GTGan’s ‘In the mood for love’

Howdy, it’s been a while…

Let’s re-start this blogging journey with a stunning 2011 series by GTGan for Harper’s Bazaar magazine Singapore called ‘In the mood for love’.

This is a typical superficial series to me, the kind that doesn’t say much about anything but it simply too beautiful to care. The first image in particular is stunning, bright colours and meticulous lighting create a Sin City meets the Simpsons vibe, a weird but undeniably wonderful combination.

‘Color Games’ by Julius Lse

Julius Lse‘s series ‘Color Games’ is a triptych of colour and contrast, combining paint, light and the camera to create these surreal deadpan portraits. Very creative and beautiful.

Airbrush: Heiko Weiß
Models: Anni Fast/ Micky Kurz/ Franziska Hiltl

See more here.

‘Burnouts’ by Simon Davidson

Bringing destruction and beauty together Simon Davidson explores the sub-culture of burnout competitions. Whilst I admire most sub cultures just for the sheer dedication and love people put into their hobbies, this series takes burnouts from a destructive sport to almost angelic looking works of art. The combination of hard bold metal surrounded by smoke clouds almost makes it appear as if the cars are floating on clouds, lost in the moment and pure enjoyment.


“For the past six years I have been photographing the sub-culture of burnout competitions in Australia. The guys and girls who compete in the various competitions across Australia are a passionate bunch. As a photographer I enjoy the visual feast of a superb and powerful car on the black of the burnout pad juxtaposed against the softness of the tire smoke. In reality a burnout is extremely loud and aggressive but in the photos there is a sense of calm… poetic in a way.”

Giorno Giovanna (Jo Jo’s)

With the iconic fetishised colours and atmosphere of Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure – Giorno cosplayers and photographers have no excuse when it comes to stylising. Saturated colours, romanticism and flowers create the perfect look for this unique character. Below are 4 cosplayers that have done a pretty good job at bringing the characters and the style off the pages and into reality.

Decotora by Tatsuki Masaru

In the summer of 1988 Tatsuki Masaru spent time with Japanese truckers who take part in the unique culture of decorating their trucks – DECOTORA. Masaru explores how they used decorating to turn a job that was perhaps an ends to a means into a hobby and passion they loved. Like all subcultures the dedication and devotion these truckers have is mind blowing and fascinating.

Phantastic420 on Instagram

Phantastic420 is an Instagramer based in Shizuoka Pref, Japan. With images focused on Japanese scenery around the Mount Fuji area. A lot of the shots are taken at night and I am particularly interested in the reent uploads of the Sakura in Japan which I will be around soon. I love the lighting and colours in the images, it’s making me second guess my time of shooting. In Coventry the images were coming out too dark even at twilight but i think there are so many City lights in Tokyo I might be better off shooting at night and choosing well lit areas. This is something I will have to experiment with on my digital camera whilst i’m there.

You can see Phantastic420’s instagram feed here.

All images ©Phantastic420

One taken at nightღ
27.Mar.2013 20:04:20
N35°14′15.600 E138°52′37.799
One taken at nightღ
24.Mar.2013 20:54:20
N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at nightღ 24.Mar.2013 20:44:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at nightღ 24.Mar.2013 20:34:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at midnightღ 24.Mar.2013 00:04:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400

 

One taken at midnightღ 24.Mar.2013 00:04:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at midnightღ 24.Mar.2013 01:42:00 N35°07′10.800 E138°49′33.599
One taken at midnightღ 23.Mar.2013 23:04:20 N35°11′84.025 E138°91′85.126

 

Twilight with Ilford Sportsman round 2

Round 2 with the 1960’s Ilford Sportsman, I think using a tripod made so much difference, I had to consider the positioning more, at first I was weary of the cameras shutter being so stiff that the images would still be shaky but they turned out nice and still. I love the colours this camera gives off, light doesn’t bleed to much into another surface, it remains quite contrasted which will work really well with the city lights in Tokyo. The images are a little under exposed. if I want to maintain this contrast between darkness and coloured lights I will need to make sure my subject in the photographs is lit well, maybe standing near a window or using a torch on my phone to make them stand out. The images have a blue quality to them, this is probably the cameras white balance default, as it is unchangeable but I think it works really well especially against the contrasting colours like yellow, orange and red, I need to be selective in the areas I choose to shoot and make sure the lighting is orange toned rather than blue. The images are better than last time, but still need to get a better control over the light, and pre-visualise the images before I take it.

The left side of this images is really nice, but I need to balance it out with the right, a simple street flood light would balance the image well and make it less underexposed.

 

Gosford @ Twilight

With my research well on its way I decided it’s time to also put myself out there and start producing images as part of my development. I have discussed before how I will be using a 35mm film camera for this project because its vernacular transfers so well to the photographers I have been researching and their use of reality and fantasy. I have been collecting film cameras for a while, just picking them up in charity shops, more for the history of the camera than actually using it. This one is special to me, my parents found it in a charity shop and bought it home for me, when I was looking at the history of the Ilford Sportsman I discovered that this particular model was produced in 1963 the same year as my mum was born. I instantly took a liking to it and have played around with it before, Ideally this will be the camera I use for my final project mainly because I enjoy the process of making images on it and I have a this family connection.

I decided the best thing to do would be practicing with it first, my film camera skills are limited and I need to get myself out of the mind frame of a digital user, I need to be considering each image, and take enough care and have enough confidence in myself to know the images will come out. I decided to shoot at twilight so that I could begin to explore the hyper-reality i’ve been exploring in my research. I also know my final piece is going to be city based and lit only by the twilight sun and the neon lights of advertisements and signs. So I headed for the most fluorescent street in coventry at 6.03pm in the snow and began to shoot.

I am not particularly happy with any of them. The 1st, 2nd and 4th images are getting there in regards to the colours, light and atmosphere it just needs fine tuning and I need to be able to produce better versions of these images on demand so when in Japan I know I will not wast my opportunity out there.

Mistake 1. Not taking a tripod to shoot during twilight.
Mistake 2. Using really cheap film
Mistake 3. Not working to my strengths, I should have taken the image on a digital camera first then taken the readings from that rather than working with a light meter.
Mistake 4. Non-consistant, Some images look as though they were shot at night, others in the day and some during sunset. I need to maintain the right exposure when making my images. They will be a series after all and need to have some similarity.

All these mistakes I hope to work on over the weekend, I will go and shoot 2 more rolls making sure I use a tripod and a digital camera as reference. However I cannot do too much about the film because it’s all I can afford if I am making this many minstakes. I will also start making portraits, and explore taking images inside during twilight too.

Character development: Fifth element

When I think about character design for my protagonist in my final piece one existing character comes to mind. Leeloo from fifth element is the perfect example of a deadpan (not emotionless but glazed over eyes, surreal, uncanny) character who is “an outsider” and has difficulty interacting with our world. Also fifth element as a whole, the concept of the future and the character design really inspires me to be as imaginative and creative as possible.

Another character who inspired me doesn’t play a big part, but the fifth element fans seem to love her. Zorg’s receptionist.

Both characters are meticulously planned, down to the colour of there eyelashes. This is how I want my character to be, colour co-ordinated to create an identity or a brand with every single hair in the right place, doing the right thing. This is just an initial brainstorm of influences, but i’m sure LeeLoo will have a big impact on my final piece.

This fan made video shows the best bits of Leeloo from fifth element:
Video by TheViva11

JeongMee Yoon

JeongMee Yoon’s ongoing series ‘The Pink & Blue project’ explores gender association within children and how we can be manipulated by consumerism.

My current work, The Pink and Blue Projects are the topic of my thesis. This project explores the trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children (and their parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization and identity. The work also raises other issues, such as the relationship between gender and consumerism, urbanization, the globalization of consumerism and the new capitalism.

The Pink and Blue Projects were initiated by my five-year-old daughter, who loves the color pink so much that she wanted to wear only pink clothes and play with only pink toys and objects. I discovered that my daughter’s case was not unusual. In the United States, South Korea and elsewhere, most young girls love pink clothing, accessories and toys. This phenomenon is widespread among children of various ethnic groups regardless of their cultural backgrounds. Perhaps it is the influence of pervasive commercial advertisements aimed at little girls and their parents, such as the universally popular Barbie and Hello Kitty merchandise that has developed into a modern trend. Girls train subconsciously and unconsciously to wear the color pink in order to look feminine.

– www.jeongmeeyoon.com/aw_pinkblue.htm

Whilst the idea that each gender of child is almost obsessive with one colour is a really interesting idea, the thing that engages me with JeongMee Yoon’s work is the idea of popular culture and consumerism, within each of the girls image we see barbies, hello kitty and the boys we see thomas the tank engine and superman it shocks me how consumerism effects children. From a young age we are exposed to branding and advertising and it’s becomes second nature to want what the TV tells us is good. Popular culture icons are part of our life from a young age and these images represent the variety of cultures and ages and that need everything fast and in mass like popular culture today, it is sickly, and over the top. The children placed in the middle of their belongings represents how they are almost trapped by there belongings.

www.jeongmeeyoon.com

The Lourake Prism Technique

I came across this great site intheprism.com it feaures the work of George Lourake, and his theories on prism photography, this quote is taken from the site…

Lourake Prism Technique

The Lourake Prism Technique is based on the fact that refracted sunlight passed through glass will produce wonderful images. I will not go into the science here but it is based on Reduction.

OK let’s get started.  First, you need a prism. I used chandelier prisms at first and they worked fine and then I went on Ebay and found some larger ones. Stabilizing the prism was a bit tricky, I used play dough and a harmonica holder until I figured out a stand from a tripod. This is important because you are changing the positions of the prism depending on where the sun is located. Ideally the sun is coming through a window, into a room that is dark. This means you should close off all the other light in the room except for the light going through the prism.

Now, after you have positioned the prism to shine a rainbow onto a surface-the floor or a table-you put down a White background. I use mat board or computer paper, anything white because white reflects all light and any other color will absorb the light.

Next you need a camera, preferably a digital camera that can be held with one hand. This is important because you need one hand to hold the glass and a heavy camera will not work. Put the camera setting on Macro and no flash. Now you are ready.

You have a rainbow on a white surface, your camera in one hand, and in the other hand a piece of glass.

Start with a water glass. Pass the glass in front of the rainbow so that the light goes through it and the image shines on the white surface. Turn the glass slowly and snap your pictures. Try to keep the camera perpendicular to the white surface so the image will not be blurry.

After you get the technique down start using different glass objects. Your glass should be lite enough to hold in one hand. I like the curvy glass like glass animals and fancy ashtrays. Colored glass gives you different effects, crystal gives clear pictures, plastic even works. Try a small plastic water bottle about half full and watch the show.

The whole process is moving. The sun is shifting so you have to follow it by moving your prism. The sun is also different every day. You will get clearer pictures when there are no clouds, some wind or after a rain. When you are shooting you will see how close to the image you need your camera to be for clear pictures.

Do your editing after so you won’t loose the sunlight. Surround yourself with the glass you want to try before you shoot, again because you don’t want to be distracted by anything.

This is great advice, especially the cheap option, plastic water bottle. Here is some of Lourakes work that supports his ideas.

©George Lourake
©George Lourake
©George Lourake
©George Lourake

Mert and Marcus

Mert and Marcus’ work is not what you would call ‘conventional’ fashion photography. There use of narrative and colours evoke a mysterious magical aspect that merges the border between Fashion Photography and Art Photography.

This image in particular has a lot of innocent themes, the bear being the most powerful. I don’t usually fall in love with Fashion Photographers work, I usually find their original ideas have been to compromised, like the theme could have been pushed more. But Mart and Marcus’ work does this.

I love this work, so much.

4. Alan Jaras

British photographer Alan Jaris creates images of light, literally. Most images are refracted patterns that occur as beam of light passes through textured glass, using light filters to change the colours. The images are captured like photograms but straight onto film. It’s hard to choose one image of his because they are all so breath-taking, so here are a few of his images.