Technique: Street photography

The moment is fleeting. “Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.” Henri Cartier-Bresson What exactly is street photography? Also sometimes referred to as “candid photography”, it often records chance encounters and random incidents in public places in a human environment. The term “street photography” is actually very broad, and for this reason it doesn’t… Read More

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Activity: Mini-Fotomarathon Berlin 2016

Can systems . . . ? Can our inner thoughts be transmitted by our eye movements? Can our future actions be predicted by our current behaviour? Almost certainly: New York Times Any new technology brings a wealth of challenges for society, as it begins to alter previous behaviours, and the embracement of digital technologies is no different, particularly regarding the ease at which data can now so easily be collected and analysed, searching for patterns, all in the cause of the corporate balance sheet. It is both a blessing and a curse, as we enjoy the benefits of an App based economy, but often at the cost of our privacy.… Read More

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Composition: Figure to ground

Constrast. “Figure to ground” sounds rather a technical term, but all it really means is the contrast between the “figure” (subject) and the “ground” (background). For example, if the subject is white against a black background, the figure to ground relationship is very strong, it’s therefore extremely easy to distinguish the subject against the background. If however the subject and the background are both white or near white, the figure to ground relationship is then very weak, and it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the subject from the background. It’s all about looking at the background first, and then the subject, and making sure there is good definition… Read More

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Composition: Simplicity and Minimalism

Less is more. Keeping it simple doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be boring, and it’s often said that less is more anyway, so it’s a case of choosing what to leave out of a composition, of reducing everything down to its bare essentials in order to create a stronger image. It can be very challenging learning how to find the right angle from which to capture a subject, to creatively use plenty of negative space and to start using more advanced lens techniques such as limited depth of field in order to isolate the subject from its background. It’s all about how little has to be in the… Read More

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Composition: Rule of thirds

Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules. Maybe not, particularly as rules, especially artistic rules, are there to be broken, but unfortunately you do have to know them before you can start breaking them. The Rule of Thirds seems such an obvious “rule”, the subject is aligned so that it’s off-center and thereby the image achieves better balance, and yet it’s surprising how often even the most experienced amateur photographer almost reluctantly uses it, choosing instead to apply their ever increasing knowledge of the technical aspects of the camera instead, as though a perfectly exposed image, a subject in sharp focus with no regard to background or positioning could ever… Read More

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Technique: Black and white

Colourless. Monochrome photography is where the image contains only one hue rather than all the colours of the rainbow, this can be in tones of grey as in classic black and white photography, but sepia and cyan can also be used to great effect. Monochrom photography is very often used for artistic reasons, and as colours and their interplay are no longer present to distract, key elements such as lighting and composition take on a new priority. But what is it about black and white photography that despite the world being ablaze with colour and the possibilities to capture it becoming ever more sophisticated, that we still find black and… Read More

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Technique: ICM – Intensional camera movement

The static light and the moving camera. When an artist applies paint with a brush, he does so in order to control the colours reflected from the canvas, but he rarely tries to achieve realism, not every image has to be crisp and well defined, often it’s the very imperfections, the added texture, the implied movement that convey the most meaning, which is why whole art movements revolve around the abstract, where impression and expression are far more important than the perfect reproduction of a situation and/or scene. And just because the camera is quite capable of producing an almost hyper-realism, that doesn’t mean that it always has to, with… Read More

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Composition: Texture

Rough. Photographs are by definition flat and two dimensional, but with clever use of texture, capturing the play of light and shadow on the surface of an object, they can become alive and almost three dimensional. Texture is very dependent on the direction of the light present, for example, an object can look very different depending on the time of day it is captured, textures on horizontal surfaces are accentuated in the early mornings or evenings, the low sun casting long, dark shadows, whereas the same sun causes vertical surfaces such as walls and trees to appear flat and lifeless. Conversely a midday sun accentuates the textures on vertical surfaces… Read More

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