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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Tag Archives: Bokeh
Shooting Into the Sun
October 25, 2011Posted by on
I find that photography has fashions in the way that food, music, and of course clothes do. Not so long ago the pages of glossy magazines were full of images that employed very shallow depth of field, just the very edge of the raddicchio in focus please. More recently off camera flash has been the thing, just about every aspiring photographer has decided that portraits out side with dark smouldering skies and a subject illuminated by harsh off camera flash is what is needed to be creative. In the last year or so it looks to me as if lens flare is where you need to be to be hot. Lots of hexagonal globes of orange light, flare so strong you can only just make out the subject, the feel of hot blinding light. I have nothing against these trends, I do find their over use and the band wagon jumping tedious, it is as if the young guns of photography are waiting to be told what the next big thing is before they can make inspiring pictures.
Anyway, I found this well constructed site called Great British Landscape, I think the title explains. Here I discovered a very full and well written article by Tim Parkin on lens flare, how to remove it rather than how to get it. There is an introduction by Joe Cornish
“Almost unbelievably now, it isn’t that long ago since camera and film manufacturers encouraged would-be photographers to take pictures with the sun ‘over the shoulder’. Quite simply (and understandably) they knew that there was a better chance of the picture ‘coming out’. What they did not say was that it was also a far less interesting way to use light!
Today, modern cameras make a mockery of the exposure problems facing our photographic forebears. Nevertheless, shooting into the light still brings with it a multitude of problems. Excessive contrast is one, while lens generated and exacerbated flare is another. In this article Tim describes and provides various methods for mitigating or eliminating most of the major flare types.
Why should we worry? Well, self-evidently flare is a distraction, an unwanted blight on the picture. Flare draws attention to the fact that the image was generated photographically by a lens. So it screams, inelegantly, !π@&*>photograph<§Ω! If we notice the flare we are not so engaged by the subject matter.
As always in any form of expression, there are exceptions. Film-makers have deliberately used flare for decades as a way of evoking a sense of blinding light, and heat… but in many cases that may have been because they had little choice. Light sources in the image area are always prone to creating flare, especially with complex multi element lenses like the zooms that film-makers typically deploy. There may be some circumstances to keep the flare, and let it play a role. But generally this will be for artists self-consciously referring to the process, to the medium.
Hopefully Tim’s article will inspire you to confidently take the risk of going ‘into the light’. In landscape photography especially, no other lighting is able to potentially create so much emotional resonance.”
Read the article here http://www.landscapegb.com/2010/09/shooting-into-the-sun/
8 Effects Every Photographer Should Know About
August 4, 2011Posted by on
I thought this was an interesting tutorial even though there are some items I might have excluded in favour of others, with regard to the first, ‘bokeh’ I believe shallow depth of field is an essential tool or approach, blobs of colourful light in the background can look a bit kitsch though. I would definitely have included a section on the use of lines as a means of directing the viewers attention. If you want a succinct list of possible photographic design tools and ways of photographing to enhance your images this tutorial is a good start point Tutorial by Rachel Arandilla I love the use of ‘The Scream’ as an example of rule of thirds