Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a two part photo essay

Part One:

The countryside of Kent

This picture was taken towards the beginning of our walk through the countryside. I found myself drawn to the beaten path surrounded by green. I felt that the large trees to the left offset the emptiness to the right quite well. I also appreciated the fact that you could see each individual tree’s personal color. Each tree although mostly seen as a mass seems to have a different hue of green. I also thought the three empty trees in the upper right corner were an interesting contrast as they are mostly bare. Also, the path seems to pull the viewer forward to see what lurks further than what we can see. It is introducing it to what is yet to come.

I have found a fascination with bridges in myself. The way they blend into nature as if they have always belonged in that place is amazing. I loved the arches in this bridge. I appreciated that there were three so we did not see an even number. Each arch is also slightly different whether in color, shape or size.  The trees on each side of the shot somewhat frame the bridge. One downside is the few people on the bridge. With landscape photos you tend to stay away from human life. However these humans almost blend into the background.

On the country walk, one of my main focuses was to play with the horizon line in my pictures. In this particular shot I decided to push the horizon line down a bit and snot more of the sky.  It was a very dim and almost dreary day and the sky did not have many colors to it except gray. I did like the small line of red trees on the right side. This was the main object in my shot. Although the trees are on the edge of the shot they are leaning in towards the center. I also found myself enjoying the way my pictures looks when they weren’t so symmetrical.

In this shot I wanted to use two sets of trees to frame my picture. Although I wish they had been a bit more full I think they serve their purpose. I also played with the horizon line and pulled it down a bit again. I thought the slash of red in the left corner made the photo more interesting and vibrant. I also found that the lines in the grass, although simple gave more texture and depth to the photo. Fitted in the back of the shot is a large section of trees. These trees almost resemble clouds. And although it is difficult to see in this shot the clouds behind the trees were slightly rolling in the same pattern as the trees in the center of the frame.

This next photo is another shot of a bridge. I continuously am attracted to their man made yet nature like structures. I thought this bridge was interesting because it is much taller and further in the distance. I thought that the cluster of trees on the right weighted the rolling hills on the left. I also decided to push the horizon line on this shot up a bit. To me it seemed more difficult to shift the line up because then I often had unwanted paths and unattractive scenery in my shot. This bridge carries the railroad. I thought it was interesting how to seemed to disappear into its surrounds and you only see a section of it. You know it must go on a ways because the train is carried on it but you do not see it. It seems to be a slight element of illusion.

Part Two:

A Stroll Through Regents Park

Due to the poor weather on the country walk I was not about to take as many landscape pictures as I had hoped. Being so, I decided to take advantage of one of the many beautiful parks in London. For this particular essay I chose Regents Park. Upon entering the park we began to walk down a long lane. The road we were talking on was almost completely covered in shade with a few light patches of sun poking though. I found that the colors were beautiful and would make for nice pictures. I came upon this bench along the lane and I wanted to include it somehow in my shot. Keeping it in the bottom corner meant I would be able to show a great deal of the surrounding landscape without showing much of the road in front of it. I was interested in the way you can see various tree trunks and leaves through the background. Also the contrasts between the burnt orange colors of the fallen leaves and the bright green color of the living leaves along with the lighting make this shot very engaging. 

I wanted to include as many trees as I could in this shot. I thought the various tree stumps though the shot gave it texture and showed distance. I also tilted the camera slightly upwards for a number of reasons. First, I wanted to include the leaves of the trees that are barely showing the first signs of fall. Second, I wanted the brightness of the sun and blue of the sky to shine through to the front of the frame. And third, I wanted my horizon line to be right at the base of most of the trees. I enjoy the almost silhouette of the foremost tree on the left with its stems and branches as well as orange coloring, I also enjoy the lush and deep green tree to the left. I feel like both these trees not only compliment each other but frame the shot.

The lighting and shadows on the day of this photo shoot were gorgeous. I was very attracted to the way the sun hit this tree and cast its shadow straight into the dark green trees in the distance. Although because of the lighting the large tree seems to be to focus, the shadow leads the eye towards the back cluster of trees and encourages the viewer to see the numerous trunk’s different hues, varying shapes, and also the bright blue of the sky just above. Although the shape in the foreground has the most stress upon it, those in the background are most interesting and therefore the tree does a fine job leading the eye towards them.

This last shot was somewhat of a personal experiment. As I was walking down that same lane mentioned before I saw a Royal Rubbish Bin. I was drawn to the fact that on the side of this bin were two geometrical openings where you could see through one to the other side. I decided to use this rubbish bin as my own special claude class. The shape of the trash can framed the area so that I could focus on what was directly in front of me and not the entire park. Doing this gave me a whole new view of the scene and made it seem like it was already a photograph laid out before me. I do however wish I could have turned the bin a bit to include less of the path but I still enjoyed the technique.

summary of winter's tale analysis article.

Summary: In this article, Susan Snyder writes about the importance of the character Mamillius in the Winter’s Tale. Mamillius is Leontes and Hermione’s son present only in the beginning of the play. Mamillius is only seen in two scenes but is a prominent figure throughout the play and a very important key to the plot. When it comes to his age there are some questions. He is usually played by a older actor but there are several clues leadings us to believe he is closer to fiver years old. At the time we get to know Mamillius he is still living in the nursery and therefore has a very strong connection to his mother. This explains why Mamillius suffered in such a great way when his mother was going through accusations. Although Leontes assumes Mamillius’ sickness is due to the fact that he knows his mothers has been an adulterer, it is more so because of his strong connection with his mother, the poor state she is in and the fact that he has been taken away from her.

Comments: This article helped me understand Mamillius death a great deal better. As I was reading and watching the play I wasn’t sure why he died so quickly, why his demise was immediate. However, as I think of small children and the way they depend on their mothers, I can see why his health would deteriorate so rapidly. The grief of his mother and their separation from each other because of his father led to this young boys decline. It was not his acceptance of his mothers supposed adultery, like his father assumed.

ulysses deriding polyphemus.

            At the National Gallery, I chose the painting Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus by Joseph Mallord William Turner to view and analyze. This painting was from 1829 done on canvas with oil. The idea of this painting came from Homer’s Odyssey. In that book there is the tale of Ulysses and his troupe who attempt to destruct the one eye giant Polyphemus.  This painting depicts that scene.
            In the foreground of the painting we see a ship full of men. On board the ship, Ulysses is standing, defending himself from the giant who is now blind. In the background, you see the faint figure of a giant hidden in the clouds. Turner may have used this effect to show the defeat of the giant, as he isn’t fully visible. Or perhaps, reiterating the fact that the giant is now blind.
            Because this painting is so large and has a great deal of things going on, Turner doesn’t focus on the small details of the piece. The men on the boat are see more as a mass and not as individuals, as they all look the same. His lines aren’t exact or sharp but more blunt and relaxed. This could be because the individuals are not as important as the story itself. The largeness of the painting shows the importance of the battle as well as engages the viewer into the scene.
            Turner uses the vanishing effect often in this painting. Like with the giant just barely visible in the distance, he uses the same effect with horses in the sunset. In the corner of the painting we see a very bright sunset full of yellows and vibrant color. Slightly showing through the light we see horses, the horses of the sun God Apollo. The way the horses are fading out could show us their distance as well as the fact that they are heading away from us, and in the natural eye would be difficult to see. Just in front of the ship we also see slightly invisible sea nymphs. This adds to the fairytale aspect of the picture. The story of Ulysses is after all a tale and the sea nymphs help us keep that in perspective. This painting took a lot of skill especially in finding the balance to make the slightly invisible or faded parts of the painting still visible to the viewer’s eye.
            The warmth of the sun set also gives the viewer a sense of direction. We also feel warmth and accomplishment. The brightness of the sunset shines while the rest of the scene is dim. It somewhat lets us know that the sailors come out of this fight successful. Overall Turner’s piece was engaging and told the story of Ulysses and Polythemus quite well.  

william gilpin.

William Gilpin was an experienced landscape artist living in 16th century England. He focused his work on the British isles and preferred overgrown scenery rather than a well groomed garden. He felt that overgrowth true beauty had many different textures and appreciated, roots and other twisted elements of nature. He felt that many artists capture the stereotypical view of nature in a perfect state. And although he did often find these views beautiful, he personally felt that nature should be viewed its natural state. He worked with the idea that the elements in a painting should work together to create a picturesque scene. He often used surrounding architecture to highlight the land around it.