I have been asked to use a fast shutter speed and try and isolate a frozen moment in time from a moving subject.
Harold Edgerton – Born in 1903, Edgerton is mostly known for his work within photography, having studied electrical engineering he made revolutionary contributions to photography, he is credited for transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory into a common device. He also helped to develop sonar equipment and deep sea photography. “His experiments with bursts of intense illumination enabled him to photograph motion that eludes normal human perception” The most famous of his work is where he captured the moment milk splashed against a table which in turn gave a crown like figure. He died in 1990. Harold Edgerton – Oxford Reference
Jeff Wall – Born in Canada 1946, he has studied Art history, has a Bachelor of Arts degree and has his Masters of Arts as well. In 1974 he accepted his first teaching position, at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, subsequently teaching at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 1976-87, and since 1987 at the University of British Columbia. He was very interested in contemporary and experimental art. Wall has said, ‘The only way to continue in the spirit of the avant-garde is to experiment with your relation to tradition’ (Artnews, Nov. 1995, p.222). Jeff Wall – Tate Reference
Philip – Lorca DiCorcia – A photographer known for his cinematic images, he studied at the University of Hartford and did not intend to be a photographer. DiCorcia deliberately chose to print in color since it was an underutilized format in fine-art photography. Each of his images are captioned with the model’s (presumed) name, age, and price, like items in a catalogue, signifying the reciprocal commodification of model, artist, and viewer (as potential ‘client’). “He insists that his pictures suggest rather than elucidate a full narrative. His brand of storytelling results in unstable, unfixed images that point in certain directions but never provide a definitive map”. Philip-Lorca DiCorcia – MoMa Reference
I found Dicorcia very influential, his moody scenes and the use of dark colours is what helped me to think more on how I wanted my images to turn out. I want to re-create the moodiness even if my subject isn’t human.
Planning, execution and Final images
After doing research I was thinking of a way I could incorporate fashion into this task and I thought of movement, in particular how a dress sits and flows on the body. I then thought of throwing scarfs across the room and capturing the way they fell. I choose scarfs as they would be light enough to give enough movement.
I then decided I would need a background as the colours needed to stand out so I chose black and set it up. I had to get the lighting perfect otherwise it wouldn’t show up well. In total I used 3 lights, 2 soft boxes and another harsher light pointing upwards. I also needed someone to throw the scarfs, overall I think we spent two hours throwing scarfs and other material across the room. It was a lot harder than you’d think to throw scarfs and get the desired effect, the throw had to perfect and lined up with the camera.
My camera settings:
Nikon D5300, shutter priority mode on a tripod with a shutter speed of 1/800, f/3.5 and my ISO was 6400. I took a picture of my set up as I thought it would be important to demonstrate how I took the photos.
As you can see there are two soft boxes and then the harsh cooler light pointing upwards. I had my friend throw the scarfs from the left. I feel the backdrop was key to ensuring these photos came out well. I did find however that some of the very colourful fabric made the background either take a green or navy tinge and personally I find these images not very flattering. I have added them below.
The following are my final images,
I feel these images are very effective and I really enjoyed this task. The fabric in each image is uniquely unravelling and I find it very effective. I decided whilst doing the shoot not to just stick to scarfs as I thought the dress would move very differently. The fabric in particular was something I struggled with as it needed to be light enough to fall gracefully but heavy enough to be fired across the room. I definitely feel some images turned out better than others and that it was really just pure luck that some did turn out the way they did. I feel there is a moodiness to the photos, they do look graceful and are definitely a snapshot of time from a moving object, but I feel the black background in particular is the reason why they feel moody, although graceful there is something about how simple the way the fabric is moving that gives this sense of being alone or singled out.
My Contact sheets