Thursday, 29 October 2015

What is your approach to your landscape?

I would say I started as a landscape photographer when I first got into photography. I wasn't interested in commercial photography or fashion. I liked to go out and capture wildlife and views of the countryside. I believe due to this background I approach landscape photography very methodically. I am very used to planning a shoot for several days and coming back with no usable photographs. I spend a lot of time researching the area and weather. I will typically visit the place I want to shoot at least once, preferably twice. Another reason I will scout out my location first is because I mainly shoot landscapes at either sunrise or sunset due to the light. The day I want to shoot on I like knowing exactly where I need to be to catch the sun where I would like it. I typically want to get there earlier than I need to have time to set-up and adjust position if need be. I think you can see this frame of mind illustrated in my reflective journal over several entries where I talk through my planning, and in some of the entries state why the shoots have failed or succeeded. I think my final images also represent this frame of mind as my still lifes will consist of photographs of a desk with maps and routes (plus other items and materials) to the location I will actually be shooting my portraits and landscapes in.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

What does a portrait mean to you?

To me, a portrait does not specifically mean a person needs to be involved in the photograph. For instance you can take a photograph of a flower and a photography of a family and despite being different subject matters they still consist of all the elements that amount to a portrait. However a typical portrait would normally consist of a painting/drawing or photograph of a person’s head and shoulders.

(portrait pinterest board)

I do feel that the subject (human or not) does need to be the main focus of the photograph. This is something I feel like I have challenged with Elizabeth Gadd’s work in my visual logbook. It is something I am trying to challenge myself in my own work for this project as none of my portraits include a visible face. The models head is either not in the photograph or the head is turned away so you cannot see the models face. This would typically not amount to a portrait if you look at its standard definition, however I feel that it does not have to conform to its standard definition to be a portrait.

(mousehold heath initial portrait shoot)

Friday, 16 October 2015

I Just Want Walnut.

So I am looking at buying materials and putting together my backdrop for the studio shoot which will hopefully be happening next week. I started of looking at wood reclamation yards but it's pretty costly. After talking to someone I know who is currently building a workshop in their back yard they said I was better off looking elsewhere. I am going to go down to the market this weekend and see if I can pick up any old wood pallets, if not I will be buying plywood. I will distress the wood and then hopefully stain it walnut. I had no idea you could get so many different kinds of walnut wood stain. I honestly don't understand how there can be so many different variations, so I will have to buy some sample pots and test the different ones out. I was thinking I might even try out Annie Sloan chalk paint.   

Monday, 12 October 2015

Change of plans.

So last night whilst I was working I came to the conclusion that my shoots just aren't working the way I would like them to go.I have been on several shoots and there are just not coming together. I think if I had more time I could maybe re-work a few aspects and would have more money to rent out other pieces of equipment, but I don't. Due to this I think I will be altering my ideas slightly. I am going to give my initial ideas one more go tomorrow morning, but if I come away with no final images I will be moving on to a slightly different idea.  

 I think it will make it easier on me and I believe that I can get it done for November. I have been constantly worrying that I wouldn't be able to finish my first initial ideas. With five shoots so far and nothing to show for it I think I have made the right call by altering my portraits and changing the colours I will be going for in my landscapes slightly. I feel it's a bit more coherent and less can go wrong. I will of course be keeping all the work I have done in my visual logbook, but there will now be a large added section for my portraits and slight change in my landscapes if the shoot tomorrow morning doesn't go as planned. 

Friday, 9 October 2015


So I hit a rough patch. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my first project and I'm still getting used to the work load, or I'm just in a run of bad luck. Probably both. I felt pretty bad after my group crit yesterday. I don’t know if I'm not articulating myself properly, or maybe it’s because I don’t have a final image (just test shoots) so it’s hard for people to visualise what I'm talking about. I feel like I'm hitting my head on mountain of work and it’s just not coming together. I keep looking at each slide and telling myself, what do I want to say on this slide? What is the central theme? How do I clearly and concisely say how this relates to my work? What about these slides are people not understanding? I keep telling myself it is fine my last few shoots haven’t gone to plan. I still have time. I can get all this done. I am going to concentrate on going through each slide again and making sure it’s clear and concise today. I am also going to plan for my Saturday and Sunday shoot. It says there should be mist tomorrow morning. Sunday is looking less likely but I am hoping with my back-up idea I should get at least one final image from this weekend.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Camera Problems.

I feel I am a little behind on final photographs. I am going on shoots. I became a test shoot queen last week and this one, but I have yet to produce one final image. Yesterday there was news of storm brewing over the coast so I went to Holkham to do a shoot. The weather forecast was good weather Thursday onwards so I didn't want to miss the opportunity. The storm never hit, in fact it was a lovely day. It was warm, sunny and the beach was pretty empty. It was all still okay, I could wait for the clouds to pass. They did not pass until I was in the car half way back home but it was still okay because I thought I got at least one image I could use. Now I thoroughly clean my equipment before and after a shoot. The filters I had been loaned were a bit dusty but I also cleaned them before using them. I spent a few hours shooting, reviewing, some of the images looked okay. I noticed on one of them there was a clear purple dot, but the others seemed fine. I wiped my camera and filters thinking it was a bit of dirt. Maybe I got a bit of lens flare. I sort of brushed it off as I couldn't see the dot on any of the other photographs. I got home, un-packed and downloaded the photographs. This morning I get up to edit them and there is this weird dot on every long exposure I have taken. It's very, very faint. Purlpish in colour. It's why I didn't see it on playback. I couldn't figure out what it was. I knew it wasn't because the equipment was dirty, it couldn't be the sun because it was in roughly the same place each time. I resorted to Google. It was a light leak. A light leak. My camera light leak'd on me. I am going to take it into a store and figure out if there is anything I can do. I am used to going out and photographing landscapes and coming back with nothing. It happens, it's part of the landscape photography deal. To waste a shot like this annoys me. Does it mean I can't use my camera? Am I cameraless? If so how am I going to work around it? My deadline is looming and with no final images yet and a light leaking camera with long exposures how am I going to complete the brief on time? I am going to see if I can fix the camera and probably take the rest of the day to come up with some sort of plan.

Monday, 5 October 2015

What's up with trains on a Sunday?

So there was no fog! I also didn't come out with any shots I liked at all. I also woke up feeling terrible this morning. Not only have I had to miss my workshop on Premiere but I also missed out on a lift to Cromer due to feeling unwell. Norwich is due a thunderstorm tomorrow at 4pm, whilst Thetford is due one 5pm. I can't get to Thetford even though that is my preferred location. If I am feeling better I will hopefully get a nice storm shot of Norwich from Mousehold Heath. Then Wednesday a thunderstorm should start at around 10am at Cromer and finish off somewhere over Brundall. Brundall is supposed to get the worst of it, but I feel the coast would be a better setting and fit for my project. Norfolk transport is the worst, it's literally the only place I know of where trains do not run to the coast except Cromer and Sheringham. What about Blakeney, Wells or Holkham? What about Morston? It has seal trips, yet no one can get to them. (unless of course you are blessed to own a car.) It takes one train and two buses to get to Holkham yet they run at slightly different times so it take like three hours to get there. What if you miss one? What if one of them is late? I like Holkham, but I don't want to be stranded there in the rain. I do not understand Norfolk transport.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The weather warning is yellow!!

So I spent the day re-searching the weather for the next two weeks and where I can reasonably get to during uni. I noticed tomorrow morning has a yellow warning for fog so I have been frantically re-searching how to get to either Mousehold heath or the UEA grounds. UEA is a long walk at 5am so I think I shall go with Mousehold. I want a wooded area and UEA seems to be lacking any sort of woods, or maybe that's Google maps. I don't know. I have never been to either. Here's hoping the weather warning isn't for nothing and there is actually some form of fog. That would suck, wouldn't it? To walk all that way to have no fog and because tomorrow will be cloudy no real sunrise either. I miss when I used to live in Cardiff or up north near Scotland. I could literally step out my front door and I would be in miles of woods, fields or beaches. I'm not saying Norfolk doesn't have those things, it does. It's just they are damn near inaccessible without a car.