By far the most popular form of information content onine are photographic images. We are going to spend the next few classes on improving your images. Let us begin with some tips on COMPOSITION from world renowned travel photographer STEVE McCURRY Here is a video montage of photographs I shot last year while in Rome recording urban street life. My personal photographic preference is based on the Chiaroscuro ‘Italian Light / Dark’ style of drawing & painting developed in the Renaissance as a way to bring images to life useing shading techniques. Here are 3 examples from Leonardo da Vinci.
Here are some B&W photo shots I have made on the Riviera Maya
Here is a montage of B&W’s shots from 4 yrs ago made by my Papalote photography students
OK NEW PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSIGNMENT – We are going to produce a ‘ A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAPALOTE‘ photographic series –
Each of you will photograph on any image producing device (this is not about the camera)
3 IMAGES OF SCHOOL
IMAGES TO BE IN BLACK & WHITE
YOU WILL NEED A PHOTO EDIT PROGRAM TO ADJUST TO BLACK & WHITE AND TO MANIPULATE THE CHIAROSCURO OF THE IMAGE BY CHANGING ‘CONTRAST – SATURATION – EXPOSURE’
Your images needs to demonstate that you have observated 2 things
1. An interesting natural compostion that is ‘Reality’ – No posed photographs
2. High contrast of light & shade in the image.
You choose the time of the school day, the subject and the photographic device you use to make the shot ( can be a DSLR Camera or phone camera) I will choose one of your images to be part of a Media Class Video Montage to be published on my blog.
What we can learn about composition from Paintings
Case Study: Caravaggio 1571 – 1610
I choose him because his compostions are realistic dipictions of human drama. He has an almost photo journalistic interpretation of action and the decisive moment to record an image. His radical naturalism was quite different from the religeous compostions of the time. Many of his works would translate into Black & White photographs because he invented a style known as Tenebrism ( Italian tenebroso .. murky) a dramatic shift from light to dark with little transitional colour gradation. This was a more focussed version of Chiaroscuro light & shade painting established in the Renaissance.
The strong contrast in the lighting of his paintings gives the compositon a very dramatic feel as if one area of the painted frame has been spot lit. He had a big influence on the Baroque style of European painters that followed him e.g. Rubens, Rembrandt, and also much later modern day cinematographers working with lighting.
Notice how these dramatic paintings translate to high contrast lit B&W photographs
The Martyrdom of St Matthew
Judith Beheading Holofernes
The Calling of St Mathew
You could say that Caravaggio was the first cinematographer is his selective use of light on key subjects in his compositions. Obviously he wasn’t filming but he undoubtedly influenced certain directors in their use of lighting film sets. This Chiaroscuro (Italian for light /dark) was rediscovered in the 1940’s with Film Noir ( we will investigate this later)
Recent cinematic examples:
Robert Rodriguez ‘Sin City’ 1 & 2
Zac Snyder ‘300’
David Fincher ‘Fight Club’
Stanley Kubrick ‘Barry Lyndon’
Peter Greenaway ‘Eisenstein in Guanjuato’
Ridley Scott ‘Blade Runner’
Example of extreme Chiaroscuro lighting in cinema from the Hungerian director Bela Tarr