Underwater Photography

It has been a very intense year so far, what with all of the assignments and essays that we have been set at university but with a lot of hard work and time I have managed to come out the other end relatively unscathed. Writing essays is not really my forte and I can’t say that I particularly enjoy them but I guess that you have to take the rough with the smooth.

The end of this month sees the beginning of Semester C and the start of our Major Project that will lead up to the final exhibition in October this year. I am looking forward to getting started on this project and seeing what work I will produce for it. This will be a busy summer for me this year but I still hope to be making regular blog entries.

I have had some good news on the work front too. My boss at Underwater Art has offered me the opportunity to be trained using the underwater camera and equipment, so that I am able to help out and assist with the photo shoots and help ease her workload. This is a great opportunity, and whilst this is an exciting opportunity, I can’t help but be a little nervous about it. Those thoughts keep creeping into my head, “What if the equipment fails?”, “Will I be able to do it?”….Well I guess the only way to know is to give it a go! The training will come in two parts. The first part will consist of observing and practising going into the water with the weight belt and the second part will consist of me actually shooting. Whilst I have used the camera before for my BA Major Project, this will be an entirely different scenario, as this time I will be photographing babies and young children as opposed to an adult, who I can direct and explain how I want the shoot to turn out. Children as we all know are a little less predictable. Watch this space….

In the meantime Underwater Art’s Website can be viewed from the link below:

Underwater Art

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Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther | Cambridge

Studio Lighting with Holger Pooton

A couple of weeks ago our MA Photography group was privileged to have a studio session on lighting with photographer Holger Pooton. Holger Pooten is a German born, London based photographer who works internationally to produce both personal and commercial work. His images focus on the transitional and ostensibly impossible moments in a dark and surrealistic style. Over the years, Holger has worked for numerous international clients such as Adidas, BMW, Intel, Nikon, Sony Ericsson, to name a few and his pictures have been featured in magazines such as 125 Magazine, Intersection, Vogue and The Guardian. Current projects include portraiture and landscape photography.

I am particularly interested in Holger’s conceptual images, as I am interested in surrealism and the surreal image. I very much look forward to seeing the images that he produces for his landscape project and hope to draw some inspiration from it.

During our session with Holger, he clearly explained to us how light works and the best way to use light to achieve optimal results for our images. Having a basic knowledge of how light works can really help you when doing a shoot and can save yourself a lot of time. Not only did he talk about studio lighting but he also explained that these principles apply to natural light, so this knowledge is beneficial to an outdoor shoot as well. I found myself understanding the nature of light after this session, as he was very good at explaining it in simplistic terms.

There are only three factors which influence the character of a light source:

– The dimensions of the light emitting surface

– Its ability to direct or diffuse the light

– Its distance from the model

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

Images taken during the session to demonstrate the different effects that light and its positioning can have on the image.

References

Antonio Leanza. 2014. Overview | Antonio Leanza. [online] Available at: http://www.antonioleanza.com [Accessed: 2 Apr 2014].

Holger Pooten Photography. 2014. Holger Pooten Photography. [online] Available at: http://www.holgerpooten.com [Accessed: 2 Apr 2014].

Andreas Bübl

Andreas Bübl is an Austrian Photographer from Vienna who is particularly interested in capturing conceptual imagery. It was these images that attracted me to his work.

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© Andreas Bübl

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© Andreas Bübl

Images above:

Camera – Canon EOS 5D Mk II, 17-40mm f/4 L lens & 70-200mm f/4 L lens

Exposures – 1/200sec @ f5.6, ISO 100

Software – Photoshop CS5

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© Andreas Bübl

These images are taken from a set where he wanted to experiment with gravity. Most of the effects are created within camera and there are a few extra tweaks that are required within Photoshop.

Bübl not only creates conceptual images but also works within portraiture, advertising, event, studio and fashion to name a few. This is something I would like to do, as I do not want to limit the kind of work I could do or to be put into a category or a box, I just simply want to be a good photographer…whatever images that i choose to create.

Bübl, A. 2013. andreas bübl | fotograf | staatsmeister | wien. [online] Available at: http://www.andreasbuebl.com [Accessed: 5 Jan 2014].

Planet Photo | Inspiring Images. 2014. Digital Photo, Iss. 177 pp. 18-19.

Abstract Portraiture

Whilst browsing on a well known social media site, I came across a picture that a friend had shared and I found the image fascinating. I had come across images such as this before but this time I felt inspired to try and create my own. My attempt is feeble but this has inspired me to experiment more and create a better image in the future. My image looks a little more abstract and instead of using two images to create the final, I only worked with one. The images are supposed to show a side portrait and a face on portrait within the same image, some work better than others.

I look forward to experimenting with this type of imagery further sometime in the near future.

My Image (& First Attempt)

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Fréd – Front & Side
© Richard Brochu-Williams

Image I Was Inspired By.

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© Baíki Bk

“Respeite o ponto de vista das pessoas, as vezes estamos vendo a mesma coisa porém de forma diferente…”

“Please respect other people’s point of view, sometimes we see the same thing but differently …”

Bk, B. 2013. Respect Other People’s Point of View. [image online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=492152107560114&set=pb.100002959864531.-2207520000.1388501166.&type=3&theater [Accessed: 31 Dec 2013].

Other Examples:

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Source: Unknown Artist

Unknown. 2012. Front or Side Face?. [image online] Available at: http://9bytz.com/front-or-side-face/ [Accessed: 31 Dec 2013].

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A Portrait of a Profile
© Mick Nasty

Nasty, M. 2011. A Portrait of a Profile. [image online] Available at: http://twistedsifter.com/2011/05/picture-of-the-day-a-portrait-of-a-profile/ [Accessed: 31 Dec 2013].

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Creepy Double Face Illusion
© Coaleu

Coaleau. 2011. Creepy Double Face Illusion. [image online] Available at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Creepy-Double-Face-Illusion/ [Accessed: 31 Dec 2013].

The one thing that put me off of the above image is; that because it is made from a composite of two images, the eye does not look right for a face on (looking straight on) portrait and the side profile has two nostrils. My favourite out of all the images is the black and white image by Baíki Bk, it is well thought out and works spectacularly, I found it quite a challenge trying to create such an image. More practice is required.

Portraiture – 160 LED Modelling Light

I am always on the lookout for ways to take portraiture shots outside of the studio and looking for ways to limit the amount of equipment that I need to carry around with me. I was constantly being asked what I wanted for Christmas and took to the internet for some ideas. My first port of call was to a site named 7dayshop.com, a site that offers competitive prices on a wide range of photo accessories, ink, memory and much more. Here I found an item that was of interest to me & Santa was kind enough to deliver it to me on Christmas morning.

Modelling and Video Light – 160 x LED

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7dayshop DS-008 160 LED Modelling Light
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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7dayshop DS-008 160 LED Modelling Light
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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Colour Diffusers
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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Studio Light Adapter / Hot Shoe Adapter / Manual Handle
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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Protective Carry Pouch
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

This modelling light features: The ‘barn door’ style reflective flaps which aid light direction and with 16 exact light output levels ensure precision shooting is achievable. Once the flaps are fully closed they also provide extra protection to the LED’s. The kit includes 4 different colour interchangeable light diffusers: standard clear, cooling blue, warm-up orange and red offering further scope for creativity.

Given the power of light, the unit is still not too hefty and could easily be kept in a larger kit bag. The unit measures in at 150mm by 115mm and when loaded with 6 AA batteries still comes in at under 500g.

The light is powered by either 6 AA sized batteries (standard alkaline or rechargeable) or by utilising the supplied slot in Li-ion camcorder battery plate that will accept; Sony F, FM, FH or Panasonic SD Series batteries. The power level is determined by + and – buttons on the rear of the unit, where you will also find the ON button, the power TEST button along with the LED display.

There are multiple mounting options available, such as straight on the camera using the standard Hot-shoe connector with tightening wheel or utilise the supplied ‘off camera’ handle for more awkward hand held lighting tasks, additionally simply use the desk stand for static close range work (desk mount also has standard Tripod thread mount underneath). This light could alternatively be converted for use as a main studio light by simply slotting the ‘off camera’ handle on to a standard studio light stand.

I am pleased to have this new piece of photographic equipment added to my existing kit.

For more information on this product you can follow the link below:

7dayshop.com. 2013. 7dayshop LED Modelling and Video Light for DSLR, Video and Camcorder Uses – 160 x LED Model. [online] Available at: http://www.7dayshop.com/7dayshop-led-modelling-and-video-light-for-dslr-video-and-camcorder-uses-160-x-led-model [Accessed: 29 Dec 2013].

Portraiture (Pet)

Whilst looking at the theme of portraiture I decided to attempt some pet portraiture images. The images have not been taken in a studio setting, as this is something I am not too keen on. I like to capture the subject in its own surroundings where it feels more comfortable and at ease. I did not have a great deal of time taking these pictures as they were taken on Boxing Day and the dogs that I photographed were very excitable and very hard to capture but nevertheless I managed to capture a few images. 🙂

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Mia
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Tigger
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Mia
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Tigger “Too Much Mulled Wine!”
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dexter
© Richard Brochu-Williams

All Images © Richard Brochu-Williams, 2013

Portraiture (Cont…)

I have always liked to do portraiture photography outside of the studio setting but have often been put off by the thought of having to carry lots of equipment around with me, but then I came across this article about Interfit Strobies. These are great modifiers for your flashgun and do not take up a lot of room, so if you enjoy using your flashgun out on location these could be the ideal solution.

The modifiers include:

  • Barndoors
  • Honeycomb
  • Snoot
  • Beauty Dish

The price is a reasonable £90 and I think that this is a bit of equipment that I would be interested in acquiring.

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Digital Photo Magazine | Issue 141

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Interfit Strobies

I found an umbrella for the flashgun also.

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Westcott Umbella Kit

Interfit Photographic. 2013. Strobies by Interfit. [online] Available at: http://www.interfitphotographic.com/Strobies/Strobies%20index.html [Accessed: 24 Dec 2013].

Westcott Lighting. 2013. Westcott Lighting – Speedlite ProGrip Umbrella Kit. [online] Available at: http://fjwestcott.com/product/speedlite-progrip-umbrella-kit [Accessed: 24 Dec 2013].

Portrait Accessories. 2011. Digital Photo, Iss. 141 pp. 99-100.

I would like to wish my followers a very Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for the New Year 🙂

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Merry Christmas
© Richard Brochu-Williams

Portraiture

I chose to look at portraiture again today and to see what I could do with an image to make it a little different from a straightforward portraiture picture. I played around with a couple of techniques to see what I could achieve.

My Images

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Fréd
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Fréd 2
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Fréd “Pop”
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Fréd “Pop” Collage
© Richard Brochu-Williams

The “Pop” images are of course inspired by Andy Warhol’s work and relate back to my blog about “intertextuality” within art. The link to this can be found below.

http://brochuwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/intertextuality-2/

I found a guide to achieving the effect in Digital Photo Magazine.

Adams, J. 2011. Creative Portrait Effects. Digital Photo, Iss. 141 pp. 42-47.

Potraiture (Holga Effect)

Yesterday, whilst on my travels to Lowestoft, Suffolk, I decided that I would look at portraiture photography as I had not done this in a while. I’m not one for creating portraiture images within the confines of a studio space, rather I prefer to capture my subject in natural surroundings where they feel most comfortable. I like portraiture in the style of reportage, as the subjects feel more at ease and therefore creating an image that looks more “real” than forced.

I decided to create the portraiture images with a “Holga” effect. This kind of effect is currently en vogue and is popular alongside with lomography and the effects that you can achieve with Instagram.

Holga

The Holga camera was designed by T. M. Lee in 1981 and it first appeared outside China in 1982 in Hong Kong. The Holga is a medium format 120 film camera, made in Hong Kong, known for its low-fidelity aesthetic.

The Holga’s low-cost construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera’s limitations have brought it a cult following among some photographers, and Holga photos have won awards and competitions in art and news photography.

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Holga Camera
Image: Mark Wheeler

Wikipedia. 2013. Holga. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holga [Accessed: 21 Dec 2013].

Wheeler, M. 2013. Holga 120. [image online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holga_120_GCFN.jpg [Accessed: 21 Dec 2013].

Creating My Images

To achieve the Holga effect I used Photoshop CS5 and a plug-in from OnOne called PhotoTools 2.6 that contained the Holga Black & White filter.

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Step 1
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Step 2
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Step 3
© Richard Brochu-Williams

As well as applying the filter, I also made adjustments to it, so that the effect would compliment the images. I have noticed that some of my highlights are blown out, this is due to the filter that has been applied and not the images that I captured at the time. I know this, because when I shoot I use the “Highlights” display on my  Nikon D90 to make sure that my highlights are not blown out. At this stage I am not too concerned as these images are just in the experimental stage.

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Highlights Display Mode – Nikon

Imaging Resource. 2013. Nikon: Playback Mode. [image online] Available at: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D300S/D300SA3.HTM [Accessed: 21 Dec 2013].

My Images

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams, 2013. All rights reserved.

Anyone with a keen interest in photography (especially analogue) and the Holga effect can find information on the following link.

Holga Inspire. 2013. HOLGA. [online] Available at: http://holgainspire.com/ [Accessed: 21 Dec 2013].

Droste…Continued

I have been inspired by the droste effect and have used an image that is currently on my website which has this effect (in the sense that it is an image within an image within an image and so on) and I have altered it by using a different effect than before.

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© Richard Brochu-Williams
Model: Gemma Easey

Brochu-Williams Photography. 2013. Brochu-Williams Photography | Portraiture. [online] Available at: http://www.richardbrochuwilliams.co.uk/Portraiture.html [Accessed: 18 Dec 2013].

Variation on Picture

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© Richard Brochu-Williams
Model: Gemma Easey

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© Richard Brochu-Williams
Model: Gemma Easey

I couldn’t decide whether or not I preferred the image in colour or black and white, so I decided to add both. I’m really enjoying working with the droste effect and I like the kinds of effects that it can have on an image. It can take quite a bit of time getting the image right, but when it works I think that it is worth the effort.