Dream. ITAP

Science of sleep. 3 act structure. 
First of all sorry for spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet. That means you should go away and not read this until you watched it! Because it is amazing. Mind blowing. I feel that I still can not understand it completely after watching a couple of times, you can find new details every single time you see it and interpret the main characters differently every time. Oh, happy crazy people.

And yes, more or less it has a 3-act structure, which we have to analyse. And it is not so obvious and predictable as in commercial movies, especially in box-office Hollywood production. 

Beginning. Movie starts in an unusual way. Studio. Later we understand that it is the mind, head of the main character, where all secrets desires and the most important - dreams - are hidden. Protagonist moves into new house and meets his new neighbours – that is the end of Act I in my point of view. This movie is also unusual, because protagonist’s equilibrium is destroyed even before the movie – his father died and he moves to the other country, to his childhood apartment of his mother. And there goes another crash – love.

Crisis. Can I have her number or can not? But maybe I love someone else? Not her? Can I quit my job? How should I say I am her neighbour? Why it is so boring? Who are these people? Why she does not love me? Would she marry me? How can I tell her? It is the crisis of protagonist’s mind, his feelings and desires, he does not know whether it is reality or a dream and how to cope with his feelings, how to reach her? Furthermore he hates his job, his colleagues at work are crazy and he has this job only because his mother knows the director, so what’s the point? Love, relationship and dreams dreams dreams mixed with reality – Act II consists mainly of these things.

End. Protagonist is fired from his boring job, he is ready to move back, but first of all he wants to say good bye. And it all ends after the deepest crisis. He is asleep. Dreaming. So the second equilibrium is also reached after the movie – we can only predict he reaches the state of happiness, because we are on the cliff hanger– what is he going to do when he wakes up?

Character. Who doesn’t know the most famous story of toys? Toy story! And it’s main character – Woody!
The most simple model of a doll ever, made from cloth, soft, flexible – the most ordinary, but (as we see in the movie) leaving the best memories and the best feelings for the owner. We can see a very clear cowboy’s image – brave, strong (although he looks slim and weak), has very strong characteristics of leader, smart, but is supportive and perceptive as well. Yes, lacks originality, because it is a perfect stereotype of a hero (though a toy hero) who looks weak in the beginning, but solves all the problems in the end. Wears usual cowboy’s attributes – checked shirt, jeans, boots, 
sheriff star and of course – hat! 

Stupid. ITAP

Visual hierarchy. First of all you notice the image. You think about it, because it is not usual, it is fun, but what is the idea of it? Then you notice text, big colorful letters, simple font, it is hard not to see it and at last you want to know - what is this picture about? Than it makes a lot more sense and you can come back to the image, rethink it, search for more details. It is smart, but stupid. Would you ever do something like this?
This is my favorite advertising company of all times, I guess. Developed by Anomaly – film/ advertising agency based in New York and London, launched by the international jeans  brand and it is really good illustration of all our studies so far, I think. Diesel ‘Be stupid’. Search for an inspiration. Think irrationally. Do not be afraid to take risks. Make stupid things. Be stupid. That is what they say.


Legibility. It is one of the five principles lecturer have been talking about in the ITAP lecture.  And I have found an amazing booklet of Orange mobile – ‘Mobile phones: what parents need to know’, which I think illustrates this principle really well. This is really amazing work, a collaboration of graphic designers, photographers and illustrators. In my opinion the leaflet is designed for middle aged people, parents, who are not really interested in new technologies or even do not understand anything about it. It is smartly done and contains a lot of useful information. First of all, page format is quite unusual, non-standard, it has much more length than width and the cover seems to be really informal, that attracts the eye from the first sight. Primarily you could think that it is something for children – the cover looks like it is been drawn by child, but later, when you read the title you understand that it is actually a booklet for adults. We can see domination of only a few colors – white, black, dark blue, and, of course, the main color of the company – orange. Information and pictures usually take one page – that makes it easier to understand the structure of the booklet. Text is divided into two columns, font is simple, letters are quite big – it all makes it very legible and clear. Simple design of text part lets us notice photographs as well. They are big, clear, quite colorful, single-paged and decorated with really smart illustrations, which pictures each chapter of the booklet. Illustrations are done only black and white, so they stand out from the whole picture and become the most important part of the page. They contain the main idea of the chapter and the point of view is unusual, it makes the reader of booklet smile. It is designed really smartly, pictures and text emphasize each other, it is not overcrowded with unnecessary information as well. It is really worth seeing this booklet for inspiration of smart and minimalistic design.

Light. ITAP

          They say: by understanding the various ‘practices & processes’ of illustrators, designers, photographers one is able to progress and advance one’s own practice and through the ‘visual practice’ of observation, collecting, studying and exploring a subject, topic or theme, this will contribute to a deeper understanding of the subject.

So there I am, researching and learning about the natural lightning and lightning in the studio to gain that understanding of the subject. Because for the first time I was shooting in the studio! It is amazing there, but anyway I felt confused, there were too many things, too many unknown devices for the first time.. Despite that the shoot was really interesting and funny, I will post some pictures soon! However, that is why I decided to do some research in this area. A couple of weeks ago I brought home a book called “Lightning for portraiture photography” by Steve Bavister and it seems to be really helpful. The structure of the book is very simple, it is really easy to understand the content, theory, try to use that practically and understand actually how the lights were set up, what the artists have done to achieve particular style of an image. The book contains explanations of all the used equipment, terms for all things. Also you can find a brief about starting a career in photography, market of portraiture photography, styling advices and, of course, mostly explanations about the light. By the way it gives a short explanation of how you should act and communicate with clients and models, how to use all abilities and surroundings for the perfect background and foreground, of course. It shows an example of  a world famous practitioner and than explains how the lights were set up, what equipment was used by describing it in words as well as including the actual scheme of the lightning set up and technologies used. Also the photographer himself explains his basic idea and how he managed to achieve the goal. The book is really simple and it emphasizes one thing – simplicity. Fancy, creative lightning does not always work and what the photographer should do – decide what he wants to achieve, consider the best way to reach the goal by choosing the most efficient equipment. In many of those examples ambient lightning or ambient mixed with a reflector or a single light (flash or a tungsten) seem to have worked the best.

There are some portraits that I really liked from this book.


Jeff Dunas(http://www.dunas.com), work from his exhibition “State of Blues”, shot with 140mm lense, 1/400sec at f/11 and the most incredible – he used only one electronic flash with umbrella.


Nigel Harper’s (http://www.nigelharper.com) personal project, picture called “Amelia with cat” using 10.5mm Nikon fisheye, 1/60sec at f/4 using only ambient light and reflector. 


Joachim Baldauf (http://joachimbaldauf.tumblr.com), “Egg”, photography done for the “Amica” magazine using 105mm lense, 1/30sec at f/8, using only one electronic flash.



Pauline Neild (http://www.paulineneild.co.uk/), “Neon tubing”, press photography, no additional lightning, 28-105mm at f/4.