Archive for category Placing Photographic Practice in Context

CW1 Fashion Shoot: Shoot #3

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.

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CW1 Fasion Shoot: Shoot #2

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.

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CSI Workshop

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.

He then set us tasks to do in groups. Our group consisted of Larissa, Nathan and myself.

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.

Location shot of 'Hazard'. NO!, not me on the left, uph!, under the cleaning sign... Photography by Larissa

Closer detail of the Location. Photography by Larissa

Larissa standing by whilst Nathan Dusted for prints.

Final lifted print. Photography by Larissa

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.

Larissa Holding the light, whilst Nathan set up the UV dust...

Nathan dusting for prints with the magnetic wand and dust.

Final found print. Photograph by me.

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.

The Suits, L-R Larissa, Me, Nathan

Larissa holding the light for shadows whilst Nathan photographed the print

Best print to show tread detail. Photograph By Nathan

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.

Photograph by Me

Closer detail of the tread. Photograph by Me

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.

Photograph by Nathan Allen

Photograph by Nathan Allen

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.

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CW1 Research: 1940′S Photographer, Cecil Beaton

Valerie Hobson and Volunteer Nurses

Cecil Beaton was a Fashion photographer during the war and his images often showed war in the background including posters and blackouts. Since his images were not from the battle scene and did not include any of the battles they felt his images did not contain the immediacy of other images and therefore he became obsessed with form and composition within the image. The above left image was taken on location in front of war-scarred background as the studio he was meant to be working in was burnt down. I can see that he was a fanatic over composition and form as the people in the frames are central placed people. With the nurses picture he wanted to show the work that people were doing at home rather than concentrate his efforts on the front line duties. He wanted to capture the un-sung heroes.

Derrick. Robin, 2004. Unseen Vogue: The Secret History of Fashion Photography. Edition. London Little, Brown Book Group


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CW1 Research: 1940’S Photographer, Norman Parkinson

Iron Road 1947

Hat Fashion 1949

Like Avedon Parkinson in the image above has been concentrated on the main focus on the item of clothing, the hats.

Barbara Goalen (Mrs Nigel Campbell); Wenda Parkinson (née Rogerson), 1949

Here i think that he chose the open space at the top and include the statue in the background of the image to mirror the pillars and the way the two are standing in the foreground.


‘Parkinson Likes to show people at their best. ‘If you have the responsibility of using your lens to record people in history, do it well.’ ‘Don’t destroy them and make them look hideous for the sole purpose of inflating your own photographic ego” Pepper, Terrence, Norman Parkinson, 1981. Photographs by Norman Parkinson: Fifty years of portraits and fashion. Edition. G. Fraser.

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CW1 Research: 1940’S Photographer, Richard Avedon

Resource: Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 The definitive Collection, Phaidon.


One thing I notice about Avedon’s images from the 40’s so far is that he has mainly used a location based ‘studio’ where he photographs the models/clothes in the situation they are intended. Also by the look of some of these images he has used natural light to illuminate the model and clothing. With Avedon he mainly focuses on the main object that they wish to show off. For example the last image above is mainly focusing on the hat so therefore he cut out the rest and got the model tilt her head down to present the hat more.


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CW1 Research: 1940′S Photographer, Horst

Fur, Pearls and Diamonds-1940

The Gibson Girls, Vogue-1948

Goya fashion Mrs Stanley G Mortimer Later Mrs William Paley Mrs Desmond Fitzgerald later Mrs Ronald Tree Modelling Matador Hats-1940

Black Corset-1948

From these images i have gathered that Horst has used a studio to compose his images in. Also from these images I can tell that he likes to get the models to interact with something or be doing something rather than just standing there doing nothing. compositionally he has not shown the full length of the clothing item.

Derrick. Robin, 2004. Unseen Vogue: The Secret History of Fashion Photography. Edition. London Little, Brown Book Group


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