For the core practice, my first idea was to photograph the African Community on the site I had selected for the project. My plan was to photograph the African people on the streets and then moving on I had planed to photoshop the pictures,changing them in to black and white. Moving to the next step, my plan was to make a video using the pictures I had taken, I had planned to add African music, the reason why I wanted to add the African music was, I wanted the audience to watch and hear the African style of living and on the other side the pictures would flow with the music which was a nice combination.
After taking some photographs of the African people on the streets, it looked, that this idea wouldnt go through as I had problems with photographing the people on the street even after requesting them and explaing what I was doing, I failed to photograph them because most them didnt like it. Well I went back and looked through the idea again, I thought of another idea, anyways I had made a video for my final pressentation in 1st year so on that bases I wanted to do some thing diffrent this time.
Photographs I took.
Leaving the first idea on a side, I had thought of a second idea for my project, the plan was to photograph my African friends as Nan-Goldin(she photographed her American friends) did and the fact that I was inspired by her work and I really appreciated it, my plan was to do some thing similar as Nan-Goldin did for her projects. I moved on and talked to my African friends about the project, so most of my friends agreed do help whereas others disagreed, I had asked them why they didnt like it, just to get the answer, they had said,they didnt like it when they are photographed and especially when the photographs are shown out.
Coming to the style of working, after doing the shoot, my idea was to get the best 6 photographs I liked of my friends and then planed to use photoshop to edit them with high contrast or on the other side maybe editing them to black and white leaving a black back ground. I wanted to print the photographs on a A3 glossy paper individually for my presentation where as writting a brief story about each of the friends photographed but still this idea didnt convince me, as this didnt show what I wanted exactly…
Coming to the final idea for the project, I had planned to narrow down and in that my idea was to photograph my two best friends in Coventry(in their enviroment and out side the enviroment), my plan was to show the life style and what they do basically on daily bases which includes what they like,where they go and how they spend there day e.t.c.
For the project, I had photographed Bryan and Owen,both from Kenya, they stay together and they are leaving in a two bedroom house with a small dinning room and kitchen. Now coming to the style of working, my idea was to follow them and try to capture on what they do, after doing the shooting, my plan was to select 6 photographs, explaining on what they do on daily bases. I had thought of scattering the selected pictures on a black and white background(a photograph of the street where they stay) by the use of photoshop but I also kept in mind, If I used that idea, It was hard to sequence the photographs as my project was all about story telling. So in that case, my idea was to keep it simple and arrange the photographs accordingly on the black and whte background(for that I had taken a photograph of the street,where they live and then edited the shot to black and white) and secoundly I wanted the photographs to flow hence showing a story.
After I had arranged the selected photographs on the background I chose, I planed to take close up shots and then using photoshop I moved them to the photographs I had selected before, replacing some parts of the pictures with the close up shots, the idea here was to experiment with photoshop and show some thing new which I had not done before(I was inspired by my own proffesor Mr.Paul Smith). I believe in creativity and thats what I actually tried, being creative is part of the photography course.
For the final touches, I planned to use dodge and burn tool(photoshop) to blend the edges of the colored photographs with the black and white background bringing up some thing which looked diffrent from the pressentations i did before.
After I had finished making the final piece, I took the work to the printing bureau and asked the people there to print the work in A1 semi-gloss, The reason why I wanted the work in A1 size is because I wanted the audience to clearly see the photographs I had added on the background and especially looking at the details of the photographs.
A few questions I had asked.
Me: why do you like this place?
Owen’s answer: I like this place because, it’s actually not far from the university, the place where we leave has every thing we need, if I would give an example it would be resturants and the fact that it has got a big African community which makes us feel like home.
Me: what are the things you enjoy most?
Bryan’s answer: The things I enjoy most is playing fifa especially against other friends, the secound option would be clubing, I would say clubing because after studing it releases stress which makes it better.
Owen’s answer: Actually we both like playing football on saterdays with other teams and then the other thing is watching football, but its more interesting when Arsenal plays Manchester United.
Extra Photographs I had taken.
Well,while doing the project I had faced a few problems, most of the people didnt like it when I photographed them or I wasnt allowed to photograph them, but it was shocking when I went to the club,the situation was diffrent, I was free to do what I wanted. The weather was a big problem to me, it was hard to move in rain and on the same time I couldnt take photographs out door especially of the people. Photographing in low light was abit hard for me although I tried my best to overcome the problems.
It was a good experience doing the project, especially moving with the friends in the club as I had never gone there before, It was some thing new to me, it was more exciting when I had to overcome the problems I had faced, on the long run it taught me how to deal with diffrent situations.