Sunday, 31 October 2010

How to use photographic lighting and an exhibition of the emperor's new clothes

Nicholas Brewer
Welcome to the 19th edition.

The weekly pdf below continues with studio portrait lighting. If you do not have access to a studio you can always improvise. Portable flashguns are powerful and provide good light as an alternative. Bounce them off white boards or ceilings to soften them. Use card and other means of directing the light to suit your style. Remember that tracing paper over the front of your flash-gun will help to imitate the light from a soft-box. You can do simple portrait shots in a small room. There are plenty of places that you can hire lights from if you are feeling adventurous.

Shadow Catchers.
At first glance you may dismiss this show for its inability to make you think it is about photography. The work is not made with a camera but using a mixture of techniques including solarisation. My friend was obviously cynical of the work. Clearly he did not think that I had invited him to a photographic exhibition at all. Just the pretentious offerings of those who have no idea how to work a 5x4 camera and probably lacking in any technical ability. It's not sharp, who cares we will call it art! Many commercial photographers view the fine art world with sneering contempt. For a long time I was one of them. Once you realise that the principle is the same just the practical side is different we become more open minded about what a photograph is. The medium is a broad church ranging from science to art with everything in the middle. The work represents a uniqueness not found in the digital age.  Chemigrams involve the artist putting chemicals like varnish onto the light sensitive paper and then manipulating it. These images explore the area of a unique piece of photography as a physical art form. The Chemigrams in some ways are a return to images like a Daguerreotype. While it is not traditional photography in the same way that Robert Capa made images it still has its place. Traditional photography is dead. Long live the Avant-garde.  Click on to the links and make your own mind up, let me know what you think a photograph is. The Daily Telegraph link provides in depth information about the artists. Where we did find common ground was the need for the artists to dress the photographs with quotes. The jury was unanimous it was 'Pretentious Crap.'

Sam Scott-Hunter a well respected music photographer is having an exhibition at the charmingly named Filthy Macnastys. For those of you who like real photography of rockers like Ozzie Osbourne then this could be for you. The raw edgy style of Scott-Hunter captures the subjects in a way that is neither flattering or too exaggerated. The show is on for a month starting from Wednesday 10th November and is in central London. See details below for more information.

"The obsession we have are pretty much the same are whole lives. Mine are people, the human condition,  life." Mary Ellen Mark

Ville Valo by Sam Scott-Hunter.
Sam Scott-Hunter

Week 19 -

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