As I started unit 5 I was encouraged to evaluate my photography skills, considering various tips to ultimately achieve more artistic, story full photos. After reading the list of suggestions I picked three specific techniques to attempt in this unit. I chose these tips as I felt personally these were areas where I could improve as a photographer. I decided to write these three techniques down so I could reference them when I had to take my own photographs in the unit.
Here is an example where I used depth as a technique in my ‘photoblitz’ task. Although this photo was only taken on an IPhone I still managed to place my subject in focus and blur the background, using manual focus and positioning. I placed my subject close to the camera away from its background, creating an effective depth of field.
In the ‘photoblitz’ assignment we were given 15 minutes to capture a list of provided subjects. I decided to complete this activity in my room where I knew my environment best. This decision was an effective one, as ultimately I knew which objects to use most effectively for each subject. I took two photos of my alarm clock, documenting when I started and finished. I found the ‘photoblitzing’ experience a successful and enjoyable one. Placing a time limit on this creative tasks forced me to use the first idea that came into my head. This meant all of my photos were taken and positioned on pure instinct, which I on reflection I like a lot. The photo that I thought was most inventive was the shadow of my glass camera. I used my desk light and positioned it perfectly, provided an interesting shadow and an effective photo. The photos that worked best for me personally were ones where I considered lighting. The appropriate lighting brought some of these images to life, creating artistic inventive images.
I then provided feedback on three effective ‘photoblitzing’ photos on the ds106 site. My favourite image was of a rack of wine bottles. The photographer used the technique of ‘converging lines’ to great effect, creating a well-lit artistic image. After I had taken my photos I uploaded my favourite 5 images to Flickr, tagging them with the ‘ds106photoblitz’ hashtag.
Daily Create – ‘Tree Art’
Daily Create – ‘Window To Freedom’
Daily Create – ‘Thug Life’
Next I completed 10 stars worth of visual assignments. The first assignment I completed was creating an album cover. I used Wikipedia the gather the name of my band – ‘Algophilus’. I then used the random quotation page to find my album title – ‘Walls Of Our Own Homes’. Finally I used the Flickr explore page to find my cover photo. After gathering these three components, I used Photoshop to edit my image and add text. By manipulating the colours in the image, using bold and appropriate text and adding an explicit content logo I created a professional looking album cover. I personally feel this cover would suit heavy hip-hop or rock music as it has a certain disturbing look to it, with the dark contrast and low lighting making the rabbits appear sinister.
Next I completed the ‘hybrid’ assignment, taking influence for a personal favourite film ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ In this film Napoleon draws a ‘Liger’, so I wanted to do the same. Taking the images from Google I placed them into Photoshop, using layers, resizing and the rubber tool to join the animals together. I then added the quote to the image, helping to tell the story of the hybrid creation.
I then completed the ‘Splash Of Colour’ task. I took a photo of my ‘travelling stand’ and then by using the Aviary IPhone app added a small amount of colour. The app converts the image to black and white and then allows you to draw on the image specifically where you would like to repaint original colour, creating an effective contrast.
Finally I completed the ‘common everyday object’ assignment. I took a photo of my lava lamp, again using the Aviary IPhone app to manipulate the contrast and colours, creating an unusual but effective image.
Overall this was one of my favourite units of DS106. Photography is something that I enjoy greatly, but wish I had a broader range of skills and knowledge in. I feel like I’ve learnt a wide variety of new techniques throughout this unit. Considering lighting, contrast, colour and depth I have created a range of effective images that matched their brief accordingly. I personally feel like there no better way to tell a story than with visuals and this unit has only confirmed my opinion. My favourite task in this unit was the 15 minute ‘photoblitz’, I personally feel this encouraged a great deal of creativity, working purely on instinct. However I also enjoyed the ’10 stars of visual assignments’. This gave me a variety of choice, being able to handpick a selection of creative tasks. I felt the assignments ‘star’ rating system was a great idea and found the tasks to be very enjoyable.