Archive for category Placing Photographic Practice in Context
This module has taken me to new levels and has allowed me to explore another area of Photography I want to try my hand out in future endeavors since the start of the term involved a Fashion style shoot.
One main aim of this project was to improve my people skills by being able to direct and talk to the model more easily to gain the shots I am looking for. This idea did not go to plan as I managed to direct and project ideas more on other peoples session rather than my own. However I still managed to direct more easily by the fourth session but still needed help in directing from another model and then allow my model to ‘go with the flow’ and I then direct her a little bit more depending on what I see and think would work.
From the result from this project I aim to look into more artist within the Fashion Photography field and then research into how lighting. Plus I will look into guides of how to direct models more easily and watch more behind the scenes fashion shoots to gain more ideas.
Furthermore next time I will work with smaller groups of around four or five people rather than eight as this will narrow down the amount of items that could go wrong.
Looking back on the project, I have realised that it is not normally seen to put the item of clothing on different models and then show them on the same set of images. Therefore next time I will keep on eye on this and make sure that I have different outfits for different people.
The idea of the group did not work out as I first anticipated. First of all the group was bigger that I first thought since the original idea started out with three or four of us. I like to think that the more components with something, the greater number and chance of things to go wrong. In addition the idea of helping each other out on our own shoots did not go well as planned. This was people either had other commitments or busy with their own photo shoots. Despite this there was some assisting going on within the group as planned. For example I helped Francesa Hancox and Emma Bashforth, who intern helped me with my shoots, as well as helping Larissa Grace on her studio images. To conclude in the future I will try not to work in groups bigger than four or five and that the people involved in the group are people who are willing to work and develop their practice further with eagerness, great effort and determination to get a result out of the end of the experience be it a negative one to learn from or a positive.
One learning curve I came away from this project with is to always check the exposure levels in the back of the camera via the histogram, rather than relying on eyesight alone and the highlight flash warning.
Another learning outcome I came away with in this project was how to control and use light in different scenarios be it on location and mixing the ambient light levels with that of the portable strobes or in the studio.
Our collection of Fashion Images can be found at http://www.shownd.com/baphotography
I think that the final images do show the suspended against the background as mentioned but the photoshop could do with some work as some of the skin is missing.
I believe that there is some good research within the blog and have used various sources to get your information from like using youtube videos of other unrelated topics to inspire your photography practice.
These four will be my final pieces for the project. As well as presenting them online at http://www.shownd.com/baphotography as originally planned I will be printing them out A3 size to give a clear indication as to how these would look once on display.
The reason I picked these images as my final four pieces is that i believe that these are the best from each shoot and all represent the modern ideas in the set proposal. Each have an upto date contemporary look by either using new lighting styles, make up or by the use of locations and modern thinking from someone who has grown up without the knowledge of things from the past.
They are set in black and white to give some reference to the period of time in which they are influenced from. This also highlights the details and show off the lighting more easily without any colours taking the viewers eye away fromt he main action.
However the images came back from the Print shop with a white border and file names still left on. This is an issue with presentation but seeing as it is a guide as to how they would be shown then it should be okay.
I was looking for another location to shoot my 1940’s in and Ria mentioned that Bayley’s bar would be a great periodic place to shoot in and it was not too far away. With some of these Images I was aiming for a more relaxed and natural facial and posing direction like I had seen in the research books of Unseen Vogue and other artist Photograph Books. therefore I attempted to do a more candid style shoot for some of the images to gain this natural look. This is why I used the softbox and wall at the edges of the frame to make it look as though I was looking at the model through gaps and so she couldn’t tell that I was looking at her.
With the other images I got the model to pose in certain areas to get details of the bar and other areas so you would tell what the location was similar to the work of artists previous.
In the end I am happy with these images although next time I would have the exposure turned down a stop as the power sees to be too bright and taking out the detail in highlights and used more feminine poses.
Do you think you can define the term portrait?
“Yeah I mean traditionally we would understand that as being a representation of a person wouldn’t we, but you know one of these things we are doing in our classes is to challenge these ideas and try to think more broadly about things. So when i talk quite comfortably about making portraits of a relationship or a portraits of a person or of a group of people. What we are talking about here is really telling a story about this person rather than being a definitive representation of their identity, what we are saying by this is that we can’t do that, that in fact i am going to talk about my relationship about with this person.”
To you what should a portrait include to be a portrait?
“Without being too annoying, if you get commissioned by a magazine to do a portrait of someone and you go back with a picture of their watch then they probably won’t be that chuffed about it. And so, you know traditionally most people would assume when you talk about a portrait you are going to do a representation of a person. But i think one of the most powerful portraits that i show is the picture of a watch. I mean i describe that as being a portrait of somebody’s father, as that was the thing the five year old would look at on his fathers wrist as he held his hand and it was at eye level and you know he couldn’t remember what his Father looked like but he knew what his watch looked like. Now the fact that all he has got left is the watch and the story of how he gets that watch is sort of very powerful and moving, the fact that the watch represents his Father and his relationship with his Father, i think thats really, that for me is a portrait,so its a portrait of a relationship, others might say it’s a still life or what ever it is, but when you put it in that context then it becomes a portrait of a relationship.”
What do you think should be portrayed in a portrait?
“Well I think I have covered that in the first two questions. Really it is your take on a relationship, so that maybe you meet someone for only five minutes and you you discuss that relationship or describe it with your pictures, it maybe the case that you have known them all your life and you’ll perhaps do a different sort of image in order to describe your relationship and the way you see that person.”
Would say that there are any factors that could misinterpret a portrait, like how they are acting within an environment?
“If you have a clear statement to make then make it clear, with strong images. If your not sure and exploring a question then thats going to come through in the image and probably present more problems than answer for the viewers. You know this idea of misinterpretation you know you think the onus is on the author to explain themselves really carefully. It’s no good putting images out there and saying oh you didn’t get it, you should have education yourself in order to appreciate my art. You have to engage the audience and win them over and explain clearly what the message is, at times it’s going to be a documentary story and other times it’s going to be a portrait so as I say for this idea of misinterpretation i would perhaps say the onus for people to interpret your images as would have them interpret is down to the author not the viewer.
With Melissa Rodwell’s image above inspired me by trying to use lighting on one side and using the space on the left. The lighting gives the model form and a shape. Also some 1940’s photographers have used shadows across the person to show the shape of the model to bring back feminism.
To try something different and new to my images I want to try a mixture of the above images in a studio. The reason for choosing the studio over location for these type of images is that I can control the light more easily for these situations and also easier to hide the tripods that will hold the studio lights to create the starburst of light. The idea of the starburst will bring the 1940’s style into the modern times as it will act like modern paparazzi flash guns going off.
Further more some of the photographers I looked at previously have used a studio to create the images. Therefore I want to try a studio shoot to gain the diversity and range of the photographers I have research. This will give me two different types of images to work with and pursue if necessary.
The video is well worth a watch in itself.
With this shoot I attempted to use flash heads in the background to make it looks as though they were flash bulbs and so got the model to look and act as though she was a high profile person. However in the end I did not like the images with the flash heads in the background but did like the shots I received with the glare coming in the corner.
The last two images of the the gallery are influenced by Melissa Rodwell with the light being on one side casting a shadow across most of the face to give form, interest and shape to the model and image.
With this shoot I was again involved with the second year fashion students with the 1940’s clothing. With this shoot however they were undecided to use this corner for their shoot, but i managed to convince them and to me it worked better than the other shoot.
Their idea for this wasto have the model on a plinth and have people in white looking at her as though she was an exhibit. I was not to keen on this so i asked if i could shoot the model on her own int he corner for a bit. the pose of the model brings back the femininity to the image as in the 40’s they were mostly covered to be practical and not to distracting to other people.
Overall I am happy with the outcome but the image itself would be a bit sharper. I could of also blanked off the far left blinds to stop them being too bright to take out some of the distraction. The monochrome effect is to relate back to the period of time and resemble the black and white of films as colour film would have been rare with rationing and even more expensive. To make it more modern and contemporary the location is a modern gallery room with modern items like newer style blinds and ceiling pieces.
Todays workshop was delivered by Crime Scene Investigator, Keith Smith. This was to give us an in-site into different areas in which photography can be used in day-to-day jobs. This job was to record and collect date like no other type of Documentary Photography has done before…
The day started off with a slide show of what he has to photograph which did include samples from cases that he has worked at. The samples were of the normal things that CSI’s can get called to, like burglaries but also showed some hit and run cases in which a biker lost his foot (don’t worry he didn’t show the foot on its own). He also went through certain stages he has to do when arriving on scene, like a location shot, a closer location shot of anything of interest and then separate shots of the object, print(s) or tread(s) that are of interest.
One of those tasks was to lift finger prints from a glass bottle in a CBRN scene (Chemical Biological Radiation and Nuclear scene). With this task we were even suited in 2 pairs of gloves and even a gas masks for added effect. Normally an underwater camera is used to document the findings as this camera and the data taken are the only things that can survive a leach wash after leaving the scene. The situation was in a dark room in which we had to find the ‘hazard’ with a small torch and then document the finger prints with the sticky adhesive tape and then also photograph them with a bite mark scale (marking gauge) next to them. For this challenge we found it difficult to use the special underwater camera with the gloves and also the menu settings. In this task Larissa was in charge of photographing the prints.
Once we showed him our images from this task (or more Larissa’s images) from this task he was very pleased with the final result and said it was more than clear enough for the finger print specialists to lift the ridge details for identification. However since we are new at this and we decided to photograph everything, including the bite mark gauge on the bottle rather than just with the print on its own, and the fact it took use a while to get the adhesive tape backing off, we felt we over shot the 20 minute window that a true CSI would have in these conditions.
Our second task was to go into a darkened room, dust a bottle with one of our own prints on it and close in on the area of interest and photograph the print. This is so the details can be lifted and later examined to give an identification in caught. In this case the powder we used showed an orange colour, under an ultra violet light, to indicate a print.
Thirdly we then had to don boiler type, all in one safety suits to photograph foot prints left in sand. To do this we placed the tripod over the print and shown the clear day light in four different directions to show the shadows on purpose so the depth of the tread and other details are easily visible. To achieve this Larissa held the light at a low angle in each corner of the print at the front and I did the same at the heel to stop either of use covering the print since the tripod was in the way. Further more the light we used gave a totally even, flat light to. this is unlike normal torches since they usually have a direct beam int he middle of the torch.
Another way to go about getting all the detail of the tread, you can flick through the various images to cover all of the marks. This image was the best for showing the detail, however we did use a bite mark gauge in other photographs to show the size and width of the print.
Similarly we then moved on to another print. This time however the print was submerged underwater and difficult to get at. With these types of jobs capturing the print is vital as the constant movement of the water carrying silk and other tiny objects can easily erode the print in no time.
With this task we could have used the bite mark gauge to show the size of the tread as you can put them in the water. However if the current of the water is too fast to keep the markers still then you can drop a coin on top or next to the tread, showing the denomination as coins are kept a constant size and therefore can determine a scale from this easily.
The final task was to try to photograph a bruise around someones eye (the black eye). In this situation I was the model and Larissa put the make-up on whilst Nathan took the images of the ‘bruise’ after. This is much more tricky than it seems as if you do not get the lighting right then the bruise can look too new or old enough that it looks as though it is healing. All these details can contribute to the time line of the event. For example if the bruise looks too old and starting to heal then it could have happened any time before the actual event and therefore lead to the defendant being let go as he was somewhere else at that time. Also since the trial dates are often held at a much later date then the evidence can sometimes of disappeared by then and so an accurate picture of the bruise is needed to show how it looked exactly ont he day of the said event.
According to Keith our group did have the right idea about moving the head around to see more of the injury. However we could have moved around a little bit more to give a more side on view to show how far round the injury spreads and the true magnitude of the injury/impact.
To conclude this was a thrilling day to see what truly goes on behind the scenes of photographing ‘crime’ scenes and a good short experience. If i was to do this as a career I would have to go to Durham and engage in a 9 week course on how to document crime scenes and spend 4 weeks of that time a loan on photography. Despite how rewarding the job would be to put people away and the satisfaction of putting together pieces of a puzzle to convict them, I do not think I would be able to cope with the site of bodies, charred remains, murders, suicide and all the rest.
In terms of Photography, it would take some time to get use to how to aim the beams of light to pick up enough tread or ridge detail. This principle of lighting seems the same throughout many genres of Photography. Also to do things in one and in the first go so that the evidence is neither tampered with or totally destroyed would be frustrating to me.