CSA Blog Entry 4/4 Ethan Hughes

October 11, 2017by ethanhughesCanterbury School of Architecture (17/18)News

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Evaluation of Project: When we first started this unit, I selected the option of working in residency with the Canterbury School of Architecture mainly because I believed that it was a possible area of photography that I could possibly see my future as a photographer involving. Admittedly in the earlier weeks I thought that this subject was rather overwhelming at first, as we photography students would have to come to terms with working in a new environment and creating work in which represents a new subject to us. This work did present some new challenges for me such as, being given the opportunity to look into Architecture as a whole and decide I would like to base my work around (as long as it could be related back to the university), and the prospect of working alongside a client to get an understanding of what they are actually looking for in the end result of this project. I think choosing to do a project based around using small three-dimensional objects was rather ambitious as it doesn’t really follow the style of photography I tend to focus on. However, with enough experimenting of lighting and the perspective of the models I believe that I was capable of completing this work to a sufficient quality. I think that shooting these white 3D sculptures is a good way of representing the CSA as I found that these works were made by a variety of architecture students (and a tutor) throughout all years of the different Architecture courses. With all of them having different reason and purpose behind constructing these objects, but all of them showing that how through the years these people have gained a certain knowledge of how to create these architectural masterpieces. Shooting these white images on a white backdrop wasn’t easy, throughout my work I had to experiment with different forms of lighting and structuring to try and produce the desired result. One of the major issues I had with trying to produce this work was trying to get a good balance of tone, shading and lighting between the object being photographed and the backdrop. In the earlier shoots of work, it would tend to be either the object or the backdrop that was lit correctly, whilst the other would be cast with dark grey shading. Throughout all of my shoots I had to keep myself aware of the tonal range within my work as too much focus on one part of the image would inevitably lead to the other part of the image being cast with a Greyer tone. After following Gabor’s advice to research and possibly base my project around the works done in Sanaa Architecture, I began shooting the white 3D sculptures with very bright and ambient lighting so that I could get the white on white effect I desired, however after seeing what the end result appeared to be I was unconvinced on continuing with this mode of lighting. Major reasons were that regardless of the angling of the lighting, the sculpture in shot would begin to mix within the background. But whilst I was still researching further into the use of white object in architecture, I was able to find the works of photographers such as Bianca Chang and Daryl Ashton who similarly have photographed white object on a white backdrop. When looking through their work I began to notice that both photographers had incorporated an ever so slight greyness to their work, by doing this it then helped to push the whiter sections of the image forward in the image and the overall layout seemed to be more enticing for a viewer to look at. I took influence from this as I remembered that the end result of this project was to try and get people more interested in architecture. By recognising this I decided to include a bit more of a tonal range to my work, with the use of the slight shades of grey within my work in order to make the sculptures stand out more from the backdrop and helping to strengthen the idea of the work having a certain ambiguity about them, in which would then entice viewers to take a look into this project representing the CSA. I think to summarise my time on this project, my work with the Canterbury School of Architecture was something challenging, something where I could engage with new styles of photography that I hadn’t yet tried and provided the opportunity to learn more about a different subject and to produce a work that represents both Architecture and Photography.
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