Initial Ideas & Secondary Research

Who Am I?

I would say that I am an amateur photographer learning and slowly trying to expand my knowledge and skills in photography, through college and through personal experiences. I think that photography is a big part of my life and that the more that I learn about it the more I enjoy it and the more confident I become in myself and having the ability to produce good work. Throughout my school life I wasn’t really interested in photography and I never thought it would be something that I would be interested in ever, but then when I started looking into further education and college I discovered it and it slowly took over my life and became something that I really enjoy. I always think that in the future if I don’t do well in college then I may not end up in the position that I always imagine myself to be in. I feel that college is a very big part of my life and that it will help me towards my future and will obviously help me to get a job and secure my happiness for the future and just in general. I always fear that I won’t do well in college, but then I use this worry and fear as motivation to strive in my projects and its almost like a big boost for me to just go for what I want and achieve my dreams. I feel that if I don’t well in college then there is always something I can do to change that, there’s always time for change and if this path in my life doesn’t work out then that’s okay I can just pick myself up and start again as there’s so many different directions in life that I can follow, photography might not be one of them it might end up being the only direction that I take but god only knows what that will end up being. I have considered other options for my future almost like a few back up plans that I can just say well if that doesn’t work out then I can always move on to this or that. My ideal ambition for the future would be to finish college and then move onto an apprenticeship to gain more experience in photography and maybe do that for a few years until I feel fully confident and happy and then start looking for a photography job in weddings and events as this is the one aspect photography that I am really interested in and that I feel happy photographing. At the end of all this then my ultimate goal would be to start my own Wedding and Events Photography business and build my career from there. I feel that by this time in my life I will be happy and confident enough to do this, I have a few different family members that have experience in events and weddings and also photography so I may go to them for advice if I feel that I need a bit of extra help with my business and my decisions. When we recently created a presentation of women who inspire us I studied a few different women and I think that they are really inspiring and look up to them in terms of there attitude and the way that they have built up there life to have a successful future. One of these women was Oprah Winfrey as she is known as the world first African American Female Billionaire. She has built here life up from poverty and gone from nothing to having her own brand and being such a successful woman. I care about my future and doing well as I feel that it is the start and the mold for my future. I also believe that if you go through life not caring about anything or about what happens in your life then something goes wrong then it’s your own doing and you shouldn’t blame other people.

What Do I Like?

I think that photography is what makes me happy and when I’m feeling down or unhappy I can focus on my photography work and my images to lift my spirits and to make me happy. I like to look at different aspects of photography and different genres to see if I can find anything else that will interest me and if there’s anything new out there for me to do and to look at. Throughout this year in Photography we have done a lot of different work and learnt so many new things. I think that throughout this time I have really enjoyed working on my triptychs as not only did I work with a style of photography that I had never done before I also got a chance to focus on the history of Harlow and the background of Harlow so I actually learnt something swell whilst doing my photography. I would like to do more work in Photoshop and fully go through all of its features and functions so that I can feel a lot more confident in working on it and knowing how it works. I would also like to do more work in development and in the dark room as even though I have created some successful dark room work before I would like to experiment more in depth. I would like to practice somehow in wedding and events photography so that I can build my confidence before I go into my apprenticeship and any later jobs I have relating to this.

Secondary Research

A project that I really enjoyed this year was the self-project as I got to fully focus on myself and base my work on what made me happy almost like an FMP. I also learnt a lot of skills and new photography techniques in this project, which I found useful and tried to put towards my own project in order to make it better. I also went over skills that I had already learned and this enabled me to develop them and make them better so that I could build my confidence using them.

As part of my secondary research I have looked at four different photographers that I haven’t studied before and chose one to do an in depth analysis on.

David Hockney

 We recently visited the Tate Britain gallery to visit the David Hockney Exhibition. This exhibition shows a wide variety of David Hockney’s Photography and artwork and also some of his digital moving photography work.

David Hockney is a well known Artist and Photographer whose work is very famous and he has a lot of varied and iconic pieces that most people will recognize to be his at first sight.

At the exhibition we were asked to find some of the images that we really liked or found to be interesting. To do this we noted down the names of the images and also the year that they were created or taken, as during the exhibition we weren’t actually aloud to take any pictures. I found this exhibition really interesting and I think that it really started a mass brainstorm of ideas for my final major project. Before this visit I was very unsure of what I actually wanted to do for this project and I was kind of stuck for an idea and found it difficult on where to start off but I think this visit really helped me to start somewhere.

I have chosen a few of the images from the exhibition that I really liked and found interesting, I have also given some reasons why I like them and how I think I can get ideas from the for my final major project.

This first image that I found from the exhibition of Hockney’s is called ‘The Scrabble Game’ I really like this piece of work as I think the style is really different and its not really something that you see everyday or very often. I really enjoy this style of photography because it makes you examine every part of the image rather than the image being all together meaning that you don’t really examine it all properly and take it all in. I think that the way he creates this image is very interesting because the amount of single images he has used you can clearly see how much work goes into it and how hard it is to do. The image is almost like a big puzzle taking each single image and piecing it all together to create one big thing. I think that this would be something that I would use as an idea for my final major project as I really like the style and I think that creating something like this of my on could be really interesting.

Unknown

The other two images that I found at the exhibition are of a very similar style and genre and I think that because I have chosen these three images as my favorites out of the whole exhibition shows that I should do something similar for my project. If I was to do this then I think that I would really enjoy creating it, as I really like the concept of how it’s made. I think that there is a lot of work that goes into it initially but once you finally make it and it all starts coming together the hard work really pays off because you get to see loads of images brought together to create something really interesting. I think that these images stood out to me amongst all the others and I feel that its not really a style of photography that I have explore before and because I really want to do well in my final major project and try something new I feel that this would be something really good for me to do. The other two images that I found I have put below.

Initially looking at these images I would call this style of photography distortion or puzzle photography. In all of my projects this has never been something that has come up as part of our work and it hasn’t been something that I have used. I would actually say that previously this style of photography didn’t actually interest me and that I didn’t really enjoy looking at images like this. However I think that Hockney’s version of these types of images really interests me and have drawn me to this type of photography.

After we visited the Gallery we then visited the South Bank and the surrounding areas were we took pictures and saw the sites. I really enjoyed taking images in these places as it brought us out of our comfort zone of being confined to the campus of Harlow College. I really enjoyed capturing my surroundings and getting lots of pictures of the sites and also things that I found interesting in London. The reason we took these images is so that we could have a few images as a base for our project, whether we use them or not its still good to have images that we can use for experiments of for research ideas that are out of Harlow college and that are a little bit different to what we normally do. I have put a contact sheet of images that I took in London below.

ContactSheet-001

As you can see from my contact sheet I didn’t take that many pictures in London as I was more focused on seeing the sights and taking it all in. however I think that the images that I did take shows a wide variety of different styles of photography because of what was in London was so varied meant I could do this and gets a different style in here and there. I really enjoyed taking action shots and the skate park, as at college I don’t really get a chance to do action shots, as there aren’t big busy skate parks around the college. It was also good to find different interesting pieces of graffiti and capturing them amongst the masses of other graffiti art. I also took pictures of what I could see around London and the sites and iconic buildings along the Thames. There were also some interesting things that I found which I managed to capture for example I found a small bit of graffiti tucked away behind a stall and also there was a big book stall under one of the bridges which I found interesting as it wouldn’t be something you would normally see around Harlow.

I found this whole trip really helpful and interesting as I got to see a lot of David Hockney’s work which I haven’t really studied before and it also kicked started my ideas for my final major project which I haven’t yet managed to do when it comes to just thinking about it with no inspiration. I also found taking pictures to be helpful as I managed to get some decent shots outside of Harlow which on a normal college day I usually wouldn’t get to do.

David Bailey

David Bailey is a well-known portrait photographer who is well known for photographing portraits of celebrities in black and white. He has also done photography work within the fashion industry. He has photographed many famous people and most of his images are well known and are pictures people would use when they talk about or write about that person. He has shot pictures for people including the Krays, Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol and also The Queen.

When he first started out in photography he got a contract with Vogue and did lots of different fashion photography projects with them. These include David Baileys Box Of Pin Ups and also Goodbye Baby and Amen. After this he then featured in a cult film called Blow Up in 1966. Following this success he had his first exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery in 1971.

I have included some of his work below.

I really like Baileys work and I really enjoy his style of portraiture. I think that his work a long with Hockney’s work will really influence my project as there is a part of Hockney’s work that I love and a part of baileys work that I love and I feel that I can mix them two thing together to create something good and interesting for my final piece.

Martin Parr

Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer and also a photo book collector. He is best known for his photographic projects that take an intimate look into modern life and in particular modern classes of England and also the wealth of the Western World. Some of his most famous projects include ‘The Last Resort’ , ‘The Cost Of Living’ and ‘Small World’.

Since 1994 Martin has been a member of a company called Magnum Photos and since this time in his life he has produced around 40 photo books and has featured in over 80 worldwide exhibitions including an exhibition called Parr World.

Martin Parr’s Work is very interesting to me as I think this the way he shoots his image is very unique. A lot of photographers work is very set up and they put so much planning behind it. However with Martins work it is shot in a way that looks like he has just gone out to the location and just taken that image. I feel that this is the case because of the way the people are in the images, they look very casual and as if they aren’t posing in a specific way. Especially in one of the first images the lady that is standing right in front of the camera doesn’t look set up, it looks like she is just walking by and he has just come along and taken the picture without waiting for her to move or positioning her so you could see more behind her. I really like his work and I think that I would be able to incorporate this into my work as I already know that I want to create a joiner for my FMP from previously looking at the work of David Hockney and I could alongside this use the style of work of Martin Parr to create my Joiner.

Richard Avedon

American photographer Richard Avedon was best known for his work in  fashion and for his work on minimalist portraits. He worked first as a photographer for the Merchant Marines, taking identification photos. He moved to fashion, shooting for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, demanding that his models convey emotion and movement, a departure from the norm of motionless fashion photography.

One of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, Richard Avedon expanded the genre of photography with his surreal fashion photography as well as portraits that bared the souls of some of the most important figures in the world. He did a really popular project called ‘In The American West’ where he shot lots of different portraits using a Large Format Camera with negative size 8×10 inches, which really brings out the detail in his images.

I really like the style of this work as it reminds me a lot of David Baileys work. I think that the quality of the images is really good and the camera he has used has enabled him to create a high quality negative where you can see so much detail in the image. I also like the way the images where shot as the background gives the illusion that they were shot in a studio because of the bold white background. However during research into these images I found that the images where actually shot on location but used a white background. I think that this would be an idea for my project as I really like the way that images are produced using a large format camera and I think that combining this with joiners will result in me making a really interesting piece of work.

Conclusion/First Initial Idea

Based on all of my research I have done I have come up with a first initial idea that I could do for my final major project. This idea comes from the joiner work of David Hockney and the Large Format work Richard Avedon. Initially for my final major project I would like to create a Joiner using a large format camera. Ideally I would like to shoot a portrait that includes interesting features on a person and that once broken down in a joiner style will interest the audience and will almost tell a photographic story as the joiner moves on and creates the final image. The reason I would like to create a joiner is because of the work of David Hockney and his piece called ‘The Scrabble Game’ I really like this joiner and the way it has been created as it is not presented as a static image, it is presented I distortion and almost like a collage of images rather than pricing all of the images together to make something straight and perfect. I feel that a joiner made in this way is a lot more interesting as it encourage the audience to look a the whole image as they have to follow the pattern along the joiner. Where as if you were to make the image static the audience would just look at the image for a second and not take in the detail and the different aspects of the image. I would also like to make a joiner as during my time in my photography course I have never learnt about or studied Joiners before, so I feel that it would be good for me to work on Joiners as it shows that I am trying something new. I have also included a mood board of my initial ideas and what I would like to roughly create for my final major project.

Intial Moodboard

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