Friday, 3 April 2009

Exercise 2: Thinking about location

I am a bit late with my write up for this excersise due to a busy two weeks. I actually did this excersise in conjunction with exercise 1, which shall become obvious later in this write up. I went on a little trip in my local area, searching for locations, and I managed to find quite a number of varied views that would work for backgrounds

My first location was on my way to Dungeness, I spotted this nice desolate location, within some dead looking trees. This would add interest to portraits as well as helping to create a bit of a disturbing atmostphere. I think it would work best in monochrome too. There are some problems with the location though, it is very open, which means it is often subject to direct light. This would mean I would either have to use diffusers to create a softer light, or wait for a cloudy day, to create an attractive lighting and not be too harsh

On arriving at Dungeness I immediately headed towards the sea to lie on the stones and relax listening to the sea roll in. Whilst I was doing this and looking out to sea, I realised that this was a beautiful scene, and would work well as a portrait location, and with the sea being so vast, it could be photographed from a number of different angles without changing the view much, so could be adapted to the best light, as well as actually being used as a prop in the photos too, by having the model in the shallows of the sea, maybe lying down with waves lapping over them, or just splashing round their ankles. However this again suffers from the direct sunlight problem, and introduces water into the equation, so clothes might get wet, so there are quite a few logisitics that need to be worked out.

After my trip down Dungeness for a bit of photography, I came back home and continued my search for locations, and I was amazed at what I found. Their were plenty of bright colours and different textures in my garden alone and I managed to find four very varied backgrounds to complete the set here. Below is the first, our garden shed. This has a beautifully strong wooden orange colour, along with a gorgeous wooden texture. It isn't the largest shed, so would require some restricted posing, and as you can see from the photograph, there is uneven lighting so again would require either working to the light (which could create some interesting results) or reflecting and defusing the light. With the right model, and some work I do think this would be an interesting background to work with though

Not far from my shed we have this line of trees, and although geographically they are very close, in a background for a portrait shot, they would look completely different. The strong green colour and great texture, as well as adding a natural theme to the photograph. The light here, although direct, is also shaded later in the day, so it is quite a versatile location as it gets both natural direct sunlight, and shaded light, so can be used for a variety of effects.

I love this next background, it is a very modern background, and the sort of style I like to photograph. Very bold blue colour, contrasts great with some cloth, and compliments certain eye colours, and other clothing choice. The metal is also reflective so adds another dynamic to the photograph, allowing you to both see more of the model, and some of what they are "looking at". Care would have to be taken though over the reflection of the photographer not appearing in the image though as this would spoil the effect in my opinion. Although I didn't choose it for my portrait this time, I would love to try it in another one of my shoots.

And now this location should look familiar, as it is the one I chose to use for my portrait, or portraits, as I looked for the location in this exercise, to do exercise 1 with. This for me was a very good background, a number of useful elements in it. Lines of the brickwork could be used well to lead the eye into the subject, the texture creates and interesting background, and the colour complemented my subjects eye colour. Also a big plus for me was the light. It was in shade, and so had a very even, but still bright enough light. It created a lovely soft light for the portraits. To see the examples of the portrait photographs I took here see exercise 1.

This was a usual exercise, it got me looking at real world objects, and seeing how they could be used as locations for my portraits. A number of locations work well as both scenic locations for a portrait, and an abstract background, meaning a number of different looking photographs could all be taken in one location. It has also definately opened my eyes to the number of different locations there are out there for portraits.

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