Prints are included in the assessment submission pack.
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The work is a portrait of a friend who is active in the local community, but the photos show something of her daily routine about her home and in the land that surrounds it. There is a play on vice versa: she is shown in a formal and informal context; and photographed making use of natural light (including outdoor) and using studio flash. I wanted to show something of the personality of the subject through her expressions and body-language, elicited through interaction during the shoot and avoiding direction or staging as far as possible. It was a discussion with a camera and a consider approach to interaction with a subject.
My influences were Emil Hoppé, who discusses his interactions with his sitters extensively in his autobiography and Jane Bown, who talks about moving around her sitters, trying to find their photo. Both photographers worked in monochrome, which I feel gives a sculptural feel to portraits, viewing line, shades and shape without colour. My work is in a small way a tribute to their work and what I have learned from them. Katy Grannan’s work, which includes subjects contextualised in their everyday surroundings, doing everyday things influenced me in my choice of final selects.
I took over 200 photographs in two sittings; one shoot was indoors and the other outdoors. Making the final selections was an challenging process as there were an number of possibilities for creating a final thematic response to the brief. Combining different photos to create different storylines was a reminder that images have a flexible meaning that can change with contextualisation, with other photographs or text, often with little relationship to actuality. Monochrome conversion was in Photoshop (calculations) along with other adjustments to remove distracting background elements for the ‘studio’ shots, including white radiators and light switches.
Submission to tutor and report
The original submission to my tutor along with introductory, process and concluding text is here. The selection of images in the submission were different to the final edit presented here.
My tutor’s report and my response is here. Details of the rework are here. My tutor’s feedback was that the quality of my editing could be improved to arrive at a more interesting and varied series. There has also been some reprocessing of the images, with earlier edits being perhaps a little too harsh (through Silver Efex Pro) and later monochrome conversions completed in Lightroom.
I’ve learned from this – work needs to be given time to rest and grow before making a final edit.Things that are not seen on first viewing become apparent later; distance from the time of shooting allows a more dispassionate edit determined by the quality of the images themselves and not so much influenced by memories of the shoot itself.