Wednesday, 3 December 2008

D and AD conclusion

This has been another really interesting brief due to the fact that it is a live one.  It has made shooting for it slightly more exciting in the respect that I can enter my images into the competition, so I've had to do well.

Not as long of a brief compared to the Vermeer one, still it was just as tight in time.  I'm really pleased with my images and especially pleased that I managed to get them all almost on the first shoot.  Of course, yes I could have shot more, thus giving me a larger selection to edit down from to fill my series of five, however I don't feel I needed to and the ones I have are as good as I would have shot.

The brief itself went quite smoothly when I actually got into it, and even my printing (which is usually my downfall) went well, and I've achieved my square images of a good quality.  Now all the assignments for unit 302 are complete and it's good to say that I'm pleased with all of my outcomes.

Just on a side note; I'm going to be entering this series as a series in the AOP student awards.

Final D and AD image series

These are the shots I produced and the final series for the D and AD competition.

They go in order from top to bottom.






I'm really pleased with how these images have turned out, better than I expected in fact. The first three images are first attempts and I felt I didn't need to go back and shoot them again, and the final two are re-shoots, and they worked on the second time. It is really odd that I've only tried one idea for this competition, but with time tight and the fact that I'm so pleased with them first time round, I see no point in trying to do more.

I felt that as a series they fit together very well also. I kept in mind whilst shooting various different things, such as the framing and keeping only a fragmented part of the bodies in shot. I also wanted to make sure that the hand positions were similar in every shot, so as to have something to link the images together. Another way I did that was in the post production work I did to them; I attempted to get similar colours in each image by de-saturating them all slightly and giving them all a similar feel and I just think that this was more aesthetically pleasing in the photographs.

When actually sequencing the five images it was important for me to get them in the right order and right positions. Image 1 and 3 are both similar colours so I chose to have them apart and separated by a darker image. I also chose to flip a couple of them horizontally so as not to have all the bodies in the same positions across the series. Although this goes against what I said previously about having identical positioning in an image, I feel that the variation in these holds them together better.

I've also chosen to use images 1, 2 and 3 as portfolio prints alongside the three vermeer ones to make my total of 6.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Failed attempts

Developing from my ideas, I've managed to shoot what my intentions were, although along the way there were a few mishaps and mistakes, so I thought it necessary to show these.

The are a number of problems with the two images above; the fact that I have got my angle wrong and his neck is partly in the frame which is quite distracting, also he has his hands out too far and so the rest of his body is out of focus (which I didn't want), and finally his hand position is not what I wanted and not revealing enough of what is in his hands. These things are my fault and I should have directed him better...something that I will have to do better when I re-shoot.

There is nothing wrong in particular with this image, just that I tried the shot with the model having gloves on, and when I looked at them all together this one stood out, so I'm not using it.

And I think it's plain to see what went wrong here (haha), the only one that I shot indoors and as a result I took my light reading wrong and exposed the wrong things.

The shoot

These are the images I shot the other day for my idea on hands and objects.

My favorite from the shoot are the two below.  I particularly like the one of the man in the camo jacket and think it works really with the location in the backdrop of it.

I'm pleased to say that the shoot went really well apart from a couple of mishaps.  I shot two frames of each image and I've decided to put up the best one of the two here.  I was struggling for a while to think of a final object to be placed in the hands, but in the end I decided to go with a hip flask.  I've chosen this so as not to show wealth or poverty but to show show signs of an alcoholic; a way to say that this could be either wealth or poverty, and it effects both sides.

Compiling a series

The other week we were given a Seminar by Stuart Whipps on sequencing and making a series of photographs. It was really useful and perhaps essential for us now in third year as we are about to leave and we will be attempting to make money from our photographs.

Although a lot of what he told us obvious things, it was actually some things that I have tended to overlook in the past. I've decided to think about it again and look at his images due to the current competition brief, as they go hand in hand.

I really like this series of work of his titled 'Aladdin Houses', which are photos about houses built cheap and quickly for workers in Austin Village.

They are obviously a series simply from the way that they look. The framing is identical in all of them, keeping the roofs of the houses the same distance from the top of the frame in every image, making them sit in the same place every time. This is useful as it leads the viewer from image to image nice and easily and coherently. The colours are also very similar in each shot, which allows a viewer to identify that the image belongs to a particular series.

To have had that seminar and to look at these images has been very useful and in doubt will help me to shoot for my series in the D and AD competition. I just need to remember while shooting what I want from the image and what I need to keep the same about them all.

Shoot ideas

After looking at a lot of wealth and poverty images, I've really become fascinated with the images of hands and cropped frames that I found.  I've  decided I really want to experiment with this and shoot my images based on it.

I want to produce a series in answer to the brief where within the frame all the audience see is a cropped mid section of a body with the person's hands outstretched with various objects in them.  I want to focus on the hands and what is in then primarily which will then lead back through the image to the clothes the person is wearing and then finally to the out of focus backdrop; a progression through the image which will reveal more things.

My idea is to have objects placed in the hands which would be found in the person's pockets.  These things would be object that they carry round with them, are important to them, and in some cases define them.  I want the various objects to represent aspects of wealth and poverty through connotations associated with them.  The use of clothing on the model and backdrop will also represent this idea. 

As I need 5 images for the series I've sketched out 4 ideas (I'll have to think more about the last one) for shot locations with ideas for the objects in mind also.

For shoot 1: A person in a smart suit with wealthy objects such as a watch of jewelry in their hands.
2: A person stood with keys and a wallet in their hands and in the backdrop out of focus as an expensive car.
3: A person sat on a street, all ragged and dirtied up with nothing in their hands, to say they own nothing.
4: A person on a run down street with cigarettes and a few pennies to his name.

These ideas are not set in stone and could be changed when it comes to shooting them.

Also another important thing is that my shots will be se set up and my models told what to do, so that I have more control over what I'm shooting.  And I'm going to be shooting on square format on the hasselblad, as I feel a square image will lend itself more to the images I want.


After looking at the various images of wealth and poverty I think I'm on my way to formulating an idea to shoot. I particularly liked the image where the hand was holding the coin and the image where the man was sat on the street (the cropped image).

I think it could be interesting to look at hands, and what they contain, perhaps various possesions of their owners. Also with use of cropping and taking only an abstract part of the image, it could allow more focus to be on what is being shown.

After looking around, I've managed to come across a few cropped shots using hands as the forepoint.

(Paul Bordice)

I particularly like this image above of the person holding their hands behind. In reality it is just a simple shot, as in not much happening, however the use of angle and framing here works really well. I like how much the image is different compared to how it would have been as a full body shot.

(Ron Koeberer)

Again a similar sort of image of the cropped section with the hands. I like this idea more though; the idea of a frontal shot with an object in the hands.

(Katya Evdokimova)

(Keith Goldstein)

The two above are again examples of objects in the hands but this time I prefer them much more. It works really well that the hands are open and are blatently showing off what is in them. They work well with their backdrops also, and although taken by different photographers they would work well as a series.