
A similar process was used in another part of the image. This can be observed in the 3 images below:
- Selection made using pen tool and new layer created via copy
- Warp tool used to move pavement
- Old part of pavement has been removed using the clone tool
Final Equirectangular Image
After image has been transformed into a stereographic projection, there is a noticeable hole in the centre of the image. This will need to be fixed. This is done by selecting an area of existing road from the image and copying it into a new layer, which is then placed over the hole and blended in for a seamless look.
- Layer placed over hole
- Final screen shot after blending
Looking at the final image after it had been completed I could see that it was not as perfectly spherical as I would have liked. I went back to see if I could make improvements on my stitching but I was not having much luck and I even tried different software. The person that was with at the time of taking the photograph had stated that the area was a little hilly and there was an area that would have been better suited for me to take my pictures from. This was the “viewpoint area” and there was a signpost for it, which I had missed. In the future, I will have to take any hills / slopes into consideration and maybe adjusting my horizon line may have worked in this instance. I’m glad that I have found this out now rather than later into the project, as this is something that I can possibly rectify whilst on the shoot. This shoot definitely turned out to be a learning curve.
Morris, S. (2014). How To Stitch Together a Panorama in Photoshop Manually. [image] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN6jQn2F5nk [Accessed 23 Jun. 2014].
As part of my continuing research into landscape photography I found myself being drawn towards some images that I had come across that were taken by Czech landscape and travel photographer Jan Miklín. Like the images that I have been experimenting with, they have been created by stitching multiple images together. The images have a fantastic quality and feel to them and I particularly like the saturation of colour within the images, it really draws the viewer in to take a closer look.
The above image was created using 6 vertical shots that were stitched together on Photoshop. Even when viewing this image at full size, the stitching is seamless. This is something that I still need to be practising, and it is from images such as these that I take my inspiration from.
I absolutely love the contrast between the blue and the green within this image and in my opinion the composition works really well.
A simple image, but again the composition works well. The boat is off centre which gives it the sense of movement and that it is travelling somewhere. The purple gives the image a calm and serene fell and I especially like the reflection of the moon within the water.
All Images are © Jan Miklín. All rights reserved
Jan Miklín has a wonderful portfolio of work on his website, which is well worth a visit.
Miklín, J. (2014). Jan Miklín | fotogalerie. [online] Janmiklin.cz. Available at: http://www.janmiklin.cz/english.html [Accessed 20 Jun. 2014].
Planet Photo. (2014). Digital Photo, (183), pp.10-11.