Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Posts tagged “art

Playing Man Ray At His Own Game

I wanted to share this image with you. It was taken by Katie Bulmer, a student on the Fotofilia ten week “Advanced Photography” course. It was taken for the first of two assignments on the course in which the students were asked to reproduce a pre-existing image, either faithfully to the original or as a completely different version – as long as there was an obvious similarity between the two. I think Katie pulled that off, don’t you?

In case you haven’t worked it out already, the photograph is based on “Man Ray’s “El Violin De Ingres” from 1924. Katie’s model was her mom, photographed in the studio. The finishing touches to the post-production were done in class. Here’s the original for comparison…

Man Ray, get your coat.


Bodyscapes: Cally

A few more images from a “Bodyscapes” (art nude) workshop a year or so ago (that I’ve only just got around to editing). This time, the model was the lovely Cally.

Editing these images has reminded me that I need to schedule another Bodyscapes shoot very soon. Keep an eye on the website or newsletter for details.

 


Bodyscapes: Mark

The good thing about the Easter holidays is that it gives me a chance to go through my hard-drives and finally edit images that I might have taken many months ago as part of a Fotofilia workshop. In this case, these images of model Mark were taken over a year ago during a “Bodyscapes” evening (a series of art nude shoots, concentrating on lighting)…

In the next post, I’ll share some images of the female model from this event. Click here to find out more about Fotofilia training events.

 


Showing Them The Door

I saw this cool idea on Facebook (thanks to Dave Rudge!) and decided I’d like to share it with you. I was reminded this afternoon when I saw one of these doors in a skip. Hope you like…

 


The Upside of Downton (part 2)

More images from our recent Downton Abbey-themed shoot at Haden Hill House. This time, I’m featuring my images of the incomparable Joel Hicks.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia's Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia’s Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia's Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia’s Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia's Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia’s Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks (with Emilie Walt) at Fotofilia's Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks (with Emilie Walt) at Fotofilia’s Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia's Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel Hicks at Fotofilia’s Downton-themed location shoot.

Joel’s worked with us at Fotofilia many times and continues to be our most requested male model. Find out more about him by clicking on the following links…

His main website and Joel’s charitable foundation


Battle of The Sexes: Bashing The Gums

I often wonder why some of our courses seem to appeal only to men while others appeal only to women. The recent “Gum Prints: The Art of Gum Bichromate” course was fully booked but all of the participants were female. And it isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, whenever I’ve arranged workshops about so-called “alternative” or “historical” printing processes over the years, the vast majority of participants have been female. Why should this be? (I’d be interested to hear your thoughts).

The leading exponents of this medium worldwide appear to be a healthy mixture of the genders – so is it a British thing? When I mentioned this disparity during the class, it was suggested that men were more interested in “fiddling with their f-stops” or “comparing lens sizes” and whilst this was said in jest (or so I would like to think), perhaps there is an element of truth to it. I have definitely noticed that those courses less dependent on technicality – the more “craft-based” and imaginative “arty” processes – attract more female than male participants.

Detail of a gum print from the last workshop by Esther Parker-Duber.

Detail of a gum print from the last workshop by Esther Parker-Duber.

It would seem to me that women are less interested in the eternal pursuit of technical perfection and instead are more open to a broader concept of what is “right” in an image: are more prepared to put “something of themselves” into the picture. Even when they do take part, men will ask “how can I make this a better quality image?” whereas women will ask “can I print onto fabric?” or “can I apply the sensitizer with something else? Like a sponge?”

Male readers may disagree and as a male myself (who loves these processes), it pains me to think this may be the case. But this is simply what the evidence might suggest.

Still, if you’re a fella who’d like to redress this disparity, you’ll get the chance by enrolling on the next Gum Printing course on Saturday 11th January. 

Drying gum prints during the recent workshop.

Drying gum prints during the recent workshop.

Footnote: The Gum Bichromate process, if you’re curious, is a beautiful “printing-out” process, whereby a negative is produced from a digital image (or at least it is the way I teach it). A mixture of potassium dichromate solution, gum-type glue and pigment is painted onto watercolour paper in subdued lighting and dried. Then the negative is placed onto the paper flattened down with a sheet of glass and exposed to UV light. Finally, the print is washed to “develop” and fix the image.


Double-faced: Two Sides To Every Story

You may already have seen these images popping up all over social media of late but just in case you haven’t…

From time to time I like to share a project with you that I think is truly unique both in style and technique, and Berlin-based artist Sebastian Bieniek‘s amazing “Double-faced” series is one such project. The concept is deceptively simple, using an eye pencil and lipstick, Sebastian draws half a face on a model’s face and then conceals the other half of their real face from the camera. He then photographs them in everyday situations – on the train, in a cafe, in bed etc.

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

The effect is most disconcerting. Sebastian doesn’t use “photoshoppery” and doesn’t use ultra-realistic make-up to create a lifelike representation of the facial features. Far from it, the added features are “primitive” at best – and that, I think is the strength of these images.

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

The viewer’s mind overcomes the very obvious falseness of the “new” side of the face and we almost – almost – accept it as real. But then we realise it’s too odd to be real and look again. These images are a kind of photographic trompe l’oeil but with the added psychological twist of their photographic realism of the portrait and setting pitched against the relative obviousness of the drawn-on features.

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

 

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

By kind permission of Sebastian Bieniek

These images have, quite rightly, attracted international attention and you can find out more about Sebastian’s work via the link above or his Facebook page.

Thanks to Sebastian for allowing me to reproduce his work here.