Posted on February 9, 2018
World On Fire
Hello everyone! Today I am going to share with you a lot of different things. So strap in and get cozy, cause boi is this post gonna be long.
To begin I am going to share what I learned through reading the Tips page. The first tip that I found especially useful was to find different and unique points of view.
When we imagine photographers, we think of them standing upright and just pointing and shooting.
In reality, photographers *really* got to get into it stance wise to get that different perspective.
So this tip really made reconsider how I have to interact physically with photography. Moreover, the Tips page pushed me to learn what my lenses do. I’m going to be honest. I am the person who has a DSLR and literally does not know how to use it. Fortunately, I work with Nigel (the guest in this weeks video) and was able to pick his brain/coerce him to explain things to me. No joke, Nigel helped me understand what my lenses do and what aperture, shutter speed and ISO are. Without this tip/prompt, I do not think I would have spent time to learn about my camera.
The next step of our assignment was to go to on Abandoned America and choose a gallery to analyze. I decided to look at the St. Bonaventure Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia.
The photographer, Matthew Christopher, did an amazing job capturing the abandonment and pure vacancy of this church.
Some of the tips/techniques I identified in the photographer’s images includes perspective and light work. In terms of perspective, Matthew Christopher wonderfully shot up from below to make the church seem looming and dominating.
Moreover, the photographer really used light to give the church almost a hopeful view. This work with light strays from the theme of abandonment that the photographer used throughout the album.
Additionally, Matthew used particular tips/techniques to capture a sense of abandonment, loss or desolation. In the photo below, Matthew changed perspective and gives the viewer a side angle of the church. This highlights the abandonment because it gives us a clear view of how the church has fallen apart.
Matthew also uses contrast to distinguish the outside, which is full of light, from the interior destruction. This contrast immediately draws ones eye to the glaring differences between the exterior and interior. Acknowledging these differences really makes one focus on the abandonment of the church.
I also believe that the photographer emphasizes loss as the pews in the image below continue onto the outside. You can almost imagine the people who used to sit in those pews and no longer do.
Furthermore, Matthew uses depth of field to show that the church, and its destruction, continues beyond view. This provides a feeling of loss and uncertainty to the viewer.
One can also tell that the photographer uses the Rule of Thirds in their photos. In the photos below, the Rule of Thirds is used to make the viewer focus on the chair/piano. Specifically the focus is on the emptiness of them. Focusing on the emptiness of objects that are usually lively gives one a feeling of loss or death.
Additionally, the photographer uses high subject contrast in his photos. The difference between ornate to destruction leads to an eerie feeling.
Personally, I am not a fan of this type of photography. Thus, it does not really jive with my vision of the apocalypse or the post-apocalyptic world. I’m more into cyberpunk which has destruction, but destruction of more modern items. These photos feel almost too realistic because I’ve seen or been inside buildings like these in real life. I think it’s overwhelming for me to see everyday sites, like a church, in disrepair and abandoned. Maybe that is why I prefer cyberpunk because I don’t like how real the photographer’s work is. Also, this church reminds me of the Sense8 church and that’s a lil freaky.
The last step of this assignment was to complete a Photo Blitz. The seven prompts I got were as follows:
- Take a picture that represents quickness or motion.
- Glasses help many folks bring the world into focus each day.
- Where would be without tools? Take a photo of your most valued (non technology) tool.
- Take a photo in which a mirror is a major element.
- Make a creative photo of some sort of boundary.
- Make a photograph of the front of a building.
- Take a photo dominated by a single color.
With those seven prompts and 20 minutes in mind, I went out and shot everything. I did shoot all of my photos with an apocalyptic theme in mind. When I was done, I did some editing (very minimal, some exceptions) to freshen them up and give them a new look.
Behind the Process
The most difficult thing about this assignment chunk was forcing myself to do the Photo Blitz. I really hate being rushed, so having 20 minutes to do this increased my anxiety hella. I managed to do it though, so I am proud. The Photo Blitz made me learn to sometimes accept that you are not going to get the shot you want. For my motion task, I was going to try and take a photo of birds. However, birds hate me and flew away too fast. All that bird attempt got me was a weird candid my friend took of me from her dorm window.
What I found easy about this assignment block was analyzing Matthew Christopher’s photos. Seeing someone use the techniques we read about was easy and beneficial. It was really simple to pick up on some of the techniques and internalize them. Hopefully, you can see me use some of the techniques in my Photo Blitz’s photos.
Something I think I did well was finding interesting things and places to shoot for my Photo Blitz. I am really proud that I remembered the wall near the library that has the graffiti. Hopefully, this photo reminds you of the Berlin Wall specifically the type of graffiti it had before its fall. I also think that I had dynamic props that really made my photos pop. For example, the lighter photo can’t help but be interesting because us as humans love fire.
On the other hand, the thing I want to improve is one of my Photo Blitz photos. My glasses picture is out of focus and just kind of bad in general. If I could go back, I would definitely spend more time on this shot and make sure everything was copacetic before moving on.
I really liked this assignment in general. I particularly liked looking at the Abandoned America album because it inspired me. Analyzing the Abandoned America album also gave me an opportunity to see actual photographers use the techniques we read about. Moreover, I really liked the challenge of the Photo Blitz. It was hard, but it was the type of hard that makes it worth it in the end. If I had a choice, I would do the Photo Blitz again because it was a terrifying, fun and a challenging task.
That’s it for now folk, I’ll catch you on the flipside.