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8 Week Diary

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Paul Bond (Friday Mornings)

Unit 10 Lighting for Photography & Unit 1 Professional Development

Project No 1: Phone Light – 15th January


Settings:

Aperture: F 5.6

Shutter Speed: 1/6

ISO: 1600

Mode: Av (Aperture Value Priority)



'Phone Light', Jennifer Hart, 2021


For this mini-project, we were asked to take a portrait of ourselves using a phone light as the only light source.


I decided to shoot this at night because the absence of light will be easier to deal with, so there would be less light to contend with when trying to minimise it.


I set up the area for shooting. This was simple; I used my bed, some pillows, and my backpack to act as the subject before I got into the shot so the camera could focus whilst I got the light exposure right. I made sure the room was pitch black so the key light wouldn't get disturbed.


I set up the camera on a 10-second timer, set the camera to ISO 800, F1.8, and SS 1600 with the 50mm lens. It didn't work at first, so I switched to another lens so I could have more range wasn't so zoomed in as the subject was so close and space was limited. I changed the settings to ISO 6400, F5.6, and SS 1/8000 on a manual setting- I found that I was really struggling to get the exposure of light right, so I contacted my tutor and followed his advice, and, after some work with the focus and the intensity of the light with the subject, I managed to get a picture eventually. (Final settings were ISO 1600, F5.6 (couldn't go any lower with 30-70mm lens), and Av mode.


I then had the freedom to take my pictures, and it took me a while to get the framing right. After a few wild attempts, I got a few good compositions and sat down to edit them.

The editing process didn't take long; because I used warm colours in an overall makeup look, I decided to use a warm temperature for my edit. I then decided to blackout the background completely to make it seem isolating and it fitted as it was nighttime, and cropped the image to a good size. I did my edits on Camera Raw, as I did my images in raw to get a better quality image.

The last thing I did was save it as a Photoshop piece and a JPEG. I save my files like this so I can have two copies of the work so if I lost one I could go back to the other and I could retouch the Photoshop file if I thought it needed improvement in the future.


Brett (Wednesday afternoons):

Unit 11 Photographic Practices


We are doing an isolation piece: a series of images for a newspaper article relating to isolation. This week, we were introduced to the brief and were sent away to think about what we wanted to do for it as our initial research.


22nd January

Project No 2: Alter Ego


Settings:

ISO: Auto

SS:1/200

Aperture: F 22


'Alter Ego Dancer', Jennifer Hart, 2021


For this project, we were asked to take self portrait of ourselves as our alter egos. I decided to go with a dancer because that’s what I have wanted to do but I haven’t had the confidence to go out there and learn. For me, dancing is like becoming another person- letting yourself loose and losing yourself with the music.


I wanted my portrait to be bright and energetic, yet confident and sexy, so I went with bright colours; yellow, pink, green. I wore a crop, which I almost never do, put on a full face of makeup after months of not doing so, and set up my lighting. I used florescent lights because it seemed appropriate for the occasion- I was getting myself out there, and the florescent seems to highlight the rough and the raw, and makes you see things differently.

I wanted to include a nice background so I placed myself in front of my tapestry, which included a lot of the same colours as my look, and hung up some fairy lights.


I set the camera to a 10 second timer and began taking pictures. I did have some issues with focusing, but it was better than the previous week; there was more light to contend with.

I tried a few frozen dancing frames, using some images from Google as inspiration. I then took the images to edit. I encountered a few issues with my storage space, but those were solved.


I edited one photograph with a strong dance pose and a good composition, however, it didn’t feel quite right. So, I browsed the images I had and found one that was more general, one that was more vulnerable and open. I began to edit it, and cropped it into a landscape portrait- a spur of the moment decision, but it was one that was game changing for me. I saw the image in a completely different light and had new ideas sparking up. I gave the image a vignette and a blue and pink tint, so the image was a cooler one. I turned up the blacks and shadows so the background was almost back, with a hint of fairy lights in the background.

When I finished, I took a step back and saw what I had created. It was completely different to my original idea of it being a happy, confident picture and it was a more sorrowful one, full of self-doubt and worry. It had a deeper meaning now: I wanted to go out and do things like dance, but I can’t do that with COVID around and, even if the world was back to normal, I don’t know if I could with the self-doubt and anxiety.


One thing that I found when I zoomed in was the amount of grain the highlighted parts; I hated myself for it at first- it was something I had done before with florescent lighting, and is something I need to improve on (due to too a too low an ISO in a dark room)- but I’ll leave it for now as it’s part of my journey of making this piece.


Brett


For this week, we covered how images are linked to newspaper articles and how we can incorporate our isolation pieces within them. We found this quite difficult because there wasn’t much to do with isolation-it more mental health, the inauguration and COVID-19 which is something I want to avoid for this brief.


We were asked to think of some ideas for spaces which could fit into the theme of isolation during the next week.


23rd January

Unit 4: Techniques and Processes: Paul Bond, Friday mornings

Today covered some really interesting videos of how artists in past and present have worked together to create what they have done, and how they got to that point both within photography and their creative thinking within their projects. Examples from the magazine Vogue were introduced with some big names including Tim Walker, Cecil Beaton, Mario Testino and Lee Miller. I found out how people can inspire others within their artwork- even the best need inspiration from somewhere. For example, Tim Walker and Cecil Beaton both work with very outgoing and dressed up sets, with Walker using transparency colour film and Beaton using negative black and white film.


We were sent away to look at different artists in the present and future and how they have set up their images and what techniques and processes they have used within their work.

I am going to be researching a few artists and will be trying to find links between their works and the materials they have used as the example above states. I will be looking at both historical and contemporary artists using online resources which I will be listing in a bibliography at the end.


24th January

Brett


First, I went out on Saturday to get a few images in. I played around with a few ideas; one was the planets and space around them, another was the elements. Because there were ever-changing weather conditions with a mixture of sunshine and cloud cover, I had to change my settings quite a lot- I shifted my white balance from daylight to cloud a few times. I held my shoot quite late in the day- around the middle of the afternoon so it was getting darker. It maybe wasn’t the best time to go out. It’s definitely something to learn from and maybe planning a time more suited to the type of photography I want to achieve with reference to the amount of light available.


The images I got were under exposed because of the reasons above and I’m still learning how to get my camera settings correct with the environment I’m in, and that’ll come with experience, but it was good to get the experience I did.


I also went out with the camera when it was a snow day and a Sunday. I did this because the environment was quiet and there were less people about. Also, the snow made for a more magical and beautiful photoshoot. I went out and photographed any spaces that would usually be busy, but due to COVID-19 and it being the ‘rest day’ of the week, were very quiet and isolated. I photographed places like the car park by a supermarket, a sitting area, an abandoned building and a pub.


Because it was a snowy day, I shot my images with the cloudy white balance setting. I had a few issues with my settings; I tried to get my images at the right exposure with Av (aperture value) mode, but they were too dark, so I tried Tv (time value), this didn’t work either. So, almost by accident, I switched to manual mode. I got more exposed images with a slower shutter speed and a lower aperture. I didn’t need my ISO too high either. This was another one of my problems; my ISO and shutter speed, aperture was too high. So, I had to redo my pictures afterwards- I did this on the same day at the same time so I was learning and fixing my mistakes as I went along.


I need to practise my camera skills a bit more so I can get more confident with shooting in different environments because I am finding it hard to get the right exposure in these darker days of the winter, where there isn’t much light around.

29th January

Project No 3: Conceptual


Settings:

ISO: Auto

Aperture: F 22

SS: ¼


'Loneliness', Jennifer Hart, 2021


For this project, we were asked to do a conceptual piece. This was a very open project as we could pick any word and capture it in a photograph. I picked the word “Lonely” as this is a very common feeling that I have felt very much in my life previously on occasion and now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.


I researched some loneliness pictures on Google and found one with a window. I thought this was quite cliché but also was very doable because of the restricted space I had in the current circumstances.


I put on a jumper that was very me- stripes and black and white. I put on some makeup with a red lip to add some glamour but not too much- I wanted my image to be raw. I wanted to use the natural light from my window to capture this image- I experimented a little with my florescent light but it didn’t do it any justice. I wanted to include something personal from my past- I love pandas and I’ve had this panda since I was very young. I also used a bunny that was given to me as a present from a special person in my life to symbolise me missing them- that one is one of my other shots.


I played around with a few ideas, starting with a photo album, then a framed photograph and played with the lighting- I added tungsten lighting as I was going along but decided against it as it ruined the feel of the images and I couldn’t get the exposures right. So, I opted for natural light and got into a few similar poses- sat down but sat up right, tense and waiting for something to happen.


I like this image as it symbolises my frustration with the pandemic and people breaking the rules, isolation, my mental health and general loneliness. It’s one I’m going to look back on in the future and feel what I feel now.


1st February

Project No 4: Recreating an Image Scene from Gregory Crewdson



Gregory Crewdson’s ‘Untitled Butterflies and Shed’, American, B. 1962

My Image

Settings:

ISO: Auto

Aperture: F 22

SS: 1/5





Today, I did a photoshoot using one of Gregory Crewdson’s images as inspiration. I decided to take inspiration from a piece called ‘Garden with Butterflies’- I took the idea of there being a garden, a shed and a pink dress and set up my lighting so it was in the shed in my garden with the door open to let the light pour out in the evening light. I did a lighting diagram as part of my planning, planning out where I would put the lights and illustrating where they would shine. I also planned out where I, as the subject, would go.


I set up the shed so it had a personalized feel to it- both as a garden shed with the brush and tools and a den with the office chair and gaming stick. I had a few issues with putting the lights up as I had to figure out how to connect the wires to each other but I figured out how to sort that problem. I used a white extension at first, but I thought that showed up too much on the pictures taken so I swapped it for a more camouflaged extension lead and put a garden tool in front of it to disguise it.


It was very cold, so I wore my pink coat and hat along with black leggings and trainers at first and then switched to my wellington boots as I thought they looked more fitting for the image and added a more rustic and rough look to the scene.


I took my place and took the pose of walking towards the shed, trying my best to copy the pose of the girl in the picture. Sometimes I forgot to, and it was hard to stand still so it took a while to take a good photo.


I started the photoshoot quite late in the afternoon which was perfect for the lighting needed- the Crewdson’s image was shot in the late evening in the summer so I wanted to use the same sort of light. The images taken at the start of were too light but it got better as it got darker as it showed the contrast of the light coming from the shed and it started to match the lighting of Crewdson’s image.


I am happy with my planning and my lighting diagram. I am happy with how quickly I sorted out any issues. I am happy with my technical ability with the camera in low light situations- I am getting better at choosing the right settings.


I would improve on my time management- I spent a good hour and 45 mins doing this shoot and that is far too long. In the professional world, that would not go down well. I would also improve reliability as I didn’t put everything away properly (in the shed, I put the lighting kit away) as I said so that was a slight issue that was sorted swiftly.


I have incorporated technical skills, planning, teamwork a creative eye, attention to detail with the shed scene design and overall copying of the image, patience with the lighting level and working independently, editing the image using Photoshop software and organization.

Overall, I think it was a successful and enjoyable mini project and was a great experience with something that was out of my comfort zone.


3rd February

Paul

Today’s session was covering feedback of our contextual unit 2 brief through one to ones. I found this very helpful as it was a chance to get any questions answered and clarity with anything I was struggling with.


Brett

This week, we continued research into newspaper and magazine layouts for the different types of documentary press media outlets and getting ideas of isolation in the media in areas such as poverty, chronic illness and people in the LGBTQ+ community.

I came up with an idea about spaces- using the planets and doing portraits to portray each planet in space and how it is isolated in space; we can see it but we can’t go to it.


5th February

Today, we looked at colour transparency films and the history with film cameras and the different types of film. I learned some key terms in photography such as latitude (how far you can go stop wise and keep a good image), dynamic range (the difference between light and dark range).


In the afternoon, I went out to my local park and shot some photographs of the empty park equipment. I thought this would go well with my isolation briefs. I used Av at first but switched to manual as it got better lighting from it as it was a cloudy day.

Down below are a few examples of the photographs I took:



Empty swing set

Settings: Aperture: 5 Shutter Speed: 1/640 ISO: Auto


Empty football pitch

Settings: Aperture: 5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/640 ISO: Auto





Barrier to the gym equipment

Settings: Aperture: 5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/500 ISO: Auto





Empty bench looking out onto empty park

Settings: Aperture: 5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/500 ISO: Auto


8th February

Project No 5: Gregory Crewdson Inspiration Scene Reshoot





Settings: SS:1/6, Aperture: F22, ISO: Auto


I did my first photoshoot with the Gregory Crewdson image inspiration remake, making sure I worked on my lighting and composition. I had some issues with the lighting as I didn’t plan my time out correctly with setting up the lights, and took a long time to get everything set up as it wasn’t easy transferring the lighting equipment from my house to the garden.

I also had a few issues with the lighting set ups and where to position my lights at first in order to get a good composition, but I figured it out in the end.


I planned out where I was going to be, held the pose, lit up other areas of my shot and successfully created a new viewpoint. I was resilient and was braving temperatures of 0 and -1- I was shooting in the snow. Now that’s dedication.

I was going to edit my pictures but my memory card reader was damaged and didn’t work so I had to make do with taking a photograph of my chosen image on my phone from the camera screen.


To improve, I would take a better look at the photograph before doing my shoot, because I thought I had it figured out, and, even though I had the photograph with me, I didn’t look at it very much so it affected my attention to detail and creative eye. I would also take more time ahead of schedule to set things up so my lights and camera is set up at the right time of day so it matches the image I am taking inspiration from more.


One thing I did well was map out where my lighting and camera was going to go beforehand, I have attached my lighting diagrams to a keynote file and I laid out some sticks from my garden to mark out where my camera and lights were going to go (my lecturer recommended I mark out where my lights and camera would be set up beforehand).


One thing I’m becoming aware of is I am using F 22 a lot, because I like the fact that I have so much focus on everything and I find it easier to control; it’s easier to control in darker situations so I am in my comfort zone there, and I have been shooting a lot of darker images. To improve, I am going to be shooting some images with more light (in the daytime, not so much at night) and will be starting to experiment more with lower apertures so I can get more comfortable with controlling the focus on a single element rather than having the focus on everything.


20th February

Project No 6: Window Portrait




Settings:

Aperture: F 22

Shutter Speed: 1/50

ISO: Auto


For this half term, I was tasked to do an isolation using a window as a natural light source. I had to think about the semiotics of the photograph and how that demonstrated isolation in these current times.


First, I did some research into how I could carry out this task. I went onto Google to look at images I might like. After a few minutes of looking, I came across one with the drapes partially closed, a silhouette of a girl with a dress and plaited hair looking out into the world, which isn’t seen from both the angle taken and the sheer white light coming through.

So, I decided to do an isolation piece which would go along with the idea of ‘dressed up to go nowhere’. I put on my prom dress from a few years ago, tied my hair in a plait and wrapped a pink scarf around me to get the sense of elegance. I set my camera up so it was facing the window, adjusting the settings so the white balance was cloudy, since it was a cloudy day, the aperture was F22 so everything was in focus (I did this so I could have a clear focal point and get a good shot), the ISO was on auto and the shutter speed was controlled by the camera. These settings are the settings I’m most comfortable with; I know how to control the camera and get a good shot. I feel I need to explore more apertures, shutter speeds, ISO’s and different modes as I tend to stick to either Av mode or manual mode, F 22 and letting the camera do the shutter speed and ISO for me.


I got my curtains in a suitable position and went up to my window, placed my hands on both sides of the curtains as if I were just opening them and used the timer of 10 seconds on my camera to take the shots I needed.


I tried various positions; mostly in the middle looking out, but I did some to the side as well, turning my head forwards and to the side, facing the outside world as the light was shining in so I formed a silhouette of myself.


I found it quite difficult to get the top of my head in focus as my focal point was quite low down. I also found it difficult to control the background; my window faces the house opposite mine and I didn’t want to get that in my shot too much. I dealt with these issues by moving the camera position slightly and moving myself so I could be more in focus and the house opposite mine was out of view. I also had to wait quite a while for my neighbours to go indoors and for passers by to go passed. I didn’t want other people in my shot and I felt awkward doing a photoshoot dressed up for everyone to see.


Some of the things I did well was the initial research of the images I could use for inspiration; I found that this really helped me to decide how I wanted to portray isolation in my image. Another thing I did well was having the right props and outfit; I could use what I already had so I didn’t need to go out to the shops and buy something or look on Amazon. I felt that I got the composition right quite quickly; it helped that I had my curtains and window to frame my image so it was nice and level.


Some of the skills I put into this mini project was planning, initial research, attention to detail, technical skills, accuracy, patience, problem solving, time management, creativity and editing.


Evening

I decided to take some photographs of the moon and the different phases of it, inspired by Chris McCaw’s ‘Sunburn’ work, where he did a long exposure using expired photographic paper and a platinum palladium process.




Chris McCaw’s ‘Sunburn’

https://www.phototraces.com/creative-photography/famous-contemporary-photographers/

I thought this would go well with my Unit 11 piece, as I was going along with the theme of space and isolation and wanted to explore the stages of the moon cycle as part of it- not long exposures like the above example but snapshots done day by day. I started quite late in the moon cycle, as I came across the artist in the middle of the month, hence why the moon is just past the half way stage. I’m keeping track of the cycle though.

I used the flash mode as it was night time.





The moon

Settings: Aperture: 16 Shutter Speed: 1/250 ISO: Auto


23rd February

Today, we went through the formative feedback for my unit 11 and 1 and we received some more advice and tips from our tutor. I realized I was behind on my work, so this week I am going to get on top of it; hopefully my motivation will pick up.


In the afternoon, I had a presentation with Brett and we shared our ideas on how we were going to do our images. I presented mine with confidence and I thought I had a really unique idea that I was excited to do, but Brett advised that the idea was too far from the brief as it was meant to be COVID-19 related and had to have something to do with press and commentary as well as isolation. I felt some discouragement from that, but we had a one to one and Brett gave me the idea that I could do portraits of people stargazing and name it ‘escaping from this world’ to portray trying to escape the COVID-19 pandemic.


Evening

Today’s moon photograph was taken later on at night. There was some cloud cover, but I used the flash mode again since it was dark. I thought the cloud would make the photograph look very atmospheric.





The moon with cloud cover

Settings: Aperture: 16 Shutter Speed: 1/50 ISO: Auto


25th February

Today, we went over the techniques and processes module and did a little formative assessment. When reviewing my artists, Paul shared that he didn’t feel they met the brief as it stated ‘press and documentary’ and what I was proposing was fantasy related and didn’t have that much to do with isolation. I was a bit discouraged from that; I had spent hours trying to find two artists I liked but to no avail. The two artists would come soon though.


28th February

I decided to leave the shooting the moon until today to get more of an idea of the different phases of the moon and can see the cycle more easily. I saw that it was a full moon tonight on the calendar, so I decided to photographed the moon today in all of its glory.

I used flash for my night shoot as always.





The Full Moon

Settings: Aperture: F22 Shutter Speed: 1/250 ISO: Auto


1st March

Today, I went for a walk with my camera, looking to get a few shots done of the local church as part of my ‘public spaces’ feature for the unit 11 brief. This turned out not to be the short walk I planned; the first time I went down to the church, it was the school run so it was busy. So, I decided to have a little wonder. I spotted a new alleyway and a nice little walk with a stream- a part of my local area I hadn’t been to before- and I decided this would be perfect for the ‘Earth shots’ with the water and land describing the Earth characteristics. I found a bridge where the stream went under and alongside that the land curved in a really nice motion, reminding me of the way the land on Earth curves around. So, I took some photographs- using manual mode because I tried using AV and Cloudy but the shots were too dark- and the pictures turned out wonderfully.


I then proceed to head back to the church seeing as time went passed and so the crowds would have cleared by now. So, I made my way back, and I took some shots of the church but there was a maintenance person with a car in the way so I decided to make my way somewhere else so he had time to go. I decided to re photograph the railway, which I had photographed previously a week or two ago, but I was aware that the lighting would be different since it was a different time of day and different weather so I took myself to the railway bridge and took some snapshots. I decided to go through and onto the railway this time to get more of a realistic feel, and one that I felt matched Bernice Abbott’s work.

I then went back to the church, and this time, it was quiet, but it was getting slightly darker so I took some photographs of the church in the closing golden hour sunlight and went back home.

Down below are my chosen images from this shoot:



Railway from the bridge

Settings: Aperture: 16 Shutter Speed: 1/250 ISO: Auto




Stream leading to nowhere

Settings: Aperture: 20 Shutter Speed: 1/160 ISO: Auto






Stream leading to nowhere landscape (Earth)

Settings: Aperture: F20 Shutter Speed: 1/160 ISO: Auto



Railway Under Bridge (Saturn)

Settings: Aperture: F20 Shutter Speed: 1/80 ISO: Auto



Church (Jupiter)

Settings: Aperture: F20 Shutter Speed: 1/80 ISO: Auto


I’m going to be doing the ‘Church’ image again because I chose the wrong time of day to do the image and it was too dark. It’s darker than the others which makes them different. I need to shoot my other images again in other locations to match my chosen artists (Ansel Adams, Bernice Abbott, Tom Archer, Steve McCurry) more. I will be going to St Paul’s park as there’s a beautiful lake there and Pittsville park to picture the building there to act as Venus- the beautiful curves and the elegance of the building represents Venus. I also might see if I can photograph the train station so I can get the trains in, so it can represent Saturn more- the planet is made of a gas and I thought the steam or petrol coming from the trains could represent the gas and the rings around the planet could be represented by the railway track.


3rd March

Morning

We were introduced to an ex student who gave us their experience of the course and what life was like after the course, including what it was like applying for jobs in the industry and what is has been like working in the photography world. It was really helpful and eye opening, and it sounds very challenging and demanding but also quite rewarding. You’ve got to have your wits about you and you have to be dedicated and passionate about your subject.


Afternoon

This afternoon, the HNC’s had a group meeting with my lecturer to clear things up about the scheduling and general course structure as people were confused and worried by how things would turn out in the long term with this course and our progress, the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown blockage in consideration. I was put at ease by that, but it also worried me as I have been putting in the wrong things as priority and need to focus on the things that need doing with a sooner deadline. I think the lockdown and online learning has knocked my confidence and has led me off track as I have found it harder to focus and I haven’t booked any one to ones, which I need to do, in fear of judgement. I think, once I get back into the studio next week, I’ll be more certain on what I am doing and will be working harder than ever to get the results I need and want for all of my projects.


Brett

The HNC’s had a small and short group meeting where we talked generally about where we were and he gave us feedback on our pieces that we had done over the lockdown period. I will be sending him some more images of what I have done towards his brief and will be continuing to work on it. I seem to be doing my research (I have chosen my landscape artists, need to try and find some portrait artists to go with the idea that Brett gave me). I know that I need to do my research before I shoot and me doing it all at once isn’t a good way of approaching it but I am learning and will be better in the future.


Some things I need to work on are the setting boundaries for the outside and thinking about the space in the foreground and background of each photo I take. I need to stop taking meaningless photographs and start to think more about the photograph I’m taking so it has a narrative and a purpose. I need to follow the example of Henri Cartier- Bresson, who came up with the idea of the ‘Decisive Moment’.


For this week, I am going to get on top of all of my work and make sure it is all up to scratch. I need to plan my timing a bit better and how I’m going to approach what I am going to do. I have felt a bit lost over the past two months, I feel that my grade in the contextual gave me too much of a sense of validation, therefore I didn’t need to work so hard, but I have learnt the hard way that that is not the case. Hopefully things will get better and my projects won’t seem so messy and jumbled.


I am going to book a one to one this week to go over everything with Paul.


5th March

Today, we looked at documentary about a famous contemporary photographer of today. He looked deeper into 7 different historical photographers including Erwin Blumenfeld, David Bailey and Richard Avedon, looking at their stories and having a go at replicating their images using similar techniques and processes. I found this very interesting as I learnt about how previous photographers have done their images and the techniques behind them and why they shot what they shot. This goes with my techniques and processes module that I am working on, so I will be able to take some of the information from that and put into my creative process and my assignment.


I showed Paul and the group my picks for my techniques and processes artists and images. They were approved and were ideal so I can go ahead and research them.


8th March

I did a Photoshop tutorial of how to focus on a moving object and how to use the background eraser tool on Photoshop. I did these so I could refresh my memory on previous things I had done (moving motion was one of the first things we covered at the start of the course and the background eraser tool was one of the skills I had learnt whilst doing the pop Art piece a while back, but I wanted to go over that for future reference). I did this so I could become stronger in my technical camera skills and my software skills. I updated my SWOT analysis so I could keep track of what I was doing and how I was developing my skills.

In the afternoon, I had a one to one with Paul so I could go over my two essays- I was confused because they looked very similar in the brief and I was wondering how I would go about researching the techniques and processes and materials used of each artist I had researched. Paul showed me how to look up digital camera and film camera timelines so I could reference the time of each artist and the equipment they used. We also looked at the artists I could use for my unit 11 portraits as I was struggling to find some stargazing photographers and he was a massive help in finding some contemporary artists. Getting help from my tutor was a good step forward as I had done independent work so far and I took the imitative to get the help that I needed. This was an improvement in my independent working skills as I tend to not ask for help and try to do everything on my own.


After the one to one, I carried on my research into the artists for Brett.


9th March

I went on a little trip to my local church to photograph it in good daylight. I went around midday, as I thought that the grounds would be quieter and I could get a good shot in. I had taken a photograph of the church previously, but it hadn’t turned out the way I wanted it to. So, I went out to the church, but I found it wasn’t as quiet as I thought it would be; there were quite a few people walking and there was a car that was parked in front of the church which was a bit annoying. I proceeded to take a photograph anyway so my trip wasn’t wasted time, and suddenly discovered after taking them that I had shot in cloud white balance, which was the wrong white balance. I was on a tight time scale so I couldn’t go back and do it again, so I had to deal with what I had.


10th March

Today was the first day back at college. I finished off my work on the artist research for Brett, got a timeline of a digital camera, and worked on my professional development essay. Overall, it was a productive morning. In the afternoon, I had a one to one with Brett (formative assessment) and showed him everything I had done so far. My feedback was that I had to say why I liked the artists I had picked and to get my stargazing portraits started.

I printed out my professional development work, but there was a printer problem and I also noticed that some of my work was in capital letters due to the font I was using. So, I am going to have to correct my work and print the work out again. I am also going to get on planning my portraits and will be asking people whether they want to be in my images. Hopefully my motivation will start to pick up, as this is the reason I haven’t pursued my portraits yet.


12th March

The HNC’s and one of my other classmates went to the local park to shoot some portraits using a flashlight and a filter lens to block out the sunrays. This was a very good experience as it was nice to be able to go out with my classmates, get some fresh air and learn some new skills with the camera. I practiced my delegation skills with directing my classmates on how to pose, but I still need to focus on being more precise with my words and what I want the models to do, as I tend to say a lot of things and get everyone confused. We shot the images using Flash white balance and had the aperture on the lowest it could possible go to ensure the subject was fully in focus. I tuned the exposure to be -1 stop so the flash wouldn’t bleach out the image entirely as it was a sunny day but the clouds kept blocking the sun, so there was a lot of changing. From this experience, I started to gain my confidence again in my technical skills, choosing a good background and delegation. However, I need to focus on getting my compositions right as I tend to leave a large amount of space between the top of the image and the head of the subject. I also need to make my subject more centre. Furthermore, I need to not take so many photographs at the same time; I tend to do this because so I have backups in case an image doesn’t work out well. However, I need to get into the swing of taking one good photograph and being confident in my own work.



Settings:


Aperture: F 2.8

Shutter Speed: 1/250

ISO: Auto

Flash White Balance



Settings:

Aperture: 2.8

Shutter Speed: 1/250

ISO: Auto




Settings:

Aperture: 2.8

Shutter Speed: 1/250

ISO: Auto

13th March

I sent my images to my classmate, who requested them from me, but I had a few issues with downloading them. I had to change them to JPEG’s and send them via Snapchat, however, I found it difficult to transfer them from Raw images to JPEG images; I didn’t have that much space on my hard drive, and my phone is a different brand to my laptop so I couldn’t easily transfer my images. So, I had to transfer them through Google Photos. I had a few issues downloading them through Google images, but I persisted and got them through in the end.


16th March

Today, I had a nice walk around my local area at golden hour and took some photographs of the church again for my unit 11 project (getting better shots this time) and of the Cleeve Hall and Tithe Barn. I figured these would be good for the visuals of Venus; they have the same sort of textures and colours as Venusand they are a lot closer geographically to Pittville Park, and in these current times I would rather not travel too far due to Covid-19. I might do, because I have suggested it, but whether I go ahead with it I don’t know.


I used the white balance ‘Daylight’ and figured shooting in the evening or amid the golden hour would give the buildings more depth and contrast, resulting in more appealing photographs. I took the inspiration to do this from one of the photographers I have been researching for unit 4 and unit 11, Steve McCurry, who does very well composed and contrasted images and also uses colour expertly.


One thing I also did was take a photograph of the moon again, as it is starting its journey towards being a half moon. It was a clear day, so I took the photograph, carrying on my little side project. I am going to be shooting my isolation portraits when the half moon has arrived (March 21st). This means I can get a good amount of the planet in and I can have a good amount of natural light for my subjects. I have asked my subjects if they want to do the portraits and they have said yes which is amazing.


The skills I brought to this trip was self-motivation, drive, a creative eye and composition and technical skills; quick judgement of the area I was in, the environment and the settings I needed that I thought might fit. I think one of the things I did well was get the timing right on the church photographs; I took them on the later golden hour time period, so it gave a night rich glow off the church exterior, which made for a really nice photograph. I also did quite well to get the composition right. One thing I didn’t do correctly was get the right timing for the care home or the Tithe Hall barn- it was getting darker by that point so the pictures came out a little too dark. Anyhow, I am going to be better at my time management in the future and plan ahead so I can get more done in a good amount of time. That’s something I need to improve on.

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