I have been shooting with my Ilford sportsman recently with the intention to use it in Tokyo to shoot my final pieces, however I thought it would be best to take a back up camera just in case one gets stolen lost or breaks. So I opted for my second favoured film camera, My Praktica, it used to belong to my mum but she gave it to me when I gained an interest in photography. I used it a few times in first year but have rarely used it since.
However to my surprise I found it a lot better to work with, and more realiable that the ilford. Using my iPhone light meter app, I learned from the last 3 shoots I have done and took the reading so the vibrant lights were at level 5. The images and colours are a lot better than the ilford ones, the camera and myself just work better, it is less clunky and has more option for adapting. I also love the light glare it creates, something which the ilford does not.
I will now be using the Praktica as my primary camera and the ilford as my back up. I am also very impressed with the accuracy of the light meter app on my phone but will take a normal light meter to Tokyo as backup.
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.
Beautiful New World is an Art exhibition that focuses on the idea of a new world, along with the 21st century came a great expectation of peace and growth in Japan, but it soo became the most violent and destructive time in recent history. Whilst WWII was harmful, post war provided great growth for Japans economics. However in the last 30 years Japan has suffered from some horrendous events such a earth quakes, tidal waves and economy crashes. Influenced by the theme of a new world which is so current in Manga, the world being destroyed and trying to rebuild itself is featured in thousands of manga stories, these art pieces comment on the lust for a better place, an escape from reality which is so predominant in Japanese pop culture. (off the top of my head I can think of 3 or 4 manga series I have read where creating a new world is the main theme.)
The exhibition itself features the work of 34 creative people, spanning across all art forms, and is divided into 3 sections, Beautiful real world, New media world and End of the world and future world.
The main theme of this section is understanding beauty and reality. Question both of their meanings and re-exploring how we understand them. The pieces are based on the representation of females in Contemporary advertising and fashion shoots. It also takes direct influence from manga..
Japanese manga and animations that illustrate gender-specific features in the boy’s world / girl’s world; and works that focus on “kawaii” culture, as well as the personal world-view of hitori-asobi(solitary play) that deviates from this culture.
This piece by Kaneuji Teppei has a direct reference to Japanese popular culture, using the brightly coloured structured hairstyles which feature in anime and manga to create a Big foot type creature.
Paramodel is an “art unit” formed in 2001 by Yasuhiko Hayashi (2001 Fine Art graduate from the Kyoto City University of Arts) and Yusuke Nakano (a Nihonga [Japanese-style painting] graduate from the same university). Their title comes from the combination of the words, “Paradise” and “model”, and the fusion of these two concepts is essentially the launching point of their creations. Although the unique talents and interests of these two individuals hardly ever intersect, they manage to work in parallel towards the same vision of constructing intricate models of Paradise using toy parts, like plastic train tracks and mini-cars. Engaging in this poetic, yet paradoxical practice of remodeling paradise, this art unit presents their visions in a variety of media, including installation, objets, animations, painting, sculpture, and photography. –www.azito-art.com/paramodel/
These pieces by Paramodel play on the miniature culture within Japan, the sushi presented on the truck plays on the idea of Kawaii culture within Japan, the need for everything to look cute and sweet.
The art of new media has changed the ways in which we view the world. The works that tune into the new possibilities of communication and physical sensibilities are becoming ever important in considering contemporary society; such works take interest in what effect technological development in images and sound has on human sensations. The idea that perceives human relationships, or relationships between human and the environment as fluid, rather than predetermined, could be the driving force behind such developments. The works to be on exhibit in this section encompass a broad range of works, including not only those works that incorporate new technology, but also those that relate to the urban environment, fashion, and objects. – Taken from the online catalogue
some of the exhibited work:
Hiroshi Fuji’s work looks at consumerism and a culture who chuck out anything that isn’t up to date. His sculptures are made from discarded items, he tries to take unwanted objects and turn them into something interesting. All the parts are childrens toys.
All featured artists:
Atelier Bow-wow, doubleNegatives Architecture, Tsumura Kosuke, Fuji Hiroshi, Ikeda Ryoji, Oshii Mamoru, Yokoyama Yuichi, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
Section 3 End of the World and Future World @B.T.A.P.
This section touches on the deep-seated apocalyptic world-view in Japanese society and culture, together with the visions for the future that are projected as result. The apocalyptic world-view is shaped by the disintegration of society and the collapse of urban cities, caused by natural disaster, war, and genocide as such, as well as death and the fear of facing death, while the visions for the future are projected in forms of cities in rejuvenation and futuristic cities. Some of the works in this section signify eternity and sustainability in relation to these themes. – taken from the catalogue
some exhibited work
Hatakeyama Naoyas stunning landscapes toggle between the destruction of the world, juxtaposed with landscape photos with no sign of human life, making us think about the beauty of the world, and putting us in the position of imaging a new world.
– Project Viva Riva – Sutanda
2001 200cm × 200cm × 300cm
aluminum, brass, motors, other monuments (Revival) Play arose from the “ruins of the future.” Work was born doll suit atom was picked up in the ruins of the nursery of Chernobyl, the sun that had been painted on the wall has become a group. Doll rises senses radiation 20 times, objects located beyond the line of sight of the sun shine at the same time. Stand up on two legs is also a big step in the process of human growth and human evolution.
Tomoko Yoneda’s photographs of an end is seem less kitsch and colourful as some of the work in the exhibition, however it’s message is strong. Unless accompanied by it’s title the photo holds no real connection to the idea of a new world, but with the title we imagine we have reached an end of a story, perhaps a family or couple fleeing to the new world after a long series of events.
All featured artists:
Fujihata Masaki, Hatakeyama Naoya, Miyajima Tatsuo, Miyamoto Ryuji, Ohmaki Shinji, Urasawa Naoki, Yanobe Kenji, Yoneda Tomoko
The exhibition as a whole
There is no doubt that this exhibition would have been one worth seeing. Rarely are so many forms of art in one place, the interesting idea is that all artists work is based along the idea of a Beautiful New world, but each result is completely different, and that the repetitive use of a new world narrative within Manga has a big enough influence and has become such a big part of japanese pop culture that many artists are using it as their influence for work.
SO my next development idea was to photograph online gameplay from youtube, hundreds of people film themselves playing games in screen and upload it. I started with Halo because i knew it would produce nice shots form my last shoot.
Halo Reach Gameplay
I Used this video for these images…
These images were taken on full brightness. average about 2.5 of a second
I then realised I control the brightness of my laptop, so i put the brightness right down, and changed the shutter speed to around 10 seconds. The Images came out totally different, the colours aren’t as bright and the action isn’t strong but they make beautiful compositions.
I then started to think about other games with great graphics, Batman spray to mind, I carried on with the low brightness 10 second shutter speed technique.
Batman Arkham City gameplay
I used this video for these photos…
Low brightness, long shutter speed.
I was really happy with these images but I anted to try some shorter shutter speeds and higher brightness on my laptop images, I only really got 1 good image from doing this.
I think this new technique works better in darker games like Batman, but games like Halo that use colour and light the shorter shutter speed is definitely more complimentary. I’m starting to think i’m ready to take my finals, and capturing gameplay from youtube is definitely the way forward.
I have been trying to remember this photographer since I decided on my idea for the Digital Play series. I finally remembered it.
Hiroshi Sugimoto took this series of photos named ‘Theatre’ in the years 1978 & 1993. The supporting text from his sight tells us all we need to know about the series.Theaters
I’m a habitual self-interlocutor. Around the time I started photographing at the Natural History Museum, one evening I had a near-hallucinatory vision. The question-and-answer session that led up to this vision went something like this: Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision. Dressed up as a tourist, I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture, and two hours later when the movie finished, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening, I developed the film, and the vision exploded behind my eyes.
– Hiroshi Sugimoto
This series by Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of my favourite of all time. As someone who inherits similar techniques to him, I admire him. I also love the story behind it, he wondered what that would look like and tried it. In a way thats what my Digital Play series is about, each image will never come out the same, and you just have to try to see what happens. great work by a great Photographer.
The night photography project isn’t coming together too well, i’m taking an image a night on film but this means waiting a month before i see the results, so i wanted to do some digital work just to make me feel like i was doing something, as I was laying in bed i notice that if you lay at a certain angle the light from the tv reflect on my white walls and create interesting colours, shapes and patterns, which are all different every time, so here are some of the images that came out of playing around whilst watching Disneys Hercules at 2am….
There is deffinately room for improvement with these images, more could be explored, like angles of the tv, and placing multiple tv’s facing one wall and seeing how that creates light across a whole wall.
I found this video on YouTube and found it very informative and interesting, about why photographers shoot at night and how they do it, well worth watching all 3 parts
Part 1 ->
Part 2 ->
Part 3 ->
What strikes me as interesting is how the majority of night photographers had some sort of love or admiration for the darkness already, and as someone who fears the dark, and what lays in it, i think about how i could use this in my work. I think it appeals to me as someone who loves painting because it has the same control and aesthetics, a physical painting movement.