Working on this project, both the independent and collaborative elements, has been really enjoyable as well as a big learning curve for me. As well as gaining confidence, I have learnt so much about the technical side of things, curating an exhibition and keeping organised. There were a few things about this project which didn’t go so well, but I have learnt from them and I believe this will only benefit me further in the years to come in future projects.
In terms of my individual practice, I am really proud of the imagery I produced for this project. To me, it is some of my strongest yet. That isn’t because its technically ‘perfect’ or what most would deem as ‘beautiful’ but because it is personal to me and tells a story, something which I really want to do in my work. It doesn’t just speak to me, but enlightens the audience. I used a full frame nikon dslr, which was different for me as I usually stick to using my Sony. The Nikon I used was the D610 and the lens I used was a Sigma 30mm f1.4. It was good for me to try out a different piece of equipment and I love outcome of the images.
However, I feel as though this project is not finished yet. In the future I would like to continue with this and find a wider range of subjects, younger people, children, people from all different walks of life within the city. I think this would benefit my project by giving further insight to the people of Plymouth.
Exhibition/ Symposium – PLY.MERGE/ PLYMERSION.
One of my favourite parts of this project, was working as a team with my cohort to create an exhibition and plan/ put on a symposium event which I think we should all be proud of. I am glad that I had the confidence to make a big contribution as I learnt a lot doing this. From simply how to paint effectively and use tools such an hammers, to communicating with team members and outside sources. Whenever I had finished a task, I would always discuss what else needed doing with the rest of the team so that nothing was left un done and no one had a big task to do alone. I volunteered to go to a hardware shop to source extra fixtures of hanging out images, came in early on a number of days to assist with setting up and took on extra tasks where possible.
The only comment I would say about the event is that some people weren’t working well as a team as they were either not consulting with the group when they made changed which would effect everyone, or absent from the contribution (this was both physically and in terms of being there but not helping). I tried not to let this effect the whole groups productivity though, and this just taught me how to take on extra responsibilities spontaneously and to not get stressed about that.
In total, I did about 4 shoots towards this project. The first few, were partly designed towards building my confidence of approaching strangers and asking them if I could take their portraits.
These were the first 4 portraits I took. I particularly like the one of the individual in the Land Rover. He actually let me accompany him in there and showed me the grounds he works on. We had a really interesting conversation and it certainly worked at building my confidence and showing me more of Plymouth.
The next images were taken on a number of different shoots as I just took my camera around with me everywhere and Photographed people I found interesting, lovely, different etc! The locations include Devils Point Cafe, The barbican – sweet shop & antique centre, Nuffield health centre and car park.
When I was thinking about ‘The City’ Project, I instantly knew what I wanted to do.
I have always wanted to photograph the place I am living and particularly the people who live there. This is after discovering years ago, “Humans of New York”.
Humans of New York.
Humans of New York was started in 2010 by Brandon Stanton. He photographs people on the streets of New York (with a view to reaching 10,000) and posts these online with a quote from them. This has also resulted in a book publication.
One of the earlier street/ documentary photographers is Henri Cartier-Bresson who’s work influences many photographers. The following image ‘FRANCE. Marseille. The Allée du Prado. 1932.’ is one of his most iconic.
He said “I was walking behind this man when all of a sudden he turned around”.
Dorothy is another famous Photographer who has been a pioneer in her practice.
“Characterized by emotional receptivity and
an immediacy of vision Bohm’s images reflect a joy and affirmation of life.
The gentleness of Kertesz, the humour of
Doisneau, the subtle irony of Alvarez Bravo
and the basic humanist approach of all,
are ever present in her photographs
and rank her in the same league.”
from text of Dorothy Bohm Photographs, Israel Museum,1986
Plymouth is a city in the South West of England in Devon, known as ‘Britains Ocean City’. It is a vibrant city with an estimated population of 262,685. The name of this Project is ‘People of Plymouth’ and my goal is to photograph Portraits of a wide variety of people in Plymouth with a view to make a book publication and have this exhibited in the city centre. The participants with range from general citizens on the streets of Plymouth, religious leaders, shop owners, and workers in a variety of industries in Plymouth such as Soldiers and fisherman.
Goals and Objectives.
As stated above, my objectives for this project are to photograph the people of plymouth with a conclusion of a book publication and exhibition being held here in the city. I want this project to not only bring awareness to the city of Plymouth and what it is really like here, but also bring people together as a big community. 50% of the profits made from this project will be fed back into the city through charitable organisations and community projects.
Statement of need.
Although this is a flourishing city, there is a lot of poverty here. The money raised through this project will go to community projects such as Camper Obscura and charities such as St Lukes Hospice. There will be an opportunity for these organisations to apply for this. I believe it is very important to support small businesses and charities which are working hands on to benefit the community we live in.
Outcome of project.
This project will result in the community coming together to make more connections with each other amongst their busy lifestyle but will also support the community and the smaller communities within Plymouth. They will be able to fund projects, purchasing equipment within healthcare, food banks etc. This is my dream for the project.
Proposed budget – TOTAL OF £5,000.
Travel costs (for exporting equipment to exhibition space) – £200.
Publication and binding costs – £2000 to create first 100 books.
Design and creation of book (Photoshop & InDesign subscription) – £300.
Camera equipment (to document event and results of funding back into the community) – £1000.
Printing of promotional items – £200.
Rent of exhibition space – £1000.
Refreshments – £150.
Wage for volunteer – £150.
Project time frame – 12 months (Image making, book making and exhibition planning and set up. Proposed date – 1st June 2018.
Thank you for reading my proposal. I look forward to hearing from you and having you on board with this community driven project.
I entered a competition via http://www.photocrowd.com, a website which has a number of free to enter Photographic competitions aimed at many different topics, genres and styles.
I entered the competition ‘People’ which is aimed at new joiners of the website. There are a maximum of 100 applicants and the results are announced after 30 days. I am currently in 70th place out of 100. The Image I entered was this one which was for my BAPH205 project on the people of Plymouth.
My response to ‘The City’ brief was to capture the people of Plymouth in my imagery. Due to my curiosity, empathy and passion for documentary Photography, I photographed individuals in their daily routines, covering a range of lifestyles (using a Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens to produce a shallow depth of field). I wanted the settings as well as the sitters to speak through the images, showing the Plymouth culture and the individuals personalities. Looking past initial impressions, I took the time to observe the subjects and engage with them during the shooting process.
I loved exploring the city and growing my confidence by talking to new people and finding out their passions and life in this city.
My final images encompass a variety of elements of the city of Plymouth, some of which are unspoken. Its maritime heritage, hard working people, love of food, variety of nature and many leisure opportunities are all underlying somewhere in the portraits I created.
In this piece of writing, I am going to review an article from the latest issue of the British Journal of Photography. This particular issue is titled “Ones to watch” and is focused on new emerging Photography talent (in commercial and editorial practices).
The article I am reviewing is called “Ones to watch” and is written by Tom Johnson, with images by him also.
At first glance, the imagery in this article appears to be a very documentary styled, with a portrait of a young girl with striking shaven hair standing next to a boxing ring alongside.
Personally, I am very interested in Documentary Photography and after reading his article, I am now even more interested in Tom’s work. I think this is a very good skill in both his work and the way the article is presented. Just scanning through the journal, you wouldn’t necassarily expect the concept behind his work.
Knowing the theme of this issue of the journal and the fact that it is also the title for this article, gave me a preconceived impression that this article would be about an up and coming Photographer, however it doesn’t give you much of an indication of what his work is about. It gives you an opportunity to make an assumption before reading further.
The article is written by Tom and used both First and Third person styles of writing language. It gives a background about him as well as direct quotes. For example, the first few sentences say “I’m quite dyslexic and dyspraxic..” but then goes on to say “Johnson left school at 17”. This is a unique but intriguing way of writing and I believe adds more variety to the reading of this article.
Reading the article informed me of Johnson’s practice, its uniqueness and variety. He gives the reader a good review of his history and journey to where he is now. From leaving school, shooting local gigs and moving to London to where he is now signed to the agency ‘Mini Title’ and having his own studio in East London.
Through reading this article I was also given a new perspective on the use of Documentary Photography. Tom acclaims that is work is definitely about people but is about “fusing” together Documentary, Fashion and Portraiture. This is something I have not imagined or heard of before but really seems to work to give a rare form of fashion/ editorial image making. I love his take on his image making as he says “I think I found a way to create situations and environments, which you can’t really do in Documentary”. He aims to stage settings and events in the way often practiced in Fashion Portraiture whilst also making it seem real and natural like Documentary/ Street Photography.
Over all, I enjoyed reading this article. I love Tom’s story and how he went from leaving school at just 17 to becoming an established Photographer in the industry, working for many infuential titles (such as Buffalo Zine, Man about town and more). I also enjoyed having my eyes opened to a new way of image making and hope to practice this myself one day. However I would have loved to read more about the stories behind the actual images featured in the article. I have so many questions about them and one of the reasons I love Documentary Photography is hearing the concepts/ narratives. I am now following Tom on Instagram so I can keep up to date with his practice and progress and gain even more of an insight into his image making.
For our Exhibition and Symposium, PLY.MERGE/PLYMERSION I feel that I participated a lot. I wanted to help as much as I could, to relieve some of the stress from those who were taking more of a leadership role and also wanted to gain experience in curating this kind of event and having my own responsibilities within it.
On Tuesday 16th May, along with other members of the team, I helped to carry the large quantity of display boards up to our base room on the second floor from the first floor, gallery space.
On Wednesday 17th May, lots of us arrived at the College first thing in the morning and carried the boards up from storage in our base room on the second floor to the event location (The 4th floor of the Plymouth College of Art building). From there, we prepared the space by moving out large furniture to prevent it from being affected, laid down sheets to decrease the likelihood of getting paint on the floor and began painting the large boards white. Most of the boards needed two layers, so we paired up to paint the boards, lay then to the side to dry and created an effective system to paint them all in a short amount of time and give them time to dry for a few hours. We also filled in the holes made by previous people hanging their work on them.
Once all the boards were painted and dry, the next task was to begin building the boards together and setting them up within the space, following the plan.
Although I couldn’t physically help with this so much as it is not something I am very skilled at, I helped in any way I could. This involved me stepping back to communicate to those building them, if they needed to move them, if there were gaps that needed correcting and if they were even/ in the correct positions. I also held the boards still while they fixed them.
On Thursday 18th May, more of the group were there to help and we began to put the work up on the boards and walls. This was a good group effort, with people pairing/grouping up and putting up work gradually. There were some members of the group who wanted to put up their own work, others that weren’t present so we took that responsibility and others who were just overseeing us putting up their work whilst they did other jobs.
Here is my work, displayed in the exhibition which I put up with the assistance of another team member.
On the day of the Symposium, Friday 19th May, I arrived at the college at 8:30 to ensure that everything was in place. I made sure that any rubbish, nails or belongings from the previous day that didn’t need to be there were moved out of the space.
I was on the curatorial team, so the technical side of things were all decided by the tech team who kept us in the loop. I also wasn’t one of the speaks for the symposium, however I was there to listen to their practices and for the actual thing. I was there to support them and it was really interesting to hear all their different inputs, their stories and new information about Plymouth I hadn’t heard before.
The final part of the Symposium was very exciting for me. We heard via video link from the students in India. I was amazing to see them and hear them, with all the similarities as well as difference they have to us. They showed us all of their individual projects which were beautiful. I loved having this window into a different culture and their varying practices. The differences were the colour palette of the images and their religious beliefs.
We had a few signal issues throughout the connection with India, but that could only be expected when there is such a distance between us. We were able to persevere and overcome this successfully.
The final task was to take down the exhibition, make sure everyone had their work and rearrange the space in the way we had found it. We moved all the boards back down to our base room and returned all other equipment to the ERC. Overall, I am really pleased with how this event turned out. Mostly, we all worked well as a team and co-operated well together. I am very proud of all of us and think this is an excellent way to end our second year of our degree together.