1. Environmental portrait

By ‘on location’ or ‘environmental’ portraits I mean portraits taken of people in a situation that they live in (work, rest or play) and/or a place that says something about who they are.

Arnold Newman was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still life images. His images inspired me for a couple of reasons, firstly because of how natural they look by this I mean they don't look like they've been put there they look like they were already there. See below:

2. Candid Portrait

Candid photography is photography that focuses on spontaneity rather than technique, on the immersion of a camera within events rather than focusing on setting up a staged situation or on preparing a lengthy camera setup.

A contemporary photographer called Jennifer Alderman has taken a lot of candid images, especially of children as those are the photos you would want in an album. She inspired me to take candid photographs as I didn't know how to but when I saw her images I loved them. See below:

3. Fine Art Portrait

Essentially, the term fine art photography is used to refer work created with such a desire in mind, to articulate an impression, a feeling about, or relationship with the world.

Cole Thompson's goal is simple, to produce fine art black and white photography.  Fine Art Photography in Black and White.  As a teenager, Cole Thompson would spend hours looking at fine art black and white photographs from the great masters of photography. See below:

4. Corporate photography

Yousuf Karsh was a Canadian photographer of Armenian heritage, and one of the most famous and accomplished portrait photographers of all time. See below:


General Research
Kenneth O Halloran- Life after Death project. This project is amazing, and inspiring. This completely goes with our brief of the Human Condition it show life before death and life after death. His photographs have a sense of purity in them, they almost look like candid images. See below for examples:

Irina Werning- Back to the future. This is one of my favourite photoshoots. I love the concept, the photographs, the re-creation- everything is so inspiring. It doesn't only allow you to imagine but allows you to see people's past and how they involved as an adult. This could be either used Fine Art photography showing how life moves on even if our clothes stay the same. It could be related to the human condition as everyone grows up and becoming old is something no human can avoid. See below for examples:

Jody Ake- The method she uses to create her images is fascinating, she uses a historical method called wet collodion process. Invented in 1851, the method entails coating a glass plate with collodion and exposing the plate while it is still wet. The end result are ambrotypes, appearing on glass in the form ofa negative until backed by black velvet, thus rendering the positive image.

For the people brief there are four sections that I have to take into consideration but I also have to relate this to the human condition. I thought it might be a good idea to have a test shoot inside a studio just to be a little creative get some good angles, lighting and to take into consideration shutter speeds, aperature, white balance, ISO.

Studio Lighting Experiment Task

The first studio practise I did for this brief was with two fellow class mates Emma Ford and Kelly. The task that we had to do was to practise different lighting techniques, see what lighting suited our face types, composition techniques. For every set up we used a light meter I suggested this because I personally felt that I needed more practise with a light meter and they both agreed that we would have used one anyway and we also used a trigger and a tripod. The four lighting techniques as an outline to help us:

1. Top light
2. Side light
3. 45/ 45
4. Back light

However the brief strongly suggested that we experiment rather than strictly concentrating on ticking off the things that we have done. Instead we should experiment things that we haven't done and the brief was only their so we don't waste valuable time in the studio and if we struggle and don't know what to do then use the brief as an outline.

1. To begin with we used a boom and a beauty dish for the top light effect and decided to put a honeycombe to soften the light. As you can see the top light did not do neither Kelly or Emma any justice. It made them both look washed out and didn't give any shape to their face. The only thing the top light did slightly was give an out line to their bodies. See below:

F5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 200

 F5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 200

2. For the side light we used black and white reflectors and a big soft box. As we were taking portrait images we thought it would be a good reason to use this lighting equipment. The photographs outcome were much better than the top lighting, it looked like Emma and Kelly actually had colour in their skin. This type of lighting worked really well with their facial structures. The black relfectors absorb light so from the back of their heads and on the left the light was absorbed so gave a darker shade to one side of their face this could have been done more or less depending on the composition of the light or the subject. So that is exactly what I did I got my subjects to move around their head, body, eyes to see the different shadows and shades I get. See below for images:
F5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 200

                                                        F5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 200

 F5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 200

      Studio set up for side lighting

3. Instead of doing 45/ 45 lighting we decided to experiment a little as Kelly had an idea. She had brought in a small torch and a pocket mirror. She wanted to reflect the light off the mirror towards the eyes in pure darkness so the only area that was lit up was the eyes. After spending a lot of time trying to get everything in position Kelly had gotten the shot she needed. I took one shot just for my blog to show what we had been doing. 

  f/8, 1/5sec, ISO 200

4. Instead of just using back lighting we wanted to mix the lighting up abit, get a bit creative. I suggested we used colour gels as the back lighting. First we did this by it self the photographs didn't come out looking great so we decided to put a top light up alongside reflectors. The images this time with top lighting came out fantastic this was because we changed the filter from a honeycomb to a standard beauty dish. This worked well on both their faces and looked very professional. For the third image where kelly is shaking her head I put the shutter speed to 1/2sec as I wanted to see what a blurred effect would look like, it came out really creative.

 F4.8, 1/20sec, ISO 200

 F4.8, 1/20sec, ISO 200

F5.6, 1/2sec, ISO 200

Mixed lighting set up

 Mixed lighting set up

Contact Sheet below:

Corporate Shoot
The corporate shoot was for lecturers at Blackburn university to come and get their photograph taken professionally for their I.D badges. The staffs' previous photos were very outdated, unprofessional and in any environment they were stood in at the time- 'mug shots'. The lighting that was used was top light and backlight with reflectors on either side. We also used a trigger. In order to get the correct shot we didn't bother using a tripod as you don't have the flexibility of moving around your subject for better angles. For this task it was unrealistic to have 25 students all in the studio so Andy chose a group of people to help him with the set up. Unfortunately I wasn't in this group but decided to go in and just watch to see how they set the lighting up. As I had already done this lighting set up I wanted to see if I had done it right previously so watched. I found that I had done all steps that the group had done and felt very confident so left the studio.

We had told to be very professional with the staff as it would reflect on the photography department so when it was my time to take some shots of a couple of the lecturers I introduced myself politely, asked them simple questions to make them feel comfortable such as their name, if they had done this before. When I started taking the photographs I kept on reassuring them, smiling and saying great job. At the same time I needed to get the right shot so kept politely prompting them on what I needed them to do in order for successful photographs.

Unfortunately my camera started to play up a little and was making the images over exposed. I tried a solving the problem myself and just couldn't work it out so then I went to Andy for advice and we still couldn't figure out the problem. The images below are the final outcome of this corporate shoot. See below:

1/125sec at f/16

1/125 at f/8.0

Contact Sheet

Studio Practise

Before I started on researching for the People brief I wanted to get some more studio practise. I like being a little creative and seen as it is spring I decided to do a little test shoot. I could use this photoshoot for my personal portfolio so had to execute a successful shoot. I found my model off Facebook (social networking site) and have used her before. After all the paper work was filled in and I had prepped e.g. order daffodils off a wholesaler website I booked a studio in Bradford. Luckily for me the owner is a close friend so I got the studio all day for free. The studio is called RM Studio and is situated in Bradford. I did the models hair and make up myself.

For the lighting I used two umbrellas and a trigger. I wanted a white background to keep the images looking fresh and vibrant and also so the yellow daffodils stand out. To begin with the images weren't coming out clear once again they were over exposed however I realised the both umbrellas were pointing exactly in the same direction and the light was just bouncing. So I decided to bring one umbrella to a lower point so it's more aimed on the face rather than the back drop. See below for final images:

Studio Set up

1/60 sec at f/5.6

1/60 sec at f/5.6

Contact Sheet

My photographs

I wanted to relate my photographs to emotion as that it what all humans feel, everyone feels angry, sad, hurt, happy, upset, excited, shy, nervous, silly etc so this is what I based this brief on. Below I have numbered each section, wrote the name and next to it what emotion I am trying to portray in my photograph. As I have already done plenty of research which will help me and also I have experimented quite alot in the studio so was eager for my photoshoots to commence.

1. Environmental Portrait- Happy.

By ‘environmental’ portraits I mean portraits taken of people in a situation that they live in (work, rest or play) and/or a place that says something about who they are.

I wanted to show happiness to begin with this is what we can all relate to everyone has been happy at one stage in their life however I felt for most people are happiest when they are a child. As a child you are able to do what you want with not a care in the world. In some cases I acknowledged this isn't the case and took this into consideration that some children don't have an easy life however in some aspects I have related each brief to myself. So for me and people that I asked such as friends people said as a child they were most happy. I didn't want to take a child inside a studio shake a noisy toy in the toddler's face and force her to smile. So I decided to photograph the child in her own environment, somewhere were she can play and sow her emotion. I chose a toddler because toddler's can't lie about their emotion if they are happy then their happy, I wanted to take a photograph in the child's own environment where she is most happy which is outside.

So outside I couldn't set up lighting not if the toddler is going to be running around having fun and being happy. So I set my camera to ISO 100, white balance daylight. The exposure settings will be in the contact sheets provided below and my chosen photograph will have the all necessary details as a caption. Below is the final chosen image and the contact sheet:

                                                         Chosen image to be printed
                                                                    1/200sec at f/5.3

Contact sheet below:

2. Candid Photography- Laughter.

Clearly my Candid image could not be taken in a studio or else it would be staged. So I decided to stalk my family members, in a completely legal way. I just carried my camera with me and took random photographs then at the end of this I would decide which photograph I would use and what emotion I would place with the photograph. I already had an idea in my head of what emotion I wanted to photograph. I thought about photographing strangers however I would need there permission before I took the shot and so it wouldn't be actually candid so I stuck to family members as I know they wouldn't mind.

For candid I thought about showing illness through my photographs. My mum is very ill so I thought I could relate my work to her however I found it too difficult to photograph her, I found it very emotional so didn't. I then decided that I could photograph prayer, someone praying in my family. When a Muslim prays he/ she must completely concentrate on their prayer and not look around. They wouldn't know I was photographing them so would be completely Candid. Another idea I had was to photograph a party or a wedding which would allow me to get great Candid shots. After I had brain stormed all these ideas I thought I'll just carry my camera around with me and just click away. My favourite image was of Ingleton where my friend jamp up and I captured the moment. It was a funny moment.

                                                                  1/500sec at f/5.6

Contact sheet below:

3. Fine Art Portrait- Sadness.

For this section I wanted to sure sadness I knew what a fine art image was but I just didn't know how to show it in my image. The sadness is related to feeling body conscious and this emotion I think everyone feels. It doesn't have to mean you hate all of your body just one thing like you eyes, nose, legs, or you even feel you too skinny or too fat. I didn't want to photograph just a thin person feeling upset or an adult feeling sad. I wanted to interpret this through a child or even a teenager. Mostly these thoughts are influenced through the media as you aspired to be a celebrity or you have similarities to a celebrity but feel they are prettier. Anything is possible. I chose a young person who isn't entirely happy with her body, she didn't want me to show her face before the shoot she was very reluctant and felt uneased at the thought of her semi naked photos on my blog. In order to feel comfortable I suggested if it would be easier if I didn't show her face, we could cover her face with her hair or find a solution. She was completely satisfied with this idea. When we got to a little into the shoot she told me she felt comfortable and if I wanted I could capture her face in some photographs. I asked her guardian who was present with us at the time and she agreed, signing a seperate form for this to go ahead.

I hired out a studio in Nelson called Sphere Studios which was a really good experience for me. I had to set up the lighting. To begin I used 2 soft boxes which were powered at 150watts. I also used a light meter, a trigger and took along with me a tripod however realised I didn't need it because the shutter speed would be fast enough for me to hand hold my camera so they wouldn't be any camera shake.

For the photographs I took I wanted it as a 'story book' however wanted to link the photographs not only through her body language and the theme but another way. After carefully thinking about a method I decided I wanted a high shutter speed so i can get that dark shade around the image. Once the images were complete I placed them in Lightroom in a Triptych format. I found they looked amazing. See below for final print image and contact sheet:

Studio Set up

Final image below:

Contact sheets below:

4. Corporate Portrait- Frustration/ anger

For the corporate portrait I wanted to have the background black with a top light the modifier would have been a snoot on the boom. This is because I wanted a very dark, serious, angry setting and blackness I thought would be perfect. I would have used a male model for this shoot who would have worn a black or dark grey suit. The top button of the collar would have been open with the tie looking loosened like you would after a hard long day of work. The frustration/ anger would have been shown by his facial expression and his hands being scrunched up. I would have also made a back display by threading thread through papers and hanging them around the model in order for them to look like he has just thrown them up in the air. This is to show frustration in everyday life but from a professional point.

The ISO would have been 800 as it would have been very dark, the shutter speed about 1/100sec at f/11. That is what I averaged it out to I would have used a light meter to correct any settings that were incorrect.

Unfortunately due to some personal issues I wasn't able to complete this photoshoot. Therefore have no image for my corporate portrait. Instead I thought I would just hand in one of the photographs I took from the corporate shoot we all participated in for the university lecturers. See below:

Chosen image for prints1/125sec at f/16

Contact sheet below: