Final Evaluation.

Overall, I am very pleased with how this project went. I engaged well with it, and it opened up a new level of creativity for me. Being given a piece of writing meant that I could interpret it in any way I wanted. It taught me how to focus on the feeling of a piece of writing rather than the literal context of it. I enjoyed experimenting and broadening my photography skills. I was able to be far more creative with this project, using a hasselblad camera, sourcing props and learning more about my DSLR camera. As well as this, it was a great opportunity to set up an exhibition to be seen by the public and working alongside the cohort. This is a new experience for me and one that I would like to take forward in the future, it has taught me a lot and built on my team work skills. I was able to speak up and give my ideas which is something i have previously been nervous about doing. I am really pleased with how the exhibition turned out, many people saw our images and we got some idea of what this attention would be like in the working world. We all worked well as a team, meeting deadlines which in turn helped each other. In terms of the indesign spreads, this is something i am very pleased to have had some experience in. I now feel confident that i can work my way around indesign in the future to create any kind of publication i may need for my work.

Although all of this went well and i am pleased with the outcome, there are a few things I would change next time around. For the exhibition, I would like to have the courage to take a more leading role (i think this experience has prepared me for this) so that I can help the team to put their ideas into action. Also, I think in the future I would like to contact the local media to get more coverage for our exhibition. This would help us to get more people through the doors, seeing our work and engaging in the arts and Photography. As well as this, if i was to do this project again i would experiment even more and have more studio time. I would use black out blinds in my house for the author portrait shoot as, even though it was dark outside, i think this would have helped to keep out any other light. I would also like to work on accessing different sitters for my portraits. For this project as well as previously, I have used people I know such as friends and family and I would like to be able to approach people who have the perfect look for the shoot and ask them if they would like to. I think this would make me more confident in the long run and also give me an opportunity to be more professional which would help me in my future work. For indesign, i would like to experiment with it more, to find some unique features of it that I could use to make my publications have some extra about them.

 

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External Exhibition – Our Essenscene.

For our exhibition, we used St Saviours Hall, near the barbican as our location. I was part of the curatorial team and worked on the lay out of our exhibition and the logistics of preparing the space and getting all the work up.

This was our floor plan.

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We decided to have a TV screen with the author portrait images on a slide show, along with the pieces of writing being read. We lay out the images in order of title, with the actual writing framed beside it. With a section at the back for refreshments on opening and closing night. Each individual had the responsibility of framing their work and sourcing hanging tools for our team to use. The layout of our exhibition was inspired by the ‘salon style’ lay out with a variety of frames of different colours, textures and sizes. We also ensured that all healthy and safety regulations were met, with warnings regarding the radiators and any trip hazards as well as the refreshment stall being manned at all times.

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There were two other groups, for advertising and designing. This is the poster that they designed, with all the relevant information on it. We had a facebook, twitter, instagram and weebly account which updated the public on times, location and gave hints of what to expect when they visited.

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Exhibition.

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For our first small, class based exhibition we decided that we would use our elemental intervention module to create an exhibition around. This meant that we could focus on the curating side of the exhibition as we knew that all of our images would have a common link to each other and we only had a week to prepare for this.

When deciding how we would like to present our images, the obvious option was to arrange them on the wall. However, we were all against this idea as we wanted this exhibition to unique and something that viewers could really interact with. In the end we decided to utilise the table in our lecture room to display the images under a sheet of glass. There were a number of reasons why we did this. The table is made from wood which we consider ‘one of the elements’ so it felt like it had a real connection to the images/ who ethos of the exhibition (we were going to use a white sheet under the images so that we could stand out but after some experimenting, the wooden table seemed to suit the series of images better). As well as this, the table is on wheels in the centre of the room which means that it can be moved around and people can move around it, so from wherever they are they can put their focus on one particular image at a time but also see the other images from a different perspective.

As a whole, I think this exhibition went really well. We all worked well as a team and voiced our opinions and ideas to come up with a unique idea. We managed our time and resources well, remembering to thoroughly clean the table and have the images printed professionally to keep the aesthetic at a high standard. This experience has meant that I now feel far more confident about curating an exhibition in the future and this is something I would definitiely like to be involved in again.

Work experience – Tristan Adams: Devon Wedding Photographer & Videographer.

Tristan Adams is a Photographer from Torquay, Devon. His work is varied and includes weddings, events, pet portraits and promotional videos. The camera he uses is the Nikon D750.

My day of work experience with him was a location shoot for a portrait for his catalogue of work. We had a model already lined up and headed to Torquay beach. I was there to set up his equipment, ensure that spare batteries/ memory cards were available and adjust the models hair, position or clothing if necessary. He also gave me the opportunity to make some images myself, which was a valuable experience as he could guide me through how he would do it but also encourage me on what I was doing.

This work experience has inspired me to experiment in more fashion/ portrait/ location shoots and not just stick to what I think is ‘my type of photography’. Tristan was extremely friendly and patient with me, as I don’t have much experience of professional shoots. He was also very respectful of the model, who he had previously discussed the shoot with and they collaborated together to create their vision. He is very driven and hard working, always looking for new opportunities within Photography and Videography. Although, he mainly works alone, he is open to collaborations and works as a valuable part of a team when necessary. I found the whole day extremely interesting and even though it was only a few hours I think I learnt a lot.

 

Development & Analysis.

The following images show the development of a DSLR camera – the different images I have managed to make using this technology. How it can be treated like a point and shoot or can be controlled more to create more fine art images.

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This technology has had a huge impact on the final images I have produced. It has expanded my knowledge of photography and how you achieve certain techniques/ styles of images. At the beginning, I would use the ‘portrait’ setting on the camera, which although was very good at getting a nice looking portrait, didn’t give me much knowledge of how to achieve is as it does it all for you. However, now I am able to put the camera on ‘Manual’ and adjust the ISO, shutter speed and aperture to achieve the depth of field, focus and lighting I want. As well as this, I have learnt more about macro photography and how to produce a successful up close image, detailed image. This technology makes macro photography and many other elements of image making a lot easier. Due to this technology having a preview screen, you can access the images straight away to see if you have got the shot or not. This means that you can keep trying until you see right in front of you that you have had the outcome you wished for, instead of having to get your images developed first and re shoot. Also, I have been able to experiment a lot with shutter speed. Not very long ago, I was unsure how to change the way a moving object such as a swing or water looked in my images. I now feel fully confident that I can capture settings from a variety of different perspectives.

In conclusion, I think this technology has allowed me to expand my knowledge and skills in photography in an easy and step by step way, progressing from using it on the auto setting to fully manual. It has massively improved the quality of my images and given me more opportunities to create images I was previously slightly afraid of doing as I didn’t want to fail. It has also meant that I slowed down the pace of my image making, but really focusing on the camera functions and the outcome that is a result of each function so that I get the result I want. In the future, I would like to take this experimenting further. I hope to upgrade my DSLR soon to something more advanced, try some more photography using controlled lighting (more portraits and still life images). I would also like to experiment some more with post production to improve my photo shop skills but also see if I can achieve similar results to Matthew Brandt’s work.

 

Proposal & Justification.

This project calls for me to look ahead and consider an image not as capturing a moment from the present but creating images ‘already defined’ by the technology being used. After some thought and research, I decided to focus on DSLR cameras (the camera used in these images is the Sony α58 along with either the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens or the 55-200 4-5.6 lens).

This is the first DSLR camera I have owned and over the last 2 years using it, I think I have got to understand most of its functions and how to get a variety of images from it. I wanted to use this project to go over everything I have learnt about this camera, with the outcome being a variety of images which show a range of techniques.  When I first used this camera, I almost used it as if it was a point and shoot camera, catching snapshots on holidays and family events but as time has gone on and I have developed my skills I have got more practice using it manually to achieve more fine art styled images.

 

 

A critical review of Espen Rasmussen.

Espen Rasmussen is a Documentary photography, based in Norway. He is also a photo editor for VG helg (the weekend magazine of VG newspaper). His work focuses on current humanitarian crisis’ and climate change. He may be best known for his body of work titled ‘The flight to europe 2015’ which documents some of the 12 millions people who have fled war and suffering in Syria. Espen travelled the route that many migrants are taking (from Greece, through the Balkans and arriving in Germany). “There was shelling every day in our neighborhood,” Qassem said. “I waited until I could find secure passage for us. We’re apprehensive about life in Jordan but we had to leave. I carried my two daughters for a mile through the mud to get to the border.”

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Samir Nazal (24) are preparing for his own wedding. In one of the tents in the House in Meraar refugee camp in the Zahle province in Lebanon, a young man has started up as a hairdresser.

I really appreciate how Rasmussen captured this image. I think that this is an important fact to bring to the publics attention, that even though these refugee camps are designed to be temporary, life still has to go on. For their own sanity, there has to be some level of normality. Rasmussen has made Samir having his haircut, the focus of attention in this image.He has however, taken this image from an angle which shows another man in the background preparing a drink on a sofa. I feel like you can tell a lot about how he is feeling, sadness and vulnerability. As well as this, I think this image also shows how strong the community is as it has quite quickly built a business. Hair salons are a place where people can talk or simply have their hair done, giving people an opportunity to get their troubles off their chest or have a moment of quiet in what is a very hectic, stressful situation.

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Wedding in the Housein Meraar refugee camp in Lebanon. The friends of 24-year old Samir is dancing and singing together groom before they travel to a camp near by to pick up his coming wife.

I think this image reiterates my previous statement that the refugees are keeping a level of normality to their lives. These people are celebrating with the groom in a traditional way. For a moment, they are happy and rejoicing. Rasmussen captured this perfectly in my opinion, with the ladies hands clapping in the foreground, people smiling and supporting each other and the traditional towel as the focus in the centre of the image.

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A boat has stopped some meters from land and Syrian refugees swim to get to safety on the Greek island Lesvos. The inflatable boats starts in the area around Izmir in Turkey and use between one and two hours to get to the European side.

In comparison to the previous two images, this one has a theme of struggle, chaos, uncertainty and fear. Using a faster shutter speed, Rasmussen has captured the waves and splashes created by the sea and the tone of the image suggests the water is very cold. I also think this image shows the strength of the refugees, battling to get to safer land. It is almost like a scene from a movie, but sadly this is reality. You can see children in this image too, and families determined to keep them safe.

When looking at Espen Rasmussen, all of his work has a theme of humanitarian crisis’. His work is very real and shows the harsh truth of what is happening in the world. I really appreciate what he is doing with his work (and this is something I would love to do in the future too), spreading awareness. It shows varying themes of peace, chaos, tragedy and rebuilding. I have learnt a lot looking at Rasmussen’s work. For example, how perspective and composition help a great deal in telling a story through an image.  This is something I am going to take forward with my work, to ensure my aims come across in my images.

Interview with Dominic Pote.

Dominic Pote is a fine art photographer who ‘paints with light’. Sue Hubbard describes him to use the equipment of a photographer but ‘his eye is that of an expressionist painter and his sensibility one of a poet’.

Interview –

What technology/software/camera equipment do you use?

I use an old 1960s Mamiya Press camera which has been custom adapted with a motor and a gearbox. It’s fairly heavy but achieves the results I want.

What other technologies do you use while out on a shoot?

I use a scanner once the films are processed and then my final, selected negatives are sent away to be drum-scanned so that I get the best quality resolution.

What is your favourite time of day to go out on a shoot?

Sunrise and sunset, when the sun is lowest in the sky and I get the most interesting light.

What is your favourite type of photography?

I guess I have to say landscape, but anything which is revealing and out of the ordinary appeals to me too, photography which reveals beauty and creativity.

Who or what is your inspiration?

Painting when I was younger, travel, journeys, experiences. Impressionist painters. 

Which photographers/ artistic practitioners influenced you? and how?

I was influenced by many painters such as the impressionists and others. I was influenced by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy who attempt to interact directly with the landscape. I was influenced by the German school of photography (Bechers, Gursky, Struth and Ruff) in the sense that studying their work made me want to work in a very different way – much more aesthetic and less focussed on concepts. Perhaps I wanted to show reality not just how it is, but how it feels. These German practitioners wanted to be objective and not to show the presence of the photographer. I wanted to show how it was to be in a place, walking through with a camera. I wanted to reveal the place of the human in the landscape. So that’s how I developed my work.

When did you become interested in photography/ when did you become a photographer?

I graduated in 2000 but was keen on photography for many years before.

Did you do a degree or are you self taught?

Both.

Do you have any advice for a photographer starting out?

Be determined, persevere, try to always develop your own work, not just what others want. It’s incredibly competitive so you have to be strong minded, but I think if your heart is in it, you can make it!

Do you have any photography projects that you are doing at the moment? If so what is it about?

At the moment I am taking some time out to move house and generally make some changes in life/work. I hope that in a few months I will get back to my work again!

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Step by step process of complete publication.

When finalising my publication, I first decided that I would like to use ‘Blurb’ (an online software which allows you to create and publish your book.

Seeing as my course and passion lies in Photography, I chose to make a photobook. I wanted my book to have meaning to it, to challenge ones thinking. This instantly led me to a project I had previously done on Devonport, Plymouth. Devonport is an area with much history but which over time has become what some people call an eyesore. However, currently it is in the process for rebuilding itself and gaining back its reputation. With this in mind, I made a project showing its current state for redevelopment, the parts of devonport still intact and the new parts slowly being introduced. This is why I decided to name it, misunderstood.

Using bookwright (a piece of software which can be downloaded from blurb and is used as a tool to put together your book) I began the creating process.

I chose the ‘small book’ template which is 18x18cm and the final publication ended up at 24 pages. I also chose the imagewrap option as I believe that works well in a photobook. It enables you to use a full bleed image as your cover. I also included a copyright disclosure, to protect my work and a brief summary of what to expect from my book. I designed the layout by choosing what i deemed the most important images and setting them at a full bleed whilst the others were boxed in a portion of the page (one image per page).

Once this was complete and I was happy with the preview, I uploaded the finished piece back onto blurb and sent it off to be printed and sent to me in the post.  Including shipping it cost £28.05.

Intimate lives.

Charlotte Cotton said, ‘A useful starting point for considering how intimate photography is structured is to think about how it borrows and redirects the language of domestic photography and family snaps for public display. We generally take pictures at symbolic points in family life, at times we acknowledge our relationship bonds and social achievements. These are moments we want to hold on to, emotionally and visually. …the celebratory is sought out through the visualization of healthy functioning familial roles. What remains absent in such images, however, are things we perceive as culturally mundane or taboo. Art photography on the other hand, while embellishing the aesthetics of family snaps, oben substitutes the emotional flip-side for their expected scenarios: sadness, disputes and illness. Page 137-8.

An example on someone exposing their intimate lives in Tracey Emin’s image ‘My bed, 1998’.

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Each photograph is read as the private appearance of its referent: the age of Photography corresponds precisely to the explosion of the private into the public, or rather into the creation of a new social value, which is the publicity of the private: the private is consumed as such, publicly. Roland Barthes – “Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography” (c1981)

In 1982, Larry Sultan visited his parents in LA. After finding some old family film, this led him to questioning the family, he got excited by the memories that were captured. So, he created this series, ‘Pictures from home’.

“What drives me to continue this work is difficult to name. It has more to do with love than with sociology, with being a subject in the drama rather than a witness. . . . I realize that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.”