I don’t share enough of my own models on here – mostly because I don’t really see them as being great subjects for photography; my painting skills certainly aren’t up to the same standards as my peers so I much prefer taking photographs of their models – but sometimes you just see a model and think ‘I’ll photograph this one today.’
Such was the case with my Scout Bike here
I’m still not 100% happy with the images I managed to get of him; but I certainly feel like I am heading in the right direction – I tried on a white background as well, just to see.
Image wise, this might be a bit of a dull post to look at – sorry for that. After my blunder with not remembering which way round fstops worked and how they effected Depth of Field I wanted to have a little experiment.
Setting my Canon Eos 20D to aperture priority I set about gradually changing the fstop from 5.6 – 32.
This to me, while not all that exciting to look at, was an invaluable experiment. It really helped me to understand the general ballpark of where I wanted to be in regards to exposure and Depth of Field.
I feel like the bigger fstop numbers are a bit too crisp and don’t blend the background enough, whereas the smaller numbers blur parts of the model – which I can imaging looking really cool in some cases; but when it comes for simply displaying a model I don’t think it is what I am after – as mentioned in my previous post, I’d rather get to the more impressive looking, fun stuff later when I have the basics down.
This was taken during the same session as my previous post so I was still suffering from my exposure, depth of field and aperture issues.
But, out of the images I took this session I think this is the one that I felt was closest to what I am after. It’s a little bit under exposes; but I rather enjoy moody looking photography and I think this is the overall ‘feel’ that I would like to create – but I somehow feel that I need to take a step back and actually implement the basic functions of my camera.
When talking things over with my other half we likened it to Lowry – he chose to paint in a stylised way rather than realism; but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t do it.
I don’t want to be the sort of photographer that can’t get the basics right and skips right into developing a personal style. Even among my niche of model photography I’d like to get my own visual signature, but I don’t want think it’s worth skipping out on the fundamental knowledge for it.
Which is why I am going to have to go back and really try to hammer in the basics over the next few weeks – while it might be a lesson in frustration for not being able to get the ‘look’ that I am after, it will be worth while for the long game.
I wasn’t completely happy with how the photographs in my previous post turned out. Especially the ones of a certain Khorne Warrior Banner Bearer. I don’t feel I ever captured him properly. He is a very impressive model and I certainly didn’t feel I did him justice. I still don’t feel like I have done here either; but I’ll get on to that!
The issue I’ve been facing is that I’ve not been able to get the whole of the model sharp enough in focus due to that pesky thing called ‘Depth of Field’
I was convinced that I was using the correct aperture so I was frustrating myself that the results weren’t what I was looking for; especially seeing as I’d just got hold of a light room to help the backgrounds look decent.
So there I was scratching my head wondering what was going wrong. Best thing to do was leave it alone and have a think about it. A brainwave occurred to me and it was time to dig out the trusty ‘Photography Bible.’ So called because I have used this book for handy reference since I initially became interested in photography. It has everything in it that I need even though photography has clearly moved on a lot since it was written. I wonder if it’s worth an upgrade? Skipping to the Aperture/Depth of Field section I had made a grave mistake! I’d remembered my fstops the wrong way round! What a mistake to make!!
This does mean however, I have a direction for my next session and have taken something away from this one.
It’s great to know that not everything has to be a success for it to be successful.
I think a big part of this journey for me is finding something that the book keeps referring to as ‘Visual signature.’ A style of painting and process that is completely and undeniably me. It’s something that I feel I have been lacking in my art for a very, very long time. In the past I have always used references in one form or another and while I don’t think that this is as ‘bad practise’ as the art community I was once a member of believes, I still feel pretty unremarkable because of it.
I know, I know. How is following instructions in a book any different, right? Well, I think because the lessons in this book are really open – it encourages you to do things in your own way and not just follow the instructions to the letter and copy what you see. It gives you the basic techniques, but lets you interpret them in your own way. Which is something that I feel I was looking for in an artistic workbook. A helping hand in finding my own voice. There are a lot more exercises in the book which I’ll be working through that’s for sure!
As for this first painting exercise, I’m not so sure about it. It was a fun experiment and it was actually rather enjoyable watching how the contrasting colours worked and dribbled through one another. I’ll probably try something else like it again at some point, but I don’t feel that it was quite right for me personally – but I am looking forward to having another flick through the book and seeing if there is a technique that resonates more with me than this way of working did.
Please let me know what you think in the comments?
Just the other day, I went on this lament about how I was no longer in love with something that had once completely lit up my world and life. How I was so disconnected with this thing and how that made me feel; horrible and a like I was a fraud. It was a terrible realisation to come across. And for once that I couldn’t blame it on the grey, dull weather; as I was sitting outside watching my son playing in his sand pit. I honestly wanted to break down and cry. I felt like I had betrayed art somehow and that I was at a total loss of how to cope with this sudden loss of something that had once meant so much to me.
So, I did what I always do when faced with a problem such as this. I tried to level out my over thinking and am trying to enact some changes in my life that will allow me to face artwork and everything that goes with it again.
I made this blog to try and ‘document’ the artistic journey that I am about to embark on so that I can keep a record of my thought process and the things I will learn. Also with this journey I am hoping to experience more and make a lot of positive changes in my and my sons life. One of my greatest fears is that I will be a terrible role-model for my son and he will grow up resenting or hating me for ‘not doing enough’ with/for him. So this artistic journey is two fold; find my love for art again and develop into the person that I want to be.
The first step in this journey was popping down to Bury Town Library and get some books relevant to the direction in which I would like to go. (As well as a couple of fiction books)
I’ll take a gander through these books and report back my findings and experiments in future posts.
For the time being, I admit I am somewhat nervously excited about this little journey and where it will take me. It’s not the first time I have tried to do something like this; but there is a determination in how I am feeling towards it this time. After the trip to the library I popped into the local coffee shop for a cup of tea. It’s a bit of an ‘artsy’ place called Ground Up. I discovered that they are having an Open Mic night, which I am tempted to try and get along too – just to see what it’s all about as I’ve not been to one before; but I thought it might be a nice way to meet people and connect with like-minded people. Even if I don’t make it, it’s the ability to notice these things that I need to grip once again. Somehow, get a bit more involved in my own life, rather than just drifting and wallowing in this fog of bitterness.