As a photographer and tutor I am starting a series of occasional ” Photo Pointers” articles on this blog to give some guidance to those finding their way with photography. I will avoid using too much technical language or lots of formulae and numbers.
For those who would like to go into more depth I will be running workshops during the year and can also arrange 1 to 1 or small group sessions to suit. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.
A couple of days ago I posted a trio of colourful images on my Instagram account which provide a simple example of the ways a photographer can change the focal point of the same scene.
For this set of pictures four highlighter pens were stood up on my desk, each an inch or two apart.
This first photograph shows just the pen that is nearest to the camera being sharp with all of the others looking blurred because they are out of focus.
To create this effect you set focus on the nib of the blue pen either by using the manual focus on your camera, or using automatic focus and placing the camera’s selected focus point exactly on the nib.
Setting a wide lens aperture will make sure that only the one pen is sharply focused and the wider the aperture you set on the camera the less of the image will be sharp, this effect is strongest when you are close to the subject.
The second photograph is similar to the previous one but the camera has been focused on the nib of the yellow pen and the same technique used to make sure only that pen is sharp.
The final image in this set has both the yellow and red pens sharply focused whilst the closer blue and furthest green pens are out of focus (not sharp).
To create this effect the lens is focused at a point between the yellow and red – this is fairly easy to achieve by focusing manually but it using automatic it is possible to focus on an object temporarily placed at the point where you want to focus and by keeping gentle pressure on the shutter button keep the focus set to that point, remove the object and take the picture. The real benefit of digital cameras is that you can take lots of shots making little adjustments until you are happy with the result. This kind of experimentation is really helpful when learning new techniques.
Small versions of my images can be viewed on my OnePoetsVision Instagram Feed or you can follow “onepoetsvison”; I also have a wide range of full sized high resolution downloadable images for sale on my OnePoetsVision Etsy Shop
This afternoon I was able to go over to Oldham and spend some time in the gallery taking in David Ball exhibition “A to Z: The First Seven Years”.
On Saturday 2nd February I’ll be running a poetry workshop in this space using David’s exhibition and ongoing project for inspiration so today was all about finding some of that inspiration in preparation.
I had a good look at lots of the pictures and spent quite some time soaking in the atmosphere and even watching the reactions of those visiting the exhibition.Things that occurred to me included:
- The scale of the exhibits surprised me
- The scale of the task for the artist is hard to comprehend
- The word “scale” is a good few years further through the alphabet
- What if the dictionary were indexed by years and months rather than pages?
- I wonder if he can really complete it
- What happens when he reaches the word “unfinished”?
- I speak at around 100 words a minute so it would take me almost 20 minutes just to read a list of the words represented on the walls – only 20 minutes to list 7 years of work….
- I wonder if, having moved from drawings and illustrations to photos, the artist will embrace other ways of visualising as the project develops
- I wonder if I could talk to the artist about this….
Some of the pictures are what we might expect but others are really personal, unusual and clever interpretations of the word, I loved the image for asylum shown here:
I’m looking forward to the workshop even more having completed today’s visit.
The second Altrincham Word Fest will run from 11th to 26th May 2019 at various venues in the town and promises to be even more exciting that the first edition held in 2018.
Last year’s festival followed a poetry event created by Anne Early and Yoko Isami as part of the Hidden Arts Festival in 2017. That first festival in 2018 proved to be a great, popular success with demand for new events and bigger venues for 2019 and Anne and Yoko are putting the finishing touches to the schedule of events in May.
So why am I, a Rochdale poet, so keen to promote this event?
- Is it because I’ve been invited back to Altrincham for the 3rd year in a row (1st year was the Hidden Arts Festival)? Perhaps a little bit….
- Is it because it has a great line up of talent? Well it does….
- Is it because it celebrates writing and literature? Well it does….
- Is it because it is different from other Literature Festivals? Yes, absolutely!
This is a festival that does something different, this is a festival for writers; it puts its energies into encouraging all of us to go out and create, to write our own literature and to share the joy of writing; and it does that through workshops, performances, writer events and of course the open mic (that I’ll be hosting again in 2019).
As a writer I experience and see the benefits people from all walks of life, of all ages and with all levels of experience can gain from putting their thoughts and ideas into words. I know the value in terms of enjoyment, fulfilment, health and well-being that writing can bring and to be involved in a festival that promotes this is both a privilege and a great pleasure.
Dates for the specific events will be appearing soon on the www.altrinchamwordfest.com website and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been asked by Oldham Library to produce and facilitate a new poetry workshop in Oldham’s Art Gallery.
The workshop is linked to a current exhibition of work, A to Z: The First Seven Years, by artist David Ball. The exhibition runs until March 2nd in Gallery 2. The artist is producing a drawing visualising every word in the Concise Oxford Dictionary – starting from A (with 461 words) the work is currently at the letter C. The project has taken 7 years so far and Dave expects to take another 28 years to finish. Some of the drawings and photographs produced so far are currently exhibited in the gallery in Oldham and some can be seen on the artist’s website by CLICKING HERE.
Taking the work by Dave Ball as its inspiration this poetry workshop will give writers the chance to create some brand new poetry themed around words from the dictionary beginning with A, B and C. We’ll look at how inspiration drives creative people and how inspiration, such as this exhibition, can be turned into a plan or outline for a new poem and will take participants through the evolution of the piece. There will be opportunities (for those who want to) share their work during the workshop and the gallery and library have kindly agreed to display writing produced in the workshop.
No specialist equipment is required and all writers are welcome from those just starting out to professionals.
The event is listed on the Oldham library website HERE and you can book places through EventBrite by CLICKING HERE