Overview & thoughts Emotion – The part of the consciousness that involves feeling When I think of an emotional style of photography, I think of black and white photos. Removing the colour from a photo immediately darkens the mood. Without bright colours, it gives a more bleak feel to the photo. For example, with the photograph to the left, This man is staring at the water. His face seems not sad, but emotive, like he is thinking of things thoroughly. This photograph is called “Narcissus”, after the story of the man who stared at his own reflection and could not leave the beauty of it.
Paul Politis “ In my photography, I attempt to capture moments in time that have a quiet emotion to them. I tend to avoid human presence, instead focusing on the objects that humans construct, maneuver and discard. Through patterns and shapes, and light and shadow, I hope to kindle in the viewer an empathy for the objects I photograph, or to view them as a personification of a part of themselves. Working primarily in black and white, my recent work has focused on these themes within an urban landscape. I feel that the concrete and asphalt of a city imparts a cold and lonely feeling that is further accentuated by the tonalities of a black and white photograph. The city is rife with still lifes and juxtapositions, waiting to be photographed.” – Paul Politis, sourced from www.paulpolitis.com Paul Politis is a photographer from Montreal, Quebec. His shoots are primarily black and white. His photographs portray emotion. “ Crucifixion” “ I attempt to capture moments in time that have a quiet emotion to them”
Evaluation 1 “ Narcissus” – Paul Politis Content In this photograph there is a man staring at his reflection in a puddle. You can clearly see the reflection and there is a ripple in the puddle. It was taken on Sunday, January 1 st , 1989. The photograph is called “Narcissus”, after a man in Greek mythology who stared at his reflection in a puddle and could not leave the beauty of it, and eventually died. This title of this photograph works perfectly, the man is staring at his reflection while he is looking like he is thinking about things, like I said in my overview. The ripple also distorts the reflection, it is like suggesting the man to stop staring, stop thinking, carry on. If a ripple removed the reflection of Narcissus in the river, what is the point of staring? Form There is no colour. This is to darken the mood: The photograph is called “Narcissus”, after a man who died from being unable to leave the beauty of his reflection in a pool of water. The photograph is medium contrast, to keep detail across the photograph. Process This photograph was taken outside, shown by the puddles and rocky ground. It is very hard to tell the time of day because the photograph is black and white. As I suggested earlier in the content section of this evaluation, I believe the ripple was made on purpose to distort the reflection. Mood I find this photograph emotive. The title is mainly what spurs this on, as I have said in the rest of the evaluation. On top of this, the fact that it is black and white further creates the mood. I wonder what this man was thinking while this picture was taken.
Evaluation 2 “ Bride Waiting” , May 3 rd 2008 Content In this photograph there is a woman in a wedding dress standing next to a church door. This photograph is called “Bride Waiting” , and it is very fitting, since the woman in the dress is staring at the door and is looking slightly anxious. This title makes us focus on the bride rather than the door. Form There is no colour, to make the photograph more emotive. It is mid contrast, to keep detail across the photograph. Process The photograph was taken outside, and I expect it was in daytime since it looks light in the photograph and it’s very unlikely for someone to be in a wedding dress at night. Mood This photograph makes me think about why the woman is just stood there. She looks anxious, maybe even unhappy: Are people going to arrive for the wedding? Has the wedding already passed? Did the groom not arrive? This photograph makes me question why she is there. This photograph has a dark mood, and this is reinforced by the photograph being black and white.
Paul Politis – My opinions and views <ul><li>I really like Politis’ work. As he stated on his webpage: “ I attempt to capture moments in time that have a quiet emotion to them.” His photographs show this through his portfolios. His use of black and white photography is fantastic, exploiting the emotional value it adds to the photo. Other than this, the main thing I’ve noticed about his photographs is the use of titles. For example, the picture to the below left of this text: The photograph is called “Still Waiting” . This photograph has little or no impact without the title, but the title adds so much. It is surprising to find a title can add so much impact to the photograph. The same is with the photograph on the bottom right, it is named “Rain” although the picture is focused on the boy. </li></ul>“ Rain” “ Still Waiting”
Shoot 1 Paul Politis - Portrait <ul><li>This is a set of photographs of a friend of mine in a portrait style shoot, where he is placed where I told him to go. This shoot will mainly involve the use of titles to change the photograph. </li></ul>
Shoot 1 Contact Sheet Usable, but the photograph after uses the rule of thirds better + subject is close up. Awful focus, so these are all bad. Decent, but the photograph after has a bird in a better position, it also has better focus. These photographs are good shots, but not what I was looking for.
Shoot 1 Chosen Photographs & Reasons <ul><li>Photograph #1 </li></ul>“ Can’t stay up forever” This picture has my friend sitting on a bench , alone and looking sad. A bird came flying down in this photograph, and gave me the idea for the title. It is a double meaning: Just as a bird can’t stay flying in the sky all it’s life, it has to come down to the ground: Just like someone can’t be happy 100% of the time; They will be sad sometimes.
Shoot 1 Chosen Photographs & Reasons <ul><li>Photograph #2 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Indifference” </li></ul>While taking this photograph, we waited for a train to come past. I only took 3 photographs as it came past, since there was a very short time period to shoot as it came past. Because of this, my shooting was slightly erratic and this photograph came out as the best. The photograph’s title describes the emotion in one word: “Indifference”. He reads a book as the train comes past, paying no attention to it.
Henri Cartier-Bresson Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer considered to be “the father of modern photojournalism”. He lived from August 22nd 1908 – August 3rd 2004. His pictures are exclusively black and white. Similarly to Paul Politis, he strived for catching emotion in his photographs: “To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." "There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment."
Evaluation 1 Sport Day at Dinamo stadium – spectators: Moscow, USSR, 1954 Content In this photograph, there is a horde of people trying to watch the sport. Emotions are displayed widely across the picture, specifically the girl leaning over the wall, and the person who looks like a policeman smiling. This photograph is named matter of factly, and I believe that a more specific title would have added to this photograph. This photograph is fantastic, but the completely photojournalistic style lets it down, a thought through title would have made this already fantastic picture even better. Form The photograph is black and white. The photographer was known to shoot exclusively in black and white, and other than that, this was in 1954, where cameras were mostly black and white. This photograph uses perspective fantastically, with people’s heads going all the way down the photograph. Process This photograph was taken outside. It is very light, and very likely day, since you wouldn’t host a sport day outside at night. There is not much process to this photograph: it seems just to be an opportunistic shot. Mood This makes me want to think about the USSR at that time. The USSR, controlled by Communism, was mostly thought about being awful. In this photograph, you can see smiles all around, what makes you question these thoughts.
Evaluation 2 “ A Hat”: Moscow, USSR, 1954 Content In this photograph, There is a woman facing another woman , supposedly a saleswoman. The woman who seems not to be the saleswoman, is smiling and is wearing a hat. The saleswoman looks slightly annoyed: Is this woman trying to trick her? This photograph is called “A Hat”. This shows the less photojournalistic nature of this photograph, with a given title rather than a place name. This is more like Paul Politis’ style: A title what adds to the photograph. Calling it “A Hat” tells us this is likely a store for hats, and looking at all the people, it seems to tell me “Why all this for a hat”? Form The photograph is black and white, for the same reasons as the last photograph. Once again, perspective has been used with fantastic effect. Process This photograph was taken inside. There is a light on the ceiling at the top of the photograph. This photograph was taken on a low aperture and a fairly low shutter. It is surprising that the woman’s hand is moving so fast that none of her body is blurred, but her hand is blurred quite a lot. Mood This photograph makes me feel similar to the previous, it makes me wonder about the USSR and how it really was.
Henri Cartier-Bresson - My Opinons & Views <ul><li>What I like about Bresson’s work is his opportunistic style. Rather than taking pictures of fake emotion, he takes pictures of the moment, with no posing to fake the emotion. This is because of his completely photojournalistic style, rather than the portrait style of Paul Politis . As a photojournalist, the photographs he takes are fantastic, displaying emotion of his subjects, but not creating an emotional mood with his photographs. </li></ul>
Ideas after researching both Bresson and Politis <ul><li>Researching both Henri Cartier-Bresson & Paul Politis, I found both had techniques useful for creating emotional moods into photographs. Paul Politis creates an emotional mood, but in a fake setup, which I find is no where near as good as real emotion. His best point is his use of titles, what I find that he never titles a photograph as a place name, or the name of a person: always a specific title which adds to the emotional value of the photograph. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photojournalistic style captures the emotion of people and causes empathy with the subjects of the photo, but does not create an emotional mood. I find that combining Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photojournalistic style with Paul Politis’ use of titles will make my photographs show the emotion of the subjects and create the mood. </li></ul>
Shoot 2 Henri Cartier-Bresson - Photojournalism My shoot is of the Bath Half Marathon. This is a photojournalistic shoot, which I find are best for portraying emotions. A marathon is very tiring physically, so emotions are displayed widely, with people showing the pain on their faces, the pride of finishing, etc.
Shoot 2 Contact Sheet The first photograph is the best in use of perspective, so these are not needed. The rest of the shoot has a problem that it isn’t close up enough, so you can’t get a great idea of the emotion shown on their faces.
Shoot 2 Chosen Photographs & Reasons Photograph #1 “ The Train” This was my first photograph of the shoot. It is called “The Train” because there is a huge train like horde of people going towards the finish line. In this photograph you can see the varied emotions on people’s faces. People walking, people running, everyone with the same reason: Get to the finish line.
Martin Parr Martin Parr is an English photographer known for his photography of British life. Similar to Henri-Cartier Bresson, his style of shooting is opportunistic. I am studying him on looking into a different style of photojournalistic photography. "With photography, I like to create fiction out of reality. I try and do this by taking society's natural prejudice and giving this a twist."
Evaluation 1 McDonalds in Moscow – Moscow, Russia, 1992. Content In this photograph, there is a mother with her son eating in a McDonalds resturant. Martin Parr is well known for taking pictures of stereotypes, and this picture is odd in comparison: A person wearing a thick hat and coat in McDonalds. This is because instead of being in Britian, this is in Russia. Form This photograph is in colour, and it looks like it uses flash. It is quite high contrast, to exaggerate their faces. Process This photograph was taken inside. There was likely many light sources, but it seems that flash was used, seeing at the hard highlights on their faces. Mood It looks really odd. Their faces are quite emotionless, and it questions stereotypes. Who even knew Moscow had McDonalds?
Evaluation 2 Untitled – Keju, Korea, 2007 Content In this photograph, there is people with cameras and tripods, getting ready to take photographs. There is a model of a bear holding a camera in the middle of the pathway. This is just like Martin Parr’s satirical style. The bear suggesting people take photographs here, and the people walking past with their cameras and tripods. Notably, the person on the left has a big smile on her face, probably after taking a good photograph. Form This photograph is in colour, and is in medium contrast, to keep detail across the photograph. The shutter speed is slightly slow, so there is a slight blur with some of the photograph. Process This photograph was taken outside. The only light source seems to be daylight. Mood This photograph makes me question and think about a stereotypical tourist. Where I live, the town is filled with tourists, and it really feels no difference than this.. But these people are in Korea, not the UK. This seems to be Parr’s idea: He questions stereotypes and find they are the same all over the world.
Martin Parr - My Opinions & Views Martin Parr’s work questions life as we know it. He takes things stereotypical and makes a satirical view on them, or documents the stereotype – English stereotypes in different countries. His photographs portray the enjoyment of these – The enjoyment of taking a picture you took on holiday, the enjoyment as something as simple as eating in a resturant. Something everyone can enjoy.
Shoot 3 Martin Parr – Photojournalism & Tourism <ul><li>This shoot is of tourists in my hometown. I am shooting it in the style of Martin Parr, taking pictures of stereotypical tourists of England. </li></ul>
Shoot 3 Contact Sheet Lots of camera shake (from using a zoom lens) and blur. These photographs are good shots, but not what I was looking for. The photographs below are good shots, but similar to one I had already chosen. I may use these for my final shots.
Shoot 3 Chosen Photographs & Reasons <ul><li>Photograph #1 </li></ul>This photograph is of two people queuing to get into the Roman Baths. The man is trying to take photographs of the town, and puts an interesting expression on.
Shoot 3 Chosen Photographs & Reasons Photograph #2 This picture has an old man staring up at the Bath Abbey after taking a picture of it. He has a smile on his face, suggesting he took a good photograph.
Shoot 3 Chosen Photographs & Reasons Photograph #3 This picture has three people eating doughnuts on a bench. This seems like an English “chav” stereotype, but they are not English, shown by the “Jacks” bag – a shop for tourists.
Ideas after researching all three photographers <ul><li>Paul Politis has the fantastic use of titles – Something I will hold on to in my final shots. Henri Cartier-Bresson has the opportunistic, “decisive moment” style of shot. Martin Parr has the eccentric unique shot, particularly in colour. His use of flash also gives the photograph a sharp edge to it. Through researching, I find that both colour and black & white photography can be used in different ways to portray emotion – Colour being much better for happiness, while black & white is better sad or solitary moods. However, my idea is that a use of colour in a mainly black and white photograph will focus the picture onto the subject – using colour isolation to fill the subject with colour, but the rest of the photograph without. </li></ul>
Shoot 4 Experimentation with Colour Isolation <ul><li>This shoot is once again of people in my hometown, but less focused on tourism and more of just people. I will look for people particularly happy or particularly sad, or solitary for these final photographs. </li></ul>
Shoot 4 Contact Sheet This photograph is a good shot, but not what I was looking for. It is a little overexposed and there is an obstruction. Therefore, the photograph after is better. Good, but the pole is an obstruction.
Shoot 4 The Experiment Step 1 Here is the original photograph.
Step 2 Note that I have selected Quick Mask. This is to make a gradient of black and white, to make it look like the man is radiating his passion for his instrument.
Step 3 I have made a radial gradient from the man’s face (his main point of emotion). This will make his face keep its colour, whereas the rest of the photograph will lose colour, until black & white at the edge of the gradient.
Step 4 I have unchecked the quick mask and desaturated the photograph.
I have used the Hue/Saturation tool to exaggerate his facial expression. Step 5
Produced Image Doing this process exaggerates his facial expression and gives the idea that he is radiating his expression.
Produced Image 2 This exaggerates the book, what this person is writing notes in - putting their emotions into writing.
Final Pictures – Method of choosing <ul><li>My final pictures will be pairs / triplets of photographs. The pairs/triplets will be separated, but still with a united fact: they are all about a way to document emotion, involving emotion. For example, books: diaries, etc, and photography itself: a way of documenting emotions and memories. It is like people pile their emotions into pictures and writing. </li></ul>
Final Pictures – Pair These both have a focus on a book, and a blurred out background, to further focus on the book. “ The Power of Words”
Final Pictures – “The Power of Words” The book is exaggerated in this photograph, because this is what is focused on: He is reading the book instead of taking notice of the train behind him.
Final Pictures – “The Power of Words” This person seems to be writing in a diary about her day in this town: emotion saved in writing. This person was a Japanese tourist. Her book is exaggerated in this photograph, to symbolize the importance of memories & emotions.
Final Pictures – Triplet “ The Power of Pictures” This set of photographs is focused on the emotion power the camera creates, the reactions of people after taking a photograph. They also have blurred out people in the background.
Final Pictures – “The Power of the Camera” This man in the photograph smiled after taking a picture with his camera – the emotional power of the camera. I had lots of similar pictures to this, of people looking at their viewfinders with smiles. The camera is exaggerated in this photograph, being the only thing fully coloured.
Final Pictures – “The Power of the Camera” This photograph has a woman looking at her camera’s viewfinder after taking a photograph. She almost looks like she is in amazement.
Final Pictures – “The Power of the Camera” This is very similar to the previous photograph, in the fact that she is looking at her viewfinder. She is smiling, suggesting she took a good photograph.