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Alexander Sanders


Digital Media and Arts November 2011 student number: 3016453 The Still Image
















16. 16.


Reflection The beginning of this semester I have developed my skills with My Nikon Camera D5000 Learning how to change the aperture and shutter speed to a far greater knowledge than that I have had before. My first two assignments that where set was to get to know the Camera and learn how to capture an image at the best of my ability without using Photoshop or any other editing means. The first piece I went about accomplishing was a self-portrait but to keep away from creating something that is cliché. I went about this as well as all my briefs by doing something personal that shows me or represented me in mind and body. For myself portrait (picture 1.) I wanted something that could represent me in more than one way firstly establishing me in the shot so the viewer can identify who it is they are looking at, secondly I wanted to create the effect of emergence out of darkness, as I myself feel as though I am emerging into a world I have dreamed about at starting at the beginning of my journey. MY lizard upon my sword represent that I am, exotic, traveller and an avid gamer. Upon completing my first task having a go at playing with my Camera I moved onto my second Brief. My task was to complete 10 images all using different and unique looks about them. Being creative and imaginative to, the use of self-timer interacting with my environment in an unusual way, slow shutter speed at night, shallow depth of field, Fast shutter speed, colour, light, line, texture, balance and motion was much quicker to grasp with some of these topics than others such as balance. For the self-timer shot (picture 2.) I used a tripod set up to capture myself at a well-balanced, positioned shot within the bathroom also using a ten second timer to allow myself to move into position, due to the subject matter this didn’t allow me to take many pictures as I actually used running water in the shot which meant I would get drenched quickly as each shot would take around twenty to thirty seconds. The tripod is an extremely useful piece of kit for my work as I also used it for my slow shutter speed at night shot (picture 3.) and for the motion piece (picture 11.) The advantage to using the tripod for these is that I was using slow shutter speed. My night shot, the settings I used where 3” f11 with the iso at Hi1 and shutter speed of 3 seconds. My movement piece used a much slower shutter speed of 30 seconds. The trick to my motion piece was to have such a slow shutter speed that would allow me to move into the shot and appear ghostly as a background person but also the most challenging aspect was to capture this image during the day without letting the camera take in too much light due to is very long exposure. I learnt throughout this period though as I started using the tripod I would only place the camera horizontal and use of the camera button but as I when through each brief I learnt more and understood more of the possibilities. Due to this I used a lot of 10 second timers to avoid camera shake and turned the camera on its side especially when capturing people, thus leaving me with not being best pleased with my night shot (picture 3.) and the use of self-timer on myself (picture 2.) The subjects that where a lot quicker to grasp and to gain ideas for where defiantly, fast shutter speed (picture 5.) colour (picture 6.) and shallow depth of field (picture 4.). Due to being a world where everything has depth creating a depth of field shot once you know how to accomplish this on your camera is extremely quick to do it’s just a matter of finding the subject matter of what you want to take your image of.

With colour I went about searching for colour, other than the fact we are surrounded by it, I was looking for more of a spectrum but something people don’t take too much attention to or rather are attracted to it but for a different reason for than it being sweets alone. Fast shutter speed was by fast the most accomplishable for me out of the briefs, the one thing that I have done before my course at university is grabbing multiple fast shots of people kite surfing. For me it was a matter of freezing time and movement. I went for flying teabags due to their size and trying to capture them in focused due to them not starting off in the frame creating there space within the photo unfocused. The rest of my Photos where down to subject matter such as light, I wanted to achieve something that wasn’t night related or artificial I wanted to find something natural and what is more beautiful than the light created from a sunset. Line (picture 8.) and texture (picture 9.) required me to just look at the ordinary and make if unordinary, I feel as though I have achieved this with those photo’s. The most challenging of them all was without a doubt balance (picture 10). I left this to last as I came to understand through my time doing my images that balance meant a natural frame in an environment or a mirror, I was stumped on this but I went for a more direct approach and attack this issue with creating an image that actually showed balance. I move onto now my next Brief, my recreation piece of a photographer of my choice from a list. The one photographer that caught my eye while researching my list was that of Hiroshi Sugimoto and the picture that I found was that of the Eifel tower (picture 12.). I achieved this by finding a white background and a metal model of the Eifel tower in my living room. I used a spot light directly onto of the image to remove any unwanted shadows during the shoot and changed the camera setting to black and white. The most challenging part of this process to attempt a replica was that I noticed the image was purposefully blurred. I attempted this by going about it with different ways, first focusing on something else in the living room and trying to capture the image that way. This caused some issues as the camera would capture extremely blurry version of the shot. I finally came through after quite some time fiddling with my camera where I could focus the camera on one spot perfect to the distance I needed and the camera would permanently stay at that focus, I did this by changing the focus mode of my camera to MF. Lastly I had to think of something that would create that top heavy shadow on the image so I place a cushion over the top of the light obscuring some of the light to recreate this effect. My fourth brief was a lot of fun I went about this on my own free will I wanted to create a rather aggressive image into something a lot more careful and I had found the perfect candidate before I had even begun as this image was plastered all over billboards and all sorts, the battlefield 3 poster (picture 14.) I recreated it by finding pictures of care bears rainbows and adding with the clone stamp the yellow brick road from the wizard of OZ also using the burn toll the highlight some of the colours giving the soldier and its background a very diverse connection (picture 15.) After this being my first piece of real Photoshop work there are many thing I would have changed with it and could have done better such as improving the way the yellow brick road was done, to change the resolution of the soldier and to have done a better job at cutting him out with the pen tool. But with this being my first real go I am still pleased with what I have accomplished. My last and final brief was incredible, the inspiration I gained from this was not a photographer but from one of the other segments from my course, New media and digital arts. I read from my module reader a rather inspiring piece of work by John Perry Barlow about the internet and how it is part of all of us in a modern day society how it empowers us but can also tear us down. I used creative commons for this piece with images taken from Flicker but I also wanted to take anonymous from /b/ and take it as part of what the internet truly stands for.

The picture itself (picture 17.) represent the multitude of avatars you can be online while being the user you can still be anonymous as being anonymous you directly become of the internet’s secret society. The image really was a test of all my skills with Photoshop. I used the magic eraser to remove the top images off the anonymous background I then used the removal tool to replace the face with a black hole witch would then become a circuit board for a head witch I placed over the top of the image and used the eraser to get a match of the head. I also used compositing and other skills to achieve this piece and the overall result was quite amazing for me and I think that this piece shows my development with the skill that I have acquired throughout my period doing this work. Overall I am rather pleased with my work of course looking back I would change a lot of the work I did having developed new skills and a broader understand at how to look at something not from this part of my course alone but from rather all my courses I could change the meaning of some of the pictures or rather change the methods used to improve my photos such as changing the iso used or rather increasing the aperture on picture 10. Work for me is never complete but a draft that you can be happy with.

Alexander Sanders Portfolio  

my portfolio for the still image

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