Throughout this brief I independently researched: photographers, characteristics of location and documentary photography, the equipment I needed for location photography, audiences for documentary photography, back busking campaign and image sharing sites. Below I reflect back on the research I independently carried out.
During the research stage I independently researched two different photographers. One photographer was Henri Cartier-Bresson. Reflecting back at this stage of my research, Bresson’s work inspired me to shoot in a documentary style because I really like that style of photography. Bresson’s work also inspired me to convert my images to black and white because of how effective black and white is. The other photographer I researched was Martin Parr. Reflecting back at this research, Parr’s work inspired me to focus on the facial expressions on the people because looking through his work I noticed how much impact was added by the facial expressions on the people in the image.
During the research stage I independently researched the characteristics of location photography. Reflecting back on this research I found weather was a major characteristic of location photography because depending on the weather you could or couldn’t shoot. To tackle this characteristic I used the pre-installed weather app on my Iphone to make sure it wasn’t going to be raining before the day of shoots because there won’t be any subjects to shoot because people don’t go out during rainy days. Another characteristic I found was natural lighting. This was another major characteristic for this brief because depending on how the natural lighting was on the day of the shoot it made or brake the image. There was no real way of tackling this characteristic because natural lighting is something you cannot check unlike weather. There was a way of working around this characteristic by trying to shoot in the shade if the natural lighting was harsh because the shade made the shadows softer which flattered the model. If the day was cloudy there was no real need to shoot in the shade because the clouds act as a big diffuser which would create softer shadows which will flatter the model.
Due to independently researching two documentary photographers I started to research documentary photography. As I began to research documentary photography I found this genre of photography was a form of location photography. This was positive thing because documentary photography suited my ideas for the brief.
To start of I began to research the characteristics of documentary photography. One characteristic I found was people. I found this an enjoyable characteristic to work with because I really like how people can add meaning and impact to the image. During my first test shoot I found it really easy to tackle the characteristic because I used a member of the class, Rhiannon which made the shoot relaxed. During my second shoot I found it harder because a member of the class, Gemma had to talk to one of her friends who was a busker so it took time to organise the second shoot. I could of tackled this characteristic by asking for the buskers number so I could talk to her over the phone therefore not needing to go through the member of the class. Doing this could of saved time and I could of done the second test shoot earlier therefore having time to do other test shoots. During my final shoot I found it easy to tackle this characteristic because I walked around the location until I found a busker. If I didn’t find a busker I moved on to my second location. The rest of the characteristics I found was the same as the characteristics of location photography.
I independently researched the equipment of documentary and location photography. This research helped because I found equipment I thought wouldn’t be used in location and documentary photography. Due to this research and my photographers research I found out that a 50mm lens was best for documentary and location photography because of close you can get with the lens. Another piece of equipment I found was a tripod. I didn’t use this piece of equipment because it would slow me down which is bad because I couldn’t react quickly to split second moments.
I independently researched audiences for location and documentary photography. Reflecting on this research, it really helped because it made me aware of what audiences are out there. Through out my test shoots and final shoot I tried to keep a general music loving audience in my mind because this would allow me to show my work to everyone. I originally wanted to target teenagers who like music because I am a teenager myself and I know how to target that audience but I came to realise focusing on one target audience limited myself to who I could show my images to.
I independently researched the Back Busking campaign because I really wanted to get an insight into what buskers have to go through. Reflecting back on this research, it didn’t help with this brief because it doesn’t talk about location or documentary photography.
I independently researched image sharing sites. Reflecting back on this research, it helped because I could tailor my audience to the audience from the image sharing site. I chose Flickr to upload my images because Flickr’s main audience is photographers which is good because my images will get viewed by people who know photography. I also chose Flickr because it made it easy to submit my images to my tutor due to the albums you could create.
My independent development was my two test shoots. Below I reflect back on these test shoots.
My first test shoot I did inside because I just wanted to focus on practising on getting my settings right. I also did the test shoot inside because I didn’t want to include natural lighting at this point of the brief because I just wanted to focus on getting my techniques right. During the test shoot I stuck to a 50mm lens because I wanted to emulate how close Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martin Parr was to their subjects because I really like the impact of the closeness. This test shoot at the end of it really helped with my final images because it allowed me to get the techniques right.
My second test shoot I did outside because at this point of the brief I wanted to include natural lighting because I wanted to have experience shooting in natural lighting before my final shoot so I could make the mistakes and learn from them. This test shoot also helped me practice on getting my settings right which helped me because I don’t want to worry about the settings on the final shoot because I want to focus on getting the image right. Like my first test shoot I stuck with a 50mm lens because I really like the impact it has on the image.
Both of these test shoots impacted my final shoot because it allowed me improve on my skills before my final shoot. I think if I didn’t do these test shoots my final images would be bad because I didn’t practise.
During the shoot I found it easy because there was plenty of buskers around meaning I had plenty of images to chose from. When shooting it was made easier by the shadows of the shops merged together. The shadows merging together made the shoot easier because it meant there was no harsh shadows on the buskers face which would be unflattering. Due to the test shoots I felt I was prepared to do this shoot because I have practised the techniques and skills needed for this shoot.Martin Parr’s work I think have influenced my final images because the way I have captured facial expressions is similar to how he has captured facial expressions. This final shoot went well because there was plenty of buskers to photograph.
In conclusion I think this brief went well because there was barely any issues during the brief. The issues which did arise was easily and quickly fixed because it was minor issues. An example of an issue was Photoshop in college and on my laptop could read my RAW files due to Photoshop being out of date. To tackle this issue I installed a DNG converter by Adobe which converts my RAW files to DNG. These DNG files was readable by Photoshop which allowed me to edit my RAW files. The only thing I would improve on is my development work because I felt there was not a lot of development work in my work.