Monday, August 30, 2010

Assignment 3: First Thoughts

In Assignment 1 I had the opportunity to carefully plan and execute 7 images of a single subject, my wife Heidi.  Assignment 2 was completely opposite, an exercise in opportunistic photography, 4 hours to try and describe the energy and colour of a gay rights parade.  This clearly needed quick thinking and camera handling skills, but much more time was spent in editing both from an inclusion perspective as well as framing and exposure adjustments.

Assignment 3 brings me back to a more measured approach, but with some of the elements of assignment 2. My plan is to visit and photograph a wide a range of buildings/structures during the month of September, hopefully far more than required by the brief, then select the 6 that best represent my vision, but also show a range of style and technique.  I will describe and summarize each in my blog during September.  My first thoughts around this exercise was to develop a thematic approach and present all 6 in a similar manner inspired by a school of photography or a single photographer.  The idea here was to go with the deadpan style of artists such as Stephen Shore, William Eggleston or Martin Parr.  However, I now realize after an incident 3 days ago that this might be too difficult and lead to conflict as there is such a high degree of sensitivity to photography these days:

On reflection, I also realize that it might be too early in my photographic journey to tie to one particular style for this exercise.  But, I want to avoid presenting 24 images offering no relationship.  This will need some thought, I do not have an answer yet, other than the thought to try and emulate a few different photographers in this process.

As a starter and just for laughs, I placed my "view camera" setup (manual focus tilt-shift lens + full frame DLSR) on a low lying tripod and made the following image, no prizes for what I was thinking:

Canon EOS 5D2, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, 1/15s, f/22, ISO100

Both the same image, the first has been desaturated to partially emulate the look of the original.  I, on the other hand am drawn to highly saturated colour.  This was part of an idea to use my own home and neighboring houses as a building, perhaps getting some of the local kids to become part of the use case.

So far I have the following buildings/concepts as possible for exploration

  1. Church - Munich is not short of them
  2. Supermarket - carefully this time and with a telephoto
  3. Museum - Munich's modern art museum is a haven for photographic experimentation
  4. Subway Station - see an earlier post
  5. Gas Station - very much thinking along a Stephen Shore thing here
  6. My Home - Eggleston this time
  7. Beer Keller - The chaos and drunkenness are good subjects
  8. Oktoberfest tent - a tent containing 5,000 drunk people
  9. Road System - something I did in AoP, cars traveling through tunnels or overpasses
  10. Underpass - the dark depths of an underpass can be quite unnerving
  11. Olympic Restaurant - 290m high and revolving
  12. Olympic Park - From the 1974 games, intriguing architecture
  13. Local bar or cafe - a simple place, but with great potential
  14. Bus Stop - not the largest building, but a place of coming and going
  15. The surfing bridge - a bridge in Munich creates a large wave on which you can surf, unusual use case
  16. Fredens Engel - a monument much used by wedding and fashion photographers
  17. A shot up wall - monument to the bombing of Munich in the war
  18. Building Sites - the function is the building
Not all of these are traditional buildings, however, I interpret the word building to imply a man made structure with purpose.

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