How to create a lighting diagram…

Lighting diagrams can be used for many purposes. They allow you to keep track of your lighting set up if you need to recreate the same scenario in the future and can also be used by your assistants to set up a lighting scene that you have in your mind. I am aware of two main websites where you can create a lighting scenario/diagram:

www.strobox.com & www.lightingdiagrams.com & www.sylights.com (here you can also add a comment to your diagram which I find very useful).

I have used Strobox to create my diagram (remark: Online Lighting Diagram Creator and Strobox Community cooperate together in order to offer the photography community the best of both their tools). If you want to give it it go, follow the instructions below:

On the home page click on the Create tab and this will open a new diagram with basic objects (backdrop, subject, flashgun, umbrella and camera). You can choose to clear the diagram above the canvas and start creating your own or simply adjust the given diagram (add/delete objects). To choose new objects place your mouse over the “Lighting Objects’ tab on the left side of the canvas and choose the objects which suit your scenario. There is a disadvantage that you cannot record the distances of the objects from each other, but you can keep those in your notes as the distance is very critical in lighting scenarios. In addition, the light power cannot be logged.

lighting-diagram-1407572847

© Gina D Photo Pty Ltd 2014

Bar Contessa – New York City style Cafe/Restaurant in Balmain

I study for Diploma of Photo Imaging at CATC Design School and currently one of my subjects is Light & Lighting. Our main assignment was choose a local café or restaurant and seek permission from the owner to photograph the interior and exterior. The idea of the shoot was to capture the mood and ambiance of the café/restaurant and to make the establishment look at its best (as for an imaginary magazine review). Whilst the subject matter and the composition of the shots was paramount, the use of light and lighting techniques was of the utmost importance.

 

Choosing the right place:

It was easy to choose a local Café/Restaurant as I have my favourite place – Bar Contessa which is located in Balmain (I live on the boarder of Rozelle and Balmain). It is open 7 days a week from early morning until 3pm, so people go there for breakfast, lunch or just a coffee. The owner and chef is Marco Adoncello who has Italian roots but has travelled the world and his cuisine is a mixture of American and Italian dishes. Lots of products are sourced from friends and family who operate a range of fruit, vegetable and butcher businesses within Sydney. The free range eggs are delivered directly from a farm on the Hawksberry River. Their bread and sweets are delivered fresh every morning from the Luxe Bakery. The restaurant also offers gluten free, vegetarian and organic food to satisfy every customer. Marco & other people working in the restaurant are very friendly, so getting the approval to photograph my assignment at this place was very easy. I have promised to give them the photos for use for their promotional purposes.

Also you can have a look at their website BAR CONTESSA, or go grab some breakfast / lunch / coffee there!

Planning the photoshoot:

After receiving consent from the owner, I started planning my shoot. The entrance of the bar is facing south and it does not get any direct sun throughout the day. I have decided to shoot in the afternoon between 2-3pm because the bar closes at 3pm but it gets lots of light coming in bouncing from the building across the street to ensure there will be sufficient light to shoot. I did not plan to use any lighting as the shooting was planned during the working hours and I did not want to distract the guests or disturb the functioning in any way. I prepared a tripod and monopod to be able to use longer exposure and avoid camera shake. I decided to use my Canon lens 24 – 105mm as that is the widest lens I own. For interior photos I planned to use 24mm (f 11 -18) and for product photography as coffee, food etc. lower f stop – this lens goes down to f4 only. There might be better lens option for food photography but using one lens only gave me a bit of flexibility to change the subject quickly.

On the job:

As agreed with Marco (the owner & chef) I arrived on Sunday afternoon. I ordered a burger which was one of my subjects to shoot (see below) – have to admit it tastes as well as it looks. The plan was to get 3-4 photos for this assignment but I have added a bit more to show more of the work I have done. I used a tripod for the interior photos and the product photographs were taking while hand holding the camera. Even though it could be better to use a tripod, I did not want to attract too much attention & disturb the functionality of the restaurant. Tripod for the interior photographs was not used only to let enough light in due to limited lighting conditions but also to blur some movement (which makes the place look busy and people should not be recognised on such photos unless they agreed to it). I have tried to include guests in the background in some of the food/coffee photographs to make the photos more life, social (photo number 2 and 4 below).

Below are the results including settings. Hope you like them. I would like to thank Marco for the opportunity (and supplying me with different coffees for my shoot, especially the smiley face – Babyccino (Photo Nr.7).

1. Settings: f16, ISO 320, 1/2sec.

1. Settings: f16, ISO 320, 1/2sec.

2. f4, ISO 320, 1/10sec.

2. f4, ISO 320, 1/10sec.

3. Settings: f16, ISO 100, 3.2sec.

3. Settings: f16, ISO 100, 3.2sec.

4. Settings: f4, ISO 640, 1/60sec.

4. Settings: f4, ISO 640, 1/60sec.

5. Settings: f4, ISO 1000, 1/80sec.                                                                                                                                                                                     6. Settings: f4, ISO 400, 1/125sec.

5. Settings: f4, ISO 1000, 1/80sec.                                                                                                                                                                          6. Settings: f4, ISO 400, 1/125sec.

7. Settings: f4, ISO 400, 1/80sec.

7. Settings: f4, ISO 400, 1/80sec.

 

 

© Gina D Photo Pty Ltd 2014

 

Winning photo at DFS Galeria – Spring/Summer 2014 Photography Exhibition

On Thursday, 8 May 2014, my photo “The Forever Magical Opera House” has won the auction at DFS Galeria – Spring/Summer 2014 Photography Exhibition. The theme of the photo was “Wish You Were Here”.

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There were 12 finalists chosen from two Sydney colleges and they were all available for biding in the silent auction which took place during the opening event. My photograph has received the highest bid. The article has been published on my school’s blog (CATC Design School):  http://catchpig.com/2014/05/catc-photography-finalists/.

All final photographs will be on display for next two months on the ground floor of the DFS Galeria (The Rocks, Sydney).

Untitled-2w Untitled-3

© All photographs are copyrighted by Gina D Photo (Gina J Duckers) 2014

Photo Story: Bridal Editorial 1

I am currently cooperating with two amazingly talented women: make-up artist Marie Sarkissian Lattouf and hair stylist Ema Milgate on bridal editorial project (photography and styling by Gina J Duckers). The purpose of this project is to create editorial bridal photoshoot presentation of different hair styles, make-up, accessories, dresses and bridal styles. The model on these photos is Julie Myra. Below is the photo story including preparation in the studio and the results of our work. Thank you ladies for amazing day. I am looking forward our future projects (next bridal editorial photoshoot is coming soon – in May).

studio-collage-bridal-ws

IMG_1173wsIMG_1187wsIMG_1249wsAnd the result of our work

Untitled-2wsIMG_1323webSr

Untitled-3© All photographs are copyrighted by Gina D Photo (Gina J Duckers) 2014

Photo Story: Sydney Fish Market

I am a big fan of Sydney Fish Market and therefore I have shot a photo story there. I really enjoy to prepare fresh seafood or just to go for a lunch there. The story takes us through the day – how fish are prepared for the display (some of them still alive), how busy the market is including the packing of the purchased products, some people enjoying their lunch at the market and at the end, after taking orders for the next day, preparing for another early morning at the sea…. and the next day – all over again….

A 20140419_FM_0805w B 20140419_FM_0799w C 20140419_FM_0842w D 20140419_FM_0820w E 20140419_FM_0837w F 20140419_FM_0848w G 20140419_FM_0809w H 20140419_FM_0835w I 20140419_FM_0853w J 20140419_FM_0827w

 

© All photographs are copyrighted by Gina D Photo (Gina J Duckers) 2014

Activity 10: Interview questions for a photographer (VC)

The objective of this activity is to gain experience in ways to understand other photographer’s work and post a minimum of 6 question on the blog (the questions should invoke extensive answers, not one word yes or no in order to gain a real understanding of another photographer’s work and the for reason for creating it).

1. Where do you get your inspiration from?

2. What is your main suggestion for setting up a composition and lighting?

3. What do you think is the most important element to attract new clients?

4. What was your most difficult shoot and how did you overcome the obstructions?

5. What was the most influential moment of your career that has affected your business growth?

6. What is your approach to social media and how do you engage your audience?

Activity 9: Moral Rights and Copyright in Photography (VC)

The objective of this activity is to develop an understanding of moral rights and copyright in regards to the photographic industry.

copyright-petra

 Scenario 1:

Use of a photo on someone’s blog without giving me a credit for being the original photographer

To use someone’s photograph it is still publishing the photo online. And the photographer is entitled to moral rights, therefore he should be credited by the photo. Blog is followed by different people and therefore this is a published work. I would suggest to contact the author immediately with the reference to the Australian Copyright Council which states that when the work is published its author has the right to be attributed unless subject to any consent or reasonableness defence. Blog does not have to be set up for commercial purposes but the user should still respect moral rights of authors of photographs he is using.

Scenario 2:
Wedding photos shown on a display of a printing shop without my consent (photographer) and the owner of the shop is claiming that the couple shown on the photograph agreed for this photo to be on display.

When a photographer is commissioned to take any domestic photos (wedding, engagement, other events, portrait, etc.) then the customer owes the copyright unless it is stated otherwise in the Service Agreement signed between the photographer and his client. If the agreement gives any specific rules how displaying and publishing a photograph should be treated, then the customer might have breached the conditions agreed. If the agreement does not allow publishing without crediting the photographer, then I would ask the owner of the shop to add my name (name of my studio) on the photograph. There should always be a signed agreement with the client to avoid situations like this and have some documentation stating the rights of each party clearly.

Scenario 3:
Advertising photo being used for more than agreed purposes (on a tram, in international magazines)

In this third scenario the photographs made for a client are used for other purposes then agreed in a signed Service Agreement. This is definitely a breach of the law and I would immediately get in touch with my lawyer to initiate an investigation. Especially for commercial purposes there are strict rules clearly stated in a contract and governed by the law. After the investigation I would request that the layer contacts the company and start a mediation. If the company would not settle for some financial compensation and agreement to take the photographs off or pay for their future usage, this matter should be taken to the court.

For more information about COPYRIGHTS of not only photographs please visit the following website: http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-answer/browse-by-what-you-do/photographers/
 

Activity 8: Authenticity (VC)

The objective of this activity is to gain an understanding of the importance of authenticity in photography and what the ramifications are when it is challenged. Give an example of two photographs that have been challenged.

With the development of software the question “can photos still be trusted” arises more often and authenticity of a photograph is now a well known problem. There are even some companies, like the Fourandsix, who concentrate of developing software that will help to examine the authenticity of a photograph. But what is actually meant by the authenticity? There has been many cases of published photographs that were manipulated. Manipulating the truth might have a large impact on a social, political and other public views or cause misunderstanding or civil litigations. Manipulation can be achieved by adding or increasing contrast of elements in a photo, placing two images together while leaving only some features of each in a final image or leaving some elements of the photo out (great example was a cigarette taken off of one of the photos of the Beatles).

Example 1:

Feb1994-hardingkerrigan

New Tork Newsday. 1994. Fire on Ice.
Available: http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/?currentPage=3

 

This photograph was taken/created in 1994 before Olympics figure skating competition and represents two rival skaters showing them as they practiced together on a cover of New York Newsday in . This photo has been manipulated and it has been published right after an attack to one of them by associate of the other’s husband. So of course this raised a big interested of a public and helped the magazine to get the attention of their buyers as no one would expect them to practice together. This photo has raised a massive discussion about ethics in photography. But the magazine was not claiming this photograph is true, it was actually released day before these two skaters were suppose to meet and the magazine was just ‘joking’ about how their joint practice might look like as they as rivals would never be caught together like that. But even though it has been questioned for ethics especially because it is not clear to the viewer immediately that this is not a true image. But if the reader would read the small writing on the right side that it is clear it is a manipulation, so the magazine was not hiding it. I do agree that the first impression of the viewer is that they skate together and it creates the attention to their cover, so the ethics of this photo is very questionable. 

Example 2:

capa_essay_01

Capa, R. 1936. Falling Soldier.
Available: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/robert-capa/in-love-and-war/47/

The very famous and also controversial photography due to its authenticity is a photo of The Falling Soldier photographer by Robert Capa who was a Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist who documented many wars during his life. He has taken a photograph of a falling soldier during the Spanish Civil War and this photograph has been questioned for many years by many people – you can find many articles about this photograph. Until 1970’s people believed this is a true image but then they started to question if it was staged and also the authenticity of the individual in the picture. There has been a massive research on examining the place and individual through other photographs taken. People have also examined the expression, position of the hand, any proofs of current location, etc. Wikipedia is confirming this photograph has been manipulated but article written by Richard Whelan is finding proofs for the photo to be genuine. This photo is actually a masterpiece of a challenge for its authenticity as up to today they are people believing in both stories. That’s quite interesting – good example is the discussing below the article from Richard Whelan.

References:
http://academics.smcvt.edu/dmindich/photoshop.html 
http://blog.photoshelter.com/2012/07/how-to-determine-the-authenticity-of-a-photograph/ 
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/photo_database/image/fire_on_ice 
http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/?currentPage=3 
http://www.cnet.com/pictures/pictures-that-lie-photos/9/ 
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/robert-capa/in-love-and-war/47/ 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Capa 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Soldier

 

Activity 6: Terry Barrett (VC)

The objective of this activity is to enhance understanding of the classification system devised by Terry Barrett.

I will briefly describe all categories but will provide more details for two of them (Interpretive + Ethically Evaluative).

Terry Barrett devised a classificatory system for photographic images and divided then into six categories:

1) Descriptive 2) Explanatory 3) Interpretive 4) Ethically evaluative 5) Aesthetically evaluative 6) Theoretical

1) Descriptive – All photographs are describing something but some of them are made to be descriptive only and have no other meaning or story. These would be photos made for ID, xrays, space photos, etc.

2) Explanatory – This type of photo is also giving some type of description but also provides some answers for scientific questions. This type of photography is often used by social and physical scientists or in the corporate business (instructions, product catalogues, etc.).

3) Interpretive – Interpretive photographs involve personal and non scientific point of view. It is not about describing anything but about giving an opinion of the situation/object/etc. This could also involve creating spiritual and unreal scenes which are usually set up. Also it involves the viewer to think about the situation/object and decide how they want to interpret the photo themselves. These types of images are often used in advertisement, art, etc. The following image is a good example of such a photo – it is a set up photo but it creates a story – story that we can decide ourselves how we want to see it. It creates a curiosity of the condition of the person (dead, drugged, passed out, …). The author is already interpreting the situation by showing us there is something wrong with this person but it is up to viewer to take a final decision of how bad it actually is.

C66-11-DansS-A-03

Source

4) Ethically evaluative – War photos would be a perfect example for this category. The purpose is to make a moral or ethical judgement. It is often used for social, political or moral issues. It’s purpose is either to create negative or positive judgement – negative in a way to raise an issue about some aspects (children labour, influence of war on children, etc.) or positive way like an advertising (make us believe that a certain product is improving the quality of life). A good example of such a photograph is a one of two child soldiers sharing a cigarette. It is not only bad showing young boys who are forced to kill and fight, just like adults but also smoke a cigarette as they act as adults in every way.

EMPDsxf

Source

5) Aesthetically evaluative – Photographs fitting in this category are showing things in life in a pleasing way to show beautiful, elegant and nice things to the viewer. Landscapes photos, nude and still lives are usually presented as aesthetically evaluative.

6) Theoretical – The last category is about art and represents photographs that promote reflection, comment on art or are photographs about photography.

Some of the categories might be overlapping for some types of photograph. Also it can happen that a photograph is taken for one reason (representing one of the categories) but later is used for a different purpose/meaning etc. All these categories help the viewer to examine and interpret a photograph.

Photographs are considerably more than the automatic recordings of portable picturing machines and deserve detailed attention.

Source

Other sources:

http://www.terrybarrettosu.com/index.html

http://www.terrybarrettosu.com/pdfs/Barrett%20(1986)%20Types%20of%20Photographs.pdf

http://www.vinimages.com.au/2014/03/6-enhance-understanding-of-the-classification-system-devised-by-terry-barrett/

http://en.cyclopaedia.net/wiki/Terry-Barrett

 

Activity 5: Memorable images (VC)

The purpose of this activity is to list and discuss the visual aspects of images that come to mind when we think about the following:

1. Art Work                      2. Musical Performer                    3. Advertisement

1. Art work

turquoise-marilyn-62

 

Marilyndiptych

I really like this art work created by an American Pop Artist known as Andy Warhol (Andrew Warhola). Andy was using a process called screen-printing:

In August 62 I started doing silkscreens. I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time.” AW

It was a very original idea and very interesting choice of colours used together. This was made from a picture originally shot in 1953 by Gene Korman for the movie Niagara. The series has fifty photos while 25 are coloured and 25 black and white. This work has been created shortly after Marylin’s death and interpreted as the contrast between her life and deaths (life is coloured and death is black and white). This painting has been named as the third most influential art work of modern art in the Guardian survey published in December 2004.

2. Musical Performer

First thing that comes to my mind is a cover photo of the magazine Rolling Stones when I think about a powerful image of a musical performer. The one that I remember the most is the one of Janet Jackson published in 1993 when Janet was 24 years old.

download (1)

This image was very provocative and that is what this magazine likes (if you think of other covers like the Pope or Yoko Ono with John Lenon who is naked and was shot few hours later, etc.). It is black and white which takes away any distraction by colours of the photo and only focuses on the theme. It creates curiosity about whose are these hands. It provokes by its part nudity and sexappeal. This is also controversial as it was not shot as picture for the album cover but its one pf the photos taken by Patrick Demarchelier for new Janet’s album that was to be very sexually charged. This image has been so famous that it got recreated by other as a photo or picture or caricature.


images (1) jsc1hTeyanna-Taylor-Recreates-Janet-Jackson-Rolling-Stone-Cover5-500x389

 

3. Advertisement

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This photo of a Czech born top model Eva Herzigova became very famous when it got placed on a billboard and started to stop traffic in the streets of London – it was said that this photo has caused crashes of cars. It was then named as the most iconic outdoor advertisement of all times and won a tenth place in a competition “Poster of the Century. Also in this photo the colours are subtle and it was cropped in an interesting way to place the bra in the middle of the photo. It is very clean photo. It creates a bit of curiosity about its background – it looks like Eva is standing in front of a glass or window (maybe a store).


 

Links to resources for information and photos:

http://www.artquotes.net/masters/warhol_andy/turquoise-marilyn-1962.htm

http://www.webexhibits.org/colorart/marilyns.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol

http://www.musedmagonline.com/2012/07/teyana-taylor-mimics-janet-jacksons-iconic-rolling-stone-cover-dope-or-joke/

http://countergeek.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/janet-jackson-rolling-stone-cover-1993.html

http://theentertainmentnut.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/gimmicks-of-yesteryear-the-13-variant-covers-of-gen-13-1/

http://www.oohlalablog.com/celebrity-style/2012/07/teyanna-taylor/

http://metro.co.uk/2011/03/30/wonderbra-poster-featuring-eva-herzigova-named-most-iconic-ad-647530/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderbra