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Having finally managed to process some of the urban ballet images from my recent shoot with the dancer Kayleigh Lush .
I thought it was worth sharing a few of them in my blog.
The idea of the project was to shoot a set of ballet themed images in a urban setting.
First of all I needed a good location, which also needed to be fairly local to me.
That choice of location was Saltaire, which is near Shipley and very local to me.
Because I have been there a number of times I knew that it had some really good locations which we could to shoot ballet against.
Another requirement was a trained ballet dancer, so I contacted Kayleigh Lush.
Now having worked with Kayleigh before , I knew she was capable of producing good ballet poses. Which is what I wanted for this project.
Kayleigh is a trained dancer and works really hard to produce great images, especially dance. So was the ideal choice for this project.
As I mentioned above the choice of location was Saltaire, near Shipley which is a world heritage site and has some interesting buildings to work against.
These include the famous Salts Mill with the Leeds Liverpool Canal running between its buildings.
As well as the impressive United Reformed Church. which is just across the canal for the mill builds.
All these building were built by Sir Titus Salt around the 1850s, and I was sure would give good and different building to shoot dance poses against.
On the day the weather was overcast and grey which was good, but to lift Kayleigh out of the background I needed some extra light.
To provided this extra punch of light, I therefore set up a single off camera flash unit fitted with a 19″ McGillicuddy beauty dish . This is my favourite modifier to use with a single off camera flash set up.
Urban ballet Images
As the day progressed the weather turned to light rain, which made working on pointe and landing jumps tricky for Kayleigh.
This therefore required us to make a change to the location, fortunately there was some local woods near by.
Which would provided some shelter from the rain for a while, but still allow us to shoot the projects theme of dance.
A question that came up at a recent lecture I was giving to a camera club was: How important is the title of an image?
Now this made me stop and think for a minute (so a good question). I know that when I am creating images I don’t have a title in my mind, it is all about focusing on creating that image. I suggest that the titling process begins when I add images into my library. They have a ‘working title’ which is normally a generic shoot title in combination with a file number. I don’t rely on just numbers and dates alone therefore all the images from that shoot get that generic title.
It is only when I have selected an image and start to process that image that a possible title might appear. It may also come from my thinking while processing the images.
You could say it all depends on what you are going to do with the images. If it is only for your personal portfolio then does a title matter?
My personal opinion is yes, image titles are important.
Images that are going out to be viewed either on my website or on an image posting website should have a title.
Creating a title for your image is all part of the creative process. I know from personal experience that sometimes it is easy to come up with a good title and some times it is very difficult to come up with a good meaningful title.
However this question was in the context of using images in exhibitions/ competitions.
So how important is a title?
My thoughts and experience of entering images into exhibitions is that for most International exhibitions the title makes very little difference.
The reason of this is the volume of images that have been entered makes the judging process a rapid affair. Some times the titles are read out other they appear as texted with the image. It is all about the image making an impact in the short viewing window that the judges have.
It is only in the medal selection process that the judges will most likely see the titles of the selected images.
There are exceptions to this – for example, the London Salon and possibly the Edinburgh International. (Both print salons) where the judging process is very different. The title of the image is very important for the judging here. Especially in the London salon where it is all about the images being selected that show distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution, So the title is a very important part of that.
But I suspect that for the majority of the digital salons the title is not seen until the end of the selection process. Certainly looking in salon catalogues you will see that certain authors don’t bother with strong title so you might see Mountain view III , or Window light 4.
At club level
However in club photography circles the title is very important and is usually read out prior to the image being presented for viewing/ judging.
So getting a good title for the image is essential. As in this area the title provides a useful handle for critiquing, reviewing and discussing the work.
Alternate titles may be suggested as this review is undertaken, which may or may not help the author.
To me the role of the image title is and will always be an important factor of image making.
It is perhaps the final part of the artistic creation process. The title once chosen, normally stays with that image or any form of art (whatever it is) for it life.
To choose a strong title should be part of the challenge for any artist no matter what type of art is being produced.
So my answer was that a good strong title is important.
Get the title right and it will be part of the emotional response of the viewer’s experience when they view the image.
These are my views so it would be interesting to read others views.
Below are a selection of images and with my chosen title that have done well at all levels with their titles:
I paid a visit to the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield to view the exhibition by the American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia, last week and took along my Fuji XE-1.
It is well worth a visit both to see the images in the exhibition but also to get a feel of the space. The Hepworth allows photography in most rooms so here are a few of the images I shot on the day. I started outside with a few images of the building which is quite angular and one either likes or you hate.
These are followed by images from the various areas and rooms within the building. All the images below were shot hand held and processed in Lightroom using the latest Fuji profiles released for Lightroom.
These work well and I have tried a couple of different variant to see what the overall effects to the images are.
Well worth a visit as the exhibition space is good and the café does some good food too. The Hepworth will certainly be on my list of venues to visit in the future.
A trip to London this weekend to attend the opening of the prestigious London Salon of Photography. This is third year that I have been down to attend the opening of this Salon. Although it is not a FIAP salon and therefore does not count towards any FIAP awards, I have tried to support it since being invited to submit some images three years ago. It is not an easy salon to get images into as they have a unique selection process where the images are viewed by all the assembled salon members and the images have to be passed by them, which is not easy. The images selected have to show distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution. It may not be a FIAP salon but it does receives thousand of entries from all over the world.
So to have managed to get images selected for inclusion within the exhibition for the last 3 years I feel is a great achievement. My first image selected into the Salon (2012) was entitled: the Lady and the Lamp.
Last year I managed gain two acceptances into the salon ( this is the maximum anyone can get selected), and “Synchronized Bathing Practice” picked up a Salon medal which is a really great achievement as only 10 medal are awarded at each salon.
So to this year – I again managed to have two images selected: “Perfecting the art of chair hurdling” and “Perfecting the art of table stands” are both on the exhibition wall.
The first image was also award a Salon Medal, which I was delighted with. To hold two London Salon medals is, I feel, a really great achievement.
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