11.2 - Karsh

The portraits of Yousuf Karsh blew me away today.
I was intrigued by the simplicity of the photos, the expressions he caught from the subjects, the lighting he used, and the fact that it was an 8x10 Large Format camera.

There were lots of photos fighting for my #1, but the winner ended up being Earnest Hemmingway.

What stands out right away, is the lighting.
From what I can tell, Karsh lit Hemmingway mostly from above. With that, one light camera left and slightly behind the subject, and possibly one light camera right slightly behind the subject.
Both of these side lights (if there are two) form a rim of light around Hemmingway, causing him to pop from the black background.
The light above Hemmingway creates a far more dramatic image than a light, lets say, head on, as it emphasizes the large round collar of the sweater, as well as the shadow of the beard.
This, together with the simple, center framing catches my eye right away.

As for Dark Room techniques, all I can make out from this particular image is the way he would've dodge and burnt it.
If you look closely between his shoulders and the background, you'll see a very feathered grey zone (more dominant on Hemmingway's left side).
I could say that this was done by a third or fourth light aiming at the background, but the feathered grey area follows his sweater curves, where a light wouldn't do that.
So, using Dodging and Burning, I feel he would've done nothing more than dodge in Hemmingway, and Burn out the Background.

Lastly, I'm not aware of the contrast coming out of an 8x10 negative, but it looks like he would've added contrast as well.


Personal Work

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CI 12 - Colour Block

I've always enjoyed art and design, which has always attracted me to colour. I feel that colour has a lot to do with personality, emotion, and character, and affects us without always realizing it. The colours we do or do not use, is an important decision in every situation, whether it is business/professional work, or personal/playful work, as it plays a large roll in how we feel about it.

For more professional/business oriented work, it's good to include either Black and White shades, or light/dark colours instead of really bright colours. This would depend on the type of business of course... and who your target is. Businesses usually want something catchy, while staying professional and serious about their work, so something too crazy could hint immature work, and drive clients away.

For more playful work, or something directed to a younger crowd, it would probably be good to include bright colours, and maybe lots of them. Kids are fast, busy, and loud, therefore a variety of bright colours suit more.

I find that a variety of bright colours are suited for eccentric people, and either black and white shades, or light and dark colours are suited for calm/quite people.

I find myself in the middle.
I love a lot of busy colours, but at the same time, I really like minimalism with soft colours, or shades. The reason for lots of colour is my outgoing personality, and my drive to be different. The reason for the minimalism and soft colours, is because I take me and my work seriously, and I enjoy creating professional visions.

The colours I shot:

Blue - The blue wall with fencing and shadows gives a very dark and mysterious feeling. When viewing the image, I get the sense of coldness and depth.

Cyan - Hoopers has a very attractive logo, being simple but catchy with the exaggerated "h" and the eye catching Cyan sign. The Cyan is a pretty soft colour, but grabs your eye when walking down the street, because the colour is rare to see. The Cyan in this image gives me the feeling of infinity, and surreality.

Red - Canada Post has done a great job in my opinion, of slapping a catchy design onto all of their mail boxes around the city. It's easy to see the bright red everywhere, and the busy text around the whole thing adds dimension. Even though there are accents of blue in the image, it's the red that pops out and grabs your attention. I don't really think about anything but red when I see the image. I'm pretty sure my heart rate goes up when viewing this image.

Orange - The Clothing Donation Bin pops out a lot with the single bright orange colour, and white text. It's super warm and because it's so bright, it feels busy.

Cyan / Red - The Cyan sky is a soft, clean, soothing background for allowing the important red fire hydrant to pop out at you. The two colours are very different, in the way they make me feel when I look at them. In this scene, the colours both match the way we sort of WOULD feel about the subjects. The soft blue sky is what we always wait for in a nice day. The soft and gentleness gives us hope, and joy. The red Fire Hydrant on the other hand is for use in an emergency, leaving us with a panic and busy feeling. Basically what we'd feel when there's a fire.

Warm / Warm - The sunsetting sky gives us a soft violet, red, and orangellow in this image. I feel like fire when I look at the photo. The colours are very vibrant and hot.


CI Field Trip 1

I was pretty stoked on going to the Zoo.
I haven't been there in a very long time.
What was really good about the zoo, was that there were next to no people and the clouds produced great lighting, but what wasn't so good, was the minimal animal activity, and the chilly weather.

In the end, I am very glad we got to go!


AT 6.2 Photographic Hero

Richard Avedon

1923 - 2004
New York City

Using a 8x10 Deardorff View Large Format camera, Richard Avedon was famous for his originality in portrait and fashion photography. He not only shot portraits, and fashion, but also confronted the realms of politics, power, suffering, and war.
A few events he covered include:
- The Civil Rights movement in the South
- The Vietnam War
- Mental Institutions
- The Washington Establishment

Richard was known for coming out from behind the camera, after focusing, to develop a rapport with his subject. Occasionally while doing this, he would guide the subject into an uncomfortable area of discussion, evoking reactions from them to produce images revealing aspects of the subject's character and personality that were not typically captured by others.
The subject would be pulled from their environment just as they were, and photographed against a white backdrop, eliminating any sense of landscape. Avedon avoided expressing his personal opinions of the subjects and allowed them to choose their own pose and clothing, and in my opinion, making the photographs more powerful and truthful to the viewer.

His photographs usually involved a straight on angle with the subject, high contrast, and a close crop (often chopping body parts off)

This is one of my favourite panoramic shots he did of the Civil Rights Movement in the South. This shot isn't balanced, and he cut the guys head off, but it works for me. The grungy guys, probably just pulled out of the mine shafts, work well with the grungy composition! I especially like the pure white, and the high contrast in the image.

Richard used lighting on his subjects in a way that worked.
Aside from using the sunlight (like the American West), he used strobes to control light. The strobes are obvious here, as you can see them in the eyes of the subject, and the shadows are noticeably smaller and darker then then would be with natural sunlight.
This is my favourite example of one of his more humorous images, for obvious reasons.

My last favourite.
Here's an example of his originality, and way of pushing the boundaries of portrait/fashion photography.
The high contrast between the white, smooth dress, and the dark, rough elephants really make the image (more importantly her dress) pop. The other thing that catches my eye, is the way her body form is mimicking the elephant's trunk and legs.
You never expect to see a clean, sleek model in a photograph with rough, dirty elephants. That is what makes this photo unique.


CI 1.4 - Composition at Home

It was fun trying to find each design element in my house, among the things most people wouldn't think to take a photo of.
I haven't lived in this house very long, so it helped me get to know it a little more!

I noticed that it's more enjoyable for me to look at a photo after I created it, to see the design elements that drew my eye, instead of trying to find things that match an element.

This was definitely a good way to get the feel for each element though.

Here are the results for my elements:


Shape or Form

Pattern or Rhythm


Symmetrical Balance



Working the Subject... 100 Creative Ways

Three items.
Stylin' Fruit Basket

I was very happy with the items that I chose to photograph.
Attempting 100 Creative shots from something can be quite difficult, but I guess I lucked out!

The bike is a very interesting base item that allows a lot of natural framing, colour, and texture. It works well with incorporating other items, and hanging them off the frame.

To be honest, It was good to work with the skateboard, but I just couldn't stay away from the bike.

The Fruit basket was a really good abstract item, and worked really well with the flash.
Since the basket is constructed completely from chrome metal bars, it made for great reflection and lines.

Overall, it was a lot of fun for me, and I am glad the rain stayed away for those 2 hours.
The options were endless for me, and I had a hard time stopping when I was well over 100 shots.


DT 2.1 - Lines

I really enjoy lines, so this was a fun one for me.
Lines are everywhere.
But sometimes it's up to you to find them.
It was good to be shooting at Skate 4 Cancer because it was something that I really wanted to take part in and photograph, but it doubled as doing a homework assignment as well.
Lines were everywhere, and it was fun to look for them.
Some lines are obvious, but others you might have to look for.
I hope you have fun looking at them.



Hank is not my name.
I will just clarify that.

Genre is difficult to narrow down.
Here are three:
Live Music/Band

In the next Nine and a half months, I want to learn as much as I can.
This includes:
The business of Photography
Web design/displaying images professionally
Monitor calibration/display brightness for optimum printing
To control the camera as a part of me in pressure situations
Darkroom developing/Dodging & Burning
Large Format/Small Format

I have a story to tell you.
I'll have to think about it though...
I was at a hardcore show.
Some friends and I were fooling around with my camera and off-camera flash.
I had the idea of sticking the flash in my mouth, while photographing my face.
I had no idea that the flash would light up the whole face red, and leaving it look like a skeleton.
It was sweet.