I recieved a great response and some good feedback in the Universities peer critique for project 2. Based on the feedback and some suggestion, I’ve made a few changes to my project.
I have recropped the shot above and blurred the background so it is less distracting behind the phone users.
I tried another crop above which included another photographer but I thought it aslo distracted from the boys who were so interesting.
As a note on it’s development, the image above is actually one that I combined from two photos – the unused portions from both are shown below, you can make out where it is split behind the boy at left which shows how close I came to not capturing this image.
After much consideration, I’ve chosen the image below to replace image 7 of the smiling couple at the table.
I dismissed this image originally as it is a tad blurry, but I’ve sharpened the ladies face and phone and I think it is more fitting to the caption as part of the story.
Some other options I considered are shown below:
I think the image below is probably the most powerful in the series.
I’ve blurred the background to put more focus onto the subject so that it has more of an impact. I did this in Photoshop by selecting the background only then using the blur tool so that it appeared natural as if I’d used a larger aperture when taken. I also used the burn tool the darken the girls midtones and highlights slightly and the sponge tool the add a little saturation to her so she stands out a little more.
Of the last image in my series, the tutor Jess said this:
“The last image of the piled up broken phones is effective but doesn’t work as well with the series. I would reconsider this one or include another that is similar.”
After thinking about Jess’ comments, I had an idea last night to alter the last image so that it included a human element and a reference to social media platforms in the hope that it ties in better with the other images in my series while relating to the story of social media consumption.
As I couldn’t access the old broken phones again, I took a seperate photo and used photoshop to combine them.
In my last post I showed some filters I use. Here are some examples using these filters.
Above shows the very sublte difference between no UV filter and one attached. It has a lesser impact on digital camera sensors than it used to on film and it varies between cameras. I choose to have one pretty much permanently attached to my lens more for protection from dirt and drops than anything else, especially as my lens will be open when I take off with it on my drone. These images are unedited jpegs straight off the Sony RX100III camera.
A Polarizing filter has a much bigger impact on an image. Above, I’ve shown how simply placing a clean pair of Polarized sunglasses over the lens can reduce reflections from water surfaces, alowing you to see through it better. As it also lets less light through to the image sensor, either speed, ISO or apeture needs to be adjusted to compensate – in the case above, I used a slower shutter speed. A proper filter will give sharper results and can be rotated more easily to give the result required. Of all the filters, I believe a Polarizing filter is the most important one to add to your kit as similar results can not be achieved in post processing. This is also a great filter to use in the snow as it results in better details in the highlights.
Another filter that in certain situations such as the extreme example above, can avoid issues that can not be fixed in post processing is the Graduated Neutral Density filter. This filter is darker at the top and gradually becomes lighter at the bottom (as can be seen in the sky on the image at right) – it can also be used sideways or on angles. You can see above in these unedited images, in order to get some detail in the hedge at the bottom, the top tree branches are almost completely blown out with no filter and can not be recovered even from a RAW image in post processing.
To demonstrate the advantage of using the RAW format, the above image was edited – or post processed in Photoshop from the RAW version of the previous jpeg image with Graduated ND filter. This image is pushed pretty hard to show just how much extra data or detail can be recovered from highlights and shadows of a RAW image, compared to a jpeg, resulting in much better end results.
Above shows the basic settings I generally start with to edit a daytime landscape shot. I have developed my own style of editing RAW photos based on what I like – which is including detail thoughout the range of light to dark. It depends on the image – subject, lighting and the feeling I want to convey – how I move the sliders at the right.
Most aspects of any image can now be adjusted in post and as long as an area isn’t too under exposed or highlight blown out, mistakes in the camera can be corrected – you can make an otherwise ordinary picture – extraordinary! Of course though, it does help to get a half decent shot to begin with. From my own experience and the way I like to edit my images, I’ve found it is better to slightly under expose an image than risk highlights blowing out, as detail can be recovered better from shadows – to a point.
There are many more advanced techniques, like selective editing, layering and blending that I also sometimes use. To view my photos, browse my Flickr photostream.
If you wish to learn more about photography and editing, head over to Trey Ratcliff’s inspirational and very informative site: Stuck in Customs.
I brought a Nikon D3200 when they were first launched in mid 2012. If I had known the D5200 was coming, I would have waited for that as it has a flip out screen and more advanced features.
A Polarizing filter – this can be turned which affects how light enters the camera, reducing reflections so you can see better into water and improves cloud contrast. Polarized sunglasses can work well over a phone camera or small lens.
While on the hunt for photos of people taking photos and using devices on Saturday at Hobart’s Salamanca Market, I found I was having trouble getting what I call my “photohead” on.
For me, this is the headspace often I get into when looking for photo opportunities. Difficult to explain and some times hard to get into, it’s like a surreal or different way of seeing the world as if time slows down into frames, cutting out other distractions and fears – almost seeing images through imaginary frames around my eyes and not looking at things as they are, but rather how they will be after editing. It can be a dangerous place to be when you need to pay attention to what you’re actually doing – like driving! – so it needs to be used with caution. I presume other’s have similar experiences too.
I wasn’t as happy with the images I was capturing and got thinking about other aspects of our device obsession that I might be able to use in my theme. This was before I read the Week 8 notes on Sunday night – which began talking about using photos for stories!
I remembered seeing clear boxes for recycled phones in shops some time ago – after being lovingly caressed, coveted and so much attention poured over them, they are discarded, often broken and thrown away – the life cyle of a mobile device – so I headed into the City to search out my idea.
This is the first shot I got, proudly displayed in the window of a mobile phone repair shop. I was pretty happy with it, but not quite what I was after. I continued my search going into a few shops with no luck, then I found this box …
After asking permission to take photos, I had problems with reflections and there weren’t many phones in there, mostly chargers, and I couldn’t get in there to re-arrange them, so still wasn’t really satisfied. So I headed next door into Coogans, where sales assistant Russel was extremely helpful!
He handed me his box of recycled phones and left me alone to empty it onto a table, arrange and shoot away!
This is my favourite shot with the over hyped Apple logo using rule of thirds and in focus, broken screens, past loved devices used and abused. This will very likely be the closing shot for my project.
While walking around, I had asked in the Telstra store if I could take a photo along the line-up of their new phones, but was told no. I still want to get a shot of shiny new phones for sale – perhaps with customers as an opening shot. I have to head into town today, so might try again – they can’t stop me if I take it from the street 😉
To keep the presentation of my theme consistent, I’m cropping my images horizontally with a 16:9 ratio. Most of the images I take are cropped like this as it fits a standard TV, monitor or smartphone screen.
I haven’t talked about the INSPIRATION for this project, it was my own photo below, taken in February 2014 of people capturing a busker that got me thinking about this theme while making observations at Salamanca. Ironically, this is the very first image I’ve taken experimenting with street photography of people.
The caption reads: “Most people I know don’t like having their photo taken, so I don’t take many photos of people. I was reading recently about street photography but have never tried previously. What better place to start than other people with cameras!”
It can be found on my Flickr photostream HERE.
I took my trusty discrete RX100 III into town with me and captured two shots suitable for opening the story of my theme for Project 2 which I’m extremely pleased with. I might include both of these as they tie in so well together and also the end photo I plan to use.
They were both taken from public areas outside the premises – a bit of a grey area as far as permission/privacy goes but I believe the law allows it and it’s for a Uni assignment – not showing anything a normal person wouldn’t see from the street.
The shot above is a combination of two images which are shown below before blending and cropping. I really wanted the “Want a new phone every year?” to be the subliminal stand out – for me my eye first explores the bottom of the image before seeing the sign. Of course everyone wants a new phone every year – but do we really NEED one?
Behind the scene: Here you can see the man walking past is from another image – before I adjusted the levels to match the ceiling inside. You can see I had a bit of leeway with cropping, but I was also restricted in that I cut the top of the man’s head off. I think in my edited photo he helps lead you into the shot – store.
Mmmm, shiney new phones all in a line – “give the gift” indeed! This is very close to the image I had in my head for my opening shot but may now become the second. Both these shots show some powerful marketing strategies to entice us up upgrade to the latest – and dispense with the old. That has become the nature of our digital life.