Assignment 001: Street

Reflective Evaluation

Whilst making my final edit from my chosen 300 images, I decided to select the images where I’d captured a section of a building/structure, rather than the whole thing. In my final 20, I have either only included part of the building/structure in the frame, or part of it is concealed by trees. I have chosen to go with this idea because I think that it makes my work look abstract and interesting, it shows the intricacies of architecture.

I’m very glad that I decided to change my idea after my first photo shoot. I found that I engage much better with architecture because I find it both beautiful and interesting. I feel that my love for architecture is reflected in my photographs – I find the unique structures intriguing and love the way that they stand out against the sky.

Overall, I am pleased with the outcome of my Street project. I feel that my final 6 images go together well – they look as if they are part of a set. My images tell a story about the beauty and complexity of architecture. They show how lines and shapes come together to form a structure, which is why I decided to only show a section in my images. I want viewers to be able to look at my photos and appreciate the bold lines/shapes; without being distracted by anything in the background. I also think that some of the buildings in Bristol are so complex, that if I was to capture the whole thing, it would give the viewer too much to look at – and they may not fully appreciate it.

The only thing that I would change about my project is the weather conditions, as I would prefer it if the colour of the sky was consistent throughout my images. Unfortunately, this was out of my control – the images that I have chosen come from several different trips to Bristol, and the weather conditions were different during each visit.

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The Photostory

Final Edit & Reflective Evaluation

I narrowed my choices down to 150 images, which I then made into contact sheets and used to create my final edit for both my magazine article and my slideshow:

I chose 5 photos for my magazine article, based on my research of National Geographic magazine, and I chose 16 photos for my slideshow. Here is my final edit:

Reflective Evaluation

Overall, I am very pleased with my project on Dannielle and her exotic pets. I spent a lot of time with Dannielle over the course of this project, and I feel that I have successfully documented every aspect of her relationship with her animals. I was able to photograph her handling the animals, cleaning the animals, buying & preparing food for the animals, and I also took some context shots of her bedroom where all of her pets live. I am pleased with the layout of my magazine article, I think that it is tidy, easy to read and interesting to look at. I am also pleased with my slideshow, as I think that it flows well and successfully tells Dannielle’s story.

If I was to do anything differently, I would have loved to record the interview between me and Dannielle. I could have then used this for the audio in my slideshow, which would have gone together really well with my pictures. Unfortunately, Dannielle was uncomfortable with the idea of being recorded during her interview, so I decided to write down her answers instead, which I then used to write my piece of journalistic text.

Assignment 001: Street

My first shoot photographing architecture in Bristol went very well, so I decided to stick with this idea and plan my next shoot. I spoke to my lecturer to get some feedback on my first shoot, which I then used to write a plan for my second shoot. He also recommended some more photographers for me to look at. I had a look at all of the photographers on the list that he gave me, and chose the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher to inform my own work.

I absolutely love these images by Bernd and Hilla, I think that they’re beautifully constructed and very interesting to look at. In the majority of their work they have shot the architecture straight on, which makes the images very bold and striking, this is what I’m hoping to achieve with my own images. I love the intensity of the images, they are simple yet extremely effective. I may even convert some of my images to black and white in the style of the Bechers.

Journal Plan For Second Shoot

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Assignment 001: Street

After going on my first photo shoot in Bristol, I decided to change my idea. I found that I wasn’t inspired at all by my initial idea of ‘photographing through glass’, which meant that I wasn’t happy with any of my photographs. I realised that I wasn’t enjoying taking photos for this idea, so I knew it was important to re-think and start fresh.

Whilst I was searching the internet looking for inspiration for a new idea, I put together a mind map. I started crossing off ideas, narrowing it down to my favourites. After quite a lot of whittling down, I was left with ‘architecture’.

I decided to look into this idea further, and found a photographer called Nicolas Grospierre. He is a Swiss photographer who has spent the last 15 years documenting architecture across five continents. Here is some of his work that I will be using for inspiration during my photo shoots in Bristol:

Nicolas’ photos were sourced from his website: http://www.grospierre.art.pl

Journal Plan For First Shoot

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The Photostory

National Geographic Magazine

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I’ve decided that my photostory on Dannielle and her exotic pets would fit perfectly into National Geographic magazine. I will be creating my magazine article based on my research of Nat Geo. To begin my research, I went to the Nat Geo website to find a description of the magazine in their own words. This is what I found:

National Geographic gets you closer to the stories that matter. Through the world’s best scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, National Geographic captivates and entertains a global community through television channels, magazines, children’s media, travel expeditions, books, maps, consumer products, location-based entertainment and experiences, and some of the most engaging digital and social media platforms in the world. A joint venture with 21st Century Fox, National Geographic reinvests 27% of proceeds to help fund the conservation and education efforts of the National Geographic Society.

It is clear that National Geographic appeals to a very wide audience. They address many different topics, including important issues. The magazine appeals to anyone who is interested in different species, cultures, and places throughout the world. I would say that the magazine caters to a large range of age groups, as well as having articles that appeal to both men and women. The magazine’s mission statement from their website confirms my thoughts:

National Geographic magazine is the global leader in empowering people to navigate the world, providing authoritative, unbiased content that addresses today’s complex issues, while uncovering the wonders of our time. Each issue captivates millions of curious readers with world-class, award-winning photography and reporting that inspire them to make informed decisions and effect positive change. As part of the world’s largest non-profit scientific, education, and entertainment organizations, National Geographic has unmatched reach to a national audience that influences opinions on the Beltway, in the board room, in Silicon Valley, and beyond.

Once I had established the magazine’s intentions, I went into town and bought a copy of the latest issue (February 2017). I found 2 articles that are relevant to the one that I’ll be creating. The first was called ‘Saving The Seas’, and is about Barack Obama’s work with America’s network of protected seas. The second was called ‘Shadow Cats’, and is about various different types of small wildcats.

These articles are relevant to my research because their focus is on animals – which is also the focus of my article. The layout differs between the 2 articles, which gives me a few different options as to how I will organise my layout. However, there are similarities which establish the general aesthetic of the magazine – I will attempt to re-create this aesthetic in my article, so that it would fit nicely into the magazine.

Saving The Seas

I am now going to analyse the layout of the article ‘Saving The Seas’, pages 54-77. Firstly, it is clear that Nat Geo fill many double page spreads with one image. They have done this 6 times throughout the article, filling 12 out of the 24 pages with double page spreads. Throughout the article they have used this technique in 2 different styles, the first is to leave a small white border on the left, right, and bottom of the page. This is used to begin the article:

pages-54-and-55

The second is to leave a small white border on the left and right, and then a larger border at the bottom to enable them to insert some text below the photo. This is used 5 times throughout the article:

pages-56-and-57

Another layout technique that they have used which I really like, is to fill the left hand page with just text, and then put 4 images on the right hand page, leaving room for a small paragraph on the right hand side of the photos:

pages-62-and-63

The last technique that is apparent in this article is as follows – A single image is placed on the double page spread, there are borders on the left, right, and bottom of the page – the borders on the right and bottom are filled with text. The image stretches across the 2 pages, but only approximately 3/4 of the way:

pages-70-and-71

This technique is also used in the opposite way, by putting text in the borders on the left and bottom of the page. The image is the same size, but it’s placement is now primarily on the opposite page.

pages-76-and-77

There is another technique used in this article, but it requires putting 8 images on one double page spread, and I am only able to use 6 images across both of my double page spreads.

Shadow Cats

I am now going to analyse the layout of the article ‘Shadow Cats’, pages 104-119. Much like the first article ‘Saving The Seas’, Nat Geo have used one image to fill many double page spreads in this article as well. They have done this 4 times throughout the article, filling 8 out of the 16 pages with double page spreads. Throughout the article they have used this technique in only one style, which is to completely fill both pages with the image, leaving no borders at the edges at all:

pages-104-and-105

Another layout technique that they have used is to place a single image on the double page spread, there are borders on the left and bottom of the page that are filled with text. The image stretches across the 2 pages, but only approximately 3/4 of the way. This is very similar to the layout used in ‘Saving The Seas’, minus the border on the right:

pages-108-and-109

The last technique that is apparent in this article is as follows – A single image is placed on the double page spread, it stretches across the 2 pages leaving only one border at the bottom of the page, which is filled with text:

pages-114-and-115

There is another technique used in this article, but it requires putting 11 images on one double page spread, and I am only able to use 6 images across both of my double page spreads.

It is clear from looking at both of these articles that the emphasis is on the photographs. The layout techniques used make the images look fantastic, and the amount of space left for text will be perfect for my piece on Dannielle and her animals. I have created a rough plan for my layout, which I will finalise once I’ve made my final edit of my images:

First double page spread – Choose 1 image to fill the 2 pages, using one of the Nat Geo layout techniques. Pages 54 and 55, pages 56 and 57, or pages 104 and 105.

Second double page spread – Choose 4 images and use the layout technique on pages 62 and 63.

Journal Plan For Second Shoot

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Assignment 001: Street

For my Street Assignment, I will be photographing in Bristol. My idea is to photograph through glass – I will do this by photographing into buildings as I walk down the street. I will also be going into various different cafes, finding a table with a street view, and photographing people on the street from inside. I plan to make use of reflections in the glass to create abstract images. I will also be making use of reflections in other ways, such as water, coffee, mirrors etc.

I’m hoping to photograph through windows in various different states. For example, clean, dirty, cracked/damaged, covered in condensation, covered in rain etc. Also, I’m planning on making use of slow shutter speeds for shots that include a large number of people; in order to create motion blur. I decided to look on Pinterest for some inspiration, as I wanted to sketch some rough framing ideas. This is what I found:

I’d like to capture some photographs similar to these, I love the different textures created by the rain. I also love how the weather makes the person in the image more difficult to see, I think that it makes the images look quite gloomy and mysterious.

I’m hoping to capture images similar to these as I walk down the streets of Bristol; photographing into shop windows. Ideally, I want to capture photos of people who are unaware that they’re being photographed. I’d love to take photos of people gazing out of the window, deep in thought.

These are good examples of photographs of windows covered in condensation. I love that you can see the people through the window, but they’re slightly distorted. Both of these photographs were captured through bus windows, I’m hoping to re-create something similar using shop windows.

The Photostory – Mini Brief

For this brief, I found a photo story in the British Journal of Photography which I found in the library. The story was called ‘Ahead Still Lies Our Future’, and it focuses on the theme of ‘Habitat’. It is looking at the complex relationship between humans and the planet. I had a look through the article, and then scanned the pages for my research.

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pages-42-43

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pages-46-47

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Text

  • The headline ‘AHEAD STILL LIES OUR FUTURE’ is large on the page and is clearly a title. The black font against the white background stands out well, and helps to draw your attention to the page.
  • There is a small paragraph written for most of the photos (caption), these are small on the page and are easy to differentiate from the main text. These are slightly harder to read because the font and spacing is smaller.
  • The main text is an average size. The spacing is quite generous which makes it easy to read. Much like the headline, the black font stands out well against the white background.
  • The margins are quite generous, which also makes the text clear and easy to read. The text is placed neatly into columns, which makes the page look tidy.
  • They have placed the columns of text below the images on most of the pages, which puts a lot of emphasis on the photos. I think that this consistency makes the article look professional.
  • The chosen font is simplistic and clear, which makes the article easy to read.

Images

  • There isn’t a double page spread. However, the images on pages 42 & 43 go together very well. They meet in the middle of the double page as individual images, at first glance they look like a single panoramic image. Also, there is an image on page 46 that reaches onto page 47.
  • I think that using a double page spread is a good way to start an article, as it’s striking and helps to establish the story. However, double page spreads can also be used throughout a story.
  • The images on the first 2 pages are the largest photos in the article, these are important because they establish the story. Also, because they are very bold and striking images, I would say that they make you want to read the rest of the article.

Types of Images

  • The majority of the shots in this article are wide shots, which help to set the scene.
  • Most of the shots in this story are establishing shots, as they show the landscapes where the story takes place. Only three of the images actually include people (portraits).
  • There is one shot on page 46 which shows a man from the knees up (mid shot). Other than that, I would say that the rest of the photographs are wide shots.
  • The photos included in this article are very striking. I find it interesting that they have used both black & white and colour images, rather than sticking to a specific colour theme. I think that it works well, as it makes the article look more dramatic.
  • All of the images in this article are landscape orientation, there are no portrait shots. Although this offers no variety, I think that it works well because it shows consistency.

The Photostory

National Geographic – Wild Obsession

Whilst I was searching for photographers to use as inspiration for my photo shoot with Dannielle and her animals, I came across this article on National Geographic:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/exotic-pets/musi-photography#/

It is an article about people who keep exotic pets, including chimps, tigers and bears. Although these are not the type of animals that I will be photographing, I will be using the composition of these photographs as inspiration for my photo shoot. These images focus on the owner’s relationship with the animal/s, which is what I’m hoping to achieve. The following photos were created by various different photographers who are listed on the website.

One of the aims for my project is to document Dannielle’s relationship with her animals, not just documenting the animals themselves. I’m hoping to achieve that aim by capturing images similar to the ones above. The owners are interacting with their animals, these are very intimate images. Although, by the looks of these photographs; they were taken using studio lighting equipment which I will not have access to in Dannielle’s home. I will have to make the most of what I have by using my flash gun where possible.

Dannielle will not be in all of my photographs, as I also want to capture the animals roaming freely in their living environment. These images will most likely take place in Dannielle’s room where she keeps all of her animals, or in the back garden where she allows some of her animals to play when the weather is appropriate.

I love these images because the photographers have pulled back from the subject; which allows the viewer to see the environment where the animals are kept. I think that this technique provides important context, and makes the images interesting to look at. These too are very intimate shots; showing the owners interacting with their animals.

It is likely that some of Dannielle’s animals will be kept in cages, I would like to capture some photos through the bars (refer to photo on the left), as I think that shooting through things will make my images look creative and interesting to look at. Also, it is possible that I will be shooting in the back garden providing the weather is appropriate, I will be using the photo on the right as inspiration. I would like to show Dannielle interacting with her animals as they play in the garden.

Journal Plan For First Shoot

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The Photostory

Animal Research

To prepare for my first photo shoot, I asked Dannielle to provide me with a list of all her exotic animals. She provided me with this list shortly afterwards, which has enabled me to do some brief research on each animal. As I have not come into contact with these animals before, I thought that learning more about them would help me with my photography.

Leopard Gecko

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Leopard Geckos are nocturnal lizards found in desert environments in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and parts of India. They have been popular pets in North America since the 1980’s. They lack adhesive lamella (a thin plate-like structure) and have tiny claws instead which gives them an advantage in sandy environments. This also prevents them from climbing up surfaces easily so they primarily live on the ground and do not climb.

http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/leopard-gecko/leopard-gecko.php

African Pygmy Hedgehog

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The African Pygmy Hedgehog is the smallest member of the hedgehog family. They are covered in tiny, non-barbed spines. These spines are different from the spines on a porcupine as they are permanently embedded in the skin of the animal and are not shed. These hedgehogs can be found on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe. They occupy a variety of habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, agricultural land, and even suburban gardens.

http://www.untamedscience.com/biodiversity/african-pygmy-hedgehog/

Giant African Land Snail

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The Giant African Land Snail is one of largest terrestrial gastropods. They have light to dark brown shells with vertical stripes of a darker shade of brown on them. They have an average life span of about 5-7 years, some of them have been known to live up to 10 years. This species is on the list of the 100 most harmful invasive alien species in the world. This snail has easily adapted to life in regions outside its natural habitat.

http://www.snail-world.com/african-giant-snail/

African Dwarf Frog

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As the name suggests, these dwarf frogs are quite small, just around 1.5 inches in length. They are native to Sub-Saharan Africa, and live almost entirely underwater, though they are air breathers as well and do emerge from the water from time to time. They have a strange floating habit when in the water called the ‘Zen Position’, where they float with arms and legs outstretched and one foot balancing. This habit is called ‘burbling’.

http://frogworld.net/african-dwarf-frog/

Red Claw Crab

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Red Claw Crabs are naturally found in mangrove swamps in Asia. In these estuaries, rivers flow into the sea, creating a mix of fresh and salt water. The water is quite shallow, temperatures are tropical and the ground is usually covered with fine sand. Red Claw Crabs have an aggressive temperament, and are omnivores. They have a size of no more than around 4 inches, which is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘mini crabs’.

http://www.aquariadise.com/caresheet-red-claw-crab/

Siamese Fighting Fish

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The Siamese Fighting Fish is a small and colourful carnivorous species found in the Mekong River that runs through a number of countries in south-east Asia. They mainly eat insects and brine shrimp, and also the larger food particles that are part of the plankton in the water. Due to it’s small size, bright colours and long, attractive fins, the Siamese Fighting Fish is preyed about by many other animals, e.g. larger fish, cats, newts, birds, etc.

https://a-z-animals.com/animals/siamese-fighting-fish/

Guppy

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Guppies naturally occur in Venezuela, Brazil and various islands in the Caribbean sea. While they prefer streams and pools with thick vegetation, they can be found in almost any type of freshwater habitat. Their appearance is what made guppies such popular pets. While females and wild types are usually greyish brown colour with the occasional blotch of colour, males have been selectively bred to have a wide variety of colours, patterns and fin types.

http://www.aquariadise.com/caresheet-guppy/

Vampire Crab

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Vampire Crabs originate from Southeast Asia, and they are mostly terrestrial, living in forests and near rivers. They are also called Carnival Crabs and Panther Crabs, and are a very unusual looking crab. Their legs and carapace are blue or reddish and their fronts are a slight purple colour, as are their pincers. Some Vampire Crabs have lighter coloured spots on their back ends. Most have bright orange eyes, but some Vampire Crabs have red eyes.

http://www.eliteinverts.com/freshwater-vampire-crab-purple/