Friday, 22 April 2016

Insight into Working Practice.

I personally believe that you have a lot of responsibility as a photographer, but I want to talk in particular about landscape photography. It is very much a double sided coin. On one hand you are increasing awareness about the place you are photographing, but if the area is protected, are you hurting the environment by bringing more people to it? It is the same for wildlife photography. Viewers see the photographs and then want to go to that place. You see this a lot with national parks, but does the increase in population in parks do the animals and land any good?  You have to question how you preserve what we have left, and does photographing that area increase awareness for the better? Does it help the park, animals, landscape you are shooting in? Does your presence do the land more harm than good?

(Advice from a blog on how to start local and branch out your landscape photography)

1. Keep your market local.
2. Start stock and go onto commissions. 

 (Article discussing landscape photography, money and jobs with Colin Prior.)

Colin, where is the money in landscape photography these days?
It’s very difficult to make money from landscape photography, full stop. I’ve behaved as a publisher for the last 15 years and I’ve never really made my living as a landscape photographer, more as a publisher who published my own work. There will always be a demand for paper products, people will always buy books and calendars, but the demand is probably falling.
In terms of stock I think we’ve reached a point where it’s largely worthless. People are expecting not to pay for photographs, and if they do pay they don’t expect to have to sign a licensing agreement for a limited time. Magazine editors increasingly tell me they don’t have a budget for photographs. So, if photographers can’t make money from images, what can they do?
What do you think you’ve done right?
There’s no doubt that if I hadn’t published my own work I wouldn’t have had so much visibility, but when I started out  in 1995 the economy was buoyant, there were lots of independent retailers and art shops, which have largely gone.
Any photographer can print their own work these days but not of as good a quality as the lithographic prints I’ve been doing, which is probably why they’ve been such a hit. But that model is no longer valid because the independent retailers have gone and images are now an online product.
What would you advise aspiring photographers to do?
I would keep landscape photography as a hobby and concentrate on general stock photography. Shoot a lot every day, take pictures of household appliances, car keys, coffee mugs, wellies, because people will use it and you’ll get a little bit of money very often.
And sometimes you get contacted for something more; I’ve just been contacted by a company that wanted to buy the world rights to an image I’d taken of northern lights to use with some computer software.
Websites now want cheap photography. When I worked at The Times three years ago there was a guy who came to me and wanted to be a newspaper photographer, and I advised him to shoot stock instead. He contacted me recently and said he was now earning as much as I earned when I was picture editor of The Times, and thanked me a lot for telling him to go down that route.

Saturday, 16 April 2016


Sam and I had our collaboration shoot with Frog and Pencil designs on Tuesday. Oowen very kindly helped out with set building and behind the scenes photography. It started off well, we had a little building hiccup but it was sorted very easily once we all figured out how to secure the legs to the bucket which held the curtains. I was extremely worried throughout the whole shoot that the bamboo would not hold the flowers and frames but it did hold. Sam and I split the shoot so she worked with studio lighting which was more relevant to her personal work, and I worked with natural lighting which is more relevant to my work. We shot all day as we had the studio booked from 9.30am to around 5pm. I believe it was a successful day and mainly problem free. Sam and I edited all the image by Thursday evening ready to sit down with Claire on Friday and go through everything. I personally did not do any serious editing, I just cleaned them up a little bit. Any other edits to the photographs were done with Claire and then given to her at the end of the editing session. 

I'm almost finished now. That was the last shoot for this unit done. All that is left to do is the final prints, finish adding the report notes to the essay, spell check everything, blog work, analyse final edits and rename all the files. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016


So it's collaboration hand in day today. I think my partner and I started off really well. We struggled initially to come up with some ideas, the first few ideas seemed to have a little too much of me involved. We were going through one another's work when I came across his flower photography and I thought I would be able to create a similar visual/colour feel with alcohol ink. I created the ink pieces whilst the cameras Lewis had put up filmed what I was doing. I put all of this together to produce the presentation that we then presented together before Easter break. Since Easter break I have felt like communication broke down a little bit. We struggled at the start due to his deadlines, as he was producing work for a competition and had a lot of group meetings. My work schedule and his clashed a little bit outside of uni but we eventually found a day to film that worked for both of us. I was admittedly away for some of Easter break as was he, but communication was more difficult once the presentation was finished. We were able to go through the footage together and decide what and how to edit and what we wanted the finished article to look like. We weren't sure of the exact outcome of the final piece when we started so the shots weren't placed in a specific order after being exported. Viewing the footage at my place we knew we had got some great shots which we could work on. For example, in my last blog post, I mentioned I stepped into the main shot by accident (although it definitely ended up working out in our favour!). Shooting with multiple cameras did take some getting used to,  I was initially worried about accidentally stepping into view, or that my shadow or reflection would appear on the glass. Lewis helped me get to grips quickly and we even worked out that my reflection in the glass, rather than being a hazard, could end up complimenting the piece. You can actually see me working away and creating the ink glass pieces throughout the film and I personally think it does work, however at the time I was worried but turning that negative into a positive made the collaboration really rewarding. Also since the whole piece is about playing with light and colour when you see my reflection or light being passed through the ink-stained glass it does not detract at all. The majority of the final piece is from the main camera on the fluid head tri-pod, which was situated directly over the pane of glass which I was dropping ink onto. This also affected the framing decision, which is why the film is square. It had to be cropped slightly due to the paper wrapped around the furniture, due to this, it was decided that it would be better as a square crop due to ratio. The very simple piece of music was created in logic and adds another layer to the piece because the sound of a piano key changes the shot, whilst the drum introduces the overlay changes with the light effects.  Although the timing of the project was difficult due to both of us being busy, I really appreciated the chance to work with another student, as Lewis introduced extra concepts such as music and me being in the photo that we both were able to develop on. There were also the usual constraints that had to be worked around, such as the lack of studio space and lighting, but considering this I think the piece is an even better accomplishment for us both.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

I'll meet you after my meeting.

It's not long till deadline and I'm starting to panic a little bit. I do not think I am behind but the amount of work I have left is daunting. My website wireframe designs are done and the business cards are ready to print. My facebook and Instagram profiles link up nicely. My blog is slowly coming along. My first final prints have been selected and printed and are now ready to have wax and resin worked into them. This means once they are done I can print the final prints on the right kind of paper, back them and then do encaustic things to them next week. This also means if they go wrong, I have just over one week to print and start again. I have my final meeting with the designer for the collaboration shoot tonight, as well as the final prop shopping trip with Sam in an hour. I'm also going over the other collaboration film pieces from collaboration week in March, later on, today. Basically, this week is all meetings and preparation, next week is shooting and final printmaking. The final week will be spent going over everything and finishing off any last pieces. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

All of the paper!

I ordered a range of free sample from companies such as Vista and Moo. I am absolutely in love with Moo. It is almost exactly what I have been looking for. A lot of paper I have been offered or told to print on has a gloss or smooth matte finish which is not what I am looking for. I don't like the shine or quality/feel of the cards. They feel odd in my hand and the shine can easily attract dirt or get smudges on them. 

orignal gloss card/orignal matte finish postacrd

luxe notecard paper/matte finish card

My favourite is the luxe notecard paper. At 600gsm it is a little thick. I would prefer around 400gsm. This is exactly what I was looking for to print my business, thank you and package cards on. 

business and money of luxe notecard paper at 600gsm

They also provide A4 luxe notecard paper at 130gsm to allow invoice printing or anything else you would like on the back of your logo/company name/poster.

I think this is definitely the company I will be going with to print the various cards I am designing. It was the company that most impressed me in terms of ordering, delivery and presentation. Vista and overnight prints had a very small range of sample and the packaging put me off. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Collaboration Film/Presentation.

Lewis came around the other day to film our collaborative piece together. We ended up having to use my own living room which I cleared out the best I could. There was no studio space available and I still have the builders light from the 1st year exhibition so it was easier to light my own apartment. We initially had trouble with the setup. We ended up borrowing my neighbours outdoor furniture and wrapped the furniture in white paper. We then covered my floor in a white back drop and started setting up the various cameras. This was a whole new experience for me. I am used to just working with a few assistants, maybe a model and then one camera. Lewis bought four cameras (plus mine made five.) We had one stationed directly above the glass on a fluid head tri-pod. We then had a go-pro, and two other cameras placed at various angles and filming at different speeds. Lewis wanted to try and get as many different shots as we could in one take. This was also pretty hard for me, as a photographer you never have to worry about getting in the way of your own shot. On the very first take I accidentally stepped into view of one of the cameras. I stepped forward too far and my foot was caught in the top right corner of the main wide angle shot. Once the filming of the alcohol ink being splattered onto the glass was done, I then added blending solution and the we photographed the reaction between the solution and ink. I used a hair dryer to create movement and force the ink across the glass. Lewis then lay under the glass and I dropped solution onto the clear parts of glass where his phone with a macro attachment was recording. We then reviewed the footage whilst the ink was drying. Once it was dry Lewis focused the camera on the fluid head tri-pod onto my wall. I held the ink-stained glass directly above the camera and he shone light through the glass to create patterns on the wall which we also recorded. It took some work not to get shadows caught on the wall from the other equipment but eventually we got a few good shots. 

Unfortunately we had no footage to show on presentation day. Our work shifts clashed the rest of Wednesday and Thursday and we didn't have time to meet up and edit the footage. This is something we will do over the Easter holidays in time for deadline on the 7th of April. I think due to the time constraints, lack of studio space and different work schedules we did really well to get to where we were on Friday morning. The feedback for what we had was good. We had some interesting conversations on what we both found different about working with film and stills. Hopefully over the next two weeks we can get the film edited and I will be able to post the final piece on here soon. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Ranger Kit.

Canon 5D Mark III

Ambient light – F/2.0 ISO-100 1/60th – 8990
F/2.8 ISO-100 1/30TH – 8992
8996 had the same settings but ISO-400
Went back to 1/60th for 8994
Ranger kit – 2.5 – Bouncing from polyboards. Only using one light

F/3.2 ISO-100 1/60TH – 9002

Ranger down to 2 – using two lights and diffusing
F/4.0 ISO – 100 1/25TH – 9012
Right light bouncing of the ceiling. Left light being diffused.
F/5.6 ISO – 100 1/25TH – 9017 F/5.6 ISO-100 1/200th – 9021
Bouncing Ranger kit back of boards – 9024 onwards. Same settings as before.

Bouncing light off the ceiling – 9031. Same settings as before.


So, today I got to meet who I am collaborating with this week. The brief is so open that initially we struggled to come up with ideas. We started off by looking at each others work and Lewis liked the encaustic medium print I had on instagram. For our first idea, he suggested we could video the process the wax and resin go through. He then asked if they were any other way I knew of transferring photographs and I mentioned I had done a mod podge wood transfer before. For our second idea we could print a very large photograph and then transfer it onto a wall in an abandoned building or on large wood sheets. Whilst we both liked the idea we felt it had a little too much of my work involved and not enough of his. We looked through our work again and I really liked his photograph of the docks and suggested we could do something with paper and lights as a stop motion. I also noticed a photograph of a blue swirl and asked what it was. He explained it was a flower and how he had manipulated it. I suggested we scrap the ideas we had so far and focused on something that was completely new that had neither of our work we are currently doing involved in this unit. Lewis showed me a photograph of an exhibition in Convent Garden he had on his phone. It was of these large projections that had lights shining through them. I said we could perhaps do something similar with gels and alcohol inks on sheets of  prespex or glass. He went on to say how he would be able to manipulate it and create a similar feel to his flower images. We then went out and bought the large perspex sheets we will be transferring the alcohol ink onto. I tried to book a studio space but Fergus said it was fully booked till Friday afternoon. Lewis said he would try to book a film studio but failing that we could potentially turn my living room into a studio for a day. We could black out my window and use the builders light from the 1st year exhibition I have stored away to light the perspex sheets. Lewis also has some bike lights and I have some flashing fairy lights as well. We will be meeting on Wednesday at lunch time to film as he said he has a lot of meetings today and tomorrow. 

Using glass and water was on the ways we considered manipulating light with alcohol ink. Alcohol does not mix in with water. It bursts and creates a lid on top of the water which in turns creates water patterns on the surface you are shining the light through. The water wasn't going to work with the film though, so we deiced to use glass and lights instead.

During research I found a man called, Alan Jaras. He creates these images by shining light through an object and capturing it directly on 35mm film. No camera lens is used at all. Colour is introduced to the image by placing filters over specific beams of light. This is something we are thinking of taking forward in our own work by shining lights through the alcohol ink on glass onto a wall. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Formative Assessment Point.

I had show and tell at university today. This is where you take two of three prints from your work, hang them on a wall, and people talk about your images. I really don't find these as useful as group critiques. You can't really talk through any issues if you are having any. You can't talk about how your process is going and bounce ideas around. I find the critiques where you sit down in much smaller groups and talk through your work much more beneficial. You are also always really pressed for time when you work in larger groups. You end of getting about five minutes rather than twenty or so you normally get to talk about your work. It's also hard to give someone feedback on the project in its entirety if all you have are just a handful of images. At the end of the day, they can talk about what they have done, but unless you can actually see the work it's hard to get a sense of where they are in their project. That then makes it difficult in figuring out how to best give them feedback and help them with any problems they are having. I didn't really get any feedback today. I talked about what encaustic medium is and the process the images go through. I'm hoping during my one to one on Monday I can get some feedback on my prints.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Hay or High?

So my friend and collaborator for this project phoned me up Monday night and asked if I wanted to go to Thetford forest on Tuesday. It was going to be an early start but it would give us a whole day to concentrate on our personal as well as collaborative projects. I woke up the next morning, packed my kit and then it started to rain. I am talking biblical rain. I suited up and set off for the train station and whilst walking the rain eased up. I collected my tickets, met my friend and off we went. By the time we got to Thetford it was pouring. I rang for a taxi to take us to High Lodge...not hay. I thought my friend said hay and this resulted in a very confusing taxi service phone call. Anyway, we got to the lodge and dried off. The rain eased up again when we were inside filming but as soon as we got outside it started raining heavily again. We walked for about four to five hours around the woods in the rain. It was great fun, it felt so good to get out of Norwich even if we spent the day cold and wet. I kept losing my socks, she kept dropping her camera, an umbrella was lost. It was an eventful day. I think I have a possible two or three final images from the trip. I will definitely be going back but maybe when it is a little sunnier, or at the very least dry. 

Speaking of which, as I am writing this it has just started to March!!

One to One.

I had another one to one with Andy on Monday. I meant to write everything up sooner but my computer needed a new hard drive installed so it's been in pieces for a few days. I have been so worried that I am behind schedule due to such an early mid-term review and a short deadline that I am consonantly panicking about one brief or another. I am worried I will focus too intently on one and not get the others done or the standard won't be as high. I think due to the time it takes to create one print is also what is worrying me. Unlike everyone else my job isn't done once I have taken the photograph and edited it. I then have to prep the print, which takes about twenty four hours before I can use wax. I think Andy is right, once I have pulled everything together and have all my work and research it will all come together reasonably quickly. My report is on track and I talked for awhile about how I was splitting it into five sections. I decided it would be most beneficial to do a technical report as the process I have to go through to produce one print is quite lengthy. We also talked about a few more photographers I could look into as well. It was a good one to one. I just need to get my head down and get some prints ready for Thursday due to my mishap with the glue a few days ago. 

Friday, 26 February 2016

Messing up.

After posting about what I would be doing today I have made a rather silly mistake in preparing my photographs. I have used the wrong kind of glue. It was a late night error where I just wasn't thinking. I was at the time gluing down materials for a mock-up of a thank you card for the second brief. I just got mixed up and carried on gluing the photographs with the same glue. It's not a huge error but that does mean I must re-print and glue the new prints to another set of backing. It unfortunately means I must put off using encaustic medium till tomorrow. I was hoping to get the first set of photographs done today, instead I will be carrying on with the mock up's for the second brief and finishing the technical report. 

Thursday, 25 February 2016


I only have one week till the mid term review. I thought it would be good to get a basic timetable for next week to help me structure the work I need done for the 3rd of March.

Thursday 25th February

Group Critique. 
Digital Marketing meeting.
Website meeting.
1st encaustic photography shoot.
Edit encaustic shoot and prep for Friday.
Start technical report.

Friday 28th February

Use encuatsic medium on printed photographs from Thursday. 
Record process - edit video.
Finish technical report. 

Saturday 27th February

Collaboration meeting.
Write up encaustic results and analyse/review.
Further research based on review.

Sunday 28th February


Monday 29th February

One to one meeting. 
Photography shoot depending on weather. 
Edit, print and prep photographs if available. 
If no shoot...go over PPC and website meeting - start to draw out plans.

Tuesday 1st March

If photographs available - use encaustic medium. If they are no photographs - photography shoot depending on weather. 
Edit, print and prep photographs if available. 
If not able to shoot carry on with promotion brief.
Further research - library/book based

Wednesday 2nd March

If photographs available - use encaustic medium. If they are no photographs - photography shoot depending on weather. 
Edit, print and prep photographs if available. 
If not able to shoot carry on with promotion brief.
Further research - internet/online based.

Thursday 3rd March 

Self written collaboration brief meeting. 
Mid-Term review!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Journey of a dress.

I'm not into fashion at all. If shooting during London fashion weekend taught me anything, it is that fashion photography is not for me. I do however love Elie Saab. Some of his dresses are breathtakingly gorgeous. The amount of work and effort that goes into making each single dress astounds me.  500px recently did another interview with Von Wong focusing on his shark shepherd photographs. The dresses in the photographs strongly reminded me of Elie Saab. The dress used in shark shepherd series is actually by designer, Ali Charisma. 

10 Experiments.

10 experimental approaches to food photography.

  1. Macro – Close up of food such as mushrooms and fruit. Experimentation similar to architecture in making the food appear to be something else. Or appear in a way you haven’t looked at it before. Question what you are looking at.
Example of kiwi fruit. Photography - daveallenphoto

2.     Warm and full of lots of linens and wood. Gives you the impression of an old farmhouse type of setting. Wholesome meals that would keep you warm. Reminds you of going home, comfort food. Clean and simple layout.
Example/Photographer – Greg DuPree

3.     Architecture – Similar to macro in that you are making the food to appear as something it is not, or to look at it in a new way. Use it to build things – tying in with art section.

Example – Carl Warner food scapes

Example – Lernert and Sander food cubes


  1. Art/Carryong on with 1st year project – Having fun with food – Carrying on my year 1 final project idea. Making food fun for adults and kids. Creating scenes and making pack lunches for kids more interesting. Tie in my other interests through cooking?
Example –Making food fun for kids. Some kids are more likely to eat a smiley face made out of fruit than eat fruit. Photography - Michelle Yam

5.     Minimalistic – Plain and simplistic. Showing the food for what it is, even if it makes it look less appealing. Clean, white backgrounds. Very simple. – Studio work.


Photographer Florent Tanent

6.       Adverts – Having friends and family over for dinner and taking a shot of the food, or people gathered around the table. Taking shots of dinner for magazine spreads. Studio based work. Enough negative space for text.

7. Colour - Using colour to play and experiment with food. Create rainbow like effects. leads back to number 4. 

  1. CGI – Computer generated imagery of food. Scott Grummett lecture notes (Still life seems to be dying and CGI is playing a larger part now as is moving image.)

Dabarti CGI food

  1. Lensbaby – Giving a sense of movement. Possibly use in a market place. Fishermen bringing in catch of the day. Where your food comes from rather than the food itself.

Example – Confessions of a foodie photograph

  1. Phone – Instagram. Photographing your food for people to see and like. VSCO. Phone editing software and effects.
Ana Arevalo / AFP / Getty Images

The five approaches at this stage I will most likely take will be:
1. Macro
2. Phone
3. Architecture
4. Art
5. Colour

I feel using these five I will use a wide range of techniques over the subjects. I will work in both the studio and with natural light. There is a lot you can do with food and I would like to carry on the work I started in year 1’s final project with food.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Double Entry - Group Critique.

Thursday 28th January

·         Smaller groups – gives everyone more time to discuss work.
·         New people with which to discuss work – fresh take.
·         Worried about having to explain the process and direction my work have taken to new people– What if I am not clear in explaining everything.
·         Plenty of time to go through everything due to longer critique times.
·         Felt like a normal Thursday despite being a panel review.

Monday 1st February

·         Although I think it is good to talk to new people about your work to get a fresh take, I feel overall it is better to have the continuity of receiving feedback from a group that already knows your work. They can spot patterns and opportunities that a person who does not know your work as well as others might miss.
·         Perhaps a little too long for the critique. The group I was with finished before the allotted time was up.
·         Still prefer smaller groups.