Sunday, 18 May 2014

Techniques I've Learned During Unit X

During the duration of Unit X I have learnt and improved on photography techniques I previously hadn't used, these were mainly to do with shooting film and darkroom techniques. I had used the darkroom many times before Unit X but never really got into dodging and burning, this time I decided that it was a technique I wanted to use in creating my prints. A Lot of people use their hands to make shapes whilst dodging and burning however the way I did it was to use black card and cut it into the shapes I needed, the reason I did this is so I hands have a tailored shape that stays consistent. I used dodging and burning on my early black and white prints the darken and lighten certain areas, the shapes I needed to dodge and burn were very straight so I could just use the edge of the card. On the other hand when printing some of the photographs I took in London I had to cut the card into more intricate shapes as I had to dodge and burn faces and the outlines of bodies. The photographs came out much better than if the entire image had one exposure time however I still need to vastly improve my printing skills and the prints still weren't exactly what I wanted, after Unit X is over I'm going to go back in the darkroom and print them better. 

The next technique I learned was double and multiple exposures. A few weeks into the project I purchased a Nikon FE 35mm camera which had a multiple exposure function so this was the genesis of my double exposure photographs. Working out the exposure time for the photographs was hard as you need to over expose the photograph but too much and the photograph will still be over exposed and not enough and it will be under exposed. I tended to over expose the photographs by a stop or 2 which worked quite well but if I did a triple exposure I would over expose it a little more. I also had to remember where certain elements of each photograph were in the frame as I wanted to overlap certain bits of each exposure. Working with double exposures was very fun and I will definitely continue doing it.

One thing I wanted to do during Unit X was use medium format however I was a little pushed for time so I'm going to hire one out when Unit X is over so I will have used one before second year. I feel my digital photography techniques are strong in terms of post processing however I need to bring my film techniques up to that level especially when it comes to darkroom printing.