I have recently participated in a three day photography workshop with Professor Paul Hill, and Maria Falconer in Derbyshire at Heartington Hall. This will markedly be a memorable experience that has opened up my mind to explore the unknown, to be bold, and to be different with my creativity. We composed series of various images under high pressure with deadlines, and immeasurable amount of time. The aim was to break out of the ordinary, avoid being predictable, and to take chances when constructing my work.
An image was required for the first workshop that I considered to be extraordinary; I decided to present an image of a light trail which I believe appears ethereal due to its form and shape. The image was hand drawn with an LED bar from a computer monitor, based on location in my front garden.
A presentation was given displaying inspirational work from various artists, including cliché’s of still life photography and paintings; avertedly being directed away from things that have been seen before, and urged to be extraordinary and inventive.
Three images were required for hand in on all assignments.
I aimed to be experimental when creating my images by paying attention to detail, thinking outside of the box and obtaining objects that were not obvious or have not seen before. I made use of a broken glass, fruit, collected flowers and arranged the subjects outside of their natural environment to form unnatural and surreal setups. I like the presentation of the subject in Fig. 2, although the flowers in the foreground are out of focus due using a smaller aperture for more depth of field. Fig. 1 was the most uniquely compelling of my images due to the abstract lines in the background and the sharpness of the cross shape subject in the foreground. I believe I should have made more time for reviewing and processing; on evaluating my images more thoroughly I would have rather submitted an alternative image, such as;
However, this was a learning curve that was designed to challenge us in every aspect to encourage learning from any mistakes made and for preparation in a life of a working photographer. Here are the remaining images that were taken during this task.
Continuing to be experimental with my work I approached this task by working in a group, alternating the time spent as the model for each others images. I decided to adapt a different and unexpected technique by intentionally blurring out the person but focussing on an object that they had on them that would best describe themselves. I feel that time management was well handled within this task as I was used as a model multiple times for a varying amount of people. Fig. 2 is the most appealing to me due to the colour of the models hair matching the colour of the trees, forging a warm assemblage of autumn colour.
If I were to do this task again I would have aimed for three different portrait techniques rather than using the same range throughout my set of images. Although I am happy with the theme adapted, I feel that I spent too much time helping others by being a model when we did not have sufficient time. I feel that my shoots were a quickened due to this, resulting in less powerful images.
I learned to use aperture priority mode (Av) during this shoot, which I don’t usually use, to minimise over complication of the manual settings and to avoid missing the decisive moment when necessary.
My main aim during the landscape brief was to capture my encounters with the countryside rather than creating a standard landscape photograph that usually incorporates the hills as far as can be seen and the sky.
Again, I feel as though the processing of my final three images was rushed, not allowing enough time to analyse my images before hitting the deadline. I feel that Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 are very similar aesthetically.
I believe either of the following images would have had a more positive impact.
These are the remaining images, composed during this shoot, that I see merit in. I am generally pleased with most of my images for this brief, upon thorough evaluation.
4. Self Portrait
This brief was particularly challenging to me as I was the subject. Due to the amount of time given, I had to think quickly and I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with how I was going to present myself. For me this was the hardest challenge of the week, although I believe showing my previous images in the earlier briefs had prepared me in someway. I thought very little about the location and the positioning of the image, choosing the closest spot to me to see what I could capture. Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 were the first images taken which on evaluation appear to be my best two. I have positioned myself and adjusted my appearance for the shoot in a way which reveals a considerable amount about my personality, unintentionally. During the exhibition of my images I became aware that I should have composed portraits that showed more to my personality than just my looks. The positioning between the trees and looking away from the camera, appears to have a hidden message that identifies my personality as an individual. However, I am satisfied with the aesthetic of my images, the light peering through the trees gives a contrasted effect and processing black and white adds an appealing effect.
I achieved these shots using my wireless remote and by using live view so I could see myself and position my self on the screen. Stability was achieved via the use of a tripod, so the use of an assistant was not necessary.
5. Plastic Cup
A final challenge was designed to capture one image to see who could be the most inventive with a plastic cup. I took my first image which was the cup on the light bulb below and upon evaluation is my preferred image. I decided to show the cup being hit by the leaves which I now see as being a bad choice. I was firstly aiming to capture the motion of the cup blowing in the wind but this became unsuccessful so I decided to ask a peer to throw leaves at it to capture motion instead. I feel that I captured the motion well and disguised the cup, however, I firmly believe I should have stuck with my first idea as it is more pleasing when comparing them together, due to its low key effect and gradient form with detailed lines.
It has been a pleasurable, and emotionally challenging, yet rewarding experience that I will hold on to and aim to adapt everything learned, to my future projects. I have gained valuable time management skills due to the high pressure environment of numerous short lived briefs. However, this has now made me able to work towards deadlines as I am now used to the pressure. I have learned about self expression and self reflection from the briefs that were proposed to express my personality. I have also learnt lessons of individualism about how powerful photography comes from showing my own identity that will differ from that of others.