Saturday, 11 August 2012

James Fee

In one of my earlier assignments I referenced the work of Photographer James Fee [1949 - 2006]. I was inspired by many of his images and strangely drawn to his work entitled 'Psycho Ward'.

I think it is also true that this type of photography led me to choose derelict buildings for the final assignment, to capture something out of the norm', something eerie.

I tried to emulate Fee's work a little here when doing the final assignment and saw one opportunity that inspired me from the following image taken from Psycho Ward.

This image of a long hallway with light at the end is intriguing and the use of motion blur makes this an eerie image, added to by the lonesome figure seemingly banging the wall with his head. The curved ceiling adds to this tunnel effect.

The opportunity that I saw in one of the abandoned buildings I visited was a contained hallway with a door at the end, barely hanging by its hinges with light pouring through from outside. To obtain the motion I purposely increased the aperture to f/6.3 giving me a 2 second exposure, holding the camera by hand as steady as possible knowing the image would be blurred by motion. I processed this image in raw adjusting the colour sliders in making a monochrome conversion. Post production included dodging and burning, adding noise (grain) to give it a grittier feel and finally adding a yellow cast. When I compared my image to Fee's there was more warmth so I used the colourise option in a saturation layer to replicate this by adding a small amount of yellow/orange.

I did not submit this as part of my assignment as I tried to submit images that reflected the techniques learnt in this course, and although this has been a good learning point in this course, I did not feel that it met this criteria.  I may live to regret this! I was also put off a little by using techniques that most photographers avoid at all costs, such as camera blur and noise, but here I think they are used creatively for a purpose.

I think that the image has worked well in James' style and I am pleased with the effects of motion, grain and colour. The motion almost has an effect of madness and to me this is an intriguing image in wanting to know what is the on other side of the door, perhaps freedom from the surrounding decay..... with the motion adding a sense of urgency in trying to get there.....

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