how I use categories on chromasia

All the entries on chromasia are placed into one of seven primary categories: six to reflect the aspect ratio of the image, and the seventh to indicate that an image isn’t available as a print. Additionally, each photograph may be assigned to one of more additional categories or subcategories, e.g. my travel category, children category, and so on.

about the ‘graffiti’ category

The graffiti category, not surprisingly, contains shots of graffiti.

4 November, 2011 // urban cowboycomments & reactions

I've spent a long time wondering quite why someone would choose to paint this figure upside down, and haven't managed to come up with a single reason that makes any obvious sense. It does make an interesting photograph though so I'm not complaining :)

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3.03pm on 20/9/11
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30 March, 2011 // PING !!!17 comments

My previous image was probably the most lightly processed I've posted in quite a while so, by way of contrast, I thought I'd post this one next. It was taken at an abandoned village in Ras Al Khaimah (one of the less well known Emirates of the UAE), and, as you can see if you've taken a look at the original, it's quite flat and lacking in detail.

To bring out the detail I tone mapped it using Photomatix Pro. At this stage it was looking a bit better, but not much, so I used a rather unusual curve to add a large increase in contrast. 10 points to the first person who can tell me the shape of the curve :)

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2.14pm on 15/3/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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29 October, 2010 // Buzludzha #38 comments

I have three more shots from my trip to Buzludzha with Craig that I'll post over the next few days: this one, another shot of the exterior of the building, an alternative view of the interior, and my favourite that I'll post on Monday. After that I'm not sure what I'll put up. I still have quite a few wedding shots, 13 shots from my recent trip to the UK, and another handful of shots that I took while wandering around Bulgaria with Craig. As I'm heading off to Dubai on Monday though, followed by a trip to Oman, I may post something from there.

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9.18am on 22/10/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
16mm
f/4.0
1/160
aperture priority
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100
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27 December, 2007 // symbolic gesture11 comments

I had great photographic plans this Christmas, which included taking shots of the kids enjoying themselves, opening their presents, and so on; but I came down with some sort of virus on the 22nd and haven't felt right since. As a result I haven't shot any new material, and don't expect I will for the next couple of days. So I've been archive raiding and constructed this one from a shot of some graffiti I came across in Leeds a while ago. If you're interested, the original is here:

.../iblog/archives/symbolic_gesture.php

As you can see, the version I've posted isn't much like the original, but I'm quite happy with how it turned out, even if it is more Photoshop than photography :-)

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2.51pm on 11/12/07
Canon 5D
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
52mm
f/3.5
1/60
aperture priority
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200
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C1 Pro
absolutely no doubt about it ;-)
  
1x1 + digital art + graffiti
14 November, 2007 // PR220 comments

This is the second of the two shots I mentioned yesterday, taken in an out-of-the-way area of town. As a lot of the stuff I've been posting recently is processed a bit more subtly than this I'd be interested to hear what you think of this one.

Update: I forgot to mention that this is an HDR image, constructed from a single RAW file using Photomatix Pro.

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12.57pm on 18/9/07
Canon 5D
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
f/5.6
1/50
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3x2 + HDR + graffiti + urban
22 September, 2007 // thug life13 comments

Normally, I have quite a large degree of sympathy for graffiti artists, but even I'm struggling to see the merit of this piece, mostly because of the message – "thug life" isn't exactly an endearing tag ;-)

Oh, and this is definitely one that benefits from the black theme.

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1.05pm on 18/9/07
Canon 5D
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
f/6.3
1/250
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100
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3x2 + graffiti
9 May, 2007 // untitled #005543 comments

This week has been one of those that I'd rather forget. Libby and I have both had colds, as have Tabitha and Finley (our two youngest), and while neither of them have been particularly unwell, both have needed a lot of attention. Tabitha won't be put down, even for a minute or two, and Finley, in addition to waking us both up for the last few nights, hasn't been in an especially good mood the rest of the time.

And the hard drive in my laptop died which, given that it's only a few months old, is really annoying. What's worse is that I lost a fair bit of work too. I didn't lose any images, but I did lose the latest bit of the Tonal Range and Curves Tool tutorial and some writing I was doing for a client. I've also lost around the last six weeks of emails, so if you emailed me recently and I haven't got back to you, please send it again.

As for this shot: I know it won't be to everyone's taste, but I still find this sort of material appealing. I think that what draws me to this sort of scene is the way in which the various scrawls, scratches and letters build up over time, such that what was once a clear perspex window becomes a mess of unintentional colour and abstraction.

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1.41pm on 2/5/07
Canon 5D
EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM
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f/2.8
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3x2 + abstract + graffiti
6 June, 2006 // open sesame27 comments

I met up with John today, which wasn't unusual, but we were also joined by Eric Kelley who runs conomocity.com. Eric, normally based in Charlottesville, Virginia, had been over in Ireland for a week but stopped off in Blackpool on his way home. We toured a number of my usual haunts, and while I don't think I managed any great photographs, we did have a good day. Cheers Eric :-)

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3.01pm on 6/6/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
27mm (43mm equiv.)
f/5.6
1/250
aperture priority
-1/3
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1x1
  
1x1 + HDR + abstract + graffiti + urban

First: thanks for all the great comments on yesterday's shot: they were much appreciated, not least because I don't often post photojournalistic type material, so it's good to see that it was well received.

As for this shot: I find it difficult to resist taking shots of graffiti, but after thinking of the title for this one there was no way I wasn't going to post it ;-)

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9.29am on 26/4/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
140mm (224mm equiv.)
f/5.6
1/2500
aperture priority
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2x1
  
2x1 + graffiti
17 April, 2006 // Plato's cave38 comments

I'm putting this one up early as a) I'm still not overly pleased with yesterday's effort, and b) I'm knackered: mostly from staying up too late postprocessing yesterday's shot (and the several million extra versions), but also because our two eldest and my wife seem to have some sort of stomach bug. They all seem to be on the mend – Camilla's now downstairs on the settee, Amirah is asleep, and my wife is dozing – but they weren't particularly well last night.

So, given that I only had around three hours sleep last night I thought I'd put this one up while I'm still awake enough to type ;-)

Oh, and if anyone's interested I added a graffiti category to my entries, a gallery of which can be seen here:

.../galleries/graffiti_gallery.php

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12.34pm on 16/4/06
Canon 20D
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3x2 + graffiti + urban
9 April, 2006 // killa bunnies #241 comments

When I look back through the images I've put up over recent years it's plain that the majority of them have nothing to do with the darker side of life, and I often wonder why. It's not that I've had a sheltered life, nor that I want to pretend that the world's a soft and gentle place, it's just that I don't often focus on that side of the things.

On which note ...

I guess the thing about this scene for me is that it encapsulates something about the nature and futility of violence. Sure, it's a rabbit, and a graffiti rabbit at that, but there's something about it that drew me in; and while it's clearly not a pleasant image, I guess that that's the point.

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2.44pm on 8/4/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
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3x2 + graffiti + urban
8 April, 2006 // killa bunnies #124 comments

Well, here's one that will irritate two groups of you: those of you in the "it's just other people's art" camp, AND the "that's not photography it's digital art" brigade ;-)

This one is a composite image: the left side is one image, the right side another, and they're merged using a gradient mask to gradually obscure one as the other is revealed. If you're interested I've put the originals up here:

.../archives/killa_bunnies.php

Oh, and the title refers to the Moloko track by the same name, from the album Do You Like My Tight Sweater?

Killa Bunnies #2, which I prefer to this one, will go up tomorrow.

26 March, 2006 // buzz off27 comments

I went out for a while this morning, despite the crap weather, as I've totally run out of stuff to put up. And I did come back with a few shots, but will probably only post a couple of them. This one, you'll be relieved to hear, is my least favourite of the two ;-)

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11.12am on 26/3/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
40mm (64mm equiv.)
f/5.6
1/200
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3x2 + graffiti
16 March, 2006 // untitled #001835 comments

Inevitably, when I put up something like this, someone will come along and say (something like) "I don't like pictures of other people's art"; and for some reason this bothers me. I don't know why I feel compelled to justify this sort of shot – it's certainly not because I feel any sympathy to the "other people's art" argument ...

Anyway, I guess that a part of it is to document the transitory nature of these images. Take this shot for example: the markings on the crossing are now almost imperceptible, having been worn away by numerous feet and vehicles. So I guess that a part of me wants to record these images before they fade or are painted over. Also, I guess that I enjoy abstracting elements of grafitti from their surroundings; isolating one area as worthy of attention over and above the rest.

I guess the bottom-line though is that it's a topic that appeals to me, that I'll continue to shoot as and when I come across interesting stuff.

Oh, almost forgot, this is another HDR (generated from one original RAW file).

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9.42am on 12/3/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
23mm (37mm equiv.)
f/5.0
1/200
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3x2 + HDR + graffiti
13 February, 2006 // blind alley33 comments

First: thanks for all the great comments on my last two shots, they're much appreciated.

As for today's shot: it's another re-examination of something I took a while ago and decided not to put up, though in this case the manipulation is a little different. Rather than explain what you're looking at it's probably easier to show you the (partly post-processed) original:

.../archives/blind_alley.php

As you can probably work out from the original, this is a diptych, of sorts, but both images come from the same original: the image on the left is the leftmost two-thirds of the original, and the image on the right is the rightmost two-thirds, horizontally reversed. I guess my reasoning with this one is that I was trying to capture the vaguely enclosed, leading nowhere feeling of this alleyway, and I didn't think the original did this, nor was I particularly happy with the shot as a whole (a shadowy figure would probably have helped). This version, on the other hand (for me at least), accentuates the dead-end feel of this location and does a much better job of getting the mood of the scene across.

Anyway, it remains to be seen as to whether you think it's effective (and I bet that some of you will prefer the original), but it's something that I may well use more intentionally in the future. And no, it's not as good as the previous two shots, but I did think it was sufficiently interesting to put up.

And now it's probably about time that I shot some new material rather than trawling through the stuff I've previously rejected ;-)

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1.37pm on 17/1/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
94mm (150mm equiv.)
f/4.5
1/60
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2x1/reversed
  
2x1 + digital art + graffiti
21 January, 2006 // signifier and referent36 comments

This image puzzled me; not the photograph, the image itself, and it's been kicking around on my hard drive since last September. But I didn't delete it. I have thought about it though – what it might mean, who might have created it, how it might be perceived – so I finally decided to do some research. And the net result of that search for an 'explanation', and the thoughts behind it, is that I decided to post it. Semiotics is an interesting subject and its relevance to this image is to exemplify that the interpretation of a visual image requires an understanding of context and purpose, both of which are difficult to fathom in this image.

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1.17pm on 24/9/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
34mm (54mm equiv.)
f/5.6
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3x2 + graffiti
9 January, 2006 // urban space79 comments

I'm really pleased with this one, but before I say anything else about it I thought I'd ask you all what you think.

On which note, you'll probably all hate it ;-)

Oh, and this one definitely looks best with the black theme.

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2.35pm on 7/1/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
f/4.0
1/60
aperture priority
-1/3
evaluative
200
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RAW
C1 Pro
minor

Update: chromasia's on hold for a couple of days as I have no new material to put up, the server's still knackered, I still have no ADSL and my wife is now ill with the bug that the kids and I had earlier in the week. So much for sticking to the image a day thing, but it's just not possible at the moment.

I've been reading The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton, and have a question for you ...

What makes a photograph worthy of consideration as a piece of contemporary art? Does it need to be a good photograph, whatever we might mean by 'good', or could it be that what we might otherwise consider to be a bad photograph becomes art when we come to understand the artistic context in which it was produced? I ask as there are a number of images that Charlotte uses to exemplify various categories of contemporary art that wouldn't exactly blow you away if you came across them on a photoblog, in fact, some of them I'd consider to be quite poor; in terms of both photographic technique and content and as exemplars of a particular artistic endeavour.

And I know, there's no answer, at least not one that we'll agree on, but it's something I'm trying to get straight in my own head so thought I'd mention it.

As for this shot <insert tongue in cheek> it's an acknowledgement of the graffiti artist's intention to i) highlight the demise of contemporary culture through the analogy of the multiple televisions washing down a drain, and ii) reference issues of globalisation and branding through presenting these icons of contemporary culture and its transmission as self-identical. Beyond this original intention though, this new piece recognises that such arguments are located within particular academic and artistic 'circles' and that mainstream culture will simply 'continue along it's way', stepping briskly across this zebra crossing, oblivious to the postmodern debates taking place in its midst. A key to the latter analysis is that this larger piece, this representation, draws attention to the original artist's failure to universalise these arguments beyond the narrow scope of artistic and intellectual debate – note how both the televisions and the drain are contained within one band of this crossing – while this piece shifts the horizon, relocating these arguments to the visual presentation of the context of that which the original work purportedly critiques. In other words, it steps 'outside the box' to provide an analysis of both the message and the structural milieu it inhabits, in this way reintroducing the notion that artistic critique is itself simply yet another artefact of postmodernism's ability to recuperate and reframe critique <remove tongue from cheek>.

Or not, ... take your pick ;-)

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10.30pm on 11/11/05
Canon 20D
EF 50mm f/1.8 II
f/8.0
1/80
aperture priority
+0.0
evaluative
200
no
RAW
C1 Pro
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3x2 + graffiti
4 November, 2005 // scene of the crime46 comments

Well, I didn't manage to get out and take any photographs today – we were busy this morning and it took all afternoon to sort out getting the car fixed – but, on the bright side, we now have four bottles of wine in the fridge ... so things are looking up ;-)

As for this shot: it's another that I took when I went down to London a few weeks ago. I would have preferred to have included somebody walking past, but it didn't happen, so you'll have to settle for a motion-blurred car instead.

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3.07pm on 24/9/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
f/5.6
1/50
aperture priority
+0.0
evaluative
100
no
RAW
C1 Pro
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3x2 + graffiti
15 October, 2005 // all work and no play11 comments

I'm afraid it's more 'archive raiding' tonight – I'll have some new stuff tomorrow.

Oh, and check out John's latest entry and see if you can predict his description before you read it ;-)

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1.22pm on 24/9/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
20mm (32mm equiv.)
f/5.6
1/100
aperture priority
-1/3
evaluative
100
no
RAW
C1 Pro
no
  
3x2 + graffiti
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