Headshot #4 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Oli Regan

Following on from the research I have done so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the third subject I am honoured to have photographed for my Final Major Project is the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan.

For these headshot photographs, I experimented with a black backdrop so that the facial expressions I asked Oli to make would give the emotion from the facial expressions he made more emphasis and more depth.

After I photographed Oli with the black backdrop, I then opted to try out a red backdrop, so that I could capture some of the facial expressions again, but this time, I wanted to try and photograph Oli like as if I photographed him for a magazine cover photoshoot.

Canon EOS 1200D / Black Backdrop

Canon EOS 1200D / Red Backdrop

WordFoto Edits (Black Backdrop)

WordFoto Edits (Red Backdrop)

Black & White Edits (Black & Red Backdrops)

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and experimenting with a red backdrop has actually helped me to produce better photographs alongside the black backdrop, but it is an absolute pleasure to have worked with Oli Regan and I am absolutely honoured to have photographed him. Oli Regan is such a lovely and down-to-earth guy and you would be absolutely honoured to work with him.

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

The Headshot #4 photographs I have taken of my close friend, Oli Regan, 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 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 #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

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

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

Irving Penn / Research

Continuing on from the first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I have chosen to research is Irving Penn.

Irving Penn was an American photographer who was best known for his portrait, still life and fashion photography collections, and his photography career consisted of work he produced with the top fashion magazine company, VOGUE, including Clinique and Issey Miyake.

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

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the award that Irving Penn received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he did in his life, including the posthumous exhibitions after he passed away that showcased his work, not to mention Irving Penn’s bibliography, which consists of publications and ISBN numbers, and also his major collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Irving Penn & The Irving Penn Foundation.

This research will give me the chance to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some photography work soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subjects I have photographed are published. There’s a lot of great opportunities in store so I am sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative photography work.

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

Alex Smithson

Fazal Sheikh / Research

As part of my Final Major Project, I have been doing research on the photographers that influence me in the photography work I want to produce, which will be based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project is Fazal Sheikh.

Fazal Sheikh’s photography work aims to document and personalise the power of portraiture whilst bring the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Fazal Sheikh’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation. I’m just merely referencing Fazal Sheikh’s work and the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work inspired by him.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the awards that Fazal Sheikh has received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he has done that showcases his work, not to mention the publications and ISBN numbers, and also his collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Fazal Sheikh and the MacArthur Foundation.

This research will help me to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better, as I will be photographing some subjects for my project, so you should see some photography work very soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subject photographs are published. There’s a lot of good photography opportunities in store so I can be sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative film and photography work.

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

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 4 (Tuesday 3rd May 2016 – Thursday 5th May 2016) – Final Major Project

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

Research / Context

During the course of the fourth week, I worked on my Progression Options 1 Report, which was based around apprenticeships and university choices and the kind of benefits that both of them have if you applied for an apprenticeship or applied for a place at a top university in the United Kingdom.

I also used the research I did from the first few weeks of the Final Major Project to do some more shoot photographs for my own form of Facial Expressionism, given that my Final Major Project is based around facial expressionism. I did make sure to choose different locations for shooting the photographs, as I didn’t want to focus on one location alone, but on a variety of different locations that were outside or away from Croydon College.

Based on the research I’ve gathered so far, I used the photo research and my chosen photographers presentation, including the shoot photographs I’ve already taken to go to different places around Croydon.

As I took photographs of my third chosen subject, this was useful as I was able to use the graffiti spot on the left hand side outside the end of the college to take some photos of her expressing different emotions, while the other spots I used to take photos of her was the car park, but on the first and second floor, including the outside of the front of Croydon College, where she would stand outside but in front of the wall. The other spot I did use as well to take some photos of my third chosen subject was the staircase that’s next to the graffiti art, which leads down to the car park.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure that my fourth shoot of photographs were of the standard of the photographs I produced of my first and second chosen subjects, I wanted to make sure that I could improve on setting the exposure of my photos correctly, including using the correct setting to take my photos. For example, the Canon EOS 1200D would usually be set to work with photographs on Tungsten Light, but instead, I had made sure to change that to the Sunlight setting, as I would be shooting my photographs outside, but away from the college.

At first, I did find taking these photographs of my third chosen subject were difficult considering I was outside and because of the lovely weather, I was worried that the photos I took would become compromised due to the direct sunlight, but I did make sure to take into full consideration that I would have to choose different locations that were better suited to the photographs I would take.

What did work well, however, was I was able to produce these photographs with the correct exposure, the correct light setting and also the correct aperture. Some of the photographs were of a wide aperture, which meant the camera would focus more on my third subject and not on what’s behind her, while the rest of the photographs were of a small aperture, where my third subject would be in focus, including what was behind her.

To improve, I will be making sure that I can set the exposure of my shoot photographs, including setting the F number and aperture correctly, not to forget setting the light setting to Sunlight and not Tungsten Light. This will be useful for me as I will be able to produce the next shoot of photographs better before I proceed onto creating my final piece.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I did make sure that I could use all of the research and photographs I’ve gathered so far to produce my fourth set of photographs, given that I previously took photos of my first and second subjects over the first few weeks of the Final Major Project. As I took my fourth set of photographs, this time of my third subject, I felt that my understanding of exposure, aperture, including the change in the light setting and white balance had helped me to dramatically improve my photographs better than before. The photo research presentation I did which focused on the three chosen photographers I chose to research, which were August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff, helped me as I was able to refer to their works and create my photographic shoots in a similar format, but where they would focus on my own form of facial expressionism, given the concept I want to produce in my work.

I feel that I have applied my own understanding better to the current shoot of photographs I did of my third chosen subject, as I noticed an improvement in the photographs I took of her compared to the previous set of photographs I took before and I also feel that the research I’ve gathered based on the chosen photographer’s works, including the research presentation I did based on the chosen photographers have helped me to produce my photographs a lot better than before. The concept I have in mind is developing well and is the genuine concept I will want to produce for my final piece in June.

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

Alex Smithson