Headshot Photographs / #1 to #10 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Contact Sheets

As I prepare to end my Final Major Project, which comes to a close on Monday 5th June, I have created Contact Sheets for my Final Major Project, which will be in my sketchbook once printed.

All of the Headshot Photographs which consist of my close friends, which are Jonathan McCartney, Steven Geer, Oli Regan, Leonardo Mouza, Terrence Mathew, Mhamad Rauf & Kasra Soltani, are almost ready for the End of Year Show, and all I need to do now is get the photos put on to a large number of slides, timed around 10 to 20 seconds each, and then all that’s left is to finalise my proposal and then the sketchbook annotations, along with the Final Evaluation.

I hadn’t anticipated my last year of college would fly so quick! Time flies when you’re having fun, also when you’re working your socks off to make sure you can achieve the best from the work you produce.

Below are all of the contact sheets from #1 to #10, including the photo edits and black and white versions of the original photographs.

Headshot #1 – Jonathan McCartney

Headshot #1 – Jonathan McCartney / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #2 – Jonathan McCartney

Headshot #2 – Jonathan McCartney / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #2 – Jonathan McCartney / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #3 – Steven Geer

Headshot #3 – Steven Geer / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #3 – Steven Geer / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #4 – Oli Regan / Black Backdrop & Red Backdrop

Headshot #4 – Oli Regan / WordFoto Edits / Black Backdrop & Red Backdrop

Headshot #4 – Oli Regan / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #5 – Leonardo Mouza

Headshot #5 – Leonardo Mouza / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #5 – Leonardo Mouza / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #6 – Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza

Headshot #6 – Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #6 – Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #7 – Mhamad Rauf

Headshot #7 – Mhamad Rauf / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #7 – Mhamad Rauf / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #8 – Kasra Soltani

Headshot #8 – Kasra Soltani / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #8 – Kasra Soltani / Monochrome (Black & White) / Facial Expressionism Photographs + A Continuation of the First Set of Facial Expressionism Photographs

Headshot #9 – Kasra Soltani

Headshot #9 – Kasra Soltani / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #9 – Kasra Soltani / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Headshot #10 – Kasra Soltani

Headshot #10 – Kasra Soltani / WordFoto Edits

Headshot #10 – Kasra Soltani / Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

These contact sheets are essential for the project work I have produced, as they cover all of the work I have produced for the Final Major Project and given the fact I have named the photographs, this is beneficial for me as I can prepare for the end of the Final Major Project whilst I prepare a photographic presentation for the End of Year Show.

It’s hard to believe that on Monday 5th June at 11:30 AM, all of the work I have produced will be handed in for what will be the last time. I still cannot get my head around the fact I have only a few weeks left at Croydon College. The time sure flew! School went quick, there’s no denying that, but college, on the other hand, went like a blip!

These contact sheets, which go in conjunction with all of the coursework I have produced, will be viewable in the E-Folio.

Please submit below your response on whether there are any improvements I can make for when I produce photography work similar to the headshot photography work I have produced in the future. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #10 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

Bringing my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close, Headshot #10 marks the end of my Final Major Project Practical Work as I have photographed my close friend, Kasra Soltani.

For this final collection of headshot photographs, I have made sure to get Kasra to do some facial expressions like before, but for these headshot photographs, I have adjusted the lighting to accommodate for better focus on Kasra so that each expression he has made connects to the photography work I have already produced. Taking a new direction on the photographs, Kasra has done some new facial expressions that I initially didn’t have in mind at first and this has given me a better outlook as to how I can assign each expression with its own name, as well as to how that specific emotion connects to the facial expression I have not only asked him to make, but the facial expressions he has made naturally in most of these photographs.

This final headshot collection has informed my critical thinking, as well as the research I have done on the five photographers, which are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, August Sander & David Bailey.

Below are the final headshot photographs for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, complete with the WordFoto Edits and Black & White Versions of the Original Photographs.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

I am so pleased to have achieved such fantastic results from the photography work I have produced throughout the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, and I have noticed that every headshot collection I have produced I’ve seen improvements every time. Now that I have got together all the photographs I have produced for my Final Major Project, I will be making sure to pick a selected number of photographs from all of the headshot articles to present them as my chosen final pieces. Contact sheets are being produced at this stage which will be going in my sketchbook and my aim is to get the Final Major Project Proposal done and finalised and then get the last of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project work done and ready before Monday 5th June.

All of the research and headshot photographs I have produced as part of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project coursework can be found in my E-Folio.

Headshot #10 brings the practical work for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close. I am so pleased to have worked my socks off over the last few weeks. All this hard work will eventually pay off and considering it’s my final year at Croydon College and my final year of the two-year film and photography course, I want to make sure I can aim for a higher grade with all of this coursework. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get the best final result possible by the end of this year.

I am open to your responses and critique, so please feel free to suggest any improvements you feel I could make when it comes to producing any future photography work.

Your responses and critique are greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra Soltani, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

Headshot #8 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

As part of my Final Major Project, Headshot #8 follows on Headshot #7, which focused on the subject, Mhamad Rauf, and Headshot #8 focuses on my next subject, which is my close friend, Kasra Soltani.

For these photographs, I wanted to create a different approach to the facial expressions I wanted Kasra to make by getting him to do those facial expressions as to the way he makes those facial expressions naturally.

I experimented, just like with Headshot #6 of Terrence & Leonardo and with Headshot #7 of Mhamad, with the graffiti as a backdrop, as I wanted to photograph Kasra down in the walkway that is just on the right-hand-side outside the rotunda of Croydon College.

All of these headshot photographs build further on all of the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, and the five photographers I have done research on are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, August Sander & David Bailey.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced of Kasra, including some Monochrome photographs that I produced after I finished photographing Kasra making the facial expressions I asked him to do for these photographs.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Monochrome (Black & White) / Facial Expressionism Photographs + A Continuation of the First Set of Facial Expressionism Photographs

I feel that the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project has really informed and developed my photography skills further. I have noticed with these photographs I have taken of Kasra that my photography skills have rapidly improved. Up until I photographed Terrence, Leo, Mhamad & Kasra, I was initially against the idea of photographing outside the college, but I was glad to have experimented further with my photography skills by photographing outside the college. as I have noticed in just the short space of a few weeks that my photography skills are now a lot better.

These photographs I have taken of my close friend, Kasra Soltani, including the edits I have produced can be found in my E-Folio, but stay tuned, as I will be publishing Headshot #9 very soon, in which I have photographed Kasra again, but this time in the photography studio. I can guarantee that the next batch of photographs I have produced for Headshot #9 featuring Kasra will be the best photographs I have produced yet.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if there are any improvements I can make for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

Headshot #6 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza

Continuing on from Headshot #5, which consisted of the subject, Leonardo Mouza, who I photographed for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, I have, again, decided to photograph Leonardo for Headshot #6, but this time, with his close friend, Terrence Mathew.

For this photographic set, I have decided to photograph Leo & Terrence doing the facial expressions that I’ve asked them to do, as well as the natural facial expressions they have made themselves. For some, if not, a lot of the photos I took of Terrence & Leo, I wanted to photograph their own expressions, as well as what interests them, so in this case, they’re using technology, but I want to create the concept where their facial expression describes what they are looking at.

These photographs build upon the research I have done so far on the photographers, which are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff & August Sander.

Below are the photographs I have produced of Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, including the WordFoto Edits and the Black & White Versions of these photographs.

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and by experimenting with the walls of graffiti found in the walkway outside Croydon College has actually helped me to produce better photographs in a more vibrant format that connects to my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

These photographs I have produced will help me to build on, develop and inform my photography skills further and will most certainly inform the creative work, research and headshot photographs I have already produced.

The Headshot #6 photographs I have taken of my close friends, Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can be found in my E-Folio.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if I can make future improvements for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #5 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Leonardo Mouza

Continuing on from Headshot #4, in which I photographed the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan, Headshot #5 brings the next subject I have photographed for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, Leonardo Mouza.

For these headshot photographs, I wanted to take a different approach with the same expressions I wanted him to make, but this time by getting him to do those expressions naturally as to how he would make those expressions himself, but from his perspective.

These headshot photographs I produced build on the research I have done so far on the photographers, which are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn & Thomas Ruff.

I used a black backdrop to produce these photographs of Leo as I wanted to make sure the facial expressions he made would stand out and that his facial features had a sense of sharpness that would connect to each emotion I got him to make. These photographs help to build on the foundations of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project I have been working intensively hard on.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced of my friend, Leonardo Mouza.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Overall, I am really pleased with the end result of these photographs, considering the lighting I used would bring out a natural approach to the facial expressions I got Leo to make. I will be continuously improving on my photography skills as I will be photographing outside the college next time so that I can get more hands-on with my photography skills. I have taken into account that at least two of the photos came out but not in the way I initially expected but as I said, I will be continuously improving on my photography skills over time. These photographs, including the edited versions that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), can be found in my E-Folio.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism headshot photographs next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #3 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Steven Geer

Following on from the research I have done so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the second subject I have chosen to photograph for my Final Major Project is Steven Geer.

For these headshot photographs, just like I did with the Headshot #2 photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, I did make sure to use the black backdrop again, so that the facial expressions I would get Steven to do would have not just a real sense of depth, but that the expressions that Steven would make would capture a real sense of emotion.

I experimented very carefully with these photographs as these photographs build on the research I have done so far on 3 facial expressionist photographers; Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn & Thomas Ruff.

Below are the Headshot #3 photographs of my friend, Steven.

Canon EOS 700D

To develop the photographs further, I used WordFoto to alter the appearance of the photographs I took of Steven and assigned each emotion to the facial expressions I asked Steven to make.

WordFoto Edits

Below are the Black & White Edited Versions of these photographs, to give the facial expressions that Steven’s pulling more of an effect.

Overall, I am absolutely pleased with the end result that came out of these photographs, and being critiqued on my work actually helps me to develop my photography skills better, not just from receiving peer critique whilst I’m in my Film & Photography lessons, but also from receiving critique from a close friend of mine.

The Headshot #3 photographs I have taken of my friend, Steven Geer, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can be found in my E-Folio.

I would love to get your feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism headshot photographs for next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #2 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I present to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually works much better compared to a white backdrop, and the black backdrop was an idea a close friend of mine suggested to me after he critiqued the Headshot #1 photographs I took of Jonathan.

These headshot photographs have not only improved my photography skills, but it does make a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I will produce.

I have made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they can retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I have done so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

Below are the Headshot #2 photographs of my friend, Jonathan.

Just like before, I have edited these photographs with WordFoto and used more than one word on one of the edited photographs shown below.

I have made sure to develop the photographs further by also changing the selected photographs to black and white whilst raising and lowering some of the curves on the photographs so that the lighting on Jonathan brings out his facial expressions better with a sense of depth and detail.

Overall, I am absolutely pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs, and being critiqued on my work has actually helped me to develop my photography skills better, not just from receiving peer critique whilst in my Film & Photography lesson, but also from receiving critique from a close friend of mine.

The Headshot #2 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can be found in my E-Folio.

I would love to get your feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism headshot photographs for next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #1 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the research I have done so far for the Final Major Project, I have started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I have photographed for my Final Major Project is my good friend, Jonathan McCartney.

As Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn’s photography work has inspired me in the development of my Facial Expression Final Major Project, I have experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan. Below are the headshot photographs I produced showing Jonathan doing different facial expressions. I acknowledge that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on the way these photographs are viewed, but I will be improving on this over the next few weeks.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced so far.

I also experimented further by using the same photographs again, but this time, using the WordFoto app and I was able to use the WordFoto app to convert these photographs into words. The edited versions of these photographs can be found below.

I am pleased with the end result that has come out of the headshot photographs I produced. I have taken into account the peer critique I received on Friday 21st March 2017, especially the peer critique a close friend of mine gave to me on how to improve, and for the next set of photographs I produce which will consist of a different subject I photograph, I will be making sure to use a black backdrop as this will give me the chance to get the subject I will photograph to stand out better. A black backdrop is what I will use next time as the subject’s facial expressions can stand out more with some depth behind it to back up the facial expressions that are made.

The Headshot #1 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto can be found in my E-Folio.

I would love to get your feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism photographs next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 6 (Tuesday 17th May 2016 – Thursday 19th May 2016) – Final Major Project

Bringing the Final Major Project Weekly Log collection to a remarkable end, here is the final Weekly Log from the Final Major Project, which reflects on what I did in the final week of the Final Major Project, as well as to what I did over the entirety of the Final Major Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the sixth week, I started to get together my research, which were the Chosen Photographers presentation, including the Photo Research presentation, including my experimentation photographs that I have taken over the course of the past six weeks since the beginning of the Final Major Project. Based on the previous set of photographs I took of my first subject for Shoot 5, I took my sixth and final set of photographs, but this time of my fourth and final chosen subject. The location that I chose to take the sixth shoot of photographs was the car park, opposite Croydon College, as I had previously developed my experiments there when I took my fourth set of photographs but of my third chosen subject. The car park opposite Croydon College was the location I strongly believe was best suited for taking my sixth and final set of photographs, as I was able to use the settings I adjusted on the Canon EOS 1200D correctly to take my photographs of my fourth and final chosen subject and I also felt that there was a dramatic improvement in the way I took my photographs, based on my reflection of Shoot 5. In terms of the research and photographic experiments I have done, I have made sure to pick the best photos that I have taken, as I will be presenting the photographs that I feel are my best for the show, which I will also want to count as my final pieces for the first year of this two-year Film & Photography course.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure that my sixth and final set of photographs were of the correct standard that my previous experimentation photographs were at, I did make sure to set the exposure for my photos correctly, including changing the light setting to Cloudy, given the damp and dismal weather conditions during the course of this last week of photo experiments. I also made sure to keep the ISO below no more than 400, to ensure that my photographs are of the best resolution and lighting where possible and I also made sure to set the aperture and white balance correctly so that my photographs would come out the way I wanted them to look.

I did initially find taking these photographs of my fourth and final subject difficult at first, as I was worried that because of the damp and dismal weather conditions, this would affect the photographs I would take. These photos were difficult to take initially given the areas of lighting in and around the car park, so I did make sure to think very carefully about the variety of locations around the car park that I could use.

What worked well for me was I was able to produce most of these photos to a much better standard than to how I did my previous photographic experiments, as some of the photographs I took of my fourth and final chosen subject didn’t need to have the curves adjusted in Adobe Photoshop, including not needing to have the levels changed. I did feel that Shoots 4 and 6 had that standard of photographic exposure that I wanted and I feel pleased with the overall result that I have managed to achieve.

To improve on this in the future, I will be making sure to choose a better location next time for taking my photographs, that’s including setting the exposure, the aperture, the white balance and the light setting correctly, so that I stand a better chance of producing a set of photographs that will be of the best quality where possible.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I did make sure to refer to all of the research I have gathered over the course of the Final Major Project, including referring to the photographic experiments I have developed over the duration of the Final Major Project. As the photographic experiments I’ve done on my first, second, third and fourth subjects have developed over the course of the entire Final Major Project, I have noticed that I have been able to produce my photographs better each time, and when there has been the odd occasion where certain photographs I take may end up possibly fuzzy due to camera shake or being underexposed or overexposed, I have made sure to rectify any mistakes I’ve made in taking certain photos by improving on them better for the next time. August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff’s photographical works have influenced me and inspired me to create my own concept throughout the whole of the Final Major Project and I also feel that the level of research and experiments I’ve done, including doing extended research by taking notes from the Barbican Gallery have helped me to produce the concept I wanted from the very start to the very end of the Final Major Project.

I feel that I have developed and bettered my understanding over the entirety of the Final Major Project, as I have been able to reflect on the experiments I’ve done, including the research I’ve gathered to produce my own concept for my Final Major Project, which has been based around Facial Expressionism. I also feel I have developed a better understanding of my own concept, which was influenced and inspired by the three chosen photographers, August Sander, Thomas Ruff and Fazal Sheikh, and I now have a clear intention of the final pieces I will be producing for the show, given that I have the best photographs available to use now for digital printing. My concept has, from the very start, been genuine and I strongly believe that I have developed my confidence better with camera work, including getting a better understanding of the settings I can use to produce a better photograph or a set of photographs for experimentation, and I strongly feel that the photos I have chosen to use as my final pieces are ready for printing and are also ready for hanging for the show in June.

This Final Major Project Weekly Log set has officially come to a remarkable end. I hope you found all of these Weekly Logs interesting, and if so, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 12th April 2016 – Thursday 14th April 2016) – Final Major Project

To kick off the Final Major Project Weekly Log series, here is the first Weekly Log from the Final Major Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the first week back, I started doing some extensive research based on the three photographers I chose that were based on my influences for this Final Major Project. The photographers I chose that I would do research on were August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff.

I created a research presentation based on their work, as well as picking out at least 9 images that I felt would influence me for my final piece. As I want my final piece to be of a person expressing at least 6 different emotions, I looked at Thomas Ruff’s works, including August Sander’s work and also Fazal Sheikh’s work, as some of their photographs grabbed my attention, based on the concept I have in mind.

In the research presentation, I had made sure to research on the web about Wide Aperture and Small Aperture (just to save confusion), as this would give me the ability to make sure that the photographs I chose from the three chosen photographers were correctly labelled with the kind of aperture that they were taken at. Luckily because some of the photographers works I chose were Small/Wide Aperture-based, I had made sure to combine them both together, creating a mixture of both Small Aperture & Wide Aperture.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure to gather a lot of relevant research together for this Final Major Project, I did some extensive research on Fazal Sheikh’s work, and the notable photograph that still sticks in my mind from when I first saw it was of the: “Afghan girl born in exile, Afghan refugee village, Urghuch, North Pakistan, 1997”.

I did initially find it difficult to find some good photographs from the three chosen photographers that I intended to do research on, as I wanted to make sure to pick the correct photographs that I felt would work with what I want to produce for my final piece towards the end of the project, though I had to tread very carefully when I was doing some extensive research on Thomas Ruff’s work, as some of his photography work was known to be pornographic, and not for the faint-hearted.

What did work well for me was I was able to find a good range of photographs that August Sander, Fazal Sheikh & Thomas Ruff took, as their works have the strong connection that I want, as some, if not most of their photography pieces have strong emotive connections, as well as signs of movement in their photos too, which is useful for me as the concept I have in mind is to create 6 different emotions as well as the first emotion being normal, but to also create movement as well, as I want emotions and movement to be combined together.

To improve on this in future, I want to make sure that I can gather more photographs of their works together, and to develop the concept on paper, so that I can make my concept become a real idea that I want to produce for when it comes to producing the real final piece.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I wanted to make sure that I had gathered the correct information together, given that the research I’ve done so far is based on the concept I am keen on producing for my final piece. The research I’ve gathered has helped me as this will now give me a clear idea of what I will be producing for the second week.

I do feel that I have applied my own understanding of the research I have gathered, as this will help me to start producing my first set of experimentation photographs based on the concept that I want to produce for my final piece. I also feel strongly that the concept I have in mind will work as long as I have the research there, including the experimentation photographs, as these will help me to piece together the final result that I want to achieve from my real final piece when the final week of the Final Major Project commences.

This brings the first Weekly Log for the Final Major Project to a close. Please make sure to check back soon for the second Weekly Log from the Final Major Project.

Alex Smithson