Ilya's Course Blog - Week 8

04 August 2015

Region: London

I got a bit excited reading the introduction to this week’s lessons as it says they hope we will be inspired to Take Risks and try out New Things. It’s been an interesting week.

We were given some history of photography including key innovations. We were shown many interesting ideas and techniques such as how the camera lies through cropping to tell a different story from the true one, with a good example of this from a real newspaper story.  One of the assignments was to try this out ourselves.

We were introduced to many other interesting techniques and encouraged to upload our attempts to share with the other students. These included making effects in the digital darkroom such as the popular ‘sun-kissed’, diorama and cinematic effects and also an introduction on how to use presets in LR, in this case to age images. Personally I’m not yet sure about presets; they get you to an end result quickly but the main skill seems to be simply in choosing to use it. I will probably get to love them as they make life easier.

We were encouraged to try painting with light through scanning or by using light sensitive paper and to make a pinhole camera. Later on, I liked the suggestion, after an introduction to the work of the surrealists, futurists and Dadaists, to go wildly creative taking lots of images in crazy, unusual ways, generally given the beautiful technical term ‘Happy Accidents’.  We were told most of these will be dreadful but that if any are good they will be ‘very, very good’.

There was quite a lot more covered this week that I haven’t mentioned. I really did find it introduced exciting possibilities to explore in the future.  I’d like to spend more time playing with the scanner. Some students made beautiful images this way of close up, well lit objects with plenty of room for some imagination and creativity. 

However, what I enjoyed most this week was learning how to merge elements of several images. They suggest using a one month trial download of Perfect PhotoSuite, which I did. Unfortunately no-one in my house will model for me, so it’s me again in this week’s image. I’m thinking of moving out and getting a new, more obliging family.


Image © Ilya Fisher

You can read more about Ilya's experiences of the course on page 580 of this month's journal.