Saturday, 1 January 2011

Theme 2 - Assignment 2 - Edward Western

Edward Henry Weston was born March 24, 1886, in Highland Park, Illinois.  He spent the majority of his childhood in Chicago where he attended Oakland Grammar School. He began photographing at the age of sixteen after receiving a Bull’s Eye #2 camera from his father. Weston’s first photographs captured the parks of Chicago and his aunt’s farm. In 1906, following the publication of his first photograph in Camera and Darkroom, Weston moved to California. After working briefly as a surveyor for San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, he began working as an itinerant photographer. He peddled his wares door to door photographing children, pets and funerals. Realizing the need for formal training, in 1908 Weston returned east and attended the Illinois College of Photography in Effington, Illinois. He completed the 12-month course in six months and returned to California. In Los Angeles, he was employed as a retoucher at the George Steckel Portrait Studio. In 1909, Weston moved on to the Louis A. Mojoiner Portrait Studio as a photographer and demonstrated outstanding abilities with lighting and posing.) Weston married his first wife, Flora Chandler in 1909. He had four children with Flora; Edward Chandler (1910), Theodore Brett (1911), Laurence Neil (1916) and Cole (1919). In 1911, Weston opened his own portrait studio in Tropico, California. This would be his base of operation for the next two decades. Weston became successful working in soft-focus, pictorial style; winning many salons and professional awards. Weston gained an international reputation for his high key portraits and modern dance studies. Articles about his work were published in magazines such as American Photography, Photo Era and Photo Miniature. Weston also authored many articles himself for many of these publications. In 1912, Weston met photographer Margrethe Mather in his Tropico studio. Mather becomes his studio assistant and most frequent model for the next decade. Mather had a very strong influence on Weston. He would later call her, “the first important woman in my life.” Weston began keeping journals in 1915 that came to be known as his "Daybooks." They would chronicle his life and photographic development into the 1930’s.

This Image is one of Edward Westerns that I particularily like and enjoy looking at. It has great composition, striking tone changes and is an unbelievable picture considering it is of a simple cabbage leaf!

I have taken this image and used it as my inspiration in producing these images below:

Cabbage specs:

Nikon D300
ISO 200
Focal length 70mm
Shutter speed 1/20sec

Onion Specs:

Nikon D300
ISO 200
Focal length 50mm
Shutter speed 1/200sec

Tomato Specs:

Nikon D300
ISO 200
Focal length 50mm
f 5
Shutter speed 1/8sec

This is the set up that produced these images:

You can see that there is a simple tungsten light source that was used to create these images. Each object was placed on a black background cloth and shot from a variety of angles in order to capture a variety of focal points.

The light was securely fastened to a fixture using a strong clip and no drinks or fluids were in the vacinity in order to reduce the risk of fire. The entire 'set' was so small it produced virtually no health and safetly risks.

Equipment used:

Nikon D300
Single tungsten light source
Black background cloth
50mm lens
18-135 lens

Post production

The following screen shots demonstrate how each of the images were manipulated using adobe lightroom:

 All of the inages were shot in RAW to enable the white balance to be adjusted (if necessary) in adobe lightroom. In this instance (cabbage) I used a selenium tone to create the blue tinge. I then boosted the contrast and exported the picture to convert into a JPEG.

This screen shot is demonstrating how I used lightroom to ammend the white balance. The original picture (see below) has a yellow glow due to the light source, and this required alteration.

With all of these 3 images, I wanted to create pictures the were of interest and had different focal points. Each of the objects are common things that are used day in day out, but I wanted to draw the viewers eye to the morse pleasing aspects of the object. The cabbage leaf has hundreds of ridges, that looks almost like an ariel view of a mountain range or a river with all of its tributies feeding off it and flowing into the sea. The tomatoes have such a wonderful colour to them and the vine adds a little more interest to the picture. I very much like contrasting colours which is why I like the black background.

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