Monday, 10 December 2012

Rut Blees Luxemburg

Rut Blees Luxemburg was born in 1967, and is a German photographer. Luxemburg mainly focuses on night photography, using long exposures to put light back into the urban landscapes she shoots. Currently Luxemburg is a tutor at the Royal College of Art and feels that the titles she gives to her photos are carefully considered, and help to give meaning to her photos. Luxemburg shoots large format, but admits she is not very technically knowledgeable about photography.

From having met Luxemburg and hearing her talk about her photos, I feel she over conceptualises her photos, but she still recognises that everyone interprets art differently. A lot of her photos have hidden meanings that would not necessarily be seen by others, for to me some of them seem a bit far-fetched.

In Deeper (from the series: 'Liebeslied'), 1999

Vertiginous Exhilaration (from the series: 'A Modern Project'), 1995

Black Sunrise (from the series: 'A Modern Project'), 2010

A Girl from Elsewhere (from the series: 'Liebeslied'), 2000
 Cockfosters (from the series: 'Piccadilly's Peccadilloes'), 2007 - A playful approach to photography. I personally like the idea of taking photos of a subjects reflection, for it allows the viewer more time to look deeply into something they may have only looked at briefly before. It also adds something more to the photo, to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Towering inferno (from the series: 'a modern project'), 1996 - An interesting look into the lives of the flat owners, through their windows, which almost resembles TV screens. Portals into other peoples worlds.

Thomas Shahan

Thomas Shahan uses a Pentax K200D with either a vintage 28mm or 50mm prime lens reversed to the end of extension tubes. Sometimes he uses bellows to achieve further magnification. Shahan mainly seems to take photos of jumping spiders, but also extends his photography to include macros of other arthropods, such as wasps and various flies. Shahan has also produced some 'how to' videos on the subject of macro photography. Click here to view more of his work.

The aperture used gives sufficient separation to the subject from the background, while still giving the viewer a clear insight into the subject's natural environment. Also the angle chosen shows the subject against a contrasting background, allowing the subjects natural colouring to stand out.

The sharpness of detail is exceptional 
at the level of magnification.

Such sharpness of detail has been captured to allow clear viewing of the flies compound eyes.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Jody Melanson

Jody Melanson grew up in a small Northern Town on a large Lake. Melanson says that he was always fascinated by Bugs, Birds and Wildlife, and from growing up in this small town it gave him lots of opportunities to see and interact with nature. In Melanson's words "I was your typical boy with the slingshot hanging out of one back pocket and a Frog in one of my front pockets". Melanson has quite the following, and shoots all types of photography. His website can be viewed here.

As you can see from the above picture, Melanson not only wears camouflage clothing, but also applies camouflage material to his camera and all its accessories. This is to help him blend in as much as possible to his subjects natural environment. By doing this Melanson is able to get very close to his subjects without disturbing them too much, allowing him to get the photos he aims to achieve.

Here is a pick of some of Melanson's macro photos I found to be quite interesting.

What first draws me into this photo is the intense
turquoise blue of the spiders eyes. I am not sure if they were enhanced post-processing, even if they were they still look phenomenal. There is no distracting glare from flash, they are just pin sharp. It's like looking into another dimension. 90% of the subject is in focus, which can be hard to achieve at this level of magnification. So much detail has been captured, which makes it invaluable from a research point of view and ever explorable to the viewers eyes.

I love that Melanson focuses upon just the stinger of this wasp, for again it is invaluable as research, as well as opening the worlds eyes to what it actually is that can potentially cause you very much pain, if you were to ever come in contact with it. This is one of the reasons it interests me so greatly. Technically this is a very sound image, for it is pin sharp, and shows so much detail, that is never normally seen.

Guy Bourdin

Guy Louis Bourdin was born December 2, 1928 in Paris, and died March 29, 1991 in Paris. He was born Guy Louis Banarès, and was a French fashion photographer. Bourdin had a complex relationship towards woman, some say this is due to his mother abandoning him as an infant, and other dark times he had regarding women in his childhood, but does this excuse how he treated women, or did he even need an excuse, you decide.

A lot of his photos stared red headed, pale skinned, heverly made up  models, which were purposefully reminiscent of Bourdin's mother. The scenes he used were carefully manufactured, even them of a nature scenes, for he would manipulate the natural lighting with reflectors and such to create a surreal feeling to his photos, his photos that reflected a life of misery

The models Bourdin used had to have little or no pride to work with him, for he would treat them wickedly, some may say. For example, his studio was refereed to as a dungeon, for it was dark, allowed no contact with the outside world, for lack of a phone, and to get to the dimly lit toilet the models would have to walk down to the cellar, across some planks of wood laid across bare soil, which made the models scared that rats or mice might be around. This apparently amused Bourdin. Reflective of his attitude towards women, I would say so.

Bourdin didn't want his photos to be given a longer life than that of a magazine page, for that is where a lot of his photos were published in the '70s. Bourdin refused book publishers requests and ideas for books staring his photos. He just had a reluctance to preserving his photos.
Bourdin would obsessively pursue perfection, only to have the images destroyed, which was his request to be carried out after his death. Was the end product the photograph, or was it the process that mattered so much to him? Again another question which is up to you to decide.

I found this documentary about Guy Bourdin and his work to be very interesting.

Slight Self Reflection Time...

So I have been neglecting this blog a bit, partially at a fault of my own, but also due to being very busy with many college projects, which really can suck up your time.
Anyway it's time to crank this blog up again, and I will start with a post on the photographer Guy Bourdin.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Reach Out, I'm Right Here

Ryan McGinley has added an amazing new series to his website, entitled; 

 (click to)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Blazing Hot Opportunity

I have an interesting opportunity come up, which I think could potentially make a good subject for my portraiture assignment, or at least make up part of it.

Basically I will be spending the day at a Firefighter training centre. The centre recreates how it feels to tackle the most violent blazes, backdrafts and flashovers, in a controlled environment.

A spokesman for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: "This new Compartment fire fighting Training Unit simulates the conditions, temperatures and phenomena experienced by Firefighters at real incidents, helping them recognise the hazards they will encounter when attending incidents like house fires."

I  will be taking photos of the Firefighters entering and exiting the burning units and safely putting out the fires.

Watch this space for an update on how it went

To find out more click on the banner

Friday, 8 June 2012

Follow up to 'Exciting Macro Event'

So yeah I went and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. Actually I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't get as much technical knowledge directed at me as I would have liked, but I did get to photograph some amazing little critters in a professional studio. I was able to request to take photos of specific animals from the long list of what was on offer:

Current Species List

Harvest Mice
Gargoyle Gecko
Leopard Gecko
Arabian Sand Gecko
New Caledonian Crested Gecko
Yemen/Veiled Chameleon
Panther Chameleon
Tiger Leg Frog
Whites tree frogs
Peacock Tree Frog
European Fire Bellied Toads
Asian Fire Bellied Toads
American Green Tree Frog
Argentinian Ornate Horned Frog
White Lipped Tree Frog
Macleay's Spectre Stick Insect/ Spiny Leaf Insect
Flower Mantis
Springbok Mantis
Species only available for one to one sessions
Sugar Gliders
Red Eye Green Tree Frog
Royal Python
Short Tailed Opossum
Sugar Glider [Click image for larger view]
As you can see the Sugar Glider comes under the category of 'Species only available for one to one sessions' but I managed to twist the organizers arm into letting me see the beautiful little balls of fluff and even got to snap a few quick shots before they got too feisty and had to be put back in their fleecy pouches and carted off to bed >.< for you see Sugar Gliders are nocturnal creatures.

I wont clutter this post with all my best photos from the day but I will link to where you can view them all on Flickr. 

To see more photos from the day click here
Photo prints are available on request, just email me by clicking here

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Exciting Macro Event

So my Auntie paid for me to go to a Macro Master Class for my 21st birthday, but it took me a while to get around to booking it, with needing to focus on my uni work. I finally booked it and I am attending it tomorrow Sunday 4th of June 2012. I am a little nervous, but am also quite looking forward to some specialised advice on how I can improve my macro photography of wildlife :D

Got to leave at like 7am though as it is in Liverpool after all :| Which means I need to get up at 5am!!!! Should probs go to sleep now actually, rather than rambling to the blogosphere...

So watch this space for some hopefully amazing photos of some cool animals, up close and personal. Wish me luck!

New Macros

Just a couple of photos I uploaded recently to flicker, which I am quite fond of, for it takes quite a bit of patience to get clear shots such as the one of this Moth, especially at night and whist it is on the hand of the person taking the photo =]

[Click image for larger view]

This photo of flies on some poop, (courtesy of my rabbit) is quite interesting to me, for I like to study the life of insects, I find them very fascinating, even more so the smaller they are. The reason for this is that it just seems so surreal to me that these little machines, are so small and have all these little working parts (legs, wings etc) and just chug along beneath our feet or hover above our heads. Go grab a magnifying glass and go educate yourselves about the marvellous world of the small beings! You'll be surprised by what you find ;]

 [Click image for larger view]

Anyway I hope you guys enjoy them.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley has added a new series on his website entitled 'animals' which I think deserves a look. It is a continuation of his previous work, of closing the gap between humans and animals in their natural form.

If you're interested click here to take a peek.

[Click image for larger view]

[Click image for larger view]

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Very Hairy Caterpillar

[Click image for larger view]

This is an amazing macro of a very hairy Caterpillar by 'Sea Moon' I love the aperture that has been used and the amount of detail that has been captured. I also think the very idea of photographing the cute thing on their finger works well, for it puts the size into perspective and shows its fragility. 

To check Sea Moon out click here. They upload new photos everyday, which in itself is great a accomplishment.