Beauty of artificial light.
The assignment brief asks you to revisit one of the exercises in Part 4 I chose to rework the exercise 4.3 which deals with artificial light. This exercise was my favourite because it took me out of my comfort zone, I want to progress more hoping that the more I practice the more my images and creativity improve. The aim of this assignment is to show creativeness and techniques acquired during the course.
My images are linked by location which is Luna Park, Sydney. Australia. This Fairground park is located at Milsons point on the Northern shore of Sydney Harbour next to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The park first opened in 1935 and is a state registered heritage site in Australia.
To get to Luna Park involved getting a bus across the Harbour bridge then a ferry to Milsons point. It is winter in Australia and the park was operating off peak hours. I researched the opening hours and sunset timings for that area and I had one hour to capture all the images I required. I started my travelling to the park in the late afternoon because the fairground lights do not fully come on till after sunset. I had sketched my ideas for each individual shot in my written log ( see scanned pages), after I had visited the Luna Park in Melbourne. The pre visualisation helped by estimating the same type of amusement rides would be in the Sydney Luna Park.
It is a location with many artificial lights and it also has nostalgia. The beauty in the artificial lights at the fairground can be also measured in the excitement of people going on the amusements rides. For a winters evening the park was fairly busy, I had to queue to get a pass for the rides. While it was still daylight I went on the rides and enjoyed myself before I started taking shots. My equipment consisted of a 32 ND filter for the long exposure shots. A gorillapod tripod and my Fuji X-T1 with kit lens 18-55mm.
Out of all the photographers discussed in part four of the coursework there were three which helped me develop a style for this series of images. Ernst Haas colour images of Las Vegas in 1975 influenced the location and the colours of this assignment but I was also influenced by Rut Blees images of buildings at night, the images of reflections were beautiful. The French photographer Brassai compositions were also in my mind with his ‘Paris by night ‘series when I was walking along the ferry wharf. I wanted to show the colours of Artificial lights, my images project colour in an order from mainly red/ oranges which are brassy to cool blues and purples then onto green/ yellow images. These colours are different from daylight which cannot be controlled and are governed by clouds and the time of day. Studio lighting is more for control and subtlety than the brightness of the uses of artificial light
My ten images
What worked well
Researching ideas for images worked a bit too well because I really got engaged with the many alternatives of how to produce images with the creative use of artificial light. The timing and preparation for the excursion to the location Luna park was well planned . This assignment was the first time I had sketched down the exact shots I wanted to replicate, pre visualization really helped me and saved time. My gorilla pod was valuable and worked well in the fairground environment. It didn’t impede anyone and could be manipulated, attached and detached quickly to move on to the next amusement ride.
What didn’t work well
My new camera caused me a lot of frustration with the focusing going astray at crucial times. Part of me wished I had brought my old Canon instead of the Fuji but the Fuji was light and portable for my assignment.
While I was shooting I had a young adult kick the railings which I had my gorilla pod attached to exactly when he seen me press the timer. After a few times I realised he was just causing bother so I stared at him till he stopped and moved on.
Improvements for the Future
Its obvious I need to continue working on handling my camera until I know the functions and can find them quickly.
Keep my written learning log up to date , I need to allocate more time to writing up a review for all the exhibitions I seen in Melbourne and Sydney with respect to this assignment.
I had many ideas, I was really impressed by Sato Shinto’s images so initially I wanted to take long exposures of the back streets of Deira and of the creek area in Dubai. The few trips I did take to various locations produced images that were not what I expected. I think I need to do more work on these images as a side project in the future.
Demonstration of Technical Skills
Not using the auto function on the camera demonstrated some degree of technicality especially since I was using a camera that had a different operating system that what I was used to. The composition, white balance and exposure of each image was thought out and executed as technically as possible.
Quality of outcome
Application of the knowledge of the park helped me work in a coherent manner. My images project colour in an order from mainly red/ oranges which are brassy to cool blues and purples then onto green/ yellow images. These are the colour mixture you observe in an amusement park.
Demonstration of Creativity
Doing a google search prior to my excursion to Luna Park helped me to pre visualize images of the Park , I made notes of any images that already existed that I wanted to explore a different perspective of. Using long shutter speeds in some of the images produced some creative shots
My written learning log is my main outlet for ideas and information for this assignment on this course. I have became adept at producing contact sheets and reading manuals on research methods and writing essays. What I take away from this assignment is that I need to stick to an idea and commit to it fully and just log the other ideas which can be developed further at another time. I have included the link to the ‘Field of light Exhibition’ which I visited which I have also wrote up in my written learning log.
Learning log entries
Dave Gibson, The street photographers manual , London. Thames and Hudson 2011
Fil Hunter, Steve Biver, Paul Fuqua, Light Science and Magic An introduction to photographic Lighting Third edition Focal Press 2007
Wignall, Quinn, Bowker, Luck, Michael Freeman’s Photo school Fundamentals Ilex. Distributed by Thames and Hudson. 2014
Lonely Planet Sydney City Guide book