Preparation for this assignment was fairly minimal in that my location was fixed (Wembley Arena) and that equipment was limited. I chose to take my telephoto lens only. I did not feel I required any more than this. I was wary from the get go that I would not be taking my tripod (no room in the stalls) so this would mean a fast shutter speed, balance and some intuition!
The night before I followed my step by step routine of charging both batteries, cleaning my camera and lens, formatting my memory card and packing my bag.
Being situated high up in the stalls was a great advantage as my viewpoint meant I could photograph all parts of the pitch, from one end to the other with ease. There were a few goal posts that got in my way at some points, but nothing that couldn’t be edited out.
The only major downside of this experimental shoot was that I was completely fixed in one spot. This meant taking 435 pictures of the game would be somewhat repetitive and ‘samey’. With that in mind I limited my shots while trying to capture a variety of available shots/angles/subjects. I did not see this as a set back, but more of a push to ‘think outside the box’. I’m sure most photographers are faced with a fairly closed shoot – in that they do not have many variables or control of their given situation. There was also no control whatsoever of the subject(s). I couldn’t position anything, or anyone. Again I do not view this in a negative light as it meant I simply had to push my boundaries.
Once the game had finished (we lost) it was back home to continue with the workflow.
I created a labelled folder and copied over all my images. I added it to Dropbox so I had a safe second copy. I then began sifting through my shots and flagging them using the red/orange/green system.
Once flagged, I took a closer look at the ‘orange’ and further flagged these as green or red, resulting in a smaller group of possibles.
I then took a short break (20/30 mins – returning to my shots after a small break allows me to see the images with a fresher perspective) and returned to my green/orange flagged images and started to work on the green. I did little in the way of post processing.
Here are my final pictures:
My favourite picture is the fourth one – at the time I did not realise how poignant a moment this was. One of the players brother’s had been killed the day before the match, and the team took a moment for remembrance.
As part of the assignment, I am required to assess my progress against a set of criteria points.
Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills
The assignment brief was to produce an effective workflow system, and in that sense I think I have fulfilled the brief. I gave myself a harder than usual task, and thus was faced with some restrictions. I was in a fixed positioned quite far back in the stalls so to capture the players I had to use maximum zoom. This has resulted in the pictures being slightly grainy when magnifying. (This is probably not the case with a very expensive telephoto lens.) I was not allowed to take my tripod in, which would have helped to produce crisper images. Due to my fixed position I was limited with compositional options, and being part of a big crowd I was extremely aware of blocking the view of spectators behind me and around me.
Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
As for my workflow, I am happy with the process. If I were to make any changes however, I would have sub-catagorised my shoot into: action (players/game), opening ceremony and crowd. This way it would have been slightly more organised, and easier to pick the strongest shots from each category with ease. In regards to workflow, there seems to be no decisive right or wrong way of working, but I have learnt to follow two key points:
Working non-destructively – Working on copies of the original images so I have the option to revert back to the original file.
The importance of an archive – Backing up all my images to an external hard drive as well as uploading them to a Dropbox file in case I have any technical issues with my laptop.
Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of personal voice
I decided to convert several images in to black and white as a way of demonstrating creativity; especially the poignant image of the players during a minutes silence. Monochrome can help to create a sombre dramatic feel to certain images, and I felt that this image in particular would benefit from this form of post processing technique. I experimented to some degree with the cropping of the final images, but I feel this is something I can develop in much more depth.
As this was a live sporting event I had to work quickly and effectively to obtain the images I wanted to. There was a fixed time limit which added a sense of pressure, and pushed my organisational skills and technical skills. This really focussed my attention, and meant I had to maintain concentration throughout the game.
These are not the most creative or imaginative images I have captured, but I feel I have succeeded in following the brief.
Context reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)
Research wise I felt I had a successful workflow that I had created naturally over time and that, most importantly, worked for me. I felt very confident in my workflow process and having used it before for several personal projects I knew it worked well for me. In hindsight it would have been beneficial to research other photographers/students workflows to see if there was anything I could incorporate to advance my workflow further.