Tuesday, 23 November 2010

do we see in 3D or 2D

Welcome to 21st edition.

 This weeks tutorial is on caring for your camera's sensor. Simple maintenance will save you time and money.

3D or 2D that is the question?

Surely we see in 3D. Your computer screen has a front middle and back which you can see clearly so the answer must be we see in 3D. We have a sense of space and depth otherwise driving would not be a universal means of transport. Some of you will be screaming "no you idiot we only have two eyes so therefore the answer is 2D" and you would of course be correct. So how can we judge space and depth? The brain tricks us into believing that we are seeing in 3D.

Hold your finger a few inches away from your eye. Close one eye and then switch to the other. The same finger in the same location appears to move although we know it has not. Our angle of view changes. The eyes see two slightly different views of the world but our perception is that we have a continuous view. The brain takes this information and interprets it and our sense of depth is created. If you move your finger further away from your eye the effect of movement is reduced. Have you seen 'Avatar'  by James Cameron. You may remember there were a lot of images where the viewer is looking through things that help to create this illusion. Can you remember the scenes in the forest in Avatar?

This effect of movement is called 'Binocular Disparity.'  Charles Wheastone was the first person to describe the experience and in 1840 was awarded the Royal Medal from the Royal Society for his work.

Man of the moment,  Eadweard Muybridge used  this knowledge to show his landscape images via a stereoscope. Two photographs were taken at slightly different angles just like our eyes see.  Looked at through a viewer  it creates the impression of depth. Queen Victoria started a craze for them when she used one in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851. Queen guitarist Brian May is fanatical about this aspect of photography. May became an international figure during his time in the band however; prior to this he was studying for his phd. While his contribution to good music is a matter of taste, his work for the stereoscope is significant. Please click on the links to find out more about this curious subject.

This Tuesday there is a talk by Albert Watson at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. Going with a friend so it will be interesting at the very least. I will share with you the pearls of wisdom from Mr Watson next time. They still have tickets aviliable if you can get there.

As 'The American' is released soon about a photographer played by George Clooney it got me thinking about films with photography in them.

Blow Up, Momento and Rear Window are three of my top contemporary films. I would like to hear anyone elses choice. What would you include?

Thanks for reading.
"When I have a camera in my hand I know no fear." Alfred Eisenstaedt.

How to care for your cameras sensor -

Monday, 8 November 2010

how to use movements on a 5x4 camera and Eadweard Muybridge at Tate Britain.

Welcome to the 20th edition.
Nicholas Brewer
The weekly pdf tutorial is an introduction to the 5x4 camera. It covers simple movements and the uses for them. There will be another one next week.

Eadweard Muybridge at Tate Britain.
Murderer, scientist and artist all describe Edward Muggeridge the birth name of one of England's most pioneering photographers. The exhibition at the Tate is big. It is difficult to appreciate the broad range of Muybridge's work that includes a panoramic cityscape of San Francisco, stop motion pictures and landscape images of Yosemite. The recent work that I have done with time-lapse photography ignited a profound interest in the man and his legacy. Why is Muybridge worthy of your attention and valuable time?
It is not important if you consider photography an art or a science or a mixture of the two. One must have some technical grasp to make consistently well exposed photographs and this you can learn in a variety of ways. Creativity is much harder to learn if you consider that it is a skill to learn as opposed to instinct. Creativity in my opinion is shaped by everything that influences you from books to films, how much it affects you depends on how open you are to it. Eadweard Muybridge was a master technician and also a creative who fused these two qualities together making a lasting impression on the world. Do you like U2 or know someone who does? Their video 'Lemon' is a homage to Muybridge and I have included a link below.

Marcel Duchamp 'Nude Descending a Staircase' is also heavily influenced by you know who. Muybridge's work bridged the gap between how we think we see things and how they are in reality. Naturally this had a profound impact on artists ever since and Francis Bacon's work is clearly guided by the photographers images. It is for these reasons that Muybridge is a photographer that can offer inspiration for pushing technical boundaries and for self-promotion something he did with great skill. It is rare to find all of these qualities rolled into one person however; Eadweard Muybridge worked incredible hard and was a risk taker who earned his place in history.With his influence affecting so many different types of artists and still shaping the world in which we live this is why you should at least consider investigating his achievements further. None of us are perfect and Muybridge was no exception. Not long after shooting Harry Larkyn who was the lover of Muybridge's wife, she died suddenly. Believing that his only son was fathered by the dead man Muybridge sent him to an orphanage. There is no proof of who the biological father was. The story is all the more tragic as the boy grew up having a very strong resemblance to Eadweard Muybridge....
Please see previous blogs to find out more about this fascinating man. If you are interested in the history of photography click on the photography podcast link and listen to History of Photography by Jeff Curto.

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." Richard Avedon.

Introduction to 5x4 -