As part of my final major project I have to complete a series of experimental shoots to help develop and refine my idea ready to plan and shoot my final images for the project. These shoots consist of four experimental shoots and the other four technical. It is important that we complete these during our project as it means that we are able to progress our ideas further, improve our work and also we get a chance to see what our final pieces could look like. So far I have found my experimental shoots very helpful and I have been able to identify different aspects of my project that I could change in order to put as much improvement as possible into my final pieces. I have been able to do this by assessing and analysing my experiments and also during my shoots I have discovered different things that I could do or make sure I have with me in order to make sure my final shoot runs as smoothly as possible. All of the different technical research that I did I included in my experimental shoot plans and also different research posts that I have done for this project. I also completed similar research for my conceptual shoots and planned them in very similar ways.
For this shoot I am completing my first technical shoot. As my idea is based on joiners I found it quite easy to find ways to technically improve my idea and I think that joiners are something that should be really technically specific in order to be perfect, I think this because there are so many different elements that go into them other than just the subject or the story and it is good to have these things refined and well organised. For this technical shoot I decided to look into the different ways that joiners can be made as from researching them initially I found that there were a variety of different artists that did joiners very differently and I was very intrigued by this and wanted to investigate into this further. When I had previously seen joiners on the internet and also in previous gallery and exhibition visits I had seen a few different ways joiners could be made but I was unaware that they were all actually joiners and that they all came under the same photography category. When I started researching further into joiners I then came across the fact that it was possible to create a joiner both physically described then shoot the image joined up and also that you could create a joiner using multiple different images and creating the joiner in photoshop. I immediately saw these as technical aspects that I could use for my experimental shoots, however I decided to complete them in two separate shoots as I wanted to keep the images that I created separate and I felt that the images for both shoots, put together could look quite similar in terms of the way that I lay them out and I didn’t want this to happen otherwise I would have felt that it was a waste of a shoot and images. This shoot will show the different ways that joiners can be created without photoshop and how they can be created physically in the studio. Before doing this shoot I looked further into how I could create a joiner in the studio and thought extensively about the different ways that I could do this and upon doing my research and using my own knowledge of joiners from previous research and gallery visits I found many different ways that I could do this and I then started to brainstorm ideas in my mind of how I could do this and the different news stories that I could focus on for this particular shoot. I thought that it was very important to include news stories in this shoot as I thought that it would be a waste of a shoot if I didn’t include news stories in it. I also thought that this shoot would then become irrelevant to my actual idea if I didn’t include the news, and obviously these shoots are about developing our ideas and working on improving them so this is another factor that I thought was key whilst planning and also conducting my shoot. The news stories that I decided to use for this shoot were;
- General Election
- Terrorist Attacks
I had previously worked on these news stories both in terms of research and also shooting them as well so I felt very confident when it came to involving them into this shoot and working on them again. I also felt that it would improve my work on these news stories as I am currently considering which news stories to use for my final shoot and I am seriously considering these two in particular so I thought that it would be good to use these in another shoot.
This shoot that I did took place in the studio and as I had previously planned to do I used a white background but I had previously planned to just use natural lighting, however after experimenting with different lighting in the studio I decided to use a soft box light synced with my cameras flash as I felt that this really complimented the images that I used and made the lighting really soft and not to harsh on my work especially as the material that I used for this shoot I prompted from the internet and cutout to create my joiners. Much like other experiments I have done I tried to use a variety of different ways to take my images taking a variety of different images using a tripod, freehand and also free hand whilst standing on a ladder to get the height from above the joiner to be able to get all of the subject in and also some of the background around it. I found this very helpful as I felt that it was also another technical thing that I was improving and working on inside of another shoot. Also like my other shoots that I have done I tried to get around 30 shots to be able to fill a contact sheet and that contact sheet I have left below.
For my research into this shoot and whilst planning it I looked at a photographer called Christian Marclay. The reason that I had chose to use this photographers work as research for my shoot is because I like the way that he had created joiners in his work and the different layouts that he had used also. I was also going to look at the joiner work of David Hockney but I had already looked at his work in other shoot plans that I had already done so I decided not to do this as I didn’t want to repeat some of the same research that I had previously done. I looked at a few of his images and analysed the way that he created these and I also identified ways that I could create these in my own work. The research that I did for this shoot really helped me to actually do my shoot as I knew different ways that I could create my images. Also in his work I found that he didn’t always use lots of pieces of joiner material in his images so this gave me the confidence to go with a few different smaller images and less pieces in my work to make it look a little bit more like his work. Examples of this can be found on my contact sheet. Also because I had done a lot of research on David Hockney I wanted to use a few different pieces of his work as inspiration but didn’t want to use too much of his work as I had already planned to do use most of his work in my photoshop experimental shoot.
In this image in particular I really liked the layout and the format of the joiner as I thought that it was very different to what I had seen before. I thought that the way it was set up gave the impression to me and also the audience that there weren’t as many different covers used in the image because of the way they were all layered together. As they were stacked mostly on top of each other it made you think about how much is actually in the image. I took this particular image as an inspiration for my shoot and examples of this can be found on my contact sheet.
I think that in this shoot I managed to try quite well to copy the artists work in terms of technical aspects. I did find some things hard to do and to get right but I think this shoot was always about trying out an idea and experimenting with different ways to do this and not getting perfect images that could be used as final pieces. Because of this I did find this shoot quite challenging as in my previous experimental shoot I was focusing more on the subject and the stories as it was a conceptual shoot but I always thought that this shoot could be quite challenging as it was my first technical shoot.
I also feel that there are a few things that I could improve on next time if I had to do this shoot again. I think that I could have experimented with different news stories but with the same joiner set up for example, choose one joiner set up but multiple different news stories to see how the different news stories could look with the same joiner set up. Another things that I think that I could do differently would be to find different ways that I could create a joiner and maybe look at a lot more different joiner artists rather than just one and then compare there work afterwards. Other than these things I felt that this shoot went really well and overall I am very happy with the results that I got. I found this shoot really helpful and I think that this has made me a lot more confident to go onto to shooting my final pieces after all of my experiments are completed, I also think that getting good results from the shoot helped also.
Compared to my previous/ first experimental shoot I found this one different in a few ways. I could definitely tell the difference between the different shoots that I was doing as in my previous shoot I was focusing more on the conceptual set up of my work and how the stories are being conveyed and showed through my images, I could also tell this a lot more throughout my planning as I was focusing more in depth on story research and analysing how the stories have been developed over time through the media. However in this shoot and the panning for this shoot I found it a lot different as I had to do a lot more technical work and analysis and it was more about breaking down the image rather than just reading what you can see from it.
Going on from this shoot I think that there is a lot that I can take from this shoot in order to develop my idea, I now know different ways that I can set up my joiners and have practised using them and I can take these ideas and use them potentially in my final shoot depending on the story that I am using and the scenario that I am trying to create. I can also combine the results from this shoot and also my shoot that I do with photoshop joiner experiments and see if I can create somethings similar and then finally decide on the different set ups that I will use for my final shoot for this project.