Lightroom Tutorial 3 – Develop Module Presets

Lightroom Develop Module

It would be helpful if you opened Lightroom and then clicked on the folder that you used for tutorial 2, Library module. If you didn’t make one then any folder will do, but it would be best if there were only 5 or 6 photos in it.

Once we have opened a folder we are in the Library module. You don’t need to click on develop as there are keyboard short cuts. Press D to go to the develop module and then if you want to go back to the library at any point then press G. To remove the side and bottom menus press tab │←→│.

Your screen should now look like this.

Develop-1

There are small arrows in the circles. If you click on arrows 1 and 3 you will notice that the develop menu has now disappeared and so has your row of photos at the bottom. This is really useful as you can then develop your photos in a larger format, and you can click on any of the arrows to bring them back. However, you don’t need to even do that. Hover over any of the arrows and the menu will show, and you can then use those features. I tend to have the develop menu (top) and the tool menu (right) permanently open, but you will find out what’s best for you by experimentation. For now, press tab and bring all of the menus back up.

The first thing that I always do when in the develop menu is to remove chromatic aberration and enable profile corrections. Chromatic aberrations are sometimes known as “Colour Fringing” and it is to do with how light at different wavelengths are brought to the focal point slightly differently, so you can get a blurred edge, more often of one colour. The lens correction is based upon the known distortions produced by a specific lens.

It’s best to adjust this with all of your photos in this collection at once. If I do this individually I forget some of the time. To choose all of your photos press Ctrl A, then use the right hand side slider until you find this.

Develop-2

Tick the check box for remove chromatic aberration and also for Enable Profile Corrections. You can choose which lens you were using. If you use a camera without interchangeable lenses then I don’t think you can correct the profile. My Fuji bridge camera doesn’t have a profile here so I can’t correct it. Once you have ticked the boxes press sync. (The above photo says auto sync, but it will say Sync on your screen).  If you have used multiple lenses you will need to go through them individually, but I mostly use one lens on one shoot. Your screen will now have this check box.

Develop-3

Although you can sync all settings and it can speed up workflow, I wouldn’t reccoment this until you have got an understanding of the different develop tools. Some photos will require different settings for optimal developing, so it isnt best to sync everything. When you are used to the develop tools and can make a fair assumption of how they will affect other photos you can then sycn settings by selecting multiple photos (Ctrl and left click). The settings will be synchronised with the photo that you are currently editing and applied to the others.

At the moment just tick the same 7 boxes that I have ticked above (deselct the rest by clicking on them if they are already ticked) and then press Synchronize.

Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets are global develop settings that Lightroom has built in as options for you to use if you wish. They provide a range of options to develop photos and can speed up our workflow. You can use a preset and then add your own adjustments to these, or you may choose not to use them at all, but they are definitely worth exploring.

Develop-4

1- Change background colour, 2- Navigator preview image, 3 – Lightroom presets

Before we use the presets consider changing the background of your screen. Right-click to the side of your photo and click the background colour of your preference. I have recently moved over to a white background. My reason being that most of my photos are displayed online, on a white background. Having the same background in Lightroom means that I am developing a photo as it will be seen online. The colour of the background alters the way that our brain views the light and colour (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion)

The navigator is brilliant. You can change the image ratio to zoom in or out, which you can also do with Ctrl + – (no Ctrl 0 in Lightroom like there is in Photoshop). You can increase the zoom further by using the double arrows next to the 2:1 ratio. The fab part of navigation is when you then start to explore the pre-sets. Most frequently I use the General Presets, occasional use of the Colour Presets, and rarely the Black and White Presets.

Exercise

Open the General Preset menu by clicking on the arrow to the left of it. Hover over each of the options whilst looking at the image above in the navigator. You get a preview of how the pre-set will adjust your photo. Do the same with the Colour Pre-sets. Click on one of them and it will adjust your photo, and then you can press Ctrl Z to undo the change.

There is also a + – symbol next to where it says pre-sets in the same panel. This is useful when you realise that you make a lot of similar global changes in your photo developing. You can make the changes to a photo and then press the + symbol, give your preset a name, and you have your own preset. This saves time, but get used to developing your photos first (Tutorial 4 and 5 will explore global and local developing).

I don’t use the copy and paste, you can add your own develop settings into the currently selected preset, or you can copy a presets settings and then paste them into a photo. I am not familiar with this process and I don’t feel comfortable changing around these settings by using the copy and paste. You do not need to use the copy and paste option as once you have used a preset you can still make your own local and global developments to your photo anyway.

Lightroom History

When you are developing photos in Lightroom you are developing a full size virtual copy in a non-destructive manner. It doesn’t matter how many changes that you make, you can always go back to the original settings. You can do this by using Ctrl Z, which is fine for going back a couple of settings, but what if you have used the tools (tutorial 4 and 5) and have made lots of brush strokes and altered a lot of settings and don’t like what you have done? Use the slider on the left of the screen and go down to history. As you haven’t adjusted anything other than chromatic aberrations and lens profile then your History won’t reveal much. However you can see that in my history settings it shows a few of the developments that I have made:- Dark tones, dark tones, lightones, vibrance, clarity, add brush stroke etc.

Develop-5

I have made some awful edits on mine and I don’t like them. I can now step back to anywhere in the history. By hovering over any of the settings, I can view how my photo looked at that point by looking in the navigator as I hover over the history changes. Then click on a change that I want to go back to. Being able to view our adjustment history in the navigator is an excellent tool from Lightroom (Adobe)

Exercise

Click on one of the Lightroom Colour Presets, we are doing this to ensure that you have made a change to your photo (a basic development), now you can compare your developed photo with the original. Press Y and your screen will look like this.

Develop-6

By clicking where it says YY you can alter how you compare the before and after settings, side by side, above and below, or split view side by side and split view above and below. Give it a go. To go back to having just your developed photo (after) on screen press Y.

When you are developing a photo and you want a quick view of the original photo, you dont have to see it side by side. Press the \ and it will bring up the original and then press it again to return to your current stage of development.

I personally do not use the three boxes to the right of where it says before and after because I don’t fully understand how to use them. If I want to go back to any previous settings I just use the history brush.

Next time, in tutorial 4,  we will look at the global developing tools and see how we can begin to develop the whole photo. In tutorial 5 we will make local adjustments.

Review – Tom Hunter

Brief:-

Tom Hunter http://www.tomhunter.org/gallery/ – Look at the two series Life and Death in Hackney and Unheralded Stories. Do you notice the connection between the people and their surroundings? How does Hunter achieve this? What kinds of places are these photographs set in? Are they exotic, special or ordinary, everyday places? There’s something ‘mythical’ and yet also ‘everyday’ about Hunter’s pictures. Look carefully at one or two images and try to pick out the features that suggest these two different qualities.

Tom Hunter provides information about his art alongside the two galleries required for review by the brief, and I have been able to add to this with further reading online. Hunter uses local people in their own environment, a place that is familiar for he and them. The photos are staged with “sitters” (not models). They are local people who he either knows, or he discovers locally. Although the photos are meticulously staged so that they represent a painting from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the sitters are so familiar with the environment that only a few appear to be staged photos. Hand on heart – I have no idea about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and no art history, so I have had to do some research)

Hunter gave an interview to the Guardian Newspaper in which he says “The whole idea was to elevate the status of my sitters; to take the attributes of classical painting and put them on to my sitters. That was my political motivation. I’ve always been political, and it’s very important to me that people don’t see Hackney as a mythical place. It is a real place, and it’s somewhere everyone up and down the country can relate to. These things are going on in every town and county. You don’t have to go to Afghanistan to find a war zone. People are shooting each other every day in Hackney.” (Aitkenhead, D; 2005)

Do I understand the political intention behind staging people in their local setting to reenact news-stories, as a way of engaging the viewer with what is going on in front of their eyes? Yes. Do I understand the propaganda instigated by the capitalist minority so that they can further influence and control the behaviour of the proletariat, and corrupt their minds so that they scorn those who live an alternate lifestyle or who are socially excluded, and that this is social control? Yes I do.

Most of the external of the settings appear to be edgelands. The spaces between the city and the countryside, and they also appear to be less affluent. Hell that’s not true, they appear to be places of poverty and degradation. We are seeing marginalised people in marginilised communities. The kind of places that governments make quick promises to, and take slow actions about. These kind of areas can be found in cities and towns throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Interestingly the London Borough of Hackney is no edgeland. Its is in the heart of London and borders with the City of London (business district).

I do not see these places as being exotic (foreign, non-native, tropical) and only three of four of these pieces of art appear to have anything mythical about them. Maybe if I had a history with fine art I may have seen more mystery and myth within the series. Staging photos so that they mimic famous paintings does not necessarily create a magical feeling to those with no knowledge of those works. Although having read from Hunter site, his interview in the Guardian and a review by Robert Wilkes (Wilkes, R; 2014) I do have an understanding of the intent of adding an aesthetical feel to political issues as a way of engaging political dialogue.

Exploring the everyday and mythical

DMJ0104Z_09.tifFig 1

My thoughts –  A dilapidated house from the 1960’s. I would have guessed at an earlier period if it had not been for two miniature colour photos of children on the fireplace to the right of the scene. The woman is alive (colour of skin) and is wearing lipstick and eyeliner that is still very neat with no smudging,(so we are not viewing heroin chic of the late 90’s and no apparent drunkenness). Its 8.50 and I would guess PM as there is the reflection of a light in the painting of the female religious figure on the wall – top left. She is divorced and the wedding band is now on her right hand. Is she preparing to go out for the night to meet her friends? Despite this she is grieving and feels alone, dirty ashamed and unloveable (Symbolism – empty made bed, that’s stained and dirty, the floor has no carpet, the wall paper is terribly faded, there is no longer a mirror above the fireplace and there is now just white paint). She sees herself as a fallen woman, prostrating before Jesus and Mary (Mary statue, Jesus Painting, Cross on necklace on the Jesus painting, female religious painting). There is clearly the overlay of the myth of the fallen woman – a label that puts women on a pedestal as being saintly then humiliates them for being human, and the myth of Christ as portrayed (Catholicism – WHITE (WTF?), halo, saintly, GOD in the form of man).

The reality is that it could be any one of us in this situation and at different times throughout our life we all feel alone, ashamed, tired, grief and not good enough. When compared to Death of Sardanapalus by Delacroix and become aware that a man is laying on a bed staring out from his bed at an orgy, with a woman dead at his feet, we are then reminded that the woman on Hunters bed has suffered at the hands of man. That is so familiar that most of the 3.6b women on the planet can relate to. The myth that is alluded to is a familiar and frequent reality for many.

the-way-home-high-2009-emailFig 2

My thoughts – When I first viewed the series Life and Death in Hackney, this was the photo that I stopped at. The reason being that all of the others looked like candid or street photography. However this photo did not. It reminded me of a painting, and this was the one photo that looked staged. The canal has indeed become a stage so that Hunter could recreate the painting Ophelia by John Everett Millais. The blue trousers, the grassy bank and shrub with its flowers and bloom and its petals in the canal, provide a very surreal scene. However the bridge and industrial buildings in the background bring us back to the present day. The title suggests that there has been a misadventure on the way home, but the staging stops me from having emotion relating to it. I don’t believe the story because of the staging. I find that is a shame. Because the story is tragic, and it is tragic because it is real. Hunter read a newspaper article about a woman who had been found dead in a canal. This leaves me with the dilemma and tension between the beauty and art of the photo, and the tragedy of the narrative. I do not like that feeling, but its an incredibly clever piece of art that brings together myth, tradgedy and beauty – all of which are very real and very human.

References

Fig 1 – Hunter, T; 2010; Death of Coltelli; At http://www.tomhunter.org/unheralded-stories-series/

Fig 2 – Hunter, T; 1998; The Way Home; At http://www.tomhunter.org/life-and-death-in-hackney/

Aitkenhead, D; 2005; Life is Grand; In The Guardian [online] at https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/dec/03/photography (accessed on 14/06/2017)

Wilkes, R; 2014; Reinterpreting the Pre-Raphaelites: Tom Hunter; At https://dantisamor.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/reinterpreting-the-pre-raphaelites-tom-hunter/

Passive Agressive

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Sugar is sweet

I deeply hate you

 

Mary had a little lamb

It’s fleece was white as snow

I wish you would divorce me

You really have to go

 

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

You once were sweet to me

Your voice it hurts

Your touch is rough

Like sandpaper can be

 

Five fat sausages

Sizzling in a pan

Threw it in his face

And his nose went bang

 

Remember remember the 5th of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot

We had our own fireworks

Divorce is what we got.

 

 

Do the Chicken Rap

I was on the farm

With my feathers and my beak

When I saw this bird who made my knees go weak

Went and had a chat

Thought I’d try my luck

She said “go away and cluck”

I’m not a chicken I’m a duck.

 

Do the chicken rap, you know you should

Do the chicken rap, it’ll make you feel good.

 

I wrote a dating add

That I sent to the press

I got no replies

Now my heads in a mess

I hate this farm

The only chicken, I’m alone

The last resorts

To snap my own wish bone

 

Do the chicken rap, you know you should

Do the chicken rap, it’ll make you feel good.

 

All I want is to sit and share

The water

And the corn

With romance in the air

It’s not gonna happen

It’s a real rough ride

So I’ll slice and dice myself

Chicken suicide

 

Eat the chicken wrap, you know you should

Eat the chicken wrap, it’ll make you feel good.

 

Assignment One – Square Mile – Developing My Ideas

I have decided that I am not going to follow the postcard into the style of Hinde idea. Why? Taking tourist and summer beach photos doesn’t inspire me at all.

So I have two ideas which I am going to pursue. I can make both series on the same day.

1 – The stories I’ve heard about York.

It was once legal for a man born within the Bar Walls to stab a Scotsmen in kilt.

The father of the lie. Constantine the Great lived in York when his father was the governor of the city. Constantine the Great was involved with the Council of Nicaea – which had a role in choosing which books to include in the bible.

A pregnant woman can ask a policeman for his helmet to take a wee in.

York is the most haunted city in the UK.

York has a different pub for everyday of the year.

The destruction of the Jewish community, burned to death in Clifford tower to cover the theft by a local lord.

I will need to research Clifford tower and the history of the Jewish community in York. I feel that ethnic cleansing is too much to portray as a story I have heard without checking the validity. It requires sensitivity.

My inspiration for this story has come from briefly looking at the work of Tom Hunter. I am considering taking photos of text, signs and notices around York and having them as the background and then blending the themed photos into them.

(Update 2 hours after original post:- I am not going to use the idea of the destruction of the Jewish community at Cliffords Tower in this series. The other ideas are more light hearted and I don’t feel this theme fits. I also don’t think one photo in a series of six gives the just attention that is merited. I would like to explore and research the history of the Jewish community in York in more depth later in the course or when I move on to the degree.

I will use the connection between Guy Fawkes and York instead.)

The second idea will be a collaboration based upon Johari’s window. A psychological tool designed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. It’s a tool for helping people to understand relationships. It explores what is:- known to self and others; known to self but not others; known to others but not self; unknown to self and others.

I will take a photo of a transition area in York that I have a connection with me – known to self. Then turn around and take a photo of something I haven’t noticed before – unknown to self. And leave an envelop asking passers by to take a photo in the area of something they like in the area – known to others.

I like both ideas so I plan to take them both forward. I can then review which photos work best as a series.

I will be able to build upon the skills from 100 photos coursework with using manual mode, manual white balance and use of contact sheets. The transition photos will build upon the exercise from stillness and movement. I will also make use of techniques I developed in the light and shadow exercise coursework. I also feel that by photographing the things I haven’t seen before, and collaborating with others, will improve my skills in relation to looking and seeing. These skills are highlighted through the the Workflow coursework.

Reference

Luft, J and Ingham, H; 1955; The Johari Window Model; Online at http://www.selfawareness.org.uk/news/understanding-the-johari-window-model (accessed on 12/08/2017)

www.tomhunter.org (accessed on 12/08/2017)

Lightroom Tutorial 2 – Library Module

As we are going to begin our process of developing our photos it would help if you were to create a new folder on your desk top and copy six photos into it. We will then be able to use these as a practical means of understanding and making use of Lightroom.

If you open Lightroom it will begin in the library module, and with the last catalogue that you developed. It will look something like this.

Library-1

There are four numbered arrows and four circles. Before we consider their importance press the tab key, its above Caps Lock “│←→│”.  The tab key removes the side menus so that you can see a larger grid view of your images. If you now repress the tab key. There are other ways to remove the side menus, and that is by the tiny white arrows that are in the circles in the image above. This gives you the option of seeing more of your photos, or a larger photo if you are in Loupe view.

The numbered arrows are parts of the library that we will explore in this exercise

1 – This arrow is pointing at metadata

2- Folders that you have previously imported into Lightroom

3 – A menu that gives you the option to view images that contain certain text, metadata and attributes.

4 – Quick Develop, Add/View keywords, Add/View metadata, Add/View comments

Exercise

Import the folder of photos that you just made by going to the top menu, Click File, Click import photos and videos. We are importing in this manner rather than using the import button at the bottom left of the screen so that we don’t add our photos to the current library.

Locate the folder from your desktop. It will then bring the photos into the library. There is a button at the lower right of the screen that says import but don’t press it yet.

Your screen will now look like this.

Library-2

1 – Build Previews. Lightroom generates thumbnails and full pictures as virtual copies in the library and the develop module. I use 1:1 previews because they are the highest quality. It may take a while for Lightroom to build the previews, but you can still work with your images while it is doing so. If you set this to standard or minimal then Lightroom will import more quickly, but each time you edit a photo it will build a 1:1 image each time and this slows down your workflow.

2 – Develop Settings – Until you are sued to the develop settings, which isn’t necessary right now, then either select auto tone or none.

3 – Keywords – Keywords are an important part of recording metadata into photos. Keywords are not the only metadata and I will explain more later. Lets add some keywords. Why? Over time you will process thousands of photos and will want to find one or two really quickly. If you have keywords then you can search all of your photos in Lightroom via keywords and it will take you to the photos with those words. I have added Lightroom library module walk-through, followed by a comma. Adding the comma after each word or sentence means you can add another keyword or phrase, so I have then added Lightroom, and FiP. Adding keywords here will add them to all photos that you are importing, but you can add photos to individual photos later on. Now click Import.

Library-3

Because I had my develop settings as auto-tone, my photos have been imported with the tone corrected. The first photo with the light grey around it is the active photo.

The screen that you are seeing is called grid mode. You can select a different photo with the arrow keys, left click or Ctrl left click for multiple images. You can also click on one photo, then move to any other photo and press the Shift key “↑” and click with the shift pressed down. This will now select all of the photos from your orignal selection to this photo.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Press Ctrl A and all images are selected and then Ctrl D to deselect the images.

Press E – you now have one photo selected in full screen and this is Loupe mode. Press G and you are taken back to grid.

Click on any image to select it.

Press 2, and a message set rating to 2 flashes on the screen, now press { (next to P) this will decrease the start rating “attribute” and the key next to it will increase it. Keys one to five will do this. Keys 6-9 add a colour rating. 6=red, 7=yellow, 8=green, 9=blue. I use the attributes to select photos that are either worth developing or to review again as Maybe’s.

Press 2 on three of your photos, and on one of these press 6.

Above your photos is a short menu, text, attribute, metadata or none. Click attribute and your screen looks like this.

Library-4

Where it says rating click on the first star and your screen will now only show the photos with an attribute of 1 star or above, so you now only have three photos showing. Now tick the red box, and you will only have one photo showing. Click on the red again to deselect it. This is a really good way of reviewing your photos, and sorting through which ones that you want to develop so that you don’t take them all into the develop module and feel like youre wading through photos to find the ones that you wish to develop.

The right hand side of your screen will now look like this

Library-5

Click Metadata, then where it says preset None, click the arrow to the right and then edit presets.

Library-7

Edit Metadata Presets is an important tool. Once you have this set up you can then import your photos with your presets, copyright and contact information embedded into your photos.

IPTC metadata

IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) state that “Photo metadata is key to protecting images’ copyright and licensing information online. It is also essential for managing digital assets. Detailed and accurate descriptions about images ensure they can be easily and efficiently retrieved via search, by users or machine-readable code. This results in smoother workflow within organizations, more precise tracking of images, and increased licensing opportunities.” https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/

Not all search engines look for photographic metadata, but some do, and Adobe are encouraging Google to do so. Many Stock libraries use metadata and WordPress has a widget that can tag your photos by reading metadata. We can add lots of information.

Here are the settings that can be most useful

Camera Info

IPTC Copyright – in this section there are four boxes.

1 – Copyright – I add my email as my copyright but you can add your name.

2 – Copyright Status – I tick the Copyrighted box

3 – Rights usage terms – I use a creative commons license and add the details of my specific license https://creativecommons.org/

4 – Copyright info – I provide a link to my copyright page on my website

IPTC Creator

I don’t fill all of the boxes within this section but I do add my name, email, Country and website details. You can add your address and phone number if you wish, but I am not comfortable with this at this stage of my development as a photographer.

IPTC Status

Title – If I am producing a series such as Northern Pride then I will add a title here, as its OK for all of the images to have the same title. However you can add individual titles to photos later quite easily without using the user preset that you are now creating. I then add my name in the credit line and my website into the source.

Keywords

I then skip down to the last section and add keywords. These are words that fit the whole series generically, and then can add photo specific keywords to the individual photo later.

Click DONE and then you can name your preset. You only need to do this once, and then in future you can import your photos with your preset. You will need to add title and keywords in future but nothing else.

Warning

I have found that sometimes Lightroom has not saved my keywords to photos, so whenever I close Lightroom, I go to the menu at the top of the screen – Click Metadata and then Save metadata to files. NOT ALL FILE TYPES RETAIN METADATA, but RAW, TIFF, JPEG and PSD do.

PNG files do not retain metadata, but we don’t need to worry about this in Lightroom. Be aware of this if saving photos in other editing software such as Photoshop. If you save photos in formats other than TIFF, JPEG or PSD you will lose the metadata that you have spent time adding.

Metadata for individual photos

Click on a photo to select it. Using the slider on the right hand side of the screen find where it says title, add a title to a photo. Then go up slightly to where it says Keyword List, there is an add button + and you can now add keywords to individual photos. Once you have done this you can again go to the metadata drop down at the top of the screen and save metadata to files.

You can also use the quick develop module by moving the right hand slider to the top of the screen and adjust tone, white balance, exposure, clarity and vibrance, but I prefer to do this within the develop module, which will be the next theme.

 

Review – Dan Holdsworth

Brief:-As research for this assignment, look at the work of two photographers and note down your responses. Dan Holdsworth http://www.danholdsworth.com. Why do you think he often works at night? Is it because there’s less people and traffic about to clutter the view? Is it because of the effect of light in a long exposure and the sense of artificiality or ‘strangeness’ that brings to the image? What happens to your interpretation when the views are distant, wide and the main emphasis is on the forms of the man-made landscape? Is there a sense that these images are both objective (because you are looking out at the world) and subjective (because they seem to deliberately conjure up a mood)?

Initial Thoughts

I am aware that when I make my initial notes and present them in my learning log, I need to expand upon these to turn them into a critique. My notes often form an impression of my thoughts but the lack of detail can leave people unsure of my meaning. However I am going still going to record my initial thoughts for each of Holdsworth’s series that I have looked over, in my own way,  and then answer the questions at the end, followed by a reflection.

Spacial Objects 2015

Spacial Objects no 17 C-type print

Physical installation, large dimensions, over two meters tall. Constructed shapes, bold colours, reds, greens and blues of various hues. Constructed linear shapes, angles, bright highlights, deep shadows, some blacks but not many. Geometrical.

I am aware that this series is not photography, however it has relevance to me for two reasons. I had no understanding of photographic series before beginning Foundations in Photography. I had been working on a series about homelessness, but wasn’t aware of how to link photographs together in any way other than typography. Spacial Objects is typographical, coloured geometric shapes that have the same physical dimensions. But more than this they are of similar tone and use of highlights and shadows. The geometry is of linear angles, but there are circular patterns as part of the texture.

The other relevance to me from this series is seeing how an artist develops their photography over time and builds upon existing pieces of work. His series California from 2003 explores man-made structures and geometry; Mirrors from 2014 is a representation of natural form and structure where angular geometry is introduced by the axis of symmetry and thereby bringing man into the natural world; Spacial objects – a physical installation – man made geometrical shapes, which are a reflectiin of the best of man made and natural structure.

Mirrors FTP 2014

Mirrors FTP 2014 cg05a C-type print

Landscape, geology, rock forms taken from a distance, possible from above (flying over?) 180 degree symmetry rotated around mid-point. Muted colours of natural landscape possibly from igneous rock. Good tonal range, few blacks. Ice and snow in some of the photos in the series. Excellent depth of field, crisp, sharp photos. What is not being shown? Why has the half of the image that is used to create the symmetry included and not the other half?

Upon the first viewing of this series I have to say that I was somewhat perplexed. I asked my self:- What do I think he is trying to convey? and I responded that I had no idea, they are pretty photos that demonstrate excellent photographic technique, and are a great example of how a series of photos work well together. Similar tonal range and image ratio. Similar in hue and saturation, a typology of igneous rock formations.

I had to take a break and re view the photos. This time I asked:- What is missing from this series of photographs? Now were getting somewhere. I do not see any signs of life. No animals, no trees, no people. And what I now see, after reflecting upon what is missing, is that Holdsworth is using symmetry to bring the man-made “marks” into the natural form of the earth. The mirrored formations have sharp edges and create unnatural patterns which add an artificial dymension and destruction into a part of the world that man has not damaged through encroachment. It’s a very clever way to highlight the relationship between nature and man, without showing anything of man.

Blackout 2010

Blackout 2010 11 C-type print

Metamorphic rock formations, snow-covered mountains/glaciers at night. Either artificially lit, or long exposures then when digitally developed the skies have been darkened to black. I suspect there is a form of artificial lighting. There is light drop off at the far side of the scene and highlights at the bottom left. If the photos were taken with bulb exposure there would be some light drop off, but the sky would be brighter and we would see stars or clouds. The scenes are not lit by the moon. To have that level of lighting the moon would need to be higher in the sky than is suggested by the lack of light in the distance, and there would not be light drop off.

Surreal, ghostly, as if looking at the surface of the moon whilst being in a “moon rover” The photographs in the series have a definite sense of space, depth and timelessness. We are shown the “unseen”. Very few people will have seen these landscapes at night, and the artificial lighting means that we are exposed to the light that resides within darkness. This series appears more metaphorical to me, with the psychological aspect of looking within our shadow to see our light. I remain unconvinced by the series and of my analysis of it.

California 2003

California 2003 02 C-type print

This is a small series of only three photographs. A road, a factory and a car park (possibly from a petrol station or shopping mall).

Taken at night. Artificially lit, but the lights are from street lighting or building lights rather than lighting that has been introduced to the scene. Man made, sterile, angular, solid, defined, harsh lighting, are words that I would use for this series. Whereas the terms flow, movement, texture, smooth, balanced tone, are words that I think of when considering Blackout and Mirrors.

Questions from the Brief

Why do you think he often works at night? Is it because there’s less people and traffic about to clutter the view? Is it because of the effect of light in a long exposure and the sense of artificiality or ‘strangeness’ that brings to the image? What happens to your interpretation when the views are distant, wide and the main emphasis is on the forms of the man-made landscape? Is there a sense that these images are both objective (because you are looking out at the world) and subjective (because they seem to deliberately conjure up a mood)?

I have looked at a mixture of Holdsworth series, some that have been shot at night and others during the day. My belief is that Holdsworth deliberately avoids shooting people, and in doing so he is trying to get the viewer to question the relationship between man and nature, and natural geology and geometry, in comparison to man-made structure and geometric marks.

There is a subtlety of texture, movement and tone in the landscape photos. The mountains in the Blackout series may have strong lines and angles but the interaction of a multitude of lines, textures and structure has a fluidity to it. This is a contrast to the series that I looked at with man-made structures (California) that have many straight, rigid lines. I believe that the series Mirrors exemplifies this. By introducing symmetry to the natural landscape Holdsworth is making a statement about the structures that man makes, and how “man made” interferes with the beauty and flow of the natural world.

This sense is added to by the lighting. In California the artificial lighting presents a sterile environment that eliminates nature. It highlights straight marks, straight lines and an inability of Man to add to the environment. The lighting in Blackout – whether it’s artificial or long exposure – brings out the surreal and creates flowing, ghostly ice sculptures. These have a multitude of texture and detail, and create a feeling of awe. The wonder of looking at the moon or the surface of Mars. We are seeing the unseen.

Holdworths work does not feel objective. I find its highly subjective and is leading the viewer to consider the impact of man upon the environment, the difference between the sublime and the sterile, and the confined and the free.

I have felt out of my depth with this review. Partly because as a student I am considering photography in a more serious manner, and partly because I have been reflecting upon themes, that Holdsworth presents, in a context that I have no familiarity with. I also have a thought that maybe I have over complicated this.

I am not used to the concept of a photographic series. Yes I have grouped my own photos together. My project on Homelessness is my first attempt at this, and I had only considered the importance of theme, or a basic typography. Holdsworth many series have their own individual theme, and fit into an overarching schema which explores:- marks, shape, form, structure and light. His most recent series Spacial Objects builds upon his previous works, by trying to represent the best of space, geometry, light and structure that runs through many of his series of work. Spacial Objects is an installment of man made physical structures, that have some of man’s rigid geometric shapes combined with nature’s flow, space and texture.

Each individual series is made of photos that are a similar aspect, tone, lighting, hue and saturation, and also have contours and lines that are common throughout. This has been a wonderful, if somewhat challenging, opportunity for me to gain some understanding into how to present a series of work and how an artist builds upon previous knowledge and experience as they develop and mature.

References

Fig 1 Holdsworth, D; 2015; Spacial Objects no 17; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Fig 2 Holdsworth, D; 2014; Mirrors FTP cg05a; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Fig 3 Holdsworth, D; 2010; Blackout 11; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Fig 4 Holdsworth, D; 2003; California 02; Online at http://www.danholdsworth.com/ (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Keys, R; 2017; Homelessness; Online at http://www.photosociology.info/homelessness (accessed on 08/08/2017)

Lightroom Tutorial 1 – Setting up Preferences and Catalogue Settings

I know that we all want to get on with developing our photos and brining the best out of them, but if we get this bit right at the beginning, then Lightroom will run efficiently for our PC, and we will have a smoother workflow process.

The aim of this walk-through is to help us set Lightroom up in a manner that is calibrated with our PC and monitor, and to ensure smooth transition when switching between Lightroom, Photoshop and back to Lightroom.

 

I am going to write as if you have no understanding of Lightroom. There may be some things here that you are familiar with and you may have other tips to share. Feel free to leave comments with your own tips and guidance.

I am no expert, I have been using Lightroom for 5 months and it is becoming more intuitive as my experience develops. Some menus are different on a MAC, but for this you will only need to find the Edit menu.

Some of this may seem a bit Techy, but once it is done, you shouldn’t need to do it again and it will keep your work flow smooth.

Library and Preferences

There are alternate ways to manage folders:- Our own way, using Bridge, or using Lightroom. However Lightroom will not create folders unless you export to a specific folder that you ask Lightroom to create.

As a beginner I would recommend using your own system. I do this so that I know where the originals are kept. I don’t move them once edited, because Lightroom remembers the file path in order to find photos at a later date. Heres an example of my folders

Folders

When you import photos into Lightroom it creates a virtual copy. So you’re not editing the original photo. You’re editing the copy, and then Lightroom creates a catalogue of those copies. It also creates an XMP side car file and places it next to the original image in your folder and looks like this.

XMP-side-car

This may sound a bit technical. Its nothing to worry about. As long as you don’t move folders around then Lightroom will find them and open them with the develop settings that you have made.

When you open Lightroom, the last folder/catalogue that you opened will appear and will look like this.

Library-Mode

We are going to focus on the left of the screen.

Library-Mode-2

The red arrow which points to file and edit are where we can import images and edit our preferences. The second red arrow is pointing to folders that you have previously opened in Lightroom. At the bottom of the screen you will notice an import and export button. If you use this button to import, then it will add images to the collection that you currently have open. It won’t move the photos around in your hard drive, they will stay in the same folder. However Lightroom will now have a catalogue with two separate series of images in the one catalogue. This is the difference between catalogues and folders. Originals stay in folders unless we manually move them. Catalogues have virtual copies and Lightroom creates a pathway so that it knows which folder to look in to find them. We will look at Import and Library settings in the next walk-through, but now we will set up Lightroom preferences.

Press Edit and then Preferences. You should now have a grey box appear that looks like this.

Preferences-2

I have watched a few YouTube videos by Julieanne Kost and set my preferences up from her guidance. These settings are a good starting point.

Presets

Preferences-3

Leave all check boxes blank for now.

External Editing

Preferences-4

This is an important box. Why – Lightroom is excellent for developing photos, however it is not so good at cloning and healing large distractions. There are times that we need to quickly pop over to Photoshop and then return the edited photo to Lightroom. The settings in section 1 will ensure that you can easily transition between Lightroom, Photoshop and back to Lightroom. We will discuss exporting in a future walk-through. Lightroom also gives us the option to export photos to other photo developing software and you can alter those preferences in section 2.

File Handling

Preferences-5

I leave most of this alone and have only altered the camera Raw Cache settings. The cache settings are Lightroom’s editing memory. The more space we can use the quicker Lightroom will operate. What size you set this too will depend on the speed of your computer and the amount of spare memory. With this in mind, when I set up my folders – I set them up on my D drive – it has more space for storage, so I have no pictures on my C drive which is where Lightroom operates as a programme. This means I have the 20G spare on my C drive. Only you can know how much spare memory you have – but I believe as standard Lightroom has this set to 4G. If you are unsure about your spare memory then leave this alone and allow the Lightroom preset to run as it is.

We don’t need to worry about any more of the preferences. Click Ok, go back to the edit menu and click catalogue settings, and this box will appear.

Catalogue-1

I have changed the Backup drop down, so that it backs up the catalogues every time that I exit Lightroom. The catalogue back up, is part of how Lightroom recognises where your photos are stored and what virtual changes have been made. Lightroom only edits virtual copies so having the catalogue backup means that if your computer crashes then Lightroom knows what it has done to your virtual photos. Photos remain virtual unless we export them – that’s for a future walk-through.

We are advised to back up our original images somewhere other than our PC and it is important to back up the Lightroom catalogue separately.

The red arrow points to the location of my Lightroom catalogue, so I find the catalogue and copy it to my cloud account.

File Handling

Catalogue-2

Ensure Standard Preview size is set to auto – it will detect your screen resolution and ensure the preview fits your screen.

Preview quality – Medium is good if you are not running a fast PC with lots of memory, but if you have a good PC then set this to high. I have the 1:1 previews set to discard after 1 week. It doesn’t delete your image after one week, but it means the virtual image preview will be stored in your catalogue but NOT in your working memory, so your editing memory will not be slowed down with photos you have finished editing.

Metadata

Catalogue-3

This is the standard setting. Keep it at this and we will discuss metadata in more detail in the next walk-through – Library Module. The library module is where we can begin to develop our photos.

 

Proud of Pride

Pride is a celebration of diversity and gender in all of its many forms. It’s an opportunity for the LGBTQ community, friends, family and supporters to gather together and be proud of being who we are. Being visible as a community means that equality and diversity can be promoted and homophobia and discrimination can be challenged by presence and a carnival atmosphere.

Review of Lyndsey Jameson – PhotoRealist Artist

I am reviewing Lyndsey Jameson as part of the planning and research for my project on mental illness/mental wellness.

Lyndsey is a visual artist who predominantly paints with oils in the photorealistic style. She has been awarded the British Portrait Award with the National portrait Gallery (2015). She also received second place in the visitors choice of the British Portrait award in 2010.

I find her paintings to be hard-hitting expressions of emotions and inner conflict. She produces a narrative within each painting, but there is adequate space within that for the viewer to become the co-creator of story by questioning our emotions, inner thoughts and our concept of self and identity.

 

The Harpy – Oil on Linen 2013

The Harpy - Oil on Linen 2013

Fig 1

Initial Observations

Woman melting, Rook on Head, Rose and hair pin above ear, Eyes – white-no iris-no pupil, mouth wide, burnt orange-brown-red-yellow canvas, with some whiter/highlights as frame around head. Photorealistic, Emotion – anger-fear-loss

The woman could be materialising (left side of body has no lines of melting) so could be forming. She Could be melting (right hand side of body is like wax, melting down the page. A sense of not being seen as only shoulders and head visible.

The colours of canvas initially suggested anger, movement, energy, intensity, but I also see warmth, sunrise, mist.

Narrative:- The appearance of woman, self, arising through the mist of the morning sunrise, with a need to be heard and seen. There is a strength in the mouth and eyes and the form of the body, which is very defined other than the left arm. Were are not being shown, subtle, tender curves of the woman, we are being shown the dynamic strength of the feminine, the goddess. The Power.The Power is not a confrontation or hostility to the viewer, we are not being lead to be fearful. The perspective is side on, and although the woman is looking forward, she is not facing us. This is power without threat. Inner strength.

Research The Harpy and Celtic power animal (Crow, Rook, Raven)

Harpy – Roman Greek Mythology, half maiden half bird, hunger, faster than the winds, swift-footed, Swift Robbers, bringer of justice, protective of family – especially when harmed, considered ugly by MEN

“But even as early as the time of Aeschylus, they are described as ugly creatures with wings, and later writers carry their notions of the Harpies so far as to represent them as most disgusting monsters. The Pythian priestess of Apollo recounted the appearance of the Harpies in the following lines:

“Before this man an extraordinary band of women [i.e. Harpies] slept, seated on thrones. No! Not women, but rather Gorgons I call them; and yet I cannot compare them to forms of Gorgons either. Once before I saw some creatures in a painting, carrying off the feast of Phineus; but these are wingless in appearance, black, altogether disgusting; they snore with repulsive breaths, they drip from their eyes hateful drops; their attire is not fit to bring either before the statues of the gods or into the homes of men. I have never seen the tribe that produced this company, nor the land that boasts of rearing this brood with impunity and does not grieve for its labor afterwards.” also Vicious, cruel, tyrants that punished the wicked. (Wikipedia; 2017)

The Poem The Harpy by Robert William Service gives a different perspective on the Harpy, and suggests that the harpy is wise, wise to the shame of men, but punished by the gods to play the game of love, either for loves sake or payment. However, this is not a submissive role. These are women of power and are the hunters and not the hunted, even though the man may feel that he is the one with the power.

Celtic and Druid Mythology around ravens and crows concern, wisdom, the oracle, fortune-telling, seeing the future, death but he one that strikes me is that crows can be trained to speak.

I believe that Jameson is showing a woman, truly stepping into her own power, sense of self and will no longer be subservient, quite, shy. She knows who she is, she sees who you are, she sees the future and do not dare stand in her way, because you will pay the consequences if you do. This is also symbolised by the cawing crow. She is also mysterious and has hidden depths

 

 

Raven

“A lot of negative raven symbolism comes about from their appearance on battlefields. They are scavengers (and curious to a fault), and are often seen picking at mangled remains of fallen warriors on battle grounds.

For example, the raven’s intelligence is possibly its most winning feature. Indeed, these birds can be trained to speak. This speaking ability leads into the legend of ravens being the ultimate oracle.

In fact, the raven is often heard to cackle utterances that sound like “cras, cras.” The actual word cras is tomorrow in Latin. This lends more fuel to the legendary fires that distinguish the raven as a bird who can foretell the future, and reveal omens and signs.

Countless cultures point to the raven as a harbinger of powerful secrets. Moreover, the raven is a messenger too, so its business is in both keeping and communicating deep mysteries. The raven is symbolic of mind, thought and wisdom according to Norse legend, as their god Odin was accompanied by two ravens: Hugin who represented the power of thought and active search for information. The other raven, Mugin represented the mind, and its ability to intuit meaning rather than hunting for it. Odin would send these two ravens out each day to soar across the lands. At day’s end, they would return to Odin and speak to him of all they had spied upon and learned on their journeys.

 

Keywords Associated With Raven Symbolism

Vocal, Brassy, Knowing, Curious, Truthful, Creative, Authentic, Intuitive, Mysterious, Insightful, Intelligent, Unpredictable, Unconventional” (Veneficia; 2015-2017)

 

Druidism and Crow

“Another belief was that the birds were faeries who shape-shifted to cause troubles. Magickal qualities included bringing knowledge, shape-shifting, eloquence, prophecy, boldness, skill, knowledge, cunning, trickery and thievery. In the Middle Ages, people believed that sorcerers and witches used the symbol of Crows foot to cast death spells. In most of England, seeing a solitary crow meant anger, but in Northamptonshire, it meant ill fortune. Crow, cawing in a hoarse voice, meant bad weather. A death omen was a crow cawing thrice as it flew over a house. The Irish believed that Crow flocking in trees, but not nesting were souls from Purgatory. Finding a dead crow was a sign of good fortune. Russians believed that witches took the shape of Crow.” (Clara)

 

Torsion – Oil on Canvas 2006

Torsion Oil on canvas 2006

Fig 2

Initial Observations

Male Face, tortured, bruised, cyanosis, haematoma, locked in, unable to express, constricted emotions and thoughts, the eyes – restricted vision – no hope – no future – suicide, the wires wrap tightly around his face – he is mentally and verbally squashed, everything is kept in, his emotions and thoughts are tight and becoming tighter, he can’t get enough oxygen. He is dying with the weight of what he cannot think about or say. He has witnessed or committed tragedy, intense trauma. This is a form of inner suffocation and strangulation. The torture is not as a form of assault, the wires suggest this and say that something has happened to him. The trauma has happened to him and its eating him alive. He is in so much pain but there is no way that he is going to let it out. He is going to die. The pressure is too much. There is no sign that he is going to hit out, the wires tell of impotence, an inability to express.

Pain, sadness, grief, trauma, suffering, intensity, suffocation, powerlessness and death.

With the dictionary definitions of testicular torsion I believe the man may have suffered sexual abuse, and that this has cut of the life within him, as in the first dictionary definition. A hard hitting painting that made me pause deeply.

 

Torsion – dictionary

“Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord (from which the testicle is suspended) twists, cutting off the testicle’s blood supply The most common symptom in children is rapid onset of severe testicular pain The testicle may also be higher than usual and vomiting may occur. In newborns pain is often absent and instead the scrotum may become discoloured or a testicle may disappear from its usual place” (Wikipedia; 2017a)

“def 1; late Middle English torcion wringing one’s bowels < Old French torsion < Late Latin torsiōn- (stem of torsiō) torment, equivalent to tors(us) twisted (see torse ) + -iōn- -ion” (Random House Dictionary; 2017)

“The Harpy – Poem by Robert William Service

There was a woman, and she was wise; woefully wise was she;
She was old, so old, yet her years all told were but a score and three;
And she knew by heart, from finish to start, the Book of Iniquity.

There is no hope for such as I on earth, nor yet in Heaven;
Unloved I live, unloved I die, unpitied, unforgiven;
A loathed jade, I ply my trade, unhallowed and unshriven.

I paint my cheeks, for they are white, and cheeks of chalk men hate;
Mine eyes with wine I make them shine, that man may seek and sate;
With overhead a lamp of red I sit me down and wait

Until they come, the nightly scum, with drunken eyes aflame;
Your sweethearts, sons, ye scornful ones — ’tis I who know their shame.
The gods, ye see, are brutes to me — and so I play my game.

For life is not the thing we thought, and not the thing we plan;
And Woman in a bitter world must do the best she can —
Must yield the stroke, and bear the yoke, and serve the will of man;

Must serve his need and ever feed the flame of his desire,
Though be she loved for love alone, or be she loved for hire;
For every man since life began is tainted with the mire.

And though you know he love you so and set you on love’s throne;
Yet let your eyes but mock his sighs, and let your heart be stone,
Lest you be left (as I was left) attainted and alone.

From love’s close kiss to hell’s abyss is one sheer flight, I trow,
And wedding ring and bridal bell are will-o’-wisps of woe,
And ’tis not wise to love too well, and this all women know.

Wherefore, the wolf-pack having gorged upon the lamb, their prey,
With siren smile and serpent guile I make the wolf-pack pay —
With velvet paws and flensing claws, a tigress roused to slay.

One who in youth sought truest truth and found a devil’s lies;
A symbol of the sin of man, a human sacrifice.
Yet shall I blame on man the shame? Could it be otherwise?

Was I not born to walk in scorn where others walk in pride?
The Maker marred, and, evil-starred, I drift upon His tide;
And He alone shall judge His own, so I His judgment bide.

Fate has written a tragedy; its name is “The Human Heart”.
The Theatre is the House of Life, Woman the mummer’s part;
The Devil enters the prompter’s box and the play is ready to start. “(Service; 1953)

 

References

Fig 1;  Jameson, L; 2013; The Harpy Oil on Linen; Online at http://www.lyndseyjameson.com/ (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Fig 2; Jameson, L; 2006; Torsion Oil on Canvas; Online at http://www.lyndseyjameson.com/ (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Clara; Crow Divination Part 2 of 3; Online at http://www.avesnoir.com/crow-divination-pt-2-of-3/ (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Random House Dictionary; 2017; Origin of Torsion; New York; Random House Inc; In Dictionary.com; Online at http://www.dictionary.com/browse/torsion (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Service, RW; 1953; The Harpy; Online at https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-harpy/ (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Wikipedia; 2017; The Harpy; Wikipedia Foundation;  Online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpy  (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Wikipedia; 2017a; Testicular torsion; Wikipedia Foundation; Online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testicular_torsion (accessed on 05/08/2017)

Veneficia, A; 2005-2017; Raven Symbolism and Symbolic Meaning of Ravens; Online at  http://www.whats-your-sign.com/raven-symbolism.html (accessed on 05/08/2017)