Course: Context and Narrative
Assignment one – ‘Two sides of the story’ – The end (following ‘The middle‘)
Overall I enjoyed this Assignment once I had gotten over the nerves of asking semi strangers access to their private space.
Documentary images for me have to have that ‘just taken and left’ look. So I didn’t attempt to stage any of the images I took, I didn’t move any of the objects either in the frame or in the space where I was taking the images with my camera, I worked with and within the space I had. I didn’t direct the occupants to do anything out of the ordinary for the images I just wanted to turn up take the image and leave.
I knew the framing I wanted to use and had this planned even before turning up at the houses. In my mind I wanted to try to be as objective as possible and to capture a moment in time where I was somewhere I hadn’t been before in the most honest way I could and my own small way I believe I achieved this.
As part of this post I wanted to as a regular part of my reflection comment on the course assessment criteria and provide a few points of more directed reflection:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – with this assignment I wanted to keep all the windows framed the same, inside and out, to give continuity and the viewer the ability to form comparisons. Both sets had to be exposed differently, the outside shots being natural lighting and the inside shots made up mostly of ambient lighting. I used a tripod to ensure all images were taken from the same height and distance from the windows (the reference point). Originally in planning I wanted to use a wider angle to get more in frame but I was restricted with the lens I had and the space I could use to get the shots due to furniture etc.
Quality of outcome – I think the consistent composition aspect of the images worked well. All the inside spaces had different lighting levels/types so I had to adjust the exposure but in each case I tried to used the largest depth of field I could in each given circumstance and used auto white balance. I am pleased with the outcome and as I said before it was the social aspect of this assignment which was the greatest area of personal growth for me.
Demonstration of Creativity – Although the resultant photography could be argued to be straightforward imagery, this assignment ended up being more about gaining access to areas not accessed before (or by anyone other than friends, family or a persuasive neighbour!) and pushing my boundaries to achieve an outcome of both insider and outsider. To make this assignment work I needed to be respectful of people I didn’t know very well and of their private space. I was surprised they were all very supportive of my endeavors once they knew I was studying a degree and that the images would be used as part of my study portfolio, which was encouraging.
Context – Two different viewpoints representative of the Photo-journalistic inside/out viewpoint. I needed to be objective when explaining what I was trying to do, so the neighbours who were giving me access felt comfortable about what I was doing and why. Also one of my aims was to preserve anonymity so I purposefully didn’t include the occupants in the images. A closer frame around the window also in all but one case excluded the door number of the house.
This concludes my posts for this Assignment submission and I now await my tutor’s feedback and will post this in due course.