I found the Group Photograph part of this portfolio the most challenging as directing a group of people can be quite hard and to get them all without blinking and lit evenly. My first idea was to photograph the Womens Institue as i thought this would be an interesting image of them all around having tea or discussing events. Unfortunately they said they were not keen on anybody taking photographs as of their busy schedule and would not be free till after the deadline.
The second idea for my group shot was of my work friends, this in my head did look well composed and it would have been a good image as it was Christmas time and we had a ‘fun dress up charity event’ so i thought it would be interesting, this did not work out as well as i’d hoped, my colleagues were quite shy infront of the camera and the warehouse did not make a great backdrop, also with little time on my hands to shoot. It was good for a practice with the flash but not for a final
The third group shot i did was of some Creative Events Management students at an event they had to create about careers and placements, it was a good opportunity to photograph people who didn’t know me and also these were more confident subjects as well. The lighting was just a flashgun so it wasn’t lit on the legs as much, so next time for group i know to take more lights and an assistant
overall i just need to be more directive to the subjects and not be hesitant in saying what i want.
After not managing to get the desired image for my Observed Portrait element of the portfolio I thought I’d just try to go around town with my camera to see what I could capture, as it was Christmas time I thought it was the perfect time to capture some ‘special moments’. I looked around and got a few shots but nothing I deemed as interesting. In the end i went around near the bus stops to see if i spotted any worthwhile moments , I came across a busker who was playing the harp and it was something i had not seen before, usually guitars or saxophone but i had never seen a busking harpist before. His name was Harry Flinkton and he intrigued me, I gave him some money and asked if he minded photos, Mr Flinton was very kind and let me photograph him and then told me about how he came to be on the streets and that his done music for people but prefers busking as he feels that he has more control over his music. He also showed me a song he played for his friends baby, overall an interesting subject that was happy to tell me his story
It was quite low light at the time so the image is a little noisy, the natural light does suit the subject but I think next time i’d go out earlier or use a camera with a higher sensor.
I looked at some documentary street photographers for this aspect of the portfolio and found some that I think relate to my work and are abuout capturing the extra ordinary in the ordinary that is street.
Markus Hartel is one of the photographers I looked at, he focuses on the quirky styles of people and transfers his visual storytelling into photographs captured on the streets of NYC. Perhaps, the most distinctive quality in Hartel’s photographs is the contrast. There is much more to explore in his images than the play between light and shadow, or the juxtaposition between hard and soft. If you look hard enough, you will almost always find a sense of irony in his subject matter, as what compels him to ‘click’ is discovering the extraordinary among the ordinary.
Melanie Einzig is someone I also looked at, her work is often bright and captures otherwise unseen moments in New York.
‘I’ve photographed events in New York and elsewhere for fourteen years. With a background in art and photojournalism I bring a love of aesthetics, an interest in people and the ability to tell a story to every event I document. I work very quietly and unobtrusively in order to record the most genuine moments in a natural way. Whether for my personal work, a publication, for an institution, or at a private event, I bring my full attention (eye and heart) to making the best possible photos.’
I think colour works well in her images and paints like in a more aesthetic way, i try to use colour in my work and i think for some street photography you need it so you can see the personality of the subject through their clothing.
The fashion aspect of the portfolio I was quite excited to do as I used to photograph fashion and enjoyed organizing the locations, clothing, models and lighting. I thought instead of using just the models clothes I would try and get in contact with some clothing businesses around Falmouth, there are a few decent ones like Volcom and Sessions as I originally wanted to do more skating clothing, however as they are quite big companies I was not allowed to take any clothing out. There is a more independent but still very popular clothing shop in the area called Wild Pony, I contacted the owner and we negotiated that if i gave her a deposit of the clothes I wanted to borrow and delivered them back to her house after shooting. She also wanted them hung them up so she didn’t have to iron them as they were silk shirts and delicate vintage pieces. I agreed to all of this as it was good practice for professional skills and we set up a date that she was best with, we chose a Sunday as it was a day she was closed as I couldn’t take out clothes when the shop was open.
I had a few difficulties with re-arranging the shoot as she had a couple of Sundays in November where she was open due to Beer Festivals and events.
On the actual shoot day I had already scouted a couple of locations around town, I wanted an urban street background so I went for a cobble stoned alley way and also I found a wall that looked like a painting just outside Old Brewery Yard near Cafe Cinnamon in Falmouth. I decided to use the wall as it worked with the urban feel and it was a bigger space to work with, it also had some steps in front of a black door which I could work with.
Tina was my model, she is from Norway and is studying (BA) Photography at University with me, she is also one of my house mates but I just thought her hair and vintage look worked well for my shoot. I styled her in 80s vintage street clothing, with a cream silk shirt and patterned jumper that was borrowed and her own green disco pants and patent loafers.
I decided to experiment with some speed lights and also with using Canon instead of my usual choice of Nikon, I did like the outcome but I had trouble with the sensors on the flashguns. I set up a couple on stands with soft boxes and one on my camera, I have used this before and it did work well so thought i’d try again.
In the end I used mainly the flashgun on my camera but the speed lights were handy for some fill in light and as it was on location the natural light was also quite soft that day so that worked to my advantage. Overall I was happy with the outcome of the shoot but I think next time I would take more time with the lighting and think of more ways to direct my model.
This is the image I decided to use, the light is more natural and i prefer the softer focus as it goes with the style i wanted. The flash did not fire properly on this one which is why it is more natural also, the flash made her features harsh at times and her overall stance is a lot more relaxed in this too.
For my fashion shoot I wanted to use vintage style clothing, I had the idea of doing an urban street photoshoot with the backdrop being a cobbled alleyway or an old wall that looks like a painting. I had already scouted the locations and tried to find some inspiration before the actual shoot.
I looked up some 80s fashion shoots and found a couple that looked like the style I wanted to achieve.
I found in a magazine a shoot called Urban Groove, which was a bit lighter than what I wanted but showed 80s fashion and street style.
This is the works of Sebastian Cviq , his fashion photographs are elegant but the models do have a sense of attitude and the vintage style is there throughout. He has a soft light in his work playing with the sun and focusing.
Another inspiration for my fashion shoot is Dazed and Confused, a magazine founded by fashion photographer Rankin. The images in the magazine are usually outrageous, full of attitude and in your face clothing.
There is one photoshoot in the Korean edition that I found suited the style i wanted, it had attitude but with an urban edge, it was called Hyoni Kang by Alexander Neumann, this photoshoot although with an Eastern edge and not so much Vintage clothing.
I looked into Alexander Neumann’s work also just to see some more images, his fashion photographs have very much a more editorial vintage feel and he is inspired by 50s an 70s mainly, also the colours in his images stand out and contrast with the outdoor backdrops.
I also found this shoot in Dazed & Confused that I found interesting due to the shocking bright colours and quirky compositions
These images are by Max Farago , his work is full of awkward, quirky fashion shots with models in shocking compositions and backdrops of either street or in studio using pastel colour gels.
For my Creative Standalone aspect of the portfolio it had to be a photograph that showed some creative and technical ability, such as using flashguns to paint in light or using different camera techniques like freezing motion. I went to Amsterdam during the Summer and at night the canals looked quite ‘picturesque’ with the lights glimmering on the water. At the time of taking this there were people on boats and the lights from them and the other lights made a interesting composition. I experimented with slow shutter speeds to capture lines of light and also with fast ones to create a more static effect. In the end I chose the image that created some lines of light without being too over powering. I think if I did this again I would definitely take more time and use a tripod more as that way the image quality would be much greater and less noisy as well.