Create a series of between six and ten photographs from one of the following options, or a subject of your own choosing:
Use the exercises from Part Two as a starting point to test out combinations of focal length, aperture and viewpoint for the set. Decide upon a single format, either vertical or horizontal. You should keep to the same combination throughout to lend coherence to the series.
Crowds make a great subject for photography, not least because they are so contemporary. A city rush hour is a good place to start but events also offer great opportunities to photograph the crowd rather than the event. The foreshortened perspective of the telephoto lens will compress a crowd, fitting more bodies into the frame, but it can also be used to pick out an individual person. A wide-angle lens can capture dynamic shots from within the action.
If you choose to make a collection of views you need to be prepared to do some walking so keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum – you’ll walk further and see more. A tripod will be important to allow you to select a combination of small aperture and slow shutter speed to ensure absolute sharpness throughout the frame. The weather and time of day will be crucial, whether for urban or landscape Assignment two Collecting Assignment two Collecting Photography 1: Expressing your Vision 53 views. A wide-angle lens is the usual choice but Ansel Adams also used a medium telephoto to foreshorten the perspective, bringing the sky, distance and foreground closer together.
Heads: Frame a ‘headshot’, cropping close around the head to avoid too much variety in the backgrounds. The light will be paramount and a reflector is a useful tool (you can ask the subject to hold it), throwing light up into the face, especially the eyes. The classic headshot is buoyant but neutral which is quite difficult to achieve, but try to achieve a natural rather than an artificially posed look.
Originally when I thought about Assignment two I decided I would take shots of crowds. Indeed, my tutor suggested a crowd based idea I could explore.
However, the other day I was frustrated to learn that I had just missed the opportunity to see a Thomas Ruff exhibition at The White Chapel Gallery and so, to avoid that happening again, I was trying to find a website that details current exhibitions worldwide. That’s where, completely randomly, I came across this photograph by Antoine d’Agata:
I discussed this photograph with a male friend and a female friend. I was fascinated that he felt it was a picture showing warmth and affection whereas she felt it looked sinister. To her it signified control and aggression.
Domestic abuse is a subject (unfortunately) I have witnessed and discussed too often recently. It seems so prevalent and yet never mentioned. Photographic art can play a big part in raising the profile of this insidious problem.
So, I decided to take a range of head shots exploring how close/intimate/increasingly aggressive male hand gestures against a female face would appear. And what emotions those pictures would invoke.
The assignment brief calls for the use of a combination of apertures, focal lengths and viewpoints to be used. But I wanted to portray a completely static head/face with a combination of increasingly aggressive hand gestures. So, all the shots were taken at 1/50 sec, f2.8 at 70mm. I wanted to make the images grainy to enhance the dark feel (it’s becoming a theme… !) so I shot at ISO 6400. The camera was on a tripod and using a self-timer I shot 15 frames of the model and using my hand I gradually clenched my fist during the sequence. The images were processed using a Silver EFEX Pro preset and film simulation both selected for high contrast and grainy appearance.
I seem to have become interested in using a square format. And for these images I feel as though it frames the head quite naturally. Care was taken to ensure that the head position in each of the images remained identical.
What works well
My objective was to produce a series of graphic, potentially disturbing images depicting an unpleasant aspect of domestic abuse from a female point of view. From the reaction I’ve had to the photographs it would seem as though I’ve achieved that goal…
The shots do not demonstrate use of a combination of aperture, focal length and viewpoints. However, I do think that the shots work well as a series and imaginatively reflect a coherent single idea.
What didn’t work well
Perhaps the images are too dark? Perhaps the hand gestures need to be more expressive, but these were shot in less than a minute. I did think of redoing them but it’s not a great feeling taking these shots particularly from the model’s viewpoint!
Clearly there is a lack of variety in the series but that was the objective.
How might the series be improved in the future
The shots were intended to show an aspect of domestic violence from the female point of you. It would be interesting to develop the idea by taking the same shots but with role reversal. I wonder what it would look like to see a woman hitting a man?