Still Life

BA Photo Still life-010BA Photo Still life-014

For my first workshop I teamed up with other students and practiced using studio equipment to create a Vanitas image in similarity to the work of Harmen Steenwyck who portrayed the allegory of the vanites of human life. The equipment I and my team used was

  • Bron Colour Flash
  • Arri Light
  • Soft box Light
  • Reflector
  • Mirrors
  • Dolly Stand

Firstly we used the soft box which was the positioned as the same height as the still life table on the left while the arri light was on the right was at a much higher height facing downwards with was much  brighter than the soft  ox light which created some darker shadows on the left side. To balance the light in terms of the correctly exposed and theatrical images, I and the team used a reflector and a few mirrors to bounce the bright light from the arri light and direct it towards shadows that were too dark in some areas which effected the symbolic elements on the table.

The top image has the skull (my key favourite element in the photographs) had a very underexposed eye when capturing it, so in further development, a few mirrors were used and some members including myself of the team stood in various positions to aim to both reflect and redirect the bright light from the right side of the studio which had a more positive outcome as shown on the image below.


Harmen Steenwyck: Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life.



Canon 5D

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My next workshop was practicing the basic controls of a Canon 5D, this was a both an enjoyable and helpful tutorial so that I would be used to using the Canon 5Ds from the camera store. The first two images was a depth of field test including all sorts of shutter speeds,apertures and ISOs. Next, me and the rest of the group were planning to use these same techniques outside the building but was more interested in learning the experiment of slow shutter speed in terms of blur movement and light.



Firstly I and my group learned how to take the Hasselblad cameras apart piece by piece before shooting in the studio with basic light resources on light weight stands with a white paper background . The cameras were amazing to learn and work with in terms of their amazing abilities such as the flash control and tethered operations. We ended up doing digital flash since we would learn about film in the analogue process days, in addition we learned about the tethered operations where the camera would release its shutter and display the image on the computer along with some tweaking materials to edit the image (similar to Photoshop).


 Photomontage and Collage


Photomontage And Collage was an interesting workshop, but was honestly difficult to think of some ideas since there were so many styles running around in my head. I mildly thought of an idea of using the trees outside the building as my key subjects. I always had an interest in trees, they can symbolise or metaphor so many things. For this work I took inspiration by The Bechers who are well known for their sequencing of the evolution industrial buildings, My work along with some colleagues of my choosing created our own tree out of many images of trees including their wooden trunks and roots. When looking at the top image, the trees to me looked emotionless which reminded me of busy cities like London where busy suited pedestrians would be so focused on themselves and not take notice of others, the tree made out of a series of tree images would create more of a series of moods since the top image in comparison is the same emotionless mood being repeated frame by frame.


                                                        The Bechers: Water Towers 1962-1983


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The green-screen honestly wasn’t something up my street but did however have its fun moments in the Photoshop process including a little animation process on Premier. The top two images were the start of the process using a studio, then erasing the green background with the “Color Range” tool against a background of my choosing that  humorously worked well with the portraits.

Multiple Images

Photoshop effect on Image Sequencing


In this image sequencing workshop, I and my colleagues created all sorts of styles, the first was the sequencing of jumping in the air. The equipment we used for this was a standard Canon 5D on a tripod along with a light on the left side of the subject with a black polystyrene board to stop too much light spreading across the studio and only on the subject and background, it was also important to tether the camera to a computer I would be able to closely inspect the multiple images one by one in case there were mistakes. The images above show both the original images set as a timeline and multiple exposures in a single frame by combining images as layers on Photoshop.


When inserting all the photographs in order, I used the timeline tool in Photoshop to create an animating GIFF file of the series of images.  



Practicing poses

This part of the process was used with the lights turned off and only syncing the flash on every pose in each image. I communicated with the subject about the poses and practiced the three poses to create a multiple series of images creating one action within one image. To combine these three poses, me and my colleagues needed to slow down the shutter speed to about 8 seconds while the light would be turned off while somebody would press the flash test button three times on each pose before the camera would close its shutter.