Why have I designed my title this way?

companions

What have I done?

The image above is a picture of the front of my magazine Companions. I decided to design the title this way as it is a trend, a lot of other titles are presented this way. The title shows the way the word should be pronounced, and I believe it pulls people’s attentions to the book, as they recognize the main title and not the word underneath it and so they are intrigued.

Companions

I have decided to rename my project, I am changing the title from Companion to Companions. After a tutorial with Andy, and we spoke about why the project was called Companion, and I did not really have an answer. I originally decided to call the project Companion because the stories were about that persons relationship with that companion, however as the project developed and I started to photograph families that had more than 1 pet, it seemed the title did not really fit the project anymore. I decided to change to Companions as it seemed more fitting for the project and also I believe it sounds better than Companion, it is more open to interpretation and is not as much as a closed statement about the project.

 

Project Evaluation

I believe that my Studio Practice 2B Companions is a very strong project and I am proud of the magazine that I have produced. The project completely fulfils all of my initial ideas, which is rare because I tend to change my mind half way through a project. My inspiration for the project came from my own love of animals, my dog Buddy in particular and the love and companionship I receive from him. The project also explores the representation of the human and animal relationship through companionship. The images in the project are some of my strongest images that I have produced during my time at university and I would be more than happy to carry on creating images like this after I leave university as a career. I had trouble actually designing the magazine, which is a skill that I hope to develop in the future as I really struggled to design a layout that looked professional and I was happy to use. In addition to this, I have noticed a mistake in the book since printing it, however I had no time to reprint before my deadline. On the page with Jasmine and Smartie on, I have not put Jasmine’s name at the end of her quote. Although this is not a catastrophic mistake, it’s a mistake never the less and I am disappointed that I did not see the mistake as I checked the book many times before sending it to be printed.

There are one or two images in the magazine that I know do not rise to the standard I have set with other included images, and if I had had more time I would have reshot more of my earlier shoots for the project to keep to the standard I set for myself.

This project has been very eye opening for me, the amount of organisation, time and energy that I had to dedicate to the project was something that I had not experienced before. However because I am so connected to this project and enjoyed creating it so much, it did not feel like hard work (or at least the photographing bit did not). I never realised how much editing time goes into a project of this scale, not just with post-production but in the selection process, choosing between very similar images within each shoot was very time consuming. The project itself is not that big compared to the work a lot of successful photographers produce, yet this is the biggest project I have undertaken, and the largest amount of images I have submitted for one project.

To continue this project and expand it would be ideal for me, I would like to be able to create a thick coffee table book of people and their companions and their wonderful stories. This is something that I am looking forward to be able to do, possibly this summer or possibly after I have finished my degree. I would ideally include more unusual pets, rather than mostly dogs, as the project is supposed to celebrate pets in every shape and size, yet the book does not have much variation when it comes to the pets.

Overall I think the project has been successful and I am proud to submit the magazine as my final body of work, I have worked hard on this project and I believe the images and quality of the magazine reflects this.

pinhole exhibition and selection evaluation

What have I done?

Below are the two images that I submitted to be a part of the pinhole exhibition at the Bradford Media Museum. The opening night at the museum was a lot of fun and very interesting, I have never been to a big exhibition opening especially one with two of my images in it. I spoke to a lot of important people at the exhibition, about their work and my own work which was interesting, especially listening to people’s opinions on pinhole images. I even spoke to someone who had been to the exhibition in a restaurant afterwards about about my work and I gave my view on pinhole photography.

What have I gotten from this?

The exhibition was an insight into the world of galleries. Working to the museums brief and deadline educated me about what to expect if I were to ever apply to get my work in a gallery I have learnt a few things about exhibition openings. The event was also a good opportunity for networking with different people, for example I spoke with Daniel Kosharek about the exhibition and even got his business card so I could send him my images for his online pinhole archive.

I was not that happy about my two images that were chosen to go into the exhibition, I did not think that those two images were my best images that I submitted.  Car Crash Frenzy was defiantly not an image I thought would be selected, although it seemed to be well liked, I was not proud of the image until it was selected.

 

 

 

Techniques and Processes Final Image Evaluation

Below is the final body of work that I will submit for my Techniques and Processes 2b project Little Black Dress. The project explores fashion throughout four different eras using the same black dress as the main fashion item, the project will also explore the use of film in all of it’s glory.

Image 1

The first image in the set is a 40s style image, the image will be printed at approximately 7×5″. I have decided to print the image smaller than the later eras as I thought it would be in keeping with the era, and would give a realistic touch to the image. Even though the project is about untouched film images, this is only referring to the scratches, marks and fogging that comes with using film. However, with the two final 40s images I decided to add a vignette to the image to add to the 40s aesthetic, I also smudged the black border on the image, as I wanted to create an old print look for the image. I did not want to rely on the hair, make up and image to create the 40s look, I wanted the image to feel old and not just a nod to 40s fashion.

I think this is a really successful image as part of the set, and a strong first image to introduce the project with. I also wanted to present the images in chronological order, as a timeline of fashion and fashion photography. If I were to criticise the image, I  would say that images of people in the 40s would not have the model smiling, due to the prolonged exposure times and risk of blur. Furthermore, the dress probably would not have such a low neck in the 40s which is not something I considered when shooting and is something that I could have easily fixed.

 

40s proam 7x5 matte

image 2

Again with this image I added a vignette and smudged the edges to create the aesthetic of an old print.  However this image has a lot more noticeable scratches and marks compared to the first image, which I like as it shows that the model is untouched by post-production. I think model choice in this project is of great importance, and I believe that Kerrie was a good choice for a 40s model, as she has big brown innocent eyes that catch the light really well. Again if I were to criticise the image I would say that the dress’s neck line is too low and is even more prominent on this image, however apart from that I do really like the image and think that it works really well as a documentation of 40s style fashion and as a documentation of film.

 

40s proam 7x5 matte 2

Image 3

My third image in the set is a 50s style image using Marilyn Monroe as inspiration. What I think is strong about this image is the pose and composition are successful and compliment each other. Both work together to show a 50s aesthetic, however what I have noticed about the image is that it is not straight. This is not necessarily  a negative thing, as angled fashion photography (in my opinion) is not used very much anymore, and is not seen as on trend photography nowadays. The angle gives the image extra flare, rather than a dull portrait the image becomes a fashion image. The image will be printed at approximately 10×8″, I have decided to print at this size because A) I did not want all my images to be printed at 7×5″ and B) because by the 1950s photographic technology was on the rise and I do not need to acknowledge technical limitations like I did with the 40s portraits.

50s proam 10x8 matte

image 4

The fourth image in the set is also A 50s style image, I wanted to use a close up image to show the detail that was put into the hair and make up and not just show the dress. The pose is in homage to what is thought of as the only image of Norma Jean taken by photographer Richard Avedon, in which Marilyn was caught off guard in between shots. The facial expression is very neutral and the pose is not sexual or vulgar in any way. I decided to line the image with a black border because I thought it worked well with the black dress and created a balance in the image, as there are a lot of greys within the photograph. Whilst creating this project I noticed that I have a tendency to crop tightly into people’s faces, and this resulted in chopping off their shoulders on a lot of images. This can be seen when looking at the 40s photo shoot contact sheet. And so working with a limited amount of shots helped me to develop my photography and correct my mistakes, and so I think that the composition of this image is strong, the subject is centred, the image is straight and there is just the right amount of space above the model’s head.

50s proam 10x8 matte 2

image 5

The fifth image in my set is a 60s styled image. The image is really strong and I am really glad I was able to include this image in the set. As the film was accidentally fogged whilst it was being developed, the image has lost some of it’s tones and detail. However, I do not think that the fogging takes away from the image, and I do believe this may be one of my strongest images that I am submitting. The composition of the subject and the hands surrounding her are very fashion editorial and could be used in a magazine had the film not been fogged (I like the fogging however mainstream magazines would not even consider the image). I decided to leave the image without a border, as I A) did not want to cut off any more of the hands and B) I thought a border would mean too much going on with the image and would not be a compliment to a fogged image.

60s proam 10x8 matte

image 6

The sixth image in my body of work is another 60s styled image. The dress is not very 1960s in comparison to what is thought of as 60s fashion. And although the famous Audrey Hepburn and her little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s  is from 1961, the black dress we used does not quite fit with the 60s style. If I had more time or more of a budget I would have tried to style the dress realistically for each era, rather than just changing the hair, make up and jewellery. The other thing I am critical of in the image is the cigarette, it can been seen clearly that the cigarette is not and has never been lit. This is something that I comment negatively on a lot with a particular image hung up in the college, and so to have my own image in which the cigarette does not look lit is slightly hypocritical of me.  However, unlike this image in college, there is no smoke in my image, so am I not trying to give the impression of a lit cigarette.

At the time I was not sure how to fake a lit cigarette especially in the studio, however (as can be seen in my 80s photo shoot contact sheet) I found fake cigarettes in a joke shop which are really useful for photo shoots in locations where an electronic cigarette can not be used.

 

60s proam 10x8 matte 2

image 7

My seventh image is an 80s styled image, using the black dress as a top, I styled the dress with a baby pink skirt and a denim jacket, along with a number of accessories. The image has a lot of scratches and marks which is what I wanted, although they are not intentional I am happy to include them. I decided to include the edges of the film as I believe it adds to the 80s rebellious aesthetic that the image gives off. I sent the images to be printed at Proam, as it was cheaper than printing them myself, and as I got the prints back I realised that the edges have been cropped out so that the image was 10×8″. However I am happy with the final image, and the film edge can still be seen which is what I wanted, and even though the writing on the film is not visible I think it still works with the image. The only thing I would criticise about the image is the composition of the image, as the edge of the backdrop is visible, if I had moved further back from the camera then I would not have had this problem.

80s proam 10x8 matte 2

image 8

The final image in my body of work is my second 80s styled image. I struggled to decide which 80s image I wanted to include in the set, after a quick group tutorial and a tutorial with Sally I realised that this image was the one making most impact with viewers. People were drawn to the image, not just as part of the set but as a fashion portrait, and I decided to include the image as it was most representative of the 80s style I was aiming for. Throughout the shoot the images strayed from 80s to 90s a lot, and so many of the images I took can not be used as an 80s portrait, however the pose in this image is very 80s and the composition and lighting all compliment each other. The one thing I would change about the image is my hair is so close to covering my eye, I would move it as I believe it is important to see a models face, especially in a portrait.

80s proam 10x8 matte

why have I decided not to print the images myself?

What have I done?

Below are a few pictures of my work in the darkroom. I spent about a day testing different images from different shoots, and printed some 10×8″ images. Originally I wanted to print my final images myself, all at 10×8″. However I realized after seeing my own ‘final’ prints that I did not have the skill to create the professional prints I want to hand in for my project. On some of the images my borders are different, on the 40s image the left side of the border is blurred, moreover, I struggled to print with the right amount of contrast for each individual image. In addition to this, after a tutorial with Sally, I decided that I do not want to print all the images the same size, as I do not want to just rely on the images to create the illusion of the era they represent. For example, I plan to print the 40s image at 7×5″ to give the impression of an old photograph, physically old.  I also plan to print the 80s style image with the film borders included to stick with the ‘rebellious’ style that I think the image gives.

In addition to this, it will cost me quite a lot to print the images myself, for 25 sheets of Ilford pearl paper it cost me £15. £15 is not a lot of money to spend once, but to print the images properly I would have to test a lot which is using up a lot of paper which I can not afford to do. I have decided that I am going to scan the negatives and send my final images to be printed at Proam, as they are cheap and fast to print. If I had a budget and more time I would have spent longer in the darkroom practicing printing especially at full size.

I also want to edit the images slightly to add to the style of the eras, for example I plan to add a vignette to the 40s images, and I also want to smudge the borders on the 40s images to again create the illusion of an old physical print.

 

My editing process

What have I done?

During this project I developed an editing process to help me decide what kind of images I would like to put into my photo book, and how many. When I originally started the project I just shot whatever I could in hope of getting some images that would jump out at me. However this meant that I was shooting hundreds of images and coming out with a handful of images I could actually use. So after a tutorial with Andy, I decided to create a selection process to shorten the amount of time it took me to get the shots I wanted within each shoot, this also made things easier for me when I started to compose the photo book. I had a list of 3 images that each pet and owner had to have on each double page spread. One of the images had to be of the pet on its own in its own environment or where it spends most of its time. The second image was a candid shot of the owner(s) and pet(s) , this was to capture a true companionship and relationship, rather than a posed forced one. The final image was a posed image of both animal and owner looking at the camera, both looking engaged with looking at me. I decided I wanted these shots because as a photographer, some of the commissions I am going to get will be of people wanting posed pictures with their children or parents or pets, and so I though I would include this type of image in the set in homage to what I may be creating in the future.

What have I gotten from this?

Like I said earlier, this process had the project a lot more manageable, in terms of time and when it came to composing the book. It meant that I had to get those 3 shots and anything else was a bonus. I’ve never taken this approach to a project before, and often my motto is the more shot the better, however with the project being such a big undertaking and because there was so many different shoots involved in creating the book I had to find a way to become time efficient. I also efficient at selecting which images to use, which is something I struggled with at the start of the project.

In addition to this, when I started to use this selection process, the shoots I had done started to tie together, and the project began to look like a body of work, rather than a lot of shoots thrown together to create a project. They all follow a certain theme, and the compositions of them are similar, but not in a repetitive way, each shoot is individual in its own sense.

Charity football match

What have I done?

Below are images I took at the weekend of a charity football match, in aid of raising money for Key103 Cash For Kids. I was asked by the head of ATSA Mark Grogan to photograph the event. The match has heavily sponsored by Jet2, who donated two return flights to any destination as a prize for the raffle. The whole day raised £1800 for the charity. The match took place at Atherton Collieries, the home team was teachers from different schools around the Atherton area vs a team of celebrities from different TV shows and soap operas.

What have I gotten from this?

The game was a really great experience for me, I managed to hand out my business card to Gaby O’Grady (who was there representing Jet2) and Tony, who was the manager of the celebrity team. Both are really good contacts to have, and both have since emailed me about the images and I have had a really good response from both Tony and Gaby about the images. I also have emailed Karen Trenbath, who was the main organizer  of the event who said she will be sending the images to the local newspaper. In addition to this, the images are great for going in my portfolio and also the fact that I covered the whole event myself is good experience for the future.

What’s next?

Hopefully there are a few more ASTA events in summer that I will be photographing, I will not know until closer to the time but for now I don’t have any other jobs booked with Mark. I am looking forward to seeing my images in the local newspaper (even if there is no name credit) and I am also looking forward to using these images as promotion for myself and my event photography.

ATSA official Photographer

What Have I done?

I have been working with Atherton and Tyldesley Sports Association since summer of last year. ASTA is a sports association that focuses on children from primary school up to the age of 16, the aim of ASTA is to get more children involved in sports and to create a sporting community in Atherton and Tyldesley. Mark Grogan, who is the head organiser from ATSA contacted me through my Facebook business page to ask if I was interested in photographing a few of their events, such as an award ceremony. I built up a working relationship with the organisation and he asked me to become their official photographer. I have since photographed several of their sporting events, however because the association deals with primarily children I cannot post the images on my blog for safety and consent reasons. The contact sheets can be found in my PDP folder.

What have I got from this?

Becoming the official photographer for ASTA has brought a lot of work in for me, as people see my name on the ASTA website and decide to use me as their photographer. I have also built up a great working relationship with the association, as well as Mark who often uses my images on ATSA’s Facebook page and sends them to local newspapers such as The Leigh Journal.

What’s next?

This Saturday Mark has asked me to photograph a charity football match which has soap stars vs the Atherton team, the match is being sponsored by Jet2, and Mark has told me that they want lots of publicity as they are donating a big prize to raise money for the charity. Some of the images Mark wants include action shots of the match, team shots, pictures of the celebs and the team walking out onto the pitch with their children and just general crowd images. This is the first big event that I have done, and I am covering the event on my own which will be a big stress but I am confident that I will get some great shots.

 

 

 

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Little Black Dress proposal draft 2

Techniques and Processes 2B Proposal

 

Title: Little Black Dress

 

Introduction:

 

My Techniques and Processes project Little Black Dress is a series of portraits all set in the studio. The images will be of different female models wearing the same black dress, but styled differently with their hair and make-up from different eras of fashion and beauty. The eras include 40s, 50s, 60s and 80s. The models’ make-up and hair will be attempting to mimic specific celebrities from those eras such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The project is going to be about embracing film in all its glory, meaning that scratches, marks and finger prints will still be included in the final images. Raising the question ‘are these mistakes really mistakes?’ In a digital world, we are so accustomed to flawless, high quality, airbrushed images and so I want to explore film, and the rawness of its style and realness. The images will be shot using Ilford hp5 400, using different film cameras with a 50mm lens. I will be collaborating with make-up artist Matthew McKnight, to help me achieve the correct hair and make-up for each era. The series will also include a self-portrait.

 

Production Methods:

During the project I will be experimenting with lots of different methods and alternative ways to take photographs. Some of this will include; A fisheye camera, film cameras, medium format, Ilford ISO 400, Lomography ISO 100, black and white film, colour film, Polaroid film and a Bow Brownie. I will also be experimenting with different ways of printing and presenting images for example, fibre base paper, resin coated paper, gloss and matte paper. The project will most likely presented on 10×8 resin coated paper as it is cost effective. The project will challenge me as a photographer as I primarily work with digital and not film. In addition to this I will be working in the dark room a lot to develop my negatives, which is another process I will have to familiarise myself with to get the best results from my film.  In the darkroom, and with using film is general, there will be many different challenges. For example, I might have to deal with snapped film, under or over exposed images and possibly fogging my film.  In addition to this, I will have to carefully compose each image as I will only have a certain amount of shots with each roll of film. This is something that I do not usually have to consider when using my DSLR.

 

Research Requirements:

I will be researching into the prices of acrylic glass and also looking into having images mounted on top of light boxes. The work will be presented on resin coated paper, each print will attempt to represent the photographic quality of its era. For example, for my 40s look, the final print will be smaller than the other prints, and will have a softer edge to try and elude to the 40s photographs. I will also be researching into the cost of fibre base paper and resin coated paper, furthermore I will be comparing different manufactures of the paper and their costs, for example, Kodak vs Ilford.  I will also be researching into different photographers such as Douglas Kirkland and Irving Penn, who are known for their portraits of celebrates throughout the years. I will be using Kirkland and Penn for inspiration, as I want to make sure I get the authentic look I want for my images, I need each model posed correctly to achieve the atheistic vintage look. I will also be researching into the use of post-production on the images we are surrounded by each day, for example, nearly every celebrity image we see is airbrushed and manipulated in some way. I will also be looking into photo shop ‘scandals’ of celebrities that have been included in magazines.

 

Target Audience:

 

Little Black Dress is a personal project, looking back at the different eras is something that really interests me. So styling the same dress into 4 different eras is going to be really fascinating, and trying to achieve the same looks as the eras photographically is also going to be really exciting. The project will appeal to those who are interested in bringing film back as a popular way to photograph, and will hopefully show the digital generation (like myself) that not everything is touched up in post-production and that not all images have to be perfect. In addition to this, as the images will heavily involve fashion, they will appeal to those who are interested in fashion photography, and although the images would not be used in high fashion magazines such as Vogue or Cosmopolitan, they could be used in alternative magazines such as is in town or the gentle woman as images in articles or even possibly front covers. The images could appeal to those who do not agree with the everyday use of Photo shop, especially on women in the beauty and fashion industry.