All posts by martintayler

ASSIGNMENTS

Assignments completed as part of the Art of Photography course.

Pace and Rhythm – The Photographer’s Story: The Art of Narrative Michael Freeman

I have been reading Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Story: The Art of Narrative” (ILEX Kindle Version) and have found the section on “Rhythm and Pacing” very relevant for my most recent unit on Narrative.
In one section he talks about rhythm as being “variety in sequence, and this does the job of holding the audience’s attention”.

Pacing he likens to a long-distance running or cycling where you “hold back certain key moments  – or shots in the case of a photo story – until the right moment, and of course is tied up with rhythm”

He goes on to talk about how it is very unlikely that every one of our images would be great and therefore we need to select and then order them in such a way that they help each other.

I have been looking for evidence of this in newspaper supplements and magazines etc. and found a good source of inspiration to be “The Economist” supplement “Intelligent Life” where in each edition they have a Photo Essay.

The latest edition deals with “Northern Brazil: deep in the rain forest, modern health care mixes with ancient rituals”. In this photo essay there is a mixture of double page spreads (with text superimposed), photos that cover the top 2/3rd of single pages, with text below, photos that spread over a page and a third of the next page with further text to the right, whole single pages and pages where photos are of different sizes to allow for captions. The whole effect is quite gripping and pleasing. The “pace” picture for me in this Photo Essay was a double page with a tribesman running around the settlement in a hunting celebration (with fantastic panning effect).

Tony Ray-Jones

There was an interesting article in the recent edition of the British Journal of Photography about Tony Ray-Jones Notebooks.

The BJP ” That Tony Ray-Jones had a profound influence on the generation of documentary photographers who emerged in Britain in the 1970s and ’80s, despite his untimely death at the age of 30, says as much about the singularity of his ideas as his actual pictures. And it’s all there in the notebook and the ephemera he left behind ….”

I particularly liked the entry entitled “Approach” which “details 12 commandments that would still serve well today, particularly his mantra  – Don’t take boring pictures”

notes

Assignment 5

Obsession with cameras – how we see things today

Photo reportage from the recent BrisFest

This is the version following comments from the tutor:

IMG_4239-3 magazine cover

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“Let’s get a shot before we get going” – the volunteer first thing in the morning

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“It feels a bit nerdy but it is art after all and I’ll get the shot before too many people arrive”  –  the official photographer before he is fully engaged in taking the band shots

3O5G3258_1“It would be great to take surfing” – morning shot before taking on assignment

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“I’ll get some shots of my mates” – a member of the Police Rave team takes time out to photograph the others

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“Wish someone would take my photo” – a festival fan gets shots of her mates

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“I’m lugging all this gear around and I could have made do with my iPhone!” – an official photographer finds the simple technology just as rewarding

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“Not quite colour coordinated” –  not a moment to be missed

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“You don’t need huge video cameras but you do need decent sound” – photographer capturing one of the gigs

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“It might be my job but I’m not going to go deaf” – professional photographer takes health and safety seriously

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“This is worth capturing on video” – dance teacher filming his protégés perform the Bossa Nova

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“I must just check the settings once more” – girl taking time out from dancing to capture her friends dancing

IMG_4226_1 “They’re just so cool these gadgets – they even work in poor light” – fan making sure not to drop a drop as he captures the show as the day draws on


This is my original version submitted to tutor:

IMG_4239-3 magazine cover

3O5G3015
“Let’s get a shot before we get going” – the volunteer first thing in the morning

3O5G3181
“It feels a bit nerdy but it is art after all and I’ll get the shot before too many people arrive”  –  the official photographer before he is fully engaged in taking the band shots

3O5G3258
“It would be great to take surfing” – morning shot before taking on assignment

IMG_3605
“I’ll get some shots of my mates” – a member of the Police Rave team takes time out to photograph the others

IMG_3629
“Wish someone would take my photo” – a festival fan gets shots of her mates

IMG_3655
“I’m lugging all this gear around and I could have made do with my iPhone!” – an official photographer finds the simple technology just as rewarding

IMG_3920
“Not quite colour coordinated” –  not a moment to be missed

IMG_3952
“You don’t need huge video cameras but you do need decent sound” – photographer capturing one of the gigs

IMG_3976
“It might be my job but I’m not going to go deaf” – professional photographer takes health and safety seriously

IMG_4105 “This is worth capturing on video” – dance teacher filming his protégés perform the Bossa Nova

IMG_4179
“I must just check the settings once more” – girl taking time out from dancing to capture her friends dancing

IMG_4226
“They’re just so cool these gadgets – they even work in poor light” – fan not dropping a drop as he captures the show as the day draws on

Exercise Symbols (page 176)

List more than one symbol for each of the following and how I might use them in a photograph.


I have added a few examples where I have taken photos whilst studying for this course.

1. GROWTH

Flowers opening

In spring there are many opportunities to photograph buds, leaves and flowers opening. I would need to use a macro lens or long zoom lens and have a shallow depth of field by keeping the lens open as wide as possible.  I would try to vary the angle of shooting – shooting up would accentuate growth.

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Foetus

Take a picture of  pregnant woman having a scan (or even use the photo of a scan) or simply a photo of pregnant woman. Another idea would be a statue such as “Verity” by Danien Hirst in Ilfracombe.

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Graph

Take a photo of a slide of a graph showing an upward trend.

Building in progress

Either a distance shot of a building under construction or a close up of a bricklayer adding to a wall.

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Phallic symbol

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2. EXCESS

Photo of pot/saucepan boiling over

Close up on a stove (or for safety reasons on a camping stove outdoors)

Overflowing shopping bag or trolley

Either a still life or people in (or leaving) a shopping mall or supermarket

Excess loads

People carrying heavy loads

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Overweight people

Outdoor scene – seaside usually a good opportunity

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Overflowing plate of food

Still life

3. CRIME

Crime scene tape

Distance shot or close up with police officer

Broken window

Possibly use an old window from scrap yard and create still life

Part of bike chained to railing

Often see parts of bicycles chained to railings or could possible stage such a scene

Damaged vehicle


4. SILENCE

Examination Room 

Either an examination in progress or a photo of silence boards outside (or even a poster of  Examination Regulations)

Grave/Lamb/Mouse/Clam

Still life to go with the idiom “as silent as a  …”

Person with finger to mouth indicating silence

Portrait

5. POVERTY

Beggar in street/Vagrant

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Urchin looking unkempt

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Some sign of homelessness

Big Issue seller

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Pawnbrokers sign

Mother with lots of children looking down at heel

This would be quite sensitive to take

People living in squalid conditions

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People working in poor conditions

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Volunteering for Brisfest

Brisfest; A volunteer built celebration of Bristol culture, inspiring passion and creativity through a community festival showcasing Southwest talent from music and dance to cabaret and art.

I volunteered as a photographer for this two-day festival which took place on Saturday and Sunday 21st September and Sunday 22nd September. I thought the experience would be rewarding and provide me with some useful images for the current assignment on “Narrative and Illustration”.

I was unable to attend the media presentation on the previous day but had received three briefs in advance.

The briefs  Healing Areas & Workshops (follow link for briefs) , Sponsors, Traders & Small Venues-1 and Walkabouts, Street Acts & Spectacles were quite extensive and so I arranged to arrive early on the Saturday morning which allowed me time to do a recce ,  take photos of last-minute preparations and to engage with people working at the site before they were too busy.

The photos I took of the two days can be viewed on my Flickr sets for each day:

Saturday

Sunday

The whole experience was most rewarding but extremely tiring. I particularly enjoyed the way in which people related to me – I felt if I had been there without a camera I would have been more or less anonymous.

The light for most of the two days was most disappointing and I felt I needed to use flash rather a lot. However, because of the variety of art forms I had such a wealth of material to photograph.

I was so pleased with the results that I produced a 50 page photo book of the two days. I had great difficulty reducing the number of images I was to use to 50 pages – not surprising that I found it even more difficult to reduce that to 15 images for my narrative picture essay exercise in the section on “Narrative and Illustration”.

Assignment 1 Contrasts (page 65)

16 photos grouped in pairs demonstrating contrasts

1. Strong and weak

Strong

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Weak

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2. Large and small

Large

Image

Small

Image

3.  Hard and soft

Hard 

“Hard as nails”

Image


Soft

Image

4. Still and moving

Still

Image

Moving

Image

5. Smooth and rough

Smooth

Image

Rough

Image

6. Diagonal and rounded

Diagonal

IMG_0616

Rounded

Image


7. Pointed and blunt

Pointed

IMG_1145

Blunt

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8. Straight and curved

Straight

Image

Curved

Image


Additional photo

Both diagonal and rounded

Both diagonal and rounded

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