Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Step in the Right Direction

Hey Camerafags,

I felt like I needed to get a fresh start on this blog, a lot of my posts were either too short or showcased sub-par photos that I'm not particular proud of. So instead, I'm going to begin my blog with a reasonably lengthy post to explain a few things and to ensure I don't do what I did last time, it just didn't look great in my opinion; I think I need to establish a few routine things on this blog like, for example, always posting at least one photo per post. I also need to customise my blog to the point in which people actually want to look at it because it gives them an eyegasm.

I'll scrap most of the trivial details for another page, originally titled "About Me", so I'll just cut to the chase on who I actually am. I'm Calvin, I'm a 16 year old photography student who is currently studying photography as one of their A-levels at college. I've had an utmost passion for this art since I was about 11 and I have been aspiring to have it as my career ever since. I would like to say my specialty is portraits because I plan to go to London's University of Fashion and get a BA followed by an MA.

I have my work on numerous websites but my primary ones are Facebook, 500px, Blogger and Twitter, these things will always be linked on my posts so I would love it if you were to check them out. I particularly highly recommend 500px because of it's skillful community and it's sleek layout, so if I were to advise you to do something, I would say you should sign up there, follow me and then message me with your uploaded photos so I can take a look at them - part of the fun of being a photographer is seeing other people's work aside from my own.

So to begin with, I'll include a photo, which will be a regular trend, and then tell you a bit about what I did and the things I like and do not like about it, constructive self-assessment of course. In this photo, I used the available college studio. The lighting setup was real simple, I just used a strobe through a softbox to diffuse the light; I still wanted a dramatic lighting, to compliment the negative and desperate atmosphere of the photo, so I placed it towards the left so some shadows would be created on the model's face. I'm particularly happy with this because, during post-processing, I started out making quite a washed out black and white photo, but then I increased the saturation a tad to create a washed out colour photo, a style which I quite like, I think it works well with this sort of depressive photo. I'm also particularly happy with this because, due to the position of the light, there are predominant reflections in the model's eye's which is what I aimed for because that is her best feature. To draw even more attention to this, I made the background less distracting by being plain but still complimenting the colour scheme of the photo.

The only real downfall, not to sound up my own arse, is the fact that I shot at 18mm which means there is distortion due to it being a wide-angle lens. This has led to a slightly distorted image, though I don't think it shows up as much as it does in other images; I do have access to lens profiles to fix camera distortion, but, at the time, it didn't seem to work to well. Conclusion, I should use a different bloody lens. Problem is, my Nikon D3100 doesn't have an in-built motor which means my 50mm will be manual. This tends to propose a problem because I normally use the 50mm when I'm in low-light which leads to a really shallow DOF which, in turns, means I have to entirely rely on the precision of my eyesight to tell if the focus point is right. On the other hand, in a studio, I shouldn't use a low F-stop really, so this shouldn't actually be a problem. I'll remember that next time. Self-assessment there, brill.

This photo is an example of the distortion I was referring to, I don't really think it ruins the photo, I think it adds quite an abstract element to it. Though I will try the lens profiles to compare how it looks with and without distortion. But all in all, I really like this one. Opinions?

After closer inspection, I have realised that these photos in the post are of somewhat painfully low quality. If you would like to see high quality versions, which I hope you would, then just check out my 500px photostream and tell me what you think, you can give me your opinion in an email, on facebook, Twitter, a comment on 500px or a comment on this blog post. All the relevant links are on the "Contact" page of this blog, check it out! I would greatly appreciate it if you filled in the below widget with regards to your email. I've recently added it and I'm curious to see how it works.

Toodles for now, that's it really,


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