Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yasser Radwan

Yasser Radwan is another digital artist I found on DeviantArt. I love how his work sticks to a similar theme and style, as I think it really helps bring his portfolio together. Unfortunately Radwan uses stock images to create his work, so credit can only go out to him for the photomanipulation aspects of these images, but his technical skill is very good, and I find his concepts intriguing.


Peterio is a surreal digital artist I found on DeviantArt. There is no information about him, or what he does on his page, except that he is another amazing Polish artist (seems as though most of the great surrealist and conceptual artists are from Poland).
I find his work incredibly appealing, as they are all the same subject; a head and shoulders portrait of a man, but he does them so differently and creatively that each piece makes you think of a different emotion or feeling. He classes his work as 'photomanipulations' as they usually start off with a portrait of himself, which he then severely edits and draws over to create his art. I love how dark the emotions are in them, and I find his work very soul baring.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Star Trails

As part of my Fusion Video, I want to include a photograph and a time lapse of star trails. I have done some research into the best methods of getting good star trails, and it seems like the 3 hour mark is the best time to get adequate trails without having to wait around all night.
There are a couple of ways to get a single image of star trails. You can either take seperate 30 second exposures over a 3 hour period (you would end up with 300-400 images) and then blend them together with a program called StarTrails. Or you can use bulb mode and leave expose a single shot over a 3 hour period. Both methods have their pros and cons; If you are taking seperate shots you can see the results so exposure will be easier to get correct. On the other hand it means more post production. If you are just shooting a single image you get what you want straight away and minimal post production is necessary, but if you expose it wrong you have to do it all over again. The noise is also much higher in a single exposure.
In order to do my time lapse of star trails I will be taking seperate 30 second shots and then render them together with a video program, such as Quicktime Player Pro 7.

I will most likely be shooting my star trails at the burnt out Stomlo observatory, as I like the atmosphere there and I want my foreground to relate to the stars.

291, 30 second stacked exposures 

500, 30 second stacked exposures 

360, 30 second stacked exposures 

3 hour, single exposure 

3 hours, single exposure 

30 minute, single exposure

Good tutorials and resources:

Images from:

Dan Mountford

Dan Mountford is a graphic designer from the UK and is the master of double exposures. The spectacular thing about his images is that he creates them all in camera, which means lining up content takes extreme care and effort. I really love his images as he relates both exposures together really well and aligns them so beautifully. His graphic design background means that he has a real eye for the composition and design aspects that go into his images.
For my second alternative process, I want to look into doing a double exposure using black and white film. It is easy to create a double exposure in photoshop, so I want to challenge myself by doing it all in camera. For my double exposure I am taking inspiration from Mountfords images, as I really adore the combination of studio, and location images, so I will be taking a portrait in the studio and then take landscapes or a macro photograph to coincide with it.


For one of my alternative processes I have decided to try and do cyanotypes as it is a fairly simple process and I really like the effect of the blue tones. The content in cyanotypes is usually consistent with nature, and most images are of flowers and leaves; this is most likely due to the fact that cyanotypes were often exposed by placing objects on top of the paper (much like a photogram) and flowers and leaves gave the most interesting effects. For my cyanotype I am not sure if I want to keep consistent with the natural style, or try and do something a bit more abstract. If I create an abstract image it will look fairly strange, as cyanotypes are an old style of photography, so are usually seen as having no photomanipulation, so I dont know if I could use this assumption to my advantage or if it would be too over the top.

Here are some cyanotypes I really admire.

Images from:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Semester 6 - Folio Ideas

For my surreal composites I intend on doing a similar style to what I did last semester. I want to push the limits of surreal photography and come up with original and interesting ideas. I really like work that can have several confronting meanings, but it is left up to the viewer’s interpretation. My ‘Prosecution’ composite (see above) of the masked man shooting a goat is a prime example of this, as I got many comments about religion, the meat industry and terrorism, but the image itself doesn’t have a set definition.
Last semester I planned my composites very meticulously, but found this was not helpful as I ended up changing all of my ideas. This semester I am going to stay away from any set planning and let my ideas develop as I go, as this is what proved most effective last semester.

I have decided to do surreal work without Photoshop to set myself a challenge. Created abnormal things using Photoshop is not difficult as you can create almost anything that comes to mind. Creating a surreal image straight out of the camera is a complicated process however as the definition of ‘surreal’ is simply not real, but in order to photograph something it has to exist, so trying to make it look out of this world will be quite difficult. I have a few ideas on how I can achieve a surreal image without the use of Photoshop; techniques like multiple exposures and light painting can be done in camera but can create unusual images, so for one of my photographs I intend to use one of these techniques. 
For the other one I will focus on the presentation of the image to make it look surreal. Presenting an image upside down for example can give a photograph a completely different look and meaning, so if I shoot cleverly I will be able to create a surreal image without any in camera, or post production techniques.

2 Alternative Processes
I have always been interested in alternative processes and I would love to try different techniques to create interesting artworks. I have decided to try and create cyanotypes, as the process is relatively simple and the chemicals are easy to acquire. I really like the look of cyanotypes, as you are able to print on art papers and materials to create beautifully textured works. I will most likely be capturing images digitally and printing out inkjet negatives on transparent paper to then create my cyanotypes. I may also try exposing actual objects, much like a photogram. 
For my other alternative process I will be experimenting with double exposures using black and white film. I have always loved working with black and white film, and creating a double exposure in film gives a very ‘authentic’ appearance to the image, as it is much more challenging than creating something in Photoshop. There are many other alternative processes out there and I intend to do more research and find techniques that interest me and hopefully try them out.

For my cover art I want to stick to a similar style as my surreal artwork intended for exhibitions, except I am putting the art to commercial use. I want it to be in a similar style as conceptual art with surreal content and bizarre meanings has become my forte and I would want a client hiring me because of my unique and individual approach.
Unlike my other artwork, the cover art will have to be restricted in forms of size, ratio and placement of content, as room for text will be needed. The cover art will also have to be related to the music, or theme of the book. I would like to try and create cover art for local authors and musicians, but this may prove to be a difficult process, so I may end up creating work based on albums and books I really like.

Creating a fusion video will be a new experience for me, as I have not attempted at using video on my camera as of yet. Fusion is a new technique which is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in wedding photography, but it can also be used for advertising or showcasing art. I want to try doing Fusion as I believe that keeping up with new technologies is very important in the photographic industry if you want to make the most out of your career.
For my fusion entry I want to focus on landscape and nature photography. I have always been interested in landscape and nature, and I would love to create a video to showcase my skills in this genre. Being able to take spectacular photographs and videos of the natural world would give me an advantage if I want to go for a job as a travel or wildlife photographer, which is one of my desired options after the course. In my video I plan to put together a combination of Stills, videos and time lapses to create a beautiful showcase of the natural world. By using a combination of these techniques but shooting the same locations I can create different aspects of the same content which will fit together very nicely in the end product (for example a time lapse of stars and a long exposure photograph).  As the Fusion video will be 2 to 5 minutes in length, I will need to take approximately 40 photographs and videos to fill that time (a 4 minute video comprised of 40 pieces allows 6 seconds for each).

Some of my current Fusion ideas are:
-Time lapse of a flower blooming
-Flower and insect macro photographs
-HD video of rain in a creek
-HD video of a butterfly or insect in slow motion
-Time Lapse of grass growing
-HD video of waves
-Long exposure photograph of waves
-Time lapse of star trails
-Long exposure of star trails
-HD video of a waterfall
-Long exposure of a waterfall

In order to get a variety of different landscapes I plan to do a lot of travelling, and possibly returning to the Grampians and Dorrigo National Park, as they were both excellent locations for landscape photography. The backing music I have decided on is Miss You by Trentemoller. It is a beautiful instrumental piece that I find very visually stimulating.

Semester 6 - Folio Proposal

For my folio I am going to focus on surreal artwork that could be sold or represented by a gallery or exhibition. Last semester I began to establish my own conceptual style and I intend to progress this further by trying new techniques and by building on my skills. I also want to put my artistic style to a commercial use, so I am also going to create artworks that could be used as album or book covers.
Fusion photography, a combination of still photography and video is a upcoming technique that is becoming increasingly sought after, and in order to keep up with the ever moving trends in photography, I intend to create a fusion video.

6 surreal artworks

 These artworks should be stand alone pieces that could be sold to a exhibition, gallery or to a private buyer.
-2 must be composite artworks, using a mixture of studio and location shots.
-2 must be unedited, straight photographs. In camera techniques may be used, but only minimal post production is allowed.
-2 must use alternative processes (non digital).

3 CD or book covers

CD covers must include front and back cover and text of the band and album name. May be inspired by existing albums, made up or created for a local band. Book cover art may just be front cover but the back blurb must be included and be appropriately designed. Book title and author must be included and may be based on existing books, made up or created for a local author.

1 Fusion video

Must be 2 to 5 minutes in length and incorporate a combination of still photography, time lapse photography and HD video. Can be about any topic but the video should follow a consistent theme and flow together nicely.