Final Task – Crime Scene

The three tasks so far have focussed on technical skills and application thereof. We have focussed this week on storytelling through bodies of work (the books and the movie) through technical application (the lighting workshops that turned into scene setting with actors and scripts) and by discussing “Why?” in tutorial.

Your final task is to build on this and make it your own. You will re-visit the “Human Presence” theme using all of the skills and techniques discussed and explored. You will previsualise your images and tell a story, that narrative will include an environment both populated and empty, detail studies and images of people, it will have a beginning a middle and an end, you will consider pace and flow, tension and resolution. 
The amount and nature of the piece will reflect one month’s work (a significant chunk of time we expect a significant piece of work).

For the final task I decided to build up on what I did on Task 2 and 3. I started building more complex stories on the person who lives in that storage room. Finally I decided to recreate a crime scene. What came out this story is as I was thinking initially, but I am more than happy with the outcome.

The story builds up without much information intentionally in order to let your imagination take part in my story. It is open to interpretation. I am portraying a story around a space instead of a character and that is why I am telling it from two different points of views. The first one being our point of view, introducing tragic irony, while the second one being the characters point of view. You are aware what is probably going on. But for him, the character it’s a surprise. The character is probably an investigator or a police officer and that is why some pictures look more like taken by the forensics team. I shot most of it with low key lighting and low angled shots to give a more dark and sinister feeling to the story.

For this shooting I used:

  • 2x Bowens Esprit 500 watts
  • a snoot with a honeycomb
  • a wafer strip light box
  • 2x Pulsar radio triggers
  • a Canon 5D Mark II (24-105mm, 50mm lens)
  • a tripod and a low backlite stand, extension pole
  • a light meter
  • a laptop tethered to the camera

(click on the first one to start the gallery show)

I will also like to thank Hollie Woodward and Siobhian Palmer for their ideas!


Task 3 – Human Presence Portrait

For the third task build around the theme of Human Presence I had to make portraits of the people that populate my chosen location.

Your focus of photographic interest in task three is to make images of the people that populate your chosen location. Your approach may be that of a documentary practitioner or you may choose to develop your practical approach to portraiture. Whichever; your decisions, experiments and practical research should be detailed in throughout and supported by your sketchbook/diary/blog. 

Your images can be made in situ or away from the site (whichever you prefer), naturally/ artificially lit or a combination thereof. 

You should again apply the knowledge garnered throughout Level One, drawing on inspiration from the range of artists and practitioners so far covered as well as your own research and investigations. You should continue to develop your own practice within the module and communicate your unique vision of the world.

I got attracted by a particular space in the house I live in. The garage; which is our landlord’s storage room is filled with old furniture and tools. I thought of this place and start imagining stories I could around it. I imagined that it could be a cabin in the woods and the person who occupies it. Then I thought of murder stories and crime. I decided then to start applying my imagination into this space.

With great help and inspiration from fellow photographer Ioana Bultoc we started the project. It’s really great working with other creative people because you can share your vision or help them out in theirs. Ioana helped a lot giving ideas and of course taking the photographs. I mostly operated the light meter and the lights, as well as act. My imaginations were built around a male personality, which would either leave isolated in the woods or capable to murder someone. Because my planning wasn’t thorough and I didn’t have a story board my ideas were spread everywhere in the room, without any actual goal. So we ended up having a hybrid of those two ideas.
Continue reading “Task 3 – Human Presence Portrait”

Camera Obcsuras

As explained in the first post on Basic Pinhole, camera obscura works on fundamental principles of physics and it’s fairly easy to make one yourself. So right after we finished the Advanced Pinhole session with George, we had planned to convert a room into a giant pinhole. George had with him big pieces of black paper to cover the windows and tape. I took us while to cover every window of the room, but in the end we had a pitch black room.

The area behind the window, where the light will be projected had a magnetic wall material, which allowed us to hang the photo-sensitive paper. The paper was about 4 x 1.5 metres and quite heavy to hold it with magnets. That is why the project was better in this collaborative way of working instead individual work. Two people were holding the paper still; one person was operating the shutter, two people taking readings with light meters in and out of the camera obscura. Melissa Stapleton was operating the digital camera and of course everyone helped out in light proofing the room. When we were putting up the paper we used a couple safelights in order to find our way in the room.

Thanks to a useful application on my phone I was able to take readings of the environment outside the camera as well as keep them logged.



Below are some digital photographs from inside the camera obscura, taken by Melissa Stapleton.

Light-proofing the room
Long exposure digital still of the obscura image
The inverted image

After we exposed the paper we rolled it up and put in two lightproof bags and moved it straight in the darkroom. We cleaned up the room and head to the darkroom to find out how we were going to develop this massive negative. We used two big tanks we have in the darkroom. The first one filled with developer and the second one with water. Happily Jason Tilley was around at the time and he gave us hand rolling the negative in and out of the developer, the water bath, the fixer and finally washing it. We sure did a mess in the darkroom, but it worth the time and effort.

Below is the converted digital positive of the negative, by George Rippon.

The final print. Printing assistance from Joseph Kesisoglou.


Finally a photograph from the inside of the camera.