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

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 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

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

Weekly Log 3 (Tuesday 26th April 2016 – Thursday 28th April 2016) – Final Major Project

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

Research / Context

During the course of the third week, I made sure to use the extensive research I gathered, including the photographs I took to do some further photographical research on the three chosen photographers, which were August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff.

In the photo research presentation that I did, I looked up the same photographs that the three photographers took, but instead I wanted to make sure to detail the photographs based on what they were called, what year they were produced, the year they went to print, as well as the website location I found those photographs from, including when I last visited that specific website where that photo or photos were located.

After doing the photo research presentation, I went outside and also into the photography studio to get some more photos, but this time of a different student from my class, considering that two weeks before, I did my first shoot of photographs using my previously chosen subject. I did make sure that there were some ideas available from the collection of photographs that I’ve taken so far, so that this would help me when I produce more photographs for the following week, based on the concept I want to produce myself.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure that my second shoot of photographs were of a similar standard to the first set of photographs that I produced, I wanted to make sure that I could expand my ideas further with taking my photographs of the second chosen student, but also showing improvements in setting the exposure, the aperture, including setting the camera on the correct light setting, based on the research I’ve currently gathered so far.

I did initially find taking these photographs somewhat difficult considering I was in the photography studio, though I initially was going to take these photographs outside. I did take into consideration that the lighting may not be as good in the photography studio than it would be outside, but the second shoot of photographs were a little bit more complicated than first thought, given that the exposure and aperture, although set correctly, did sometimes go off a little bit after the photos were taken.

What did work well, however, was I was able to produce these photographs with the exposure and aperture staying the same. The camera I used to take the second set of photographs was the Canon EOS 1200D. Overall, I feel pleased with the results I’ve been given from these photographs, though I will be making sure to improve on this in the future.

To improve, I will be making sure to choose a better location where there is enough light, but where it isn’t inside the college, but outside somewhere either outside the college, or somewhere away from the college. This will be better for me as I will be able to set the exposure correctly, including the aperture and white balance.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I wanted to make sure that I could use all of the research I’ve gathered so far, including the first set of photographs that I took to produce a photo research presentation, including taking some more photographs for the second shoot, based around the same amount of emotions (6 or 7) that I used previously for the first set of photographs that I did on the first chosen subject, but this time with the second shoot of photographs being taken of the second chosen subject. The photo research presentation, including the current amount of research I’ve gathered so far, including the growing collection of photographs have benefitted me as this helped me to expand my ideas further into something that I will be able to produce for the fourth week.

I do feel that I have applied my own understanding based on the research I’ve gathered, including the photographs I’ve taken, as this will help me to expand further on the concept I have in mind, including being able to develop my photography skills and experiments better as well. I am absolutely keen on expanding my knowledge of the ideas I have further, considering that the concept I have in mind is genuine and is the concept I will want to produce for my final piece in June.

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

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 2 (Tuesday 19th April 2016 – Thursday 21st April 2016) – Final Major Project

Continuing on from the first Weekly Log, here is the second Weekly Log from the Final Major Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the second week, I had made sure to use the extensive research that I did in the first week to produce my first shoot of photographs. The photographers I did research on in the first week back were August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff.

The research presentation I did in the first week helped me to produce my first set of photographs, and I used one of the students for the concept I wanted to produce. Before I took 6-7 photographs of the chosen student, I did some test shots of the student first as I wanted to make sure to set the exposure correctly, that’s including the white balance and setting the aperture correctly, not to forget the mode I wanted to take the photos on, which was manual.

After I did the test shots, I produced my first set of photographs with influences to the three photographers I did extensive research on, and although a very small amount of photographs were slightly overexposed, I was able to resolve the problems with the overexposed photographs by using Adobe Photoshop CC.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure that my first shoot of photographs were of the correct standard, I did make sure to refer to my research presentation that I did on the chosen photographers during the first week, that’s including the photographs that the chosen photographers took.

I did initially find taking the photographs a bit difficult to start with, because considering the fact we had lovely sunny weather during the course of the second week, this did cause a slight teething problem, as taking the first set of photographs were a lot more complicated, given that the settings that were chosen were compromised by the camera’s ability to keep itself focused at the levels that the camera was already set at, due to the camera becoming exposed to too much light.

What did work well for me, however, was I was still able to produce a great set of photographs with the Canon EOS 1200D, and I did find that the student I chose for the first shoot was a good choice for taking photos, as he was able to map out the emotions for each photograph that I asked him to make and I was absolutely pleased with the overall result that I was able to get from my first shoot of photographs.

To improve, I want to make sure I can choose a better location to take some more photos, as this will help me to get the lighting just right, including setting the exposure and white balance, not to forget setting the aperture correctly before proceeding on to taking experimentation photographs.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I wanted to make sure that the research I gathered for my research presentation based on the three photographers I chose would relate to the first photographic experiment I did of 6-7 different emotions. The research presentation benefitted me as this helped me to produce my first shoot of photographs, and this, including my research presentation, will help me to develop a better range of ideas for what I can produce for the third week.

I do feel that I’ve applied my own understanding of the research I’ve gathered, including the photographs I have taken, as this will help me to expand my knowledge further, including developing my photographic experiments better as well. I am keen to improve and expand further with my photography skills and I am also keen on expanding my knowledge further now that I have a genuine concept in mind that I want to produce for my final piece in June.

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

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

Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 29th September 2015 – Thursday 1st October 2015) – Light Play Project

Below is the first Weekly Log that I completed which was based around the end of last September, the beginning of last October, when I was experimenting with darkroom materials for the first time.

Research / Context

The artists I’ve looked at: August Sander, Rineke Dijkstra, Nicholas Nixon, Joel Sternfeld & Fazal Sheikh. These artists relate to my experiments, as I have taken an in-depth look on the research that I have gathered, ranging from a small aperture to a wide aperture, and I’ve used the ideas that I have gathered from my research and put those ideas to good use by producing some test strips and full-size prints.

In terms of one of the artists I have researched, I think I may have seen one of August Sander’s works in a gallery up in London. I remember quite well that I studied on one or some of August Sander’s works when I was in school.

Practical Tasks Done

In order to know how to do the darkroom process, I wanted to find out how the development of darkroom equipment works. I found out by being given a guided tour on how to use the equipment, though I did initially have certain darkroom anxieties and some difficulties when it came to certain parts of the darkroom equipment, as I did have some difficulty at first with how I could use the equipment properly, though most of the difficulties and anxieties have been resolved as I’ve got the hang of the process and how it works.

What worked well? As it was my first time experimenting with darkroom equipment, I was genuinely surprised that I got a lot of good results with my test strips, prints and photograms.

How could I improve this? I can improve this by experimenting more with the darkroom equipment, as well as aiming to overcome my fears and worries of messing a darkroom process up. I can also improve this by making sure to adjust the exposure of a test strip, print or photogram to make sure that the end result comes out a lot better than before.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, I wanted to make sure that I could position the objects in a format where order/disorder connects to it. To do this, I had made sure to position the objects carefully, so that what I would be creating wouldn’t end up being compromised. I had made sure that the texture depth of the test strips, prints and photograms were completely sharp, and that I could keep them within the frame. I had also made sure to adjust the tone of the lighting on the darkroom equipment, for example, the yellow, magenta and cyan colour’s picture balance, as this would help me to get the clarity of the objects to project better onto the test strips, the prints and also the photograms.

The research/contextual studies that I did on all five artists can be applied to the darkroom project, as I will be able to take a look at all of the five artists I’ve studied, and create new ideas that can help me to produce my own test strips, prints and photograms. All of the research I’ve gathered will most certainly help me in developing my own pieces of work, so that what I create is entirely original and not copied.

This brings the first of the Weekly Logs I’ve done from September to now to an end. Check back soon for the second Weekly Log.

Alex Smithson