August Sander / Research

Continuing on from the first, second and third photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the fourth photographer I have chosen to research is August Sander.

August Sander was a German portrait and documentary photographer, and his first book, titled: “Face of Our Time (German for Antlitz der Zeit)”, was published in 1929. He was also described as being “the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century.”

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references August Sander’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by August Sander and used by Widewalls. I’ve merely referenced August Sander’s work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work and photography skills further.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, which includes August Sander’s legacy, the posthumous exhibitions done after August Sander passed away on the 20th April 1964, including the publication he released in 1929, titled: “Face of Our Time”, also noting the unreleased book that was left incomplete that detailed his travels, with references and external links to further research. All credit goes to August Sander Stiftung and Widewalls.

The research I’ve done on August Sander will help me to develop my headshot photographs better for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some new headshot photographs very soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be featured in the E-Folio once the headshot photographs I produce of the subjects I photograph for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project are published. I can promise there are more headshot photographs on the way, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you found this research presentation on August Sander useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Thomas Ruff / Research

Continuing on from the first and second photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the third photographer I have chosen to research is Thomas Ruff.

Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who lives and also works in Düsseldorf in Germany. As he currently shares a photography studio with other German photographers, such as Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte and Laurenz Berges on Düsseldorf’s Hansaalee, the photography studio itself formerly comprised of a municipal electricity station, which was converted between the course of 1998 and 2000 by architects, Herzog & de Meuron, who are part of Tate Modern fame, with an updated basement gallery that was completed in 2011.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Thomas Ruff’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by Hans Peter Schaefer and Thomas Ruff. I’ve merely referenced Thomas Ruff’s work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work and photography skills further.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the awards that recognised Thomas Ruff’s work, as well as the various exhibitions he has done, including his publications and ISBN numbers, and also his major collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Thomas Ruff, Tate Modern, Hans Peter Schaefer, Haus Der Kunst & Rubell.

This research I’ve done on Thomas Ruff will help me to develop my headshot photographs better for my Facial Expressionism. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some new headshot photographs very soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be featured in the E-Folio once the headshot photographs I produce of the subjects I photograph for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project are published. I can promise there are some updated headshots on the way, and one of the subjects I will be photographing soon will be someone who I’ve been working with most recently, so I am absolutely certain that you won’t want to miss the creative photography work I will be publishing very soon.

If you found this research presentation on Thomas Ruff useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

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 5 (Tuesday 10th May 2016 – Thursday 12th May 2016) – Final Major Project

Continuing on from the fourth Weekly Log, here is the fifth Weekly Log from the Final Major Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the fifth week, I continued with developing my photography skills, based on the research I have gathered so far and I also worked on my evaluative notes, which were based around the best photos I took over the course of the past few weeks since the first week of the Final Major Project.

Based on my previous set of photographs which I took of my third subject, I started my fifth shoot of photographs, which focused again on my first chosen subject, but this time in a different location that didn’t involve graffiti. I did experiment more with facial expressionism in these photographs, as I had made sure to capture my first chosen subject simulating some of the similar emotions I asked him to do for the first shoot of photographs, but this time with some new emotions that I hadn’t tried before in my photo experiments.

Based on the research and shoot photographs I have so far, I used the car park below the outside of Croydon College to take my fifth set of photographs of my first subject. The research from the Barbican Gallery also gave me more ideas for my own concepts, given that the exhibition I went to see at the Barbican Gallery was called Strange and Familiar, which contains a collection of works that were curated by Martin Parr.

In terms of the fifth set of photographs I took of my first subject (previously used for Shoot 1), I wanted to make sure that I didn’t use the graffiti spot this time, but instead where he would be centred in the middle of a brick-wall. This was useful for me, as I was able to create a similar amount of emotions in the photos I took, including some new emotions as well.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure that my fifth set of photographs were of the same standard of the photographs I took of my first, second and third subjects, I did make sure to set the exposure correctly, including the aperture correctly, not to forget to mention the white balance correctly and also the light setting correctly. I had made sure to change the light setting to Sunlight, as this would help me to take my photos with perfect exposure, rather than the photos be too underexposed or too overexposed.

I did find taking these photographs of my first chosen subject again difficult at first, given that I did have a small amount of trouble in trying to keep the camera still, which did notice in a few of the photographs I took, though the slight camera shake appeared only in some photos, but not all of them. I did also worry that the changes I made to the settings on the Canon EOS 1200D would affect the photos I would take.

What did work well for me, however, was I was able to produce these photographs with the settings I used, which helped me to produce the photos I wanted and I feel pleased with how some, if not most of the photos turned out.

To improve, I will be making sure that the exposure, the aperture, the white balance and the light setting are set correctly for my photographs, as this will help me when it comes to producing my final set of experiment photographs before I proceed onto my final piece, including hanging my work for the show.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I did make sure to refer to the research I gathered, the shoot photographs I took, including the notes I gathered whilst I was at the Barbican Gallery on Tuesday 10th May 2016 to produce my fifth set of photographs. As I had previously taken photographs of my first, second and third chosen subjects, I thought it would be a good idea to use my first chosen subject again for the fifth set of photographs. The photo research presentation I did consisted of certain photographs I chose that were by August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff. This photo research presentation, including the Chosen Photographers presentation I did had helped me to produce a better set of experimentation photographs for the Final Major Project. This will help me considering the concept I have in mind is developing a lot better than I thought and is the concept I will want to produce in my work, but most importantly, in my final piece as well.

I feel that I have developed a better understanding now, considering that I recently took the fifth set of photographs, but of my third subject, which has developed a lot better than I thought. I also feel that I have developed a better understanding based on the research that I have gathered over the course of the Final Major Project. I feel I have developed a better understanding of the concept I have produced and I hope that the concept I have developed is at the standard I want it to be at for when I produce my final piece, including the last set of photographs I want to produce. This concept I have is genuine and I will be making sure that I can produce it for my final piece, including my photographic prints as well, which I will aim to produce and hang for the show in June.

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

Alex Smithson