Exercise 3.2: Trace

Reading up on the suggested artists of Francesca Woodman and cinematographer Christopher Doyle I found several images of interest. two of which `I have picked out highlight in this exercise.

Francesca Woodman – Space2

This first image I selected for movement within the frame. It creates a sense of loss as the subject disappears due to the dissipation of solidity. Also I find it creates a sense of impending, questioning whether the subject is falling or rising, or whether the subject steadied the,selves or if they were hurt on impact. It is noted that the artist committed suicide aged 22 and noted how the artists images alluded to this sense of losing themselves. I find a real connection to my own creative vision in this image as the emotional message is the main goal with excellent use of space to heighten the effect.

Chungking Express -Wong Kar-Wai/Christopher Doyle

This second image is taken form the opening sequence of Chungking Express, the cinematographer used a 1/8 second shutter rate whilst shooting the opening sequence. This created a maelstrom of colour, distortion and disorientation throughout the sequence. Again I found this technique helped deliver an emotional sense, one of chaos, paranoia and tension. I really connect to the realism of the sequence, the natural lighting, the fullness of the frame through all the people, advertising and objects. All whilst isolating the subject by carefully ensuring the camera maintains focus and framing on the actor/actress. Also by moving the camera at the same pace of the subject Christopher Doyle ensures that the blurring effect of the slow shutter on the subject is minimised.

F/14 70mm iso100 1/5sec

This image is of a regular street performer in Manchester. He is an interesting twist on the typical ‘statue’ performer. with his wired coat and tie set to appear as if blowing in the wind caused by the speed of him moving he creates the illusion of freezing in time. At first I thought he posing was a great allegory for the se of a fast shutter speed but I realised that presenting him that way would diminish the impact of his performance. Instead I decided to capture him with a slow shutter speed to create the blur movement around him. In a way this is an impossible shot, to freeze one section of the image whilst maintaining movement in the rest. Normally such an image would require composite work but with this performer the effect is all caught in camera.

F/14 35mm iso500 1/5sec

For my second image, I unintentional managed to capture the colour palette featured in the image I chose from Chungking Express. I saw these protestors in the enclosed area of Market Street Manchester where they gained quite an interest in the videos they displayed. The protestors were purposefully not ending with the crowded people, not movement and no sound. This was a hard concept to communicate as again, two groups of people stood still isn’t very engaging. Instead I decided to highlight the stillness of the protest by allowing the crowd to move around them uninterrupted almost bypassing the displays completely.

F/18 55mm iso50 1/15sec

For my final image I have chosen a slow shutter speed to demonstrate how tension and suspense can be communicated. I saw the opportunity whilst exploring the local canals. At first I was looking to just capture the landscape when I noticed the cars passing along the bridge. What intrigued me was how the focal plane lent itself to the appearance of the cars driving towards each other. With a higher shutter speed the cars were flat and in interesting. They may as well have been parked. But with the slow shutter speed highlighting the sense of speed I found the image felt as if I caught a moment just prior to a minor catastrophe.

For all these images I had to use a very small aperture to help reduce the amount of light captured using such a slow shutter speed. I used the iso setting to dial in exposure to simplify compensation. Thankfully my camera has sensor shift image stabilisation couple with in lens element shift. This allows me to shoot hand held at very slow shutter speed whilst maintaining a fairly high success at capturing sharp subjects.


Harley Bainbridge Photography

Event and Portrait Photographer Manchester 



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