Monday, 18 March 2013

The Final Selection for Assignment 1


I applied very little processing to Photograph 1 because I didn't think it particularly needed any. Most of the adjustments were completed in Adobe Camera Raw, with only a slight bit of dodging on the audience's bodies and faces to show their expressions. It made my final selection because it showed the animated faces of the performer and the audience and a sense of what was happening in the performance. Last but not least it provided a sense of place with the lion statues of Trafalgar Square in the distance.

I used a low angle of view to illustrate best this performer's trick of apparently sitting in mid-air without any support in Photograph 2. It also replicated the audience's (in the form of the crouching picture-takers) user viewpoint at the same time. Incidentally, I tried to accentuate the relationship between the aforementioned performer and crouching picture-takers especially in post processing by using a hue/saturation layer inside of Photoshop. I attempted to subtly reduce the saturation in the rest of the image, while keeping the saturation level of the performer and the picture-takers the same by using a layer mask, which worked well in my opinion.

Photograph 3 was what I saw as a 'classic' street performance in Covent Garden. I tried to reflect this in my processing of the image. I firstly converted the image to black and white, while boosting the contrast slightly. Then I added a (subtle) vignette and finally a black border for the effect of the final photograph looking 'timeless'.


I decided to use another black border for Photograph 4 because I felt it worked well with the faintly visible rope that drew the line between the performance and the audience. The reasoning for this was that as the audience enclosed around the performers/performance, the black border enclosed around the scene. This image was strong for me because it showed an important aspect of the relationship between performer and audience; namely a connection. This was visible in the hand contact between the performer and audience and the onlooking faces of the rest of the crowd.

   Photograph 5 was for me probably the strongest image in the project, in terms of both picture quality and processing. There was an obvious symmetry in the photo, which with two performers either side of the 'symmetrical line' made for a good composition and the quite unique viewpoint - both the performers and the audience were facing towards me. Then there was the sense of place: 'Covent Garden Market' could be made out on the triangular facade as well as the familiar glass roofs on either side of this. I was also pleased with the techniques I used for processing inside of Photoshop like the subtle vignette and more crucially the hue/saturation layer, along with its layer mask. Here I removed the colour but 'painted' it back in on the performers bodies via the layer mask. I had also prior to this applied a reflected gradient horizontally in the middle of the image to bring back some colour to the audience so the relationship between them and the performers was once again more clear.

   Here in Photograph 6 I adopted a high viewpoint in order to better represent the busy scene of a very dynamic street performance, while still retaining a sense of place. This sense of place came in the form of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the distance. By adopting the high viewpoint I could show both the sense of place, the audience's faces and  the performance that wouldn't have been possible on the ground level. Similarly to Photograph 1, I only adjusted settings inside Adobe Camera Raw.


   Photograph 7 was one of the photographs I felt worked best with a 4:3 aspect ratio, simply because it included everything in the frame I wanted to include, while simultaneously closing in on what was going on. Going further with this idea of best showing off what was going on I applied another vignette but this time in the form of colour around the edge of the image. The aim of this was to concentrate the viewer's attention into the middle of the frame, where they could see the fun the children were having as well as the man creating the massive bubbles.


   I increased the saturation of the performing breakdancer in Photograph 8, while at the same time reducing the saturation of the rest of the scene slightly. This was similar in appearance to Photograph 2 with the purposeful difference being that there was only one main centre of attention: the breakdancer.

  I opted for a sepia-toned look for Photograph 9 because of the subject matter, which I considered to be a 'vintage' look. I felt the 3 main subjects - as well as the caricature drawing of the posing man subject - told a story well of how a caricature drawing took place within London. In particular the 'girlfriend' in the background smiling added a bit of atmosphere, while the artist was busy concentrating. Although it wasn't strictly a performance, it was a demonstration of one of the activities a visitor could partake in within London.

   Incidentally, I thought the 'Potrait Gallery' lettering on the wall at the top of the frame of Photograph 9 was conveniently beneficial, as a type of portrait was taking place in the foreground. Therefore I tried to highlight this association by making the 'Portrait Gallery' lettering the only part of the image not sepia-toned. I did this by adding a layer mask to the sepia hue/saturation layer and 'painted' the 'Potrait Gallery' lettering back into colour. Lastly I chose a 4:3 aspect ratio because it kept the framing tight around the main subjects.

   Apart from creating what I thought was an effective crop ratio of 1:1 for Photograph 10 there wasn't much processing applied to the image. One small detail was the raising of the 'clarity' slider inside Adobe Camera Raw in order to 'bring back' some apparent detail to the performance artist. I had purposefully focused on the audience behind the performer for the reason that it concentrated the viewer's attention on both them and the (more obvious) performer. I was particularly pleased with capturing the sense of involvement of the children with the performer, as both were clearly dancing in time together.


 With Photograph 11, I felt there was a strong link between the performer and his audience. While the performer concentrated hard, in side profile in this 1:1 crop image, the audience looked on in wonder and support of the act.

No comments:

Post a Comment