David's Blog

Second a Day 12th Feb

This is quite a funky creative new year resolution. Mine was to carry on writing my personal book journal, why personal I here you ask? Mostly because my last years book journal proved a) That I read a lot of crap and b) I’m not very good at reviewing books.

Second a Day

It’s been 6 weeks since I started this project – here are my latest updates.

I’ve been a little behind in editing recently as we’ve been so busy at school with the Little Shop of Horrors show. However, I’ve caught up now and I’m pleased to say that we have another person joining in the project. Her name is Iulia (pronounced U-lia!) and she is doing a drawing a day, like Chae-eun.

Here are some of her wonderful drawings!

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Get involved!

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Christmas Time

The Camera Doesn’t Lie?

Here’s an interesting story from the Guardian today. Narciso Contreras a Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist was fired from the Associated Press for photoshopping one of his images, the before and after are below. 

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What’s interesting is not that he has been released into the wild but rather the idea that photographs tell the truth in the first place. There are 100 ways of telling the same story and there are 100 more ways of showing it. What’s interesting here is not that the camera was digitally removed but rather that it wasn’t cropped out in the first place, in my mind there’s very little difference between the two. In Flat Earth News Nick Davies shows how journalists distort facts to fit their agenda- here’s looking at you Daily Mail. Photography is no different, there might be 100 photographs of me on facebook looking miserable and bearded but that doesn’t mean… oh ok bad example. Bad examples aside you get the picture (see what I did there?) a photograph is nothing more than a set of eyes that can only see what is deemed important, to me that is a very strange version of reality.

A photograph deemed expectable by the Associated Press (again read Davies’s book to read more about them) would have been one of a few hundred images taken that day, the lens would of been chosen that showed the subject in the best or worst way, the photographer might cut out any unwanted distractions, such as other cameras, a street lamp or an annoying passing car, if not while taking the shot then defiantly in post. The colours would be sharpened, perhaps drastically changed (blue sky for example) and finally eyes and lips might be sharped, surroundings might be blurred slightly. All this is deemed perfectly acceptable even though it is far more perfect than life could ever be.     

Photojournalists and Photojournalism are important and with the rise of camera phone amateurs we should all be sad they are going extinct, but that doesn’t mean you should trust the image, even if it hasn’t been photoshopped…   

3D Printing A Lens

With constant spam from Kickstarter and Indegogo about affordable (around $2,000) desktop 3D printers I took to twitter to vent my confusion in 128 characters:

“While I’m glad the future is now, what dos anyone need with a home 3D printer?” 

I got nothing. One could say this is due to my minor twitter following and my minuscule dent in the constant cesspit of twitter self gloats and 24h annoyance. However I would rather see it as proving my point: there really is no need for one. And then I came across this tumblr, where someone has actually printed his own 3D lens. A photograph of what it takes is below, and while nothing special I am deeply amazed by what you can now do in your own living room.

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The future really is now! And if you excuse me I am off to buy a 3D printer, you can get on for only $2,000 I here…  

 

A word from Hitch.

No need to go to film school, learn everything you need to know about getting a scene right, from the great Alfred Hitchcock…

2014: Lets Raw

Taking a cue from Katy Perry I thought I would start the new year with a raw. This post will also introduce my Dog Benny as my glamorous assistant.

Taking a photograph in Raw format is perhaps the simplest thing you could do to help improve your photographs. Shoot with a DSLR? Then go to your photo settings and select RAW. Simples.

Raw-formats are an unedited photograph, much like a negative with 35mm print cameras it is up to you to so the colouring yourself. I use Adobe (bridge or Photoshop) over the Canon format but there are many software, (some free and others rather expensive) for you to pick, heres a great list for you to decide with. For those like me who always manipulate the colours in post anyway this is a really handy feature as you can play about with the colours until your hearts are content.

Benny!

Using Raw you can also do a cheat HDR effect, I am agnostic with the effect this process gives off, but it’s there if you want. Simply do two versions of the image showing off the most detail and merge them in photoshop, below is one of my attempts froma trip I took last week in Portugal. OK guys, enjoy!

 

castletop

British Library on Flickr!

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Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges is a lovely little book that I often enjoy flicking through. It is a encyclopaedia full of imaginary creatures from the obvious (Dragon) to the obscure like the Á Bao A Qu, a transparent little creature who constantly tries to reach pure Nirvana. 

 The British Library have done something weirdly simular by publishing what will be a million pictures on their Flickr Page. Some are bizarre like the one above, others bizarrely mundane like the photograph defining what “A Student” looks like. Defiantly worth a look! 

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Embrace Your Mistakes #4: The Night Sky

https://vimeo.com/81217253

A few months back when I as visiting Scotland I took a few star photographs which can be seen on my flickr page. With my wonderful girlfriend I also created this time-lapse that you can see above. I thought I would talk you through it, whats good, whats not and how it was created. 

This 10second film is actually 250 still images taken over the course of two hours. I do not have a remote shutter so it was taken by hand with the exposure set to 20seconds. For this shoot I used the Helios 44, an old Russian lens which was at hand. Converted its about a 55, It would be interesting to compare this short with one taken with a wider angled lens, but I don’t think the crop is necessarily an issue.  The sequence was shot  on RAW and brought into After Effects through Adobe Bridge. It is 25fps. 

What is an issue is the slight tremor of the camera/tripod set up and the slight delay in the shot, it is never exactly 10 seconds and sometimes it shows when I wasn’t paying full attention to the time (to give us some credit it was about zero degrees out there!) This shows that a remote release is necessary! Even if you had perfect timing it would combat the shake, however slight it might feel when taking the shot.

The footage is a bit noisy, this could be combatted with a noise reduction with color or after effects but this would downgrade the sharpness, for me that is far more important than a bit of grain!   

But there is still much to admire, if not in this video then with just looking up at the stars themselves, moving at a slower rate

 

 

 

   

Russian Snowflakes

Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov has created some stunning double lens reverse macro shots of snowflakes using some cheap second hand lenses. Stunning. Follow this link  for more information and look at my previous blog post on double lens reversal shots to see how easy it can be! He really is an inspiration

 

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Turn Your Iphone Camera into a Macro Lens

As regular readers will know I love a bit of DIY photography and filmmaking. I stumbled access this tutorial on Artfidio.com  and without an Iphone or laser to try it out on thought I would share it her to see if anyone can use it and get their desired shot

 

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OK guys, happy snapping!