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
Enjoy! (click on the first one to start the gallery show)
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.
I really liked the idea of making a working pinhole camera and was intrigued by the numerous custom designs; so I thought I should build a more sophisticated design than the pringle pot camera.
The pringle pot camera had some disadvantages, one of them and most important being, the size of paper I could fit on the lid. Many people used the body of the pot to load the paper and a hole across it, but I didn’t like the idea I knew how wide angled photographs they’d be. The second issue was the focal length. Because of its shape and the way I placed the paper and the hole I had a focal length of 237mm, which limited my field a lot.
I went ahead to build a new one, that would be rectangular, flexible and user friendly. As I was leaving Ellen Terry building I noticed the staff had put out many file folders and boxes that were second hand, but in a good shape. I picked three of them to have options in case my experiment didn’t go well.
The advantage with these boxes is that they are ready-made and the only things left to modify is the light-proofing capability as well as make a hole. I used mostly electrical tape, gaffer tape and some packaging carton paper and a paper cutter. The camera can hold up to 5x7in paper negative, it has an aperture of 108.33 and a working aperture of 128. The focal length is 70mm, but it can be adjusted to smaller focal lengths. The size of the hole is about 0.6mm and that can change when need to. I tested it and there were no light leaks.
Because with this pinhole I didn’t plan and just added up features along the way, it had some small issues. So I decided to start a new one from scratch, build it after I have designed it and buy proper material instead a ton of tape. I bought some pva glue, more tape if in need, found more carton paper and started. My main concern was to make it light-proof without compromising its outer structure so as to open and close like it was made to. Unfortunately it’s not ready yet, because other things came up but I have got photographs of it to show you how it looks so far.