Today as the first day back we presented our outcomes for the Colour in the Landscape brief. Initially I was apprehensive to view the others work as well as them viewing my own. Yet I quickly found there was nothing to worry about as everyone's work didn't feel overwhelming in comparison to my own as anticipated. Lots of people really took an interest in my film of Vicky saying they liked how I captured her personality which was really nice to hear. Unlike my magazine most people's work looked more like a publication where they had a collection of images all associated with each other. This was interesting to see and I really liked a lot of peoples work. Chloe's publication really interested me as her photography was really great as well as the subject choices (old people) being incredibly interesting to read about. Aoi's work looked really great as an actual magazine in the glossy format she chose as it complemented her crazy cool shoots.
The new project lasts for a week and is called Constructing Worlds focusing solely on architecture, which I feel is a nice break from fashion. Yet on the other hand I had started to get in to my stride with styling. With this in mind if I have time I may for a styling response to the brief. That aside I am really excited for the project with some initial inspiration gained from going to the exhibition at the Barbican today. Just thinking of locations to shoot I really like Kew Gardens as well as Brighton scenery so I would like to look in to them more and possibly do a scout of the areas on Wednesday.
Today we had a workshop day on gifs with Joao. I’ve never been fond of gifs as I’ve found them quite amateur-ish and the endless loops tended to irritate me. However, looking at the powerpoint presentation examples that Joao showed us some were quite tasteful ‘moving images’ that still retained a fundamental photography look (see examples here).
The brief was to have a go at making two of our own gifs involving the body and based on the current main brief of architecture (although this could just be the background).
Initially coming up with an idea proved difficult so I brainstormed a few in my sketchbook having already chosen my model. As we had a short amount of time and restricted camera usage I though it would be best to just go ahead and try my ideas out. As my model was busy Kiriko was my second choice who, in the end, turned out to be best for the job due to her more welcoming and commercial looking face. Having an area where there wouldn’t be many interruptions was necessary as I wanted Kiriko to undress so I didn’t want her to be exposed in an area where lots of people would be around, hence the top floor of CSM as BA and MA hadn’t come back yet.
As Joao had told us, achieving a fluid image required many stills, which meant a continuous and fast shutter speed. Using a camera I wasn’t used to proved difficult to understand its quirks and limitations, especially as I use Nikon’s and it quite an advanced Canon. We finally got there in the end. Pro’s of the shoot include Kiriko’s attitude to the direction I gave her as she asked questions when she was confused which sounds obvious but I much prefer to work with someone who is engaged in what I’m doing as it seems like they really want to help. Personally I feel you can only direct someone to a certain extent if they aren’t responding and working with you – photographer/art director and model are a partnership during shoots. Doing the undressing first shoot proved more challenging than my second just because there needed to be more run-throughs of it to get the fluidity just right and the second shoot concept was pretty self explanatory with Kiriko responding to my direction better.
The worst was yet to come as the most testing part of the process was actually prepping the photos and composing the finished gif. This was only because it was incredibly time consuming to edit the photos, despite me just having text, and then copy and paste this onto every photograph. Unlike most in the class who had an average maximum of 13 images, I had 21 for one gif and then 66 for another. However, the end result was great to see as it truly did look good and almost like a campaign as I added the text ‘redress feminism’ bringing a political tinge to my work as I felt it was better to give it some meaning especially as it is topical. I’m quite proud of what I achieved and now won’t be so adverse to gifs in the future, progress!
> The final gif is here.
As we hadn't been briefed on what we were doing today, I wasn't sure what to expect. Tim talked through the brief more and stated that the place or building that we photographed have a contextual meaning as to why we were recording it, further than just it is aesthetically pleasing. This threw myself and the group quite a bit as it was quite different to what Jo had explained on the Monday. We had to come up with a manifesto for the photos which I agree helps keeping your ideas clear rather than going out and taking random shots.
I came up with two ideas. One focusing on photographing brutalist architecture in London with high contrast shadows in the style of Lucian Herve & Helene Binet with the underlying theme that I want to capture the beauty of this type of architecture what with so many councils now knocking them down. The other idea was photographing the Morley's chicken shops in Croydon which it is often identified by and interviewing the workers in the shops. I really like brutalist architecture however it felt like so many people in the group were doing it and I didn't want my work to be lost in the process so I wasn't too keen on that idea for that reason. When presenting my ideas to Tim he didn't like the Chicken Shop idea as he felt there wasn't a true reason why I was doing it, which I found quite odd at first but then asking myself later what questions I would actually ask the shop keepers it did leave me a bit stuck. Tim had said he saw my gif from Tuesday and really liked how I had incorporated the text and meaning to such a simple task and that I should try and do the same for this project making the images quite poetic or even make another gif. After some thinking I thought of making a poster campaign style piece about brutalist architecture still being important using minimal yet powerful language.
We also had a quick introduction to how to use the studio flashes and the different terminology that you need to know. It seems easier than expected to take a good image especially thanks to the light meter and how you can just put the settings into the camera. I look forward to playing around and practising with the lighting in future projects.