Exposure

CHOICES 

In this unit, It was time to establish myself as I had been given a lot of choices (in terms of my major project and a dissertation) which involved some research for the first few weeks in working or writing.  For starters I had chosen the subject of Architecture which involved a client for support, a tutor at the University of Creative Arts in Canterbury who was also part of the School Of Architecture which was part of the UCA. I selected this opportunity because of it had a strong link towards my proposals of the third year course.

 

UCA Canterbury: School Of Architecture 

Once I had this subject chosen, I visited the campus and was introduced to a series of events based on the subject such as exhibitions as well as some useful lectures the university had which could possibly help my development within the subject research.

 

Workshop rooms and a studio I found while browsing though the campus. 

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For these pictures I tried to use different angles to capture the building as the client explained that the canvas had a lot of history behind its structured forms.  

 

My 2nd Development 

For this day, I grabbed a Nikon D90 which was much like the Canon 5D which was a camera that the university would regularly recommend students using, mainly because of the size of lens giving more of a better depth of field as well as sharper focus. The shoot was mostly inside the building as I found it the most photogenic, the outside was more of a book cover like image where the key details were hidden inside, (corny I know). Initially, I tried to see what the architect students were up to and was quite eager to find out their briefs in case if it was beneficial for some more ideas, but to be honest, most of the briefs went over my head.

To make things a little easier for myself, I simply had a visual perspective of the area such as the practice models the architect students were designing which I found very fascinating, in comparison to the abstract images of the School of Architecture’s aspects such as different compositions of the building such as corners of ceilings, dangling light bulbs and edges of balconies, the handmade models had a rather more open approach since they were smaller allowing me to get visual access to their roofs as well a more interesting depth of field.

A workshop with architecture students developing dome structures.

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My abstract angles on the ceilings 

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the models

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My 4 week Development 

After the photoshoot, I discussed with a tutor about the models I was interested in which then I was suggested some equipment to use to create some interesting images for the future. In my opinion I preferred to negotiate the plans with the architect students who made the models themselves so then I would know what equipment to use to create the architects perspective within the photography handled by myself.

 

Lawson’s Pyramids 

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On a study day, I visited the UCA canvas in Canterbury, I honestly wasn’t feeling confident as I had been brainstorming for a few days so coming up with an idea was rather stressful at the time. After my breaks which gave me time to think, I eventually started to walk around the canvas looking for something to develop on. These pyramids were designed by Lawson who was still in development for his pyramid project. The models were interesting as they had this abstract look to them rather than a full shape, much like a miniature scaffolding which introduced new styles or perspectives on the Egyptian subject.

 

MY IDEA DEVELOPMENT

With the subject of pyramids in mind as well as slowly flowing with the development with less anxiety, I grabbed some wood and an A4 sized cardboard to create an Egyptian vibe to the work, it looked rather surreal than realistic which I thought suited the work the most. I could of improved this development a little bit more if the cardboard in the background had some more work put into in terms of its background usage, it had its creases which I unintentionally created since I thought about bending the edges to create a stand which didn’t work, so I used some sort of wooden block as a stand which was much better. The architect was interested in light and shadow which encouraged me to manipulate the compositions of the models with the balancing mixture of sunlight.

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I tried using colour balance to enhance the vibe

Practice Pyramid image 3

Image 1 

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Image 2 

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Image 3

 

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Image 4

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Image 5

 

My 3rd Development

After the negotiation, the pyramid images in the end were argued more of as a manipulation of ones work instead of something being documented, as my role was indeed a photographer in residence which involves a little less creativity. At this point, I had to go back to the canvas and try and communicate with Lawson a little more in terms of explaining key terms like my feedback from my previous work as well as what I could do to fix the issues.

When I first met Lawson, I ended up noting his email address so I could contact him outside of working which was essentially useful, this led to him emailing me some of his project development on “furniture” which I had learn’t during this part of my residence experience. He sent me a series of photographs of some recent models he created with the same wooden material he used to design his initial pyramids, they were some sort of triangular combinations of abstract angles which were designed for furniture design practice (a mini version of the large antiques made for mass comfort).

Lawson’s 2nd practice models (photography by helpful colleagues of Lawson’s project who I unfortunately didn’t receive their names)

 

 

My Versions 

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These images were honestly more of something I would talk about on this blog as I thought it was nice starting point, despite the same techniques in terms of background or space developed by the architect within the school, my own versions definitely presented the models much better than my “desert” space development from earlier as everything was a simple black tone along with a rather natural shade of sunlight for support. I was also happy with my depth of field as well as the compositions which brings a slight commercial feel to the images.

 

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After those shots, I photographed some of the models outside of the area where the black paper was placed, I knew I had to try and document things but the visual reality was just a room with a lot of chaos in terms of the quantity of objects and how untidy they were organised around the room. However, I had the idea of taking a few designs and placing them in a particular composition and by also removing irrelevant aspects such as food & drink to make the space look more like a working space.

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A close up shot influencing the lenses to use its depth of field point of view
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once the MDF wood was laser cut, the architects would then use some super glue to combine shapes to form their ideal designs

The main material I was witnessing in this workshop was “Medium Density Fibreboard” wood which Lawson explained that it was useful for laser cutting to create the shapes the architects wanted in order for them to create their miniature designs, I assumed that  those models would be introduced to tutors before negotiating or planning a final structural development. Overall, for my development from then till this point, I had photographed a fair number of places and I had ended up narrowing down the courses to one in particular. I had made that decision as I was concerned if that if I did however choose a series of favourite photographs being a mixture of different courses, the client would perhaps be confused on my direction once again, as he was like that with the ambiguous pyramids I was working on earlier.

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These photographs were taken by some 1st year photographers from another UCA canvas, the photos were printed A4 size for the architects to stick on the wall as their planned goals that they are trying to develop towards

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The 3rd year Architect’s brief/unit descriptor

 

This part of my photographic process was much better than the first as more information about the space was visually shown, however the next step was to print some A3 sized photographs as I hoped for them to looked good when printed as well as them being positively reviewed when negotiating about them in a tutorial. When I was shooting, the day was long which did involve some breaks as well as lot of talking with Lawson and other colleagues.

I remember having little thoughts of trying to photograph the personal side of the architect but I initially thought it would be digressional. After printing my 4 chosen images of the shoot, they were reviewed as I thought it would be helpful incase for further advice on how I could push myself even further. When negotiated, it came to my attention that the thought of photographing Lawson a little more was something I could of done earlier as it would create more of a concept more as just photographing some messy work on a desk was more of just some random images of still life.

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My first four A3 Prints

 

My 4th Development

Once I had a these prints, I decided to have a tutorial for a little negotiation regarding the prints, overall the images were reviewed as workspace photos which what I was intending at the time but they could’t be final images as the architect wasn’t even shown in the images and a little more personality aside of the workspace would of created an actual concept. The next day, I went back to Canterbury and met Lawson again after sending some emails from the other day to update him on my stages, for this 4th development, I set the day photographing Lawson as my main subject along with some other aspects being his colleagues which I thought would also be quite an essential add to the images mainly to prevent the issues I had in my last shoot where there was a lack of content in some of the images (mostly regarding two prints, the glue and the ball of string).

 

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This image was taken in the previous shoot which was an example of the architect since the majority of photos were of his materials (MDF wooden models) on the table

During this development, I brought in a tripod so I could hopefully straighten some images a little better. It turned out it was useful for rather having the images more sharper or focused within their depth of field as the shutter speed needed to be below 60th of a second to get a few more clearer exposures as the weather was having an effect of the lighting on the space.

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tripod setup

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bubble measurement to make sure the tripod was setup accurately

 

The shoot overall was mainly consistent for having myself as a photographer in residence to be following Lawson around the university space to capture him as a person as well as a worker for the CSA (School of Architecture). The images above show a variety of angles or visual interpretation of the architect, whenever it was him having a laugh with colleagues as well as myself, and attending mandatory sessions where I would follow and have a little experience of what It was like to be in Lawson’s shoes as a developing architect in his 3rd year. Once I was at the stage of choosing images to be printed I overall had two workspace images along with three images I liked from my latest shoot of the personality expression of Lawson.

 

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My Final Prints

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Artists

BERENICE ABBOT 

Berenice Abbot was one of the earliest photographers to develop on the architecture theme with the medium of using the nostalgic analogue cameras, with this medium, she would use the tones as a major element to her photographs which give them more definition than the average photographic eye would see, the photographer was aware that the black and white development of the film must be not only be balanced in terms of a clear image but also towards a correct level of meticulous detail so then the photographs could express the city of New York in a more beautiful style. This style reminded me of of my earliest work.

 

LUCIEN HERVE

“Hervé took thousands of photographs of Le Corbusier’s projects in France and India, as well as portraits of the architect at work and visual studies of objects such as tree trunks or concrete. Once he developed the photographs as contact sheets, he narrowed them down and pasted them into an album, which he and Le Corbusier used when selecting images for publications, lectures, and books”.  The photographs consist of a variety of shadows being captured in all sorts of camera angles. Much like Abbot, Herve develops with the medium of analogue photography with strong perspectives as well as image presentation. The differences are some of the photos being taken inside as well as outside.

link: http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/the-photographer-with-the-soul-of-an-architect-lucien-herve-le-corbusier/

 

BAS PRINCEN  

“Bas Princen is an an artist and photographer living and working in Rotterdam and Zurich. He was educated as industrial designer at the Design Academy Eindhoven and later studied architecture at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Since then, through the use of photography, his work focuses on urban landscape in transformation, researching the various forms, outcomes and imaginaries of changing urban space”.

I found this artist pretty interesting as the work was simply ambiguous in terms of the imaginary keyword that Bas Prince uses when presenting his work, it introduces the world in a way that we may see it in our dreams, a strange yet momentarily beauty which reminds me of the movie American Beauty made in 1999 which in common expresses beauty in an ambiguous way rather than using a scripted plot or idea.

American Beauty movie poster 

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Bas Princen’s work

 

Link to artists website: http://www.maniera.be/creators/3/bas-princen 

 

COSBYDAF

With my pyramid experimentation becoming a new part of my development, I thought of a mention of this artist. In the mid times of 2011 a story/creepypasta (horror stories on the internet believed to be true) was posted about a haunted video game cartridge of a Nintendo video game, fanboy digression aside, the author of the story was a pixel artist who originally created the images that flowed along with the creepypasta. (yes the story was fake, sorry for spoilers). The pixel artist created a particular series of images of a level where the main protagonist or character walks along a level with a surreal Egyptian vibe where the players experience as well as interpretation of level is rather ambiguous or creepy (pun intended).

Artwork by CosbyDaf (NES Godzilla Creepypasta) 

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JHONY LJUNGSTEDT

Ljungstedt is the art director of 2016’s popular video game Mirror’s Edge Catalyst by DICE and Electronic Arts, the artist wanted to make the city as believable as possible however, there are red highlighted areas in the city which guide the player on where to go for her (as the character is a female) to get towards the mission objectives. This includes animated arrows guiding the player on how to overcome obstacles which are commonly designed for the tutorials. The city’s design has its other colours which can often confuse players which the director Jhony Ljungstedt expects as it not only makes the video game more challenging for players but as an artist changes the perception of the city rather than just having as a beautiful concept or background. “Even still, just looking at a location without the runner vision on can give you a good idea of how to proceed. Especially after you’ve played for a while, you’ll notice parts of the environment that can help you get around”.

link: https://www.theverge.com/2016/5/13/11670184/mirrors-edge-catalyst-city-design

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Helene Binet 

“Hélène Binet has emerged as one of the leading architectural photographers in the world. Every time Hélène Binet takes a photograph, she exposes architecture’s achievements, strength, pathos and fragility.” Daniel Libeskind.

Helene Binet is one of the most leading architectural photographers in the world, she is commonly known for using her photography skills to express what the original architect of the buildings she photographs want to present towards the public. Binet has photographed famous monuments such as the Berlin Wall and the Jewish Museum.