Here is a post to give you an idea of what is in my mind.
I have taken photos in the past where I focused simplicity by stripping away a lot of the basic elements of a portrait such as the background, eyes, face, and body in sea of negative space. I also worked with the technically “bad” side of photography such as crushed blacks and huge grain.
With this shoot I want to expand on this but start adding depth to this style. By using the studio space and lighting I can work with the actual physical space to add depth.
I also want to experiment with using a sheet of glass and light reflected on to it to create flare and low contrast to add another layer to the depth.
Here is some examples of using reflections off the glass from my tablet.
possible idea for lighting.
zweifellos mondbetont “untitled” & <3 grain
Grain and more grain
Examples of flare
Working title "short photos"
The idea of "Short Photography" is to create a photo that has minimal visual information
to tell a story of its own.
Pin sharp focus, perfect lighting, textbook composition and processing aren't a requirement when it comes to photography. In fact it is surprising how much can be said with so little actually captured within the frame.
This is something that has actually run through my work over the years but I never reallyput the idea into words until recently when I was presented with short poems. Poems use "aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning."
Short poems distil these ideas down to a very simple yet idea filled product
It’s a kind of minimalism
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.
What is the Shortest Poem?
Muhammad Ali, 1975
For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn.
Examples of previous work
LUIS CAMNITZER Untitled, 1968
BRUCE CONNER Book One, 1970-1971
Robert Mapplethorpe Hermes, 1988
( self )
zurich covered by fog
view from waid
Rollei 35 SE 40mm 2.8
Fuji Neopan 400
Scan from V600
I had this idea of using two exposures and blending with different points of focus to match the mix of acoustic and distorted guitars also the echoy effect at the start of Falling Ash.
1 & 2 roof top carpark
The rest around William Clements St
If we shoot in the early morning or afternoon we'll get some killer light.
Photographically representing the overwhelming vulnerability that comes with those feelings of emptiness.
High grain and black or white backgrounds.
Really soft light, strip flash, to balance the high contrast of the film. Use hair lights to separate from background.
Presented as a diptych, with the close ups being shot in vertical and the full body shots horizontal.
Close up examples
The Camera is God - Trent Parke <- I love this series
Wide full body shots
Wide, full body shot examples
I want to take photos that have more emption in them,
Photos that really work with the other sides of the technique of photography.
One major choice that I have made with these photos is to use B&W film and using developing techniques to really exaggerate the grain that is inherent in film.
The point is to use a mix of lighting, exposure and composition techniques to make the image very illusive. This will hopefully force the viewer to look hard at the photo and make them decide on what they are seeing. Art should be reflective.
The short answer
If you're just getting started shooting film and want to jump straight in I'd recommend Kodak Gold 400 (also called Ultramax). It's fairly cheap, has nice colours, is pretty fast (ISO 400), negative film that you can get at K-Mart.
To get it developed I'd go to Digital Camera Warehouse as their prices are pretty good.
Buy it, shoot it, love it. Its great stuff.
If you want to shoot B&W there are a lot more options out there but I would recommend Ilford HP5 its very flexible, reasonably priced and very high quality.
(Its worth pointing out that that link says "Ilford HP5 Plus Black and White 120 Medium Format Film" but it looks like they have the listing wrong and it should be 35mm.)
Again, buy it, shoot it, love it.
The long answer
First up, things you need to consider when buying film.
With film you have 3 different types;
Colour Slide film. Also called positive or transparency. Traditionally used for projection and developed in E-6 chemicals. This stuff is pretty expensive and sometimes tricky to use so I wouldn't bother with it.
Colour Negative film. Which is what Kodak Gold is. Traditionally used to make prints and developed in chemicals called C-41. If you have any mini-labs (like Big-W or maybe a dry cleaners) they will develop this film.
Black and white negative. My personal favourite. There are shit loads of different films and developing chemicals still available so I'll talk about this separately. However you'll have to get it processed at a pro-lab because it was less common for people to shoot B&W back in the day.
Next thing to consider is the ISO rating of film.
The ISO rating is how sensitive the film is to light. ISO 50 and below is considered slow, 100-200 is medium, 400-800 is fast and 1600 and up is very fast. These ratings are exactly the same in the digital cameras.
Lower ISO ratings will give more detailed images with greater dynamic range. However they will need more light for proper exposure.
High ISO ratings will have more grain, reduced dynamic range and colour accuracy may be an issue BUT you can shoot in much lower light.
Why I recommend Kodak Gold.
- It seems almost counter intuitive but colour negative film is cheaper to buy and to process than black and white and positive film.
- Negative films are very forgiving when it comes to over or under exposure.
- You should be able to get it at K-Mart and maybe processed there as well but things are changing quickly these days so who knows.
- Its also actually very nice film with great colours, a fast speed of ISO 400 which should be good for both indoor and outdoor photos and it has a decent amount of room for error.
The idea behind this shoot revolves around that overwhelming feeling of emptiness, when there are no more emotions to feel when there's nothing left to care for.
Surreal and abstract.
Never looking at each other or the camera directly.
- Framing Ideas
- General Aesthetics
These photos show off the over all mood and aesthetic of the photoshoot.
Her hair curves and matches her shoulder/arm and back curve.
The tones go from light to dark very slowly from top to bottom.
A strong sense of disconnected mystery from the model looking completely away from the camera.
Similar ideas as the image above.
Whilst the model is in heavy shadow the shape from her pose is very clear against the sky and above the tree line.
Interesting artifacts from the development process.
An extreme use of heavy darkness with only vague shapes to see.
Movement during exposure creates a bit of drama.
Heavy blacks in the hair and clothing create negative space and frame the face.
Although simple looking photo there is quite a lot going on here.
Blown out highlights to the right.
Crushed blacks down the bottom.
The face, whilst clear is covered with both hair and her arm.
More heavy shadows and shapes define this photo.
Fading into black is a classic lighting technique made famous by the painter Rembrandt. Dropping someone into a sea of black really forces the focus onto them.
Heavy shadows and strong direct lighting is something I love to use to create uncertainty with in the photos.
Mixing these two techniques is something that I've done in the past to great success and I'd love to use it again and print it nice and big.
Some of my previous photos that show these techniques.
I'm going to base this whole shoot around this shot.
A few examples from around the web.
Movement in photos is something that doesn't tend to happen in photography these days probably due to the fact that "blurry" are seen as technically incorrect and are cast aside. Big cities are a place of constant movement and energy and I'd like to be able to capture that.
It's a simple idea but may end up being quite tricky to pull off. The idea is to shoot what I'm calling "Moving Portraits". The idea is to film a short collection of shots and cut them together to form a portrait.
Here are a few examples of this I found on-line:
Moving Portrait: Christina Perri
The next point to make is about the camera I'm going to use. The Lomokino. Its a funny little plastic camera released by Lomography a few years back. You can check out random films people have uploaded here but it tends to be a bit of a mixed bag as to what you get.
Slightly gloomy and melancholy with a big focus on small and directional lighting.
As I have a bag of random expired film, some colour negative, some colour positive and some colour balanced for tungsten lights. Now, I'm not one to shoot colour normally and the fact that some of these films are hugely expired and could have easily been stored in some wild conditions I have no idea what is going to come from it, I've decided to go all out and cross process the film as well.
WHAT IS CROSS PROCESSING?
Its when you, for example, take colour negative film normally developed in C-41 chemicals and process it in colour slide chemicals called E-6. Some examples can be found below.
Huge colourful makeup, gels on the lights and I'm thinking some seriously harsh direct lighting on a black background.
There is a time honoured tradition of photographers taking self-portraits and with selfies being a thing I would like to have a crack at it myself. One of the photographers I admire is Helmut Newton, he has taken a whole heap of self-portraits and that is where I am getting some direct inspiration.
Stylistically I want to work with mirrors and reflections to add depth to the images, using things like free standing and wall hanging mirrors, windows, shop fronts.
P.S. Ignore the nudity in these examples.