Development and Final idea.

In the previous I have been looking at emotions and how I could tell a story using emotions. I love telling stories about my past and that helps me to motivate others. The big question I had was how can I motivate the young generation? and to do that the best was to be an example, what I normally do is to choose a phase of my past and share it with the audience. They are many stories to share but one of the strongest is about my Grandmother and my bonding with her and the passion I have for cricket.

“I won the match for my team and didn’t know I had lost my grandmother”

The first idea I had in my mind was to photograph my self out doors using natural light in different poses and emotions or reactions for example being sad, happy or furious. The emotions I wanted to show were, being sleepless, confident, proud, happy, furious, hope, surprised, sad, pray and miss. These emotions sum up all that happened and has a connection when I lost my grandmother in 2009. Here my plan was to take mid-shots of the body, this is because I was mostly focussing on the face to show the expressions of the subject and what he was wearing(clothes give a clue on what the subject was doing that day). Coming to the style of presentation of the project, I thought of mounting my images on a foam board and then sticking to the wall, so it was more of a gallery type. As I was using 10 images in total to tell the story, I thought of using A4 size for the prints, this is because I didn’t want to occupy a lot of space on the wall and wanted the audience to view the images closely from one to the other, basically the point was to bring out the story easily but seemed this project needed an explanation to the viewers. As this project needed an explanation from the creator, I basically planned to explain every image by talking live infront of the audience, this was a special project for me and I was not confident enough of talking infront of the viewers because this project was more of a personal one and emotional too.

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Getting an idea, how it would look on the wall.

Secondly, when I did my shoot out doors, I noticed the background didnt match with the story I wanted to tell. In the background there was alot of destruction for example different colors shades and so on, which also didnt suite the subject. Adding on this, I noticed the subject was not coming out of the background technically which was a big issue for me.

This meant I therefore had to develop my idea, still staying with the same concept, after dropping the first idea, I went back and looked at more photographers so that I can get an idea on how to continue my project. After looking at many photographers on the internet, Paul Burns, a portrait photographer inspired me. For more information on Paul Burns please visit his website http://www.paulburns.co.uk/index.php

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looking at Paul Burns portrait works, I thought this was better for my project rather than doing an outside shoot. So, basically I came up with my final idea here, the only thing which changed was the background although I thought of other things which I will add in my blog later on, my idea was to use a black background because I wanted to show the subject from the background, and there was a color contrast also as the subject was wearing bright colors where as the background was in dark shades, let me make this clear, only one image was not taken in the studio, the image which repressented the emotion sleepless, this image was taken in my room. Continuing the project, I thought of making some of the images in black and white depending on the emotions used. The reason why I wanted to make the images in black and white is because I believe black and white can work best with sad images for example crying although others may not agree. As I was confident with the studio shoot, I came back and changed my mind for the style of presentation.(reason explained above). The best option for me was to do a digital presentation instead of speaking to the audience. As a story teller, the main point is to spread the message to the audience and what they learn from the story told, but on the other side it is very important to select the best medium suited for the story. In my case, I believed a photo-film would work best, so for the final idea, I wanted to make a photo-film. There was no point of just adding images in a film with out a voice, so to support the images I planned to record my voice using my nexus 5 smart phone. please note, the images and my voice go with a flow. For me, I believe the narration should be strong with the rules of having a “starting, middle and an end”as I can connect to David Campbell who tells the audience that, “the event is not what happens. The event is that which can be narrated”.(https://www.david-campbell.org/2010/11/18/photography-and-narrative/) I personally wanted to bring my feelings out and wanted my story to be as natural as possible, for this I wrote down the story and would imagine my self speaking it to the audience.(story will be added on the blog later on). At this point, I can not assure the audience on the timing of the whole photo-film but expected it to be around 2 to 3 minutes in total. As this project is connected to my past and emotions were used, I titled the project “Emotions and Memories“. The emotions are about the feelings as the memories talk about the past. Adding to this idea, I was planning of adding background music to support the audio, but noticing one thing, I wanted the audience to feel my voice, so I removed the background music because it was mixing with the audio. I thought of keeping it natural.

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Basically this video was my final piece but I disagreed some how on the image sequence or arrangement, Looking at the story line and the images, for me it was to clear and straight forward for the audience, the images and the audio were in a flow which was too simple to understand. After looking at the simple flow, I thought of changing some things but keeping the same images and the audio. I wanted the audience to gain more interest and think what is next?. For that, my idea was to change the image sequence from a flow with the audio to a random one, basically this brings some more suspense in the story and forces the viewer to think more, secondly I wanted to keep the same timing of all the images, the reason for this is because the audience can have more time on looking at the emotions and actions of the subject. In addition, I also added a comment at the end of the video giving a message to the audience. The final video will be uploaded on a another blog post later on.

what am i? Stand and Hit.

This task is about text and images! In the coming days, we are doing a studio shoot and will have to use text and images in all together. The topic will be, “what am i?”. This means, personally we will be wearing what we want to be. Basically, this topic will help us make our final project….

Title.

Stand and Hit.  

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“I played cricket since childhood, what I enjoyed the most was batting, my job was to open the batting and hit runs as much as possible, my nature was different, I didnt like running between the wickets, my plan was to stand and hit, if i missed the ball it made me furious and angry on the ground, I kept my eyes wide open and concentrated on the ball”.

The Image shows a mid-shot portrait with a black background, the photographer focussed at two main things, first the expressions of the subject and secondly the clothes of the subject, these two elements told the story of the photograph. The viewers can see the serious face of the subject in sports wear. To make it more intense I then changed the image into black and white. Another reason was, i wanted to light up the face and the lines on the clothes, in other words these two focussed parts stand out from the background.

Working with the 35mm camera and darkroom

Basically, we were given 35mm cameras and were diveded into two groups, our main objective was to get basic information about the 35mm cameras and how to shoot them, other than that we were allowed to use the darkroom and learn the developing process of the film. As a group we were asked to look at four major aspects. The first one was Technique which included slow shutter speed, depth of field, available light and trying a light meter, secondly, we looked at the angles which also included above your head, get somewhere high, get down low, thirdly, we took note of the composition, where we had to shoot on half body, as close as possible, hidden in the shadows, rule of thirds and lastly we looked for text, organic, finding a pattern and an object that we can find every where. We finally had to combine some of these elements above.

Photographs. please note. images not in there original color and size.

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Emotions and Relations

Basically after looking at some images relating to portraiture, as in my previous post I said most images showed emotions, to continue my research I looked at a book called “Emotions and Relations”. This book has works of 5 photographers but the one I was mostly interested in was called David Armstrong.

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The subject in David Armstrong’s work is always serious and relexed. Nan Golden, a photographer and David’s great friend said, “he does not direct the person”, which also meant the images that are created are natural.

David Armstrong’s work is characterized by great levelness and coolness. He concentrates on two main areas which is the portrait and landscape. David seems to take hold of life in his portraits as the perfect example of the subject or the person. In the book, the author says, “People reveal their inwardness, but feelings and relationships can only be guessed at subliminally” and continues by saying, “It does not go further than the hint of an emotion, or the assumption that the person could at any moment speak or smile”.
Basically, David Armstrong often focuses on the subject than the background, and that is why the backgrounds are unfocussed. Mainly the subjects are changed into a flow of light and shadow. The author also explains that the photographic works brought together are visualisations of human beings in their vulnerability. What is strong about his work is the natural emotions the audience sees. The image its self tells on what is happening.

Tell me a story-Mini Task 3

“In this project you are asked to produce a linear narrative that tells a ‘story’, which has a beginning, middle and end-in that order.”

Good Morning         (Nexus 5 LG) used for the photographs.

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So basically, I am telling a story of my daily life routine using five images, for this mini task I chose to share my mornings and how they start almost every day. Image 1 shows the viewer a carton, a hand and natural sun light at the background, so my morning starts with waking up and opening the cartons to get the natural light. In the second image, I tried to show a untidy bed, but basically after opening the cartons I look for my phone on the bed.(the bed is not arranged). Looking at image 3, we see a toothbrush, water and a hand, so this means, I brush my teeth and wash my face. Then coming to image 4, the audience sees water boiling in an electic kettle, basically I then make tea for my breakfast and finally in image 5 I have the tea while watching cricket. Thats how my morning starts what about you?

Starting Points for Final Project.

So basically, for the major project this module is asking us, through a set of 5 to 10 photographic pieces to examine the source of pressures within society to confirm or adjust our behaviour and appearance. We may look at stereotypes, racial, gender, class or religious issues. In this module, we are allowed to use others to portray our own views or may explore the notion of self portraiture.

As a photography graduate, I did many projects on storytelling on different topics. In this module we were expected to experiment with different approaches and challenge the boundaries of visual photographic expression. I therefore went back and looked at the previous projects I did. Just to remind the audience, this module was more of portraiture. As being a photojournalist, I was still intreseted in telling a story but using portraits. Questioning my self, I asked can an artist tell a story using portraits and how? and what do I need to find out?. I therefore looked at a few photographers who worked with portraiture to help me get some inspiration, reminding my self I did not specialize in portraiture.

Ben Moore http://www.benmoorephotography.com/

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Ricardo Liberato  https://www.flickr.com/people/liberato/

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Mary Wilson  http://www.flashuser.net/photos-human-emotions-happiness

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After looking at the photographers work, I noticed most of them where about emotions for example smiles, people crying and others shouting. Now at some point I had a clue of what I wanted to do. I was sure of doing some thing different, but related to emotions, the question was how am I going to relate emotions with storytelling.

Organizing the picture by Michael Langford

Organizing the picture is basically a chapter from the book called Basic Photography by Michael Langford which talks about constructing an image of the subject as a picture. Micheal Langford explains in his book that a successful photo can be much more than a record, it should be able to tell the audience more and express or interpret than if you were there at the time looking at the subject itself, to complete this, Michael say’s, you need to be a good “Organizer”. As Michael goes on, he also explains about “technique”, this meant the photographer should have an idea of using the lighting control, exposure and depth of field. I personally believe its upto the photographer on how he or she wants to create the image.

The writter explains more about objects, where he says, “we tend to take things around us for granted…it is easy to get into a state where we no longer really look at objects”. Here, Michael talks about imagining about new objects which are never seen before, the first thoughts of the object is about looking at the texture, colour, tone values pattern and form. So, this meant every object has its own uniqueness in this way different photographers can make their own analysis accordingly to the visual features. Michael also explains in this chapter that they are no academic “rights” and “wrongs” as it is a personal view from the photographer’s point of view.

elliott-erwitt-new-york-1974Photograph from Elliot Erwitt.

Below I will share a few basic visual qualities one notices about the object.

Shape

etxan jacksonville lee“An Eastern Texan” by Russell Lee Documentary portrait. Here, the subject’s shape in shown in a simple way and the direct relationship with the camera.

Pattern

2003_136 Photo of Stonington taken by Jack

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Content and meaning.

Above, Michael talked about the components of photography which are more of in physical details for example texture, colour and so on. Adding on that, what matters more is the content and meaning. The writer in the book explains about meaning by saying, “meaning can be communicated by straight recording – the subject ‘speaks for itself’ this is usually more challenging for the photographer and interesting for the viewers”.  Use of old against new can say some thing ageing, irrespective of your actual subject can be an example used in the book. On the other side, when we look at the content, the author explains about “opportunities to express concepts and emotions”. To explain that, he gives an example of comparing something expensive and lavish against something cheap just to make a point which could be questioned on “why” and “what”.

Structuring pictures through the camera. 

I noticed structuring pictures through the camera is one important topic which should be discussed especially for starters, in other words we can call this “picture composition”. Here the photographer work with in a frame having distinct edges. The writer talks about the viewfinder by saying, “the viewfinder or focussing screen is like a sheet of paper-you don’t have to be able to draw on to it, but you must be able to see the structure pictures within its frame”. Some of the things to look at are the proportions, balance, emphasis, line and framing movements.