A journey of photographic adventure, Two Views was born by two friends having a blast and learning from each other on a photo shoot in the autumn sunshine, asking the question “How can we continue to push our photographic boundaries in terms of technical knowledge, new challenges and creativity and have fun at the same time?” The answer we came up with was to set ourselves a project every two weeks, and then publish the results together. Two Views of the same subject / idea or technical approach. By the end of this year we will have covered 26 subjects and produced at least 50+ awesome photographs, and have learned a huge amount along the way! We’d love your comments, critiques and ideas, and if you want to “play along” too, please do let us have your shots by links in the comments sections! TJ & The Brunette

Friday, 27 July 2012

Church by TJ

I think trying to capture "church" in just one photo is extremely difficult, so I decided to base my photo on an aspect of church architecture that interests me. If you walk into any church yard you will usually find a war memorial dedicated to the millions of soldiers who gave up their lives so that we can now live the kind of lives we are able to lead today. My own grandfather was a soldier in the 1st world war, but mercifully came through although he suffered a shrapnel injury in his leg and gas poisoning which affected his health all through his life. The church in Littlewick Green is a place I regularly go to as my father is buried there, and I find it a tremendously peaceful place and I enjoy spending some quiet moments there tending the grave. I thought this particular memorial was really interesting as when I first looked at it I thought to myself surely the 1st world war ended in 1918? On reading up I learned that although armistice was declared on November 11th 1918, the peace treaty formally ending a state of war between Germany and the Allies was signed on June 28th 1919. I think all memorials are wonderful pieces of architecture and also are very poignant as they bring home how the conflicts touched every family and every town, village and city. The shot I took captures the place, the date of the conflict and gives a snapshot of the names of the soldiers who lost their lives. I used quite a lot of contrast to bring out the lettering and felt that an angled shot of part of the memorial was a better to capture than a formal straught on shot of the whole memorial.

The other shots are also of the church at Littlewick Green. The top left and bottom right landscape shots are of the church from its two sides. It was a beautiful summer's evening, and I very nearly went with one of these as my main shot. Bottom left is a full shot of the memorial, and top right is an idea I had to use dad's grave.

Church by The Blonde

I must admit I was struggling with this topic, I mean churches are everywhere you look, sure... But finding one that was inspiring me to photograph it just wasn't happening! Then I went to a Vintage Car Show at an Open Air Museum in Buckinghamshire and as luck would have it they had an old tiny church there! Score! It was originally erected in 1886 at Henton in Oxfordshire, and is an example of the popular prefabricated buildings that served as churches or mission rooms at that time. Missionaries also took them all over the world as they were easy to put up and take down and transport. Manufactured by Boulton & Paul of Norwich, it is in timber-framed sections bolted together with an external cladding of corrugated iron. It contained fifty chairs arranged either side of a central aisle. There was a small altar table, two brass candlesticks, a lectern and a harmonium and was lit by two oil lamps suspended from the ceiling. It was very atmospheric both inside and outside, and I loved the colour of the red cladding against the blue sky (As you can see in the colour version in the film strip) But once the little girl led a huge cart horse into the scene, I just knew the shot had to be in sepia to give it that historical look. I made the church the centre of the scene, reminding the viewer that in those days Church very much was the centre of village life, and people are just coming out of the church gate in the shot as they would constantly have been doing in those days. I am also re reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain at the moment, and this photo does to me have an air of early Missionary America about it!

25) Church

For our next assignment we choose "Church", this gives a wide scope of everything from external architectural shots to internal close ups of religious icons. It can also raise the question of what does Church mean in today's world? Once a centre of every village and a focal point, do we still feel the same now? Or are they more tourist locations? Here's a couple of photographers specialising in church photography to get you thinking...Church Photography and The Church Photographer. Good luck! or should that be God Bless!?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Breaking the Rule of Thirds by TJ

I loved this topic and I got an idea for this topic pretty much straight away, but of course I have ended up going with a completely different idea. I was thinking of going with a photo that would concentrate on the theme, rather than a picture of greater substance composition. However whilst sitting in the deckchairs at Henley Royal Regatta recently my creative juices kicked into action. The idea of doing a foot shot had been in the back of my mind and when I caught sight of these fabulous leather shoes I rather sneakily took a picture. The idea was to get the feet central in the shot and to as much as possible completely disregard all the usual rules of thirds grid lines. I used some quite dynamic editing to really get the best out of the photo. I used a black and white effect with tweaks to the brightness and contrast, and then used a cinematic effect to really capture the dramatic feel to the shot. This is a photo that hopefully will make the viewer want to know more about the story of the girl in the shoes...

In my other photos the original shoes shot shows how the editing turned a topically correct photo into something hopefully a whole lot more interesting. The wooden electricity poles was my original idea as I got the symmetrical line of poles central to the shot and in line with each other using the front two poles to frame the photo. My other shot I really enjoyed taking with my two four legged friends. Getting them to sit and not run off was an achievement in itself with all the rural scents around them! I got a great location with a walk through the oil rapeseed fields and the tree playing an important role central in the background.

Breaking the Rule of Thirds by The Blonde

The weather here in the UK has been hard work this summer so far! I kept waiting in vain for a nice sunny day to go out and shoot some landscapes, but began to believe that day was unlikely to ever arrive! So decided to go out and shoot B&W and make the most of the moody cloudy weather as subject matter. Breaking the Rule of Thirds actually ended up being harder that I anticipated. Maybe I have been a photographer for too long, but I found I automatically framed according to the rule and had to make myself do something other than line up on the imaginary grid! What I did discover though is that it does create quite a powerful image when you centre in on the subject instead. Especially in these cases when I was looking to create quite a visually arresting photograph. I think the graphic nature of these flowers against the sky with the added contrast and vignette effect makes it quite "sinister" somehow, and the central composition adds to that because it's so "in your face". Other examples also leveraged the brooding sky to create a sinister emotional response, I was torn between the one I choose and the pitchfork like teasels on the far left below, as they do look quite ominous from the low perspective I thought!

Monday, 9 July 2012

24) Breaking the Rule of Thirds

We all love to break a good rule don't we! Back at the end of 2011 we looked at one of the most used photographic rules of composition The Rule of Thirds you can see our attempts here and here! But not EVERY subject lends itself to the rule, some shots work better with a symmetrical set up or a centrally placed subject, and sometimes its fun or challenging NOT to do the "expected" thing in life.. or is that just my rebellious streak!? Lets see what happens when we go out of our way to not follow the rules *wink*  (Want to see some examples? here you go!)