Footsteps Evaluation

For my final photo shoot, I did a shoot inspired by Rankin. To do this I took some portrait in the same bold style as Rankin would. Overall, I believe my shoot came out extremely well as it is obvious that the shoot was inspired by Rankin; this is because of the bold lighting and the composition of the model being very central and up close to the camera. Here are a few of my final images:

Rankin’s style is very bold and in your face, I really enjoy his work because of his unique and creative twist on portrait photography. To do this shoot, I had to do a vast amount of research using many different sources, from different websites, to books and magazine articles. Overall, I believe that websites were the most useful form of gathering information due to, the amount of different websites that can be accessed with just a click of a mouse in a very small amount of time. When looking on the internet for different information about Rankin, I could access his own personal website, his wikipedia page (although not the most reliable) and also dozens of interviews and magazine articles about both his life and his photography. On the other hand, I believe that books were the least reliable source; this is due to the lack of books on Rankin in the college library, and the content within the books, when finally being able to see his book, they were mostly just a picture book of all his work as opposed to information about his life and the style of his work, however, the images in his books were very clear and it was extremely reliable to ensure the images were actually his.

Moving on from this, I was able to complete my final shoot, I now knew his style and his themes that he liked to stick to throughout his work and I was also able to find out about what technical settings he used on his cameras were, e.g. shutter speeds, aperture, ISO. I was also able to find pout that he did the majority of his work in a studio, which is were I did my work. When comparing my images to those of Rankin’s, there are both similarities and differences. On obvious difference is the level of makeup that my models are using compared to his, this is due to the expenses and also the amount of time and preparation that we both had, obviously, Rankin would have been able to hire a professional makeup artist on his extensive budget, whilst I could only use my own skills, which were not very good. However, our work does have some similarities, such as the bold lighting and the studio setting which makes our models stand out. However, my shoot definitely could be improved, with developing my skills in using studio light and also having more advanced studio lighting as i expect Rankin had access too.

 

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Peer Assessment

Which Outcomes Do You Feel Are Most Successful Technically?

Curtis’ shoot inspired by Crewdson was very technically successful because of the way he took the dramatic cinematic lighting from Crewdson’s location photography and adapted it into the studio using the same lighting techniques making Curtis’ images look incredibly dramatic.

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Which Outcomes Do You Feel Are The Most Interesting Creatively?

Jess’ shoot, also inspired by Crewdson is definitely the most interesting creatively due to the fact she has taken inspiration from his work and created her own version, mimicking his work but also adding her own individual ideas. Like Crewdson, Jess used eery backgrounds and a single person in her image, although Jess has edited her images into black and white which gave it a more creepy atmosphere.

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Which Outcomes Do You Feel Show A Step Forward Creatively / Technically For The Person Who Produced Them?

From Dylan’s previous work he has become more creative with his editing techniques, for example, in the image above he is using black and white, but he has also edited Scarlette’s eyes to be their original colour which is very creative and an interesting way to show off his influences. Technically, Dylan has used a studio just as Rankin did and he also shows off his key theme very well in this shoot. I believe a step forward has been made as can be seen from his previous work, especially in the creative aspects of his photo shoots.

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Rankin’s Creative Influences

Over the half term, I am going to shoot some self portraits, influence by the Photographers that inspired Rankin. His influences range from Leibovitz to David Bailey. For my photoshoots I am going to produce some self portraits mainly inspired by the work of David Bailey. My portrait will be shot very close range so either the canvas will be just my head and shoulders will a little bit of a plain background or of just my face. To do this I am going to use the studio and a plain background. The lighting will be incredibly bright but I will also edit the images so they are black and white.

This is some inspirational photographs by David Bailey that I will try and imitate:


  

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Contact Sheets:

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Final Images:

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Zeitgeist Of The 90’s

Zeitgeist – the mood, ideology and spirit of a particular period of history shown by the ideas and beliefs of time.

Popular music –  very synthetic due to advance in technology (spice girls,britney spears, etc.). The trends in the 90s saw the continuation of teen pop and dance pop which first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Hip-hop also became a lot more popular in the 90’s, artists such as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Eminem started becoming more popular and claiming their fame in the music industry. As well as this; Rock music was also very popular just as it was in the 80’s, but it was a very different style of Rock music, in the 80s glam metal dominated the scene whilst in the 90s grunge, Britpop, industrial rock and other alternative rock music emerged and took over as the most popular of the decade; bands such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Guns’N’Roses became successful in the music industry in the 90s. Author, Alex Lifeson quoted “I think thats given inspiration to other musicians. I know, particularly throughout the 90s, a lot of bands would cute Rush as an influence. I don’t think it was so much our music, but more the way we really stuck to our guns”.


Fashion – for the majority of the decade, fashion was very minimalist compared to the flashy trends of the 80’s. One of the most mainstream trends was the adoption of tattoos and body piercings and to a lesser extent other forms of body modification such as hair braiding. Grudge fashion became a trend in the 90s, which then lead to the popularisation of the ‘casual chic’ look; this consisted of t-shorts, jeans, hoodies and trainers, a trend which continued into the 2000s. The early 1990s saw a continuation of late 1980s fashion, including bold, geometric prime clothing in electric blue, orange, fluorescent pink, purple, turquoise and acid green. Celebrities in the 1990s also influenced bold colours and outrageous clothing for example, leg warmers and metallic spandex leggings. Other fashion in the 1990s is the idea of wearing exercise wear such as sports bras, hoodies and leotards worn with jeans; this was very popular with young girls and teens. As the years of the 1990s decade advanced, grunge wear became more and more unpopular whilst more feminine and form-fitting clothing advanced in the fashion industry. Young women in the UK wore tailored skirts, baby doll dresses, animal prints, hot pants and high heels. Hoop earring were also a popular trend in the 90s along with plaid shirts, bomber jackets and baseball caps.


Technology – Internet was invented Photoshop, first handheld games, MP3 players

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Zeitgeist Of Rankin

It is very clear that the zeitgeist of the 90’s inspired Rankin’s photography in a number of ways. One in particular being the 90s fashion. In many of his photography the model is very colourful and bold which reflects the fashion of the 90’s. He also overly edited his images to look very pop-art like which also reflects the popular art movement of the 90s.

In the photograph above Rankin has edited his photograph to look very pop-art like which was a popular art movement in the 90s. This image is from the front cover of a magazine; this was a very widespread type of media in the 90’s which would ensure that many people would have seen this image. Furthermore, Rankin is photographing a very popular musician from the 90’s showing that the music scene of the 90’s was very influential for Rankin’s photography.

  

This is another photograph taken by Rankin, it is from the front of a magazine which again was a very popular way of distributing media in the 90’s

Rankin’s Creative Influences

In the FAQ section on Rankin’s website, he states “In terms of photographers who have influenced me, the list is endless, but I would have to include Bailey, Avedon, Eggleston, Teller, Knight, Newton, Blumenfeld, McCullin, Leibovitz and Penn in my list.”.  All of these photographers are portrait photographers. From looking at Rankin’s photography compared to the names he listed, it is very easy to establish some similarities of their work.

This photograph is a portraiture by Irving Penn. It is clear that Rankin has been inspired by Penn’s photography due to the fact the lighting is extremely similar to that of Rankin’s, both photographers use both very harsh, bright lighting in their images, which usually contrasts the skin tone of the model in the image. Like all Rankin’s images, which are very ‘in your face’, it is again clear he got inspiration from Penn’s photography, although it is done in a very different way. Penn’s photography is edited to be black and white; this gives her imagery a dramatic, contrasting theme. On the other hand, Rankin’s images are bold and ‘in your face’ because of the bright and vivid colours.
This is an example to show how Rankin’s photography has been influenced by portrait photographer, Irving Penn.

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Rankin also mentions that Eggleston as being an inspiration for his photography work. Although there work is almost completely different, similarities can be noticed. Both photographers use bright colours in there images, but colour is not a key theme in their images. For example, in the photograph below, the subject of the image has very pale skin but her background and accessories 

Rankin – What Is Distinctive About His Work?

Rankin has a very distinctive style of photography,  he is well well-known for the use of abstract make-up in his work; his fashion photography portraits are very unique and recognisable due to the creativity of makeup and face paints on the models he shoots; this makes his images stand out and become recognisable under Rankin’s name. Another distinct feature about his photography is the fact that all his portraiture, whether it being fashion portraiture, celebrity portraiture or even self portraitures very up close and personal to the person being photographed. In the FAQ page on Rankin’s website he stated “When I’m photographing subjects, whether they are models, celebrities or regular people I always talk incessantly to the person in front of the lens. I do it mostly to get a reaction so that I can capture something about their personalities; every person will have a different reaction, a different outlook.”.

Another factor that makes Rankin’s work very distinctive is that he doesn’t have a particular style of portraiture; every single shoot that he has done has it’s own unique twist, for example, some of his portraiture is in black and white whilst other images focus mainly on their bright, vivid colours. He stated “The Rankin style is that there is no style! I don’t use a specific type of lighting, I don’t use the same way of shooting all the time, apart from looking for honesty in it. That’s my signature really, the honest thing.”

Rankin also uses a variety of angles when taking photographs, he doesn’t stick to a particular angle or style; this

 

Identity

I have chosen to do my topic on the subject of identity, I chose this since the because I believe it is a contemporary issue which still effects many people and is a social issue in many places around the world.
A reliable source on the topic of identity is from a professor at Stanford University, James D.Fearon.The link  below shows a dissertation on the subject of identity. It is a very realisable source as it is written by an established university professor and it is used in a prestigious university in America. As well as this, there is a lot of research and experimentation to back up the facts on the issue of identity; this ensures the reliability of the source as many people were involved it the research and it is scientifically backed up. In the dissertation, it uses facts which can be checked and proved, either through more research or it can be backed up by other social scientists. Furthermore, the content seems balanced and critical, using different opinions from many different people and sources. One critism of the source, is the fact that it was written in 2005, therefore it may be outdated, therefore, slightly unreliable.

Link: http://www.seminario2005.unal.edu.co/Trabajos/Fearon/What%20is%20identity%20(as%20we%20now%20see%20the%20world).pdf

Another reliable source is a newspaper article discussing ‘England’s identity crisis’ 

Rankin

    

  • Name Of Source: Rankin’s Offical Website
  • Link To Source: http://rankin.co.uk
  • Type: Website
  • Topic(s) Featured: photography portfolio, information, social media, exhibition, store
  • Review Notes: good quality images, extremely reliable, lots of information and contact details
  • Name Of Source: Vouge Magazine (online)
  • Link To Source: http://www.vogue.co.uk/person/rankin 
  • Type: Magazine Profile Page
  • Topic(s) Featured: photoshoots, many images, interviews
  • Review Notes: a lot of photography, not much information, his opinions make it interesting 
  • Name Of Source: Rankin’s Facebook Page
  • Link To Source: https://www.facebook.com/RankinPhotographyLtd
  • Type: Social Media
  • Topic(s) Featured: updates on his life, information about him, his photography
  • Review Notes: very social, accessible to everyone, realisable because Rankin updates himself, not a lot of information, limited photographs