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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Exercise 3.1

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Understanding Viewpoints

Taking to the route towards the local tube station again, I snapped photos of the environment using my phone.

Photos feel two dimensional, which I find difficult to look back on and feel inspired to do anything with. So It makes me wonder, what do I want the photos for? How can they be useful for me at a later stage?

I want to catch what I see when I look at landscape, what I end up catching give a very different feeling to what I felt. For me, focusing in on the closer views, the micro details, like the individual leaf hanging from a tree branch which lets you get perspective and depth of field, those photos are useful to me. But is it useful to draw from or just a nice photo to keep? With this said, I wanted the camera to be my eyes. I then mixed those views with straight, non cropped views that I thought I could focus in on to help finish drawings, or do another one that would feel like it is drawn on location.

The difference with the drawing and a photo is being able to be selective in the narrative. You select the areas you want to focus on, which in a sense gives you the depth of field. If there is something dumped in an area overgrown by nature, and you draw this. You don't draw every single bit of nature, you draw enough to indicate what it is, and perhaps rely on the void left blank or with suggested lines to indicate that there was more. You've selected the foreground as the focus, and kept the background - the area that is out of focus - out. But maybe later you want to use the sketch to create a full painting of the entire scene, the scene a photo would have captured. This is where I think both can be useful.

What in the photo, will you need? Is it a crop, an angle, the detail or the composition? Maybe it's to know the colours, or to know text you wanted to include? Who knows! I think the time it takes to decide what you draw, means you've already made a decision in what you want to achieve. When you know what you want to achieve, you then know what photo you want to help you later down. To save you making the journey again! It's like gathering all the information you can in a very short period of time. If that is the case, then which do you do first? The photo or the drawing?

Whilst making the journey for exercise 3.0 I found myself starting the drawing first, and then taking the photo. Time was not an issue which meant I could spend as little or as long as I wanted for each sketch. I had gotten to a routine that the camera became a tool to gather the information I might need later on. It would be especially useful for an event, as unlike this occasion, I wouldn't have the tie to go back and revisit certain moments. Documenting with both photo and video allows to return. Your focus on the day might have been for certain aspects, whereas later you might think, actually I would love to show such and such narrative which the photos portrayed.

I think overall, having that backup gives you a chance to think in your own space, your own comforts. It lets channel the vision into a narrative you want to achieve. You might want to just extend or adapt what you had started.

LINKS - 22.03.21 - 21:35 Quote: Standard lenses have a mid-range focal length, usually between 35mm and 85mm. These lenses offer a fairly accurate representation of what the human eye sees, both in terms of visual angle and perspective. As a result, images are perceived as more natural than those taken with other types of camera lenses.


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