Thursday, March 31, 2011


All being well I'll be heading to Manchester Airport tomorrow, and catching an afternoon flight to Istanbul, Turkey. I've found myself in a fortunate position that my fiancee has a conference to attend, and I've been able to straggle along paying for my flight.

The last time I was in Istanbul was over a year ago, and the city was a brief encounter as we travelled to Ankara and Cappadica all within a week or so. I took my camera along of course, but didn't shoot as much as I thought. I like to think the last visit was more observation, getting a feel for the city and thinking out ideas without an outlet. However my return will be a different matter.

I plan on shooting each day that I am there. It means approx. four shoots all of different subject matter. I'm pretty confident that the first day will be a lot of stock images. I only state this as I'm sure I'll have my tourist focus in mind, and capture all of those typical images.

Day one. Blue Mosque, and city scenes
Day two. Fishing and food around one of the main bridges
Day three. People working in the Bazzar and stalls.
Day four. People again but more off the main streets, small coffee shops etc.

extra: Protest? typically the main street on a Sunday has a protest of some kind.

Although this is a very brief outline hopefully I'll expand more as I shoot. I myself have very little - if I'm honest no understanding of Turkish language. Which will add another dynamic the situation. I will only be able to communicate in English; so whatever happens I'll not understand. This is of course problematic and will provide some primary evidence for future papers on local v's western photography.

Already in reflection I feel I will be a different photographer on the ground. I will be considering a completely different set of ethics and practices in my visit. Hopefully this is something that will be reflected in my work I'll produce.

I'll also be posting a journal online on this blog, however the images will follow as I intend to post produce when back in the UK.

Monday, March 21, 2011


After last weeks shoot and with much encouragement from my colleagues I've started a Flickr page. Currently I only have one project on it as all my others need a lot of editing. However I will upload more and get it up to date. This is a mistake starting so late - although I'll no doubt be more selective in what I use. If anyone would like to bookmark it or check it out then I've added the URL below:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shooting from the hip

Yesterday I took some time just to walk around and shoot random street scenes. I was following a request of another student on my course, 'go take one street picture' - so well I did and photographed in this fashion:

I held the camera to my side, strap wrapped around my hand. Set the lens to 24mm and the aperture to f.2.8 and tilted it slightly upwards. These are the results of my final edit, it's important to note that they have not been cropped or colours adjusted. If anything it just provides a break from using the viewfinder, and stretch a creative outlook. The only image which was composed with the viewfinder is the last, the rest from the hip!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Research for Ballet

I'm looking at some background research into current and contemporary photographers to assess the market. This is for the module lead by Rebecca Swift.

Ballet Photographers

Richard Calmes (link)  provides a great range of Ballet. I'm impressed with his formal studio work, however some of his forced location suited a certain audience. USA

Amber Hunt (link) portfolio contains a mix of other genres however her work is perhaps more commercially focused. Looking at the Stage photographs titled 'Swans' - technically lacking in my own opinion due to the high contrast, background foreground (compromised) for locational impact. UK

Lois Greenfield (link) is a prolific photographer with a career spanning over 25 years. I find this interesting comparing and contrasting her work and how it has followed trends. slightly off the subject of Ballet her more branded work (link) Orangina designed for tube escalator advertising. I can see a similar line of inquiry in her own work to my own. She has an exploration into the abstract form created by light and selective cropping; inspired and formulated by the works of Dali and Bacon. 

Factors: Stage lighting provides a complex backdrop which has already been designed on a massive scale. Thus the photography of candid and portraits during performance requires a mastery of available light, and an understanding of the performance.

Many of the prominent photographers have a deep and thorough understanding of dance. They have forged relationships with dancers and studios, and created these bonds which propagate a membership to the arts. However only though a full and deep understanding, a meaningful and sympathetic representation is possible.

Many of the Studio shots are based on a single light source at the most two. A possible idea would be to involve a lighting expert from the stage to help construct a set.

In terms of market appeal many of the important aspects of Ballet is focused on the body line. This is reflected in the use of studio light and single sources. However the main area that hasn't be exploited is post-production ascetic which the single 'freeze frame' of photography (link) lacks to represent.

 In the construction of the above image my model balanced on a stood, which was hidden by light then removed through post-production. Also the use of highlighting with white drops blurred and sized added the impact of movement. This is a very basic first draft and needs a lot of refining.

Points of action for another project.

Contact contemporary dance in UCLan for information and possible model use. Attend performances and warm up. Continue with Carol May project (link) and research classical performances for theory.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ballet from the studio

John Y

A few weeks ago I booked in some studio time, with many thanks to a kind friend for modeling. I've still not got around to the final editing of the images, but for now here are a few. I thought I'd start to develop a few different style of shooting other than the normal kind of portrait photography.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"in certain places" The Monument and the Changing City Symposium

Today I attended an all day Symposium at UCLan's Media factory (Sandbox) - The subject of which was 'The Monument' in the city.  The images below are of Preston, however the lectures were based upon cities around the world.

The speakers were as follows; Dr. Paul Gough, Lubaina Himid, Dr. Alan Rice, Dr. Jonathan Vickery, Charles Quick and Dr. Chris Meigh-Andrews.

One of the most poignant moments was the walk, and outside explanation of the Preston Cenotaph by architect Charlie MacKeith. Points of interest were the proposed move to reinstate the original design features of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. This would require removal of the fences, flower beds and benches - all of which were added retrospectively, to discourage people sitting on the Cenotaph. It is worth noting that now people are seated on the benches, but looking away - thus reinforcing the ideology discussed in the morning lectures. The tendency of cities in development to take the meaning and even the existence of the monument from our conciousness.  It was commented that not enough thought is made at the design stage of whether the monument is fit for purpose (Preston's Cenotaph for example did not have enough room for all the names of the dead which are inscribed instead in the Harris museum).

Dr. Chris Meigh-Andrews talked about his project 'The Monument view" - which was a video installation on top of The Monument in London, (The Monument was erected to commemorate the great fire of London).  His installation is seated upon the very top of this, and a 360 degree camera streams live images of London. These are all available to view here (link) with a back catalogue of images in time-lapse, it's well worth visiting the website, the photography it produces are stunning.

The images that follow are captioned and also emailed to the day events staff for possible inclusion in the pod cast/video marketing material.

Architect Charlie MacKeith

explains the original plans for the Cenotaph

The day's participants

Inside the Harris Museum Preston, the names of Preston Soldiers

The Preston Cenotaph designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott

Phone boxes also designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott