2019 Retrospective Round-up the works of Photographer Shane Aurousseau AMICI Dance Theatre Company Hammersmith The Streets of London Pubs Carnival & Summer Spain Semana Santa Australia Sports Action
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Images of Semana Santa (Holy Week this week) part of the fabric and colour of Spain. A thread that holds communities together however a thread that even the church questions. A festival that brings into the light one of the most difficult issues for all the monotheistic religions descended from Abraham a question of idolatry or for ecumenical theologians the perversion of essence.
However where would we be without the great festivals of all denominations of the world?
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:-
Australia comprises a land mass of around 7.629 million square kilometers. It is about 50% greater than the European Union. When I did my first trip overseas in the early 1970s the population was around 10 million today it is 24 million people. The latest visit to my homeland started to give me an insight into the deficiencies in the infrastructure of this vast and exciting country. I mentioned in a previous blog the difficulties in travelling to the major inland city of Dubbo from the National Capital. There is only one bus a week Saturday and this travels through many outback small towns. Australians whom I spoke to and as an Australian I do understand the lingo generally felt that there are not enough people to justify building the infrastructure. This is rather like saying that Woolworths and Coles with their 18.3 million customers and total control of the $85 billion grocery market should not have built stores until the 18.3 million people where queuing up in front of the vacant plot picked out for the first store.
I spend my time now between Spain and Australia and have pointed out on many occasions the strong High Speed Rail Network that has gone together in Spain – Alta Velocidad Española (AVE)
Now I know that much of this network is built via EU (European Union for those Australians who don’t know where the EU is) loans. This money is however much better spent on infrastructure than going into some greasy politician’s pocket. The last 6 months have seen Spain coming out of recession with a growth rate as good as Germany’s. The infrastructure in Spain will pay off the country now has the second best High Speed Rail network in the world after China, where is Britain and Australia. The road system of Spain is now mostly silk like highways. Goods and tourists can move faster companies like this type of investment. Ford motor company is putting 2.8 Billion Euros into manufacturing in Valencia what a confirmation of trust; one of the biggest car manufacturing investments ever. What of Australia’s car manufacturing it has stopped, even the
iconic Holden has left the shores. Australia loosely welcomes 5 million tourists per year. I will add that at least half of these tourists are probably Chinese families coming in and out to visit relatives. Spain has 70 million tourists, France 85 million and Britain 35 million. Now most Australians while over the Barbie will tell you that it is due to the distance, from where the antarctic, Asia including China and Japan are in striking distance as is much of the East Coast of the USA. Tourists can lift an economy the Greeks may have to survive off the tourist industry. Greece attracts 22.5 million tourists per year with a population of 11 million; tourism contributes over $30 billion US per year to the economy. Now it is the birth place of democracy whatever that is, however Australia has a people who can be traced back 50,000 years and are living on one of the oldest continents on earth. The differential between what other countries achieve in attracting tourists and what Australia with its stunning and much unspoilt countryside, outback and beaches achieves should make the tourist board ashamed. Thailand gets 22 million plus Tourists annually.
Australia is generally believed to be a dry land once away from the coast. However the Great Artesian Basin is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world covering 1.7 million square kilometers some 23% of the continent this is a massive sweet water cache, It is also an under used resource with many of the great Australian Rivers being pumped dry.
The Darling river with its tributaries is 2,844 km long making it the largest river system in Australia. The Murray river is Australia’s longest river at 2508 Km. The Murray Darling confluence is at Wentworth New South Wales.The Murray Darling river system is one of the longest in the world.
There was a period when steamers came up the Darling river today you would be lucky to paddle a canoe up this great river. Industry and to some degree intensive cotton farming and its hunger for water have had a great effect on the water level of both the Darling and Murray rivers.
The Murray still has some depth to it but the Darling has little left. Cubbie Station located near Dirranbandi South West Queensland the largest irrigation system in the Southern Hemisphere covering some 240,000 acres has dammed of more water than the total volume of Sydney Harbour from the Darling river system.. All of this intensive agriculture is damaging the environment and having an effect on the native commodities wheat and the wool industry. The problem seems to be that successive governments have been more concerned with their political power and personal financial gains rather than investing management skills into protecting this exciting continent and growing the real wealth of the country. It is hoped that the Aboriginals who control the rights to most river banks will step in and help fight this destruction of the environment.
The only state at the moment that has a sound financial base is New South Wales but I wonder how long that will last, possibly NSW should go for independence the Scots would support them. With sound management Australia has the mineral / commodity wealth to be one of the leading countries in the world. Australia is the 11th wealthiest country in the world, Spain is the 12th. Generally speaking the country left to the Australians would go bust. It’s lucky that the Chinese have come however the joint deals need to be managed so that the Australians also benefit. There is the population for both a manufacturing base and commodity base. The Australian Dollar is at the mercy of commodity and especially mining prices – good business spreads the risk.
Photographer Shane Aurousseau