Assignment Four

Languages of Light.




Part Four. The Language of Light. March,2017. Completed April, 2017.

Project One  Exposure.


The light that enters your camera is measured by a light meter. The question is how does the camera translate this light to an exposure? In the setting auto and semi-mode the light will be calibrated to the mid-tone range of the histogram. So after capture the of the image the tone curve of the histogram will then be placed around the centre ( middle) of the histogram. This will work well, or reasonably well if the tones are well spread across the image taken. But of course will not work if the image is lighter, or darker than the overall mid-tone.

The picture above is a typical example of  Histogram of standard photographic image.

Source of information -see above.

The images below are typical examples of underexposed well exposed overexposed images and where they are placed on the photographic histogram.


On the left hand side of the histogram you can see the underexposed images have very little light and the  tone curve is centred on the left hand side.

The middle of the histogram is the ideal exposure and all the light is equally balanced throughout the image.

On the right hand side of the histogram you can see the overexposed images are saturated with light and this will place the tone curve to the right.

See more information on Histograms in Research Connected to Coursework Projects. March. 2016.

Exercise 4.1 (1)

I used Panasonic Lumix

I set my camera to semi- auto and took a series of three photographs representing:

From left to right:  Dark tone black coat, Grey tone inside cereal packet and Light tone- white sheet of paper.

The above images are the histograms for the above images.

Image 1 Dark tone                                Image 2 Grey tone                     Image 3 Light tone

The images above are photographic images of histograms of the above images.

The grey and white tones are relatively the same and not that difference in variation within the frame. Both histograms spike towards the mid-tones, even though the light tone is a small spike in the mid-tone. The grey tone has a slight, but gentle curve to the mid-tone. The images do not have an unpleasant colour cast.

A colour cast is a tint of a particular colour that is unwanted , which affects the whole, or even a portion of a photographic image. Certain kinds of light, such as artificial light cause film, or digital  cameras to have colour cast. Artificial light on a subject with a different light temperatures will cause colour cast problems in shadows.

There is not much variations between the three colours as grey is neutral colour between white and black.

The whole purpose of the exercise 4.1 (1) demonstrates and exposes the flaws when calibrating the cameras light meter to the mid-tone of the histogram. The thing is the light meter cannot tell whether the photograph is being taken at night, or daylight. A snow scene, or even a golden beach. The camera cannot just measure the light, as it only measures the reflected light the light that is reflected from the subject itself and not what is called the incident – that is the light that falls on the subject.

Source of information: Colour cast.  Wikipedia. org.

Exercise 4.1 (2).

Project Two  “Layered, complex and mysterious”.


Sally Mann.

Like everyone else I like to go out with my camera and take that perfect photograph. I often return in the evening and eager to see my days work, but the images  I carefully and thoughtfully took have not turned out the way I wanted them too. It is a common occurrence with many a photographer. I ask myself did I actually focus on the subject through the camera eye?   Did I visualise the scene, or object by looking through the viewfinder, or maybe there was a problem with the light?

The majority of photographers and me included tap it the matter of light when we see a sunset, or even a sunrise. There is a time before sunset and the that last hour when the light is intense, the colours are vibrant and the shadows long and the whole world becomes a visual experience. This magical hour is known as the “golden hour” I would even say that the colours after a sunrise can be a “golden hour” too.

Sally Mann (1981) an American Photographer is known for her large black and white images  firstly of her children and she then went onto to shooting landscapes that suggesting the theme of death and decay. I have never heard of this lady and looked her up and like her work.

Sally Mann when being interviewed by a Chinese Photography magazine describe the special light of the late afternoon.

She went on to say….

The light in the south is so different from the north, where you have the crisp and clear light. There is no mystery in that light. Everything is revealed in the northern light. You have to live in the south to understand the difference. In summer, the quality of the air and light is layered, complex and mysterious , especially in the late afternoon. I was able to catch the quality of that light in a lot of the photos.

OCA. Part Four- Project 2.

I have viewed Sally Manns series of photographs online at works/ southern landscapes

Here is some examples of her work.

I find this image haunting and eerie too. The softness of the image and the feeling of coming out of a woodland into a misty, light enclave. The tree lit up in the foreground adds to atmospheric feeling of this image. The light is a mysterious light and where does come from? The layer of light starts with the trees and then the light and the vegetation in the background.
This image reminds me of a fairytale. The smiling tree and the mysterious, misty background. Just an ordinary tree on the edge of a field. Yet again we have the layers of the light from the darkness of the foreground, shade of the branches of the trees and the light in the fields.
Now this is an eerie and mysterious image.  The light looks like it is a burst of sunlight coming through the trees. There are again layers of light here too. The darkness of the foreground, shade and half-light reflected on the trees and leaves and the burst of sunlight in the background.
An unusual image and this little planter standing on its own. This was probably taken at sunrise and the large arch of morning light. The layers of light start with the darkness at the sides of the image, to the shade around the planter and then the brilliant sunshine in the background.

The above images are different and imaginary too. The light is very much in evidence here and light of all forms. From brilliant light to darkness and shade and semi- shade. There is a very sombre, eerie and mysterious feeling to.

Sally Manns. Bing Images.


The artist Brian Catling RA (1948). Known for his Sculptor, Artist, Poet, novelist and filmmaker and Performance Artist. He best known for his novel The Vorth.  A heady, mythical and fantasy Novel. It is a world of a vast and endless Forest full of Demons, Angels, Warriors and Priests. I have never read it and only found out about its existence in these pages.

The vulgar gate of the day gives no quarter and its insistent brightness will tell lies about all, forcing the subtlety back into interiors of trees and the other side of the sky.

(Catling, 2012,p179).

What Brain Catling is saying is the day is heralded  with no good taste and instant brightness and honesty forcing the acuteness and sharpness of the light back into the trees and the night-time on the other side of the world.


Source of information:  Good reads – The Vorth.  Brain Catling Bing.


Micheal Schmidt (1945- 2014). Micheal Schmidt actively sought out the morning light to take his photographs.  He was born in Berlin and is better known for taking photographs of the inhabitants in their concrete environment in stark black and white images.

I prefer  to work with neutral diffused light, i.e. to produce an image without noticeable shadows. The viewer must allow the objects portrayed in the photograph to take their effect upon him without being distracted by shadows or mood effects.

Quoted from: Schmidt’s winning portfolio for the 2014 Prix Pictet.

I tried to find this site and could find it. I will try again.

Images taken from online-   Gallerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden.

This looks like post war playground. A playground without children.  You see playgrounds like this all over the world. Health and safety would have a “field day” with this playground, but this photograph was taken in the 1970s ( 1976-77) before the days of health and safety. I image this photograph was taken in the early morning and winter, as the light looks dark and wintry. You can see by the trees it is winter.
( 1989- 90). Bleak comes to mind. Sways of Berlin were blitzed during war. Like London a lot of regeneration was needed and sites like this took years to build on. The tower in the foreground looks like a relic left over from WW2. Yet again this photograph must have been taken in the early morning and being black and white it looks cold and the light looks as it is winter.
( 1980). A scene you see all over the world. Called Berlin after 1945.  It looks like it was taken on a winter’s morning. THe light is dark and misty. It looks bleak and cold. There is no warmth in this photograph. Taken in the early morning, so city life has yet to start.
I have seen housing estates like this in London. A post war scene. The light looks dull and a winter’s scene and taken in the early morning. There does seem to be an absents of people in his photographs.
( 1980) This looks like this photograph was taken in winter, but by the reflection on the wall of the house indicates that the sun is shining and by the reflection on the wall it could be sunrise , or sunset. But, Michael Schmidt is known for his morning photography.

Eugene Atget ( 1857-1927).  Born in France and a pioneer of documentary photography and his determination to document all the streets and architecture of Paris before their demise to the modern urbanization. Atget was known for taking his photographs at midday for a quality of photograph that he gave to his photography. As he moved further into his career has developed a personnel style he changed the time of the day that he started to take his photographs.

In his early views that he took of Paris he sought to illuminate his subject with an even clarity and the best way to convey the information he wanted to give. He would take his photographs at midday when shadows are minimal. His photographs in later life are marked with long shadows and subjective light and usually in the early morning, such as images of the Parc de Sceaux and the light is caused to create a mood, than to create an image to describe a place. These images were to mark the apex of Atget’s career.

Some of the images below are Eugene Atget’s Parisian Street Photography.

A typical Persian Park of the turn of the century. It look like the photograph was taken in the early hours of the morning in the summer, as the shadows are long. Also there does seem to be an absent of people. The image is also timeless, as some parks and gardens today still look like this.
4217974-3x2-940x627 - Copy
A scene you do not see a lot of now. An old Parisian back street. There is something about old black and white, or sepia images that makes it hard to see the detail that you see in the modern days images. Atget’s photographs were taken at midday in the early days of his career. Mind you the street look deserted.
Another photograph taken in the 1920s by the looking at the model of the car. The typical Persian billboards, which are still there today. Taken again in the summer, as the light looks bright, but also at midday, as there seems to be  no shadows.
The photograph looks as it was taken in the winter by looking at the trees. The light is not as bright as some of the photographs taken in the summer. Yet again no shadows and probably taken during the day.
Another Parisian back street and also deserted. No casting shadows, but when was it taken early morning, or even midday?
This is one of my favourite photographs of his and I wondering what the crowd are looking at, as they all peer upwards. Is it one of the new inventions of the day…. such as the “flying machine”. The photograph looks as if it was taken at the turn of the century. The photograph must have been taken at midday, as they all seem to shielding their eyes and the shadows are short too.

The two photographs above look like early images of Atget of Paris. The typical street cafe and looks like the photograph was taken in the early hours and in winter. The same is for Notre Dame. There seems to shadows by what I can see. The cafe’s in Paris are always crowded with people even when this image was taken.

All images were taken from online and from Bing images.

More information on the above photographers will be looked at in more depth in Research and Reflection.

Exercise 4.2. Light over a period of a day.

These photographs were taken over a period of a day at different times of the day. I took these photographs from my bedroom window. The changing light and weather can differ from each second, minute and hour.

The photographs above were taken in March and before the clocks went forward, so the daylight was short. Taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72.

I shot the four images in JPEG.

Morning 9 am. Grey start and overcast. A slight light on the horizon maybe an inclination that brighter day on the cards. There is a certain amount of light on  a grey day, but not enough to create the long shadows you would get at this time of the day. Mind you this photograph was taken in March and the sun is not at its peak. It rained a few minutes after taking this photograph.


1/100 sec. f/5. ISO 200. 9.51mm.


12 noon. What a difference a few hours can make. The sun has appeared and blue skies with Cumulus Clouds. Being midday the sun is at it highest, but being only the March the sun has yet to reach its warmest, or high point in the sky. There is a slight shadow from the tree in the garden of the house in the right hand bottom corner.

1/500 sec. f/8. ISO 200. 6.47mm.


3pm. Sun still out and plenty of light and small cumulus clouds. There are now shadows, as the sun is lower in the sky. The shadows are longer, as you can see on the rooftops and gables. The car parked (car facing the road) on the driveway and the shadows of the houses opposite are reflected onto the road.

1/500 sec. f/8. ISO 200. 6.47mm.


5.30-6pm. Twilight. This is a time of day that I like. The hour between night and the day. The end of the daylight. The time when the sky is beautiful and the shadows are replaced by reflection of the dying light reflected in the glass and metallic objects, such as the cars. There is glow on the horizon and this is can sometimes  be called the “Green Ray”, which is an optical illusion that occurs before, or after sunrise. I don’t think this glow on the horizon is this photograph is the “Green Ray”.  The sky is clear and this indicates that the night will be cold and especially at this time of year. The night was cold that night.  Do I have an example though of an incident of what landscape photographers call the “blue hour” by looking at the sky maybe this my image of the “blue hour”. I have included a section of this phenomena in 4.3, Project 3.

1/20 sec. f/4.5. ISO 200. 8.24mm.



I found this exercise a pleasure. as it made me stop and look at the sky and the changes it goes through in a day with the light, reflection of light on the world around us. The changes in the weather and the position of the sun throughout the year and the moon too. Light is wonderful and without we and the natural world would not survive.

The Green Ray

Are Green Flashes  are a rare optical phenomena  that occur shortly after, or before sunset where a green spot is visible for a short period of time above the sun, or green rays shoot up from the sunset point. It is usually viewed from a low altitude where there is an unobstructed view of the horizon and this is usually best seen from the ocean. This phenomenon is often seen by airline pilots because they see the true horizon when in mid-flight and they are flying westward and the sun’s motion is slightly slower.

Examples of the Green Ray.  Taken from Bing images online.

Project Three. The beauty of artificial light.

Daylight changes every second of the day and it can be dark one moment and then a ray of sunshine will appear. The advantage of artificial light is that it stays the same. We would never be able to lead our twenty-first lives if it was not for artificial light.

In this section I will discover how the beauty of artificial light and how it create some of the most beautiful images we see today.

Cinematographer Christopher Doyle (1952- present day). Australian -Hong Kong Cinematographer.


The beauty of artificial light can be seen on people’s faces and can highlight their expressions and portray emotions. His film the In the Mood for Love and with Director. Wong Kar-Wal, 2000. Christopher Doyle is a legend when it comes to the Asian cinema. He dismisses the idea of natural light  in his work and there is nothing he does not know about light.

I watched the film and watched it a few times. I found the trailer beautiful, emotional and sad. The use of the artificial light is beautiful it showed the emotion, sadness and excitement of a forbidden love. The scenes were beautifully scripted and the use of the artificial light highlighted  the emotions of the actors  by  creating shadows across their faces and highlighting the emotions of a love that can go no further. The background scenes were also atmospheric, emotionally charged and full of shadowy hallways, corridors and back streets. The whole film was beautifully filmed and this was due the sensitive use of the medium of artificial light by  Christopher Doyle.

This scene is beautiful and the light is intense and the use of shadows on the actors faces creates the scene of emotional love.
The long corridor of light and shadows is beautifully done and captures this particular scene beautifully.
The use of artificial light works perfectly here and the shadows created on the faces of the actors creates a mood of romance and un forbidden love.

I will look at Christopher Doyles work in more detail in Research and Reflection.

Rut Blees Luxemberg ( 1967- present day).



Rut Blees Luxemberg  is known for carrying round a large-format camera around the streets of London at night. She only takes three to four exposures a month.  A photographer of German origin and is known for exploring the urban landscape. Her book is a series of photographs called Liebeslied ( My Suicide). The series of photographs were taken in a collaboration with Alexander Garcia Duttmann who was  Philosopher and had an interest Anaesthetics.

The images below show a series  of Rut Blees Luxembergs images all taken in London. Bing Images online.

The images above are a glimpse of London at night and the beauty of artificial light and how it can transform an ordinary scene into an image of beauty, shadows and light.

I will look at Rut Blees Luxembergs work in more depth in Research and Reflection.

Stella Achimsa was inspired by Rut Blees Luxembergs work and she created her own collection of work and by using a tripod allowed Stella to create her series of night shots and by using a frame with precision and by using manual mode helped Stella to fine- tune her exposures, that reveals several kinds of different qualities light within a single image.

I cannot find any reference to Stella’s work online.

Picasso – Pablo Picasso ( 1881- 1973).

Probably one of the most famous painters of his time and known for his co-founding of the Cubist movement. He was born in Spain, but spent the majority of his life in France. He was also a sculptor, printmaker, ceramics, stage designer, playwright and poet. He was though never a photographer, but he had a fascination for artificial light. This is something that I personally never knew.

The light I have at night is magnificent. I even prefer it to natural light. You should come over one night to see it . A light that sets off every object, dark shadows making a ring around the canvases and projected onto beams; you find them in most of my lives, almost all of them painted at night. Whatever the atmosphere, it becomes our own substance, it rubs off on us, arranges itself to fit our nature.

(quoted in Brassai,1999, p311) OCA Part Four, Project Three.

I will do more research into Brassai and Pablo Picasso in my Research and Reflection.

Pablo Picasso’s  favourite photographer was Brassia ( 1899- 1984 ). His photographs of Paris by Night (1936) was one of most influential photo books of the twentieth century.

Paris by Night – Tony Ray- Jones’ Creative Camera interview with Brassai – American Suburb.


Images taken from ASX Tony Ray-Jones interview with Brassai online ( see link above).

I will do more research into this section in my Research and Reflection.

Pablo Picasso being renowned for his co- founding of the Cubist movement and walk round many a Gallery and this is what you see when you view his work. Well this what I have experienced. He experimented in a form of “light drawings” were he made with a small electric light in a darkened room made light drawings that disappear as soon as they are created.  Yet these images are still around for us to look at six decades later. Many were put on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1950s.

These images are an example of Picasso’s fascination with Light and the beauty that a simple electric light can produce.

Made by a simple light. This images looks like a man running holding a batten in his hand. I like the series of ghost figures of Picasso while he is drawing this image.
This light image looks like an animal. Horse, Deer, or an animal with horns.
Now I baffled to imagine whet this imagine represents  But taking a hard and longer look it comes across as some flowers in a vase. There are many forms to this image and shapes that one can see.
Now to me this is a Cockerel. Proud and strutting Cockeral. I do like the images of Picasso behind.

I will look into Light Photography in more detail in Research and Relection.

All images in this section were taken from Bing online.

Art and Artists – Behind the Picture: Picasso “Draws” With Light. (Ben Cosgrove. Jan 29, 2012.)

Sato Shintaro (1969- present day).

Born in Japan and famous for his Tokyo nightscapes.

“Neon lights,shimmering neon lights and at the fall of night this city’s made of light?

OCA. Project Four. Part three.

A line from the eletro-pop band Kratfwerk. I know the song well, as I was a fan of this band.

Sato Shintaro uses the “blue hour” to take his photographs. In his series Night Lights he explains you do not have complete darkness to produce a quality night scene. He keeps his exposures hard to avoid reducing the night shots to a series of pool of lights and framed in black.

Images taken from Bing online and Sato Shintaro Photo Gallery.

The “blue hour” what is it. Well it is that period just before sunset and just before sunrise and only last around twenty – thirty minutes. So if the sun sets at lets say 5pm the “blue hour” would last between 5.10pm to 5.30pm.

It is when the sun has just set, or about to rise.This when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residue light indirect sunlight causes this phenomenal blue effect.  The sky takes on a deep beautiful blue light and the landscape is covered with a suffused with a bluish light. This beautiful phenomena  varies from location to location and depends on the time of the year and air pollution too.

Landscape photographers take an advantage of this light and it can create some wonderful images. See below.

Taken from online website: Earthsky- What is the Blue Hour? Deborah Byrd in Earth. August 30th,2014.

Exercise 4.3

The beauty of Artificial Light/ Natural Light.

Short sequence of shots showing us the beauty of artificial light and that of natural light too.  I will share a sequence of my own night shots and some day shots too and then a series of Sato Shintaro.  Who seem to only concentrate on nighttime images.

Night shots can be tricky and you need to have the correct white balance. It can be a tricky thing to master, but interesting, as I have experience this problem myself with night photography. I took a long time and would say still learning how to take a good night image. Night photography can also have a mixture of colour temperatures in the same shot.

White Balance (WB). Is a process of removing unrealistic colour casts, so the object that appears white in person are rendered white in the photograph. A proper camera WB has to take into account the “colour temperature” of a light source, which refers to the warmth or coolness of white light. Our eyes are very good at judging white under different light sources. A digital camera can have problems with an Auto White Balance (AWB)- can then create unsightly blue, orange and even green colour casts.

I have taken a series of photographs taken during the day and then at night. They are all taken in the same location, but not in the same spot. The area in these images is a place called Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

All photographs were taken on a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72.

I shot the eight images in JPEG

Eight images taken in the same location.

The top four images taken in the late afternoon on a winter’s afternoon in February. I can say that my images do have the correct WB, as the Spinnaker of the Tower is actually White. I think I have the WB correct in all images, as the colours are exactly the same at what I was looking at in person.

Technical  Stuff:

Image 1: 1/6000 sec. f/2.8. ISO 100. 3.58mm

Image 2: 1/2000 sec. f/2.8. ISO 100. 3.58mm

Image 3: 1/2000 sec. f/2.8. ISO 100. 3.58mm

Image 4: 1/2000 sec. f/4 . ISO 160. 3.58mm.

The bottom four images were taken at night. In the same location on the same day as the images above.  The night air was cold and crisp. The WB looks correct to me, as the colours portrayed are what I was seeing in person. There is of course artificial light to take into account and thus resulting in the colours of the surrounding buildings being enhanced.

Image 1: 1/4 sec. f/2.8. ISO 400. 3.58mm

Image 2: 1/5 sec. f/2.8. ISO 400. 3.58mm

Image 3: 1/4 sec. f/2.8. ISO 1250. 3.58mm

Image 4: 1/4 sec. f/2.8. ISO 500. 3.58mm.

By examing the eight photographs is that the WB is roughly well-balanced. I think my daytime shots have an accurate WB more so than the night shots. I cannot see any unsightly blue, orange, or even green colour casts. I have to say though in image 3(nighttime) there is a slightly  unsightly orange colour cast to the building and it seems the WB on my camera was not affective enough.

The next four images are photographs taken by Sato Shintaro and his beautiful nighttime photographs of Tokyo. To see more images go to:


These photographs are beautiful and I am standing in Tokyo myself. The colours are vibrant, crisp and beautiful. The WB to my eye is perfect and I cannot see any blue, orange, or green colour cast. Mind you Sato is a professional photographer.

Well by looking at the photographs above what is the difference between the daylight and nighttime shots.

For one daylight can be perfect, as it is natural light, but taking photographs in the natural light can be affected by weather, seasons and all other factors that can affect the colours of the chosen subject. The sun can be too bright, the rain can make a photograph to dull, or even dark and can affect the colours in the photograph. But the natural light can be beautiful too and creating a perfect image, but it is down to the WB to give the perfect image by controlling unwanted colour casts and gives us the colour we can see in person.

Now nighttime photography can have its challenges too. Artificial light can make the natural and artificial environment to look to bright, or even dark. The WB can be tricky to achieve if you’re not as experienced in nighttime photography. Neon lights and street lights can create different colours of light and create unwanted colour casts , especially the old street light, which gave of an orange glow.  Night lights can also create warm and cool light too and it is the WB that can alter what we see and create the perfect nighttime photograph and not see those unwanted colour casts that artificial lights can create. In image 3 my AWB that I used did not work as to what I wanted to achieve and the building looks to orange to me.

I personally cannot see the difference in the photographs above to my photographs in exercise 4.2. I used the same camera and AWB will be the same. The only thing I can see that is difference is that my nighttime photographs are probably not the same as what I saw with my naked eye when it came to accuracy of the”colour temperature” of that light source  which predicted the warmth and coolness of the subjects around me. I think in my night images there was a certain amount of colour cast, but that will be down to me and my lack of taking nighttime photographs and lots of practice.

There is one thing that we do not need that WB for is the naked eye and that will always be valuable and a camera, as good as they are becoming in sophistication can never replace the accuracy of the human eye and capturing the beauty of the natural and artificial light.

I enjoyed this section and will make sure that I will concentrate in  taking more nighttime photographs and my knowledge of WB.

I will be covering more of this subject and Sato Shintaro images in Research and Reflection.

Project Four. Ex nihilo.

What is Ex nihilo?

Well the meaning behind this term is “out of nothing” It is a Latin phase and often appears in the conjunction with the concept of creation….. creatio ex nihilo. It is chiefly it often refers to philosophical, or theology contexts, but also occurs in other fields.

Now where does it come of use in photography?

By using light, colour and contrast with an object you will create an image out of nothing, well that is my take on it.

The images below are photographs I took few years ago. Could this be my take on Ex nihilo?… image out of nothing. I set up a scene were I just placed a simple object on a windowsill, table and candle in a vase and importantly light and created something that we can see below.

When taking these photographs I thought I was taking photographic version of still life. Well you learn something everyday.

Now there are some factors that you will need to capture that image and they are under the photographers control, well most of the time!

Quality, contrast, direction and colour.

Quality- the standard of something that is measured against other things of a similar kinds.

Contrast- something that is strikingly different, but has a close association with each other.

Direction- a course in which something, or someone moves.

Colour- Is a characteristic of human visual perception through four common primary colours: red, yellow and blue. Secondary colours: Green, orange and purple.

Now looking at in a photographic view:

Quality- as we know can be subjective, but at its basic it can be described as the simple difference between hard and soft light.  Hard and soft light can be detected by looking at shadows. Hard light has a crisp, well- defined shadow whereas the shadows of soft light is diffused. In a studio this is all controlled by lights.  The size of light can vary from a small spotlight ( substitute for the sun) gives of a hard light. Large light is portrayed by using a softbox ( overcast sky) creates a soft light. Moving the light away from a subject will make it smaller and harder. Bringing the light towards the subject will make it larger and softer.

The light can be modified by using attachments such as grids, fresnel lenses for hard light. Diffusion and reflectance for soft light.




All image above were taken from online.

Exercise 4.4. Lighting- Ex nihlo

For this exercise I did not have all the professional equipment. I used what was around me. I used the lounge windowsill, as my base and a white card, which I propped up against the window to diffuse the light and create some shadows. The light was natural. I used several different objects, such one glass egg and three natural stone eggs and the basil plant from the kitchen windowsill. All very rudimentary but looks quite effective.

Images 1- 2

I placed the three eggs ( two natural stone and one glass) on the windowsill and then placed the card behind to diffuse the light. I took the objects from above ( eggs) and zoomed in om image 2. I found by looking down on the objects I would see more shadows and light. Image 1 is  slightly lighter than image 2 and this was due to the sun going behind the clouds while I was taking the photographs. I did think should I put these two images together, but then thought why not, as it shows how natural light can influence a photograph and enhance it or not.

The shadows in both photographs are dark, but soft shadows and the lines are not hard. The shadows are long and this may, or is something to do with the light direction coming from the window. There are areas and patches of light and the light on the card behind in image 1 is soft and diffused and long, pronounced shadows, while in image 2 the light is still soft, but the shadows on the card are not as pronounced and smaller.  The light on the objects are reflective, but more so in image 1 than image 2, but this may have something to do with the light coming through the window.



Images 3-4

I concentrated on one large object this time (large glass egg). I yet again zoomed slightly in on image 1 compared to image 2.

Both images are light and the light is reflective on the surface of the object in both images. I took both these images from a distance, well not a great distance and the light varies from which part of the object you look at. The light is hard and soft at he base of the object and there is two lanes of light. An outer layer of soft and less defined light shadow and an inner hard layers and well-defined shadow with a hard-line. The shadows are slightly lighter in image 2. Due to the fact the object is not so close to the camera lens.



Images 5- 7.

Well I took my inspiration from the kitchen windowsill and basil plant. I placed the basil plant on the windowsill in the lounge where we do get a wonderful natural light and in the afternoon when all these photographs were taken. I took a series of photographs over 10 secs and a set of three.

I yet again stood a distance away and took a series of three photographs. The light is beautiful on the surface of the leaves and beautifully reflected. The series of soft and hard shadows on the planter from soft to hard in elongated layers. The light is coming from behind and you can see this from the light on the taller stems compared to the leaves in the forefront. There are soft shadows and hard shadows in all three images and this makes for a very interesting series of images. One last point though each image from 1- 3 the light gets lighter and image 3 is lighter than image 1.

Just shows us that how light can change from one second to another over a time lap of seconds.

P1490657 (2)P1490657 (4)P1490657 (3)



Interesting an insight into the complexities of light and how it can affect an outcome of a photograph. I know the brief said natural objects, but I thought the glass egg would work.  You can see in each image and how I have shot them and the difference in shadows.  Because I used the natural light of the window with a piece of card and no artificial light. I was at the mercy of the changing light outside. In image 2 the light is slightly darker and only slighter and this was down to a change in light outside, but only slightly. By zooming in and out also changed the nature of the shadows and hardness and softness of the shadows too. Also this affected the light reflection from the objects too. Texture and colour also comes into question too. Glass will reflect more light, but even a shiny waxy surface, such as the Basil leaves can reflect light too.

Assessment Criteria : Creativity.

This is part of Project four, but I have approached it as a Research and Reflection section.

Creativity- to use the imagination or original ideas to create something inventress (noun).

Imagination- forming new ideas, images of concepts and the ability of the mind to be creative and resourceful. Part of the mind that imagines things (noun).

Invention- action of inventing something. Creative ability. Something fabricated or made up ( noun).

Experiment- discovery, scientific or test a hypothesis (noun).

Developing- developing a new idea or developed (noun).

I have always had some form of creativity within me, as my mother is an artist and mainly landscape and my father loved his photography. I inherited the creative gene mainly from my mother’s side of the family. My great-uncle of my mother’s side went to art school and my mother studied art at diploma level. I also believe, or have been told, that I had a relative who was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and exhibited Roses at Chelsea Flower Show after the First World War. So creativity is there and I loved to draw as a child and love gardening, I dabbled with photography in my teens, but only came back to serious photography ten years ago.  When I started this course I was excited, scared and yes confused still am at times. I may of not found my “personal  voice” in full, but have tried to in certain places in Level One.

I made a Google search for “landscapes” and  on an area of Britain, well England, that I really like. I love the landscapes of Cornwall, Cotswolds and many more, but I have fascination for the ls seems Yorkshire Dales. It also a coincidence that I am watching the Tour du Yorkshire on ITV and they happen to be in the Yorkshire Dales.

It is true that all the images on Google on the first few pages of landscape image section do tend to all look the same. I though searched deeper and typed in the Yorkshire Dales and came across the images below.

The Yorkshire Dales is unique and I love the beauty of the stone walls and little stone barns, but it is the natural landscape and limestone paving, which have been called “England’s Rain Forest” with their unique “flower and fauna”. I though love the hills and peaks and especially Whernside, Mighty Inglebrough and Pheny Gent. They are beautiful.

Below I have saved a few images of the Yorkshire Dales and some images of the following peaks mentioned above.

The first three images are of from left to right are: Pheny Gent, Inglebrough and Whernside.

Courtsey of Google images.

Getty images and  Alamay Stock Photos.

More images.

Taken from online Google images landscapes.

Beautiful artistic versions of the Yorkshire Dales.

Courtesy of Google images.

I again typed in Yorkshire Dales and here is what I found.

By typing in “Portrait” I did find the same scenario, as I did with the landscape pages, with all the lists of accomplished artists and photographers and many similar images too. I came across the term “Portraiture” and many of the  images I viewed conform to this genre.

What is Portraiture?

The art of painting or taking portraits. Vivid and detailed description. Portrait.

Portrait- is a painting, photograph, sculptor or another artistic representation of the face and the expression on the sitters face is predominant.  The person is often looking or engaging with the painter etc.

Some Portraiture images Bing online.

I have selected examples of Portraiture images taken over the centuries.

The Ancient World

The 18th and 19th Centuries

Modern Day

One famous Photographic Portraiture “Afgan Girl” was published in the National Geographic Magazine in the 1984. This is image that resonated  around the world due to the colour of her green eyes. It was one of the major images of the 20th century. This is a beautiful image and I wonder what she looks like today? Well here is the photograph.



What a difference and the years take their toll. Mind you this photograph was taken fifteen years ago.

See :

Courtsey of Bing images and National Geographic.

Some of the photographs above especially the ones of the Yorkshire Dale landscapes I have seen of numerous occasions and been photographed many on many an occasions are the peaks, stone walls and small stone dwellings. These are the very images that the Yorkshire Dales are famous for.

Mount Fuji

In his series of photographs Fuji City landscape photographer John Davis ( 1949-present day).  He imaginatively combines the traditional elements with the cities contemporary industrial landscape.


I typed in the web address above and was unable to connect. The image above was taken from John Davis website via Bing.

Chris Steele Perkins (1947- present day).

He is a Magnum photographer and part of a cooperative group of photographers based in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York.

Chris Steele Perkins uses the same juxtaposition as John Davis when he pairs the remote Mount Fuji with ordinary everyday scenes.


Bing images.

The images above are quite strange and I feel that this beautiful and majestic volcano is being used and relegated to a secondary position or an incidental position in the photographs, so that it can act as a background image for the major image in the photographs. Like a side attraction.

There is also an exception of how an image that is well documented should be produced and presented. The photographer Ernst Has ( 1921- 1986) described his own experience of trying to produce a fresh perception and way to photograph an ordinary subject.

He has quoted:

I looked at an apple for such a long time until it became the first apple I had ever seen. I was so excited that I called a friend to tell him my experience. But how could I find the right words for what I had experienced?  How could I describe my visual sensations with litany words such as red, yellow, green, shining and round after this movement of nuances and counteraction in form and color, even in touch and smell? Anyhow I did not find the right words and my friend did not believe me, so I ate the apple as I have eaten many an apple before. It was a fairly good apple. (accssed 16/06/14)


Taken from online.

When interviewed in The Face in the year 1984 in the December David Bailey quoted the same statement, but in a simpler form :

In photography everything is so ordinary:; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary. ( accessed 16/06/14)

Many other photographers have observed and responded to the above statement too and many will same the thing too in the years to come.

Comments taken from Project Four Ex nihilo OCA.

Exercise 4.5 Googling Images.

Googling Cornish Beaches or not!!!!

Make a series of images of a landscape, portrait and any other images.

I am not an expert at “screen grabbing”

I have tried to add a screen grab to my blog page from google images and it did not work. I know how to “screen grab” and went about the process and uploaded the images to my blog, but unable to find the uploaded images on my blog. So after searching and reading up how to do a “screen grab” I have decided to add images manually.

Googling Landscapes – Cornwall.

Cornish Beaches

ere any creativity here?

All images are very much the same and represent a typical Cornish sandy beach. The sun is shinning and the sea is blue, beach is golden and topped of with a blue sky. The images are very much the same and could be any where in the world. There is no mention of where these beaches where the photographs taken, or about the local area.

All images that you find of Google images, or any search site, the images are very much the same. All of the images show beautiful beaches, but is there any creativity here and any individuality? I feel there is a certain amount of creativity here firstly by choosing the subject, finding the right position to take the photograph and creating the image. But each image is individual even if we are seeing the same image.

My images – Beaches

Is there creativity here?

All images were taken on a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72.

Lyme Regis, Golden Cap Beach and West Bay, Dorset.

I added some of my own images and like to think they are different from the Google images above and first glance they do not seem to be and yes they have the beach scene and have the standard format, such as a beach, sky and waves and the odd person and the token dog, as you see in all standard internet images. Sometimes when you look at images taken from internet they have that same view, weather is the same and location too.

With mine I have tried to create something that is different and unique putting my personnel touch and adding the creative touch only the photographer can do to his/her image. All images on Google images are probably taken by the same person, or persons , but they are grouped together representing a certain image…. golden beach all in daylight and perfect weather.

The following images were taken in Dorset. Here I have concentrated on the sea , the cliffs, sky and beach. I also like to include  a person or persons and animals too. I think it adds some interest to the photograph. I have also grouped together images showing dramatic skies and crashing waves too. I think the power of “mother nature” is part of a good landscape image. Also light can make or break an image and sometimes


Marloes Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales.







Part Three. Project Three “What matters is to look”. February, 2017.

Part Three. Project Three “What matters is to look”. February, 2017.

Research point.


I viewed Raphael O’ Bryne’s  film/ interview  “L’amour de court” over five parts. Parts four and five were muted, because  I believe due to copyright issue. You can hear Henri Cartier-Bresson’s voice in parts one to three. I watched the film/ interview a few times and see below my personal response.

We meet HCB when he is in his nineties and reminiscing and at times rambling about his long, eventful life. I got the impression it had been a hard life in places and life of adventures too. He comes across as a man who at times is vacant and his memory is failing, which is not surprising at the age of ninety. He is quite emotional in places especially with Gandhi’s assassination. I think when someone of his calibre  and travelling the world  due to his art is expected to be emotional  knowing that he can never repeat it and go back.

HCB is mainly known for work in photography, Assouline ( 2005) prodimatly sees HGB as  an artist and only used his camera to express himself for a period of time. O’ Bryne ( part three ) HGB mentions that he has not taken a photograph for a long period of time and does prefers to draw. This may be because he finds more inspiration in drawing in later years.

In part one and two  HCB expresses his views on photography.

” Most of them don’t look. They press the button” ( part one ).

I interpreted  this quote as HCB saying some photographers take an image without thinking how they should view and go about composing the image before they press the button.

” It’s always luck. It’s luck that matters… You have to be receptive, that’s all.. Like the relationship between things, it’s a matter of chance. If you want it you get nothing. Just be receptive and it happens” ( part two).

I agree with this quotation, as photography is luck and being receptive to what is a round you and your environment . I also can relate  to this comment, as the more I want that perfect scene, I do not always get it. So being receptive, sensitive to your subject and surrounding you will achieve that perfect image.

HCB  observation over time had become refined and you can see this in one particular photograph of children in a covered square . In part two we hear from a third-party description  Yves Bonnefoy I think, that the narrator had not noticed the children, but HCB had and taken the photograph without even stopping and always observing.

In parts four and five we see how he was influenced by his travels to the Far East even though a seasoned traveller and spent time in the US and being the first western photographer to  take photographs in the Soviet Union ( Wikipedia). He was also influenced by Buddhism  and we see this when he fades into the background at a Japanese actors funeral and his sensitivity in catching the emotions of the mourners while they grieve. I found this part quite moving.

Overall a fascinating, moving insight into Henri Cartier- Bresson’s life.

Source of information:  Wikipedia – Henri Cartier- Bresson.


Re- write of Assignment three. February,2017.


“The decisive moment”.


This is a rewrite of my assignment three. I felt my first attempt was not as I wished it to be and my first eight images did not meet the brief. There was not enough “decisive moments” and lacked the key points and even participants.

My new subject and location.

My new subject this time is not a landscape, as before, but a building and it’s inhabitants . The building is the Spinnaker Tower and location is Portsmouth, Hampshire.

It is a large towering structure representing a large sail, or Spinnaker. The Spinnaker Tower stands on the waterfront overlooking Portsmouth Harbour and set within a large shopping and entertainment complex. Within the building there is a large viewing platform reached by an elevator  and you can see a 360 degree view of Portsmouth, Hampshire Countryside and Isle of Wight. Portsmouth is a maritime city and there are lots going on.

From the main viewing deck the views are stunning. There are two viewing decks, but the larger of the two has the best views and is indoors . We  visited the tower in the afternoon and being a winter’s afternoon the light was against me, but being a sunny day was a bonus. It was also half term, so it was pretty busy and lots of excited children.

The workings behind the images and process.

Firstly  I thought how do I go about capturing a “decisive moment”  I have been asking myself this question since starting this assignment. It is not something I consciously do everyday and thought how should I approach the subject.  I contemplated on what would be the ideal spot and taking into account everything I have read up about  this subject and looking at images that have captured that “decisive moment”. I studied Henri Cartier- Bresson’s images and looked at how he approached his subjects and the final image.  We were planning to go to the Spinnaker Tower and the location was ideal for what I wanted to achieve. So I set about taking my photographs.

Now I find people watching interesting, but the spontaneity of the actions of children can create some wonderful moments and “decisive moments ” too. Children have enthusiasm for life and sense of fun and life is an adventure. Children are natural and their sense of excitement and interactions between each other are funny to  watch, but I was though aware that I had to seek permission from the parents before I went about taking photographs and the parents of the children concerned were quite happy for me to take my photographs.

The setting.

The light in the building was perfect, but there is a slight tint of blue, as the windows are tinted to keep out the glare of the sun and heat in the summer . I also took the photographs, as the sun was slowly setting and being winter the light was not to harsh, as it tends to be in the summer months.On this occasion it was crisp and clear . The light reflecting off the glass was perfect too and created some wonderful reflections and colours, which contributed to the images below.

Not all of the images are of children, but my last two are of Andy and the harbour below and the meeting of two ferries. The remaining images are taken in one area of the tower and that is a glass floor that gives the visitor views of the street below and is very popular, especially with children and people who do not suffer with vertigo. I have walked this glass floor on many occasion.

Image 1: This little girls enthusiasm struck me and she was such a happy child and her  dancing across the glass floor made me smile and a showing no fear of heights “decisive moment” for me.
Image 2:  Here she is again and still smiling and dancing. Yet again her happiness and excitement is a “decisive moment” in this image.
Image 4: There is two children in this image . The little girl and a boy. I felt I was intruding on a private conversation with my lens and this was a “decisive moment” for me.
Image 4. Now the focus of this image is not the little girl, but the lady with her back to  me. She had told me prior to me taking the photograph, that she was plucking up courage to walk across the glass floor and eventually she did and that is my “decisive moment” in this image.


Image 5. I especially like this image and the little girl is joined by the boy  and another little girl. They all look relaxed and pre-occupied with their gadgets and sitting on a glass floor that is  hundreds of feet in the air and quite oblivious to it all and that is a “decisive moment”
Image 6.  Andy gazing at the view and just stealing a moment to watch the sun go down is a “moment in time”. This is my “decisive moment”.
Image 7. In this image I have left the interior of the building and focused on the view and the Gosport to Portsmouth ferries as they pass each other. This is repeated everyday hundreds of times a day, but just witnessing the scene is my “decisive moment”.


Technical Stuff:

Focal length of images range from 3.58mm- 7.07mm

ISO – all images 100- 400

Max aperture – f/2.8 – f/3.6

Exposure time – 1/60 sec – 1/200 sec.


Where do I start? Well I choose the environment because of the crowds, light and atmosphere. The views were perfect and the location fitted the brief . Children especially can create those “decisive moments” without having to think about it. I not saying that adults cannot create ” decisive moments”, but children are spontaneous and natural and I focused on a certain little girl, as she radiated happiness, excitement and enthusiasm. The other three images are just moments that caught my eye and that “decisive moment” captured within  a click of a button.

Source of information: Inspiration from Henri Cartier- Bresson.

How to master “The Decisive Moment”- Eric Kim.

Magmun Photographs.


Assignment Three. The decisive moment. January, 2017. Updated January,2017.

Re- write of Assignment three. February,2017.

What is a decisive moment.

It was Henri Cartier- Bressan who first to pioneer the “Decisive Moment” He was a street photographer and believed that the decisive moment was a spilt second of genius and inspiration to capture the certain moment of a couple sneaking a kiss, or a man jumping over a puddle and the wind catching  some ones umbrella.  In the landscape it could be the beam of light shinning through the clouds, even if it is for a spilt second. The call of a seagull, or just  even a fleeting call of a Curlew.

The moment is fleeting and within a second that moment has gone and the photographer has only a second to capture that moment before it has gone forever.

The following images are my ” Decisive Moment” and the notes explaining how I went about taking my images and the introduction to the landscape that sets the scene. Also the technical stuff too.

My Assignment three.


I studied the brief and thought ” well how I am going to go about this” . I am keen on keen on landscape photography and spend my time walking with my partner around the countryside.

My subject for this assignment was taken on the South Coast about one and half miles from Milford-on -Sea, Hampshire. The whole is a nature reserve and made up of one huge shingle spit, with water on both sides. The spit itself stretches out to a fort called Hurst Castle, which was built by Henry V111. You can see the Isle of Wight from this spot too. The whole area is very popular and a very beautiful spot.

The photographs were taken on a very cold day earlier this month and it was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky. We often come walking here with friends and the main characters in these photographs are friends, except the couple with the dog. You can see that the day was cold, but that does not deter the keen walker.

The way I worked towards capturing these images:

What is a “decisive moment”?

Henri Cartier- Bresson was street photographer and was the founding father of this genre.

The meaning behind this statement is that sometimes a photograph is taken at such a perfect moment that it feels that no other point in time could express the essence of the event so perfectly. Henri Cartier- Bresson.

I decided to use this particular scene and the time of day, because there is nothing as beautiful as a sunset, or even a sunrise over water. The reflection and light can be very intense in this kind of landscape. Shadows can be created, as the sunlight is reflected in the water and for a brief period the sky can have the appearance of “being on fire” and also the period before and after sunset, there is a purple-blue hue in the sky. In winter this can be more intense, due to the fact that the air is cold, crisp and clean, unlike that in the summer where the light is more intense and more dust particles in the atmosphere. I do prefer a seascapes a landscape, as the light and weather can be more dramatic and changeable.

I purpose;y focused on having one, or more individual’s within the photographs and concentrated on how they interacted with their surroundings. In some of the images you cannot actually see the person, or person’s faces, but only their silhouette against the light. I coud have just concentrated on the seascape itself and the sunset, but decided to involve a few humans and their canine friends. Makes a more interesting photograph.

My images and their “decisive moments” and the technical details too:

All photographs were taken on a manual settings using a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72.

Image 1: Man and camera.  3.58mm. ISO 160. 1/320 sec. f/2.8.

This image shows the last few minutes before sunset and the kaleidoscope of colours that make up the sky before sunset. The man in the image is Paul a friend of mine. The  “decisive moment” here is me taking a photograph of him, taking a photograph. Also the beautiful twilight glow on the water and also the reflection of the boats on the water to.

Image 2: Couple with dog. 3.58mm ISO 160. 1/320 sec. f/2.8.

This image to me spells …. cold. The entire appearance of the couple is cold and wrapped against the wind. The lady was smiling at me and that was the “decisive moment”  when I caught her eye. The man is looking down. The dogs though seem happy just to be out.

Image 3: Golden beach. 3.58mm. ISO-160. 1/640 SEC. f/2.8.

This is the golden glow before sunset and the reflection on the beach. That is a ” decisive moment” Also the people higher up the beach and their silhouettes against the sky. There is also a little dog running towards me.

Image 4: The little black dog. 3.58mm ISO 160. 1/500 sec. f/2.8.

This image is very the same as image three, but we can now see the dog. I think  the “decisive moment” here is that little lone dog running towards me and his shadow etched in the stones.

Image 5: The huddled group. 3.58mm. ISO 160. 1/640 sec. f/2.8.

The little group huddled up are friends. Paul. Nina and son Robert. There is not a lot going on in this image, but that small huddled group against the evening glow, so this is my  “decisive moment”. I am not sure what they are looking at.

Image 6: The ever fading light.  3.58mm. ISO 160. 1/1000 sec. f/2.8.

In this image the light is fading and we have four individuals . My partner Andy and friends. You cannot see their faces. The “decisive moment” for me is the tunnel of light on the sea and Robert’s silhouette.

Image 7: Sunset (1) 3.58mm. ISO 160. 1/2000 sec. f/3.5.

The two figures silhouetted against the sea and the disappearing glow of the sun and arch of light. That is the ” decisive moment” in this image. Also the rippling beam of light reflected on the water.

Image 8: Sunset (2). 3.58mm. ISO 160. 1/1600 sec. f/4.0.

The two  little insignificant figures against the setting sun and immense landscape of water just shows us how small we are in the nature of things. The colours of the sky, as also seen in image seven. The”desicive moment” here is the beauty of the entire scene.


I had to think about this assignment and tussle with what images would suit the subject of a landscape, well seascape in this instance. I decided on a beach, winter and sunset theme, as they can create  so many “decisive moments”. The cold and sometimes bleakness of winter. The colours and dramatic sunsets. They all capture those moments. Then add a few humans and their canine friends and the “decisive moments” are there for the taking.

My views on my tutors feedback:

I have yet to receive my feedback and will comment here when I do.

I have my feedback from my tutor and mixed reaction on the assignment three

Feedback back from Tutor.

Feedback from tutor was mixed . Good attempt. I felt that I did not do as well on this assignment and should have done a lot better. I have taken note of my tutors comments and will act upon it. I am going to attempt assignment three again and with a set of new images. The images were taken yesterday in Portsmouth and taken from the Spinnaker Tower.

The original  images used in the first assignment three were probably not the images that I should have used and thinking about it there was not really a lot going on and the “decisive moments” do not stand out.

Here are the whole collection of the images taken for assignment three.


The following images were also being considered for assignment three, but were not used.

These images were taken at a place called Blashford Lakes in Hampshire. This a lovely nature reserve and part of one the Hampshire Wildlife Reserves.

It was very cold day as you can see on the lake and this was not long before sunset and the ice had been on the lake all day.

I decided not to use these images, as they didn’t seem have the criteria, I believed at the time,  not suitable for this particular assignment. Maybe I was wrong?

3.59mm. ISO- 200. 1/125 sec. f/4.0.
7.37mm. ISO 200. 1/125sec.f/4.0.
3.58mm. ISO 200. 1/125 sec. f/4.0.
3.58mm. ISO 200, 1/125 SEC.F/4.0.
3.58 mm. ISO 200. 1/125 sec. f/4.0.
3.58mm. ISO 200. 1/80 sec. f/3.5.


Other images.

This series of images were taken earlier this month at place called Mottisfont Abbey and is a National Trust property. This building is the gift shop and the shop was about to shut and hence the lady at the door. I also decided not use these images, as I felt at the time not much was really going on people wise.

3.58mm. ISO 100. 1/15 sec. f/3.5.
3.58mm. ISO 100. 1/125 sec. f/3.5.
3.58mm. ISO 100. 1/15 sec. f/3.5.
3.58mm. ISO 100. 1/15 sec. f/3.5.
3.58mm. ISO 100. 1/15 sec.f/3.5.
3.58mm. ISO 100. 1/15 sec. f/3.5.


Further research for assignment three.

Henri Cartier Bresson- brief history.

The founder of the medium called the “Decisive Moment” Henri was born in Chanteloup-en-brie, Seine-et- Marne, France and the oldest of five children. He was introduced to Oil painting by his uncle who was then killed in the WWI. He attended the Lhote Academy in 1927. He first started taking photographs with his Box Brownie when he was a child.

He became interested in the Surrealist Movement, which was founded in the 1924. The Surrealist  photographers obtained a lot of their inspiration from Aragon and Breton who approached the streets with enthusiasm for the usual and unusual. Surrealist photography concentrates on plain photography and a photograph that shows realism and ordinary images of people doing ordinary and practical things and also unpredictable things too. The people in his images below are not famous, but caught Henri Cartier Beeson eye.

Throughout his career he took photographs throughout the world in places such as, Africa, US and Europe. He did not though photograph much in his place of birth and it was much later in life he would extensively take photographs in France.

When he returned to France he took up filmmaking and applied for a job with well-known director Jean Renoir.Renoir made  Henri act in front of the camera, as a way to make him see what it was like to be on the other side of the camera. He helped Renior make many Communist films and even made a film  of his own called ” Who Ran France”. He even directed an anti fascist  film with Herbert Kline to promote Republican Medical Services.

He then turned his attention to photojournalism and in 1937 he took photographs of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth for a French weekly called Regards.He focused on the streets and the adoring royal fans lining the route, but took no photographs of the King and his photo credit read Cartier. He did not want to use his full family name.

During WWII wa captured by the German and spent time in a Prisoner of War Camp for 35 months doing hard labour. He escaped on his their attempt and returned to France where he worked with the underground helping people escape and taking photographs of the occupation.

After the war he co-founded Magnum Photos with Robert Capa, David Seymour,William Vandevilt and George Rodger. It was Capa’s brainchild and co-operative picture agency owned by its members.He also gained world recognition for his photos of Gandhi’s funeral in 1947. He was assigned to China and India with Magnum and covered many events including Maoists China.

His book the Decisive Moment was published in 1952 and included 126 photographs from the west and east. In his later years he took many images in China, mEXICO, Canada and the US, India, Japan and Soviet Union and was the first Western photographer to be allowed to be allowed into post war Soviet Union. He died in 2004 and is one of the worlds most influential photographer and created the term “Decisive Moment in Photography”.


The images below were taken by Henri Cartier Bresson on the Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth ( Queen Mother) in 1937.



I like these images as they are images of a bygone era. We have seen many Royal Weddings in this country. The Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was a Coronation that was  not really meant to happen, but for the abdication of his brother Edward. The crowds in places look sombre and the black and white images make some of the onlookers look drab and the evidence of people being poor is in more evidence, than it is today. The images are from a different time and the attire of some of the onlookers look like they have stepped out of 19th C and late Victorian period.

You can see the differences in the time of change too from that period to today. The Royal Weddings of today are more cosmopolitan and evidence of more visitors from abroad. People then were dressed in their Sunday best and clothes look heavy, where as today clothes are light, colourful and people look more affluent. Also which is more in evidence to is the advances in modern technology. Everyone today has a camera and mobile phone and the means to record an important event. Where as back in 1937 very few people would have even owned a camera. So a lot of our recorded history came from newsreels and professional photographers. Also crowds today are smiling and happier when ever you see a royal event compared to some of the images above.  The images above are what Henri Cartier – Bresson would of called a ” decisive moment”.

More of Henri Cartier- Bresson images.


The images above are a combination of Henri Cartier- Bressons times in various countries from Europe, Africa to China. The most striking image for me is the girl standing in front of the soldiers and guns holding a flower( image 7). This image is very reminiscent of the turbulent times in the late 60s and early 70s. Where the old order was giving way to the modern world. This is also seen in ( image 2). Also ( image 5) is very poignant and looks as if a young girl is being brought to justice because of her wartime activities during WWII.

The images showing the children in Africa are lovely and even if these children live in poverty they are smiling and look happy ( images 10 and 11 ). I also like the two little Chinese boys and the two dogs eyeing each other up (image 4).

The remaining images are just periods of history taken in a brief moment between a couple in love ( image 3) to a little girl chasing the pigeons ( image 8). The other images also show just brief moments of a photographic image.

Sources of information:

Wikipedia and Henri Cartier- Bressons images taken from King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

Part Three. Traces of Time. January, 2017.


The Frozen moment.   January, 2017. Completed January 2017.

Introduction to three of the photographers who pioneered and become recognised the medium of the ability to freeze movement in a fraction of a second.

All the images in part three were taken on a Lumix DMC- FZ72.

“The framing of a photograph is not just a framing of space but also of time.”

Vilem Flusser – circa  2000.  Taken from Part three. Traces of Time. OCA Course Book.



Image taken from Wikipedia.

In this section we are asked to set our cameras to shutter priority mode. This mode is semi- auto and there is no worry when it comes to exposure. Well as long as the camera is in the dynamic range of ones camera. Any shutter speed can be selected and a good exposure achieved.

Part two we look at how we can draw the parallel between  the subjects of the evolution of photography and the technological developments of the lens. The the way we can trace the development of photography is the ever faster speeds of exposure times. In the early days of photography  exposure times  could took several hours. The first photograph to be taken by Niepce in 1827 took a round eight hours to complete. This was reduced to a few minutes  by the process of daguerreotype that was the starting of what we know about photography in 1839. It still did not though capture the moving object. the earliest photograph containing a human figure ( Daguerre’s Boulevard du Temple)  is thought to been stage.

In 1877 the improvements in film speeds and that of electronic shutters  helped photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830- 1904)  who actually achieved the process of exposure time and capture the process of movement as  an image. Muybridge produced an image of a horse galloping with four feet on the ground.

Muybridge’s experiment was to be followed by a man called AM Worthington’s (1852 -1916) took images of water drops and splashes and then in 1939 by Harold Edgerton’s (1903 -1990) images of a “milk coronet” which was published in LIFE magazine.

Images taken by:

Ballet Dancers- Harold Edgerton

Eadweard Muybridge- Horse

Louis Daguerre – Ruins of Holyrood Chapel.


Left to right:

Harold Edgerton, Louis Daguerre and Eadweard Muybridge.

These three men were at the forefront and pioneers of defining the characteristics of the medium – the ability to freeze movement in a fraction of a second.

Information source:

Online source:

Daguerre (1787-1851) and the Invention of Photography. The Met. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.

Eadweard Muybridge. Collections- Wikipedia.

A.M. Worthington. The J.P  Getty Museum. Online.

Information also taken from the OCA Course Book.

All images above taken from online.


Project One. The Frozen Moment. January,2017. Completed January, 2017.

Exercise 3.1.

This exercise is an experiment by using a fast shutter speed  and try to isolate a frozen moment in time of a moving object, such as ball, running water, or even someone running.

The following images I took this morning and the outside images were taken in a very cold garden and especially with cold, well freezing cold water. I stood there changing the ISOs and seeing if there was any difference. I have to say I have never played a round with my shutter speed, so all my images have a shutter speed of 1/60.  The other remaining images were taken indoors and in the kitchen. I have to say I found this exercise tricky,  I have never actually used my shutter speed programme on this camera.I am aware of shutter speed, as a routine use in taking photographs, but never using the shutter speed programme. The actual images seemed to wispy, loose and not solid particles. I played a round with the ISO range and the aperture was roughly between f/5.6- f/8.0.  I am not entirely  satisfied with these images, but I will go back and try again.


I took the images this afternoon. Not to cold today. I set my camera at a shutter speed of 1/1600 and the results have captured the images I required.The water droplets are formed and seem suspended in air for that fraction of a second. The aperture for all images are  f/3.4 with a range of different ISOs . Please see below. By setting the camera at a shutter speed of 1/16oo sec  the droplets are something quite beautiful  and amazing that technology has become so advanced that we are able to catch something so simple as a water droplet.


More images with a watery theme.

Taken indoors.

After taking the photographs outside I decided to try the exercise indoors and see if there was any difference. I sure there is not. Having plenty of practice with taking photographs outside I  turned up the shutter speed. I did see  some difference in the two sets of images. The water itself seems more solid and more solid drops and not as loose, as the first images. If that makes sense.


My interpretation of the slices of time.

I have downloaded some images that I have taken myself and keeping in mind the type of image that John Szarkowski liked and took himself.. Here I have tried to find the beauty  quoted by John Szarkowski in my images of the moment  I clicked that button and took my  photograph by using a fast shutter speed and capturing a movement, or fragment and isolating slices of time to revel something new.  Trying not to contradict what I have just said, but  some these images I have not actually used a fast shutter speed, but by studying John Szarlowski images I have looked at some of my own and decided to post  what is close to the brief in this exercise on my blog.

The following set of images represent a moment, or second and capturing fragments of my images ( I have applied this theory to all my images below) of the man- made objects, such as the classic cars below which were taken at an annual show in my local area every September. I captured the cars as they moved past me and many spectators, who annually watch these cars as they leave and make their way home.

The next set of images are of a moment of reflection in our man- made buildings, such a Winchester Cathedral. People come here  to take time to reflect and for just a moment and a period of quite and peace. I also took two image of the sun setting and that “golden moment” before the sun goes down. The ending of the day. I do like the moment before the sun goes down and also the moment when the sun rises. It the start and end of the day when we look forward to what the day may bring and the end of the day when we can reflect on what the day has delivered.

There are also moments when mature has its moments too, as Seen in my garden last summer. I have a lovely Buddleia bush and the butterflies and Bees love its aroma. I also love my Dahlias and so does this solitary Bee. I spend hours watching wildlife in my garden.

Lastly the time when you capture  a moment when you take a photograph of friends and in this case Andy my partner. It is a moment that we will never get back and we can also look at in the future and reflect and  remember that moment in a time.



Technical stuff:
Classic cars

Focal length: 3.58mm- 19.18mm

ISO- 100- 180

Exposure time: 1/500- 1/ 1600

Max aperture f/3.5- f/5.5.

Man- made and natural environment

Focal length: 2.47mm- 3.58mm

ISO- 160-1600

Exposure time: 1/13- 1/1600

Max aperture: f/2.8- f/7.1.

Natural world:

Focal length: 40.5mm – 86.4mm

ISO- 80- 150

Exposure time: 1/60 sec- 1/200 sec

Max aperture: f/4.4- f/3.7.


Focal length: 3.58 mm- 11.76mm

ISO: 100-200

Exposure time: 1/160 sec- 1/640 sec

Max aperture: f/2.8- f/5.6.


John Szarkowski.

We are asked to answer and think about John Szakowski comments  that are  featured in the course notes.

“There is a pleasure and beauty in this fragmenting of time that had little to do with what is happening.It had to do, rather, with seeing the momentary patterning of lines and shapes that have been previously concealed within  the flux of movement”

Born on the 18th December , 1925 John Szarkowski was one of the most influential photographers of our time. He was a curator, historian and critic too. He was director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1962-1991.

It is said that he was the man who taught us to look at photographs. When I look at his images I see captures in time and a records of history of man photographic life and a world that has long since gone. His images make us think that when we take that photograph we are capturing a moment, or just a second of movement,or even fragment and isolating thin slices of time to revel something new within the image.

Images taken by John Szarkowski and images of America. This is a America of the past and captured on one single moment and saved in history. This America has gone and shows us the social history of the time and the difference between rural life and modern-day America in the mid 20th C.

The man and his daughter are a collection of images taken from a book called “The Face of Minnesota. The image of the clouds reflected in the lake are from a collection of photographs called “Photographs”. The door to the building is from a collection called ” School House of Lincoln” Bayfield County, Wisconsin 1949. The other images are other collections.


I found this exercise a little challenging, but once reading and studying the exercise it did become quite clear what was needed. I found the whole exercise interesting and the beauty of achieving an image of a simple water droplet suspended in air quite amazing. I know it has been achieved many times, but for me this is my achievement.

Source of information:

John Szarkowski photography. Lens Culture and Wikipedia.


Project two. A durational space. January,2017.

Exercise 3.2.

This section is dedicated to photographers who dedicate their images to capturing  movement and then freezing it. This is by leaving traces of movement in the image itself.

The most famous photographer to do this was Robert  Capa. Where as most photographers when covering major events want crisp. clear and the perfect images, as  Robert Capa did with many of his war and peace time photographs, but he was to create an iconic, or even iconic images that be famous on capturing the essence and dramatic scenes  of the Normandy Landings – D Day 1944.  The blur of the soldier wading himself up the beach while under fire was created to show the, or lend a sense of  authenticity to the image.

Robert Capa was born in Hungary on the 13th October, 1913.     He was one of the major wartime photographers.  He fled Hungary due to political repression. H captured the images of the Spanish Civil War, Sino- Japanese, War World  Two all over Europe and 1948 Arab Israeli War and First Indochina War. AlL his photographs were published in the magazines of the day.  H e was awarded the Medal of Freedom by Dwight. D. Eisenhower.The same year Capa founded the Magnum Photos in Paris. He died on the 25th May 1954.


Here are some more images.

The image above all represent the war on Ohama Beach, D Day 1944.

The other two images show a lady and her child trying to seek shelter in Bilbao in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The image with the lady and her dog is probably Trafalgar Square, but I am not sure.

Robert Frank.

He used movement blur as a style instead of using it as a blurred image which was captured by accident, or even necessity. Robert Frank  made the blur image that is accosiated with movement into a book of photographs called The Americans.

Robert Frank was born on November 9th, 1924 and in Switzerland.. He spent his childhood in Switzerland, as his parents had to escape Germany due to them being Jewish. He started his photographic career in Switzerland. He emigrated to America in 1947 and became a photographer and documentary  filmmaker. He secured a job with Harper’s Bazaar in New York in 1947. His photo book The Americans was a book that changed the nature of photography and by some considered the most influential book of the 20th C. He now lives in Switzerland.- Source of information Wikapedia.


Images taken from his photo book  The Americans.


I really like these set of images as they portray what life was like in the America of the post war years. On studying his images you can see that he has highlighted his subjects and created a blur in the surrounding space within the image. This is done by slowing down  the shutter speed  and a round about 5 second and the subject will not have to move to far until you start to see  and create a blur. As seen in Robert Franks images above.

Some of the images are gritty and shows life for some ordinary Americans was harsh and hard. His work also shows the gulf between the rich and poor and even your ethnicity. Where as the class system divided British society and some European countries to. Money and race divided America. This book shows that.

Marteen Vanvolsem

My last piece is dedicated to Marteen Vanvolsem.

He is known for a technique strip-scan. Strip- scan is photographic technique that uses a 2= dimensional image as a sequences of 1- dimensional over time, rather than a simple 2- dimensional at one point in time (full field). As the camera moves ( in the direction of scanning) the photographer moves in time, rather than, or in addition to, moving in space. The image than can be loosely intercepted to as a collection of thin layers of vertical and horizontal stripes that are patched together thus giving us the name -” strip scan”. This process will go on to produce an image. Vanvolsem noted that when the camera is ( scanning) moving and the shutter is open there happens to be no single viewpoint and then there is no single, or one point perspective. This process moving  “stills camera” will create a different vision, or perception of space and time. – Taken from Strip- scan photography online.

Dr Marteen Vanvolsem  is a  photographer,lecturer and head of the  MA course in Photography at Sint-Lukas, Brussels University  College of  Arts and he is a Design and a Research Fellow at the Lieven Gevaert Centre for Photography. He recently published an  “Motion” and article  on how to deal and portray dance in photography 2008.  He has  had many  sole and  group exhibitions in Belgium and  is author of a book called MOVE: IN : TIME. It was done in collaboration with the Concertgebouw Brugge focusing on an event called “December Dance”  which was performed at the International Dance Festival in December, 2007.He is also a fellow and master at Universities in the Netherlands and Belgium. Lastly in 2002 he carried on with his research by under taking a  Ph.D at the University of Newcastle-upon- Tyne and reading dynamic time in photographic images.


Here a some of his images.



I really like this style of photography and have attempted this style myself without realising what its actual title was. I find the image of the hand rather weird, but I like it. The two panoramic images are also appealing to the eye.

My attempt.




Image 1- Where I live in Hampshire

Image 2 Alfresford Watercress Festival , Hampshire.

Images 3, 4 and 5- Avebury Manor in Wiltshire.

Images 6 and 7 – Marloes Beach in Pembrokeshire ( Dyfed), West Wales.

I took the above images last year and the year before. I have been doing this kind of photography for a while. I stand with my camera focused at a particular spot and then continue to scan everything a round me. I end up with the images above.


Technical stuff:

All images

Focal length: 3.58mm

ISO- 100

Exposure time: 1/125 sec- 1/200sec

Maximum aperture f/8.0.


Yet again I enjoyed this exercise and the research was fascinating. I have learnt a lot from this exercise.

Source of information:

Robert Capa- Magnum Photos Photographer Portfolios

Robert Capa – Images courtesy of images.

Robert Franks-  Biography & Images -Atget Photography .com

Robert Franks -Images courtesy of Bing. com/ images.

Marteen Vanvolsem. Intellect ltd- publishers of original thinking.

Marteen Vanvolsem- Images courtesy of Bing. com/ images.


Exercise 3.3

  1.  I am unable to carry out question one of this exercise due to not having a film camera. Shame as it would have been interesting to carry out this exercise.
  2. ” Find a good viewpoint, perhaps fairly high up ( an upstairs window will do) where you can see a wide view or  panorama. Start by looking at things closer to you in the foreground. Then pay attention to the details in the middle distance and finally , the things towards the horizon ( you can move your eyes). Include the sky in your observation and try to see the whole visual field together, all in movement ( there always some movement). When you got it, raise your camera and take a picture. Add the picture  to your learning log”. (OCA  exercise 3.3 )




This is my