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I don’t often publish articles unrelated to my own work, however this article is really worth a read so click the link.
Designing for strength states there is a story to be told. High impact image also use of highlights and strong shadows. The use of multiple images is legitimate if it enhances the message. The message it what’s important the camera is only a tool a paint brush. To be creative lateral thought carries great importance. Many great artists only became successful after their deaths only when people realised how far lateral and radical thought had taken them and what it had given society. Nothing advances when restricted by convention.
The question is how far an image should be pushed to achieve impact?
There are many ways to enhance an image for impact and not all in the camera post shoot production is legitimate in achieving the goal of the image creator. The camera is part of the mathematical workings part of a process towards an outcome that achieves the required result. The result is what takes the creator to the next step in the process toward reaction and development. Its rather like saying any publicity is good publicity. Few people understand why they are drawn to an image. It can be because they don’t like it unhappy with it or the cuteness is drawing the viewer in.
The image panel below uses black and white to take the eye from the colour of blood and costume to focus the eye on the detachment of the spectators using highlights throughout the gallery keeping the action dark, the action is secondary. This detachment could be a synonym for our society’s attitude to violent issues throughout the world note the child.
The colour image draws the spectators and Matadors together in their detachment to death. Even though in colour the image reeks of death yet the detachment is stronger.
Why does an image have impact the colours because it’s black and white the tonal values, highlights shadows, sharpness. Professional photographers often talk about the black point strong blacks that still carry definition can make an image bounce. Landscapes can come alive when colours are pushed to an unnatural level or the design becomes extreme. Many viewers will say I really don’t like that image. This thought process means the image has already done its job. Shock tactics have been used by the advertising industry for decades. The big photo libraries talk in terms of strong and soft images they understand that it is impact that sells, there is nothing like profit to concentrate professionalism. Laypeople will often say I need to think about that photo this secondary thought process means the moment has passed the impact is a momentary spontaneous reaction not a thought process an impulse sale. It is the initial impact that stops the viewer and commences the creation of the thought process. This dictates that the image deserves further scrutiny and understanding however without the first impact the image will be bypassed. The great master painters were masters of shock in use of colour light extreme design. Many of the great artists moved from realistic depiction to extreme or abstract design seeking that step further in impact and thought process, great photographers often use distortion to emphasise a visual point. Picasso is a great example of an artist taking the step into the dimension of lateral thought experimentation in understanding. This is what made them professionals masters, art is about causing a reaction to a statement and photography is art the word comes from the Greek a combination of two words Phos or Photos (meaning light) and Graphein (meaning to write or representation by means of lines or drawing, together meaning drawing with light). Size can have a bearing an image with little impact at A5 can come alive at poster size.
Tightly cropped shot using strong blacks to contrast the lace of the senoritas a gentle separation of the carriage groups. An image that reeks of tradition.
The Opal miner in Lightning Ridge becomes part of the wall and mine that he spends most of his day working in.
The strength of the Ocean is the dominant force below enhanced by the black and white and the highlights. Use of black and highlight.
Three women in happy fiesta dresses yet totally bored with the festivities the focus in on each woman emphasising her state.
The light entering the shed from your left makes this image and it emphasises the clarity of the wool. Use of strong light creating a strong highlight but still containing some detail.
The death of an icon a symbol for the disappearance of the motor industry in Australia and the jobs that went with it. The image is one of a mausoleum surrounded by headstones. The black and white is in keeping with the somber subject.
The women who follow the Nazarenos at Semana Santa a sombre occasion but still a fashion statement. Strong black with a hint of the lace subtle use a light touch with the highlights brings out the lace. A careful balance between black and highlight.
Concentration on the faces, pride of participation.
The family participates in a great and culturally diverse city London
The World over
Waiting for the action to start
Getting rid of the evidence a suggestion by action.
Reading the Music focused use of light. The white keyboards with the white sheets draws the eye in. The shot derives its impact from the lighting. Concentrating on the action with an indication of the participants.
The work continues getting it right position and action.
Portrait of a Miner. The black and white emphasises the darkness of the world he works in the tight crop his personality.
Portrait of a Cocky and Drover. The stiffness almost gives a painted portrait feel making the image clear and focused on the subjects. They are what they are men of the land of the outback. The Drover is on your left, the Cocky or station owner your right.
The Bullock driver tight crop and action give this shot its impact.
The metomorphosis colour to black and white or vice versa changing the atmosphere.
The power of the highlights and the blacks.
Creating an atmosphere the organist’s concentration is only drawn to the music he exists only in his own bubble
The tight crop creating character
Shoot in high resolution reduce for the internet the image will always have more impact than a small censor phone. The phone image can be well constructed however the reduction from high to low increases definition strengthens shadows and highlights moving from a good well-constructed snap to professional quality. The advertising industry is the master benchmark for understanding impact and industry based on reaction. Cameras in the full frame to medium format giving TIFF files of 50MP plus are the choice for high impact imaging by professionals. Most people react to an image without knowing why and rightly so it is the job of the layman to react and the job of the professional to understand and to draw out the reaction.
All Images by Shane Aurousseau or:-
Over the years I have produced many portraits for clients and projects. I would like to share some of these with you. It is also a taste of the life and the culture that surrounds us. I intend to create a series of blogs just called ‘Portraits‘ starting with:-
‘The Music People’
The Golden Gypsy
Sharlette Musician Vocalist
Just Sharlette Again
Shades of Sharlette
Study of a Singer
Busking the Ladder
The Captivated Audience
More of the Audience
Busking for Dinner
Drumming the Streets
Busking for Lunch
Recording Mixing ‘Somewhere in Yorkshire’
More Hard Work ‘Somewhere in Yorkshire’
The Clapperboard man ‘Somewhere in Yorkshire’
Reading the Music
Portrait of a Singer
The Girl and the Guitar
The Vocalist Sharlette in Bronze
The Thief and the Musician
The Vocalist Sharlette
Singer Actress Jane Ledsom
Portrait of Charlotte
Having travelled extensively in the Country of my birth. I felt as a photographer I would like to show a side of Australia that tourists rarely see. The working and gritty side of a commodity driven country.
I have used black and white for strength. I see much of Australia as time warped in the 19th century. Much of the attitude beyond the populated coastal regions is early 20th century to early post 1945 the 50s and 60s.when I left Australia the first time the population had not yet hit 10 million. Today it borders on 25 million and should continue to grow exponentially. However still most new comers cling to the coastal regions like clinging to the gunnel of a boat. Little effort has been made by successive governments to develop the interior of this vast continent Island for community growth. The only development has been to plunder one of the world’s great commodity reservoirs. Many will say irrigation is a problem however Australia has one of the great sweet water catchments of the world in the Great Artisian Basin covering in excess of 1/3 of the country.
Still many commodity industries are producing as they have for the last 150 years through the blood sweat and tears of hard yakka (yakka australian for work). As an example Australia produces 1/3 of the world’s wool this wool is of the finest micron quality. Shearing still takes place in the shearing shed on the sheep stations as it has for 150 years. Many commodities are mined in small holdings by sweating miners sometimes working in dangerous conditions.
I hope these images will give an idea of the hard yakka and gritty side of survival in the outback that still exists today. A world not totally based on ‘Information Technology’.
Tradition housing dating to the 1800s
Images by Shane Aurousseau
The above article is a good article and is an indicative parallel to the broader issues of global racism. The issues outlined in the article are issues that Americans should be able to relate to. Australia generally has little tolerance towards the Aboriginal community and yet exploits the historical track for purely commercial reasons. Growing up under the white Australia policy we never mentioned our neighbours and were taught little about one of the oldest continuous cultures in the world. We certainly never went to the same school or sat next to them at a cinema and continually still joke about how ill kept they are and their drinking habits. The issue with many Australian academics is that they are products of history most having grown up under the white Australia policy, we are our fathers. While travelling in the outback I heard a woman shopkeeper say ‘an Aboriginal woman came in here this morning, she was very nice and really polite’. Why wouldn’t she be what was the shopkeeper expecting to be mugged? Australian Academia does not have a silver bullet more like a smoking gun. This country of immigrants still dislikes diversity in most of its forms. The surface practical issues can be cleaned up and like justice seen to be done but the deep rooted psychological issues inherited from our forefathers takes time and is harder to banish.
At sometime whether Aboriginal or European it is necessary to ring-fence but also to look beyond our own cultures.
It could be a parallel for Brexit. We still dislike difference we still distrust diversity without really knowing why an insecurity that Australia and the world must face at sometime if we are to survive as an educated, enlightened species. We must also find ways to not forget but to forgive the past or next we will be prosecuting the descendents of Alexander the Great for his misdemeanors of 323 BC.
The featured image by photographer Shane Aurousseau could be called ‘Which way to Look Now’.
Images Shane Aurousseau