Tutorials and Techniques 0 comments on White Balance (It’s largely a matter of taste)

White Balance (It’s largely a matter of taste)

White balance refers to how your eyes identify colour in an image. What I aim to show in this tutorial is that sometimes, there is no ‘correct’ white balance, it is a matter of taste and creative vision.

I am going to try and avoid too much depth about the science of colour in this article, but I do need to explain some of the basics.

The basics

When viewing a real life scene the human visual system is very good at filtering out slight casts caused by the colouring of the light. So when we see a white wall illuminated by flourescent lights (which have a slight green tint) or tungsten incandescent light-bulbs (which are slightly orange) our brain tells us that is it white so we see it as white. Of course this is not a total effect, and is largely psychological – you see a candle-lit room and because out brain does interpret this as slightly warm because that is what our experience tells us the light looks like. Continue Reading “White Balance (It’s largely a matter of taste)”

Commentry and Hyperbole 0 comments on The Reluctant Lomographer

The Reluctant Lomographer

Lomography is still on its mission to take over the world. I spend a lot of time thinking about my relationship with the global phenomenon, because a lot of what I do could very well come under this style. But it is something I have a problem with.

What’s the Problem?

Many people comment on the high prices for cheap cameras, the fact you need to join into this consuming clique and so on. This doesn’t really worry me. If I want a Lomography Camera, and I think it is worth it I will buy one. I bought my Diana F+ full price in Carnaby Street. I bought my Fisheye 2 for less than the website price in Leeds, from a Chinese shop called Dragon Photos. I will tell you about my Supersampler later. But it’s up to you. If you think it is worth it, buy it. If not, don’t.

Image of a nesting duck
Mother Duck – Lomograhy Diana F+ and Lomography CN 400

The thing that bothers me most about the whole Lomography business is the actual attitude to photography. All the things that make up the Lomographic vision – vernacular photography, happy accidents, soft focus, cross processing and so on have their place in photography as an art form, as a media. Vernacular photography – defined as photography where the subject is that of day to day life and the technical aspects are negligible acts as a fascinating insight into people’s lived realities. Abstracts are, when executed well equally as aesthetically valid as considered representations (though my girlfriend would disagree). Soft focus is a well used technical style, be it a filter, a plastic lens, or Vaseline smeared on a piece of cling-film. Continue Reading “The Reluctant Lomographer”

Tutorials and Techniques 0 comments on Image Tutorial – ‘Heading North, Heading Home’

Image Tutorial – ‘Heading North, Heading Home’

Today I would like to share a tutorial about how I made one of my recent images – ‘Heading North, Heading Home’. My idea for this image was something a little crunchy – not fully crisp and bright, but blending the dirt of a northern city, with the light trails of the moving train. Something slightly film-esque (yes, I know I should shoot to film if I want it to be like film, but this is what I had to hand when I took the original shots) with a dark feel to it.

The Image

I took this image from the window of the London Kings Cross to Leeds train, at about 10pm, in May – there was still a big glow from the city lights in the sky, a bit of cloud, bathing everything in a nice warm orange glow.I took this using a Canon EOS 1000D and Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 poked out of the window of a moving train.

I will, at this point add a brief note. Sticking your head out of moving trains can be dangerous, as my girlfriend reminded me at length afterwards, though I reminded her that while I might risk my life for my art, I wouldn’t risk my camera. But, being serious, this is not something to mess about with. There is a reasonable amount of clearance between two trains, and the between the train and most track-furniture, but you need to be sensible. Do not actually start doing this when the train is moving. Peek carefully along the side of the train, don’t go sticking your head right out. Listen carefully to make sure a train is not coming past, from both directions. When you are ready, hold the camera in place with as little of you out of the window as possible – don’t keep your head stuck out looking through the view finder, use live view. You do this at your own risk… Continue Reading “Image Tutorial – ‘Heading North, Heading Home’”