Category Archives: ASSIGNMENT 2

Assignment 2 Collecting-Tutor Feedback

‘You chose a very interesting subject for this assignment and you seem to have moved in to a new direction and discovered a new interest in photography, which is very exciting to see. Your images are very good and you have made some very sound choices regarding the approach and the weather conditions (The overcast sky). The images are individually strong and the series is consistent so overall this is a good submission for the second assignment.’

I’m happy with this feedback from my tutor, Although I struggled to find good research material similar to my chosen subject and how I wanted the series to look ie: Out of tourist season and even bleak.

Image 4 (pair of jeans around a flower pot) I added this to the series as i thought it would show a quirky side to the village inhabitants without showing people. my tutor thought it was the only one that perhaps didn’t fit with the rest and the inclusion of other similar shots eg: close ups could have been a welcome inclusion to balance the set. Assignment 2 has also been a learning curve in researching the village and having to obtain permission to photograph it as it is privately owned. I have also been asked by the Estate if I would submit my images for inclusion of their next calendar. In this case I am happy to do this free of charge, as it is part of my work as a student and not as a working photographer.

The brief was to choose either upright or landscape for the series to be coherent. I tried this but was confident that the images I chose would work in both formats. I was happy that my tutor agreed.

Other points raised, as from my first assignment….’Slow Down,Take your time,use a tripod’ This will be an ongoing challenge as I have spent 20 years as a news photographer running after cars whilst taking snaps, jumping hedges, stalking celebs and hanging from the gates of downing street in the midst of a protest!……Watch this space.

My concerns at this time in my studies are the amount of reading material there is. I find it overwhelming at the moment. I am going to go back to the ‘Introduction to Studying  in HE’ and almost start over. I need to manage my research and reading better and devise a structure.

 

 

Assignment 2 ‘Collecting’-Research & Intro.

 

Up-Along, Down-Along.

Clovelly is a small, privately owned fishing village on the North Devon coast. No cars and steep, cobbled hills mean that the way of life here is unique.

John Rous inherited the estate of Clovelly in 1987, it had been in his family since 1738 and he still retains strong beliefs about the 200 residents being a permanent community rather than sell the cottages as holiday lets.  John keeps his rents low as there are certain compromises to be made when living in such a special place. Where donkeys used to carry goods to and from the houses, the residents now use sledges. Groceries, furniture and even once a grand piano was moved in this way.

As a unique and charming British village, with names ‘Up-Along & Down-Along street’, ‘Crazy Kates’ and ‘Rats Castle’ it’s no wonder that the summer months bring swarms of visitors wanting to view the quirky way of life. The village and its residents then become a mini Hollywood film set with dozens of cameras peering into their windows.  The residents have told stories of strangers walking into their homes thinking all of Clovelly is public domain. That said, Clovelly relies heavily on tourism to survive and the residents know this.

Having visited Clovelly in the Summer months, I wanted to return off season as I was interested, not so much in the way of life that has been heavily documented, but more the houses, some over 300 years old that stand still, buffering the crowds in season and withstanding the elements in the Winter months. These homes harbour immense stories and history. I wanted to expose their character a little and honour them in their own right.

I have chosen to portray the houses in Black and White using Photoshop. This makes them seem more timeless. I have left people out as I didn’t want to distract from the houses. Clovelly in the Winter is bleak. I researched James Ravillious who is a Photographer who lived close to this region and was passionate about documenting Devon life. James was particularly fond of the mid tones in his work whereas, I prefer dark blacks and more contrast. I also researched Lewis Baltz and Henry Wessel, both used high contrasts to illustrate their vernacular buildings.

I purposely chose days where I wouldn’t have detail in the sky. I used an iso speed of 640, allowing more light into the camera as I wanted to hand-hold most of the shots. The apertures range from F7-F10. Sharpness could have been improved by using a tripod (still trying to get used to thinking about using a tripod) but, I liked the way that the images are almost of film quality, I don’t feel  I need or want detail in the blacks for example or more depth of field. I might shoot Clovelly again using a film camera to compare the images and grain. The widest aperture I used was 17mm, using also 24mm, 38mm and 90mm.

In numbers 13 and 19, I wanted to come in close, these images depict the quirkiness of life in the village without showing people. In numbers 8 and 9 especially, I made use of the steep hills to look down on the houses to emphasise the nature of the buildings in relation to the cliff they are built on.

Refs:      ‘All Yours Squire’ Christopher Middleton/Daily TelegraphClovelly.co.uk/ Pace-Macgill Gallery.com/ Beaford Arts.org.uk/ Tate.org.uk /   Gallerie Thomas Zander.com/ James Ravillious’An English Eye’ BBC    

  Contact Sheet                                                                  ContactSheet-clovelly assignment 2 'collecting' copy                

Final Selection

Assignment 2 ‘Collecting’

Create a series of between 6 and 10 photographs from either: Crowds, Views or Heads. Use methods explored in part 2 to test different focal lengths, apertures and viewpoints. Create a series of images that work together, decide on either vertical or horizontal formats.  This makes the series more coherent. 

  • Creating a series of images takes the viewer on a journey or tells a story.
  • The images must make sense together in some way.
  • INTENT-A series must have intent. Why are you taking the images? What are you trying to say? ref: Brooke Shaden – Creating a series of images/www.masteringphoto.com

Crowds-Initially I thought this would be the category I would choose for this assignment. Taking images in a crowded environment lends a  certain anonymity to the photographer which I like.

My first idea was to photograph the Western Cross Country. Marathon runners snaking  through the terrain lends itself to interesting lines and by zooming in close, I could crop different parts of the runners bodies ie: muddy feet together or expressions.  My visit to the Renaissance Exhibition in November  lead me to a photographer called Michael Blann who photographed a series called Mont Ventoux. I love this firstly for the lines and then as I discovered more of his work, I found inspiration for ‘Crowds’. I soon realised that the high viewpoint was paramount to the reason I liked the images and that was going to be impossible from where I live. However, I would like to explore higher viewpoints if an idea or opportunity arises later on.

Heads-This category didn’t appeal to me right now,  I spend a good portion of my life taking portraits for newspapers.  I like to photograph people in their natural environments, or candidly but a portrait sitting or revealing somebody by shooting their face/close up is not interesting for me yet.

Views-This category is out of my comfort zone, but since starting this course I have been drawn to landscape photography more and more. I thought I would carry on being influenced by social documentary and photojournalism like I had when I took my first image at 16………….This is surprising and interesting to me which is why I’ve chosen Views.

I will also be able to experiment with a tripod which was suggested by my tutor in Assignment 1-The Square Mile.