Category Archives: Digital Photographic Practice

Assignment 5 – Personal Project (DPP)

‘The World Through A Screen’

I’ve done a great deal of planning for this project such as subjects, locations, sub-themes and the inspiration behind my choices. My initial idea was to create a set of photographs based around  ‘pictures of people taking pictures‘ or ‘seeing the world through screens‘ and my inspiration came from every day life. So often on my commute I see people glued to their smart phones, and the need/desire to own a camera is dwindling as so many of us can rely on our phones. With numerous apps and editing software even the most un-photographic people are producing some great images. This is largely evident on social media, especially Instagram ( where people photograph everything; from breakfast, to clothing, to cocktails, to landscapes. The ability to produce aesthetic photographs with very little knowledge or equipment is on the rise.

I’m not being critical towards social media – I myself am a huge fan, and rely on social media to get my work seen – it’s enabled me to reach a far greater audience than I’d ever be capable of myself.

Nowadays people really are capturing every moment. Technology is so advanced that an inbuilt camera within a phone can create stunning imagery. There are sites dedicated to iPhone photography, and numerous Instagram users have found fame through such avenues.

Why we feel the need to photograph our entire lives from lunches, our journeys, our outfits and so on is baffling. It seems as though we are searching for some kind of positive re-inforcement that we lead exciting lives, that we keep up with fashion, and that there’s a sense of social acceptance attached to social media ‘likes’. It’s a dangerous avenue for the youth of today.

Living in London I see tourists on a daily basis snapping away with their phones. Whether it’s The London Eye or Big Ben, almost everyone has instant access to a photographic device that’s small enough to slip into a pocket.

With that in mind I wanted to capture a first person perspective of taking a photo on an iPhone (this seemed more challenging than just photographing people in the middle of taking photos) but as this module focuses on editing I’ve chosen to incorporate some subtle and not-so-subtle ‘tweaks’ as it were. Research wise there were several examples of what I’d like to loosely base my project on, but I did not come across anything similar by a photographer in which to reference.

Big Ben

From the outset I wanted to horizontally flip the image that would be shown on the iPhone screen, which may not be instantly apparent when first viewing it. This shot provided several obstacles for me:

Firstly the bright sunshine was very strong on the left hand side of the image, which meant my model (my arms simply aren’t long enough) had to tilt the screen a fair amount to avoid glare off the front of the screen. This meant the phone display was in the shade and was hard to take meter readings from that didn’t result in the background being blown out.

What I eventually did was edit in a photograph onto the front of the display, and add the phone icons to the front of the phone. So, this image actually uses two separate images.

I used a fairly wide aperture as I wanted an artistic subtle blur to the background, but I didn’t want it so blurry that you couldn’t make out the impressive architecture.

The Albert Bridge, Stamford

This small town bridge has a beautiful old fashioned light in the centre of it, which I wanted to incorporate. The metal of the bridge is white, and I wanted to extend on this in contrast to the orange hue given off by the street light. Again, this image uses multiple pictures; there are in fact 3. The background image of the bridge has been edited to enhance the moody feel of the sky, and render the other details in the picture almost black and white. I wanted the white of the bridge to be very prominent. The silhouette of the hand holding the phone is the second picture. I had tried to capture this shot organically, but it was just too difficult to have every part I wanted, correctly exposed. Originally I shot the hand with the flash on, as I thought this could give an interesting effect. However, in the post processing phase it looked far too ‘fake’ when applied to the background picture using layers. I also decided that I wanted the centre of the image to be the main focal point, and the flash shot hand was too distracting. So with this in mind I converted the hand to a silhouette, bearing in mind it was a night shot; I think this adds to the eerie mood of the photograph. My tutor mentioned that I should perhaps re-shoot this image with the hand slightly illuminated, but I wanted the hand and its features to be totally void in both this shot and ‘Paused in Motion’. With it being in the centre of this image I think the silhouette effect helps draw the eye to the phone screen. It is evident that a hand is holding the phone, but it is in no way distracting. As this shot and ‘Paused in Motion’ were both shot at night, the blacked out hand helps to amplify this.

The third shot was taken on my DSLR and it is of the bridge view itself. I set my white balance setting to tungsten to really grab the orange hue. By taking all 3 photos in a fixed position I was able to line up the sides of the bridge to go from one picture to another with relative ease. The bridge appears far longer than it actually is, and the sense of continuity is very apparent in the shot. The keen eye will detect that one of the images has again been flipped – it was the background image. I wanted the more modern lamppost to be on the opposite side of the iPhone image to balance it out slightly. Again, I added the phone icons at the final stage of editing.

I wanted all areas to be in focus, so used a small aperture.

Going, Going, Gone

This image is one of my favorites. It was relatively easy to do, and I had quite a lot of control over it. (lighting, positioning, the appearance of the pancakes in their full state, the appearance of the finished plate) Again this image uses 2 photographs. My technique differed slightly with this shot – it was one of the first ones I created for this series and the phone photo was actually taken on the phone, rather than edited in later. To get the icons I actually took a screen shot of the pancake plate, as this photographs the whole display of the iPhone, not just what’s in the viewfinder on camera mode. The only downside to this was that the screenshot is lower quality. However, looking at the image as a whole this is not apparent.

I was careful to photograph both pictures using the same orientation of the background surface so as to add to the continuity of the shot. I then ate the pancakes, and created the messy after plate!

I positioned the plate by a brightly sunlit window and snapped away, and used a mid-range aperture.

Bloomin’ Trickery

Again, this was one of the first in the series, so my technique was fairly new. The photographic surface remained the same, to add continuity. I also positioned the model at an angle that would keep the grain in the wood running the same way. I did however, take the photo of the daffodils on my DSLR later editing this onto the front of the phone screen. I added the icons to the front of the display. The edit is clearly obvious, using 2 different types of flowers. Using the same surface for both pictures and lining up the grain of the wood helps in some way to retain continuity.

Maybe it’s Maybelline…

This image is one of two images that were taken organically, in one shot. It was fairly simple to do, using natural lighting and a wide aperture. I wanted a ‘tongue in cheek’ feel as the selfie craze seems to have taken over in recent years. I wanted the model to be almost one big giant blur as this draws your eye to the front of the phone screen. The sunglasses break up the face in the background. Had they not been worn I would have used less blur. The only change I made is obviously the lips. While at first glance it may look like the lipstick has been painted on in post processing, this is the real colour of the models lips. I desaturated the whole image, excluding the lip area.

Black and white images with only a splash of colour are a great marketing technique as they focus solely on a certain part of the image.

In Full Bloom

For this image I used a stock photograph courtesy of Google images ( of a single tree in full bloom, on a gorgeous sunny day. I then visited numerous locations to try and find a background setting that would/could incorporate the tree smoothly. Initially I had the stock image on the phone itself, but again came across some metering difficulties, so I added the stock photo in post processing. I added the phone icons, and made the background picture look more gloomy by decreasing the saturation somewhat, and altering the shadows and highlights. By lining up the grass level on the horizon, this image has the feel of continuity.

Paused In Motion

This is technically my best shot I think. Much like the other nighttime shot it actually has 3 separate photos in it. The background shot is a long exposure shot, and had a shutter speed of 30 seconds.  Any longer and the traffic beam trail wouldn’t have been so obvious (it was shot in a fairly quiet area of my hometown where traffic is not a guaranteed constant) It was a stroke of luck that one of the cars turned left – creating the blur on the right hand side. As with the bridge photograph I decided on turning the hand into a silhouette. I really think it enhances the night feel, and doesn’t warrant too much unnecessary attention. Again, the phone icons were added in the post production stage.

The image that I edited onto the phone screen was taken from exactly the same angle, only with a much quicker shutter speed to pause the cars in motion.

Every Cloud…

I love the simplicity of this shot. I didn’t want just a plain blue sky and the one cloud, so opted for a location that would give some strong abstract angles to add some interest to the shot. This shot took a while to create – mainly because I had to wait for a day of pure sunshine! I did not want to edit out too much of the sky or remove unwanted clouds.

Editing wise – I rammed up the vibrancy to produce the gorgeous vivid blue hue and also to match the blue of the stock photograph I got from of the cloud. I wanted the colours to be as identical as possible to make it appear as if it could actually be there in the sky.

I used a wide angle lens so I could squeeze in the tall buildings around me, and place the cloud in the centre.

Brentford Bokeh

Brentford was once an industrial area, home to huge factories and warehouses. Although recently undergoing a huge makeover – there are still several areas that have an industrial feel. I wanted to incorporate this grungy feel in this photograph. Once I found my location I shot the background shot on a relatively high ISO to add noise to the image. I was lucky enough that a skip had been moved to the location – enhancing the industrial feel.

I then took a ‘bokeh‘ shot of the traffic lights and added this into the phone screen along with the icons. To add to the aesthetics of the picture I’ve added a small lens flare effect to the phone display image, and blurred the colourful lights some more. I wanted the image on the phone to be a continuation of the overall picture, and with the traffic in the background of the main image I feel this has been established.

Street Life

This shot was taken whole. The phone display has not been altered in any way. I really like how the arrow of the street markings came out on the phone display. Due to the location of the shoot I had to be quick – which was rather exciting considering the volume of traffic on Oxford Street! The quality of the phone display is somewhat weak – but this is to be expected when taking a photo like this. I wanted to make sure I had included at least one outdoor shot that was taken naturally. Editing wise I’ve had a play with the contrast to make the red and blue within the display ‘pop’ a bit more, but that’s really about it. I’ve cropped it to an aspect ratio of 4:5 to really draw the viewers eye to the phone, removing dead space at the top and bottom of the image. I was adamant I wanted to have the famous London red bus in the shot. The blurred one in the background compared to the focussed one in the phone really draws your eye to the phone display.

Assessment criteria

Looking at the collection as a whole I think the images could almost be used as advertising for a phone product.

I’ve really enjoyed this assignment as the creative aspect really got me thinking and testing my skills both behind the camera and in the editing stage. That is not to say it didn’t present some barriers along the way – It look far longer than I’d anticipated for a start, and while some of this was due to personal reasons, the researching and idea stage was lengthy.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

Technically this was one of my most challenging assignments to date. For most of the images I had more than one photograph to create and produce. I have very little problem in visualising my ideas, but as with most tasks, sometimes the practical aspect is harder to obtain. None of these images have been the result of a ‘fluke’ as some of my previous ones have.

The editing side was also fairly tasking – I had to create multiple layers of images and icons to create this set of pictures. It was relatively time consuming and lining up the icons so they did not look out of place or wrong was difficult at times. Luckily as the brief was so open ended I could really play around with the editing stage. This was also somewhat of a problem as I kept doubting my final image. I’d come back to it after a break and add/subtract/make tweaks here and there, when in hindsight it was not necessary.

Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas

My learning log is steadily growing with photographers I’ve come across, or photographers that have been introduced to me via my tutor. Recently I posted about Andreas Levers (view post here) and his incredible traffic light photography. I’ve recently added to my ever growing collection of photography books – of which I must write on my blog and reference as I gain a great deal of insight from them. I’m still aware that I should add more of my personal work to my blog, but in between assignments and my full time job sometimes my personal photography can fall behind.

My tutor mentioned perhaps expanding further on this series of photographs to include the phone being held with two hands – this is something I actually tried during the shoot, but it caused several problems. Firstly it was extremely hard to shoot the phone flat for digitally applying the second image where needs be. To position myself in-between the model’s arms was difficult and resulted in weaker images. It’s an avenue I hope to explore on, as I do agree that a varied shooting style would reflect a wider range of camera-phone photographers.

Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of personal voice

I think i’ve demonstrated my creativity very well here. All images are a very accurate representation of what I wanted to achieve with each shot. I followed my workflow closer on this assignment than on any others. I didn’t drift between the initial idea and the final product. What I visualised has been the outcome of my images. Something I am very proud of.

I really feel like iIve put my own creative stamp on this assignment. It’s a very well organised series of photographs that all have a common theme/style but have varying subjects.

Context reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)

This assignment worked as a learning curve for me. Usually my photography can be very solitary in that it’s just me and my camera. I’m not conscious of any time limits or other variables apart from the ones set by myself. However in this project I had a model helping me. I learnt a great deal from having to instruct the model in relation to positioning, hand height, angling the phone screen to avoid glare etc. It was almost like there was added pressure. I didn’t want to be at some of the locations for too long (weather variables, time of night and so on) so I really had to be on the ball and be precise.

My tutor did mention that I look into cropping this series square, almost to replicate a polaroid set. I have added square versions of the set below and agree that they work extremely well as squares. I often shy away from using a 1:1 ratio crop as I find square images are sometimes less aesthetically pleasing than, say, 4:5 but in this case it really does work.

Square versions:



Research and Preparation #2

After landing on the final idea for this assignment I’ve changed my mind AGAIN! The idea I had hoped to bring to life is still one that I will pursue as a side project, but I hit a wall –  producing 10 – 12 images using my desired technique would be somewhat difficult, while producing, say, 4/5 images would be great. So with this in mind i’ve done a full 360 and decided to go with my first, initial idea. (This seems to be a common situation, I think sometimes I should go with my gut instinct and not doubt myself.)

I recently headed out to a very cold and wintery Trafalgar square to observe people taking pictures. I had the idea of taking pictures of people taking pictures, and came home with some great ideas. I’m now going to expand on this further, do some more research, and make sketches of what I want to create.

As i mentioned in an earlier post, I want this to be my most creative assignment so far, and do not want to rush the preparation in order to submit it as soon as possible. It’s going to require a fair bit of planning and putting together….

Research and Preparation

I’ve been throwing several ideas back and forth for the upcoming final assignment of this module. It’s a personal project so I’m in full control of the theme and subjects. At first I thought this was going to be very easy, but after weeks of deliberating what to do do my final piece on, I was still unsure of a concept. With previous assignments we’ve been pointed in a certain direction, or given a theme.

This isn’t a bad thing, however. It just means i’m not rushing into getting the job done as quickly as possible, as I really want to challenge myself with this one.

In previous exercises and assignments i’ve roamed London for my inspiration, capturing it’s many hidden gems. I’ve been somewhat restricted with positioning, weather conditions, lighting etc.

For this assignment I want to create my final pictures from scratch. I want to pick the subject, the lighting, the positioning, my positioning, the colours, the backdrops…Everything. I want to create my most creative project yet.

Having landed on a rough idea of where I want my assignment to end up, I’m going to start researching several idea that I have, and start sketching how I can achieve this.

I want a final series of photographs that share a theme, are shot in a similar style aiding continuity, and that represent a series of shots that do not replicate someone else work, but are a product of my creativity.


Photographer: Andreas Levers

I recently discovered a project by a photographer called Andreas Levers. The project that caught my eye is called ‘At Night’ Here’s the link to his Behance page – which has more of his work also.

I’ve been throwing ideas back and forth for my upcoming final assessment for DPP and as it’s a personal project it can be anything I want. I was contemplating doing some sort of night photography as I’ve yet to push my limits in this aspect.

I really admire how strikingly simple his images are. they are void of any kind of human interaction, or presence, creating an eerie feeling. I think they’re brilliant, the use of mist and street lights creates such a great effect.

Definitely something that has influenced me.



Double Exposures

After submitting my latest assignment my tutor pointed me in the direction of other people producing interesting double exposure effects. In particular the work of Francesco Paleari –

My tutor wanted me to recreate Paleari’s technique, which is in the visual style of Kyle Grantham’s double exposure series:

This was a fairly lengthy and somewhat difficult task to produce, but I think I accomplished it well. I used a side portrait of Audrey Hepburn (stock shot) and a misty black and white Yosemite image (again, stock shot.)

Here’s both images in their original state:

ah-side yosemite_ghost_clouds-1_0

Here’s how I did it: (All processed in Photoshop)

Firstly I upped the brightness and contrast of the image. Then I wanted to get rid of the background. This is a fairly simple task, as i’m using a photo with a clean background. Using the Magic Wand Tool I clicked anywhere on the background to select it. Then I selected ‘inverse’ to select Audrey.

Then, using the Refine Edge button I slightly increased the Radius value in the Edge Detection, setting it to 2.0, making the edges less rigid revealing, in this case, the separate hairs. I then set the ‘Output To’  to New Layer with Layer Mask. This creates a copy of the original image with the background hidden.

I then created a new layer, and placed it below the cut out portrait, and filled it with white.

Next step was to add the Yosemite shot. I pasted it as a new layer on top of the Audrey Image. I then held the command button and clicked on the portrait cut out – which reveals her outline on top of the woodland image.

I then added a vector mask to this layer which hides all the background, only making Audrey’s outline and the woods visible.

I then changed the blending mode of this layer to ‘screen’ This basically blends both images, the first stage of our final effect being apparent.

Using the Brush Tool I selected the airbrush soft round 50% and decreased it’s flow and opacity. 25% and 30% retrospectively.

I then selected the Layer Mask of the forest layer, set the fill color to white and painted softly over the areas where the tree tops ended. This makes the image look as if the trees are growing out from Audrey’s hair. The white background helped enormously as the fade technique was very easy to create.

For the final step I did the same as above, only I used black instead of white, and played around with the opacity and flow. This then makes anything dark become clearer – so her facial features. I didn’t want her face to have any secondary exposure. I wanted her features to be flawless, and the effect begin by her hairline.

The layering process is shown below on the right hand side:


Here’s the final image:


I’m super happy with the outcome. It was well worth the time spent on researching what different layers do, and when to use them.

I’m happy I used 2 older looking photos as it enhances the vintage feel of the Audrey Hepburn era. I cannot wait to experiment more with this technique, especially on self portraits and with colour.


Assignment 4: Real Or Fake (DPP)

Produce a photographic image to illustrate an imaginary book or magazine cover. Covers are sales vehicles for their contents, and so are often quite widely interpreted by art directors, illustrators and photographers. The moral ground is therefore potentially ambiguous.

At first the assignment appeared to be fairly straightforward, and I had an idea of the direction I wanted to go in from the start. I wanted to illustrate an image that was loosely based around a theme of ‘Gangs Of New York’. It is not designed to be a book cover illustrating the 2002 film of the same title directed by Martin Scorsese.

I read an interesting article on the rise of girl gangs in The New York Post  –

It was evident almost straight away that with this being such an open assignment revolving around interpretation and illustration that the possibilities for different designs were almost endless. I had a rough vision of what I wanted to create, and assumed I could replicate it fairly quickly. With so many versions available I quickly became overwhelmed with the amount of control and adaptations that I could create.

I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and actually took a self portrait (I much prefer being behind the camera) this in itself was no easy task. I wanted a side profile image which meant I wasn’t looking at the camera. For this to be achievable I set up my tripod and used a stand in model so I could set my focus. I then marked the model’s position with an ‘X’ and reached for my remote shutter. Once my camera settings were ready I posed in several different positions and snapped away. I wanted the ‘person’ in the image to be wearing a dark hooded top –  as hooded tops are synonymous with crime and unsavoury individuals. I wanted the facial features to stand out and be bold, so I positioned the hood further back from my face. I upped the contrast on the face and brightened it as I wanted it to appear light and innocent; a technique that could help to represent someone who is vulnerable. The face is positioned looking up towards the sky as a way of demonstrating anguish, fear or uncertainty. This image can be interpreted as seeking help from a higher power. This is something for the viewer to interpret.

The next stage was sifting through my images to filter out the strong from the weak. I went through my workflow process as usual until I had found the image I wanted to use. I then made some minor tweaks/corrections to the self portrait. I decided to convert the raw image to black and white, and sharpened the eyes slightly. I also added noise as I did not want a crisp sharp image, but more of a grainy grungy feel.

The next step was to find two other images from my personal archive for my book cover. I chose one of New York’s skyline, and one of street signs taken on the famous Fifth Avenue. The effect I wanted to produce was an art like fade of multiple images – almost in an overlapping collage kind of way.

I’d visited several book shops beforehand to study examples and found that while magazine covers tend to include multiple images, stories and sub stories, book covers tend to be much more simplified. They are eye catching, intriguing and simple. With this in mind I was very aware not to over crowd my image. I had decided to mainly go for very strong contrasting black and white shots, enhancing the feeling of isolation and removing any kind of aesthetic ‘warmth’.

Here’s several examples of the kind of styles I was concidering, and book covers that especially caught my eye:

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-20-01-01 screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-20-01-15 screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-20-02-08 screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-20-03-23 screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-20-04-07 screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-20-04-51

As you can see, all of the above examples are simple, and fairly understated in that they are not crammed full of detail. Several of them include a double exposure effect and have a stark white background. I like the use of the side portrait silhouettes also.

I converted the skyline image to black and white, and replaced the cloudy sky with a stark plain white sky. This removed any distracting detail from the sky.

I added film grain and a slight blur to the sign post image to enhance the ‘grungy’ feeling. I wanted to capture the ‘rough’ image of New York – and by using bold black and whites I feel this is achievable.

I then had to use multiple layering techniques in Photoshop to produce the final image. I put the skyline image in the hoodie itself, and then layered that over the sign post image. I didn’t want to fill the whole frame so I removed certain parts of the sign post image to create an arty aspect. I wanted the girls eye-line to be pointing in the direction of the ‘one way’ sign as a way of symbolising a sense of direction, perhaps bad. Using blending techniques I was able to select certain areas I wanted to expose, and areas I wanted to hide. I also added a slight scratch effect to magnify the edgy/grunge feel.

I decided to add a pink hue to the image. I wanted the overall image to feel somewhat cold, but having just black and white was far too clinical. I added pink to the back of the hoodie for several reasons. Firstly, to make it more eye catching. It’s subtle, but the presence of colour makes it much more interesting. Secondly, as pink is universally associated with females I thought it would help to imply that it’s a girl gang. Thirdly, I think it helps hold the shape of the hoodie outline.

My aim was to create an illustration or a piece of art, rather than a manipulated photograph. I wanted to remove all likeness of the original photos in their raw state and use them to create an end product that did not look like a ‘photograph’. By manipulating each image almost to beyond recognition (to the originals) I feel it maintains a standard of ethicality. Doctoring photographs is a general ‘no’ in the world of photography, but by pushing the limits to the extreme it ventures into the world of art and illustration. None of the original photographs are still a valid visual representative of their subjects, apart from the self portrait, where the face is clearly still visible.


The more you look at the image, the more details you can see. One of my favourite parts is the traffic lights on the edge of the hoodie by the tip of the Empire State building. I also like the very discreet second ‘5th Ave’ sign hidden behind the eye. I wanted the face and facial features to be soft and ghostly, perhaps even angelic. In keeping with the ‘gang’ theme I applied a noise filter which is evident on the ‘One Way’ sign especially. This has achieved the grainy/grungy feel, but has perhaps made the face appear slightly soft. However, as I wanted the facial features to appear angelic, I think this has helped in that aspect.

It could have been very easy to get carried away with this assignment, as it’s such an open ended objective, but I’m extremely happy with the outcome of my work. There’s enough detail to make it interesting, yet not overpowering. Taking the photographs was the easiest part. The blending and layering technical side was very intricate. It just goes to show what you can do with software manipulation.

Here’s the three original images I used:


5th Ave


Assessment criteria

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

My technical skills were paramount to this module. Thankfully I already had an understanding of post-processing and was familiar with software such as Photoshop. I felt fairly confident from the start of this module. While I used 2 images from my personal archive, the self portrait pushed my technical skills and revolved around precision positioning, focusing and timing. It was not as simple as ‘point and shoot’. While I’ve researched fellow photographers and styles I admire I’ve tried to create my own style with this assignment, rather than perhaps loosely re-creating a style I’ve seen. I feel much more confident in both my photography and my editing skills.

I find it almost second nature now to have a vision of the end product before i’ve even begun shooting, and therefore follow my workflow better and produce an image I’ve pictured mentally and worked towards achieving, rather than ending up with something that started off as I had visualised, but stumbled across problems or setbacks and had to be tweaked/altered. My work is not so heavily based on improvisation.

Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas

I’m gradually building up my learning log with work I admire, photographers my tutor has introduced me to, and techniques I’m trying out. The most recent being the long exposure shots using a sheet of welding glass. I could do with putting more of my personal photography on perhaps, which is always developing my skills and creativity. I think my blog is easy to navigate, and set out in a clear simple manner.

Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of personal voice

I think my imagination and creativity have really shone through on this assignment. With such an open ended brief it has meant we can produce almost anything we like. There’s no context to follow – it doesn’t have to be black and white, or a landscape shot, or a portrait etc. I’ve experimented with taking a self portrait which I’ve not really done before and I feel like my creative style is really apparent in the final image. In previous assignments I have sometimes gone for a very literal approach in tackling my brief, and have held back on my creativity, but I think this module has helped to build confidence in this area.

Context reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)

Particularly in this module I’ve studied the history of photography, and studied older photographs and genres (looking at image manipulation throughout the history of photography). I’ve bought several books to get started on (again on my tutors advice) and am not just studying modern contemporary photography which seems to be what I’m naturally drawn to (street photography, striking landscapes etc). Sometimes I doubt my intuition and feel like I need several interesting factors in my image to make it stand out (for example, light trails on a busy street, lots of movement, colour etc), when some of the most thought evoking and impacting photographs are very simplistic. (Valerie Jardin’s shot of a man reading his book which I wrote about in a previous post is a great example of this.)

I do think I still need to play around more with interesting angles, even if this does mean lying down in the middle of the pavement on Oxford Street…


Nick Turpin

My tutor also introduced me to the work of Nick Turpin:

Nick’s style is very different to Valerie Jardin’s (previous post) as he mainly shoots in colour. The key thing i’ve noticed and admire about Nick’s work is that it’s all about positioning and timing.

He sums up my views/struggles of street photography fantastically ; “Making something out of nothing with a small camera and standard lens in a public place is the hardest challenge in photography

Many of his images have an element of forced perspective through his perfected timing and positioning of his shots. For example – the ‘can fountain’ image below:


Nick’s attention to detail and timing is truly inspiring – the above image would be so much weaker if the fountain was offset from the can in the foreground. In this instance it really is about precision timing.

He also seems to take a subject or meaning, and adds a literal/physical aspect to it, as exampled below:


He shoots polar opposites as seen below with ‘men at work’ I especially like how the 2 sets of men are walking in different directions – this adds to the impact of the contrast. (I also love the fact that the 2 builders have hard hats on and the 2 suited men are both bald…this adds a feel of consistency and symmetry)


Being armed and ready at all times for that split second opportune moment must be difficult, but Nick never fails to produce interesting thought provoking images, like the one below of a passer by unknowingly mimicking the pose of the model on the side of the bus:


It really does go to show that with a bit of creativity, patience and effort – the general public can pose as subjects for some really great images.