The AoP initial exercises leading to the first assignment, on paper it seems fairly straightforward, though in the end I don't get as much completed as I thought I would.
The first exercise of differing focal lengths I had this planned out, a viewing gallery and changing the focal point to differing arches. The aperture set at F1.4 and at 1/1000th sec
Focus at the far wall
Focus at the mid distance
Focus at the front wall (of which there is only the top left showing!)
Well it didn't really come off that well so I'll probably do it again. The focus point was changed from front the back and is obvious only in the third image the other two images don't really provide the effect that the exercise was looking for i.e. image separation on the focal plane, so I'll change the subject and do it again.
Focus on the furthest prow
Focus on the middle prow
Focus on the nearest prow
The effect can be best noticed on the sign on the far bank.
The next exercise seemed to go better - the object being to witness the effect of shutter speed on a image, the nicely positioned fountain delivered the goods. Keeping the focus point constant and varying the shutter speed to witness the effect. I suppose any moving subject would have provided the effect - the constant trade-off of shutter speed and aperture brings differing feelings to the image.
F16 @ 1/40 sec
F8 @ 1/160th sec
F1.4 @ 1/4000 sec
F16 @ 20 secs
The last image I added a 10 stop ND to emphasize the effect, water rolling over stones, or a weir work very well at exposure over 30th a second (depending on the speed of the water of course). What shutter speed one chooses is always a matter of what one wants to depict, and whether the item in focus is the object or the subject. For the pictures above only the second one down reveals what is at the end of the aisle behind the fountain, the rest depict the distance enigmatically either by lack of focus or blurring of the water, which could well be a device for image creation.
The picture below was taken with a zone plate lens cap and depicts an ethereal view of the same subject. I will return to this in my next blog entry.
Exercise 5, filling the frame
Rousham House - about 3 miles from home has a particular resonance for me as Michael Kenna took pictures from near here and his "Rousham Folly, Oxfordshire, England, 1982" is plate 5 in his "Twenty Year Retrospective" Nazreali Press (and thoroughly recommended it is too). William Kent designed the garden for the house and there is a great deal of pomp about it. I chose the following subject for the exercise, it maybe that there might be too much space around it, but it provided scope to investigate the potential as described in the text. It may be because I'm a novice at posting images but on my screen they do not seem to coming out too well! I'll ask for help here when I've finished this posting.
"The Fallen Gladiator" is clearly in a state of terminal decline, his posture is fallen and on closer examination his limbs and skin are not in great shape!
I skirted around the subject for a while and came up with some different aspects.
If the artist's original intent was to depict imminent demise then I think these - albeit colour shots - offer more to that end. The statue is on a plinth, not shown in order to provide a clearer view, which when viewed as a whole limits the level of detail available to the viewer. Closer in and the viewer can appreciate not only see the resignation on the face of the gladiator but also the decay that has built up over the years; something the original artist could not have designed - though may have imagined. These closer shots do provide greater scope for creative angles, though with the statue on a plinth, maybe a ladder would have helped!
Contrast was important across all images and the most difficult was the wider view shot. Sat on a plinth with no real chance to bring any background in (unless I waited for a very cloudy day, preferably storm clouds!). I decided that generating an HDR image would be about the best I could do, to bring tone in to the background and enable some detail to be revealed in the statue. All the close up shots were much more straight forward in that the background was all at statue height and the evergreen foliage was contrasted very well.