Paper works

Recently, I am making some paper works which the idea is from the Site project. Since I started to make the paper coffin for the Shutter project, I found that I like to make paper sculptures. I enjoy drawing outlines, cutting and folding. Therefore, I decided to made some paper works to express my feeling to the term of 'city'.

Experimenting to make different shapes.

This one is like a terrace of a apartment.

Making geometric forms and also adding some lines on the form.

Using a corn flake box to make a cuboid.

Don't know how to explain this photo...I am trying to make a city using those irregular forms.

Long exposure

These two stunning images are done by Wu Chi-Tsung's. Link to Chinese Art Centre blog.

The following images are other experiment of long exposure that I learnt from the Taiwan artist Wu Chi-Tsung. I set my camera on the tripod and took the long exposure shot of my desk. I always think there are so many interesting on my desk, so it is good to be use for some photos. I used the LED light on my mobile and a torch to illuminate the desk during the exposure.

After taking a few images, I chose the images in above and combined them to a piece.

On the day, I also did some on film. One of the images was posted on the previous blog of Canon 1000fn with Kodak UltraMax 200.

The resolution of this film is definitely not as high as my digital cameras but it has its advantages. Digital cameras are not supposed to do long exposure, because too many long exposure shots are not good for the sensors. If using films, there are no problem at all. You can expose for as long as you want.

Canon New F-1 with Kodak UltraMax 400

Canon New F-1 is canon's flagship manual camera produced in 1982. I brought it on ebay in a bargaining price when no one placed any bids on the auction.

Canon's A series cameras, such as A1 and AE1, always have a issue, which is the infamous canon squeak. When the camera have been used for a long time, the lubricant would dry up and the squeak appears during the reflex mirror flip up and down. The squeak would not affect the image quality but that would affect the reaction of the camera. As the selling point of those A series cameras was auto exposure, in the viewfinder, there are no information showing me what aperture or even shutter speed I am using. However, I don't use auto mode at all. Therefore I always have to be off viewfinder to check the aperture and shutter speed. That's why I go for a Canon New F-1.

Compare to my Canon A series cameras, the New F-1 is so much better than them. The 100% viewfinder and bright split focus screen show me images very clearly. The build quality is very solid. After using a roll of film on this camera, I really love it.

The film is a roll of Kodak UltraMax 400. I took those pictures in different situation to see the performance of this film is.

I let Jessops develop and print the images for me. After picking up my photos, I was so disappointed, because the colour temperature of all images were so warm, especially in the image taken at my aunt's apartment in a evening. I knew that the colour of Kodak's films are quite warm so it is good for portrait photography. However, the result I have got is too warm. So I decided to do the scanning by myself to find out the problem. Actually, I would do it anyway.

During the scanning, I could adjust the colour temperature and then the colour of all images became more reasonable. Nevertheless, I love using Fuji films for general photography more that Kodak because I like cooler colours.

If using Fuij films, I am sure the sky will be bluer.

In this photo, you can see it is quite yellow. However, it is the result after adjustment already, so you can imagine how warn the print from Jessops is.

Canon EOS 1000fn with Kodak UltraMax 200

I scanned these 2 roll of films on the same day when I scanned the Kodak T-Max 400, but I used the Epson V300 instead of the professional V700. I have mentioned the reason on the previous blog already, so I am not going to repeat that here.

The Kodak UltraMax 200 was taken on the Canon EOS 1000fn Auto film camera which is the first film camera I brought. The camera was produced in 1990. It is entry level SLR with a plastic body but looks like a toy but it is definitely more than enough for photographing.

I brought this camera for £14 on ebay including the delivery fee. As this is a Canon EOS camera, I can use my Canon EF lenses on it. I loaded the film on the camera when I have got it but I just finished the film this month. This roll of film was my first roll and gonna be my last roll used on this camera. That doesn't mean the camera is not usable. The reason is just I have too many cameras, especially I just brought another Canon EOS auto film camera, Canon EOS 30V. However, I won't waste it so I would sell it or give it to someone who want to try film photography.

In film photography, a lens is the most important part that affects the images quality. So a camera does not really matter as long as it works well. You might ask why I brought so many cameras then? Oh! It just because I love to collect them.

I used my Canon 17-40mm F/4L lens on the EOS 1000fn with a Hoya CPL filter. I have not used that filter on my digital SLR camera properly because the result is not so good. That filter makes images losing details. I know why. It is because of the filter is cheap. It cannot produce the quality as high as the resolution of my digital cameras. However, when I used it on film. Those images look amazing. The resolution on 35mm film is lower than the filter produces, so it is all right. The colour of images is more contrastive. It is better to use to take picture of landscape.

I went to the country park near my house to take pictures. I like that place. It is small but there are a lot of interesting things

If without the CPL filter, you don't see the gradation of the cloud in the images.

This is a long exposure experiment I learnt from Wu Chi-Tsung. I mounted the 1000fn on the tripod and took a 15sec shot. During the exposure, I used a torch to shine on the thing I want it to be captured in the image. I tried a few more in digital on the same day as well.

Sessions Failed!

Today, we started the pin hole camera session at Hulme Adventure Playground. Oh! Finally! Additionally, we also did some light painting which was Kate's idea in a week ago. We were all looking forward to doing this session because it was going to be fun.

First, we used many black film canister to make pin whole cameras. Kate brought a lot of equipments to do this part. We had got a film changing bag so we could put photographic papers in to the pin whole cameras. We set up a developing area in the storage room so we could see the images on the day. Everything were prepared so well, but we couldn't control the kids.

Before letting the kids take pictures, I had to introduce how to use the cameras to them. After the introduction, I also asked them to repeat what I said before giving them the cameras. However, noun of images were captured on the pin whole cameras. As we developed the images immediately, we saw some images were completely black that means over exposure. I was sure that the reason was they opened the canister although I emphasized already. Some images were just while, lack of exposure. When we found out the reasons, it was being dark and those kids were just not patient to listen to me. They didn't have patient to wait for even 2 minutes. Therefore, this session was completely failed.

Another sessions was the light painting one. I prepared a lot of LED lights for them which I used for my breakdance with light paiting project. They had fun with them but again, the didn't listen to you. I was thinking it was hard to have my lights back, so I decided to give those lights to them...

Chinese New Year Dinner

If I ask you what you think about these two photos, you might say that is just normal. That's right. I just wanted it to be normal.

The North West Chinese Centre holds a banquet every Chinese New Year. I had worked as a volunteer at this school and they know I do photography so I usually help the school to document different events. This year, I was still their photographer in the banquet. My role was mainly to take pictures of those guests.

In two years ago, I really hated to take this type of photos of a groups of people because I thought that was not artistic and very dull. Since I realized that what many professional wedding photographers do in their job is this kind of photography, I don't hate to do this kind of photography anymore.

Photography can be separated to artistic photography and documenting photography. In artistic photography, you can do whatever you want to express yourself. In documenting photography, what you have to do is to capture clear images, at least clear. A clear image is easy to be capture under the sun light, no matter what cameras you use. However, if in a low light situation, that will be a real challenge for people to get a clear image.

To get a clear image of a group of people is not that easy as many people think. Lighting is so important so a powerful flashgun is necessary. In indoor and light photography, a powerful flashgun is the basic equipment. Therefore, I used my Canon Speedlite 580EX II on the Canon 5DII with the 17-40mm lens for the event.

Except capturing their faces, I would also like to capturing the background. The flash is always stronger than the background lights so a right setting of the camera and the flashgun would help you to capture the portraits with the background.

This one is a failed example. The background is too dark.

When the background is too dark, there are a couple of ways to sort this problem. For example, you can slow down the shutter speed. However, when the shutter speed is too slow, you might be more difficult to keep your arms steady that can be sorted by using a tripod. If you don't like to use a tripod, you can used a larger aperture to take the shot but this way is not good for a group of people because too shallow depth of view is not able to cover all people in the photo. In this situation, you need to use higher ISO that lets more lights get into the camera but that makes more noise to the image. There is a relationship between ISO, shutter speed and aperture. When you get used to use them, you know how to set your camera for different situation.

Many people don't like to use flash when taking pictures, especially high ISO is more usable now. The reason is the reflection on the face makes the photo so bad. Moreover, the colour of the flash is white which creates cold colour temperature but the background lights are yellow which is warm colour temperature. That makes the photo looks werid too. Therefore, I would put a soft box diffuser on the flashgun to change the colour of the flash. In those photos, I used a yellow box diffuser that matched the colour of the environment.

I also used a flash bracket as well. That let me change the position of the flashgun to flash the objects in different directions rather than just on the top of the camera.

Finally, editing is a important part in digital photography. I only did a little adjustment to those photos, such as tuning brightness, contrast and colour. After the editing, the all the work have been done.

I like documenting events because that is a good practice for me. During documenting, I learn more about my cameras and improve my photographic skills that would help for my future.

Pin Hole Cameras Started

Right! It is almost the end of the Recreate project. The day light lasts much longer than it was in December so it is time to start the pin hole photography. I bought 3 pin hole cameras to the Hulme Adventure Playground. One of the cameras are made of cardboard and paper that was showed in the previous blog already. Other two are made of black film canisters.

This is a very simple method to make a pin hole camera. I learnt this from a fine art girl when I was developing my photos and she was experimenting her canister pin hole cameras in the wet darkroom. You only need to make a pin hole in the middle of the canister, use a piece of black tape to cover the hole, place a piece of photographic paper into the canister in the dark and then it is ready for exposure.

These two boys were very interested in what I was doing. I told them those were cameras and I let them choose the scene for me. And I managed the timing them. When time was up, I asked them to bring the pin hole cameras back to me.

I haven't got the images because I need to develop them. Now, those exposed photographic papers are kept in the pin hole cameras. I are really looking forward to the result.

Funniest picture of the day, ice-cream!!!

Chinese New Year

A celebration for Chinese New Year was held in Manchester China Town. My mum is a voluntary Chinese dancing teachers in a Chinese school, North West Chinese Centre and her students had a performance there. I was asked to photographing the event for the school.

I used my Sony Nex-5 with the 16mm pancake lens to take long shots and Canon 5D2 with 70-200mm lens to take medium shots.

Time was quite short for me to capture those little cute dancers. The weather was too cold for them so they didn't perform well.

Back from Berlin

I just had nice but freezing cold trip in Berlin. As you see, that was really really cold. The coldest day of the trip was only minus 6 degree. However, I was really enjoying this trip because I have seen a lot of good artworks and it was excited to look for different destinations with classmates.