Response: Masters of Photography

Image

CC Adam Baker

While watching the Masters of Photography documentary about Diane Arbus, I found myself intrigued and confused at the same time.  I liked the concept of the photographs with the narration throughout the video.  The narration being a recording of Diane’s own speech, even though it was rerecorded by someone else, was really neat idea and it played well.  I found a lot of the photos thought provoking and fascinating.  She did a great job of trying to capture raw emotion and the feelings that were actually occurring when the shot was taken.  She didn’t attempt to artificially make the photo look good by messing with the people and things she was capturing.  Diane seemed to just capture the moment as it was.  She seemed to be a photographer that focused on people, what they looked what and how they felt.  I was kind of creeped out by her fascination with “freaks” and those types of people that were different.  I think it was odd and the pictures were kind of weird.  They were different and helped capture people and things that most people do not want to normally keep an image of.

I was struck by a quote in the narration toward the end of the documentary, “I never have taken a photograph I’ve intended, they’re always better or worse”.  I think it resonates with the idea of just letting things occur and happen, not trying to force a shot by moving the subjects and background to make it seem to forced.  Taking images of the moment can lead to beautiful, unintended images that could resonate more than the forced, pose shot.

Brightness and Contrast

I wanted to play around with brightness and contrast.  I utilized an article on a website called Steve’s Digicam’s entitled Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness to get some ideas and perspective on how Brightness and Contrast work.  I realized I had some great photos I could utilize from my trip this past weekend when I traveled to Atlanta for the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

As a member of the student section, we were ushered into the Georgia Dome toward the end of the first semifinal game between Louisville and Wichita State. At that time, fans from all four teams (Michigan, Syracuse, Louisville and Wichita) were all in the stands so the array of colors was remarkable.  I used a photo of the stadium to capture the moment.  I used Gimp to then play with the Brightness and Contrast aspects of the photo to try and capture the variety of colors.  Here is the original photo:

Original

Original

First, I played solely with the Contrast levels, increasing it drastically to define the colors better.  I then slightly changed the Brightness to enhance the overall image:

Changing Contrast

Changing Contrast

I then did the opposite and focused primarily on Brightness.  I made the Brightness very low, since the amount of light in the Georgia Dome was immense and the camera picked up a lot of it.  I then slightly adjusted Contrast to make the picture look even better:

Changing Brightness

Changing Brightness