LEARNING LOG: THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT

ASSIGNMENT FOUR: DAYLIGHT                                                 

Niki South Student number:514516

1st thoughts: Once I decided to shoot in daylight and extend exercise 4.2 I considered what type of daylight I might use and revisited my research for exercise 4.2 and lighting in general, see link: https://nkssite.wordpress.com/category/a4-research/

I then experimented with daylight at different times of day. Initially I thought I might photograph ruins and ancient monuments and began by shooting grave stones and ruins to learn about the effects of strong midday sunlight (influenced by Schmidt and Atget) as well as late afternoon light (influenced by Atget). Testing hard light and side raking light on angular objects; I was looking for starkness and abstraction. I was able to see the clarity that the minimal shadows gave to an image and how strong midday light emphasised their hard edges and gave good contrast. I experimented with soft diffused light falling on trees gravestones and ruins. From this I had an initial idea that I might photograph old buildings in soft diffused daylight and new buildings in stark daylight and use the different natural lighting to emphasis the different qualities of such buildings. Consequently I went on to shoot modern buildings in both midday light and then at dusk.

I found the modern buildings offered me more interesting potential and I realised that the inconsistent weather would limit my possibilities for photographing different subjects in different light unless I was shooting over a long period of time. I decided to concentrate on modern urban buildings and to use harsh overhead midday sunlight to exploit their angular lines and hard edges. 

Mind map preparations:

mind map preparations

The first shoot: I shot in mono as I believed I would present the assignment in black and white to make the most of contrast and preserve neutrality. On reviewing the images I found them flat and uninteresting even though I had captured their starkness. I had however caught some curious viewpoints, reflections, partial reflection and distortions. I decided that I should find my difference from Schmidt and Atget here and explore the effect of reflections and distortions of urban images, rather than presenting documentary images.

Subsequent shoots: I returned to the same locations in the late afternoon but found that the stronger midday sun gave the most effective graphic urban images. The light reflected in vertical surfaces were stronger, even distorted, and the colours heightened; I could see that the colour temperature was bluer when the light falling was strong especially on shaded surfaces, and the colours more saturated. I determined to make the most of the colour and shoot in colour not mono. I revisited the same locations several times as my shooting window was short each day to catch the direct overhead light and experimented with different perspectives, partial reflections and distortions.

Mind map shooting:

mind map shooting

 Editing: Whilst editing I was particularly conscious of the creativity criteria. I gradually shortlisted images that I thought contained more than just good composition and technical skills. I steered towards images that contained interesting reflections of light and effective colours (predominantly blues and browns). At this point I returned to the work of Rut Blees Luxumberg , as although she photographs public spaces at night I was struck by her use of colour and the way that though some of her images are recognisable some are almost abstract. Some of my images, though shot in daylight, I thought shared some similarities with her use of pools of colour, perspective and reflection.

In the final stages of editing I eliminated images that were simply graphic urban images with reflection:

_MG_3252    (Contact sheet image 33)

Images that were not strongly representative of urban space:

_MG_3650    (Contact sheet image 127)

Images where the reflected light was simplistic and not challenging to the viewer:

_MG_3505    (Contact sheet image 96)

A few remaining images which were portrait:

_MG_4285    (Contact sheet image 143)

Mind map editing:

mind map editing

The theme for my series emerged:  Reflections of light in urban spaces.

 

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