Final Images

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Album Cover Research

This is the album cover for the famous Beatles album, Abbey Road. The photographer Iain Macmillan was only given ten minutes to take this image whilst he stood on a step-ladder and a policeman held up the traffic. The image was taken in 1969, using a Hasselblad camera with a 50mm wide-angle lens, he used a aperture of f22 and the shutter speed was 1/500 seconds.

This is the album cover for Vampire Weekend’s album, Contra. The cover is a polaroid image of Anne Kirsten Kennis taken over 30 years ago by her mother. After researching this album cover, I had learned that Vampire Weekend used this picture without permission, leading to a lawsuit, therefore, it is hard to know the exact reason behind using this image. Furthermore, this image is a successful album cover image because it reflects the music that Vampire Weekend play, although it does not show an image of the actual band, the meaning of the word contra, meaning against or opposite, is shown off in the album cover because of the old fashioned style of the image.

This is the album cover for Oasis’, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, it was taken in the mid-nineties by photography and graphic designer, Brian Canon. It was shot on a film camera, opposed to a digital camera. The image was taken in Soho, London. Originally it was supposed to be Liam and Noel

 

This is the artwork from Queen’s album Queen II, the photograph was taken by Mick Rock, in a studio setting with a black background. This is Queen’s most iconic album cover. Originally they were not going to use it as they thought it was too pretentious, as when this album came out they were not as big as they are now.

Final Shoot Plan

For my final shoot I am going to create a range of 6 album covers for a band. To do this I am going to use both the studio and different locations, I am also going to edit some of my final images to make them artistic, surreal and abstract. To do this shoot, I am going to get a band together (3 people) and use different locations to create some album covers, these are some album covers that have inspired me:

The equipment that I will need will be:

  • camera (Nikon D810)
  • a band (made up of 4 people)
  • a flash
  • a tripod

 

Album Cover 1 – To do this album cover I am going to take individual images of each band member and edit them over a strip of colour.

Album Cover 2 – This album cover will be a simple band shot with a plain block coloured background edited behind them.

Album Cover 3 – This album cover will be the band members lying on the floor so their heads are touching, I will then edit it to look like they are in pieces of shattered glass.

Album Cover 4 – This album cover will be a shot of the whole band but taken very far away, they will be the focal point of the image but most of the canvas will be the sky above them.

Album Cover 5 – For this album cover I will take close up portraits of each band members face, and I will edit them using curves on PhotoShop and put them in coloured boxes around the canvas.

Album Cover 6 – For this album cover, I will take the photograph in a house setting, of the members playing their instruments.

 

I will edit the band name (PLAIN) and a parent advisory sign of each of the album covers once they have been uploaded.

 

Experimental Shoot 1

For my first experimental shoot, I wanted to experiment with lighting when taking photographs of a ‘band’ and what could make the images look more dramatic. To do this shoot I used the studio as it is easier to experiment with different lighting as there is a lot of different types of lighting and other equipment that I could experiment with. I used a black background in all of my images as I wanted a plain tone to bring out my models and because I feel that black is a very dramatic colour as opposed to a white background. On the other hand, If I were to do this shoot again, I would experiment with a white background as well because after looking through my images some of my models were wearing black so they blended in with the background colour.

As you can see from the contact sheets, it took me quite a while of experimenting with different lighting arrangements and settings of my camera, through the contacts sheet you can see that the lighting improves, however, the images are still very dark; this was easily fixed with editing them on PhotoShop.

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These are my final images. I believe that they came out very well, especially after editing them. To edit them I adjusted the levels and curves to ensure that the exposure was balanced and then I changed them to black and white; this made them look more dramatic and also makes the ‘band’ look more serious and artistic.

 

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The photograph below is my favourite image; this is because of the composition used, I believe out of all the images, this looks most like a band photograph.DSC_2713copyDSC_2719copy

The image below is my least favourite image; this is because the subjects of the photograph are not symmetrical so it looks quite messy. If I were to improve this image I would make the subjects in line with each other.  DSC_2735copy

Overall, I believe this shoot went reasonable well, however I wish I experimented with different backgrounds and ensured that the compositions in my images were even and symmetrical.

Brief Comparison

Photographer 1 -Bill Cramer

Bill Cramer was assigned a photography brief from Assistant Photo Editor Lisa Parisi, who asked him to photograph a computer scientist at Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh for an article they were were going to put in a magazine about robots. Cramer received a Call Sheet with all the details of the shoot; this included contact information for the subject list of situations they wanted to cover along with 30 photographs to show examples of their idea of a successful environmental portrait. However, she did point out that if her expectations didn’t match up with the reality of the situation, Cramer was free to take photographs in whatever direction deemed appropriate.

Cramer was given a budget of £1500. Lisa would also cover hotel, mileage, parking, tolls and meals. He stated that all payments in terms of travel cost were arranged for by the publisher, as were the payments for the location, lighting and studio. Cramer wrote that his models/talents would be asked to sign releases by the photographer during the shoot, to gain the rights to use their faces or bodies in his images, ensuring that the permission would not be revoked at any point.

Overall, I believe that Cramer’s  brief was successful in ensuring that all his needs were met and that he received suitable payment for his photography.

Manuela Veloso, Carnegie Mellon University robotics

Manuela Veloso, Carnegie Mellon University robotics

Photographer 2 – Charley Smith

Charley Smith is a wedding photographer who has also supplied a specific contract for clients who wish to use his photography services. Like Cramer, Smith has certain responsibilities that he must fulfil before, during and after shooting for his clients. To ensure all these needs are met, he has a contract, his contract includes; time and date of the shoot, and the people behind the wedding photographs. In the contract, Smith states that the client is responsible for all travel costs as well as any equipment, props or accommodations that may be required, similar to Cramer. Smith always requires the client gives him a hot meal during the day of the shoot; this is because the wedding shoots is most likely to last all day.

Smith has done a vast amount of wedding photography so it is safe to assume that his brief contract works extremely well. Overall, both photographers have met their briefs and understood the requirements of what is expected of them. Whilst Cramer supplied examples of the photographs how took in the shoot that the brief refers to, Smith gave more detail in terms of what responsibilities he had.

Photography Career Profiles

In the photography industry, there are many different careers to go into, the most popular being landscape, commercial, portrait and event photography. There is a number of opportunities that could come from this course, from going on to an apprenticeship to gaining a job for a company, or even becoming a freelance photographer.

Career Profile 1: Music Photographer

A music photographer shoots live concerts, musician portraits and band promo photographs. To do this job, a person must require certain technical skills such as being able to use a professional camera with confidence, this is due to when shooting live concerts, they much be able to adapt to change the camera setting very quickly as there is usually a lot going on at a concert, including the frequent changing of lighting and the fact the the musician/band may move around a lot and stand still. Having the skill to be able to know your camera and its setting very well and being able to adapt to the chaining situations require a lot of attention and quick thinking. The person will also have to know a lot about editing their images due to again, the changing of lighting and also when doing a promo shoot for a band/musician. Bands may want the photographer to edit their image to black and white and may even want to change the lighting and possibly even make adjustments to the band/musicians themselves (e.g. making them have no blemishes); this is very common nowadays because most portraits of famous musicians have been tweaked using different editing software’s. Music photographs also require some personal skills such as they will have to be confident to talk to the musicians so they know exactly what is required of them. Another personal skill they will have to require is the ability to talk to other music photographers and music managers so they can get their name out which makes them more approachable and also makes them more likely to get a job in the industry because their name will be out there and people will know about them.

When starting off as a music photography it is their job to go out and look for concerts and bands to photograph, it is quite a difficult career to get in to because you’re most likely to get better and better jobs through experience and a built up portfolio. After their portfolio is built up, then clients would go to the photographer as opposed to the other way round. There are many benefits to this profession such as getting to meet a lot of people and it is also very enjoyable to shoot concerts and bands/musicians, if that is something that you love. It is a given that if you want to be a music photographer you must love music and of course photography so it is the perfect job for someone who wants to interpret both interests and turn it into a career. Although, this career can be very exciting, it also has negative aspects, such as it can be difficult to make a living out of it, most music photographers can work up to 5 or 6 days a week to earn a living off the job. It is also extremely difficult to get into this career as you need to know the right people and you must require a lot of skill and the right characteristics. The music photography industry is also extremely competitive so again it is handy to know the right people.

Qualification aren’t very necessary in this line of work, it is usually all down to experience and a brilliant portfolio. A lot of music photographers start of doing apprenticeships and working there way up in the business and then they start freelancing, most music photographer are freelance. You can however, earn a lot of money in the industry if you put in the time and effort, on average you can get up to £2000 per event and up to around £250 per photograph. From this career, it can be easy to venture in to other careers such as  portrait or fashion photography, as a lot of music photography is shooting people, if a person has the skill they can easily get it to other careers that involve portraiture. Another career music photographers can get into is documentary photography, there have been a few examples of photographers that follow around a certain band of artist and document their life, for example, Mick Rock, famously documented David Bowie and turned his photographs in to a book to show off Bowie’s lifestyle.

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There are many famous photographers in the music industry, for example, Mick Rock, Pennie Smith and Anton Corbijn, here are some examples of their work:

Mick Rock:

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Pennie Smith:

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Anton Corbijn:

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Career Profile 2: Action/Sport Photographer

An action or sport photographer shoots live sports, it is a branch of photojournalism. Most sport photographers shoot images for magazines, newspapers or sporting websites; this type of photography is usually freelance, covering events and then selling your work to the appropriate publications. Bigger sports teams, however, usually employ their own photographer to cover their games/events.

Photographing sports may have a variety of challenges, due to the fact the people you are shooting will be fast moving; this will require high-tech camera equipment with extremely fast shutter speed. Another challenge sport photographers may encounter is the weather conditions, if the weather is poor, it may lead to bad lighting.  There will also be tight deadlines for this type of photography, as the images you may take might have to be edited and ready to be in the next days newspaper or magazine.

An education in photography is not necessary to become a sports photographer, it is important to have a solid portfolio of your experience, and maintaining a strong list of contacts in the field will also be important for your success. Moreover, although having qualifications in photography are not always necessary, it could help you build technical knowledge of the field.

There are personal trait that are also important if you want to go in to this industry, for example it is important to have confidence in both your photography work and when it come to talking to clients and other contacts in the industry. To get into this line of work, the best idea is to start off as an assistant to an experienced photography; this will allow a person to build technical knowledge. Sport photographers can earn up to £50,000 annually, depending on who they work for. An example of famous sport photographers include:

Bob Martin

Michael Clark

Walter Iooss

Photographer Research 1 – Man Ray

Man Ray was an american visual artist, born in 1890, who was best know for his fashion and portrait photography, he played a major role in the Surrealist and Dada movements.

His work has inspired some ideas of my project because of his surrealist photography and inventive ideas. Below is an example of his photography:

‘Les Larmes’ was taken in 1932. This cropped image was photographed with a film camera, it is a very close up shot of a model’s face, most likely taken in a studio setting with a very bright lighting and possibly a flash. The angle of this image is a very important aspect of this image as it creates a more dramatic and cinematic effect. There is also a contrast with the black and white colours of the light skin, and dark make-up; this again gives the image a dramatic effect and also makes the image stand out. Moreover, the actual subject of the photograph is very important in this image, it creates a sense of mystery due to the glass tears and the direction in which the model is looking. After researching this image further, I found out that this image is a sign of grief, then it is suggested that the glass tears could possibly be a sign of insecurity. Overall, this image has inspired me due to the mystery it brings and the create angles and composition, after researching this image it has given me a few more ideas for my photoshoots.

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The back story behind this particular image is very interesting, in 1972 Charlie Watts, the drummer of The Rolling Stones, met with Man Ray and asked if he would design the cover for the groups album, Exile on Main street. Man Ray then designed the image above which was inspired by their first single from the album, Tumbling Dice; this image it most famously known as being the the great record cover that never happened. Although this album cover is not entirely photography based, it has definitely inspired my final shoot in which I will be creating album covers because of the creativity and idea of the album cover.

This image is from Many Ray’s book ‘Man Ray: Bazaar Years’. Again, this image looks like it was taken in a studio setting, but this time using not as bright and bold lighting. From researching this image, I believe it was from a fashion book. Although the model is not the only focal point of this image I believe that is effective because it still looks like it could be in a fashion magazine, the composition has been done very well, it is very dramatic and classy at the same time. Furthermore, this image has also inspired some ideas for future photoshoots due to its different compositions and dramatic lighting, whilst still looking very classy and proper.

 

Man Ray used a film camera in his photography work, this is due to the digital camera not being invented yet. Furthermore, all his photography is in black and white; this is also because colour photography wasn’t around his day. Man Ray specialised in Portrait and Fashion photography, he done loads of work for Vogue Magazine and many famous publications in France, which is where he spent most of his career.

From looking through his photography work, most of his portraiture is taken close up, with not much room left for a background; this is very effective because it shows off the glamour of his models. A lot of his work is surreal, which is a genre of photography and art that he greatly influenced. He created surreal images with lighting and props, sometimes making his subject blurry, which gave them a creepy look about them, or merging the same images together multiple times to create an abstract portrait. These images can be seen below:

 

Overall, Man Rays photography has inspired me to create dramatic images using bold lighting and interesting compositions. When doing my photoshoots, I am going to try to take what I has learnt from Man Rays photographs and try to apply it in to my own photography.

 

 

 

 

 

Self Reflection

Through studying photography for a number of years, I have definitely discovered branches of photography that I enjoy doing a lot more than others and also I have explored into careers that I would be interested in pursuing in the future. My favourite type of photography is live music photography, I have been interested in this type of photography for a number of years now due to my love for music, going to see live music and also my passion for photography. I have had a few experiences working in the live music photography industry and I have enjoyed every moment; it has given me an insight into the industry and has shown me some great experience in which I have learned from.

Live music photography can be quite difficult due to the constant movement of the band or performer, and the different lighting on stage; but through a lot of practise, I will be able to learn how to use my camera to it’s best ability in these circumstances. Luckily, I have a good camera to help me, it is a professional, full-frame camera, which is helpful in giving me high quality images.

I have done a lot of research into music photography through talking to other photographers, reading blogs and researching on the internet, in which I have now understood the requirements to become a professional photographer. To be successful in this industry, a lot of skills are required. It first starts with knowing how to work a camera properly, knowing what aperture, shutter speed and ISO is very important when shooting live music, so your images come out with the correct lighting and no blurring.

Below is a SWOT assessment of my progress so far:

Strengths:

  •  Enjoying the topic
  • Photography skills
  • Good communication skills

Weaknesses:

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of experience
  • Lack of easy transportation

Opportunities:

  • Work experience
  • Access to university or apprenticeships
  • Different projects for this Level 3 Extended Diploma course

Threats:

  • Competitive industry
  • Losing interest
  • Potentially failing my studies

Experimental Shoot 2 – Plan

For my second experimental shoot I am going to again use a ‘band’ made up of people from my college class, but this time I will do it in a location setting. In this shoot I will be experimenting with different compositions and also I will be working out which background suit my ‘band’, I will learn from this experiment when photographing my final shoot because I will know what composition and poses my band should do and what will look the best and most professional.

For my shoot I will need:

  • camera (Nikon d810)
  • 3 people

This will be a simple shoot, to do it I will take my ‘band’ and we will find some locations to shoot some group portraits. As I am limited to Harlow Town center for this shoot I will only be able to choose a few location for my shoot, such as a forest/field area, a car park and possibly in front of a old looking building; this will create dramatic effect. For my shoot my ISO will depend on what kind of day it is; if it is a sunny say the ISO could be as low as 100 or if it is a cloudy, dark day, the ISO could be higher. My camera will also need a fast shutter speed so the images come out sharp with no blur (e.g. 1/125). The aperture will also depend on the weather but I will probably set it to about f/8 to begin with and play around with it if it needs changing. For this shoot I have researched many location band shoots, some of which have inspired the idea for this shoot, here is an example of some of the work that has inspired me.

 

Experimental Shoot 1 – Plan

For this shoot I would like to experiment with lighting in the studio. To do this I will use some members of my college class to create a ‘band’, and then I will use the studio to photograph them experimenting with lighting. I will also try and experiment with editing; through my research I have found that black and white images are popular in band photography so I will also try and experiment with that.

To do my shoot I will need:

  • camera (Nikon d810)
  • black background
  • studio lights
  • 3 people
  • sync lead

To do this shoot I am going to use a studio. First of all I will experiment with different types of studio lighting. I am going to use studio lights to create shadows on my ‘band’ and make the lighting quite dark so it looks dramatic, especially as it is on a black background. I am going to use a sync lead and plug it into my camera to ensure the flashing lights are in time with my shoot. To ensure I get the best photographs I will have to turn the ISO to about 100 so the images do not come over exposed. I will also use a high shutter speed to ensure that there is no blurring in my images, they should look sharp. The aperture of my camera will be set to about f/8, but if when I get to the studio and this set up doesn’t work, I will have to experiment with my settings. After I have set up my camera, I will then ask my models to pose as if they were in a band, I have done extensive research on different band shoots to see which poses work best so I will give my models some direction it what I would like them to do. Here are some examples of band shoots that have inspired me for this particular shoot: