Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Planter cafe, c'est pas pour les gens fragiles...part 4

I decided to try the silhouette for the coffee series.  There is also one in sepia with extreme detail.  I find the extreme detail ones gritty like the coffee plantation, where the labour to produce coffee "is not for the fragile people" as Jacques Prevert said in his poem "Planter cafe".

The silhouette is more abstract and elegant.  I don't think it's sanitized, just different.  For me the silhouette leaves questions unanswered; preserves an element of mystery.  In the era of reality shows, which are heavily written and directed, I think we could use a dose of mystery, just to preserve an element of wonder.  We don't need to know everything.  We can't anyway.  Reality, like reality shows, is an illusion.

Speaking of illusion, I may start a new self portrait in oil.  I am going to try a new approach; taking my time.  Some of may favourite painters apparently spent at least three months on every picture.  So if I miss the occasional post, that's where I am.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Coffee, coffee, coffee...part 3

I continue to explore the shapes and I have moved in closer still to aspects of these coffee cups and pots and saucers.  The dust is glistening and the stains declare themselves.  I'm not sure if this nitty gritty is it.  Usually when I see it I know it.  But when I'm trying to push through an idea, it isn't always apparent.

I have given this set a sepia tone.  I am considering silhouettes for this idea and I may put some coffee in the cups!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Everybody loves coffee...part 2

I'm trying to get inside the experience here.  Penetrating the surface is difficult.  It isn't as easy as just getting closer.  One has to select the part that represents the interior whole: Like a portrait.

I'll just keep trying.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who doesn't love coffee?

Who doesn't love coffee?  I suppose people who prefer tea.  Then there are those who swing both ways: coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

How civilized!

When we lived in the big city, we were lucky in that most in the neighbourhood were people of Italian descent.  Good coffee and the means to make it were readily at hand.

Pictured above is an espresso maker.  One puts water in the screw tank at the bottom, adds ground coffee to the funnel and drops it into the water tank.  Screw the whole thing together and put on medium heat for about five minutes.  Remove at the moment the water is exhausted and the coffee has bubbled up into the top reservoir.  Otherwise, everything burns.

Nothing automatic here.  Old school.

The shots above were made with the large soft box on the left low (Rembrandt lighting) with the new Canon 5d markIII.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't bail out too soon, wo/man says

Here are a few more images from the neo baroque series.  I'm not really sure where this is going but I feel I have to pursue it to some kind of conclusion.

At this point it just looks like grainy photos.  Time will tell.  Apparently, one should not bail on these projects,  as the courage to see them through may lead to innovation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Neo baroque ideas lurk in the shadows

Sometimes one has to learn all the rules in order to break them.  I have always had an interest in the way contrast creates drama.  But ever since the "f64 school" (Ansel Adams. Edward Weston etc) overthrew the romantic soft focus photographers in the early part of the last century, there have been these rules about holding detail in the highlights and shadows.  It is like a religion.  It is inviolate.

It is mostly a western idea.  Japanese art photographers have never paid much attention to the "rule" and kids with cell phones don't know and don't care.  I say Bravo! to that.

We can become slaves to an idea that really is past its time.

The images above break the rule of holding detail in highlights and shadows.  I like the effect.  I intend to pursue it further.  It is partly what I have in mind with the idea of neo baroque art.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

iPad drew me in....3

Flat light, old trees, hard rocks

We drove north to the edge of pre-cambrian shield country.  The light was extremely flat.  There is always a contrast in this landscape with rocks and trees so if one can find an interesting composition, it can work.

Friday, April 20, 2012

iPad strikes again

I've been abducted by iPad draw!

This iPad drawing started as a lark; doodling for a joke to see what it looked like.  Now it's getting serious.  This is my living room, which I sit in with my iPad sometimes.
This stuff is addictive.  iPad drawing and painting is a very interesting medium.  One of my fave artists, David Hockney has done a great deal with it, including exhibitions.
Here is a link to one such event:  David Hockney exhibit

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Venice on the iPad

This is an ipad drawing: Venice.  fun

From the digital vault

There have been serious advances in digital imaging.  Here are some shots from 2005.  At the time, I thought they were pretty good.  But in today's world, there is detail that can pulled out of the shadows and highlights that can be tamed.  Even the new processing software, like LightRoom4 can be used to improve these old files.  These are from Venice and Florence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jock in Rembrandt part 2

I have restored some of the recent posts in theartdiary blog.  But much is still missing.  Google+ erased most of my blog images.

Here is a new one of the strong side light series.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Photos have gone missing....

I edited some albums in my google+ plus profile to make them more manageable.  I wanted to go from 700 photos to the top 100.  When I deleted the photos, google+ seems to have deleted most of my artidary blog photos.  I don't know how to fix this.  sorry.  Going forward, I presume new posts won't be affected. don't know.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jock talks in the Rembrandt light

Kids grow up so fast.  We sometimes don't notice.

I try to photograph them on a regular basis.  It is only later that you realize how much they change from picture to picture.

The lighting set up  here was the large soft box at the side at eye level to highlight the head and let the rest fall quickly into darkness. I kept him animated by talking about a subject he enjoyed.  When I asked him a question, I caught him here, just in mid thought.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guitar man in sepia tone

Here is a shot of a man with a guitar.  It is done in strong side lighting (Rembrandt light) which gives it a nice mood for this shot.
I wanted to capture the concentration of the moment and at the same time, create a strong diagonal line across the photo.  I purposely let the drapery in the background create a diagonal highlight that flowed parallel to the guitar neck line and complimented the highlight in the hand and pants, which then flowed back up the arm to the head, to keep the eye moving.
The light was at head level so the head and hands get most of the illumination.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Historical places visited in black and white

These are two of my favourite local images: one is an art school building that started life as a mill (top) and the other is the centre pier of a harbour.  The centre pier began life as a 19th century addition to a harbour to accommodate a growing fleet of sailing ships that moved people and goods in huge numbers and served a new inland railway terminus.

These two shots were made with a 3 megapixel Canon G1 camera (phones have better cameras today).  These days everyone is racing to higher and higher mega[pixel counts, but if the conditions were just right, the old digitals could render good stuff.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The daffodil just demanded some attention

There is a daffodil growing on either side of our front  door.  Both have those bonneted heads and a glorious tilt and fullness.  I just had to photograph it, so here it is.  It is a little late for Roman Easter but just in time for Orthodox Easter, April 15.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Morning light in rain...part 2

These images were shot five years apart and in different light.  The top one is the same time as yesterday's blog, except that I moved across the street to include the very bottom of the street.  The second one is that very bottom of the street but shot mid morning in the rain.  I still like the reflections in them both, but the early morning light in the top image has a warm, magic glow.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Morning light in rain is golden

Here is one from my wet street series.  It's testament to the old rule of how to take a good photograph:  use a smaller aperture on the camera (f 5.6)  and be there!  There is always remarkable light first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Variation on a Rembrandt light scheme...part 2

Here are two more variations on the idea of the black and white stark contrast as portrait device.  I think this works best in this series as a device that startles the eye and at the same time draws attention to the subject's face.

So a little dodging and burning the white lines is useful to lead they eye up to the face.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Variation on a Rembrandt light scheme in black and white

I had stowed my soft box in a corner of the studio to get it out of the way.  I like to leave everything assembled so I'm ready to shoot.  I raised the box up quite high so as not to bump my head.  When I looked at it, I had the idea that it might be interesting to shine the light close to the face and let everything else fall into shadow.  I thought it might produce an intense focus on  the head and face.

Here is the result.  I rather like it.  I was casting around for wardrobe ideas (one can only wear a black turtle neck about 1000 times before it starts to look repetitious!)  I went to look at wardrobe at one of my favourite portrait photographers Timothy greenfield-sanders  .  I figured he had a lot of people with good taste.  I settled on a black and white scheme, as I wanted the maximum contrast between the subject and the back drop. and I thought the white shirt would lead the eye back to the face.   I increased the light on the shoulder in post and lightened the shadow side of the face a bit.  The Canon 5d mkIII has a lot of leeway in the shadows so that was easy.

The lighting is a variation on the Rembrandt strong side-light scheme, but raised up a fair bit.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New tulips part 1

These tulips are potted and on the bulb.  I'm not sure where this one is going.  I liked the white colour but I'm not sure I'm getting it.
we'll see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Light reveals the form more naturally

I have quite a few projects active currently.  Consequently, I didn't post two of my favourite shots from the tulip series.  Here they are.

I quite like the way the beauty light (soft box positioned beside the camera at the front and up at the ceiling) forms the subject.

It takes quite a lot of work to get these images to reveal their secrets, but it is well worth it.  I think the modelling is very interesting.

It is a more naturalistic view in that the forms are lightest on the close surface and darker on the surfaces that are further away.

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