Shoot One!

Monday 6th October, I underwent a test shoot in the small lockable studio at Uni.
I had a wonderful model called Thomas who traveled from the other side of Reading for me to under go the photo-shoot with him.
To begin with, I was feeling so nervous! Since participating in a small work experience program over the summer this was to be my first solo nude photo-shoot. Despite the nerves, I went to the studio feeling very prepared and organized – I had the lights set up before Thomas arrived and I took my Research & Development Book (RDB) with me to show him some photographs that I have been inspired by.

The lighting set up was rather simple (but effective!). I had 2 large soft-boxes placed either side of Thomas, by doing this I was able to use the soft lighting that I love to use and pick up on the detail of Thomas’ body.
We decided that we would work with the torso on this shoot, so I was mainly concentrating on his hands, arms, chest, shoulders and his back. Surprisingly, the whole thing went very well and to say thank-you I bought him a coffee (seeing as I am funding everything for this project, I am unable to pay models to participate in my shoots) and after the happenings of the day he left me a really good reference on the website Purple Port 

Lucy was friendly and confident from the word go – She has strong, clear ideas and explained them well, and was well organised, which meant the photoshoot was calm, and efficient; which also in-turn made my job as the model very easy too.

Below are 4 of my images from my test shoot. (click on the images to enlarge them!)


I felt the photo-shoot with Thomas was very successful – he was very chatty and we managed to break the ice rather quickly which made our jobs so much easier.
Despite the fact that this was a test shoot,I was able to make a decision on how I want my lighting to be set up for any future shoots for this project – the lighting is soft and subtle (the way I like to work when in the studio) but the light was strong enough to pick up on the definitions of his body. I came away from the studio with some strong shots. Reflecting on my images,  as good as they are, I know that I can push the boat out further. Yes, my images are strong, but they are FAR too simple.The images itself are standard cropped photographs of different parts of the body, simple, effective but just a starting point to develop my photographs more. For this project, I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and explore other ways of creating a series of images that relate to the Fragmented Body by exploring many as many areas and techniques as possible.

Just an update…

So… I am now coming into my third week of the project. And it has gone off to a slow but reassuring start.

The last couple of weeks I have spent trying to find models willing enough to participate in my shoots. Due to the nature of my shoots I have had to specifically state that I want either fine-art nude or life drawing models, by doing this I know that the model should be comfortable with either doing a partially or fully nude shoot with me in the lockable studio my university has to offer.

9 times out of 10, I normally use people I know and have a strong relationship with around the university to participate in my ideas and shoots, however I have pushed the boat out and made myself come across as “Professional” by creating online cast callings.
Over the summer I was introduced to a website called Purple Port  by a local photographer in the industry. It’s great for students like myself as you sign up for your free months “unlimited” profile and after the time for that has ended you have the option to pay to get all the benefits of an unlimited account or just stick to the basic free one (which is what I have opted for until I make it into the photographic world!).
Creating a casting call was really simple and easy to do via Purple Port and in a short time I got quite a lot of interest from people of all ages and sizes.

On top of trying to keep my sanity and finding decent models for my projects I have been cracking on with a little bit of research. As well as reading Jacques Lacan’s Mirror Stage in depth (not only for this project but for my Dissertation too) I have been looking at photographer’s work such as… Sally Mann’s Proud Flesh, Bill Brandt’s Nudes and David Hockney’s Joiners. This is just a the initial beginning of research and I will be researching more in depth at other photographers and artists to broaden my knowledge.

Just to push the boat out a little further, I have also been getting to know my camera! The photographers first intimate session of understanding how your cameras and for us photographers to geek out a little bit!
For the next 6-7 weeks I am going to be using a Hassleblad camera which is something that is completely out of my comfort zone for I have never used one of these before! I managed to organise a one-to-one tutorial with Paul the Photo-technician and he was able go through the basics and gave me a film so I could go and practice.
And as you can imagine I have instantly fallen in love with the Hassleblad and cannot wait to work with it more with later on this week!

Pintrest!

To help me get started for my project, I decided to create a mood board of images to help me feel inspired.
Most of the time I normally Google-Image search the idea I have and spend a copious amount of time cutting and sticking images to fill either an A4 page or across my wall… That was until my friend who has previously graduated from my course introduced me to Pintrest (Thank you Fran!).

Pintrest is great for any enthusiastic blogger or for new people like me – the website pretty much acts like a digital pin board, where you can create sub-pinboards and pin your favourite things to posts that interest you to uploading and pinning your work. So as you can imagine, for photographers just like me I managed to create a pinboard where I am not limited to how many photographs/ideas I want to pin and I can access it anywhere without the fear of spilling tea all over my work book.
Don’t get me wrong, I have placed something into my Research and Development book to go alongside with my submission but by doing this I feel limited to the space that I am using.

So for all you fellow photographers out there that are stuck with how to begin your projects, I highly recommend pintrest!
If you want to feel inspired, you can have a look at my online-mood board by CLICK HERE

Project Proposal

MY BRIEF:
For this project I am aiming to create a series of images focusing on the human body. By doing this I am hoping to develop my knowledge of nude photography further and to establish the difference between nude and ‘pornographic’ photography.
I will be creating these images under the influence of Jacques Lacan theory of the Mirror Stage paying particular attention to the Fragmented Image / Body and thus applying this theory to my photographic practice.
For my photo-shoots, I will be looking for both male and female models to par-take in test shoots and depending on how well I collaborate with them hopefully use them for my final photo-shoots. Because of the nature of my project, I will have to make sure that I have created model release forms to get the models full permission to take photographs and present them in front of my peers and my portfolio. When undergoing the shoots, I will be paying particular attention to lighting as well as the body itself, and shapes that we can position the body into to get the desired photograph while hopefully gaining further knowledge and confidence with working with others.
My photo-shoots will be taken on site of the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham – we have a small studio with lighting that is only accessed by using a key. This studio will be ideal for what I want to achieve as other members of the university will not be able to enter the studio without my permission and hopefully it will make my models feel more comfortable when working with me.
I aim to undergo at least two test-shoots to help me make the vital decisions of how I want my studio to be set up for my models, and undergo the minimum of 5 photo-shoots to create my final images. The chosen platform for creating my images will be on 120mm film – This project is ideal for me to get back into the darkroom environment and be experimental with my work. I felt 120mm film would be best suited as I can pick up on the detail and make larger prints than 35mm could do and it will give me the chance to explore using Hassleblad cameras – something I have never tried before and eager to learn new skills in a camera I am not confident in.

RESOURCES:
120mm Film, Photographic darkroom paper, Studio (Lockable), Lighting & Softboxes (all studios are equipped with this), Light Meters, Wireless Flash Sync Transmitters, Flash Sync Cable, Hassleblad, Digital SLR, Enough money from my budgeted weekly allowance to pay for film and printing costs.

SKILLS:
Recaping on how to use Hassleblad / Medium formats.
Photographic printing techniques – wet process photography and being experimental as well as fine digital printing,
Scanning negatives digitally, not only will I have a digital copy of the image but I will also have back-ups just in-case I lose my negative strips.
People skills – being professional around model that is outside of the university.

TIMETABLE (Rough Guide):
29/09/14 Group Tutorial
30/09/14 RDB
06/10/14 Test Photoshoot 1
07/10/14 File Management Workshop
13/10/14 RDB
14/10/14 Test Photoshoot 2
15/10/14 Photoshoot 1
20/10/14 Photoshoot 2
21/10/14 PROGRESS REVIEW 
27/10/14 Photoshoot 3
28/10/14 Workshop
03/11/14 Group Seminar
04/11/14 Photoshoot 4
10/11/14 Photoshoot 5
11/11/14 Individual Tutorial
17/11/14 PROGRESS REVIEW
24/11/14 Production
25/11/14 Individual Tutorial
01/12/14 PORTFOLIO SUBMISSION
02/12/14 & 03/12/14 ASSESSMENT REVIEW
08/12/14 & 09/12/14 FEEDBACK TUTORIALS

No. of hours scheduled activity: 100
No. of hours of independent study: 200

LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES:

LO1) Demonstrate skills in proposing, researching, initiating and evaluating a practical project.
LO2) Demonstrate the development of technical and practical skills appropriate for this project.
LO3) Demonstrate the ability to independently produce and present an ambitious photographic project.
LO4) Demonstrate further development of employability in photography in related areas.

OBJ 1) To develop a good understanding of Nude Photography.
OBJ 2) To develop a good understanding of Lacan’s theory of Fragmented Image/Fragmented Body.
OBJ 3) To produce a filled and detailed Research and Development Book that shows a clear understanding of how I advanced in my project.
OBJ 4) To produce a series of high quality printed photographs that demonstrate practice and technique to show in front of my peers.

New Year, New Start!

Well I have to say it… I am now officially in my final year of my Photography Degree.
It’s so scary!

I have completely dived into my work head first and feel like I was drowning for the first two weeks, however now that I feel more settled I can pick myself and begin my projects.
For this blog, I will mainly be concentrating on my practical work for this year which will be Independent Study and Resolutions!

IDEAS FOR INDEPENDENT STUDY

So… The idea I have for I.Study is to work with the body, in particular taking a further look into Jacques Lacan’s mention of the fragmented image in his essay The Mirror Stage. 
To get the ball rolling, I have created a mood board on Pintrest (you can view it here http://uk.pinterest.com/lucyyates92/) to help me think of ways of how I can photograph the body.
The interest in nude/photographing the body first came to me when I was participating in a work experience project with a small production company in King’s Lynn. The brief for this mini project was to organise “Fine art nude” photo shoots suitable to put into a calender for 2015. I had so much fun and learnt so much, but unfortunately I had to stop attending due to my studies at UCA and thus no longer taking part.
HOWEVER, the small amount of knowledge I acquired, I am eager to create my own photo-shoots for university and push my knowledge further and gain confidence in this genre.

So there we have it!
Oh! Before I forget, for anybody that is doing an art-related course at any level, I recommend Pintrest as a great way to help you create mood-boards and gain ideas to help you being your projects. My friend introduced me to it and I am so thankful she did!

Digital Experiment Two

After showing my first digital experiment to my peers, I went back onto Adobe Premier Pro and altered my digital narrative piece.
As you can see, I changed the beginning and got rid of my name, and I made the text appear longer on the screen too.

Looking back at the small alterations I made, I felt that this video didn’t quite tell the narrative I wanted it to portray. I got the basics of what school I was at at what age and the thing I remembered when I was so young. This narrative is very straight forward and very informative and I wanted it to be personal and slightly more interesting.
I went back to the drawing board and after discussion with my tutors, I decided the next best move was to scrap the text/captions and change everything to audio – in particular a recording of me explaining everything in detail.
By doing this, I feel that my video will be more personal and when my audience will listen to my video, they will hopefully have discovered some sort of connection with my school years to how they was at school – even if it sparks a memory or from personal adventures.

 

Digital Experiment One.

After drawing my storyboard, I then set myself a task on creating my short video using Adobe Premier Pro.
This software was completely alien  to me – as a photographer I don’t really use film or video software that much (but it has been good to experiment with for this project and I’ve learnt something new!).
Inputting the photographs into this software was really quick and easy to do. To help my narrative run smoothly I decided text would be a good option to use to help my viewers understand my story. Sticking with the “school theme” – I decided to place the pictures and text against a black background – I can remember at school my teachers used the traditional chalk board when I was young, and luckily there was a font in A.P.Pro that mimicked chalk-board writing!

I showed this video to my peers in a summative review session – bearing in mind this was my first draft of a video and my first time making a short film I knew I had a lot to improve on, but here is some of the comments that were made:
The text ties the body of work together. It’s maybe a bit open ended, something in the end of that could create an end to the slideshow. Maybe the typeface could be changed for things like the school name, and your voice can stay as a chalkboard… Consider how you want the image & text to be looked at, structure of being next to, in front of image example. The type could be a bit smaller.
When showing this video to my peers, I also noticed that I did not give enough time for my audience to read the text being displayed, and throughout my 10 minute slot I had to pause the video to give them a chance to read everything.
For my next video, I must improve my timings and get a “fresh pair of eyes” to look at my video and make sure it is suitable for all people. Also, I feel that the “Lucy Yates” at the beginning of the film is unnecessary – the title of the piece is the only thing that needs to be seen here and my audience will understand that it is to do with me because of the nature of the project.
However, I quite like the font used already and I would like to stick to the same format I have used for this.