I came across Ivvy Million's work while looking at landscape photography on Flickr and was really drawn to her take on landscape photography and the way she edits her photographs. She mainly gives her images a style that is very much like a lot of wedding photography at the moment where the contrast is lowered on purpose, to give a more aged but modern and fresh look to the image. Because of this effect black shades in the image are never completely dark and white colours are not bright and completely white, therefore the image is made up of more mid tones that have a more grey quality. This effect like in Fay Godwin and John Blakemore's work where they have used the zoning system, gives the subject matter more texture which I really like especially in the images above where the sky doesn't have a vast amount of detail in terms of lots of clouds being there and instead this takes less focus away from the bright sky and the lighting is evened out across the entire image through the lowering of the contrast.
|Limestone and Wildflowers|
Above is a photograph by Million that I find particularly captivating due to the high amounts of texture she has managed to get from her subject matter which makes this landscape look very surreal, especially with the vantage point she has taken the photograph at where we can see where the land changes, but the lack of diagonal lines means this image does look strangely flat which in this form looks quite abstract. Personally I think this use of horizontal lines creates an interesting effect especially within this rural landscape where everything does look so varied. I think it's ironic that the clouds to me feel like the main source of dimension in this image, and I really think they contrast well with these rich green shades we can see on the land below.
|Change Comes Slowly and All At Once|
Above is an example of some of the techniques Million uses that really make her work intriguing for me. The use of framing devices in these ways adds something completely different to these photographs and also offers an interesting perspective, which gives the photographer a more personal connection to the image and for the viewer a connection to the photographer. What I like about this image in particular is something you don't really see often with a lot of traditional landscape photography which is the use of a lower f/stop, which in this image makes the inside of where this photo is being taken out of focus giving real distance and dimension in this image, giving much more of a sense of this for us as viewers.
Looking at Ivvy Million's work has given me a lot more to think about in terms of what I can do with composition in my images, and how I can use colours and editing techniques to give a more personal aesthetic to my photographs. Using my DSLR I went out into the Peak District after it had been snowing to attempt to try out some of Million's techniques and to experiment with composition further.
I took this particular shot as I remembered the photograph of Million's I had looked at called "Limestone and Wildflowers", where a winding road could be seen in the background and how I really liked the look of that with the horizontal lines breaking up the landscape. I don't think this photograph was as successful but I do like what a road like this can do to a landscape photograph in adding a point of interest for the viewer and contrast with the natural landscape around it.
The main problems I found on this day were that the sky was uninteresting and with the white snow made for some very plain looking images in my opinion. However because the snow was there it meant the ground was pretty much just as bright as the sky meaning I had less of a battle with exposure then I have done on previous shoots.
This was a particularly random photo from my shoot that I actually really like. The focus on the person in the foreground was something I did on purpose as it is my mother, and I thought it added quite a personal touch in that you can see my tripod poking out of her bag. I guess this comes across as more travel photography, however I think the three figures in the photograph add an interesting sense of scale that lead you to the top of Man Tor. The name Man Tor actually means mother hill so I find it quite ironic that I took a photo of my own mother hiking up it, but I guess that isn't obvious at all to a random observer. However I think like in the photo I talked about earlier by Million, this use of a lower f/stop really adds something intriguing and gives a whole new way of looking at this landscape which has been photographed by many.
I tried to find a lot of natural framing devices on the day to create some of the effects Million has demonstrated in her images. This was my personal favourite which was a gap I found between a load of rocks pilled on top of one another on Man Tor that gave a view across the landscape below. I don't think this was particularly successful as the sky was really misty on the day meaning the landscape that we are looking at into the distance just looks hazy and not very clear at all.
Above is my favourite photograph that I took on this shoot. This is because I think it was exposed perfectly as there is a good amount of detail from the sky and the land creating a vast amount of texture in this image. I also really like the way this hill in the foreground breaks up the hills in the background giving a more dynamic sense of dimension to this image. I definitely think the framing of my photographs is improving now and I am definitely thinking a lot more about composition techniques such as the rule of thirds.
Overall I am fairly happy with what I have produced in this shoot, however I did still struggle with exposing a few of these images as the sky was really bright and hazy, but that is out of my control as a photographer and I would just need to go back on a day where the conditions are better in order to get better quality images.