After the initial effort at creating the exposures of the clouds, I was unsuccessful at creating the contrast I needed. I discussed the problem with Shree and was suggested to use a Red Filter.
I began researching different types of Red Filters and their effects.
I also began to research the effects of glare and how it could be minimized with the use of a polarizer.
I talked with my friend, Assassi (an architectural photographer), while he was in town and was able to borrow a red filter to practice and take a few exposures of the clouds. Although I no longer have it, I have ordered a Red Filter, sized for my camera, to arrive this Thursday.
More images have been taken from the locations Kansas City, Overland Park and Wichita.
Entrust Bank Arena, Wichita
Kemper Arena, KC
Park Place Parking Garage, KC
AMC Theater Support, KC
Methodist Church of Resurrection, OP
Museum of Prairie Fire, OP
Two of these photos, the Cernet Complex and the Exploration Center, are comprised of 4 to 5 images each and are using cloud movement to show time in the pictures. The exploration center went a step further and is using the water movement as well.
Artistic Statement Draft 2
I want to enhance regular architectural photographs by adding some extreme contrast variants to add depth into the photographs. I also intend to combine the static nature of architecture with the dynamic movement of the clouds and water. This adds another layer of context into the whole story. To create the effects of time, timed, long exposures were used to create movement. With the timed exposures, the clouds will no longer represent any real shape, only the movement created from the timed shots. Water was also used at times to create a floor of ice within the image to represent architecture as frozen in time. This series will show that the still beauty of modernistic architecture can withstand the prolonged effects of time.
I wanted to photograph and document a more modernistic style of architecture because the method of creating these photographs can be enhanced by the organic shapes of these structures. The unpredictability of the architectural structures complements the un-recognizable shapes of the clouds. The abundant use of glass also adds strong contrast within the images gray scale. The long exposure of the photographs make the glass look opaque and foggy, rather than transparent. It really added to the whole idea of how architecture can be frozen in time. The curves of the structures, combined with the longer exposures, creates strong highlights and shadows throughout the photographic piece. Frank Gehry uses his modernistic style of architecture to make a bold statement, in an already normal and dull skyline. The eccentric shapes cut into the city skyline like a knife in butter. As strong as a compositional piece that modernistic architecture creates, the abundance of the type of architecture isn’t very readily available. Manhattan, Kansas has few, if any modernistic structures (i.e. airport and discovery center). Their are other areas, within the midwest, that are abundant in this type of Architecture. Kansas City is within driving distance, while Denver and Chicago are only a short flight away.
A few names that will help me along with my research over this subject are Bernd and Hilla Becher, Helen Binet, and Joel Tjintjelaar. Bernd and Hilla Becher are interesting to say the least. Their images are not necessarily interesting to look at or of any historical relevance. Much of their work relates to the industry of mining, some of which are disappearing. Their photographs work to preserve these structures as architectural landmarks. Styles of architecture that may no longer be around, or are on the verge of disappearing.
Tjintjelaar combines architectural photography with longer exposures using Neutral Density Filters that amass from anywhere between 1 and 16 stops. Each of these exposures were taken around noon, when the sun was highest in the sky. They lasted between 4 and 7 minutes each. Although the building remains static. The timed exposure makes the clouds look much more dynamic, and no longer represent any real shape. According to Joel Tjintjelaar on BW Vision, his long exposure prints are meant to capture moving elements during the day, aka. Clouds and water. These elements represent the prolonged effect that time has on moving elements within a single still frame. It changes static images into dynamic ones. In order to optimize the effects of these filters, I will use a method referred to as stacking. Stacking is a method of combining multiple filter types into one composition. Strong contrast is key to this project. So, while shooting the movement of the clouds, I want the blue of the sky to become black on the images gray scale. And the clouds to become the whites part of the images. This strong range of contrast can be obtained by combining a Red Filter onto the Neutral Density Filter already attached. Another filter that has the potential of working in the project is to use a Polarizer. During longer exposures in the middle of the day, it is easy and common for a glare to appear in the final image. A polarizer minimizes and extinguishes any glare that may have appeared regularly in the composition.
The majority of these photographic works were made up of several photographs. With the camera attached to the tripod, multiple exposures were taken. One image would capture all the highlights, and another all the shadows. Another image would be used to capture all the neutral tones. And then their is a shot for the windows. And, depending on the building's proximity to water, their would be about a two and a half minute exposure of the water to create a crystal like floor. Cloud movement was shot separately as it was a weather phenomena that did not always work out they way you want. These images are later stitched together using Adobe Photoshop.
The images were also put into a gray scale of extreme blacks and whites. The intent of the grayscale was to take the viewers eye away from the color of certain parts of the image, and towards the beauty of the buildings structure and design. The strong grayscale of the clouds intensified the effects of the timed exposure, to show movement.