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.