Final Self Shoot Evaluation

After a lot of different research, planning and experimental shoots I have finally completed my final shoot for the ‘Self’ project. I am really happy with the way my shoot went and I think that I got some really good images from it. I was very happy with the way that I planned my shoot and all of the research that I did.

Before I completed my my final shoot I had to do some research into self and the ideas that I had. I found this research very helpful and I think that it helped me to create my idea and helped me to plan for my final shoot. I would have used my research a lot more but I think that because I wanted to make my work quite unique I didn’t want to use some ones work and make it completely the same. I think that it was good that I did research otherwise I wouldn’t have found other people work that related to mine and my shoot wouldn’t have gone as good as I feel that it did. I think I used my research well as a base for my idea and I built it up on top of that.

After I had done my research I had to plan my final shoot and propose my idea and what I was going to do. I included a lot of things in my proposal and used my research to show how this influenced me for my idea and how it helped me come up with an idea for my final shoot. I think that planning my shoot and creating a proposal was very helpful for me as I found it a lot easier to follow a plan and a structure rather than just take some pictures and upload them afterwards. During my shoot I did use my proposal and plans and they really helped to make the shoot run a lot more smoothly because I had all my ideas and proposed plans in front of me and all I had to do was follow it. I found it a lot easier to plan before my shoot because I feel that I wouldn’t really have an idea or a structure to my work.

After planning and proposing my idea I had to experiment with my ideas and it would give me an insight into what my work would actually look like and also to show me if I need to change anything about my idea or my plan to make the images look better or for the shoot to run a lot more smoothly. I planned and shot four different experimental shoots based on my final ideas and I found these shoots really helpful as I got to see what my work would look like when I had finally shot it. When evaluating these different shoots I commented on a few things that i could do differently if I was to include these types of shots in my final shoot and how to make them better if I had to ever do anything like this again. I think that it was good to do experimental shoots as I think it made my final shoot go a lot more smoothly because I had already had experience in shooting was I had to do and  I wasn’t just jumping straight into an idea without knowing roughly what it should look like and how it was supposed to turn out in the end.

I used the pictures from my experimental shoots during my final shoot to give me rough guide of what my work should like and comparing the two different images to see if I could do anything differently and to make my work a lot better compared to what I did during my experimental shoots.

After doing my experimental shoots and evaluating them I looked at all of my work and just gathered together my ideas and experimental work before doing my final shoot just to refresh my memory and gather the information in my head so I knew exactly what I had to do and how my shoot should go. I did this along with using my work during my shoot just to compare images from previous shoots and also to follow my plan from my proposal.

I then completed my final shoot and I knew that I had four emotions/mental states to photograph in order to get my final four images that I needed. Essentially because I was doing four separate images I really needed to do four different shoots but because I decided to use the same set up and background for all of my images I decided to do all of my shoots at the same time to make it a lot easier for myself because I wanted all of my shots to roughly look the same in terms of set up and  I think that doing them all at the same time helped me because it meant that the background didn’t look any different and because it was dark when I took all of the photographs it meant that the lighting didn’t change dramatically at any point meaning that it wouldn’t affect the image and wouldn’t make them look really different. I think that this was something that helped my shoot run a lot smoother and it made me get my work done a lot quicker.

In terms of set up and camera work for my final shoot I used a dark brown dining table set up as all of my images were related to food so I wanted to put the subject in the most natural of habitats as possible. In my experimental shoots I used a white work surface and I think that it didn’t look as nice as what I used for the final shoot and because of the artists work I had looked at during my research I wanted my set up to be kind of similar to theres which is a lot darker with minimal lighting. I used completely natural lighting for my shoot as I wasn’t in the studio I did use the light from the room that I was shooting in but as I used my camera on auto mode the flash switched itself on anyway so most of the lighting came from the flash anyway. I used my Canon DSLR 1200D camera with and 18-55mm lens attachment and I think that my shots looked really good considering I used a basic canon camera with a basic lens that was nothing fancy. I used this camera for my experimental shoots too so I knew the type of results I was going to get from it. I used my camera on Auto Intelligence Mode which made it a lot easier for me in terms of setting because I wanted to get the best image possible I didn’t want to be messing around constantly trying to make the image right. I found it a lot easier to get the work done using this setting and it didn’t take me as long to shoot my images as it usually does when I use my camera on manual mode and I have to changed the settings a lot more. During my experimental shoots I did take some of my images using different camera settings and I found this a bit annoying to do because I was constantly messing around with the camera settings and not focusing on the actual shoot. Because I was constantly moving around with the camera and trying to get different shots from different angles I found it a lot easier to not use a tripod because I wanted to be able to move around as much as possible and not using a tripod made this a lot easier for me to do. I did use a tripod in some of my experimental shoots and even though I got some nice images from it I did find I was able to get a lot more different varieties of shots and angles using just my hands and not a tripod. In the end I think I took around 160 images and I think this was a really good amount to show my ideas and what I wanted to do.

I have included contact sheets of the images I have taken for my final shoot.

As you can see from my contact sheets I took a lot of pictures and they were all inspired by an artist called Celia A Shapiro. This is the artist that I studied in my research and her work really inspired to do something for self related to food and personality. For one of my experimental shoots that included drinks I used her work as a base and did my shoot around her work. For my final idea and shoot I based my work on her project called ‘The Last Supper’ I really like this project of hers and when I saw it I knew that it was something that I wanted to base my work around. I have included an example of her work from ‘The Last Supper’ which is what I took inspiration from for my final shoot.

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She has a variety of different images that are based on food and the different food that she photographs is related to what people would have as their last supper. This is where I got the inspiration to use emotions and mental states along with food to help represents something and use imagery through food.

Even though I took a lot of pictures on this shoot I only have to choose 4 as my final images. I have put my final four images below a long with an explanation into why I like this image and what I did to create it.

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This the image that I took for ‘Celebration’ the celebration which I chose is christmas. I found this easy to shoot and to source things for as it is very nearly christmas at the moment. I chose some christmasy things that I had to hand which was a box of biscuits and three different advent calendars. I think that I managed to represent christmas really well in this image as I use things related to christmas and that people would essentially use daily int the run up to christmas. As the lighting was playing up in this image as I first took it I added some fairy lights around the outside, which I think was quite a good idea as they are also related to christmas as well. I think this looks quite similar to the work of Celia A Shapiro in terms of the lighting because the image is really dark around the outside then you just have one burst of flash and light in the centre of the image which is similar to what is in her images. If I had to take this image again then I would use a lot more props to enhance the image and if I was to change the setup then I would make the background a more christmas themed environment so that the scenario is easier to recognise when you first look at the image.
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This is the image that I took for ‘Health’. For health I chose to include some healthy different foods that had bright odours in them or on the packaging as when people are being healthy they usually include a lot of bright colours in their diets and the food usually looks really appetising. For the colourful element of this image I used some oranges, some different oranges and also some pasta as I feel that these have really bright colours and along with the flash on the camera these look really bright and colourful in the final image. I am really happy with the way this image turned out in terms of the colour and the brightness along with the flash and I think this still really relates to the work of Celia A Shapiro because of the way the lighting sits with the darkness of the outside and the brightness in the middle that really makes all of the different foods stand out. To add to the image and to make it look a bit more related to health I added some trainers and also a water bottle as I feel that these are still related to health because when people eat healthy they want to stay healthy by staying hydrated and also keeping fit by exercising. If I had to take this image again then I would add a more variety of foods with different colours to make it seem a lot brighter and I would also place the food in a scenario where you would find a healthy person so either in a gym or out in the fresh air.
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This is the image that I took for ‘Happiness’. When I did my experimental shoot and I focused on this emotion I used food with a range of different bright colours and packets as this is something that is usually related to happiness, bright and bold colours. But when I looked back at the images I found that I didn’t really like the way that they turned put but I knew that I still wanted to focus on this emotion. After I did my experimental shoot I had a think on how I could still include this emotion into my shoot but use it in a different way to my experimental shoot. I thought of an idea to ask different people what food makes them happy and what they eat when they feel happy and shoot it in this way so you get an opinion from lots of different people. Before I shot this image I asked a few different people I knew what food made them happy and I included all these food items in the image so in this image it shows a wide variety of opinions from different people on what food they think makes them the most happy and what they enjoy eating. I am happy with the way this image turned out but I think that if I had to shoot this image again then I would make it its own individual project that would be about happiness and food and have a different image for everyones different happiness opinions.
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This is the final image which I took for my shoot and it was based on ‘Comfort Eating’. For this image I really paid attention to the location of the image and made it look as if someone had been sat on the sofa with a blanket and was comfort eating a lot of different foods. I left these different foods scattered across the sofa and the blanket to make it look like they had just been chucked along the blanket rather than the foods being carefully places like in all of the other images. I wanted to make this image a lot more relaxed compared to the other images that I did as I feel ‘Comfort Eating’ is a lot more relaxed compared to all of the other things that I focused on during this shoot. Another reason why I decided to do this is because I did something very similar in my experimental shoot and I really like the way that my final image turned out for that shoot so I decided to create something similar that I would like for my final shoot. Along with this means that it looks slightly different to the other images and also the work of Celia A Shapiro but that doesn’t really bother me to much as I knew I wanted to try and create something unique compared to the work of the artists that I have researched. If I had to do this shoot again then I would try to add different props and some other different foods to try and make the environment in the image look a lot more relaxed and chilled out which is what the mental state I have chosen is all about really. Other than this I am still very happy with the final image.

I am very happy with the way that this self project went and I think that I managed to develop my skills in food photography as I have never done much work in terms of food photography before. I enjoyed looking into self and learning the true meaning of it in terms of photography. When I first started this project I didn’t really know much about self and what it really meant but through the weeks of learning through research and also through taking lots of different images I think I now have a clear understanding of what it really means and how you could capture it through and image or photography.

Also throughout this project I have also learnt some new photography skills and used some different equipment that I have never used before. Firstly I learnt about fill flash and how different photographers use it in their work and how they can create a lot of different images using fill flash. We then got to experiment with fill flash ourselves which is something that I have never studied before and I found it really good to work with and I managed to create some really good images with the attachment. We also got to learn about medium format photography and we got to use a medium format camera which is essentially a film camera and I really enjoyed using this because I had never used one before and I really liked the images that I created from it. Using medium format photography we did a mini project where we got to create our names using different letters from signs and posts from around the college which was really fun. I have included two pictures of the new equipment I learnt to use during this project.

 

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