Friday, 15 April 2011

Photo Story - Research (after pitch)

This is just a general - what I've been recently looking at - blog post. I'll post websites, blogs, videos, images, that i'm enjoying at the moment.

I've been "stumbling" quite a bit recently.

StumbleUpon allows you to explore the internet, highlighting your preferences and personal interests and letting the application itself “stumble” upon different websites over the internet within your choices. It’s like a search engine for specific interests. You can choose your interests (there’s roughly a few hundred to choose from), a few of mine include: photographm photoshop, humor, quotes, animals, space, music, tattoos, film, etc. You can also choose which way you’d like to stumble. Eg. You can select to just watch videos of your interests, or perhaps images. If you like a particular page it stumbles across, you can “like” the page (much like on facebook!) so you can come back to it later on, not forgetting it. I have at least a 100 favourites already and I’ve been signed up to the site for a little over 2 weeks. It’s been a great way to explore photography in a new way; selecting just photography or photoshop, it has introduced me to 100s of photographers, websites, techniques, help, etc. I’ve found amazing sites for journals and scrapbooking, it’s really intrigued me and Honey’s module has also inspired me to carry on making scrapbooks. My weak side is definitely editing as I don’t own photoshop, so I have been “stumbling” photoshop websites for techniques which has been a big help. It’s a great website and more people should know about it!

Some of my favourite photographers:

Brent Stirton:

Brent Stirton is a Senior Photographer for Getty Images, based in New York. His award-winning work has been widely recognized for its powerful depiction of issues related to conflicthealth and environmental issues. Stirton specializes in documentary work and is known for his alternative approaches to photojournalism, including lighting portraiture in the field, and his prolific work rate. He travels an average of nine months of the year, working exclusively on commissioned assignment.
Stirton’s work has appeared in NewsweekNational GeographicCNN Traveler, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington PostMagazine, The Sunday Times magazine, Le Monde 2GQ, Geo and many other respected international titles. He also writes a blog for theDiscovery Channel.
In working to visually interpret a story, Stirton often works in tandem with journalists from the world’s leading publications. In the last two years he has worked regularly with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper on topics such as the tsunami disaster or religious fundamentalism, compiling still documentaries on tropical news events which are then voiced over and aired.
He works extensively on humanitarian issues including HIV/AIDSenvironmentpovertyconflict and post-conflict recovery, and women’sempowerment issues. Stirton works on a regular basis for the Global Business Coalition against AIDS and The Global Fund against AIDS,Tuberculosis and Malaria. He also works in the field for sustainability for The World Wide Fund for Nature, shooting global campaigns on the relationship between people and their environments. He also has worked for the Ford Foundation and the Clinton Foundation.
Stirton has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including five awards from the World Press Photo Foundation; in 2007 he was cited as a “Hero of Photography” in PopPhoto Magazine. Stirton holds a degree in Journalism from his native South Africa, where he began his career photographing apartheid issues.

My favourite image by Stirton - I love the way in which the hunters are trying to find the gorillas through the forest, yet they're fully aware of where the hunters are. Smart creatures. And Brent is also incredible for capturing this image. Beautiful.


A friend showed me this guy a few weeks ago, and I'm absolutely in love with him! Not that i'd be able to resemble any of his style within my images - I just think his photos are inspiring and quite different to a lot of photographers I've seen recently. 

JAMES NACHTWEY: AKA. My favourite photographer in the world

James Nachtwey was born on March 14, 1948. He is an American photojournalist and war photographer. Nachtwey started working as a newspaper photographer in 1976 at the Albuquerque Journal. In 1980, he moved to New York and began working as a freelance photographer. In 1981, Nachtwey covered his first overseas assignment in Northern Ireland illustrating civil strife. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues, spending time in South Africa,Latin America, the Middle EastRussia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union shooting pictures of war, conflict and famine, and images of socio-political issues (pollutioncrime and punishment) in Western Europe and the United States.

Photo Story - Evaluation

Overall, I'm fairly happy with the outcome of my Photo Story project. Though, I have some mixed feelings towards a few of my images. 

The majority of the skateboarding photos are exactly what I wanted, I've been able to practice more with editing which is my biggest weakness on the course - so i've really enjoyed playing about with effects. As I don't own photoshop on my own laptop, it's difficult to be able to learn more. The skateboarding photos mainly carried a large depth of field, capturing everything inside of the camera. To gain a crisp, sharp image I played about with shutter speeds to determine what would be the best setting. I think the photos could have been sharper, but without equipment like a tripod it was difficult to gain perfect photos. 

The Hyde Park photos are possibly my favourite, I used a multiple exposure setting on my Nikon D80 as i'd never used it before. The photos came out really well and I was pleased with the results. One of the photos in particular is of 2 of the lads part of the group I was shooting, are standing side by side, with a photo of the trees on hide park overlaying the first photo. I'd say it's probably my favourite out of the set.
The skating photos I'd say are probably my least favourite out of the set. It was difficult for me to get decent, close up photos without getting in the way of the skaters so I decided to stay in one place, shooting from one angle. As a set, I was fairly happy with them. However, as individual photos I think they're quite weak. I admit, my planning for the skateboarding photos wasn't as well organised as it should have been - purely for the reason I struggle to plan a photo-shoot, I'm more of a 'take my camera out and see what I find' type of person. I struggle to plan ahead, and I know this is what I need to work on for future projects.

The studio photos I was pleasantly happy with, despite some lighting problems, I was pleased with the results. I had problems with the screen in the middle of the studio reflecting light on the subject. The lights sat awkwardly in the room which was a real disadvantage. I'd planned to get some photos of the 2 lads corresponding through the glass. However, in editing I was able to wipe the reflections out of one of my photos - making it a grey scale type image; this is probably my favourite out of the set. I like how you can see the drummer and the producer talking through the glass, it gives a real friendly, team effort feeling to the image. 

Karl - 800 Word Article

Connecting to a Society Using 4 Wheels

Jack Brewin, 20, said, “There’s no limit to what you can do with a chunk of wood on 4 wheels”, once you lose the fear of falling it becomes a craving addiction. “When I finally pull off a trick, there’s literally no other feeling.” 

Brewin, who is a student studying Music Production at Leeds College of Music, has been skating since the age of 14 – and quickly fell in love with the moorish sport after purchasing Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland on Playstation2. Performing elaborate tricks on a video game only made the temptation of buying a skateboard greater – though in reality, mastering them takes the discipline to get back on the board after falling.

Simple Self Expression

“I can’t really tell you why its such a craze at the moment, what I will say is – lads will be lads – if we someone puling off a sick trick, we’ll wanna try harder. It’s male genetics.”

Skateboarding has been a street sport for decades, with an appeal that reaches out to many demographics. It’s clear to see why skateboarding has become so popular over the coming years; the basic anatomy of a skateboard speaks for itself. All you really need is yourself and a board. There are no rules or regulations, and technically anyone can get out there and get on one. “It’s all about self expression” said Brewin as he prepares to enter a half pipe. “As weird as it sounds, you can just tell what sort of person you are through your skating – if you’re chilled and slow, it will show in your style. If you’re quick paced and fast, you’ll see it.” Skateboarding is considered an art form by certain standards, especially by Photographer Glen E. Friedman. If you’re comical, daring, or a perfectionist – it will come out in your skating, much like Music or Art will do. 

Once a Skater, Always a Skater

On an average weekday, hundreds of students turned up to a sunny-side-up Hyde Park. The place was buzzing, from all ages and sizes, hipsters to jocks to moshers to geeks – “that’s the beauty of skating, it brings anyone together and no one gives a shit, can you say that about music?” said by Tim Clay, another avid skater who attends Leeds Met Uni. It raises a good question, why can people from all backgrounds find a common interest in skating yet music lovers still hold grudges over people who dislike their taste in music. It seems the skating population have it spot on. The positive vibe surrounding the park is warm and friendly, why wouldn’t anyone want to try this skateboarding business?

Adrenaline Aches 

Although skating seems like all fun and games, if you’re willing to try you have to be fully aware that you’re going to get hurt, fact. It comes with the package. But what would skating be without the adrenaline aches? “Feeling the danger is part of the rush” Jack says whilst merely brushing off his bruises and scratches, “This is why skaters are respected so much, the danger involved with professional skating is intense – there’s no safety nets, no insurance – you’re just out there on your own, and that takes balls.”

Boys and Their Toys

Having a boyfriend who’s heavily in to skating means only one thing; if they own a games console, they’ll own a skating game. Since being at university, I’ve gained a big male friendship group. Therefore I’ve had to come to terms with the fact I’ll be watching a lot of Call of Duty and Fifa. When a friend brought round to the flat Skate 3, I leaped at the opportunity of playing on it. Anything but watching 3D men playing football and gunning Americans over headsets. I’d had enough; it was my time to try it out! After witnessing the moves of dozens of teenagers and students on Hyde Park, I fancied myself having a pop. After all, “anyone can try it”. So I did, and I loved it. Ollies, Nollies, Kickflips, Pop Shuvits, Forward Flips, Coffins, Backward Flips, 360s. The list is endless. It’s actually a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. I got the urge of wanting to perfect a trick over and over again, much like how the boys on the skate park described real skating. Obviously I can’t compare a game to the real deal, but it’s opened up that little window of opportunity of maybe some day wanting to get on a real skateboard. Though, my boyfriend will probably dump me from embarrassment.

Who knows, maybe we’ll all be riding hovering boards in 20 years.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Honey - Weekly Tasks


Photograph two portraits: The first portrait should be of someone you know.  Decide what you would like to say about this person and how you will use visual clues to say it. The second portrait should repeat this process with someone that you don’t know.  You will have to get consent from this person to photograph them. The two portraits should work together as a set either by including two people that are similar or by photographing two people in the same visual style, or both.

Prepare a statement about your intentions and how you put those intentions into action for next week’s portrait tutorial session.

For this weekly task, I decided on these 2 portraits. I thought it'd be funny and ironic to add the image of the cat as the task said to photograph "someone" - it's infact one of my favourite portraits! The cat, Chester, belongs to my boyfriend. However, I consider him to be my own! He's beautiful. I like the angle of the image, it's sort of on the level of the cats eyes/slightly beneathe. I used a pre set edit on my Nikon D80 which I quite liked, giving the photograph a cool feel. The second photo was taken of a friend's baby; I know the task said to take a photo of someone I don't know, however I'd never met the baby until the day I took the photo - is this allowed? Haha. Anyway. Again, it shares a symmetrical angle to the photo of Chester. I also like the faint shadows behing each of the subjects.


(loved this lesson Honey by the way!)

Travel Photography Assignment: Take a bus or a train to somewhere that you have never been before. Take a photograph that tells us about the place. Take a photograph of something or someone that you found there.

Prepare a statement about your pictures describing what you have photographed and why.

So, for this task I was actually in my hometown Leicester. We had the option to do a fashion style photoshoot, which I loved the idea of because we had a similar project in first term. However, I opted to do the travel task to venture out and try something a bit different - I liked the idea of travelling somewhere i'd never been before. I took a bus to out in the country of Leicestershire, which ended me up in a little village called Houghton on the Hill - creepy I know - dispite the name, the place was quite lovely. I ended up on a field which leads on to some houses. There wasn't anyone about, and these two shots were the best out of the bunch. I don't mind, as I actually quite like them. The colours came out really well of the rope, contrasts really well with the green grass surrounding the rope swing. The photo of the tree fits well with the image, you can slightly see the colour of the rope - again, I like the silhouette outline of the tree (as you can gather, I like a good silhouette!). The image of the tree brings a creepy, eery feelings to the place, and yet the second image brings a warmer, innocent touch. I enjoyed the day!


Find an event to cover.  This could be a sporting event, a news event ( eg a demonstration), a community event, a music event etc. Bring two pictures from your coverage to next week’s session. One picture should be an overall shot that describes what was happening. The other should be a picture that sums up your experience of the event.

Prepare a statement about the event and why you chose the two pictures from all the pictures that you shot

Unfortunately, I missed this lecture. But i'll post some gig photos I did around the time of the task. The photos are really similar to eachother and probably don't answer the task in hand. However, I shoot gigs fairly regularly when I'm in Leicester. I have a few mates in a few bands - surprise surprise! I absolutely love it. I've toured with a friend's band to Barcelona, Amsterdam and big venues in London - all of which I've gained a lot of experience from.


AKA. The study of signs and sign processes

  • A sign is a combination of a signifier with a particular signified
  • The SIGNIFIER is the physical form of the sign.  It also referred to as DENOTATION
  • The SIGNIFIED is the concept it represents.  It is also referred to as CONNOTATION
  • The signifier and signified have an associative link - each triggers the other
  • The relationship between signifier and signified is arbitrary and dependent on social and cultural conventions






SYMBOLS: are signs that represent an object by a cultural convention that must be learnt.

ICONS: are signs that have qualities which resemble those of the objects that they represent but also have some cultural associations.  

INDEXICAL: signs are directly connected to the objects that they represent for example unedited photography or film.


There are social codes that include verbal language, body language, behavior rituals and fashion codes.
There are textual codes that include scientific codes, aesthetic and arts codes and mass media codes.
There are interpretive codes that include ideological codes.
1. Identify the signifiers in this picture?
Priminister David Cameron, a broom, rubbish, rubber tyres.
2. What do they signify?
David cameron is sweeping the rubbish off a street.
3. What does the signifier and it’s signified form?
I think it's trying to send a message to the public about David Cameron's intentions.
4. How do the signs in this picture combine to form a message?
I think there could be a number of things the image is saying. In my opinion, It's as if David Cameron is saying he's cleaning the "mess" the Labour Government have left the country in. Or, the image could be trying to send the message that David Cameron is trying to appeal to working class citizens - maybe if we work together we can save the country's economic crisis?

Photo Story - Pitch

Photo Story Pitch: A day in the life of…

For the module “Photo Story”, we have been set the task of creating a story through the images we create. The work is based on 3 x 6; 3 sets of 6-hour shoots, all which are relevant to a person/or people, a place, and an event.

As a student, I thought it’d be interesting to follow a group of individuals from another university for the day – therefore, I decided to base my project on “A day in the life of…a music student”. My original intentions were to shoot on 3 different occasions, however I felt shooting for a whole day would be more fitting with the idea of my project and would give a genuine representation of what it’d be like to be a music student for a day. 

I intend to follow the group on a day out to Hyde Park, Leeds – which will be the choice of “place”. Hyde Park is known to be a popular spot for students who enjoy relaxing on sunny days, as well as for it’s attractive skate park. Skateboarding has become a fashionable and interesting form of transportation; a recreational activity which has also been considered as a form or art. On the day of my shoot, I intend to get some images of the group skateboarding, as many are keen on the activity – I consider this as part of my “event” segment of the project. The person I’m going to follow within the project is going to be my boyfriend, who is a student at Leeds College of Music. He attends studio sessions within his university most nights of the week to practice his drumming and productions skills. The group are known to work together in these sessions so I hope to capture some images of them working as a team in the music studio. 

Techniques I plan to focus on during the day will emphasis on mainly shutter speeds and aperture settings. Capturing decent photos on sports will acquire a fast shutter speed. I’ll have to take in to consideration light, however I intend to shoot for a good 12-hour period whilst the sun is at its peak, so this isn’t an initial worry for me. As for images on music equipment in the studio, I’d like to highlight and emphasize on instruments that are used during the session.  Using a shallow depth of field will allow me to highlight the importance of music to the individual. However, a range of aperture will hopefully be used during the day.


Glen E. Friedman is a well-known American photographer who is considered one of the most important photographers of his generation. Best known for his works with classic skateboarding originators such as Stacy Peralta and working with rebellious music artists such as the Beastie Boys. He considers his work as Fine Art photography, however it’s classed as more of a Documentary style of work. Whilst commenting his work, he said "For me it’s about inspiring people, with integrity and rebelliousness.” – and this is what I intend to replicate within my work. Fisheye lenses are often used for skateboarding photography, I find it brings a personal feeling to the images that you’re there in the photo!

Annie Leibovitz is a renowned American portrait photographer, best known for her image that made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1980 – a portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Her intimate photographs of celebrities were said to have helped define the look of Rolling Stone. She learned that you could work for magazines and still do your own personal work, which for her was the most important thing. It is much more intimate and tells a story for her as she works with people who love her and who will "Open their hearts and souls and lives to you." 
The famous photograph of Lennon and Ono was originally planned to just show Lennon, however he wanted his lover to feature on the cover too. Leibovitz then tried to re-create something like the kissing scene from the Double Fantasy album cover, a picture that she loved. She had John remove his clothes and curl up next to Yoko. Leibovitz recalls, "What is interesting is she said she'd take her top off and I said, 'Leave everything on' — not really preconceiving the picture at all. Then he curled up next to her and it was very, very strong. You couldn't help but feel that she was cold and he looked like he was clinging on to her. I think it was amazing to look at the first Polaroid and they were both very excited. John said, 'you've captured our relationship exactly. Promise me it'll be on the cover.'

Photo Story - Skateboarding/Event

Boneless trick, tricky

Everyday, business men/women finish work and walk down the pathway on their way home - I thought this was quite funny, an accidental shot but nonetheless amusing

Nice deck, Awful shoes

2 decks on one another


STEEZ - style with ease

Photo Story - Hyde Park/Place

The lads wait to get moving on the skate park, I love all their stances and the little boy who's joining in

Ready to go, look for their feet and how they're holding up the boards... you see it?

Lucky timing on my half, like the edit on this

This is one of my favourites out of the bunch, a little boy walked in the middle of the skate park and started running when then skated around him - this tells a story

Multi-exposure of 2 different skaters, worked well

Beautiful Hyde Park, love the light on this image

The multi exposure works well here as the lads are best friends, the effect of the overlay works perfect, demonstrating how good friends they are

Smoking the jah

Favourite image from the set