Monday, 29 November 2010


Frame 3 – Work in Progress

We did the fourth shooting. This time we managed to finish the third frame. It was quite improvising. We brought quite a few props, and tried different set-ups out. Photography is a visual way to express. Sometimes you can visualise in mind but you better shoot and see the image to decide if you like or not. On top of this, you could try different setups by just combining different props when shooting, and sometimes there might be something different than you have expected. Anyway, we tried to create a signifier for colonisation. I became one of the models. Standing or kneeling for even just one hour will be quite tiresome. When I had to freeze myself for the final film shooting after digital trials, it was not easy after long time of modelling, I could feel myself move a little, which I knew it is so bad for shooting, as a tiny movement will cause some inaccuracy of composition. Constructive shooting needs everything to be precise as planned, prop position, model posture, lighting, exposure, focus, everything… It has to be a combination of perfection to achieve a good constructed photo. Anyway, it was quite tiresome maybe because my knee problem etc. As we run out of Polaroid we were not quite sure of the final result. Look forward to seeing the transparency to be developed next week. It should be ok.

Friday, 26 November 2010


Rachel has given us a new tutorial session of scanning and retouching designed specifically for our group project on transparency. It’s hard to remember. Will need some practice…

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Five of us went to see ParisPhoto 2010.

We first went to the Le Bal to see ‘Unamed America’ curate by David Campany. It showed American prospect in a cold and detached way. Jeff Wall’s heavily constructed but photojournalism style images were the most attractive. It depicted a turning point in daily American life narrative. Lewis Baltz’s minimalism industrial park shot looked impressive in the grid presentation. I saw his work before but in a single shot format and this grid presentation made a difference in visual impact.

The main Paris Photo exhibition is in Luvre. I was overwhelmed by thousands of images. I walked around and around but could not finish viewing everything in good time. I tried to shoot the images that I like. Maybe because I studied Affect Theory, I spotted many artworks on body. I would have never paid much attention to those works before. There are quite a few images with darkness and void. I am always interested in this issue and I decided to work on my own version of darkness and void images. Another thing I found is that Photoshop is my handicap in my photography. Many artists used photoshop to created so many fantastic jobs. I am not sure if I could achieve this due to my constraint of photoshop skill. Anyway, it was hard to tell which image is the most impressive and how many images I could remember vividly. There are just too many…

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Scanned from Transparency

Studio 5

Some minute changes in set up with a new model and we finalised the second set up. A little changes in eye direction or position of the model etc makes great changes in the composition. A few Polaroid and another roll of transparency! The second Frame done.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Scanned from Transparency

Studio 5

I became the cameraman for the first shot. After a few tests on digital, based on the lighting set up in the second shooting, I used Mamiya RB67 for Polaroid test with 80mm lens and then started shooting on Fuji Provia 100 transparency. I shot the 10 frame in one go bracketing. I was quite nervous even though I am familiar with the set up and the sitters. It was quite pressurising. I understood the sitter was standing there for a long time and I really wanted just to finish shooting and achieve the assignment. At the same time, I worried about the quality of the shot and was afraid to re-shoot in case of any imperfection. Anyway, in hindsight…

The focus is not easy especially when modelling light is not bright enough, so I should have increase the modelling light intensity and focus in a proper environment, though the focus was accurate.

I was bit clumsy, as I was not familiar with RB67. I used smaller Bronica and Mamiya before but RB67 is the first time, so I should have played with the kit to get familiar before shooting.

The scene in the viewfinder is smaller than the actual shot. I noticed it in the Polaroid print but I was not sure and hoping it was not the same for film. So I should have known the camera better.

I wanted change the set up by asking the sitters to step back a bit, but I just didn’t. I was worrying making too much hassle for them.

Anyway, the developed transparency looked nice but due to the viewfinder problem the black background rim showed at left and right edges of the each frame. There was one perfect though. We will use this one for scanning, printing and submission.

Monday, 22 November 2010


F8 125 fill @ 75% and red filtered light. Honey comb light at 30%.

Studio 2; Elinchrom Lighting Kit; 2 Power Packs; Honeycomb etc.

Scanned from Polaroid.

We shot for the second time in studio. The only difference is that we have put a light with red gel at the background. Red always goes with religion culturally and the final result is quite atmospheric.

Monday, 8 November 2010


Prolinca Studio Lights Kit
Lighting Inspired by Caravaggio

We started the first shooting studio 4. It was great, well, I think! It is the manoeuvre that is the key to an excellent image. A tiny little change in the position of any lighting, the tiny little change of the amount of the lighting, the tiny angle and position of the camera…then the minute and subtle posture and complexion of the sitters, and of course the key eye moods… We spent hours in playing around these subtle changes. The accessory such as soft box and honeycomb gives great lighting effects. I found the honeycomb is amazing; it changes the harsh light into such directed softer dramatic light. We used digital and finalised the shooting with Polaroid by Mamiya RB67.

I prefer this shot as the front sitter stands out by the silhouette, while the soft lighting on the body and face create the moody ambiance, as opposed to the well lit back sitter. Both eyes direction work perfectly well. Composition is well balanced but it might be a little too filling the frame and at the same time, it might need a little crop at the bottom to make the naked perception continue.

We will shoot formally in one-week time.

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Untitled 1, from My Series 'Distance No. 7'

One of my images was selected as an invitation poster by WestPhoto...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Courtesy: Yinka Shoibare from Diary of a Victorian Dandy

Originated during Renaissance in painting, Caravaggio took the concept further by developing chiaroscuro further to tenebrism – violent contrast of light and dark. This painterly approach was widely used in cinema and photography. Notable photographers include Eugene Smith, Ralph Gibson, etc. It was widely used in cinema. I clearly remembered Kubrik’s dramatically beautifully lit candle scene in Barry Lyndon. Sven Nykvist used chiaroscuro realism in most of Bergman’s films as well. We will try to achieve this effect by shooting some mock up scenes in studio this week.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


We had an afternoon practice at Robert’s place. The purpose is to get familiar with the chunky Mamiya RB67 and the Prolinca portable studio lights. We played with different set-ups of Prolinca 400 and Prolinca 250, which gives so much different lightly effects! We plan to adopt very pronounced chiaroscuro lighting, as it goes with our theme due to long history of chiaroscuro usage in religious painting. Hands on experience is so different. We created some high contrast portraiture. We found that it is essential to have some accessories such as honeycomb, barns door etc. We also played some through/reflex umbrella.

Monday, 1 November 2010


We had another round of discussion starting with drawing on papers whatever in mind. Not quite successful, but we eventually decide to create the scenes with religious context.

To quote Robert’s wording:

There will be a priest in each of the images, representing the church as state, as oppressor and silencer - silencing those within and without.

Image 1: A priest and a woman. With an image or statue of Mary Magdalene.

Image 2: A priest and a man. A box of MANSIZE tissues. Shame silences abuse. ? how to represent shame as a silencer.

Image 3: A priest and a same sex couple - kissing? Maybe the priest ignores their presence, is aroused by it? Repelled?

Image 4: Naked priest with his institutional garments hung up. Taking off the institutional clothing.

The next step is to plan the props and the scenes specifically, while at the same time do some further visual research.