I have definitely settled on this topic, The Brisbane Street Art Festival, and to that end I have been out for the past 10 days and a couple of evenings photographing street artists at work. It has been a great experience and after the first couple of days and some posts on instagram, I was greeted like an old friend by organisers, volunteers and artists.
Instagram has proven to be the perfect social media platform for this type of photography. All of the artists, venues, organisers and followers use instagram. I have tried to upload at least one photo a day with the aim of not just taking a photo of someone else's art work but rather put my own take on the photo. using people and other props. to good effect I think. The photos have been well received and, to date, I have built up quite a following. I have had a fast learning curve on the use of instagram and enjoy the instant feedback when posting a photo. This particular genre of art has a very big audience worldwide.
In attempting to present the art work and artists in a different way I have taken over 1200 photos. I'm sure there were plenty of amused shoppers in the Fortitude Valley Mall when I was sprawled out on the ground photographing Jasper painting his mural on the Burrito Shack and the owner of The Brightside Bar didn't mind at all when I was climbing up on to stools and then bench tops to get "that shot". Exposures were often difficult and sometimes with very high iso (up to 6400). Fortunately my Nikon D800 is a very good low light camera. some of the images were indoors in dark narrow hallways or under bright lights and others were on very large walls and difficult even at 16mm to fit the whole image. I often went back to the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) and zoomed in on just part of an image, of a hand and spray can, a brush or other things like a ladder. The most used lenses have been a Nikkor 16-35mm F4 and a lovely old Nikkor 35-70mm F2.8. There has been occasional use of a 50mm F1.8 in very low light situations at night and yesterday I used my 70-200mm F2.8 to get a close uo of Guido Van Helten who was up high on a massive wall in Woolloongabba.
The process of elimination - After backing up my raw files, I use Lightroom to catalogue sort and process my images, only straying to photoshop where extra work or creativity on the image is warranted. On import I rename the images Year/month/day_camera generated filename. I then trash those that are poorly exposed or blurred (unless the blurring is intentional). I use a star rating system, to reduce the images down to a usable number with the best being 5 stars. Set up a Collection for the particular project I am working on, sometimes also using flags and colours to further reduce to the final images. Because I am also publishing the images selected mostly suit square format. Because Instagram recently allowed for different formats, I haved strayed occasionally where I felt another format would make a stronger image. Below are examples of images I have used. Note that I have been frustrated by the lack of control in arranging my images in this blog.
Diz at The Met 3Diz painting a wall at the Met in Fortitude Valley, Queensland as part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival Xato Stencils at the Old GPOXato Stencils at the Old GPO,Fortitude Valley as part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival Drapl up a ladderDrapl is a Brisbane based artist collaborating here with Treas to complete a very large mural on the old Skating Rink at Red Hill in Brisbane. Part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival Kasper at the Burrito Shack 1Kasper creating one of his beautiful stories - part of "Kasper's World" - on the Burrito Shack, Fortitude Valley mall during the Brisbane Street Art Festival Fuzeillear at Lost BoysFuzeillear working on a beautifully evocative piece at the Lost Boys in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane as part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival. Drapl up a ladderDrapl is a Brisbane based artist collaborating here with Treas to complete a very large mural on the old Skating Rink at Red Hill in Brisbane. Part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival
Ekear's Roller DoorEkaer's great work on the roller dooor at Kerbside in fortitude Valley as part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival. Negative part of Hounds on the HuntPart of a larger work, Hounds on the Hunt by Cezary Stulgis at entrance to the Brightside bar in Fortitude Valley. Part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival. Guido Van Helten 1Guido Van Helten, australian internationally based artist, working on a massive wall in Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland
Buttons at the old GPO 1Cherie Buttons, Brisbane based artist painting a large mural in the stairwell of the old GPO in Fortitude Valley during the Brisbane Street Art Festival Treas Spreading StardustTreas is a Brisbane based artist collaborating here with Drapl to complete a very large mural on the old Skating Rink at Red Hill in Brisbane. Part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival Cezary's DogOne of Cezary Stulgis' great doberman paintings is on the back door at the Brightside bar in Fortitude Valley. Part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival.