Sunday, 21 August 2011

Assignment 3 - in the bin!

I have decided that my work on Assignment 3 is a disaster and have just deleted the folder from the OCA website. Has anyone else ever done that?

As I've said before I'm really not enjoying  this part of the course. Can't quite decide why. It's not that I don't like taking colourful images. 90% of my photographs must be in colour.

Planning for this Assignment earlier this month I made a decision to use images that were authentic situations. By that I mean not constructing situations to fit the brief. e.g. no red shoes on green grass but perhaps red poppies in a field of green. However having done just that I find the images are really dull and just as contrived. The blast of colour I was hoping to achieve is just not there and so the images have been consigned to the dustbin.

I hope that was a brave move rather than a stupid one. I am a bit of a perfectionist at the best of times but I think I would have been selling myself short if I had sent in the Assignment as it was. I may be making a terrible mistake but my gut instinct is that the images were boring and predictable. Of the 16 images I think there is only 1 that I will retain and that is this one - of a blue /violet colour combination.



Of the images produced this was always my favourite. It is an image that shows the colour as the subject. Now I have to produce another 15 from scratch and worse still tell my tutor that Assignment 3 is still a few weeks off completion.


Where have I been?

It's been a good three weeks or more since my last post and I'm finding it a bit challenging to pick up the thread of the course again. I consciously took a few weeks off for a family holiday in Rhodes but had intended to get straight back into completing Assignment 3 as soon as I got back.

Oh how my tutor, Geoff, must be sick of my missed deadlines.

In my defence, or by way of an explanation, I have been heavily involved in exhibiting as part of The St Andrews Photographers at the Pittenweem Arts Festival held in Fife. http://www.pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk/
130 artists ranging from crafters to invited international guest exhibitors take part to display and sell their work.

Photographic prints of the East Neuk of Fife sell particularly well to the overseas visitors and having sold a few myself this week I can now subsidise the cost of my next course with the OCA - providing I ever finish this one.

At Pittenweem this year the pier was decorated with amazing scrap metal sculptures created by Helen Denerley from Aberdeenshire. http://www.helendenerley.co.uk/ The Amur leopard was a favourite along with a huge reptile sculpture about 6 feet long.

Amur

Reptile

In contrast this sculpture of a baby bird was only 2" tall.

Baby bird

Also this month is very busy with trips to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where I love taking photographs of the performing artists. It's a great venue to practice street photography and portraits as the performers are more than happy to have their photograph taken. With so many other photographers jostling for the same picture you have to be ready for anything and its a great place for me to perfect my camera skills.

But seriously...how much gear do you need?

Last year I was disappointed with the images I took at the Fringe. Portraits were underexposed and the compositions were messy. This year I attended the Fringe with a friend who is a professional wedding photographer. I used fill in flash for all my portraits and paid more attention to what was going on at the edges of the frame. Anyone doing the OCA People & Places course would find the festival a wealth of material.

This is Elaine - the worlds most pierced lady who "performs" at the Fringe -


and a few other performers.

Korean Girl
Love your Legs

Diamond Dick
I particularly like this image of "Diamond Dick". The main character is well framed and in sharp focus with enough visual clues in the image to suggest who he is or what he's promoting. The second character is also well framed but the shallow depth indicates this character is a less important part of the image. The image is straight from the camera with no cropping etc. This time last year I wouldn't have been able capture this image in camera or frame and compose it so quickly. 

I'm making another trip to Edinburgh tomorrow and although I may not be doing any of the colour exercises required as part of my course there I am at least practising and hopefully improving my photography. I might even see some of you there....