Group work

Throughout this semester we have been involved in a number of different group tasks, in which we have had to work together to light up a space. One of these tasks was to light up Henry Mitchell Hall together and to all agree on a light set up. I found this task quite difficult as there were many different corners and textures all around the room. I struggled to light up the background of seemingly any image I took, and we had to decide as a team if the background should be lit or whether it looked better in darkness with little detail being shown. We decided to half light up the background in these images, just to pull a little detail out of the pipes to give context to the image. We also had to decide on how we wanted to pose the model, there was some disagreements about this as we also had to take the model’s opinion into consideration. Furthermore we had to figure out what kind of mood we wanted the images to give off and decided that she should be smiling, especially with the way she is dressed , it wouldn’t have looked right if she were to look moody wearing a white top with purple hair.

 

 

Another group task we had to complete was to light up a lecture theatre that was no longer used. This involved setting up a location light kit as well as many speed lights to gain the lighting we needed as the lecture hall was big and needed a lot of light. There are still harsh shadows in the images but I believe they give the image character and would look false if there were no shadows. We had no models in this task and just had to use each other, which meant a lot of taking turns and sharing triggers which most people in the group worked really well with. The task was strange because it showed me that if I ever did collaborate with other photographers, there is a lot of waiting around to get time with a model but at the same time the help and support you receive is really reassuring. Collaborations are something that I would love to try again but on a shoot we organise ourselves.

 

Mark Mawson

http://www.markmawson.com/#/

 

Mark Mawson’s images are truly breathtaking, The colours he uses really go well together and draw a viewers eyes. I like the images because as an audience you cannot see what the subject of the image is straight away, and there is so much to look at and explore with your eyes. The pictures involve a lot of textures, as do mine and I enjoy that the backgrounds are so plain with bursts of colour.

I also can relate to the advertising shot as this is something that I am interested to experiment with and further my project with my bath bomb images.

 

Images that will not be included in my final body of work

 

 

Evaluation of images I am not going to include in my final body of work:

Below were potential images for my project ‘reaction’, these images are not being used in my final body of work for several reasons:

The first reason the images won’t be included is that I am not happy with the composition of the images, as the bubbles and ‘reaction’ does not seem to be the main subject in the images which is what I want/need. The second reason is after showing the images to a range of different people, including fellow students, it is clear that images without many bubbles in do not give a clear message as to what the image is of. In addition to this, a lot of the feedback suggested that images with few bubbles resemble Petri dishes that contain germs, which is not the look I wanted for the project and so any images that look like germs rather than bath bombs will not be included in the project. These images would not give the emotional response that I am looking from an audience when they view the Images.

Another reason these images will not be included is the colours of them, some of these images are not being included simply because the colour solarisation did not work well and the colours are unattractive and don’t represent what I want in the images.

Ian McKinnell

http://www.ianmckinnell.com/portfolios/#/lettering/

 

Although Ian McKinnell’s work is not that similar to mine, I really like his use of bubbles. The images are really playful and really creative and is something that I am really interested in after experimenting with my project. After this semester I feel that my photography is taking a turn towards fine art and possibly advertising photography, which is something that I would like to experiment and play with. I believe that if I was to practice advertising, I would like to try different things like Ian McKinnell’s work as I find it interesting and would like to try with word play and association.

What have I got from this?

This is another direction that I could take my bath bomb images, especially for advertising for a company that sells bath products such as Lush, which is aimed at a younger audience. Lush is known for being quite a quirky shop with vegan products and lots of different colourful products which I think my images would suit well.

 

 

Teresa Hayhurst

Photographer’s Portfolio: http://www.beyond-the-lens.com/find/photographers/profile/1405/teresa-hayhurst

Teresa Hayhurst’s work is similar to mine in the sense that she takes abstract images of everyday house hold items, the cheese grater for instance is a favourite image of mine. I like the image because it takes a viewer a second or two to figure out what it is they’re looking at. The symmetry in the image works wonderfully, and the splash of colour at the bottom really rounds off the image, as your eyes are immediately drawn to the colour, yet it is not easy to figure out what the orange colour is, as it could represent flames especially with it being in the shape of a flame.

The first image is interesting because of the subtly used colour, pastel colours give suggestions of colour but are not quite pigmented enough to see straight away. However the 3 or 4 touches of colour in the image really stand out and pull my eye, I especially like how Hayhurst utilises texture in her images, I can look at the images and imagine how the object would feel in my hand and I think she captures that really well.

 

 

Why digital? Why not b&w Film?

I chose to shot my project digitally because colour plays a very important role in my project, and with digital I am much more confident with my ability to boost colours and achieve the effects I want in post-production. If I had shot my project on black and white film I would not be able to portray the emotions and memories I am trying to convey through my images. Black and white film tends to lean towards more factual images whereas my whole project is about the emotions I feel and the emotions a viewer feels when they look at the photographs. In addition to this, I am not confident with my ability to shoot on film and achieve the images I am looking for, and so I feel that this is not the appropriate project for me to experiment with and improve my film abilities.

 

Photoshop automatic solarisation VS Manual solarisation

Below are both the same image that have been solarised. The image on the left has been done through Photoshop’s automatic solarisation filter (Filter> Stylize> Solarize) and the image on the left has been solarised manually on Photoshop using the technique I demonstrated in a previous blog post. I wanted to show a comparison of the images to evaluate the differences between manual and automatic solarisation.

Using Photoshop’s auto solarisation was never really an option for me throughout this project, as I wanted to ‘make the image’ myself. However there are several other reasons I did not use the filter; as clearly shown the image on the left is dull and lacks the bold colours I wanted in my images. This could easily be fixed by boosting the colours in Photoshop and experimenting with the curve levels. Yet, by using the automatic filter I have much less control with how the final image looks, whereas with manually solarising the image I can decided how precise I want the effect and how bold the colours are. Another reason I decided not to use the auto filter is that the image looks very flat, there are no layers in the image and that flattens out the image severely.

All my images will be solarised manually as I believe they give the image a better look overall and will make more of an impact on an audience, especially as part of a body of work.

 

 

T and P experimenting with a location lighting/ lighting up the Henry Mitchell hall

What have I done?

Below is a few images from a shoot Sally organised, in which 3 different models came to the dance studio in the Old Building. We had different speed lights and location kits and a lot of props to play with an experiment. Two of the girls were performing arts students and one was a musician. I only shot one of the girls as I struggled a lot to find a lighting set up that I actually liked the look of. Many of the lighting set ups we had created very harsh images especially over the model’s nose and under her eyes. In addition to this, when shooting using the piano, the side without a light on it was very very underexposed, which would have been filled in with a speed light, however we did not have the equipment we needed in order to light up the whole of the piano. IMG_8255.JPG

Again, I also struggled in terms of confidence when asking the model to pose, as I did not know how I wanted her to stand and neither did she. Eventually I became comfortable with asking the model what to do and asking her how to stand. Overall I am happy with the lighting of the images below, however I do not like the images, I dislike the poses and the overall look of the images especially as this model was a performing arts student and I had her sitting by a piano.

 

Crimson proposal draft 3

 

Title: Crimson

 

Introduction:

 

My initial idea for the No Daylight project is a series of images that all include the colour red. The project will include repetition of different still life objects, with subject matter ranging from red paint to a red wig. I plan to experiment with studio lighting, rather than daylight, including experimenting with backlighting. The images will include a similarity in the composition, as I would like to experiment with repetition within a body of work. However, the main focus of the project will be the red objects and how they look close up. I will be experimenting with a macro lens, testing with different focal lengths e.g. 50mm and 100mm, and comparing which works better for my project. My testing will also include experimenting in the studio with different light set ups, but will focus primarily on using light in specific ways to distort the objects. The reason I chose to shoot my project in the studio is to further my studio skills, as well as allowing me to experiment with different lighting. This will also push me out of my comfort zone and the project also gives me the chance to shoot still life rather than people/portraits. This will also allow me to practice product shooting and could lead me into a career of product advertising which is a genre I would be interested in pursuing.

 

 

Production Methods:

 

During the project I will be experimenting with different lighting situations, as well as using different objects that have different textures. This will challenge me to use different lighting on different textures to create the same effect. I already have existing skills in the studio when it comes to shooting portraits, however I have no experience in shooting still life or products so this project will be a challenge. I will be experimenting with using a macro lens to shoot the objects, and I will be shooting everything at an f-stop of f18-f22, so that the subject will be sharp, and not blurred. I will also be experimenting using different lighting heads such as using a soft box and a snoot. As I will be experimenting using harsh and direct light, I will have some problems trying to minimize hot spots in the images, which can become quite distracting if not carefully placed. This will force me to come up with different solutions to lighting objects such as when photographing a coke can or a glass. I will also be using a lot of liquids or gels that the light can shine through, this again will cause some highlights that I will not be able to pull back in post-production, so I will be using different reflectors to prevent the light from bouncing off the glass/container. I will also be using post-production to make sure that every object in each image will be the same red, this will include boosting the colours.

 

 

Research requirements:

 

I will be researching into photographers that use repetition in their work, such as repetition of colour throughout a body of work. For example, Gabriel Isak uses a single colour repeatedly in a body of work, and uses colour, as well as composition, to link a series of photographs together. Isak’s project The Red Line uses a line or something symbolic of a line in each image, uses models that are all wearing the same jumper to continue with the theme of repetition. This must be something I have to consider whilst shooting, so I will be continuously comparing images to ensure the shade of red is similar if not the same in the finished images. Isak’s other project The Blue Journey is another body of work that uses colour repeatedly, however this is not just blue objects being photographed, but a blue object within the image e.g. the sky or background.

 

I will also be researching into strong product photographers, such as Alastair Strong and Charlie Surbey. This will be research into photographers who use singular lighting in the studio, as well as research into shooting close up still life. Another part of my research will include looking into how to stop or solve problems such as light reflecting off my objects and causing highlights with no information. I will also need to fill out a health and safety form for using the studio, especially with having liquids and gels in the studio. During this project I will also be considering a career in still life and product advertising photography, and looking into the wider commercial context. My research will include using websites such as the AOP and looking at specialized magazines such as The British Journal of Photography. I will also looking at beauty magazines, which contain product photography, and specifically looking at perfume bottle advertisements, as it will give me an insight on how to photograph a bottle, which reflects light as well as shooting through a liquid. I will also be researching into photographers that are known for using a macro lens, which will allow me to understand how to use a macro lens effectively, as well as researching the best conditions to use a macro lens. Furthermore I will be researching into Bowens studio lights, as well as using Snoot light heads and spot lights.

 

 

Target audience?

 

I would like to see these images possibly as part of a photobook, or as product or advertising shots in a magazine or website such as for perfume or make up. I think that still life/product photography is a field I would be interested in working in, as I enjoy being in the studio working by myself in a small space. I enjoy working without interference or a model, and just using one light and a really simple, but quite effective setup. This project is a really good opportunity for me to experiment in the studio, especially with different lighting and allows me to expand my skill set in the studio, which could be useful at a later date in my career.

Health and Safety in a studio

Techniques and Processes risk assessment 

Whilst shooting in the studio there are several risks that I must take into consideration to prevent any accidents or damage to equipment. For example, a lot of the objects I will have in the studio are liquid and so I must be very careful when it comes to photographing them to make sure they do not spill or touch any of the electrical items in the studio.  To prevent any spillage or damage, I will be taking extra precautions by taking a towel in the studio and I will be very cautious when pouring the liquids.

Another risk is that I will be cutting some fruits and vegetables in half, so I will obviously need to be careful with the knife I will be using, but also careful of any juice or seeds that the veg/fruit may contain. I will also be making sure to lay down a surface other than the white product background to make sure I do not stain it with any colours from the objects. I will also need to make sure that no juice or seeds drop onto the floor as they can become slippery and cause myself or someone else to fall over and hurt themselves.

In addition to this, I will be photographing little red gel air freshener balls, which are very slippery and tend to roll off quite a lot, and if someone were to stand on one on the floor they could quite easily slip and fall. To prevent this from happening I am going to bring in several containers to hold the balls in before and after I have used them, and be extra cautious when pouring them.

I will also be using vapour/fake smoke in the studio which I will have to use with caution as it can carry electrical currents from the lights which can be lethal to myself if it did so. To stop this from happening I will be using as little vapour as I can, and only use it away from the direction of the light.