This week’s Artwork of the Week comes from a student in my Higher Photography class. He had studied Intermediate Photography last year and did so well that Higher Photography was a certainty. Liam‘s photograph just screams cute and fun for me. The figure was not actually placed, it was found like this lying in the grass. His aperture settings are perfect and the sunlight and ISO levels on the shot make it highly dynamic. This shot just makes me love photography, love light and love being happy. Hope you like it too.
Nicole Hamill is an ex-pupil who has moved on to greater things. Studying at the Scottish Ballet she has danced with the Manchester City Ballet and studied at the Northern Ballet and the English National Ballet. For me, someone who briefly knew her, but still keeping in touch through social media, it is amazing to see her develop from a student who has a passion; into a proper, professional, creative individual. It is really quite exciting.
She updates her blog very regularly with positive and inspiring posts about her situation and her experiences, as well as frequently posting to her Instagram – amazing photos of her practice and photo shoots.
As someone who knows very little about Ballet, other than it being very competitive, disciplined and painful, it is an eye-opener to see the natural beauty that Nicole shows in her photos and poses that I can appreciate more as it’s removed from the stage. Taken away from the context of a Ballet performance, I, and hopefully you, will not be intimidated to be interested and impressed.
Nicole is able to not only break down the elitest nature of a high art such as Ballet and make it digestible for normal people like me, but her photos and honest nature help us see the fun and immense pleasure that can be taken from doing something that you absolutely love. You can click any of the links above/below to see her blog and Instagram, even if you’re not a fan of Ballet (and I’m definitely not) you will not be able to avoid the beauty and magic that Nicole lets us see by giving us a little glimpse into her Ballet life.
Katie B (S2 / OLSP) has a huge interest in photography. Fortunately for her, she’s also got a great eye for a nice photograph. Her varied subjects and compositions make it a delight to look through her portfolio, below you will see a few examples from that collection.
Above, a beautiful ‘look through’ showing depth while attracting the eye to the centre of the image. Katie took the image in black and white, making the contrasts between light and dark much stronger while avoiding distracting her audience with colour. Below, Katie uses aperture to heighten the depth of field, drawing the viewers attention to the foreground pebbles while blurring into the background lets us know that the pebbles travel on for some distance. We’re shown a small piece of detail on a vast beach of sepia coloured rocks and stone.
Above, a beautifully stark image of the moon, surrounded by black negative space. The moon is slightly out of focus but rather than being a frustration to the viewer, it adds a beautiful halo around it’s outline which is the only element of colour in the whole image; a slight tinge of green. Lastly, below is a gloriously romantic image of what I presume to be cherry blossom. The contrasts in colour between the pink flower and sapphire blue sky adds a sense of dreaminess to the photo. This is only helped by a slight lens flare in the bottom right corner.
This month’s Pupil Spotlight is on a pupil from my Int 2 Photography class. Jenna M (OLSP) didn’t really think she had a skill for photography, though I completely disagree. Her shots display a level of layers that peel apart, the more you examine the image.
The above image is Jenna’s Manray inspired image. Several different poses were photographed and each variation on the left eye was placed and merged onto her cheek using Photoshop. This photo reminds me of the work of Charles Burns, expecially his ‘Black Hole’ graphic novel. It’s got that mutant feel, though still looks very pretty.
Below, Jenna creates a single cover for the band ‘Passenger’. Using a variety of different photographs (taken herself, no Google Images here!), composited together and then, looking at the type of David Carson, she laid out the image (finding and downloading her own free for use fonts). It’s absolutely brilliant and one of the best designs I’ve seen from a pupil. It’s things like this that make me happy to be a teacher. Great work!!
The great image below was taken and photoshopped by Fran K (S5, OLSP). It was created as part of my given task to compose a piece of work that embodied the surreal ethics of Manray. Fran focused on making her head look like a still life object and inserted it into a school locker. Considering she has just started taking photographs and that she has used Photoshop for a few hours, this is a marvelous feat. Fran had been featured on AOTW a few years back, though I feel her work just gets better and better.
I’m currently teaching Intermediate Photography with a mixture of S5 and S6 pupils. A good starting place is to look at the work of Manray and try to put his ethos into your own photograph. Pupils looked at the way he objectifies parts of the body, often making them look like a still life and how he composes multiple photographs together into a single image. They then have to compose their own Manray image. The image above was my exemplar, taken of my friend and colleague, Miss McInnes (OLSP, PT). It was created by taking a shot of the stool on it’s own, then taking a shot with Miss McInnes and photoshopping the images together to form a surreal composite.
Rachel A is an ex-pupil from a few years back. She is very driven and does not fear hard work and graft. She had previously been featured as Artwork of the Week a few years back and her snake light was selected as one of the top ten artworks of all time on this blog. She has been really busy recently completing her HNC in Fashion Makeup in Aberdeen and is currently looking to take her career into a more professional setting.
Rachel’s creative work is incredibly varied. It ranges from the commercial, to the couture and the insanely theatrical. Of course, it is not just about makeup, it also involves costumes, lighting, photography and locations. There are so many factors involved in capturing a moment, along with the right composition and not distracting the viewer’s attention away from the actual makeup. The photos shown are just a few of the examples of her breadth and skill.
I absolutely love the image above, I can’t believe how professional this image is; the lighting, the atmosphere, the overall feeling… from someone still young and learning her trade. I could quite easily see this image as a commercial advert for perfume, fashion or jewellery. It’s quite magical, reminding me of a still from a Lars Von Trier film.
Rachel is looking to widen her experience and is open to any opportunities for shadowing or commission. If you are situated in the UK (especially in the Scotland area) and might have an opportunity for her, you can contact me through the site and I will pass it on to her. You can also check out more of her work below: