Final eight photos

These are my final photos for this project. I want to call this series ‘No Agender’ Which is a play on the words no agenda. I found it quite clever. I am very happy with these final eight photos, however I’ve had to make do with what I had as I was meant to do a fifth/sixth shoot but due to illness and very bad weather conditions I cancelled them. I then had to select two photos per shoot/model to make an even eight.

 

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model – Annie

I chose this as one of my finals as it’s a bold stance in front of the Catholic Cathedral, Liverpool. This for me shows defiance against the religious arguments made against gender fluid and the freedom to express ones gender. This photo reminds me of one that you would see on a presidential poster. It’s a bold look of hope.

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Model Annie

I added this one to my final eight photos because much like the one above it takes place in the other Cathedral (Anglican, Liverpool). Except this one is less defiance and more acceptance. It’s still just as bold as the last but different angles can change the effect of the photo. This was specific photo was captured in the beautiful Lady Chapel. The ambience was just right and it was a very calm atmosphere. Also by this point we where in full on conversations. But with every photo no matter the angle, Annie stuck the same bold and iconic pose. When you see both of these photos of Annie you think strong.

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Model Tara

I selected this photo for my final eight because of it’s sensuality, we did several photos of Tara vaping, then slowly exhaling whilst looking into the camera, not at it but into it. This  creates an engagement for the viewer. We shot this in a room on the Chester wall, there was plenty of light coming through this window, which is creating that drastic light and dark contrast on Tara’s face, one side submerged by shadows and the other exposed the the sunlight. The eye contact is unbreakable (as it’s a photo) creating an illusion of seduction.

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Model Tara

I chose this image for my final photos as it’s a classic catwalk pose. This was taken in the roman gardens and we used this walkway as a runway. This photo is perfectly focused with the model being full body in focus and the background not completely blurred but faded, creating some good background colours. As Tara has some very good modelling experience, she knew exactly what poses to strike. This one being one you would see on the front of a ‘New look’ magazine. I’m very proud of this one.

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For the next photo in this final series, is one from shoot 3, the PHD student whom wanted to be remain unnamed to the public. I have to respect her privacy. I chose this photo because of its very well in focus. The model is glancing up at the Christmas lights whilst the others are blurred behind her. I believe I used my tripod for this image as I had to use a fairly average shutter speed. The tripod balanced out this photo, without it, it would be shaky/fuzzy. It took a lot of editing on this photo as there was a lot of noise in this series due to the high iso. But I think that this one is very magical with all the blurred lights wrapped round the trees.

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The next photo in this final series is another one from shoot 3, this one was shot in the remaining old part of Liverpool library. As she was a PHD student I thought this was an appropriate place to take some photos. Unfortunately these photos where rattled with noise however I’ve edited them and you can barely see it now. I made the best of a bad series but I think it actually looks OK. Unlike the others models she smiled, naturally. But that was probably a nervous smile. However I think that the light really works well with this one. And the book cases add an old/vintage style to the photo.

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Model Paige

I added this photo into my final series because it’s very bold and in focus. Paige rode in on her bike and comes to feed the local wildlife, This was the one of the first photos I took of her. But I think it fits her personality so well. And not to mention I think it’s a great photo. Sometimes a single photo can be a statement of someones personality, and I think that this is one of them.

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Model Paige

My final photo is from shoot 4 with Paige, there isn’y much I can say about this other than it’s probably one of my favourites in the final series. The model is completely in focus with everything crisp, including the hair. This was a spontaneous pose as I just asked her to stop where she was and I took it. Paige was in the middle of feeding the ducks and squirrels. Surrounded might be a better term. This pose/facial expression is both professional and intriguing, it asks more questions than it answers. Is she looking at something? Or in deep thought? Perhaps that should be left to the viewer to decide.

I am very happy with eight these photos, I put a lot of hard work into getting this all together in a week. An exact week ago I had zero photos taken, just an idea. And now I have four shoots done, research and all of my final photos. I am so grateful to everybody who got in contact with me, and I am especially grateful to the Liverpool LGBT who not only let me post in their group but also to those who actually replied to it. I genuinely was expecting maybe one or two but not seven. But also to those who got in contact with me personally and got back in touch with me. This has been a really tight week but it was worth it to meet some nice people and get to know some better.

If I had to go back and do this differently, I would start earlier and spread the photo shoots out. The hardest part of this project was burning out on a count of rushing and pushing myself till I broke. Next time, I’ll start the brief as soon as I get it, this has been a wakeup call for me. However the photos are some of the best I have ever taken.

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Kingsway Exhibition – Collaborative Practice

Weekly Journal – The exhibition

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I’m really happy with the quality of our exhibition and each photo expressing the emotions. Not only does this show a range of our different photographic style but it also shows, what frightens us or makes us happy. None of these photos are alike what so ever which is good. We left it open for interpretation, which I think is best. I’m hoping that the viewers reflect upon these diverse photos and find the connection or receive an emotional response based on how they see the images.

Emotion - Fear
Fear

The first photo I have displayed is for Fear. This is a photo of a squirrel in Grosvenor park, Chester. Anyone who knows this park will know of the raging squirrels that run the park. I never really had a fear of them till I was chased from all different angles and they tried to mount my persons. I’m not one whom likes being chased by what are essentially rats with puffy tails.

Emotion - Love
Love

My next photo symbolises the Love I have for our local pub ‘The Cock and Pullet’ in Birkenhead, we’re in there every week. It’s our hideaway from the stress of university and jobs. As I’m a busy student and as are my friends, we only see each other at the pub. I love my friends and the pub for bringing us all together to release all of our negativity once a week.

Emotion - Loneliness
Loneliness

For Loneliness I wanted to photograph inanimate objects that where once sentimental to us. I decided to go with a teddy bear because as a child, they brought us happiness and comfort when we felt alone and lost. Now they have been forgotten, like lost toys. I photographed this bear in a shopping bag on a stairwell in Chester. I lowered down the colour of the photo to give it a monochromatic look to give it a grey overtone. I thought this would add to the mood I was trying to express.

Emotion - Happiness
Happiness

For me, I’m happiest when things don’t go wrong. My happiness is my contentment, I could be sitting in my underwear playing games or listening to music or even doing bugger all. But I am happy because my mind isn’t going overdrive or too stress because I’m in my happy place. I often find a place to just sit down and listen to music.

 

AD5302 Collaborative Practice – Self Evaluation

What do you think was your most significant contribution to this project?

My most significant contribution to this project was probably my photos and having them done on time even though I joined the group late. I didn’t get involved with the idea part as I wasn’t here for that but I have given my thoughts and opinions as they came to me.

What was the most important thing you learned about photography and exhibition practice from doing this project? 

The most important thing I learned was to keep in contact and up to date with the group using ‘WhatsApp’. I found this to be very useful as I could contact them if I needed to. Keeping up with the group also gave me the chance to be a little more social and learn how to communicate a bit better.

What was the most important thing you learned about collaboration during this project? 

I learned that you need to be social and actually talk and communicate with the group, you also need to speak up and give your opinion to optimize the chances of learning more.

What did you find the hardest part of this project?

The hardest part of this project for me was doing four separate shoots (plus editing) in a couple days.

If you had the chance to do this project again, what would you do differently? 

If I had the chance to re-do this project I would do more shoots to increase the chance of getting better images. I would definitely re-do Fear as I originally wanted to focus it on glass and claustrophobia but it didn’t work out. I would also speak up more and get my thoughts and opinion across.

Kingsway Exhibition – Collaborative Practice

Weekly Journal 3 – 13/11/2017

After viewing my photos from all of my shoots I am a little disappointed, though my photos looked great on my laptop, when I put them on the Macs at the University they appeared to be riddled with noise. Which is a bit of a problem. Despite my best efforts to revive the worst ones in Lightroom, it just didn’t work out. I was Seriously considering re-shooting most of them but with the lack of time all I could do is chose the best ones and edit them to reduce the risk of too much noise in the prints. Plus I don’t want to be a burden on my group. So I began to filter through and salvage what I could.

I have come up with six photos that I wouldn’t mind being in the final four. I am very disappointed with the Fear shoot in the studio. But after that we went to the park in Chester, which the squirrels have now taken over… We where chased by them. I was never too fond of them as they are essentially rats with fluffy tails but now they scare me. Luckily I got some photos of them so they will be my photos for Fear. Plus being claustrophobic, it doesn’t help when you’re surrounded by A LOT of hungry squirrels..

So all together I have One final photo for Fear, two for Loneliness, two for Happiness and one for Love.

Kingsway Exhibition – Collaborative Practice

Weekly Journal 2 – 6/11/2017

I worked on Ideas and mind mapping for the project. I managed to get some good ideas down and began planning my shoots. Whilst I was jotting down ideas, the rest of the group where working on their own work/photos for the project.

We also talked more about our exhibition space. We had a group that also wanted to occupy the space we wanted. This was easily resolved by us using the opposing wall as they needed the one with the socket for a TV monitor.

I was planning of executing my shoots over that week. One in our local pub The Cock and Pullet (Wednesday), Another the following day in the studio and street shoots in Chester later that day.

Kingsway Exhibition – Collaborative Practice

 

Weekly Journal 1 – 23/10/2017

Today I joined a group in collaborative practice, they’re focusing their exhibition on emotions. Each member go the group chose an emotion and each member has to produce a final photo for each emotion. Meaning; a total of now five members and four emotions adding up to a total of four photos per members making 20 photos for this exhibition. I didn’t add an emotion because it was advised by my tutor on a count that I switched courses and was 2 weeks behind.

The four emotions that I’ll be working with are; Fear, Loneliness, Happiness, Love.

I have plenty for loneliness/fear as I already experience these emotions regularly. Its a lot harder for me to capture Love/Happiness in a photo without it looking staged. Safe to say I’ve got a lot a head.

Collaborative Practice Deadline 20th November (my personal deadline 13th November)

Jacob Kazara’s Camera fund

I’m sharing this as I desperately need help funding a new camera, I can do so much more with better equipment so please read my story and share as you or someone else could make a huge difference to me and my photography. Down below is the link to my go fund me campaign and my story about it. Thanks.

https://www.gofundme.com/jacobkazara-camerafund

Hi I’m Jacob Kazara and this is my new camera fund. I’m currently in university studying photography and graphic design, I have just finished my first year after a lot of hard work and I will be continuing onto second year. This might appear like some cliché story to you but it has been very hard for me to get here, I was told as a young age that I wouldn’t achieve anything on a count of my Autism and that I wouldn’t get into university by my high school. I put all that energy and hard work into getting myself to university! I even did three years in college to get the qualifications so I could get here.

Now that I’m here I could do with some help. I’m a good photographer, it’s what I’m best at and it’s a huge part of my life. This is my Facebook photography page – https://www.facebook.com/JacobKazaraPhotography  this is what I’m capable of producing with my current camera (Canon EOS 1100D) which I’ve had now for about five years, I know it back to front but It’s limited and I need to break these limitations so I can achieve more with my photography and explore more with it.

The camera that I’m trying to get funding for is a canon EOS 7D mark II. This camera is more advanced and will open more opportunities for me regarding what I can photograph and where. I want to achieve the best that I can and I want my photos to inspire people.

Donating to me won’t change the world but it will change mine. Any amount donated will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Jacob Kazara.

Final series

These photos below are my final series for this project tell me a story, this isn’t just a project this is my story. my main source of research for these photos came from personal experiences whilst dealing with these dark thoughts. Just know that this was a really personal project for me, these are photos purely expressed from my own thoughts and emotions.

1
The fight
2
Self harm
3
The Mask
4
Is there anybody out there?
5
The man in the mirror
6
Outnumbered
7
Decision time
8
Acceptance

Lectures 6 – 10

Lecture 6 – Social documentary and street photography

This Lecture is about the beginnings of documentary/street photography. It was started to bring awareness to the people about poverty and lack of respect and value for the lives of the workers and children working in the mills in a hope to change the social status. Street photography showed the public the truth about what streets where really like along with there occupants. I like this side of photography because more often than not it depicts the truth and honesty of how the political status really is.

 

Lecture 7 – Analysing photographs

After going through this lecture I now have a clearer Idea on what an ideology is; its a collection of beliefs that can held to an individual/group/society and can be both conscious and unconscious ideas and thoughts that make up someones beliefs, goals, expectations and motivations. It can also be dominated and governed by society.

 

Lecture 8 – Walter Benjamin

In this lecture we learned about Walter Benjamin, who was German Jewish born in Berlin, 1892 – 1940 when he took his own life in Portbou. Benjamin was a literary critic and a philosopher who associated himself with the Frankfurt school of social theorists. One of his key ideas that speaks out to me is – Photography is a medium which transforms us psychologically, culturally and politically. photography is a medium that can provoke emotions just based on the political status of man, it can show us the truth and also the lies. We can travel in time just by going back and observing a photo and we can also take a moving sequence of photos and stop the at a photo, leaving it and it and all with in it in permanent state of time.

 

Lecture 9 – Roland Barthes ‘The photographic message’

In this lecture we learned about Roland Barthes, a French literary theorist, philosopher and writer, 1915 – 1980. Barthes came up with a theory of how to read photographs using the existing theory of semiotics, the word semiotics is derived from the Greek word Semeion meaning sign. Semiotics is used to analyse a photo to reveal what verbal and visual message that it’s trying to get across. This could be something as simple as a blatant sign or symbol, once picking out all the signs, it then begins to clear up what this photo could be about and what it’s trying to tell us other than the obvious signs. Roland Barthes uses the ‘linguistic science’ of semiotics and uses that to interrogate modern day society. Photographs appear to be solely truthful and factual but there is a hidden message, what is the meaning behind it? There is two messages coexisting behind a photograph creating a paradox: The denotation which is about analysing the photo and picking out the numerous signs and symbols which are presented visually and the connotation which about decoding the photo to find its true artistic meaning behind it.

 

Lecture 10 – Roland Barthes ‘the death of the author and camera lucida

“We know that to give writing its future, it’s necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author” (IMT, p.148). This quote is important because in the late 60’s and 70’s during post modern art, the concept ‘death of the author’ was implied as the originality and authorship of the work was questionable. This was because postmodern artists where creating pieces of work hat looked all to similar to original paintings, whilst trying to pass them off as their own originality. Also in this essay we discussed the differences between stadium and punctum: stadium is to see something of interest in a photo, something that makes you stop in your tracks just to look at it, it’s anything that is visual about the image, whether it is about the content of the image or the composition of it. The punctum is the underlying meaning of the photo that the photographer might not have intended but the viewer has picked it up.

Final Photos

For my final photos I had to select two photos from my collective series and print them off at 6×8 C-Type prints. I also had to select at least eight photos for my final contact sheet which was to be printed out at a 12×18 C-Type print (slightly larger than A3). 

Final Object photo 1
Collective Objects
Final Object photo
Collective Objects

The first thing I did was select the two collective photos that I thought would be best to use, I then took them both into Lightroom and gave them a final coat of editing and then saved them for printing.  

Final contact sheet
Final Contact Sheet

For the contact sheet, I chose these photos because I think that they definitely depict a journey from one end to the other. I threw in a mixed range of some photos in motion and some still. As for the process in making this contact sheet I had a lot of trouble with it. I came into university a few times to attempt making this sheet. I eventually had to ask for help off the technicians who were happy to help and gave me a few tips on how to do it again in the future.


Project Conclusion – 
I’m genuinely quite pleased with the work that I’ve produced for this project, especially in the short amount of time I gave myself to do it. Unfortunately I didn’t record any artist research during this project as I didn’t have the time to spend hours searching for some photographers for inspiration. This is a documentary style series for me as this is a journey that I have to travel almost everyday. If I was to do this project again in the future then I would spend a reasonable amount of time looking into other photographers for ideas on other ways I could go about the project. But other than the lack of research and all the technical downfalls I’ve had during this project, I’ve actually enjoyed experimenting with unfamiliar grounds by using the suggested parameters in the brief.

Collective Objects

For these photos I took my collection of train tickets and photographed them on the Infinity table which is a still life studio for photographing small things like this. I Think that these photos worked out very well, you can clearly see what they are but you can’t exactly see where all of them are going to, so there’s a little bit of mystery about them. Earlier in the year, I was told by one of our Graphics Lecturers that we should start collections of things, anything from magazines to stamps because one day they could be worth something or be used for art, well photography in my case. Using these meant that I didn’t have to go round picking up litter or other train tickets off the floor of the train.


See photos below – 

 

Further Edited

These are a selection of photos from my journey back and fourth on the train. I have selected a range of photos that I have edited further. As you can see I have made them Black and White, I have done this because when I visualised he idea of my journey on the trains I could see it working well in black and white. Personally I think that they work really well, I also think that the choice of no colour complements the rural and urban areas in the photos. For me they’re very atmospheric and more life like than they are in full colour. The journey from where I live and back isn’t exactly a friendly, enjoyable or a colourful trip, often its very dull, dark and lifeless, so the dark shadows contrasting against the white and Gray just sums up how i see travelling to university and back.

See Photos Below –

Riding the rails

Thanks to Merseyrail for being kind enough to grant me permission to pursue my idea of photographing on their trains for my project ‘In the frame’.

The day after getting my email confirmation, I got on a train to Chester from Birkenhead Central, then from Chester to Birkenhead and then back to Chester again. I did this so I could maximise my chances of getting s many decent photos as I could. I ended up taking about three hundred odd. I found that taking the photos at the beginning was really difficult as I was quite nervous, but once I started going, I didn’t really care what people thought of me. But I was very considerate of people and asked a few people if they minded me taking pictures of the train carriage and to reassure them that if they heard someone taking photos that it was me and it wouldn’t be directly of them. I’ve found that some people can be reasonable if you just give them a heads up first, some people not so much though.

Taking photos in public is like a Pick ‘n mix, sometime you get some nice and reasonable people about or some that are just minding there own business and some that are confrontational or no apparent reason. This is why I contacted Merseyrail directly to make an enquiry. I was actually questioned by a couple of train conductors on my activities on the train but after I showed them the emails from Merseyrail they weren’t concerned anymore.

Onto the photos, I’m fairly happy with the amount that I got. I had to take my mono-pole as I needed some sort of support for my camera. I also like the range of the photographs, some are very burred showing movement and some were shot quickly to ensure you could see the details of the photo. They were all shot in RAW so they have all had a base coating of editing via Adobe Lightroom. My next step will be going through these photos and selecting photos that I would like to further edit and round down to a final series.

But for now here are all of my photos from my travels –

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Idea for next and final shoot

I am going to document my journeys to Chester and back via the Merseyrail train. I intend to ride the rails and photograph things that appeal to me, for example; train stations, people, objects ect.. I want to do this series entirely in black and white as I think that this will improve the look I want to create. I will obviously be photographing in colour and editing them into black and white, unless I happen to see something that I know will definitely suit black and white.

I also intend to photograph objects that have something to do with this journey that i’m on. I was thinking about photographing a bundle of train tickets that I have collected since starting university and then photographing them on the infinity table to get some dynamic shots.

Due to certain policies, you can’t just photograph people in public especially in a confined space on a train as it would make the passengers uncomfortable. So I intend to contact Merseyrail and ask permission to photograph on the trains. I could easily photograph things without any permission as it’s a “free country” but it was more to do with I didn’t want any trouble from any confrontational passengers or any trouble from The British Transport Police. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

First attempt at street photography

My first idea for this project is to go to a certain area (perhaps a park bench or something) and photograph whats in front of me and who or what passes me. I would like to record what i photograph whether it be buildings or a certain direction to photograph and then the next time I go out to photograph then I’ll sit on the same bench and photograph the same things/directions but they may look the same but will be completely different. No picture is ever the same.

I decided to photograph these after university and the late afternoon/evening in Chester. I decided to follow one of the parameters which was to sit in an area and document what ever passed me. I then decided to do this for a while but then move to a different bench in town and repeat this process for a bit and so on and so on.

I photographed all of them in colour and edited them into black and white via Adobe Lightroom. As much as I love photographing the bright colours of a city or a town all lit up at night, I felt that these photos looked better in black and white. I’ve often found that black and white photography shows more detail to the photo and often creates some atmospheric. there are only 3 colours/shades in a black and white photo; Black, White and Gray. I think that with less colour it gives it more of an edge, there’s more contrast.

Also as this was my First proper attempt of street photography, I though it would be better to change the photos to black and white for a couple of reasons, one I think they look better and show more attention to detail and two because some of the photos aren’t perfect (camera shake) they are harder to identify the pedestrians. But to clarify, I actually like that some of the photos have been distorted by camera shake, this for me shows more movement in the people I photographed. The only photograph I have in colour is the one I used for the featured image for this post, I just couldn’t put that one in black and white as the colours where to beautiful to hide in black and white.

See photos below –

First Test Run

As soon as we got our brief for this project we had to go out and photograph the area around kingsway campus. We had to use the parameters given to us to photograph things. I started off by following an old man to a certain point, I then stopped and photographed the area he led me to. I continued to explore and photograph anything that caught my eye or I found interesting.

Also I really like the featured photo for this post, I went passed some sort of religious community building and spotted this sign. I photographed it as it was ironic that the the sign was so dirty despite it being a sign of hope and cleanliness. I also photographed it at an angle to emphasise the point of looking up to it as a sign of hope. This has no importance to this project or the task at hand, I just found it interesting so I photographed it.

For the rest of the photos I tried to find interesting ways to photograph and document them instead of just a normal photo. But I quite enjoyed this task, I got to stretch my legs and take a few interesting shots at the same time.

See photos below –

In The Frame

Assignment details 
You should identify a place (or places) that is/are accessible to you on a regular basis. This could be where you live, where you travel through or another place that you can document regularly.  You will make a set of images based on your observations of this place over a period of time and present these in a grid in a final print.

When you are in your place you should collect objects and items in order to create another ‘portrait’ of that place based on the things you have found within it. You will make two ‘still life’ images of either single items or collections of objects using studio lighting.

The two sets of images should relate to each other and say something about the place and your experience of it.

You will need to use parameters to guide your shoots.  You can choose from one of the strategies below to begin with and devise your own as your project progresses.  You can use a variety of different parameters and thereby create a range of responses to your location.  You can also use these parameters to guide the types of object that you collect and how.”

Some parameters to consider:

  • Walk for a certain length of time then stop. Make several photographs of what is around you when the time comes to stop.  Make random turns, get lost, go somewhere unfamiliar.  Vary the times between walking and stopping on subsequent shoots.
  • Select a square from a map of Chester and thoroughly document everything in that square.
  • Identify the boundaries of your chosen place (neighbourhood, town, village, park, campus etc) and draw them onto a map. Walk the boundary and take pictures along the way.
  • Identify a particular sense (smell, touch, hearing or taste) and use it to direct how you travel through your location and what you photograph. Use the exercise from More than Looking to ‘tune in’ to a particular sense before your shoot.  Use different senses on each shoot.
  • Pick a place to stand or sit for a certain length of time (street corner, café, park bench, bus or train). Photograph what you observe during that time including who and what passes you.
  • Find something that interest you in your location and photograph it, then turn round 180 degrees and photograph what is opposite
  • Pick a pedestrian and follow them. Don’t photograph them.  Just go where they take you and photograph along the way.  Consider yourself a passenger and make the most of where you are taken.  When you lose them, follow someone new.
  • Pick a colour and let your choice of photo be guided by the presence of that colour.
  • Identify a particular texture, shape or subject in your location and only shoot examples of this.
  • Go for a walk without your camera. Go back and photograph the things you noticed on the way.

After viewing the brief I think that some of the parameters sound fun to follow but I also think that some of them are quite risky especially in the area I live in. for example: follow a stranger and photograph where they go but not them. I considered this as my main parameter for this project but I live in lets just say a rough area, I’m very protective of my camera gear as it is, so following someone or going into an unfamiliar area could be a bad idea. So I need to find an are that is fairly safe to photograph but also close enough for me to continuously visit to maximise my chance at getting some good shots.

It also stated in the brief that we collect object on our travels. things that have some relevance to what we’re photographing or just things that we find interesting. I’m not entirely comfortable with picking up litter or just random things from the street as I don’t know where it’s been, so i’ll have to give that one some thought.

All in all i think that this project has some potential, I also think that it will be a good chance to go out and try some street photography.

 

Who Are You? Final Views

Techniques and Contextual research

During this project I tried many new techniques and one that I have always wanted to do is like a point and shoot but on unsuspecting victims (street photography) but I’ve never really had the guts to try it. You’re probably wondering that this has to do with this project. Well whilst I was out shooting with my subject I would occasionally point and shoot with out giving him any warning. This was interesting as I got some different reactions from him. Some of them were just about in frame and others weren’t in focus, this is because it was dark so even if I wanted to use auto focus I couldn’t so it was all done in manual focus.

 

Bruce Gilden is a photographer that I think I can relate some of my photos to. He is a street photographer who likes to photograph people whether they like it or not. In the majority of his photos are people, either shocked or angry and I would be to if someone pulled out a camera and took a picture of me. I’ve found his work to be really interesting and I would one day like to have a proper go at it myself. I wish i’d have used him as more of an influence for my work but I only discovered him at the end of the project. For me the best thing about his photos are the natural reactions from his photography subjects (or victims in some cases). That’s what I’ve been doing for my photos, no fake smiles or poses, just me and my subject taking some photos and having a laugh in the process.

If you wish to see his work for yourself then please head to his website – http://www.brucegilden.com/

Also I recommend watching this piece on him called everybody street – https://vimeo.com/33169188

These photos below are just a few on what I was just talking about. I have some serious photos but most of them look like this. I liked to capture his natural reactions even if they where just us having a bit of a laugh.


During this project I have further developed my skills in portraiture photography, I have thoroughly enjoyed this project. I have really enjoyed trying out the adobe software – Lightroom, it was hard to get my grips with because I was so used to Photoshop but it had everything you needed to edit the photos in one convenient area on the right hand side, it also allowed me to layout my photos and design make contact my own contact sheets.

Another thing that I’ve enjoyed using was the lighting studio, this wasn’t too hard to get to grips with but I was a little out of my comfort zone with all the lights and tech to deal with. But then again it was good that I was a little out of my comfort zone as it allowed me to experiment with the lights and flashes to create interesting and dynamic shots of my subject that represent him for who he is.

These photos that I have produced for this project (mostly the lighting studio ones) have been the best photos that I have ever done and I am very proud of myself for them. I will definitely be using the lighting studio again and using all the techniques i have learnt throughout this project on my next one and on any future portrait shoot.

The final 5

I have decided to use these 5 for my final photos for this project. I have chosen these as I think that they best describe my subject and fit the retirements. I have selected a main category a photograph –

The first one Is for Location, the second is for Pose, the third for Props, forth for Clothing and finally the fifth for Face.

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Final piece 1

This is one from the first shoot of the project. Straight after the interview with my subject, we jumped straight into the action and went and about around Chester to find a good spot to my subject to be photographed. I chose this photo because it not only shows hi on location but it also shows my subject being himself. I like the fact that he is smiling as in the interview he said that he likes to laugh and smile, this is also a natural smile as every time we where taking photos, I we would talk and have a laugh with him to ease the tension.

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Final piece 2

This is one of my favourite photos from the lighting studio series. I think that this is a great photo for hard and soft lighting reflecting off his skin. I chose this for pose because its a strong pose, you can see plenty of his characteristics in this shot, from is tattoos to scars and to the way he’s composed himself. To me this shows us that my subject is brave and strong.

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Final piece 3

For this photo, he asked to use my sketchbook to draw in whilst I photographed him, So we decided to use these ones for props. It’s a fair deal he had something to keep himself entertained and I got some photographs done for this category. Two birds and one stone. As it turns out he was drawing something inappropriate in the back of my sketchbook… which is ironic as he looks like he’s working on a work of art in this photo with concentration in himself but it was the opposite. This is apart of who he is, easily entertained, funny ect.. And he is also an excellent artist, illustrator and animator.

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Final piece 4

This photo is for clothing, it took a while to round this category down to one photo. In the majority of the photos my subject is fully clothed but it’s finding one that matches his personality and that I feel represents him. We took this one as a joke but it worked out well. He likes to have fun and this photo shows it. The only downfall to this photo is a small editing error, it’s not too obvious but obvious enough for me to notice it. When I was using Lightroom to put the finishing touches to this piece, I used the masking tool to highlight and darken certain areas of the photo. More specifically the right side of the photo as there was too much light coming from the flash, so I highlighted that area and darkened it, but I must have not highlighted the area up to the figure so it left a fain white streak next to his figure. As it was last minute I just printed it along with the others but it didn’t appear on the prints so it all worked out well.

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Final piece 5

Finally this print is for face, I only took a few close up shots of his face but this one is by far my favourite. I don’t know about you but I can see many things in this photo that make my subject who he is, I can see compassion and many other things, maybe this is because I know him, I’ve spent time photographing and getting to know him. This is one of my best portraits I have ever taken, the soft light is perfectly balancing out the shaded part of his face. I also like that he’s looking into the distance and isn’t making eye contact with the camera and that his eyes are reflecting the light triggered by the flash.

Its The Final countdown!

I have selected the best photos that I think represent my subjects personality. I gave them another coat of editing and now I have to choose 5 of them to submit as my finals. These 5 final photos that I will have printed have to have one of the 5 categories of a portrait that we were required to take for these photos. They are – Clothing, Pose, Props Face and Location.

After carefully observing all of my photos to find ones best suited to my subjects personality and ones that match these requirements. These are the ones that I have rounded them down to –

Further edited

For this selection of photos, I took a handful from my lighting studio photos and edited and developed them further.

I like to play around with the, brightness, exposure and contrast as It can make the difference between an over exposed photo to a darkened photo with the light reflecting off his skin. For some of these photos I made one of each, a black and white version and a coloured version so you could see the difference between them.

After observing and comparing the photos between the edited colour photos vs the edited black and white photos I have realised that I prefer the coloured photos. This is unusual as I usually side with black and white photography. Think that the contrast of the hard light on the black and white photos are great but I think that there is something very unique about skin tones, it just doesn’t look as real than it does in colour.

 

 

Lighting Studio

As part of my current photography project I booked time in the light studio with my subject. This went really well, I planned to take hundreds whilst I had the space but I didn’t feel the need to. I’m really proud of the photos I got as few as they may be. They’re probably the best portraits iv’e ever taken. Quality over Quantity.

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I really enjoyed photographing my subject in the lighting studio. As you can tell some photos are better than others but I think that they’re all pretty good. Much like the ones from the location shoot, I wanted him to feel relaxed and comfortable and to be as natural as possible. Obviously some of them are more serious than others but I like that most of them are of us having a laugh. It’s like fine art with a smile. I took all of these photos in RAW so they have all had one dose of editing but I intend on selecting some from this group to edited further. Using the equipment was easier than I thought it would be, I had fun experimenting with the power of the lights and the arrangement of where I could place them. I used the black background as I thought it would suit the style I was going for. I also liked playing with the lights, spot lights and flashes, I think that the contrast of soft light and hard light worked really well.

I personally think that I have created some dynamic photographs that not only look good as fine art portraits but also tell us more about my subject and also show many sides to his personality. You can start to understand him and who he is just by observing these photographs that I have taken for this project.

First Shoot

Right after my interview with my photography subject, we went for a walk around Chester to start taking photos. It was dark, cold and raining… so just a normal British evening. Luckily I booked out a flashgun from the university earlier that day, so lighting up my subject would not be a problem.

For my first shoot of this project, I think it went very well considering the weather conditions and the time of day we started taking photos. Unfortunately I was forced to use a Nikon flash gun as there were no others available to loan from the university. As a proud Canon user, its safe to say I wasn’t too pleased with this but it did the job, lighting up my subject and the area during the dark and damp shoot.

My subject and I decided that these photos were going to be used for the location shoot. as he said in the interview –

“where is your favourite place? Where do you most feel comfortable?
– Anywhere outdoors and with friends and family”.

We thought that being out and about taking photos covered that part of the requirement.

I have chosen my best photos of the ones I took and edited them, I plan to select several of the photos and edit them further. See photos below –

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You might be wondering why I included loads of him being silly? Well that’s because he is easily amused and he loves to laugh and smile. It’s who he is, so who am I to say act differently or pretend for the photo. That wouldn’t be real and it certainly wouldn’t show the us these genuine reactions. And I think that these photos show more about my subject than the more serious ones. I am again quite pleased with these photos as they show us a bit more about my subject and what he’s like. I enjoyed taking them as well, even though I was using a Nikon flashgun, I enjoyed bouncing light of walls and finding new ways and techniques to light up my subject.

Interview with my photography Subject

For my current photography project I conducted an Interview my friend and model for my photos. I tried to make the questions as open as possible to get the best possible answers.


1. What is your main character trait?

– Humour and making people laugh.

– A good friend who likes to listen

– Creative and open minded

2. where is your favourite place? Where do you most feel comfortable?

– Anywhere outdoors and with friends and family.

3. What inspires you?

“people bigger and more successful than me, it inspires me to make myself better”.

4. What is your earliest memory?

“Being stuck in a thunder and lightning storm with my sister”.

“riding mattresses down the stairs”.

5. What makes you laugh?

– Memes, spongebob, almost anything.
“life is too short not to smile and laugh a lot”

6. What are your favourite films, games, TV shows, songs and types of music?

Films – Armageddon, Pulp fiction and sci-fi/fantasy films.

Games – Red dead redemption, last of us and GTA V.

TV shows – Westworld, Game of thrones, Lost and Sons of anarchy.

Songs – “vary on what mood I’m in”.

Types of music – Metal, Rock and Grime.

7. What are you passionate about?

– Art (Illustration and Animation)

– Music

8. How do you like others to see you?

” I want people to look at me and think that i’m approachable, trustworthy and interactive. But I also don’t care about what people think of my looks or my clothing”.

9. What would be your perfect day or night out?

– Nice meal and a couple drinks with friends or just chilling with friends.

– Gigs and festivals

10. If you where to choose an object that would represent your personality. What would it be?

“Pencil and paper as i’m an artist and an Illustrator”

“bass guitar as when i’m not doing art and with friends i’m in youth theatre practising with my band”.


In conclusion
the interview went well, there is a lot of stuff that I can work with and hopefully create some interesting photos based on my subjects answers and his personality. I was Originally thinking about focusing on more of a fine art approach to my photos but I think that would be contradictory to his personality based on this interview. Perhaps I could still incorporate a fine art approach to some of the photos especially the ones i’ll be doing in the lighting studio.

About Looking

Introduction to the project – This project was our first photography practice project, but we had to used 35mm film cameras and process them in a darkroom.

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Process, technique and development –

Our first task was to go out as a group and photograph things with an SLR camera. The make I was using was Vivitar. After going out and shooting with the group we then had a week to wait till we could develop them.

Darkroom – I was actually dreading the development process as it meant going into a darkroom. I have claustrophobia, and find it hard to be in small rooms, especially when they’re pitch black. But one of the technicians took me down to the darkroom before class to show me how dark it would be and what to expect so i would know when it came to actually doing it. It wasn’t that bad but I still wasn’t comfortable with going in alone. But luckily we where doing the first one as a class, which made things slightly easier. But it was still very uneasy for me.

Processing – After the darkroom, we then had to develop the negatives by putting them into the light proof cylinders and adding the correct amount of chemicals. The first thing we had to do is take
 the 
temperature
 of 
the 
developer, to figure out how long the processing time will take. So for example if the developer was at 20 degrees then it would take about 17 minutes but if it was at 18 degrees then it would take about 21 minutes (the colder the developer, the longer the processing time). We then had to measure up 300ml of developer for each film, as this was a group activity we had to be work in threes. This then meant we had to measure up the developer for three films which came to 900ml. Once the developer has been poured into the cylinders, the processing time begins.

During the developing time, you must agitate the developer every 30 seconds. To do this you have to gently swirl the containers round, turn it upside down and then tap it on the table. This ensures that the developer is moving round the container and reaching all parts of the film. While the developing is taking place, its always a good idea to measure out the next chemicals, for this all we needed was 900ml of stop. when the time was up, we then had to pour the developer into a special container, then we added the stop which we use for 1 minute and agitate every 10 seconds. We then had to empty the Stop back into into its container and add 900ml of Fix, which we used for 5 minutes then poured back into its container. We then had to take the reels of film out of the cylinders and put them into the wash for 15 minutes. we then had to take the film off the reel, put them in another wash for 10 second and then put them into the dryer for 10 minutes.

Once we had our film out of the dryer we had to cut them up into six photos a negative. Then we had to take them back into the dark room to start making contact sheets. I made several test prints to before the contact sheet to make sure I had the correct amount of light exposure.


In total I have used four rolls of film but only two worked, the first one was completely unexposed and the second one didn’t work because the camera jammed. after my two failed attempts, I was beyond frustrated. But I took out a different camera (pentax) and went out again then another time. I Then found myself with two full rolls film. This was a big deal for me since the other two where very disappointing.


Development/Techniques – Once I had my contact sheets all sorted out, I then moved onto making prints. I stated out by making test prints on teared photo light paper, I used a thick piece of black card to block the light, I used this to create sections of the paper to be exposed under the light to find the perfect time to be exposed. For example I would do 10 seconds as a base exposure then divide it into five sections then do 2 seconds a section. so all together one part would have been exposed for 12 seconds and another at 20 seconds. This would vary depending on what machine we where using as all of them weren’t the same and because some of the negatives where naturally darker and need more time to be exposed under the light. I had to use filters on some of the prints as they needed that extra bit of contrast. For some of my prints I used a technique called “dodging” this was done by hovering my hand just below the light, casting a shadow onto the paper, this means that the bits that are shaded, get less time exposed making them darker. I used this for my 1st and 5th final prints as they had bits that were too light and needed some parts to be darker.

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Test Prints for Final Print 1
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Test Prints for Final Print 2
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Test Prints for Final Print 3
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Test Prints for Final Print 4
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Test Prints for Final Print 4
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Test Prints for Final Print 5


Conclusion –
 I’ve got mixed feelings about this project, I have made some incredible improvement since I started. Everything went wrong at the beginning, as it was my first project at Chester and my very first time using film ,I was nervous and wanted to do my best and make a good impression. Yes it didn’t start well but it didn’t end well either, I had a bit of an allergic reaction to the chemicals during the development of my final print. This was a frightening time for me.

But onto positives, I leaned many new skills and how to use 35mm film. I have also gained a lot of confidence with my photography work and social skills with my photography group. So all in all I had trouble with it but i’m glad I did it and created some rather successful prints.