For this assignment, you are asked to devise a themed assignment based on a topic that interests you. For example Street photography, Landscape, portraiture or still life.
You must use what you have learned so far, to construct an effective workflow, all the way through to the final displayed image. Your workflow for this assignment can be in the form of either prints, or web gallery.
List all of the steps in your workflow. As you move through the sequence, you must write a short commentary against each of the steps, describing what you did.
Explain how you think your own workflow may differ from others, and what adaptations you have made, to suit the way you, yourself, take and process the photographs.
The number of images will depend on your subject. You should plan to take at least 6-12 images.
After re-reading through the exercise’s I have done, I knew that the previous workflow’s I have used, wouldn’t need changing that much for this assignment. Once again, I decided to photograph my cats.
I began by devising my workflow. Below is the workflow I used and commentary as to how I used it throughout the shoot.
- Choose a subject and location: For this assignment, I decided to choose my cats. I wanted to try and capture them going about their business. It would be indoors due to the weather, however, cats are very independent, and if they want to go outside, I may end up going outside (Depending on weather)
- Think about positioning: Positioning is quite hard. With my previous exercise, I found out that working with animals doesn’t always go to plan, as they constantly move, and are very independent. With regards to this, I am fully aware of what to expect, and hopefully, I will still be able to pull this off again.
- Think about the weather, will the shoot have to be indoors or outdoors. Will this effect my lighting? Will I need lights? :With regards to weather, it has been nothing but rain, wind, rain, wind…Oh and more rain. The lighting has been awful. There may be a few bright spells in between the rain, or there may be one day where there is no rain, and the sun is shining. This is the day I want to try and choose to photograph the cats on. That way, I wont need any lighting etc, as setting up lighting is too much work, especially when the cat then decides to move…….hmm. Therefore, I am hoping that I am able to have one day of sunshine, where I can adjust the settings on my camera for the lighting, rather than have to worry about any artificial lighting extras.
- Check all of my equipment: Make sure batteries are charged, memory cards, lenses, tripod etc. I always look after my camera and the equipment that goes with it. I regularly check the memory cards, I always charge the batteries and I always clean the lenses after I have used the camera. I decided to use my 18-55mm lens as this way, I would be able to get closer to the cat and I would reduce the risk of any camera shake, if I was to use a telephoto lens.
- Test Shots: I decided to take some test shots of the cat, this way I could change any settings. I decided to use a fast shutter speed as it would enable me to capture the picture quickly, before they moved. Depending on room etc, I would have to change the ISO or f.stop.
- The shoot: Even though there was no time limit to this assignment, I wanted to keep it quite short, as depending on the lighting conditions, I may not have enough time to use the natural light. Thankfully, there was ONE day without rain. The sun was shining. I decided that I would take advantage of this and photograph the cats. However, only one as per usual, decided to leave the warm comfy bed, and pose for me, but not in the garden, oh no! it was way too cold for that. I took as many photographs as I could, changing the iso depending on where the cat was. I had to change the iso, as at one point, she decided to sit in the bright, sunny window, which caused a complete white screen, so I then had to change all of the settings, whilst she looked at me, waiting for me to take the next photograph. Once she got bored of posing, and went back to bed, I then decided to photograph my other cat, who was asleep, as usual. I took around 60 images. During the shoot, I was constantly checking the LCD screen, to see if any were mistakes, and if they were, I deleted them straight away. I also kept an eye on the histogram. Overall, the shoot took about 1hr, but that is only because they all ended up sleeping and not wanting to do anything. I tried bribing them to pose for me, but nope, they were having none of it.
- Transfer the images to the computer: Once the shoot was over, I then had to remove my memory card from the camera, and transfer the images onto the computer. I used an SD card reader, and transferred them into a new folder specifically for the assignment.
- The Technical Edit: Remove any images that are faulty or mistakes. Images which may be over or under exposed, out of focus or camera shake. Place these images into a separate folder.
- The Selects: Once you have removed any mistakes, you will be left with technically fine images. From these images, choose any images which satisfy you creatively. Place these images into another folder. These will be known as ‘The first selects’
- The First Selects: These are the group of images which you have decided are the best out of all of them. You must then look through the first select images, and choose approx. 6-12 images as final choice images. Place these images into a separate folder.
- Final Choice: You would have started off with a large amount of images. You should have whittled them down to a handful, and then chosen your 6-12 final images.
- Editing/Processing: My next choice would be to edit the final 6-12 images you have chosen. Use your image editing software. Once you have processed your images, you may not decide you want as many as you final decision. You can then choose minimum of 6 as your completed final choice(s). I made 2 copies of each original image, as I wanted to see if I preferred the edited image in colour or black and white. I used Photoshop Elements 9 as my image editing software. I retouched any marks, on all of the images. I also made sure the brightness and contrast levels were ok. I cropped some of the images as well. I made a colour and a black and white image. I used the same process for each image.
I decided not to post the screen shots of the process, as it is exactly the same as the previous exercises.
I chose 6 final images. I will post the colour ones, however, the monochrome versions are infact my final choices. I once again decided to use the monochrome images, as I love black and white photography, and I am able to remove any colour distractions from the photograph. On a plus side, you cant see my cats ‘Gravy face’ as she hadn’t cleaned her chin after eating her breakfast.
‘Explain how your workflow may differ from others’
Im not sure that my workflow would differ from other peoples workflow’s. I believe that I use a very straight forward workflow. I believe it’s a workflow that most photographers would use. Sometimes you tend to use this workflow without thinking, or unknowingly. For example, I always check the equipment, I always think about what I want to photograph, locations etc. That is why the workflow I have devised for this assignment and the previous exercises, comes naturally to me. Equipment is something that would differ depending on the person, not everyone uses the same camera equipment, that also goes for the image processing software. That will also differ depending on the person. However, I don’t think that the frame of the workflow and basic steps, will differ that much.
‘What adaptations have you made to suit the way you shoot’
There are some points in the workflow that may need adapting or you may need to adapt to, for example, lighting, weather, positioning, location, subjects. The workflow would therefore change in order to accommodate for example, the lighting settings, ie. do you need natural lighting, or studio lighting, you may also have to keep changing camera settings. Weather would also play a major role in the changing of the workflow. For this assignment, I had to adapt to the lighting, with it being indoors, and the movement of the cat, meant I had to use a fast shutter speed, but I also had to accommodate the ISO and aperture settings. Another adaptation I had to make was the posing and location. With a human model for example, I am able to think of poses and locations, however, when working with animals, you are unable to guide them into a certain position you want them, or in a certain location you want them. Therefore, that I another adaptation I had to make for this assignment.
I am pleased with how this assignment has turned out. I am happy with the final images. I must admit however, that due to the weather, it did take me a while to think of what to photograph. I didn’t want to spend a day outside in the pouring rain worrying about keeping my camera dry, whilst changing the settings etc. Plus it has been freezing cold. I also didn’t want to photograph still life as I have done that many times before, I know that my Cousin wouldn’t want to pose for me again for more portraits, therefore my lovely cats had to be my models.
I have learnt a lot over these few exercises. I know that even though I use a workflow for my work unknowingly, I must now start using it knowingly. I must plan ahead in order for me to be ready in case anything goes wrong or needs changing. It will help to reassure me that no matter what, I should end up with great final images, if I stick to a workflow. Plus it makes sure that I don’t forget anything. You don’t want to get somewhere and find out that your battery isn’t charged or your memory cards are full because you haven’t transferred the previous images.
I have learnt how to use histograms. I must admit that I would still like to learn more about them, as mentioned previously, I want to learn as much as I can, In order to take advantage of them. I also want to learn more on how to use the most of my Photoshop Elements 9. These things I will read up about more and hopefully, I will be able to apply it to my next pieces of work.
I will now wait for my tutors response, and post it on here. I will make any changes that he may suggest to me.