Insta-Rips and Anti-Social Media (Part 2)

I started to look at the “social media” aspect of #selfie images and how a lot of the images are taken in bedrooms or other places in the house, often away from any “friends” and then uploaded onto the internet for “friends” to look at, like and comment on which seemed to me a bit anti-social.  I then started looking at how we use social media and found a lot of people update their statuses and interact with people on-line when they are alone, either at home or travelling, either way, not really interacting with any human beings in the real world.  This struck me as such an odd thing to do, speak to people on-line via texting or typing messages back and fore, rather than communicating in a more natural way, like speaking face to face.  Conversing over the internet leaves out a whole lot of other communication skills that we have developed over-time and have began to use without even thinking about it, for example, reading body language.  We can tell when someone is approachable, happy, angry, sad, friendly within seconds, just by our ability to analyse how that person stands, how their arms are positioned, how they lean against something which we loose when using social media.  We also can not establish that persons voice tone, typing makes it harder to convey a sense of feeling and with that, meaning, its harder to decipher a text written in a certain way than someones tone of voice.  We also loose other expressions like those minuscule movements of a persons face which give away boredom or hope.  And then the hands, we use our hands to communicate so much, whether its waving to say “hi” or hold someones hand in a show of sympathy or care, or even when waving them around, gesticulating when we speak, that is lost too.  But then we are still using our hands to communicate to a degree, we are using them to hold our phones, grasp them tightly, hold them high to take #selfies, and to type messages out to our “friends” which then becomes a gesture, we use them more as tools to convey the idea that we are being “social” by using these sites.

I started to look at how we hold our phones and the similarities in hand gestures and realized that they were not so far apart.  I have begun to move away from the Insta-Rips and am now concentrating on taking photos of peoples hands, in the poses we see people holding them in when taking #selfies specially, but without the phone present to see what they would look like.

Below is the first edit I have done.  I have used my friend Alex as a model for me, and have been playing around with crops and whether to include a background or not, so far the white background is my favorite, the black being my second.  I like the uncluttered-ness of the background and the way the focus is all about the hand and nothing else, and I like that the hand is also seeming to “reach-out” from no-where to make contact, much like how social media enables us to reach out and grasp other’s friendship when we are alone.

The Park

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I took these photos at the same time as I took the ones in the previous post (https://artreviewed.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/its-all-in-the-detail/ )

I am still fairly undecided on where I want to go with this project and what I want to do with it, I have an idea but don’t think it is the best idea and feel that I could do better and create something that I would be much happier with.  I know that I would like to do something involving/based on the park but I also want to do something involving industry as it is an important factor in how the town came about.  I am currently working on a concept but am uncertain at the moment where it may lead.

Insomnia – The Final Edit

 

This is the final edit of my images for the summer project “Insomnia”.  I had these printed out at 8″x10″ at Asda (http://www.asda-photo.co.uk/).  They were displayed in the above order side by side in uni.  I was really surprised and also disappointed to realize that the work we had done over the summer wasn’t going to be graded or marked as such.  The images were intended to open discourse, if we wanted.  I did get to speak about my work but not in great depth, and I got asked questions too, some of which came from people who hadn’t read the accompanying Artist Statement which describes our work, what we did, how we went about it and what we were trying to capture, it is there to provide further understanding to the work and background information along with any further information that  may be relevant.  I set out to capture feelings about insomnia and how it affects me, I have found that my insomnia is caused mostly by subconscious anxiety and there isn’t much I can do to cure it, I have also learned how to shoot in lit, night-time conditions to capture movement and I am happy with the images I produced.  My understanding of aperture, ISO and shutter speed has been made clearer and I have other things that I would now like to try in the future.

 

All images shot with Pentax K2000, edited with Photoshop CS3 and printed by Asda.

Insomnia – Further Photos

 

 

Test Shot 1…  I took to see what effect the settings were going to have on the overall image, that the camera was positioned correctly and to check that everything I wanted was in the frame.

 

 

This is the image showing movement.  I am not entirely happy with this image as it seems to show the movement as a bright glow in the center of the bed rather than actual blurred movement.  I have thought about maybe re-shooting this but moving around more slowly or even editing it in Photoshop to see what it is like in black and white.

 

 

I have moved the camera in this shot and went straight into shooting without first doing a test shot…sometimes I get a bit carried away!  This is why the test shot comes further down… I am still unsure about this image and am having the same problems with it as the above shot.  None of these images have been edited in any way yet, they are straight from camera so perhaps playing around with them in Photoshop may help, if not I can try a re-shoot.

 

 

 

This image seems to capture movement a bit better with some hazy “ghost” parts to the image.  I am happier with this image than the previous images.  When I took this image I checked the last image and decided on the spot to re-shoot and moved around a bit slower to see if that made any difference.

 

 

 

Test Shot 2… If I had done the test shot first I think I would have chosen to move the duvet out of the frame completely and maybe remove some of the clutter in the background before shooting…  Worth noting for next time!

 

 

 

Test Shot 3 … I moved the camera again and took a test shot to see if the framing was ok, as with the above test shot, I think I should have removed the duvet completely from the shot as I am now finding it to be distracting along with the background clutter.

 

 

 

I am much more happy with how this image has turned out!  It is more along the lines of what I was expecting.  The image has some nice movement trails in it which I think have been helped by a different camera position, however I think that the camera and tripod were set up too close to the bed as the background is blurry which could have been caused by camera shake, I’m not sure if this matters too much with the overall image but I am tempted to re-shoot..  I really would like to convert this to black and white to see what it would look like!!!!

 

 

 

Test Shot 4… Again, I should have moved the duvet and the clutter from under the bed and in the background.  Really like the framing of this shot though!

 

 

 

This image, as the one above, works for what I set out to capture and is along the lines of what I expected.  In hindsight I would have moved the duvet as it is a large distraction for me personally.

 

 

 

This image is even better in terms of what I wanted to create.  I think that this camera angle helps to capture the movement as trails and ghosting really well!

 

 

 

Test Shot 5… Clutter beside the bed….

 

 

 

Test Shot 6… Still clutter but better in terms of distraction.  I think I should re-shoot this angle again and remove all items from the frame as they are still distracting.

 

 

 

This image is a bit too ghost like for me.  There is no real suggestion that the light parts of the bed are a person, to me it looks like a camera fault.  However, I am keen to see (again) how this would look like in black and white.

 

 

Again, I’m not entirely happy with this shot as there is not enough movement recorded.  I think it may be down to camera angle and shutter speed so I may have to re-shoot.

 

 

 

Another shot I did using the same camera angle as the shots above…  This one is marginally better than the ones above but only slightly.  I’m still not sure on the camera angle for this shot or how movement has been recorded.

 

 

Test Shot 7 … Another different camera angle, checking the framing of the shot.  I think that the clutter on the bedside cabinet should have been removed as it is distracting.

 

 

 

 

 

Rockpools

All of these images were taken 2 summers ago.  I happened to be looking through the photos I have stored on my computer and found these (pre editing they looked a bit different!)

Rockpools have always fascinated me, as a child on beach holidays with my parents my Dad and I would always be found poking about in rockpools and emptying nets into buckets, showing my Mum the contents to be put back later!  I’ve often thought about setting up my own salt water tank to try to recreate my own rock pool!  They seem to me such magical other worlds that offer so much to see if you look close enough.

I still have loads of images of rock pools that I want to edit but here are some of the first ones for you to enjoy!

* All images taken with Pentax K2000 and edited using Photoshop CS3

Detrius

These images were taken a few years ago on a camping holiday.  When I was looking through all of the images that I had taken I realised that a lot of them were of items that the sea had washed up onto the shore.  I liked the images as they were but decided to focus in on the details of what was left by the sea.  I have Photoshopped all images with Photoshop CS3 and altered the tone and colour caste of the images, warming or cooling the picture to add to its effect.  I am not sure which of these images is my favourite, in a way they all are for different reasons.  I would like to continue with looking at “Detrius” as a theme and topic in future works that I undertake.

* All photos taken with Pentax K2000 and editied using Photoshop CS3

 

Moth!

I had forgotten that I had taken these images a while ago and found them on my computer when I was having a sort out of my images!  I found this little (Big) fella on our shed door over at the allotment.  All the images have been played around with in Photoshop CS3 and have been zoomed and cropped, some changed from colour to black and white and some with vignette round the edges.

I really like the above image.  I like that the moths body goes out of focus and the attention is drawn to his face.  I added the vignette to enhance that quality.

The image above is another favourite, I really like the angle at which I took this.  I think changing this image to black and white is also really effective and helps to keep the attention on the moth rather than be distracted by the background.

The image above and the ones below are all from the same viewpoint but I have changed different things in Photoshop to see what they would look like and how from one image you can get several different styles and “looks”.

I am really pleased with how they came out, especially as they were not taken at a really close range or with a Macro Lens.  It amazes me what my camera can pick up detail wise and, as I am learning, the amount of things you can do with Photoshop!

Also, if you are on facebook please look out for my photography page Peering at Pictures Photography (PAPP)

Close Up at the Allotment!

I took these over at the allotment and have played around with them in Photoshop CS3.  The above and below image are the same but one seems to be clearer in the water highlight and the other not so much…I am having trouble deciding which one I like best!  Both were from the same image that has been cropped down and zoomed in on, made into a black and white image and then I have played around with the colour saturation and contrast.  I think that in the image below I have concentrated too much on the contrast and blown the white highlights but the above one havent played around with it enough…Something to work on and play around with!

I love this image, It shows a pool of water between the stem and leaves of a leek plant.  I converted this image from colour to black and white and upped the lighting.  converting an image from colour to black and white can reveal details that were lost when the image was colour.  I have cropped the image and blown it up, removed some parts that I felt were distracting and that is about it.  I am really happy with how this image looks.

This image is an extreme close up of droplets of water on one of the leek leaves.  The droplets in the foreground and background are a bit distorted but I don’t mind that.  I have pretty much done the same to this image as I have in the above one.  I decided not to sharpen this image as I liked the grainy feel to it.

This image is one of my favourites, I didn’t need to crop it as much as the others although I did convert it from colour to black and white.  i feel that with this image you can almost feel the texture of the dandelion clock.  I don’t think there is any improvement I would make to this image.

*Images taken with Pentax K2000 and edited with Photoshop CS3

Mushrooom!

While I was off I visited my parents and found this little guy in a pot of mint my Mum is growing!  This is the final edit that I am pretty happy with.  I edited the photo on Photoshop CS3 and cropped down one of the images below, zooming in on the mushroom so it became the main subject of the image.  I played around with the contrast and colours a bit and removed some bits that I found distracting before adding a vignette to the image.

I’m happy with this image as I have pushed myself with Photoshop, which I have no previous experience of really.  There are a few things I would still like to change, like getting rid of the bit that comes across the mushroom stalk, but I’m not sure how.  I think this will be something I come back to and re-edit as my skills grow with Photoshop!

This is the image after a few tweaks but without the vignette.  I liked this image but felt that I could draw the audience in further and add more interest to my subject by darkening the outside frame slightly.

And these are all the images I took before I edited them.  I am pretty pleased that my camera can handle such close up photography without a specialist Macro Lens on it.  I just used the Macro Setting on my camera and altered the aperture and shutter speed settings.

*Photos taken with Pentax K2000 DSLR and SMC Pentax-Dal 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL lens (came with camera)

Insomnia – Photo Ideas

I posted about a project I thought about yesterday and have taken some photos that have played around with some ideas I have had, some are more successful than others….

2.59-3.00

I took a load of photos of the clock in my bedroom on a long exposure time, trying to get an image of time ticking by, I think this one is the best of the bunch although I’m sure I can do better…maybe a shorter exposure time?  I wanted to capture a feeling of clock watching and feeling time going by but still being awake to witness it as this is what happens when I can’t sleep, minutes drag by and eventually turn into hours and I am aware of every second of it.

Restless

 This was taken on a 2 min shutter speed.  I wanted to capture the restlessness that insomnia leaves you with.  The photo shows my movement (albeit as a big glow!) and how I would move around in bed when experiencing a sleepless episode.  I really like this photo and am not sure I would want to change anything in it.  It may be interesting to do several of these kind of images, maybe using a film camera as I did have a couple of technical difficulties (one being I wanted to record my movement over night but my camera didn’t have a setting that I could use to keep the shutter open all night…)

Waiting #1

 There are moments when I have one of my insomnia attack where I try to settle down and get as comfortable as possible and just lie there waiting for sleep to come…this image tries to depict that.  I used my mobile phone as a light source as I didn’t want anything as harsh as a bulb to light the image.  I think that the use of mobile phone lighting has worked well (I have also lightened the image using Photoshop) as it gives a directed light that is quite soft and doesn’t light the background at all.  It seems like the darkness is enveloping the subject more.  I’m not totally happy with the mobile phone being on view in the photo.

Waiting #2

 Another version of the above.  I think this photo is much better than the above as you can not see the mobile phone (as much…) in the image.  I have, again, brightened this in Photoshop and also cropped it.  I am also happier as this image seems less grainy and more in focus and clear.  I still think there is a lot to work on within this image and maybe I can do a re-shoot or play around with the images taken a bit more.

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This is a compilation of all the photos I took, including the pre-photoshop images and the ones I took when setting up for the ideas that I had.

All photos shot with my Pentax K2000 DSLR