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Street

Street photography displays manipulated scenes and moments on the street, mirroring the lives of the subjects that are unaware of their photography being taken.

Street photography typically is quite candid, if the photographer doesn’t make it obvious they are taking photographs, they have the ability to capture emotions and moments that are real, pure and true. We can become blind to what is going on in the world around us; whether it be comical, emotional or events. Photographers are also able to capture the comical moments happening in every day life, which others will miss as they are busy with their own day, this requires the photographer to be very patient to wait for the perfect photo opportunity; if the image is taken a moment too early or a moment too late it may lose the comical element.

L O N D O N

When visiting London one of my main images with my images was to keep some consistency with what I was photographing. Before the trip, I decided I would make the people of London my main subject, focusing more on the people who live in/visit the town oppose to the town itself – as I believe it’s difference in lifestyles/cultures/backgrounds that pass through London daily makes up the city, every day will bring someone different, not the still buildings that everyone knows they’ll see when visiting.

In this photo series I have focused on the urban life in London. I spent a while stood in the same spot, an area in which I knew people of an urban/grunge fashion would be passing through. I looked out for subjects wearing unusual clothing brands or colours, I photographed these people from behind to ensure they were unaware of their photo being taken – I wanted them to be unaware as I did not want them to act in front of a camera. An element of mystery has been added by not photographing their faces, this initially hides their identity however you can begin to piece together the lifestyle they may live when looking at the background, clothing, hair and props (skateboards).

THE RADICAL EYE

MODERNIST PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE SIR ELTON JOHN COLLECTION

The Radical Eye exhibition is a collection of photographs in flamboyant picture frames. After spending a small while in a rehab center for addiction to alcohol in the 1980’s Sir Elton John began to collect photographs; these images vary from documentary, studio portraits, street photography, surrealism and still life. The images also vary in print size; starting as small as postage stamps with André Kertész 1917 Underwater Swimmer to large format print with glass beads stuck to the subject’s cheeks in Man Ray’s 1932 Glass Tears.

The quality of the images featured in this exhibition are incredible; after watching a short clip of John discussing his collection it seems he used to buy lower quality until he began building his collection; when photography became a passion, he set out to find the originals/higher quality prints of these images, with the price of the prints only being a small matter to him.

Seeing in Black and White

“The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” – Vikrmn, 10 Alone

When shooting images in black and white you are able to focus more on shapes and textures as the distraction of bright colours has been removed. It is very important for a photographer to have the ability to see in black and white so we are able to realise the complexity of the world with or without colour.

Seeing B&W

For my photo series, I focused mostly on textures that we see daily yet pay little attention to the detail of, due to seeing them every day. I aimed to include interesting shapes and leading lines to ensure my images were more interesting than simple textures. I firstly looked for textured backgrounds that were near items that could be placed in the corner of the image, such as windows, these were used as leading lines to guide the viewer through the empty space of the image to emphasis the detail of the textures in this space.

Feminism

model: rachel andrews

The debate on gender equality – concerning issues such as sexuality and the rape crisis due to the over-sexualisation of the female body – has been ongoing for years. Throughout the 1960’s rape culture was very real, women were trapped in violent marriages and unfair, poorly paid jobs. Second-wave feminism was a feminist activity which began in the 1960’s, mainly in the US, it had then spread around women internationally over the years and ended in the 1980’s. Throughout this time woman were fighting for further equality than had been gained throughout the first-wave; the main view of the women involved in the second-wave was that culture was sexist, still seeing women as the weaker gender whose body was seen as an object.

INSRIRATION

One of the most iconic feminist photographers throughout the 1970-1980’s was Cindy Sherman. Sherman created a series of images named, ‘Untitled Film Stills’, which included self-portraits showing young, beautiful women in stereotypical ways/roles.

Sherman is a photographer whose work, I believe, stands out the most to me throughout this era. Her black and white photography has made a great influence in my ideas on how I want to produce my final images. She has also used herself as her own model, which reflects that these opinions are that of her own as well as those of the women Sherman is playing the role of.

Studio Fashion

model: ben upton

I carried out this studio shoot in order to then turn the images into magazine covers; to carry out this shoot I put a lot of thought into pose, clothing, lighting and colour to visually communicate a different/certain message in each image.

When carrying out the shoot for these images I ensured I always had lots of negative space around my subject to allow for the magazine titles and any extra text; however, after researching the Elle Men magazine I noticed the title was often placed behind the subject. I used this technique to make the subject stand out, Elle magazine is much better known as a female fashion magazine so I believe having the model pop out to the viewers would ensure males would take notice that it wasn’t a magazine for women.

I wanted to mix up both smart and casual, compared to other fashion magazines I-D advertises very casual clothing so I aimed to add an element of class. I decided to pair a smart shirt with casual ripped jeans, to add a more casual element to a formal outfit. With young adults/teens being the target audience this would grab their attention as it is not common that males wear a full suit when attending formal events, more typically jeans with a shirt/blazer.

I shot my images in RAW and JPEG, this is because in post-production any faults with lighting could be corrected on RAW files, if I only shot with JPEG images the image quality would be less and I would not be able to correct any problems as effectively as they are lossy files. When shooting, I used a large soft box, the diffused lighting created with this light evenly wraps around the subject which avoids patches of the image being over or under exposed where the light has/hasn’t fallen. I had no lights on the backdrop as I didn’t want the white looking too harsh compared to the soft light covering the model. As I was working in the studio I was able to keep my ISO at 100, this ensured my images were exposed perfectly with no grain.

Fashion on Location

model: ben upton

Shooting fashion photography on location allows you to use natural lighting, this creates a less harsh look that artificial lighting may cause, the soft lighting means the images look natural. In consideration to the purpose of fashion photography, to sell the clothes being modelled, taking your subject outside will create a more welcoming vibe; I have decided to photograph in grunge-style locations to avoid a ‘perfect’ image which viewers may dislike or be distracted by.