Thursday, May 26, 2011

FOC Science lesson

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Science lesson, to photograph the students in action. I had been given the brief to provide a series of images for FoC (FoundationCampus) that would fit in with existing images. This meant that I had to analyses established images that the company uses.

My requirements of the subjects were that integration and diversity was apparent (this of course is restricted by the students) and the image should convey learning, scientific study and elements of fun and enjoyment.

During the lesson or period of just over an hour, I shot just under 200 frames. My first edit went to 125, then second to 20-30. I've only added 11 of these below.

Friday, May 20, 2011

International Students language day FOC

I was fortunate to be called in for an last minute photo shoot of students teaching their own lessons. It was part of an International language/ culture day where they were sampling each others national food; and some of them had asked to share their language with fellow students.

I've just quickly edited a few. It was a really enjoyable experience - and I was impressed with the presentation and abilities of all involved.

The technical considerations were mainly based upon available light. I had to adjust my ISO a few times so I was getting a high enough shutter speed to avoid shake. I switched between two lenses allowing me different perspectives, also the ability to photograph natural expressions.  

IDA KAR - exhibition National Portrait Gallery London

On Saturday whilst making a stop over in London, I looked around for some exhibitions to view. I always make a habit of stopping off at the Portrait Gallery. I remember the last time some fantastic portraits from Jason Bell. I adored these so much I ordered his book, 'An Englishman in New York' (amazon was cheaper than gallery) Anyway for £2.20 this time it was to see Ida Kar.

Now I know little of her work, although the vast amount of famous authors, artists and celbraties she has photographed you'd of thought her name would be better known. I've lifted some text from the gallery page, just to save me some typing time. One thing that struck me was the amazing tonal range in the prints. I swear I could even smell the fixer on the Antique Bromide prints. The prints were around 12 x 12 and some larger in beautiful frames - well worth a visit!

"Despite receiving public and critical acclaim from her contemporaries, Ida Kar remains surprisingly little known. This exhibition of over seventy of Kar’s portraits highlights the significant role played by this woman photographer at the heart of the creative avant-garde.
Russian-born, of Armenian heritage, Ida Kar (1908–74) was instrumental in encouraging the acceptance of photography as a fine art. Her subjects were the most celebrated figures from the literary and artistic spheres of 1950s and 1960s Europe and Russia. They include artists such as Henry Moore, George Braque, Gino Severini and Bridget Riley and writers such as Iris Murdoch and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Taken in the environments in which they lived and worked, the photographs on display offer a fascinating insight into post-war cultural life. Comprising several iconic portraits and many never previously exhibited, the exhibition is drawn from the Ida Kar Archive, acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1999." - courtesy of National Gallery. Images below are again from the site. (all images copyright National Portrait Gallery London)

Dmitri Dmitiyevich Shostakovich

Gino Severini

Jean paul Sartre

Sir Terence Ernest Manitou
These are only a few of my favorite images. An aspect of the photography that I admire, is the use of available light. Seldom does she use any artificial lighting. All the subjects are relaxed and photographed in their natural (most comfortable places) - Studies, Studios etc. I'll be looking for this book to add to my collection - just need to get it for the right price!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jewelrey shoot update

Last month I shot a series of images for Ashley Hilton as part of her project. During the shoot, she had asked Dima Kalenda create a film. The idea being it could be used to promote the jewelery along side the images. This is his completed work, shot on his Nikon D90 with primarily from my understanding a 50MM f1.8 lens.

I've also just attended a meeting with him today, and we are to collaborate again. This time he will be shooting a video for a book trailer. I'll be taking more of a back seat and provide 'documentary' style images of his filming, and produce final book cover images shot in the studio.

Enjoy the clip and make sure your speakers are on high!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Israel - the next step

The next photographic project I am looking to pursue will expand upon Istanbul - city portraits. I intend to re-visit the city perhaps next year. I outlined this in my conclusion of the book. Also learning from the project I now understand I need a deeper understanding of a country. Hopefully this will result in a more educated compilation of imagery.

Although it is not long before I depart for Israel, I have a basic understanding of the country. I have begun my research and started to read; 'The Palestine - Israeli Conflict by Dan Cohn-Sherbok & Dawould El-Alami" The book is broken into two parts, the first written from a Jewish perspective, the second A Palestinian perspective. Hopefully this will provide some necessary background information, but also given both sides to a political situation.

I am also aware of the issue regarding an entrance stamp to this country, will possibly cause problems when entering neighboring countries. However as many are involved in conflict this becomes less of an issue. Although not impossible this consideration has already been evaluated.

Istanbul - final the book edited and sent for production

I have finally concluded my Istanbul series with a book edit. I've added three out of the 40 images used as a sample below. In producing this book my final edit ranged from a series of several edits, that cut the number down considerably from what was taken.

I decided upon the order to reflect the direction that I walked, and passed through the respective neighborhoods. It was important to me to leave this in place, as it helped give coherence to the reader and allow a narrative to form.

However upon reviewing the book I decided it needed to be contextualised. I started to address this by writing an introduction, which would help to anchor the intention of the collection. I would allow the reader to understand my methodologies, experience and ethnicity. I felt this was important as it would perhaps help explain how these images were created.

I made this addition which started to form the book into a more finished product. However taking feedback from my Anthony project, I decided that I would make the addition of text part of the story. It would seem crude to simply anchor the image with obvious captions such as "man on bridge" - So I decided to describe my surroundings and what occurred either before, during or after the images construction. Hopefully this would add yet another depth to the reader, so that the journey would enrich the collection.

It still seemed that it needed another element to it. At present I have been studying the effects of the photographers ethnicity in photographic situations. This was of course part of my methodology - and something that I had embraced from the very beginning of this project. So I wanted to give that more context rather than just an admission. I decided with consultation to include open testimonies from people with experience from the country.

I managed to contact two people for this:

Michael originates from Zimbabwe and now resides in Ankara; he has lived and worked in Istanbul for many years. He is an illustrator and has worked as a semi-professional photographer.

Seckin originally from Turkey and currently resides in Istanbul. He lectures on Photography at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul.

In my email I asked for either an analysis of the photographs; or a summary given time constraints I decided to formulate a few questions, which would frame their responses.

The book is currently in production from 'Blurb' and a link will soon follow for previewing and ordering.

This photograph is used on the cover

This is from the collection inside

And finally from the back cover

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Istanbul - oddities and texture

I've added a few photographs which didn't really fit into an edit or subject. I don't really feel the need for any text to explain these images. I'm going to let the viewer read in their own message.

Istanbul - Locked away are the things most precious

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sam Jones Pictures!

I am finding myself drawn to portraits and looking at all current trends and styles of photography. In a previous blog entry (link) I looked at the work of Steven Lippman. Although I was rather critical of some of his portraiture, I still admire his work; but found he lacked a certain edge that I was looking for and today I found it! this of course is in the work of Sam Jones.

Sam Jones started his photographic career as a photojournalist for the Associated Press (seeing where the edge is coming from) and his current work has been used from Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, CQ and many more. It looks like he is now moving towards directing films, although is 2007 he published a book titled 'The Here And Now' - which was where I discovered his work.

What I find interesting is the connection firstly with his style developed through photojournalism, then through the commercial application of his work. Not only for the obvious commission of celebrities through publications, but how the application of his style has followed through. Looking through his site (link: Sam Jones) his covers and ads sections feature many 'Bill board' adverts for films, Movie posters and even advertising for various clients such a Omega and Honda. Perhaps one of his most prestigious works was to photograph President Obama for Rolling Stone! Although not featured below I've 'screen grabbed' some of his work I really enjoy and aspire to attain.

The informal approach and getting to know your subject passions

Beautiful light with drop focus her hair matching the grass all the colours in harmony.

Just love the fun element and shooting something your subject enjoys! 

Very cool and nice framing of the subjects in the car.

A great fun natural looking frame; the following shows an argument between Steve Martin and 'Batter'

What a great subject, Will's humor and comedy grace comes through.

Drop focus - something I'm looking to investigate in the studio, and has been employed in my street portraits - although problematic in technical issues relating to focusing planes.

All images used are for evaluation purposes only and will be removed upon request.

In summary his photographic work stems from a Photojournalist background, which has developed his style into a commercial practice. I can see that if I was looking to commission a Photographer which could represent this style then his work would suit. I can only really comment that I'm not sure about that music playing on his website - although I adore the flash element to the humming bird being painted. All things to consider in my own sites construction.