Monday, October 26, 2009

CI Field Trip 1 To the Zoo

Today our group took a trip to the Winnipeg Zoo. I have not been there for years so it was pretty new to me. It was abit chilly so on went the layers. I walked around using my 75-300mm, then continued around again with my kit lenses, ending up in the tropical house. Had to wait awhile for the condensation to clear off the lenses, shot some pictures, then headed home and downloaded over a 100 images to my Picassa. I chose my personal favorite for this blog.

Friday, October 23, 2009

David Fokos replied Today

David Fokos

to me
show details 12:55 AM (6 hours ago)
Hi Joyce,

I apologize for the late reply -- I only now have seen your message.

First of all, thank you for your kind word regarding my work -- it is much appreciated.

In answer to your questions... all of those images were made with my 80-year old 8x10 Korona View camera using a 210mm Rodenstock Sironar-S lens on Kodak Tri-X film developed in HC-110.

The smooth water shots like Tide Pool and Missing rail were exposures of about 2 minutes. Black Gate was about 90 seconds. Foggy Night was a 10-minute exposure and Moonrise was 3 seconds (any longer and the moon would not have been round). All shots, except Moonrise were made at f45 or f64, often with neutral density filters. I had to open up the aperture a bit for Moonrise since it was dark and the exposure was short -- that is why the foreground is a little bit blurry on that shot.

Since I am using 8x10 film, grain is not much of an issue except on Moonrise where because I knew that I had underexposed the negative (a compromise that had to be made in order to keep the exposure to 3 seconds and still have enough depth of field) I increased the development time from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and then I put the negative in a selenium toner bath to add a bit more density. These drastic steps increased the grain in that negative and it can be seen in the sand and the water. Fortunately, grainy sand is not too much of a problem.

I Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

AT6.2 Photographic Hero

"our impression of the world is based upon our total experience"


When you meet a person for the first time you often form an opinion of that person. But when you spend time with that person your perception changes, based upon your interaction with that person. I selected DAVID FOKOS because of his ability to transform potentially chaotic and turbulent texture and motion into serene and orderly calmness. What could have been chaotic has been transformed through time. What could have been grasses tossed about in the wind, or waves crashing against a shoreline, have been tamed by this man's ability to manipulate his camera. Fokos does this sucessfully by using long exposure times ranging from less than a minute to an hour in length. He filters out the "visual noise" of everyday life, using the camera "as a scientific instrument, the way a biologist might use a microscope or an astronomer a telescope, to reveal what is felt but often unseen." The resulting images make me want to walk softly through the scene, being careful not to disturb the serenity it holds.
David was born in Massachusetts in 1960 and currently lives in California. Over half of all his images have been captured near his childhood home in Martha's Vineyard. At first he began capturing color images, using a 35 mm Pentax camera. Fokos admits he struggled for 15 years, taking lousy pictures, until he was finally able to capture and express what he felt. In time he switched over to black and white photography, using an old, large-format view camera. Large-format view cameras typically use film format between 4x5", up to 20x24" single sheet film. As made evident by the work of David Fokos, large-format cameras produce sharper, better tone, grain-free images. He uses highlite elements, such as clouds or the moon suspended along the horizon, to create a strong balance in the image. It is a combination of these elements that make this photographer stand out for me. According to Fokos, via email, he creates his images using an 80-year-old 8x10 Korona View Camera, using a 210mm Rodenstock Sironar-S lens on Kodak Tri-X film developed in HC-110. Since he uses 8x10 film, grain is usually not an issue.

I found "The Missing Rail" to be most appealing because the unknown, the unseen, are what cause me to feel apprehension and to question circumstance. The water and horizon are so calm, the light so flat and stark, like a calm after a storm. Is the missing railing all that remains after a tumble into the waters below? What happened? I don't know, but Fokos has me focused.
Technically this image was exposed for two minutes, and shot at either f/45 or f/64, Fokos did not specify this in his email.

Moonrise, 2001, is characteristic of the photographer's style. Your eye is drawn through the image and up the pathway by the use of light. Strong texture suggests turbulent elements, yet they are suspended through the use of long exposures. The moon leads your eye upward, beyond the top-lite pathway, beyond the focal point. According to the photographer's email reply, technically this image was exposed three seconds (any longer and the moon would not have been round). Fokos used a wider aperture than f/64, slightly blurring the foreground. To maintain DOF he underexposed the negative and increased the development time from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, then put it in a selenium toner bath to add abit more density. This increased the grain in the negative, seen in the sand and the water.

When I look at Black Gate, 2000, my feet want to travel alongside my eye, down the boardwalk, to the end of the the dock. Threatening clouds have been tamed, calming the waters, calming the soul. This is what David Fokos images do for me, calm my soul. Technically, Black Gate was shot at either f/45 of f/64, with an exposure of 90 seconds.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some assignment shots

It is Tuesday night during our first Shoot Week. I shot a memory card chock full of images today, picked about eight keepers for a variety of assignments. Off to shoot some night reflections tonight. Thought I'd practice putting images up so here are some shots that I took over the past five weeks. The Nygard optional shoot produced about six shots I liked, received written permission to post them.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today I achieved satisfactory results shooting monochrome on my DSLR for the upcoming board assignment . I had wanted to reshoot a flower I had shot earlier, that had resulted in blurry, flat results. I made some adjustments to some settings (hoping I would be able to remember to set them back again later). I then went outside, set up my tripod and camera, then just as I began shooting the flower, the rain began. Back into the house I went. Backup plan: shoot some grapes and leaves on the deck, from inside the wide open deck door. After shooting dozens of shots I dropped them into LR, took the chosen one to Don's Photo on Main Street. Yes, I had to pay the premium to have the monochrome 8 by 10 rushed so I could have it by tomorrow, the last day possible in order to put it up first thing Tuesday morning. I wanted to see how Don's monochrome black and white process turned out, in preparation for the first BIG assignment due early November. No, I didn't leave this assignment to the last minute, we got it assigned yesterday afternoon, I was already too late for Don's non-premium price at that point. So far I have sent one colour board assignment to Dons and a second one printed at Shoppers in less than half an hour. Now I want to see what a true monochrome print looks like. Here is the image.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DT Unit1 Slideshow


Monday, October 5, 2009

CI1.4 Composition at Home

Again, it is the technical learning curve that is making this exercise most interesting. I must have seven fingers on each hand, and the extra two keep loosing files as I drag them across the screen. As I shot this assignment I begin to see more and more design elements hiding within my livingroom. Trouble was, my eye saw them, and my camera was not going to capture them unless my brain told my hand which setting to set. Hum. Anyhow, here are my pics: Line, Shape, Pattern, Texture, Symmetrical Balance and Depth. And they got lost in the download time machine.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Frame within a Frame

The clear beveled pane within the stained glass door that leads from our bathroom into our bedroom has always brought a smile to me. By looking through the pane I can see beyond the window into the backyard that overlooks the river. The bevel edges turn the scene into a magical image, depending on the season. Today I see large green leafed branches waving in the wind. I chose this scene to create my Frame within a Frame board assignment. I thought the hard part was just finding the right image ... not so! Dare I say I took 114 images to get the one I was content with. Along the way it was too dark, too light, lacked depth, and so on. I say content with some limitations. If only I had a lenses that would have shown the bevel image more clearer, if only I could have controlled the suspended stained glass panel without using dark threads ... they show! The branches waved in the wind outside and the glass panel twisted and twirled inside. It was like trying to line a group of children up for a class photo. But, finally I got the image I felt content with.