Saturday, 14 April 2012


Not sure if this belongs here or in Landscape 2, but this is my current blog so it's here for the moment.

for those who've never been Whinlatter is a large Forestry Commission area, full of very tall and very straight pine trees, and with a lot of nicely laid out and signposted walks.

I was about half way round one of thee walks when the 'verticality' of everything around me finally made contact with the old grey matter. So that's what I tried to capture in this shot.

The original colour version was a bit too plain for it to be really obvious so I emphasised the verticals with this high contrast B/W treatment. Am tempted to try a vertical panorama treatment at some point to emphasise the effect even more - the trees were certainly tall enough to take it.

Have been reading a series of conversations with David Hockney, which features his Bigger Trees series. Think that may have had some influence on my approach to this.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Assignment 5 in the post (well – Dropbox actually)

A fairly rapid turn-around for assignment 5 as I shot it in parallel with assignment 4 – a corporate event waits for no man. Final submission consists of twelve shots taken from the shoot but following the brief I have also used the results of the shoot to produce designs for 6-page and 8-page sample brochures to accompany the submission. If you’re an OCA student, and sufficiently interested you can see them in my folders on the student site. The overall submission is here.
Assignment 5.3
I would have to observe that shooting an event as the primary (only) photographer is quite hair-raising, although once I got into it it became quite enjoyable. There were a couple of ‘suck-through-the-teeth’ moments – once when one of the video techs moved my camera bag and my standard zoom went bouncing across the floor (I zipped the bag after that) and once when my flash jammed onto my camera. Apart from that, as I said, after the nerves subsided it went quite smoothly.
I came away with around 2-300 usable shots, which included a decent range of portraits, stage event shots, audience shots and presentation/award shots. Some of these are now gracing the Company intranet and newsletter – although I have to be bit careful here as they are both my ultimate responsibility and I don’t want to appear to be hogging them.
Anyway, with this submission under my belt I’ve just about finished the course. I have a few book reviews to write up, and I need to catch up on a couple of photographers blogs that I’ve been planning to write about. Then, assuming my tutor is happy with this assignment, it’s time to think about assessment and signing up for Landscape 2.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Marc Da Cunha Lopes Online Portfolio

Marc Da Cunha Lopes Online Portfolio:

'via Blog this'

Discovered this guy while flicking through a book in Waterstones - the Photoshop work is peerless and the photos raise all sorts of interesting ideas and questions. My favourite section is 'Vertebrata' - the ape in the station waiting room towards the end captures the feel of such places to a tee.

Definitely worth a good look.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Assignment 4 feedback

Got the feedback from Assignment 4, and I’m pleased to say that it reflects my learning from Assignment 3. I’ve posted it elsewhere, but I felt the submission was a significantly more substantial piece of work than my previous attempts (second attempt at Assignment 3 excepted). As a result of setting out my initial aims more clearly I was much better able to assess what I had achieved, and was better placed to explain my choices of photos.

My tutor described my images as ‘dramatic and telling’ which is pleasing. He does point out that I have not  “give(n) anything away in terms of the location so the reader would be relying on the text to indicate the town”. While I accept this point, I believe that my interpretation is legitimate as the brief only requires that I show the character of a specific location – not necessarily an identifiable one. In the context of this assignment I have interpreted this to mean that I should not try to illustrate small town Britain with a series of shots taken in different places. Since there is not suggestion that I need to re-shoot or add material to the set I’m hoping that this is not a major issue.

Overall I think I’m getting the hang of this now – although I guess the assessors are the ultimate judge of that.

Further reflection (06/06/12)

At my tutors suggestion I will be substituting this vertical crop for the original horizontal crop when it comes to my assessment submission:

Maryport 8


Similarly I will also be going with his suggestion to swap my first and second choices for the cover photo – using this next one of the steps for the cover rather than the shot of the car park (also below).

Maryport 6     Maryport First selects-1

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Assignment 5: A Corporate Conference


Assignment 5 requires that I imagine myself receiving a commercial commission of some kind, with the only proviso being that it is about the subject of this course i.e. people and/or the places they inhabit. I am interpreting ‘inhabit’ as including places where the people work.

In real life I was recently asked by a colleague to photograph the company Innovations Conference – which supports the company suggestions scheme - to provide shots for use on the intranet and in the company newspaper. For this assignment I decided to extend this real brief to include the provision of photos for use in a promotional/celebratory brochure for use by the company and other sponsors of the event. The detailed brief, which puts me in the role of a small independent PR agency is as follows:

“Design and produce a high-quality 6-8 page promotional/commemorative brochure covering the Annual Innovations Conference. The brief covers all aspects of production from photography through to print subject to the Company approving the design prior to final design and print.”

For the purpose of this assignment I will obviously be stopping at the draft design phase, but the overall brief required me to pre-visualise some outline designs to inform my photography on the day, edit them down to the final selects and then use them to produce a draft brochure design. This will obviously require a range of shots, from portraits of senior staff and sponsors through group shots and facility/stage shots to details shots to help communicate the atmosphere – so as an idea it has already provided plenty to get my teeth into.