Series and Sequence : Commercial Dr : Co-Meetup w/CPW

  • May 17, 2014 · 3:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Our last Series and Sequence event was interesting, challenging and fun. This time we'll explore an area often skipped over, upper Commercial Drive. So come and join your hosts, Sharon and Dionysios, for a photographic exploration of a city hot-spot.

Our co-organizer Carissa has set up a co-event in Calgary! VCFCP will be joined by Calgary Photo Walkers in hosting a Series and Sequence event. Please visit the link http://www.meetup.com/Calgary-P...­ for more details.

The Idea

When we make a photograph, we present a message. We interpret an issue in a scene and present our understanding in a manner that can be deep or concise, cryptic or dazzling. Just like one word or sentence might not be enough to state our intention, then perhaps one image might not be enough to present our understanding of a subject (your message). Here we will produce a set of three or more images, mounted together, that will exhibit our message as either a series or a sequence.

A series is a set of photographs that does not require a viewing order to be understood. If re-ordered, meaning is not lost. What ties the images together is a common idea, subject, style or content such as "Vancouver's Mt Pleasant neighborhood", "Textures of Venice" and "New Orleans from the hip". With a series, there is consistency.

A sequence is a set of photographs that does require a viewing order to be understood. If re-ordered, the meaning is lost. What ties the images together is a movement through time and space or a narrative, which has a beginning, middle and end (in French, l'exposition, le development et le denouement), such as "A day with gypsies in Triana" or "Learning from each other while baking". With a sequence, there is continuance.

The similarity with a series or a sequence is they tell a story, whether it's a short or long one, but one that cannot be told with just one frame. The challenge, after choosing a subject, is finding appropriate scenes while photographing and then selecting images from the contact sheet that will successfully illustrate the story; it is relating multiple images into a coherent whole, which is our message.

Above: I Would Have Liked to Have Seen, Montana, 2011 by Dionysios Psychas

The Inspiration

Following are some examples. Some are staged or span years.
Duane Michals: Chance Meeting
Michael von Graffenried: Shoreditch Stories and Cocainelove
Greg Miller: School Bus Stop and County Fair
Bernd and Hilla Becher: Typologies Photographic Series here

Ryan Schude: Vintage cars portraits
Michael Eastman: Vanishing America
John Bennett Fitts: Industrial landscaping

Claire Martin: The Misfits: Downtown East Side

The Work

I don't want to see a set of stopped motion images (continuous or multi-shot) or one image simply divided into three. And you'll need a piece of software that can create a "strip" of images.

The Walk-about

We'll explore Commercial Drive - between Venables St and E 2nd Ave, including Britannia Community Centre, Grandview Park and Victoria Park. We'll meet in front of Bump N Grind Cafe (916 Commercial Drive near Venables St) at 15:00.

As usual, we will make introductions, the subject will be presented, there will be tips, we'll have a short Q&A, identify members with like camera brands to help each other navigate their gear and then we'll head out to try to make memorable photographs and have fun. We'll also buddy up.

We'll have a half-time regroup at 16:00 at Grandview Park (north-west corner of Commercial Dr and Charles St) where we can assess and answer new questions. We'll end the event at 17:00 in front of the mural next to Fratelli's Bakery (corner Commercial Dr and E 2nd Ave). Afterwards, we'll head over to Café Calabria (1745 Commercial Drive, near E 2nd Ave) where we'll have a cuppa, and share photos and conversations.

NB: This is not a lesson, just a photo exploration. The event will go on dry or wet, so be prepared for the weather. If you participate in the event you should also participate by sharing your images in the album (up to 3); ask us questions and we'll get a discussion going to help each other with technique and composition.

The Aim

The function of the group is to learn and practice the techniques of photography. This involves learning photography not only from your guides but also by sharing knowledge with your group-mates. The intention is also to organize and get to know new people. The attendant size of the meets will be small so participants can have the opportunity to get to know all their group-mates and spend time with a guide. If you select to attend a meet and then cannot make it, please be courteous to others in the group and change your RSVP status as soon as possible to allow others the chance to participate.

The Après-Meet

Please feel comfortable in posting your photographs and advising others; critical appraisal is helpful. What will also be appreciated are ratings and, especially, comments to individual meets and the group dynamic as a whole. This is important because it will ultimately add value to our meetings and improve our experience.

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  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, I think we've made a good effort here. A few people asked if it was important that the set identified clearly or obviously Commercial Dr. I think it should although there are a few things that make it difficult, all of which put a limit to information. One is the length of the sets, which here we didn't want very long. Second is context, which given how we emphasize the subject can make an image or set more or less obvious. Third is statement, or title, which when combined with the set of images introduces the viewer to the scene. All these affect our comprehension of the set. So what we have left is story. Even with the limitations above, what is important is presenting some story. And that requires paying attention to the subject and spending time with it. You present your understanding of it with the set.

    So we were in an eclectic spot and we managed to string together interesting sets. Thank you all for participating. What do you all think?

    June 2

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, there's some interesting images up. I'll take the time to comment soon. Thank you to those who are trying to show us what you found and put together. There are many who haven't - Amman, McKay, Sam, Sandra, Mohammad, Max - so please show us your stuff. If you need technical help or advice let us know.

    May 25

    • Maxime S.

      I'm still working on the processing, I should be done soon though.

      May 25

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks. So we can continue exploring ideas online. For posters: tell us about the work; the subject; why you chose it; why those images; why the particular arrangement; any compositional issues; what could have been? For viewers: it isn't enough to just say you like it, congratulatory comments are nice but not constructive, explain why you like it or think it works, or doesn't (personal taste side), tell us what you see, what you interpret, about the composition, elaborate.

    May 20

    • Dionysios

      And so we can be inspired by others' works, I would like to see everyone post at least one set. If you participated in the walk-about, please participate in the post-event.

      May 20

    • Mark S.

      As I need to reflect on my collections I will post later this week.Comments will be posted as I am able.

      May 20

  • Mark S.

    What a great meet-up. It was a creative process that has kept me thinking thru the entire process. As always it was great to meet with other photogs discuss the project, and then review the creative process on line. Thank you for a creatively challenging weekend.

    May 20

    • Dionysios

      You're welcome. It's a good way to be creative and to continue exploring.

      May 20

  • Chuck Z.

    Thank you Dionysios and Sharon. This Meetup was a real challenge for me, never having created a series before. I learned a lot from the experience, and viewing the creative work of other participants.

    May 19

    • Dionysios

      You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it and discovered something interesting.

      May 20

  • mira

    Weather turned out great! Interesting neighborhood as I expected. Thank you for organizing!..

    May 17

  • Alison

    Dionysios: I can't see how, in the Aperture program I use, how to link photos, as a series or sequence. I'm wondering if it is possible, and if I should pursue the exercise.

    May 17

    • Dionysios

      Can someone please help Alison with her question for Aperture?

      May 17

    • Dionysios

      You can also Google it. Anybody have advice on Aperture?

      May 20

  • sandra

    Very good subject. I wish I knew about putting the photos together so I could post something. Great series of images shown. Next time I guess I will try to find out how to do this so I can be prepared.

    May 19

    • Dionysios

      Maybe we can help. Do you have any software?

      May 20

  • Mohammad Z.

    Enjoyed awesome time with friends in a beautiful afternoon weather.

    1 · May 19

  • Dionysios

    Some tips for creating strips on PS.

    1. Post-process your images
    2. For web, determine appropriate resolution (see answer below for Michelle)
    3. Do some math, reduce images to a size so that when added together they will all fit within the limits of step 2 (adjust for borders thickness)
    4. Create a new file with those dimensions and the background color you like
    5. Alternatively, if you have one image open, create a new layer and use Canvas to change the size of the background
    6. Copy and paste the images into the file, they will be in separate layers
    7. Position them by moving the layers (if your keen you can use guides to help place them accurately)
    8. Add text and position
    9. Flatten the image
    10. Use "Save as" or "Save for Web"

    May 18

  • Carissa

    Success! 6 people came out to the Calgary event. We even had someone shooting film ☺

    2 · May 17

    • Paul W S.

      Have told my cousin about your group Carissa.. she may join..

      1 · May 17

    • sharon

      That's awesome Carissa!

      May 18

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, please see the previous Series and sequence for examples here on how they should be presented: http://www.meetup.com/Van-City-Free-Capture-Photography/photos/18037712/ . And please also see the album's first set by Carissa as an example of presentation.

    May 17

  • Michelle

    Dionysios: I forgot to ask: What max size should the final jpeg be that we upload to the site?

    May 17

    • Dionysios

      On the photo album all images are reduced anyways, but we all click on them to see the original size. If the uploaded image is very large, the browser will reduce it to fit the window and it might not look as smooth or as sharp as you intended. I think you should base it on monitor resolution. A common resolution is 1366 x 768, so you can make them smaller than that.

      May 17

  • Dionysios

    Folks, thank you for coming out to play. It was challenging and fun I think for us. Ultimately I would think that exercises such as these makes us develop our photographic process. I'll put up tips for creating photo strips with Photoshop soon. If anybody has suggestions about Photoshop or any other software please tell us about it.

    Importantly, step back from your contact sheet for a time to clear your mind, come back to it with a fresh eye, review your images carefully, and then create a coherent set. Whatever your theme, you can give the set a title, and at the very least tell us about your theme and what you were trying to achieve. You can tell us why you like it or don't like it, and ask us questions. Each set should have three or more images, and post a maximum of three sets. À la prochaine!

    2 · May 17

  • Michelle

    Website where you can download GIMP, the open-source alternative to Photoshop: http://www.gimp.org/

    1 · May 17

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, I have cool news. Our co-organizer Carissa has set up a co-event in Calgary! VCFCP will be joined by Calgary Photo Walkers in a Series and Sequence event. Please visit the link http://www.meetup.com/Calgary-Photo-Walkers/events/182174052/ for more details.

    1 · May 12

    • Carissa

      Just celebrated my 1 month work anniversary this week. The job is good, the city is takes some adjusting.

      May 15

    • Doris F.

      Best of luck, Carissa. Calgary is....different. Hope it works for you.

      May 17

  • Doris F.

    I have change my RSVP because I am working today. Have fun! Hope to see some of you soon.

    May 17

  • Dionysios

    Good morning folks. The day looks like it's going to be okay. Bring your enthusiasm, and a hat just in case. Don't forget your cards and to charge your batteries. This is going to be a challenging event and I think it'll help our craft progress. À bientôt!

    May 17

  • Doris F.

    Maybe I missed it. When will you open the RSVPs? Thanks.

    April 29

    • Doris F.

      Thanks, Dionysios, I clicked right through to the web page when the invitation came via email. Yes, the info was there but is not on this page. Weird!

      April 29

    • Richard W.

      Would have been a good event but I'm out of town so have a great time you guys.

      May 16

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, the rsvps will open soon. This is going to be a fun and challenging event. All are welcome and all camera types. Please consider that if you wish to participate in the walk-about, you should also participate on-line afterwards by sharing your images and thoughts, because we also develop our art by discussing ideas and our art. Merci et bonne chance.

    May 12

  • Dionysios

    Does anyone have any questions about the subject or the place or process?

    May 10

  • Gary T

    I'd love to go. Unfortunately, I'll be in Toronto for work. What a wonderful exercise! I can't wait to see the photo gallery afterward.

    May 3

  • Carol

    Will using the canvas in PS work for creating a strip?

    May 1

    • Dionysios

      You could use canvas; that's usually what I use too; but also a blank colored background layer. But, let's leave the post-processing discussion for later; we'll discuss it at the end of the event and on-line. Right now let's concentrate on understanding the concept, look forward to finding a subject and thinking about composition; those are the most important things in a photograph.

      May 1

  • Deb

    I'm looking forward to this meet. Should be very interesting.

    April 29

    • Dionysios

      If you want to make a set like mine above, you can use layers or a downloaded template in PS. I still haven't found a way to do it in LR. Otherwise you can try free software like Faststone, which can stitch or create a contact sheet. I don't have Picasa but I suspect there should be similar commands. Who else has advice on this?

      April 30

    • Dionysios

      BTW, we don't want to stitch specifically, we want to create a layout on one canvas, either horizontally like above or vertically like a photobooth film strip.

      April 30

  • Carol

    This is something great! Sure hope I don't miss this.

    April 29

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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