Assignment Four: Real or Fake?

These last few exercises have been an exploration of not just technique, but ethical choices. They should have helped to clarify your opinion on the potential for altering content and viewers’ perception in an image, and helped you to define your own stance.

The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate this stance, and the means involve completing a task which lies in the middle ground of the Real-Versus-Fake argument.

The object is to produce a photographic image to illustrate an imaginary book or magazine cover. Covers are sales vehicles for their contents, and so often quite widely interpreted by art directors, illustrators and photographers. The moral ground is therefore potentially ambiguous.

Decide on a topic to be illustrated. You could, if it makes the decision easier, take an existing book that you know and devise an alternative photographic cover illustration that will get the theme or story across to a prospective reader, taking a photograph especially for it.

Explore the areas if adjustment and (possibly) manipulation that would make the image successful as a cover. This might, as just one example, involve shading or extending an area at the top in order to give space for the title. Or you might choose to combine two visual elements (juxtaposition is a frequently used device in this kind of photographic illustration).

Accompany the finished image with a description of the techniques you considered using and finally used, and also your ethical justification.

Before I began this assignment, I decided to do some research first. I began by researching into the first documented, altered photographs. Some believe that photograph manipulation is as old as photography itself. From the 1900’s onwards, we can chart a series of photographic responses that seek to recast the photographic act in the new language of modernism. Such photography sought to manipulate the image: abandoning any commitment to a literal recording of the world, as perceived by the eye. It sought a visual code suggestive of the new awareness implied by abstraction, surrealism, Dadaism and futurism.  In the early days of photography, photograph manipulation was harder to achieve, especially as technology and digital software was unavailable, therefore, people used other interesting, unique techniques in order to retouch, alter or manipulate a photograph. Techniques involved retouching photos with ink or paint, double exposing photos, piecing photos or negatives together in the darkroom and scratching Polaroids. Techniques which we don’t necessarily use today, unless you still process your photographs in a dark room, however, these techniques do produce results that are similar to photographs which have been manipulated digitally.

E. Chambré Hardman was a well known photographer, born in 1898 in Dublin, Ireland. He spent most of his career working in Liverpool, England.

Chambre Hardman Birth of the Ark Royal

The Birth of the Ark Royal 1950 – By E. Chambre Hardman

In 1950, Hardman produced the famous photograph, The Birth of the Ark Royal. The photograph was taken by Hardman from Holt Hill in Birkenhead, Liverpool. The ship had just been painted bright white, in preparation for its launch from the Cammell Laird shipyard by The Queen Mother.

When viewing this photograph for the first time, you are unsure as to whether or not any manipulation has infact taken place. It is obvious that the ship itself is brighter than anything else in the photograph, and when looking at the white tones on the houses, they are significantly darker than the ship. Therefore, photo manipulation must have been used in order to make the white paint of the ship, dominant. My first guess was dark room dodge and burn, however, Hardman used a technique which invloves the application of coccine nouvelle ( Red Dye). The red dye was applied onto certain areas of the negative, in order to darken areas of the image. Highlights in the photograph such as the gable end in the left foreground, would be darkened and reduced tonally, in order to produce a final photograph which would place emphasis on the large white Ark Royal ship.  Hardman quotes, “I was trying to recreate what I had seen, to produce an effect, and anything that goes against the effect I want, I rule out.” E. Chambré Hardman, 1983.  The only true white within the image is now infact the ship, and Hardman has managed to produce a photograph which makes the ship almost jump out of the photograph.

After looking at the technique Hardman used in order to produce the final photograph, I need to establish whether or not it can be classed as a real or a fake photograph. Hardman used a technique on the negative after the photograph was taken. This technique was used in order to produced subtle and discreet alterations to the photograph. He quotes that he wanted to produce a final photograph, recreating what he saw that day. I don’t believe that Hardman manipulated his photograph in order to decieve the viewers, I believe that he wanted to emphasise just how striking and bright the freshly painted ship was, and wanted to produce a photograph which would have the same striking effect on viewers as it did in real life, on him. Therefore, can this be seen as being an innocent manipulation as he never inteneted to decieve any viewer, he just wanted to emphasize part of the image, or is this infact downright photo manipulation and has produced a fake image.

Hardman hasn’t cut and paste his photograph, he has not intentionally used the technique to decieve viewers,he has used a dark room technique which is similar to dark room dodge and burn or lightening or darkening certain areas of our digital photographs today. It is innocent photo manipulation and he has not manipulated the photograph to an extent where it is no longer recognisable to the original, untouched negative. Therefore, even though it is photograph manipulation and is therefore fake (as it is no longer the ‘original’ photograph), I believe that it is innocent manipulation.

In 1913, American photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn quotes “Why should not the camera artist break away from the worn out conventions…. and claim the freedom of expression which any art must have to be alive”Alvin Langdon Coburn 1913

Alvin Langdon Coburn was an Amercian photographer born in Boston, USA in 1882. He was a major figure in the development of American Pictoralism. Pictoralism is the name given to an international style and aesthetic movement that was used in photography during the 19th and 20th century. The ‘Pictorialism’ style was produced by a photographer somehow manipulating an otherwise straightforward photograph, in order to produce a ‘Creative’ final image, rather than simply recording the scene there and then.

A typical pictorial photograph appears to lack a sharp focus, so is therefore completely blurred or just blurred in places, it can be printed in one or more colours other than black and white, such as warm brown to deep blue and it may have visible brush strokes or other photo manipulation of the surface. A photographer who decided to shoot in the style of pictorialism, was similar to an artist. The photographer / pictorialist, was able to use photo manipulation as a way to empahsise or project a certain emotion or view onto the viewer.

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Fifth Avenue from the St.Regis, Platinum Print – By Alvin Langdon Coburn

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Times Square (The Christmas Tree) 1912, Gelatin Silver Print – By Alvin Langdon Colburn

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The Tunnel Brothers 1908, Gum Platinum Print – By Alvin Langdon Colburn

Using his unique perspective and point of view in regards to photography, Colburn produced a pictorialist collection of photographs taken in New York, USA. Using the pictorialsim techniques, Colburn produced beautiful, of NYC, which are either in a ‘Misty’, soft focus, or are reduced to semi abstract patterns. The Times Square photograph reminds me of something you would see around Christmas time, espeically with the lights situated on the dome shaped building. He has managed to create an almost wintery feeling in this image, which I really like.

After researching more into how Colburn manipulates his photographs, I was able to find out that he manipulated his photographs in the dark room. He used different printing processes such as processing his images with Gum Platinum Print process, Gelatin Silver Print process or the Platinum Print process. Colburn used the gum platinum print process for the Tunnel Brothers photograph. When using the gum platinum print process, the first step is to make a platinum print. This will either be in the normal silver – grey colour, or it can be a toned rich brown by adding mercury to the developer. Platinum prints on occasion, contained shadowed areas that were too weak, therefore in order to darken the shadows, the gum platinum process would be applied. After the finished platinum print was ready, it was then coated with a thin layer of gum bichromate which contains a pigment of a desired colour. The bichromated print was inserted behind the original negative and was then re-exposed and developed in the normal way.  The process added a lustre to the platinum base, similar to a varnish, the shadow areas would be darkened yet the highlights would be preserved. On some occasions, in order to achieve the perfect photograph, several applications of pigmented gum was used, although one application was usually sufficient enough. Colburn used the gum method, as somewhat of a glaze to his photographs. He knew that the process would enable him to build up and enrich shadows within his platinum prints. The final photograph would then have the best colour situated to the subject shot at the time.

Similarly to E. Chambré Hardman, I found this difficult to decide whether or not Colburn’s photographs can be classed as real or fake. I remember when I was studying photography in college, I would print my black and white photographs in the dark room. We were taught many techniques which we could use in the dark room when printing our photographs, which could help us create unique, interesting photographs. For example, I would take pieces of thin netting and lay it across the printing paper, I would use cut out pieces of paper on top of the printing paper and use double negatives. I would then expose my photographs and develop them. These created very interesting prints, and were somewhat a learning experience as I had never done this before. However, I technically didn’t ‘Alter’ my original photograph or negative. I kept it 100% original as I never cut or paste anything from the original negative or image, I just added patterns or wording on top of the printing paper. Colburn, like Hardman, altered their photographs in the darkroom. Colburn intensified shadows in the image, by applying a gum, similar to the red dye technique used by Hardman. These processes are similar to digital post processing nowadays in which we lighten or darken certain areas of our photographs. What I find difficult to judge is whether or not by altering shadows and highlights can be a type of manipulation which means your photograph is thereafter fake. Technically, yes it is manipulation and is therefore fake, however, as mentioned beforehand, as the photograph hasn’t been altered to an extent where it is no longer recognisable to the subject or scene at the time and the photographer hasn’t used it do deceive the viewer, can it be classed as fake?

Knowing that photograph manipulation has been around for years, makes you question whether or not every photograph you have seen in your lifetime is in fact the true, unaltered image. When photography was first invented, a photograph was regarded as something which was honest, and depicted reality. The camera was a respected tool which was able to capture a precise reflection of the subject or location, unlike any painting painted at the same time.

‘Pure photography postulated an ideal  image which transcended the everyday world. It questioned the view of photography as a literal act of recording, seeing this as limited, but nethertheless insisted on the photograph being based in the thing seen, not imagined’ Graham Clarke, The Photograph.

However, in the modern-day and age, the saying ” A camera never lies” can be seen to an extent, somewhat false, especially as the final photograph that is produced by that camera, comes out as a true, untouched photograph, however, if it is altered or manipulated in any way, the final photograph is in fact now a lie. If you are to then use this photograph to deceive others, you have therefore tricked viewers into believing that your camera has been able to capture a ‘Perfect’ Photograph.

Photograph manipulation is regularly used to deceive or persuade viewers, it helps improve storytelling and self-expression. Even the most subtle and discreet changes to a photograph, can have profound impacts on how we as viewers, interpret or judge it. It is argued that photo manipulation alters the content of the images in a devious manner, making it more difficult for the viewer to differentiate between a manipulated image and reality. Learning how to spot photograph manipulation is important, and it can help you spot whether or not the photograph has been manipulated in order to help produce a better final image technically, or whether its been manipulated in order to deceive the viewer for controversial purposes, such as news stories or propaganda.

One of thee most famous war photographs, is that of Trang Bang village just outside Saigon, Vietnam in 1972. The photograph was taken by photographer Nick Ut and this particular photograph depicted a young 9 year old female called Kim Phuc, running towards the camera. The US Military had just Napalmed her village, in yet another example of friendly fire. The villagers were allied Southern Vietnamese and not part of the North Viet Cong, therefore, this should never of happened. Nick Ut was photographing this event in order to produce photographs for Associated Press, documenting what was happening.

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Vietnam Napalm 1972. By Nick Ut for Associated Press

After taking the photograph of Kim Phuc, Nick Ut rushed the young girl to hospital for treatment. He then delivered his film to Associated Press, whom he worked for, in order for the photographs to be published. Publication of this particular photograph was halted due to the content. Associated Press were in debate as to whether or not they should publish a photograph which contained a young naked female. Nick Ut quotes: ” …an editor at the AP rejected the photo of Kim Phuc running down the road without clothing because it showed frontal nudity. Pictures of nudes of all ages and sexes, and especially frontal views were an absolute no-no at the Associated Press in 1972…Horst argued by telex with the New York head-office that an exception must be made, with the compromise that no close-up of the girl Kim Phuc alone would be transmitted. The New York photo editor, Hal Buell, agreed that the news value of the photograph overrode any reservations about nudity.” Nick Ut

After the photograph had been published, President Richard Nixon was heard on a taped recording, having a conversation with his chief of staff, H.R.Haldeman. The conversation was discussing whether or not this photograph was fake and had been ‘Fixed’ in some way. Nick Ut replied to these accusations surrounding his photograph, quoting “Even though it has become one of the most memorable images of the twentieth century, President Nixon once doubted the authenticity of my photograph when he saw it in the papers on June 12, 1972…. The picture for me and unquestionably for many others could not have been more real. The photo was as authentic as the Vietnam war itself. The horror of the Vietnam war recorded by me did not have to be fixed. That terrified little girl is still alive today and has become an eloquent testimony to the authenticity of that photo. That moment thirty years ago will be one Kim Phuc and I will never forget. It has ultimately changed both our lives.” Nick Ut

Though the photograph itself was not faked and was 100% authentic, this world famous photograph has in fact been altered ever so slightly, in order to’Enhance’ the photograph, making it an even more ‘Striking’ and controversial photograph. There was moving film footage taken at the exact same time this photograph was taken, however, using moving film footage for this would not have had the same impact that this photograph has had. The reason being that a photograph can speak a thousand words. We now know that Nick Ut used a 35mm film to take this photograph, however, when looking at the photograph of Kim Phuc above, you can see that the format of the shot is in fact more of a square shape, something which would not be possible when using a 35mm film. The final photograph should in fact be more of a fuller frame. Knowing that something must have been cropped out of the frame and researching, it was clear that the authentic image had in fact been cropped.

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Vietnam Napalm 1972, By Nick Ut for Associated Press

 

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Cropped

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After looking at both images side by side, you can now see that the original image has in fact been cropped. A soldier who was loading a film into his camera, has been cropped out of the right hand side of the frame in order to add impact to the final image, for controversial purposes. By doing so, Nick Ut has now framed young Kim Phuc in the center of the image, in order to make her the focal point. He has been able to create a striking, heart breaking final image which has now been seen around the world and even after all the years since he first shot this photograph, it has not lost it’s impact.

Similarly to Hardman’s The Birth of the Ark Royal, I am in two minds as to whether or not this can be categorized as being a ‘Fake’ photograph. Yes, Nick Ut has cropped it, or in other words, manipulated it ever so slightly, however, he has not actually altered the photograph itself. He has not retouched the image, it is in fact 100% authentic. He has not manipulated it to an extent where it no longer looks like the untouched, original photograph, he has cropped the image in order to remove surplus people in the outer frame, and to position Kim Phuc in the center of the frame, in order to make it a better photograph for publishing.  Some may argue that this makes it 100% manipulated and fake as it is not the ‘100% Real’ original image and has only been cropped in order to produce a controversial final image, however, if the photograph itself has not been altered to an extent that it is not recognizable to the original, can it be classed as fake?

A similar debate was raised in regards to a second world famous photograph, Migrant Mother taken by Dorothea Lange in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo. Lange was employed by the FSA in the 1930’s. She was employed to produce documentary photographs of the great depression, farming and migrant crisis occurring in the USA at the time. Lange took the famous photograph of Florence Owens Thompson during the Great Depression. Florence Owens Thompson had set up a temporary camp after  her car broke down whilst travelling with her family. Her husband and two sons went into town to get the car fixed, whilst she made herself at home in the temporary camp with the other children.

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Florence Owens Thompson, ‘Migrant Mother’, Nipomo, March 1936. By Dorothea Lange for the FSA.

Dorothea Lange quotes ” I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it.” Dorothea Lange,  Popular Photography, February 1960

We are lead to believe that Dorothea Lange stumbled upon Florence Owens Thompson and her family, and shot five photographs in 10 minutes. However, when looking closer at thee most famous Migrant Mother photograph, you can see that something has been manipulated. It may not be obvious at first, but once you see it, you can immediately see that this wasn’t just a quick point and shoot set of photographs.

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Migrant Mother 1936 Nipomo, By Dorothea Lange

In the lower right hand side of the image, you can see a faint outline of a thumb and index  finger, thus suggesting somebody was ‘revealing’ the family from behind the side of the tent and therefore staging the shot. The index finger has not been removed at all, yet thumb has been faded in attempt to remove it or to distract our attention from it. The faintness of the thumb in fact makes it look worse than if she would have left it in the photograph. It is as though when removing the thumb, she gave up half way and forgot to remove it entirely and forgot to remove the index finger. Perhaps she thought that we as viewers wouldn’t notice that much as we should realistically be more drawn to the Migrant Mother’s eyes and facial expression which shows ‘Depression’, and by only faintly removing the thumb, it wouldn’t been too obvious. I believe it has done the opposite, and we as viewers are now wondering why the hand was there and whether or not this whole scene was staged.

In her account of photographing the Migrant Mother, Lange refers to taking five photographs, ‘I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction’. However, she infact took six photographs. She withheld one photograph and only submitted the five to Stryker. Perhaps she withheld it for aesthetic reasons. James C. Curtis suggests that it was a ‘trial shot, made soon after she got her equipment out of the car, a means of easing her subjects into posing for their portrait session’. Considering these photographs in terms of a series, we get the sense both of careful arrangement of the mother and her children and the progressive editing out of distracting and seemingly irrelevant background details. With the progressive removal of distractions and details behind, we are then focused upon the mother and children, thus achieving a more universal representation of poverty.

However, Lange admitted that she didn’t realise the thumb was visible in the foreground of the photograph above. Upon developing, she realised that the thumb was intruding and spoilt the image. She decided to retouch the negative in order to erase the thumb, much to Roy Stryker’s disapproval. For Stryker, her employer at the FSA, removal of the thumb was tantamount to tampering with the truth, something the FSA did not want happening. Lange’s insistence on the erasure of the distracting detail confirms to an extent that documentary photography was very much composed and determined by the photographer.

As mentioned previously, even the most subtle and discreet changes to a photograph, can have profound impacts on how we as viewers, interpret or judge it. It is unfortunate that these very faint outlines of fingers were left in the final image, as it is a brilliant, striking photograph, however, with the visible fingers showing, it gives the image an impression of being somewhat fake and staged. However, I do completely understand that when photographing something, you do need to make sure your positioning is correct, that you are framing something is a certain way, which may lead to things being in the frame which you may not have realized were in the frame at the time, or that you don’t want so you may crop the image during post processing. I completely understand that Lange made a mistake and the intrusion of a thumb in the foreground can not be helped, however, it was her job at the time, to produce ‘Real and True’ photographs for the FSA, in order to show the migrant crisis and great depression. Surely she should have just left the thumb in the foreground? Would it have made a difference if she had kept it in the frame or not? I suppose it is down to us a viewers and her employer the FSA at the time, to decide whether or not the thumb causes a problem or not.

The one thing I do have to try and decide, is whether or not this is classed as photograph manipulation. Similarly to Nick Ut, Lange has not technically altered the photograph. She has removed some of the thumb by dodge and burn, which is manipulation and can be seen as being fake and altered, however it is only a small part of the photograph. It is in the bottom corner of the frame. If she had altered Florence Owens Thompson’s face in order to make her look more depressed, then yes, that is 100% photograph manipulation in order to produce a controversial photograph for propaganda purposes. In my opinion, faintly removing a thumb, is not extreme. We have all removed dust particles or scratches and things that you didn’t realise were in the frame until you view in on screen, so you crop your image.

Some may argue that yes, due to Lange withholding at least one photograph out of the six submitted, that perhaps she was concerned with the aesthetics and couldn’t justify completely manipulating a photograph that was completely ‘wrong’, and therefore withholding it was the best option. If so, then perhaps manipulating this photograph above ever so slightly, wasn’t such a bad idea. After all, it wasn’t until looking at the negative that she noticed the thumb. You could say that this image has been staged and manipulated so is therefore fake and has been produced with publishing in mind, however, we all stage our photographs, that is what composition is for, you compose your photograph so that everything you want is framed. I personally think that this is hard to judge, although I think comparing it to Nick Ut who has cropped people from the frame, removing a thumb is a small adjustment. Even her employer at the FSA, Roy Stryker thought it was tampering with the truth, yet he still accepted the photograph and it was published, therefore, he must have accepted the faint manipulation to remove the thumb. So can we accept it?

However, similarly to Nick Ut, Dorothea Lange did infact manipulate a photograph in order to produce a ‘Better’ one. Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California, 1935.

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Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California, 1935. By Dorothea Lange

In this photograph, Lange is able to capture a striking look of anxiety on the face of her subject. Stranded in his car, the man’s plight suggests the larger problems that society faced during the Great Depression.

Lange would occasionally crop her photographs for greater dramatic effect. For this image, she decided to add the feeling of claustrophobia.

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Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California, 1935. By Dorothea Lange

She purposely cropped the photograph into a tighter composition, completely removing the woman sitting in the passenger’s seat. Rather than suggesting he pose, Lange has caught him as if unaware. Fear and anxiety are visible in this man’s gaunt, lined face. Catching him unaware had produced an effect which persuades us all the more of the truth of the image.

However, this is completely untrue. She knowingly manipulated this photograph, in order to achieve a more ‘Emotional’ final photograph. Like Nick Ut, she cropped something out of the frame, and has therefore altered and manipulated reality as it was. Thus meaning, that this photograph is a false representation of the truth.

Rather than manipulating a photograph by simply cropping the frame or enhancing one section of the image by adjusting tones or colours of the other parts of the image in order for it to stand out, can be seen as small adjustments compared to manipulating a photograph by simply cutting and pasting. When you cut something or someone out of a photograph, you are 100% altering the original image. You are removing something which was there at that moment in time and are now producing an untruthful final photograph. As mentioned before, this type of photo manipulation alters the content of the image in a devious manner, making it more difficult for the viewer to differentiate between a manipulated image and reality.

The iconic image of President Abraham Lincoln, taken in 1860, has been reported to be manipulated in order to make President Lincoln somewhat heroic. President Lincoln’s head was in fact cut from another photograph and pasted onto politician John Calhoun’s heroically posed portrait. This has been altered in a devious manner, in order to deceive viewers into believing that their President was a strong powerful man, and therefore has been altered for propaganda purposes.

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Article By Lee Moran, 28th February 2012

Russian dictator Josef Stalin routinely manipulated his photographs, especially if he fell out with any person or persons who were in his photographs. In the photograph below, Stalin removed a commissar after falling out with him. Again, this has been deviously manipulated in order to produce a controversial image showing that Stalin can and will completely remove you from his life.

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Article By Lee Moran, 28th February 2012

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini manipulated the portrait of himself on top of a horse in order to make himself look more heroic, he removed the horse handler. By doing so, Mussolini has portrayed himself as being a strong powerful leader, who does not need help nor assistance from any man. Thus showing that this photograph has been manipulated to deceive viewers and followers, and is therefore a controversial photograph.

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Article By Lee Moran, 28th February 2012

Photograph manipulation in the past, was not deemed to be a controversial problem, however, with the arrival of modern processing software such as Photoshop, being readily available and used to alter every photograph, problems and questions began to arise in regards to manipulated photographs being used in journalism, news coverage and in advertising  for devious purposes.

In today’s modern advertising, sales for the product whether it is make up, clothing, perfume or cars, are based on how well that specific product was advertised, promoted or branded. As stated above, Magazine covers are sales vehicles for their contents, and so often quite widely interpreted by art directors, illustrators and photographers, in order to produce a prominent photograph which will draw in the desired audience and the viewer’s attention, later leading to them purchasing the magazine and reading through the numerous amount of fake articles and false advertising inside, of products which they don’t necessarily need, but may end up purchasing because of the hypnotic effect that the manipulated photograph has on them.

An example of manipulated photographs being used on a magazines front cover is the Self Magazine Cover which featured singer Kelly Clarkson in September 2009. The September’s issue of the magazine was the ‘Body Confidence Issue’ which contained articles about body confidence, slimming down, eating healthily and much more. They photographed Kelly Clarkson for the front cover, however, when she appeared on Good Morning America, just days after the magazine had been released, viewers were concerned that Kelly Clarkson on the show looked nothing like the Kelly Clarkson of the front cover of the magazine.

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Kelly Clarkson, Self Magazine, September 2009.

 Self magazine editor Lucy Danziger never apologised for the extreme manipulation of Miss Clarkson’s photograph, she did however decided to try to defend her actions and decisions regarding printing the photograph. Danziger quotes ” Yes, of course we do post-production corrections on our images. Photoshopping is an industry standard,” she stated. “Kelly Clarkson exudes confidence, and is a great role model for women of all sizes and stages of their life. She works out and is strong and healthy, and our picture shows her confidence and beauty. She literally glows from within. That is the feeling we’d all want to have. We love this cover and we love Kelly Clarkson ……… Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best…But in the sense that Kelly is the picture of confidence, and she truly is, then I think this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand.”

Therefore, Lucy Danziger feels that altering and manipulating a photograph to this extent, to then put on your magazine cover, to sell to women who are suffering from body confidence issues, is ok. This is false advertising, and is in no way ok. Using processing software to manipulate a photograph for these purposes, is not ok, and should be stopped. I raised this issue at the beginning of this set of exercises and assignment.

In regards to book covers, do we really judge a book by its cover? Book covers are similar to magazine covers, as they too are sales vehicles for the contents which is written inside of them. I myself un-knowingly, have been drawn into a bookstore simply because of the window displays which contain colourful, interesting book covers. Before technology was invented, books were extremely popular. Front covers were used to draw in the desired audience, for example ‘Funky, Colourful, Drawings’ were used for children’s novels, whereas novels for adults were plain and simple in design, depending on the era and time.

Below are some examples of how the same novels front cover has changed throughout the years.

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As you can see from the comparison photographs above, book covers are designed to draw the reader in. Depending on the desired audience, colour is used mainly to grab the attention quickly. We all know that children love colourful things, therefore, with Roald Dahl’s novels, the front cover is bright and bold with strong colours. Moving towards the modern-day and age, photographs have become popular to use on the front of book covers, whether it is a cook book, fantasy novel, fiction or non-fiction, photographs can now be used on front covers. With the help of processing software, photographs can be altered, manipulated and re-touched, in order to make the ‘Perfect’ front cover for a book. For example, a cook book will undoubtedly use a colourful photograph of some delicious food. This photograph would have been manipulated using processing software, in order to make the food look more ‘Delicious’. The more ‘Delicious’ the front cover, the more sales the book will have. Another example would be of fantasy novels with vampires for example, a photograph would have to be manipulated in order to make a person look like a vampire. However, just because these manipulated photographs are on the front cover of a book, rather than the front cover of a magazine or on a television advert, does not make them ok. It is still technically false advertising. We are being sold a book with a manipulated, fake photograph on the front cover. However, we seems to ignore the fact that this is the same as if it was a magazine cover, and we accept these books as being ok. We don’t really take notice of the fake photographs on book covers, similar to how we have become oblivious to the fake photographs that adorn magazine covers. We still end up buying both items.

As stated above, magazine and book covers both have moral grounds that’s are potentially ambiguous.

Assignment Four: Real or Fake? (Magazine or Book Cover)

After I carried out my research into how photograph manipulation has been used throughout the years, I then had to decided whether or not I wanted to create a magazine cover or a book cover. I knew that someway or the other, I would have to produce a photograph that would need to be manipulated either a small amount, or an extreme amount, in order to adorn the magazine or book front cover.

I decided to make a thought bubble for magazine cover and book cover. I then wrote down any thoughts I had regarding topics that I could base this assignment on. Below are photographs of my two thought bubbles.

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After looking through my two thought bubbles, I decided to choose to create a magazine cover. I decided to choose the ‘Animal Hunting, Culling, Poaching’ Option, simply because there has been a lot of media coverage recently regarding these subjects. This is something close to my heart as I am completely against animal hunting, poaching and culling. I knew that I would be able to research into the recent media coverage and gain some inspiration from the media in order to create a great front cover for my magazine.

After decided on what topic I would be focusing my assignment on, I know had to decide what animal I would focus my front cover on. In the recent media coverage, badger culling has been in the forefront of many discussions. Therefore, I wanted to focus this assignment around the badger cull. Which meant that I would have to photograph badgers…

Before I set out to photograph badgers, I decided to do some research first into badgers, the badger culling in the UK and look at any media coverage, flyers, protests, in order to pull in some ideas for my front cover.

Badgers

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http://badger.org.uk/

Badgers are nocturnal, powerful, social animals. They live much of their lives below ground in family groups. If you are lucky enough to be able to watch one of these beautiful animals, then you will begin to appreciate just how remarkable they really are. Unfortunately however, many of us only see badgers either deceased at the side of the road, victims of road traffic collisions or savage attacks from dogs. If a badger is lucky enough to survive in the wild without any harm, then it can live until 12-13 years of age, sometimes even older. Female badgers are called Sows, Male badgers are called Boars and the young badgers are called Cubs.

In some parts of the UK, Badgers are an endangered species, even though there are approximately 288,000 badgers in the United Kingdom, however large this may seem, we must take into account that an estimated 45,000 are killed in road accidents every year, this also includes savage attacks from people who believe that badger baiting is a ‘Sport’ and suitable badger habitat being taken through land developers.

They are supreme diggers, and live in badger setts. Setts are usually found in areas which provide shelter, security and an adequate food supply. Badgers live in a social group which following long-established pathways. Even though they live in a social group, they usually tend to feed alone, and only come together as a family in order to search for food in the best areas. They usually tend to eat earthworms, fruit, insects, cereals and grubs. The body weight of a badger varies with the seasons, where they live, amount of food available and their age.

Badgers have been persecuted for years in regards to them carrying the Bovine TB virus and passing it onto cattle, leading to the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of cattle, not just in the UK. However, these accusations have become quite controversial, and they have led to arguments, discussions and protests in regards to whether or not badgers are in fact the culprits for spreading Bovine TB, whether the cattle testing for Bovine TB was adequate enough, and whether or not other sources could be to blame for the spread of the Bovine TB. I did some research into badgers and Bovine TB, and found and interesting question and answers page on http://www.badgertrust.org.uk

I will include some question and answers in regards to badgers and Bovine TB, which have been taken from the Badger Trust website.

What is Bovine TV and what does it do to cattle?

Bovine TB in cattle is a debilitating, highly infections and progressive respiratory infection, caused by the organism Mycobacterium Bovis (M. Bovis), which forms lesions or “Tubercules”, most often in the lungs.
Grossly infected animals become emaciated, weak and lethargic and eventually die. But in countries with established test-and-slaughter eradication policies this doesn’t happen because the disease is detected in its relatively early stages. TB in warm-blooded mammals is a world-wide problem. Cattle are the main hosts-hence the name, bovine TB-but the disease affects many other mammals, from bison in Canada, to brush-tailed possum in New Zealand, buffalo in southern Africa and white-tailed deer in the United States.

How do cattle catch TB?
The exact route of transmission is not known, the principal route is from other cattle by breathing in bacilli expelled by infected animals as tiny aerosol droplets. It may also be caught through contamination of feeding and watering sites and from infected wildlife, including badgers and deer and possibly from other farmed animals such as deer and camelids (llamas, alpacas etc). The risk of disease spread is greatest in enclosed, poorly ventilated areas-notably over-wintering barns and sheds where cattle spend months confined together-but any contact between cattle, at shows and markets, for example, in livestock lorries or at single-fence farm boundaries where they can come into contact with other cattle are other obvious transmission points. It is not clear how much badgers are involved in the transmission of TB to cattle.
That said it’s worth adding that despite years of research, transmission routes (for example cattle to badger and badger to cattle) are still not properly understood.

How do badgers catch TB?
From each other, from cattle (probably through infected urine and faeces) and possibly from other infected farm animals and wildlife. Badgers spend most of their life below ground sharing the same air space, tunnels and chambers with other badgers, but decades of research at Woodchester Park (by what was the Central Science Laboratory, now part of Fera, the Food and Environment Research Agency) has shown that infected badgers and TB-free badgers often share the same setts. This might be explained by acquired immunity in a proportion of badgers or simply that badgers do not easily infect each other.

Not all badgers carry TB, and most are healthy. The randomized Badger Culling Trials (RBCT) which form the basis of the ISG’s final report and recommendations showed that even in Bovine TB hotspots, less than one in seven badgers were infected.

What does TB do to badgers?

The disease mainly affects the lungs and kidneys. Infected animals lose weight and body condition and experience breathing problems. Though debilitating, bovine TB in badgers is rarely fatal. Generally, infected badgers do not show any signs of illness. Badgers suffering from the advanced stages of bovine TB become severely emaciated and as disease carriers are then described as excretors – this means they can potentially shed live bacilli. Levels of bovine TB in badgers in hotspot areas jumped sharply immediately following the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001-2002 when the routine bovine TB test and slaughter programme for cattle was stopped. So there’s good evidence to suggest controlling bovine TB in cattle will reduce bovine TB levels in badgers.

Why do so many farmers want to cull badgers?


They argue that bovine TB won’t be beaten until all significant sources of the disease are tackled and to them that means killing wildlife, notably badgers. The National Farmers’ Union, a key source of information for many farmers, has been especially aggressive in calling for a cull of badgers. Everyone involved in the bovine TB debate, which has raged for decades, accepts that the disease can have a devastating impact on farmers. That’s not the issue. The debate is about the part played by badgers in spreading or maintaining TB in cattle, and whether slaughtering badgers –“culling”, is necessary to beat the disease.

The Badger Trust has always argued that decisions must be based not on anecdotal evidence, certainly not on prejudice and rumour, but on science. The country invested the best part of £50 million in the culling trials conducted and analysed by the ISG. Its final report recommended a series of cattle-based measures which it said were likely to reverse the increasing trend in cattle disease incidence…and which in addition might also reduce disease in badgers. Yes, the ISG did say that “…badgers do contribute significantly to the disease in cattle” but it went on to say: “…it is unfortunate that agricultural and veterinary leaders continue to believe, in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, that the main approach to cattle TB control must involve some form of badger population control.” Crucially in its summary findings and recommendations the ISG said: “Given its high costs and low benefits we therefore conclude that badger culling is unlikely to contribute usefully to the control of cattle TB in Britain, and recommend that TB control efforts focus on measures other than badger culling.”

An injectable vaccine for badgers has been licensed for use and development works is continuing to produce an oral bait vaccine.
Badger Trust now strongly believes that an injectable vaccine, and ultimately an oral vaccine, provides a very positive way forward in the long-term control of this disease. The “silver bullet” remains a cattle vaccine which will not only protect cattle from the disease but will also allow the UK farming industry to export cattle to EU countries. A test is being developed which will differentiate between a vaccinated cow and an infected cow. This will require acceptance within the EU.

After reading through these questions and answers, it is pretty clear that no one is 100% sure that badgers are to blame for the spread of Bovine TB through cattle. There are several organisations which are against the badger cull, including the RSPCA, Badger Trust, Team Badger, Save me Trust and Defra. These campaigns have gained media coverage through the help and support of celebrities, including Queen rocker Brian May. Brian May’s has been part of several protests regarding the stopping of the badger cull. He established the Save me Trust, which helps many animals, and he also collaborated on a badger cull protest song with Brian Blessed.

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I decided to research into protest posters and flyers, in order to gain some ideas and thoughts about how I can design my front cover of the magazine. I have included below, some of the protest posters I found whilst researching online.

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Photograph of a poster used in at a Taunton protest

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Team Badger anti cull poster

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Care for the Wild poster

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Badger Trust poster

After looking at the posters above, they contain very similar things, for example, they all have bold red writing, which suggests to me it has been used to represent blood. It may sound odd, but they all contain a drawing or a photograph of a badger, yes it may be silly for me to think that they wouldn’t, but sometimes posters are mainly words. Using an image or a photograph of a badger can be seen to appeal to a wide variety of audience, from young to old, seeing a cute badgers face on a poster, will make us feel somewhat sorry for what is happening to them and thus meaning that we take a closer look at the poster or the advert, to see what it is about.

The posters contain the logo of the company or companies which are supporting the anti-badger cull. They contain website details, dates of protests, and information regarding what the government is planning to do with the badger cull. They are very informative, bold and striking. Something which a magazine front cover needs to be.

My Magazine Front Cover:

Taking the above posters into consideration, I then had to decide what I wanted on my front cover. I decided that I would produce an anti-cull front cover for my magazine. One thing for certain is that I would need to photograph a badger. The second thing I had to decide, is whether or not I wanted to produce a 100% real photograph or a 100% fake photograph. If I wanted to produce a real photograph, I would have to find badgers in their natural sett and attempt to photograph them closely. I knew that this would be extremely hard as badgers are nocturnal animals, thus meaning, I would have to find a secluded area at night where a badger sett was located, in order to set up my equipment in order to shoot. Badger locations are secret, due to illegal hunting and culling, so attempting to find them would be difficult and there was no way to guarantee that if I did find a badger sett, that they would actually come out. Therefore, after thinking through my options, I decided that I would produce a 100% fake photograph for my magazine cover.

I knew that I would have to either find captive badgers in a zoo type enclosure, in which I could photograph them, or I would have to be creative and use my own drawings of badgers similar to the ‘Care for the wild’ poster, and paste my drawings into a photograph. However, A relative of mine is fortunate enough to be visited by a family of badgers, in the garden at night. Food is put out for them on a large patio in the garden, and they sit eating the food merrily until it’s all gone. I decided that these would be the badgers I would photograph for my magazine front cover, as I would be able to get somewhat close to them, as they would be sat in front of glass doors, whilst they ate. I decided to stay at the relatives house most of the night, into the early hours of the morning photographing these badgers. I positioned myself behind one of the curtains which cover part of the large glass doors. I set up my camera with the correct exposure, as there was a garden light which would turn on depending on whether or not movement had triggered it. I then sat and waited for them to arrive. The family of badgers arrived, only two decided to venture closer to the glass doors for their food, the rest decided to take food and run, or were searching around the garden for other insects to eat. Perhaps they knew I was waiting there for them. I managed to capture several photographs of them. Some better than others, as badgers do run away quite fast at the sight of any movement or noise from a neighbours cat wanting to steal food from them.

I began looking at the photographs of the badgers I had taken the previous evening and I knew that I would have to choose a suitable photograph of a location, similar to where a badger sett would be, as the surrounding patio area in the image would not make a great or appealing magazine front cover. I knew that I would have to find a suitable location to cut and paste these badgers into. I looked through old photographs I had taken, of my local forest. These would be perfect for me to cut and paste badgers into, as it is similar to a badger sett which is situated in secluded, wooded, forest areas.

Therefore, this means that for this assignment, I would be producing a 100% ‘FAKE, FALSE’ photograph for my magazine front cover. I would be using several photographs, cutting and pasting them onto another photograph, in order to produce one final photograph. This is something which I was entirely against at the beginning of this assignment and set of exercises previously. However, I knew that without doing so, my front cover would not be how I wanted it to look. I knew that I would be unable to photograph badgers at night in their natural setting, nor out in the daylight in a forest, so this was the only way I would be able to re-create my desired final photograph. This would be going against everything I believed in with regards to pure photography and using fake photographs, however, if I was going to do this, then I wanted to produce a photograph which would be realistic, nothing overly Photoshoped or manipulated. I wanted a final photograph which when viewed upon the front cover of a magazine, readers would question whether or not it was real or fake, or a manipulated photograph.

I began by looking through the photographs I had previously taken of my local forest. I decided upon three as my final choice, but I would have to narrow it down to just one.

One

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Two

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Three

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I decided to choose photograph one as the one I would use for the front cover, as it looked more realistic. I could imagine looking down into the wooded area, and seeing badgers rummaging around for food. It would look almost as though you were watching them secretly, hidden by the leaves of the trees.

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Once I had chosen the background image and location, I then had to decide whether or not I would produce a colour photograph for the front cover or a monochrome photograph for the cover. When I think of a magazine front cover, I think of bold colours which are used to draw your attention to looking over at that certain magazine. After taking advice from friends and family, I decided to use a colour photograph for the magazine front cover, as I wanted the bold green colour from the leaves, to draw the viewers attention in.

Now that I had decided on using a colour photograph, I then had to manipulate it slightly. I used Photoshop Elements 9 as my processing software. I opened the photograph and began with the adjustments. I adjusted the contrast, brightness, levels, hue and saturation and details. I saturated the colour of the trees and leaves to make the green stand out, drawing the viewer’s attention to the photograph. I used the detail smart brush to darken the ground areas, bringing out the details at the same time.

After the background photograph had been processed, I then chose a selection of photographs of the badgers.

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I opened these photographs in Photoshop and adjusted the details, colour hue and contrast. Once that was completed, I then cut each badger out, using the quick selection tool, and paste them into the forest scene. I adjusted the size, colour, brightness, detail and added a blur filter to each badger, in order to make them ‘Blend’ into the forest area. I used a Vignetting tool, to darken the edges of the photograph to add more effect.

Once the badgers were pasted into the location, I then had to think about writing on the photograph, in order to make it a front cover. I tried several types of font, wording, colours and logos, on Word, Paint and Photoshop. I made up a magazine name called Animal Rights Magazine. I focused on putting the name towards the top of the photograph, as this would be the main focal point. I decided to stick to see through writing, rather than a box with writing in it, as that would cut out too much of the photograph and the background. I then decided to come up with a slogan to add to the bottom of the photograph. I chose ‘End the Badger Cull’, I didn’t want to steal the ‘Stop the Cull’ from the actual protest posters above.

I then chose an image of a bar code from google image, which I saved, cut and paste into the photograph, to make it look like a real magazine front cover. After that, I decided that the front cover would need headlines of articles inside. Most magazines have sneak peek headlines on their front covers, which relate to the relevant articles inside, in order to draw the viewer’s attention. Taking inspiration from the questions asked on the Badger Trust website, I decided on ‘ The Truth Behind Badger Culling ‘, ‘ Are Badgers Really to Blame ‘, ‘ Will Protests Help Stop The Culling ( Details of Local Protests Available Inside ) ‘Readers Views on the Cull’. I then played around with colouring of the wording, I decided to use red, bold writing for the headlines of articles, similar to the bold red writing which adorn the protest posters, symbolizing badger blood. I then decided to make the magazine name white, the same with the slogan at the bottom. Choosing white made the writing stand out from the background, which also meant that it framed the photograph so that your attention was drawn into the space in the middle of the photograph, where I had situated the badgers. Below is my final magazine front cover: ( Please note, I have realised that there is a spelling mistake with the word Available )

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Conclusion:

This was a very hard assignment to complete. It took a lot of thinking about whether or not I would choose a book cover or a magazine cover, what topic I would choose to display on either, what I could photograph for the cover and how I would display it. Would I produce an only slightly manipulated photograph, or would I go all the way and produce a straight out fake, manipulated photograph. My mind was constantly thinking about possibilities.

With recent media coverage of animal hunting, culling and poaching, I decided that I would follow this route, and would therefore produce a magazine cover. I was extremely fortunate to have a relative with badgers in the garden, otherwise my photograph may have gone down another route, and I could have been exploring poaching and hunting of endangered animals such as big cats, rhino etc, which would have meant a trip to the local zoo or safari park. The possibilities were endless. Knowing that I would be photographing badgers meant that I had to take a risk on firstly whether or not they would actually arrive at the house, or whether the one night I was waiting with camera in hand, they would not show. Thankfully they did show. I’m not used to photographing wildlife, and it would be something that I wouldn’t mind trying again in the future, however, I didn’t expect them to be as fast-moving and skittish as they were. Many of my photographs were blurred or weren’t exactly the best. I was very lucky with the few I did manage to salvage which were in focus and were clear shots.

With the badger photographs taken, I then had to decide whether or not the surroundings would be suitable for a magazine front cover. After looking at the photographs, I decided that they weren’t thee best, and would need to be manipulated. At the beginning of this set of exercises and this final assignment, I was fully against fake photographs. Photographs which were 100% fake and manipulated in my eyes were false advertising and were ‘tricking’ readers and viewers. However, I knew that these badger photographs wouldn’t make a striking anti-cull magazine front cover as they were. Which therefore meant that I was going to have to produce a 100% fake final photograph for this magazine front cover. Once that decision had been made, I decided to go for it. I set myself limits in which I still wanted to produce a photograph which was real looking, not over Photoshoped or manipulated. I wanted the badgers to look as though they were in their natural environment and to blend into the background photograph. I wanted viewers to question whether or not the photograph was real or fake.

Using Photoshop to completely cut and paste several photographs together was quite tricky. I ended up using self-help guides on YouTube, in order to help me learn techniques and which tools to use. It took me several attempts with locating the badgers, background colouring, positioning of the writing and the colour of the writing, however, I am pleased with the final photograph and the magazine cover. There are areas which I would change if I had the chance, and that would be the outlines of the badgers. Because they were photographed at night, and some of their feet weren’t in clear detail, you can see on a few that they are manipulated into the photograph. However, from a distance, they do blend in quite well. It’s only if you zoom in close enough, you can tell that they are not ‘From’ that particular photograph. This is my fault, and it is because I wasn’t 100% secure using the tools on Photoshop. Perhaps with more experience, I will be better at using these tools, and I would be able to blend items into other photographs better.

Even though I was against fake photographs being used on advertising and in media, I must admit that I like my final magazine front cover. It is bold and bright, Not only have I included a family of badgers in the photograph which ‘Pull at out heart strings’ and make the viewer feel ‘Sorry’ for them, but I have included them in their natural environment, showing that they are not purposely causing thousands of cattle deaths, they aren’t purposely walking through cattle fields to spread the virus, they are timid animals which are only interested in searching for food to survive. I’ve also used the bold red writing which we subconsciously think of as the badgers blood, similar to the protest posters.

Will I be using photograph manipulation like this again? My honest opinion is that I don’t know. After researching photographers such as Nick Ut, E. Chambré Hardman and Alvin Langdon Colburn, I can honestly say that I have used alterations similar to theirs, when processing my digital photographs and black and white prints whilst in college. I have manipulated brightness or darkness, I have cropped images or removed blemishes, so therefore I have somewhat produced false photographs. However, as mentioned previously, I believe there is a fine line as to whether or not small innocent manipulations to a photograph such as the ones just mentioned, can be seen as deceitful and fake, as I have not altered those photographs to deceive anyone, nor have I altered them to an extent that they no longer look like the original photograph. I have only manipulated them in order to enhance the original photograph, not to alter or change it.

My views are still the same, and haven’t changed in regards to false advertising, fake photographs etc, however, I admit that for this assignment, I have produced a 100% fake photograph for this magazine front cover. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and my beliefs, and to challenge myself to produce a fake photograph. I haven’t used manipulations to an image like this before, so this assignment was the best to attempt something as drastic as this. Perhaps in the future, if the opportunity arises and I am forced to manipulate several photographs in order to produce a striking final photograph, then I may do it, however, I will not be using such techniques or methods again in the near future. I will however, still use the basic editing tools to adjust my digital photographs such as highlights and shadows, contrast, dust removal, brightness, but there will be no more cutting and pasting, does this mean I am knowingly producing false photographs? I suppose you could argue that I am, and that any alterations to an image means that you are producing a false photograph. It is a hard decision to make, and I think manipulations to photographs cross very fine lines.

Assignment Updated:

After submitting this assignment, I received my Tutor’s feedback.

“Your choice of background scene I did find curious though …. As for a magazine the format of most is normally portrait as opposed to landscape … therefore I think I might have been more inclined to use image 3 rather than image 1 in that respect.

It took me a while to pinpoint why this magazine cover looked a little odd though … but I think it might be down to the fact that we are viewing badgers here in broad daylight … when you would normally only expect to see them in photographs that have been taken at night with the use of artificial lighting … seeing as they are nocturnal animals.  Surely, this point in itself renders the image somewhat ‘fake’ in that respect ? From a technical perspective …. Some of the badgers do look a little ‘stuck’ on to be fair … which was always going to be a challenge for you given that both images have been lit using different light sources (IE: Ambient / Artificial) So with regards to this … it might be worth looking at trying to perhaps colour balance the badgers to the background independently before dropping them in.  This can be a very tricky exercise in colour and will test your Photoshop skills … so it might also be worth trying the same exercise in monochrome … which makes things much easier as you are only really dealing with contrast then.  A monochrome cover would also be easy to argue given that it leans towards the badgers natural colorings !” Keith Roberts (Tutor)

After reading through my Tutor’s feedback, I can agree with what he says and advises me to change. Magazine front covers are usually portrait format, which therefore means that my landscape cover would be out of place and would look odd amongst the magazines on supermarket shelves. Therefore, I will be using Image 3 for the new updated magazine cover.

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In regards to converting the image to Monochrome, I think would be a good idea. When I first started this assignment, I did wonder whether or not to have a colour or monochrome front cover. I took into consideration that Badgers were nocturnal animals, and by using a monochrome image, I would be able to produce a more realistic final image, however, with advice from friends and family, I decided to choose a colour image for my final magazine cover, as colour would stand out more when sitting on a shelf.

Taking my tutor’s advice into consideration, a monochrome image would not only work better for producing a more realistic front cover, but it will also help me to Photoshop the Badgers into the image. When ‘Cutting and Pasting’ the badgers into my first front cover, I did find it awkward as the colours were completely different with it being two or more photographs with different lighting sources, therefore, I had to try my best to alter any colour sliders etc to try and blend the badgers into the image. I did mention in my conclusion above, that I was somewhat unhappy with the cut and paste results. By converting the image to monochrome, I should be able to focus more on the contrast and lighting when blending the badgers into the image, rather than focusing on colour.

With the conversion to monochrome, I would have to remember that the coloured writing may not work against the monochrome background. Therefore, when re-doing my magazine cover, I would have to alter the colouring to make sure that the writing was readable and clear, and to make sure that it still stood out.

I began by selecting my new image. I opened it in Lightroom and converted it to black and white. I used the adjustment sliders to alter the tone, contrast, brightness, darkness, tone curve in order to produce a monochrome image I was happy with. I saved this copy and then opened it in Photoshop Elements 9. I used the Smart Detail Brush, and selected the detail brush to bring out details in the trees towards the top of the image and the foliage. Afterwards, I decided to focus on placement of the text as I didn’t want to paste any badgers into the image first, only to find that the text wouldn’t fit correctly afterwards. I began with the header. As mentioned above, if I decided to stick to the colouring I used on my first colour front cover, it may not work so well on this monochrome image. I tried white colouring first, however, it blended into the white area towards the top of the image too much and couldn’t be seen that clearly. Therefore, I decided to use a deep red colour as this stood out a lot more and could be seen better. For the rest of the writing, I decided to keep it all white as it stood out against the monochrome floor in the image.

After finishing the text placement, I moved onto cut and paste. I cut and pasted the barcode using the quick selection tool, into the bottom right-hand corner of the image with the surrounding text, similar to how magazine covers position theirs. I then took each badger image, and opened them individually in Lightroom. I converted all of them to black and white, then used the same adjustments and techniques as used on the background image, in order to produce monochrome images I was happy with. Below are a few examples:

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I saved all of them, then opened them individually in Photoshop. Using the quick selection tool, I cut each badger out of their image and pasted them into the front cover image. I adjusted them to fit accordingly and then adjusted them in order to make them blend into their surroundings.

Below is my updated final magazine front cover:

Final Magazine Cover - Monochrome

Final Magazine Cover – Monochrome

I am much happier with this magazine cover than my first. I think the monochrome works better than colour and I was able to blend the badgers in easier than with the colour version. I wanted the image to have an infrared feeling to it, as though I had shot this image using an infrared filter due to badgers being nocturnal.

I did still have trouble trying to blend them into the background completely as I am still working on how to cut and paste properly whilst adjusting the surroundings and making them blend in. Perhaps if the images of the badgers were not taken under artificial lighting, then I could have converted them to monochrome better, helping them to blend in easier.

However, I do think that this second version is better than the first and looks more realistic. I hope to learn how to cut and paste better as time goes on. I will read techniques online and watch videos to help me.

Any research my tutor has suggested for me to look at will be added to the assignment above.

References:

The Photograph – By Graham Clarke – Published by Oxford University Press 1997. ISBN: 978-0-19-284200-8 –

Pages 187-207  The Photograph Manipulated.

Chambré Hardman, E.

The Birth of the Ark Royal 1950 – By E. Chambré Hardman
Langdon Coburn, Alvin.
Fifth Avenue from the St. Regis, Platinum Print – By Alvin Langdon Coburn
Times Square (The Christmas Tree) 1912, Gelatin Silver Print – By Alvin Langdon Colburn
The Tunnel Brothers 1908, Gum Platinum Print – By Alvin Langdon Colburn
Ut, Nick.
Vietnam Napalm 1972 Photograph – Trang Bang Village – By Nick Ut for Associated Press.

http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Watchf-AP-I-VNM-APHS021000-Vietnam-Napalm-1972/e674e44489a54fbca89b41a7d821b89e/1/1

Lange, Dorothea.

Migrant Mother Photograph.Florence Owens Thompson, ‘Migrant Mother’, Nipomo, March 1936. By Dorothea Lange for the FSA. Published in

Dorothea Lange. Phaidon 55. Phaidon Press Limited, London 2001. Pages 38-39.

ISBN: 071484053x

http://petapixel.com/2011/08/01/iconic-photo-exposed-migrant-mother/

Ditched, Stalled and Stranded Photograph, San Joaquin Valley, California, 1935.  By Dorothea Lange for the FSA. Published in

Dorothea Lange. Phaidon 55. Phaidon Press Limited, London 2001. Pages 30-31.

ISBN: 071484053x

  • President Abraham Lincoln Photograph
  • Josef Stalin Photograph
  • Benito Mussolini Photograph

Article By Lee Moran, 28th February 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107109/Iconic-Abraham-Lincoln-portrait-revealed-TWO-pictures-stitched-together.html

Self Magazine and Kelly Clarkson Article

Beauty Redefined Blog, By BR Admin 03 December 2014

http://www.beautyredefined.net/photoshopping-altering-images-and-our-minds/

Photographs of book front covers:

  • Roald Dhal; James and the giant peach, Charlie and the chocolate factory – Google Images
  • Charlotte Bronte; Jayne Eyre – Google Images
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Great Gatsby – Google Images

Research into Badgers:

http://badger.org.uk/

http://badger.org.uk/badgers/badger-portrait.aspx

http://www.binfieldbadgers.org.uk/about_badgers.htm

http://www.badgertrust.org.uk

http://www.badgertrust.org.uk/threats/bovine-tb.aspx

http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/badgers

Brian May Photograph:

‘May leads protest against badger cull

Article by Brian Whelan, 01 June 2013
Badger Posters:
  1. Poster used at a Taunton Protest – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-33946471
  2. Team Badger Anti Cull protest poster – Google Images
  3. Care for the Wild poster –  Google Images
  4. Badger Trust poster – Google Images
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Project: The Value of Raw

The two most common digital image formats on a camera are TIFF and JPEG. However, many cameras are now offering the ability to save your images in a RAW format. This, as the name suggests, is the format in which the image is captured, before in-camera processing.

The subject of RAW files generates perhaps more controversy and confusion in digital photography than any other. Exaggerated claims are made for RAW’s advantages and it certainly has great merits, but working in RAW slows down operations and there’s potential for misjudged conversions.

Below is an example of a RAW photograph and a JPEG photograph, taken from 10000birds.com website. The photographer quotes, “Also I found that by taking the photos in RAW mode produces better results, especially in low light conditions.  The RAW format has more information and you can get more noise out of the photo and the resulting colours are more vivid.  Here is a photo comparing jpg vs RAW at ISO 3200, 1/500th sec, f 5.6, with a 100-400 mm zoom.”

Raw:

A RAW camera file contains

  • Minimal processed data
  • The complete loss of data from the camera’s sensor
  • Higher in dynamic range, (ability to display shadows and highlights)
  • Lower in contrast ( flat, washed out)
  • Not as sharp (details)
  • Not suitable printing straight from the camera, ((Will need processing before printing)
  • At least 8 Bits per colour

A simple way of explaining RAW is to think of an image that is waiting to be analysed. Imagine that you have just completed a survey, you have piles of data to analyse before you can draw any conclusions. Crucially, someone else could study your data and research differently to you, leading to different conclusions. A RAW file is essentially the same, the data is waiting to be processed, but different processes can extract different results, some obtain better colour or more detail and so on.

There are two main reasons for shooting in RAW format. The first is that as modern high-quality camera sensors operate at a higher bit-depth from the JPEG or TIFF that is created and saved, they have the potential to capture a wider range of brightness. This is not as great as many manufacturers and some people claim it to be, but nevertheless, there is at least a small advantage, perhaps one or two F-stops.

The second reason, of real practical value, is that the original, camera settings, such as white balance and contrast, are saved and kept separate from the original capture data. With a JPEG or TIFF, the camera’s processor applies the settings you choose and throws away the other possibilities, but with a RAW file, you can go back and select any setting you like later, on the computer.

Taken from Digital Photography Masterclass book, We have seen that whenever you want the greatest flexibility with an image, the best strategy is to set your camera to record RAW files. You work with the larges file your camera can muster, and don’t commit to white balance, colour space, or sharpening. Some cameras store RAW data with more detail than the usual RGB file, that is, with 10 or more bits of data instead of 24. This again allows more room for manipulation.

However, the files are much larger than even the highest quality JPEG equivalents, slow when recording in RAW. In short, the flexibility gained from working with RAW files is balanced by the slower and more labour intensive workflow.

The need to convert RAW files before the images can be viewed is a nuisance. To work around this, many cameras save a small JPEG version alongside the RAW file, to allow you to view it on the LCD screen or your monitor. This preview image applies standard camera settings and, typically, the result is bright and cheerful, in contrast to the unadjusted RAW image, which may give the impression that the JEPF file is superior to the RAW file.

Processing RAW images:

To make the most of  RAW files, you need to convert them into a standard image file, in TIFF or JPEG. When you shoot a RAW image, your computer will process the image, creating an image file, rather than the camera. Therefore, you will need processing software. RAW converters vary greatly in their performance, not only in obvious features such as ease of use and speed, but also the quality of image they produce, their interpretation of the RAW data varies.

One vital thing you should remember is that the original RAW files should remain untouched throughout all of your changed. When you save them, it must always be to a new file, the processed image. It is at this point that you tell the file which colour space to operate in. This means you can return to the original RAW file and make new adjustments without fear that your earlier adjustments, such as choice of colour space, may have compromised the integrity of your image data.

My Exercises:

I have arranged a trip in October, to go on the severn valley railway steam train, from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. I will read through all of my exercises for this set of work, and the final assignment. I will plan each exercise, and the final assignment around my trip. I want to keep the same theme of trains and this train trip for these exercises and for the assignment.

References:

http://digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg/

Digital Photography Master Class, Tom Ang, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London 2008. Page 184-187.

ISBN: 9781409333906

Images:

http://10000birds.com/bird-photography-and-flash.htm

Assignment Two: Seeing Like Your Camera

This assignment revolves around high contrast scenes. You will need to produce a set of photographs that demonstrate that you can pre-visualise how your digital camera ‘sees’ a scene. The ability to anticipate how your camera sensor will render a scene will help you produce a higher quality image which will need less post processing.

Part One:

Choose a minimum of four situations from the following:

  1. Street scene in the middle of a clear, sunny day. Narrow streets and high building which cast deep, long shadows.
  2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.
  3. Photographing people in the shade while in the background is in the sunshine, Example. a group portrait in the shade of a tree.
  4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light.
  5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.
  6. Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.
  7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.
  8. A scene with strong incident dappled light. These conditions are often found when photographing in a forest on a sunny day.

The locations and subject matter of the scenes that you photograph are up to you. You must submit three images for each of the four situations that you choose, in total that is 12 images. You will need to decide the most appropriate metering mode and settings for your camera. You are to shoot in JPEG. The aim is to get correctly exposed images straight from your camera, with NO POST PROCESSING.

With each set of images, you are to submit brief written notes about the technical challenges that each situations presented, how you dealt with the high contrast scenes and the decisions you took regarding camera setting and composition. Your notes should analyse the differences between how you saw the scene, how you thought the camera would reproduce it, and how the camera sensor finally rendered it.

I decided to choose the following situations:

  • Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.
  • Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.
  • Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.
  • A scene with strong incident dappled light. These conditions are often found when photographing in a forest on a sunny day.
  • Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

I was lucky enough to be going on holiday to Lake Como in Italy, and visiting surrounding areas such as Milan, Switzerland,which would be perfect for my assignment. My tutor recently advised me to step out of my comfort zone and begin photographing scenes, location, objects etc, that I hadn’t done before. Whilst in Italy, I never used a tripod, as I didn’t take one with me. I will discus if this had any effect on my images in my conclusion at the bottom of the page. I also used a new compact system camera whilst in Italy, I used the Samsung NX1000. This camera allowed me to change lenses, and was small enough to fit in my bag whilst I was sightseeing.

I decided to do some research into travel photography before I took my photographs for this assignment.

Taken from the Digital Photography Masterclass book, Travel has been a favourite genre of photography ever since new technology first enabled photographers to leave the studio, and now that the professional quality camera are more affordable and globe trotting is easier than ever before, travel photography has almost reached saturation point.

The attraction of travel and the opportunities it offers also present the greatest obstacle to taking your photography further. It is no longer enough to successfully convert the colour and beauty of a place that is magical and exotic to you; it has almost certainly been photographed before. To take your photography beyond the predictable, you need to reveal fresh insights. As we set off on our journeys, we share similar ambitions to the very first travel photographers, although, unlike them, we don’t need to take along a wagonload of equipment. We all want to record new sights and to be able to share them, and maybe sell them, when we return home. It is the dream of many people to combine travel with professional photography, but with almost every niche of the world accessible to tourists and hundreds of millions of travel snaps being taken each year, what hope of there is succeeding?

As a result of over exposure to travel photography, only photographs that offer more than one dimension will succeed. The foundation is naturally a stunning composition, a fabulous play of light, or a beautiful subject. If you can also capture a human emotion, tell a story in which one picture entices the viewer to look forward to the next one, and inform as you delight, then you will make a breakthrough. Obviously, you need razor sharp reflexes to respond to changing circumstances, your subjects moving unpredictably, the shifting light in situations that are unfamiliar to you. This call for well practised camera technique and equipment that can react quickly. You also need acute sensitivity to the friendliness or antipathy of your subject, and to the cultural and social subtleties to which you are a stranger.

Gary Arndt has more than 116,000 Twitter followers and has won multiple awards for his photography. He is known for his inspirational photos that span all seven continents. He quotes, “In 2007 I sold my home to travel around the world. Since then I’ve been traveling non-stop and have visited over 100 countries. During that time I went from being an absolute novice to an award winning travel photographer….This site is a collection over over 20,000 travel photos from my years of traveling around the globe. Travel photography has become my primary means of sharing my experiences with the world.”

I decided to research Arndt, as he has several collections of work taken around Italy. I am hoping that his travel photographs of Italy, will help inspire some of my photographs.

Below are some examples of his travel photography whilst in Italy.

Pisa 2009:

After looking through his travel photographs of Italy, I noticed that he has produced photographs, similar to the situations recommended for this assignment. I will discuss my thoughts below his photographs.

Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy

Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.

For this photograph, he has used the backlighting from the sun, to make this building stand out. With the building’s front being in the shade, he has been able to include all of the sharp, intricate details of the carvings and paintings on the building. If he had taken this photograph farther away, he may not have been able to capture all of the details, as the sunlight would have reflected into the lens too much, causing the building to be darker and in shadow.

Street scene at Pisa, Italy

Street scene at Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

  1. Street scene in the middle of a clear, sunny day. Narrow streets and high building which cast deep, long shadows.

This photograph is ideal for the situation described above. Taken on a sunny day, in a narrow Italian street. Surrounded by tall buildings. The sun casting long shadows on the pathways and on opposite buildings due to the shape and height of the buildings.

Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy

Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009, Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

This is a beautiful photograph. He has managed to use the only available light coming from the candles around the cathedral and the sunlight coming through the windows, in order to capture the insides of the cathedral. Even though it is a dark interior, he has managed to produce a well lit photograph. You can see all of the details on the walls and ceilings, the colour of paint on the ceilings and the colours in the stained glass windows.

The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa - Italy

The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

Similarly to the photograph above, he has used the light coming through the window, in order to capture this stained glass window. The details and colours are sharp and bold. He has also managed to capture the top section of Jesus on the Cross, in the bottom of the frame. It is very a unique and interesting composition, as it looks as though the stained glass window of the Virgin Mary, is praying over the statue of Jesus on the Cross.

Sculpture at pulpit of Cathedral of Pisa - Italy

Sculpture at pulpit of Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

With this photograph, he has managed to use available light again, in order to illuminate this sculpture. The details are strong and the photograph seems to fade towards the outside of the frame, with an almost shadow like appearance.

Naples 2011:

Inside the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy

Inside the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

For this photograph, he has managed to use the only available light, which is the sunlight through the windows, in order to light this location. There are shaded areas and shadows, but there are also illuminated areas, especially on parts of the buildings towards the centre of the frame. The details are clear and sharp.

Tall hallways inside Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy

Tall hallways inside Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

Similar to the photograph above, he has used natural window light for this photograph. The details are strong and sharp. The blue colour coming through the window is beautiful and works well with the beige, brown coloured stonework.

Close-up shot of the ceiling in Galleria Umberto I - Naples, Italy

Close-up shot of the ceiling in Galleria Umberto I – Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

I really like this photograph. It is an unusual composition, yet it works really well. The details in the roof of the Galleria are immense, and it’s not until you look up, that you notice the intricate details all around you. He has used the natural window light to photograph this location, but he has also used the backlit scene, as the sunlight has back lit the windows and the tops of the buildings are lit by in indirect sunlight, in this photograph. In my opinion, it’s a very hypnotising photograph, I really like it.

Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy

Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

This was a hard choice to make, trying to choose what this photograph comes under, however, I believe that it is a backlit scene, even though he has a very tight, cropped frame. The building is in direct and indirect sunlight, as you can tell that some sort of sunlight is shining on the front of the building as the middle section is lit up and illuminated. If it was entirely backlit, then it would be like the photograph Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, with the front part in shade.

Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy

Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

This photograph shows an example of a backlit section of building with indirect light, and direct lighting. Because this building curves around slightly, the sunlight has fallen onto the building differently in different places. In one section, the building is being backlit with indirect sunlight, therefore that part of the building is in shade, whereas the other part of the building is illuminated by direct sunlight, making it stand out. The section being lit by direct sunlight, appears to draw my attention more, and the statues stand out more, most likely because that part of the building is closer to the frame.

Amalfi Coast 2013:

For this set of photographs, I believe they could be a combination of

4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.

Because the Amalfi Coast is similar to Lake Como,  I decided to include this set of photographs into my research, as I hope to gain inspiration from them. I notice that he included several angles of the Amalfi Coast, and doesn’t just stick to one area. He also zooms in on sections of buildings.

Beautiful view of the ocean and cliff at the Amalfi Coast - Italy

Beautiful view of the ocean and cliff at the Amalfi Coast, Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3297-X2

GMA_3297-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3430-X2

GMA_3430-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Panorama of the buildings along the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Panorama of the buildings along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Detail of buildings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy

Detail of buildings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

After researching Gary Arndt, I decided to research Colby Brown.

Taken from his bio page on his website, ‘Colby Brown is a photographer, photo educator and author based out of Boulder, Colorado. Specializing in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography, his photographic portfolio spans the four corners of the globe. Throughout his work, one can see that he combines his love of the natural world with his fascination of the world’s diverse cultures. Each of his photographs tells a story of life on this planet.

Colby became a photographer back in 2006, rapidly rising in the ranks of the photo industry. Not too long after picking up his first DSLR, Colby was leading workshops for National Geographic in South America, further spurring his love for both travel and photo education. In 2011, he founded The Giving Lens, an organization that blends photo education with support for various NGO’s and causes around the world. TGL helps fight for child education, clean drinking water projects, species preservation, women’s rights and much more.

As one of the most influential photographers on the internet with an audience reaching millions around the world, Colby creates & helps run various social influencer marketing campaigns for some of the biggest companies and destinations in the world, including Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Iceland Naturally, Jordan Tourism Board, Australia.com, Travel Alberta, Visit California and many more.’

Similarly to Gary Arndt, I noticed that Colby Brown photographs situations similar to the desired for this assignment. I will discuss my thoughts below his photographs.

"Sunrise Over Bagan"

Sunrise Over Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

In my opinion, this photograph could be a combination of

4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

He uses the available light from the sunset, to back light the building. You can still see faint details on the front of the building.

The Begining of the Universe

The Beginning of the Universe, Vivid Sydney, Australia. Colby Brown.

I believe this photograph could be a combination of

6. Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

Even though number 7 recommends it be an indoor scene, I believe this outdoor scene works well for this situation. The building is being illuminated and lit by several artificial lights, inside and out. The artificial lights in and around the building, reflect onto the water in the foreground. Different colours and shapes are reflected because of the lights.

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala - 2010

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala, 2010, Colby Brown.

I believe this photograph could be a combination of

4. Early morning or late evening landscapes with low angle incident light.

5. Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light

This is a beautiful photograph, captured as the sun is setting. The colours are beautiful. It is a late evening landscape, but he has managed to back light the subject, causing him to be in complete shadow.

"Grand Reflections"

Grand Reflections, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Colby Brown.

I believe this photograph could be a combination of

2. Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

6. Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

"Yi Peng"

Yi Peng, Chaing Mai, Thailand. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

Even though this is an outdoor event, I believe it can be classed as being illuminated by artificial light. He has captured this event with only the light from the lanterns available. The lanterns are of high luminance and make a really strong, beautiful photograph.

"Buddhist Prayer"

Buddhist Prayer, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

This is an indoor scene, and it is lit by a handful of candles. He uses the available light from the candles, to light the Buddhist Monk’s face and the surroundings. You can see the details on the wall and the texture of the flooring. It’s a lovely photograph, and it makes you feel as though you are sat with the Buddhist Monk.

"Petra by Night"

Petra by Night, Ancient City of Petra, Jordan. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

Similarly to the photograph Yi Peng, this is an outdoor scene, however, it is illuminated by the candles only. They omit high amount of light in order to reflect enough light onto the building, for it to be visible. The details are extremely sharp and strong, even with candle light. It is a beautiful and powerful photograph.

"A Homage to Buddha"

A Homage to Buddha, Angkor Wat City, Cambodia. Colby Brown.

7. Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light of high luminance, example. a desk lamp.

This is an interesting photograph. He uses the light from the candles which have been placed on this memorial, to photograph this situation. I also think that he has used some other type of artificial lighting, as you can see white light towards the middle of the frame. Perhaps he used a flash, or small hand held light.

After researching these two photographers and looking at their travel photography, I have gained a lot of inspiration and thoughts as to how I want my photographs of Italy to look. They both have similarities to the situations advised for this assignment, which means that in order for me to produce great final photographs, I should stick to the desired techniques at the beginning of this assignment.

Below are my photographs taken whilst on holiday in Lake Como, Italy and my time spent in Milan.

Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light:

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, I took this photograph whilst inside the Duomo Cathedral in Milan.

Even though this assignment asked you to produce ‘Correctly exposed images straight from your camera’, meaning that the histograms should show correctly exposed images, for this situation, I wanted to try and under expose the images, as I wanted the artificial light to be the main focus. Indoor scenes are usually quite dark anyway, unless they are lit by bright artificial lights, however, knowing that I was going to Milan’s cathedral, I knew this location would work best for this situation, as I knew that churches or cathedrals usually had candles or statues that were lit by lights, and I wanted something ‘different’, other than inside a living room lit by a light. Inside the Duomo in Milan, the lighting was a mixture between dark and light. Nearer to the stained glass windows, the light was bright as it was a hot sunny day outside, however, I found the rest of the inside quite dimly lit. There were a only few areas that were lit by artificial lights.

Milano

Duomo Cathedral-Milano

duomo alter

Duomo Alter Histogram

I sat down facing this beautiful alter, with statues which had been illuminated by artificial lights. Towards the top, the light was shining in through the stained glass windows. I decided to test a scene recognition for this image, however it wanted to use the flash, which I didn’t want for this image. I didn’t want strong white light through the windows, causing strong highlight clipping and loosing the colours from the stained glass, as this would be then classed as ‘Indoors with strong natural window light’. I decided to use an ISO of 800 for this because it was dark. I also used a fast shutter speed of 1/40sec and a wide aperture of F/4 in order to pick up the light, but not over expose the window light too much. However, when I looked at the histogram for this image, it is under exposed, which I expected. When I zoom into the stained glass window, there is some highlight clipping, and these areas have info loss. The details are more clearer towards the top, and the statues at the bottom are quite blurred when you zoom in. I think this is due to the ISO I used. If I had the chance to re do this image, I would try to make sure there was no over exposure on the stained glass windows, and I would try and make the detail on the bottom statues clearer.

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Duomo Cathedral-Milano

duomo candle

Taking inspiration from Colby Brown’s photograph Buddhist Prayer, I noticed that nearer to the window, candles were situated in a very long line. There was a lot of light coming off of the candles. For this image I used ISO 400, I kept a wide aperture of F/4 and fast shutter speed of 1/40sec, as it was still dark, even with the candle light. I stood at an angle and only photographed a section of the line of candles, keeping only the middle part in focus (The candle I lit). Looking at the histogram, it shows it being under exposed, which I expected.

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Hotel Lobby Light

Hotel light

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa, I noticed that our hotel had beautiful lights throughout the bottom floor. They reminded me of stained glass windows, as they were made out of different coloured pieces of glass. Because this ceiling light was too big for me to stand underneath and capture it fully, I decided to stand at an angle to photograph it. By doing so, I would also be able to include some shadow areas, which would frame the light, and make it ‘Stand out’ more. It was dusk when I took this photograph, however, being in Italy,  the sunlight through the window was still strong which meant that I used ISO 200 with aperture of F/4.5 and shutter speed 1/125sec. The histogram shows the shadow areas as being under exposed which I expected.

 

 Indoor space in which the only available light is strong natural window light.

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Chiesa Anglicana Cadenabbia

como big church red

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

This is a beautiful little church that was situated next door to the hotel I was staying in. I visited it on a very hot sunny day. Even though the sun was bright through the windows, inside the church was quite dimly lit. I did a few test shots and finally used ISO 800, Shutter speed 1/20sec, F/3.5. When looking at the histogram it shows it being averagely exposed, with only a slight rise in the shadow areas. There is slight highlight clipping on one of the windows. When zoomed in, I can see some noise in the image, I think this is due to the high ISO setting.

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Catholic Church – Cadenabbia

como small church

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

I found this small church behind our hotel the day after I arrived. It was pouring with rain, and no sun anywhere. Inside the church was extremely dimly lit,  no lights, and hardly any light coming through the windows. I stood with the door open behind me in order to let more light in. It took me a while to achieve the final image, I had to do a number of test shots, and scene recognition, but it wanted to use the flash, which would have been too harsh, and I only wanted the natural window light. I used ISO 800, 1/40sec, F/3.5 for this image. The window light isn’t as strong as I would have wanted it to be, however, the inside is still lit well, compared to how it was in real life, as it was quite dim. There is slight highlight clipping on the left hand side window, and when zoomed in, there is noise due to the high ISO. The histogram is almost average exposure, however, it is more towards the shadow area which I expected.

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Chiesa Anglicana, Cadenabbia.

 

como church window

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, and The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

I saw this small stained glass window towards the door of the church. The sun was shining directly through the window, however the inside of the church was still dimly lit in places. For this I used ISO 400, F/5.6 and 1/50sec. I did have to do some test shots, some had the detail of the paintings at the top, but the window itself was over exposed, and I knew it would cause a lot of highlight clipping, and loss of detail. I decided that I would rather have the detail on the window and the dark shadow area at the top of the image, than a over exposed image. After all, it was a ‘Backlit’ image, and I wanted to keep the detail on the window. This meant than when I looked at the histogram, it does show under exposure which I expected.

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Chiesa Anglicana – Cadenabbia

church windo como

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, and The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

This window was situated next to the door which I had left open. With the sun shining directly in through the window, I decided to do a scene recognition for this image first, to see what settings the camera thought the scene needed. It was ISO 200, but the test shots came out too under exposed, and there was a lot of black shadow areas with loss of info. I wanted an image that showed the detail of the angel paintings on the wall, but I wanted the main focus to be the light coming through the window. I used the ISO 200 and F/3.5, 1/40. The image is still dark, the histogram shows under exposure which I expected, however, this is how I wanted the image. The detail is good on the paintings. There is highlight clipping on the window, however, the detail of the dividing lines on the window is still clear.

 

 Any backlit scenes, whether in direct or indirect light.

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Duomo Cathedral – Milan

milan

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Castel Nuovo in Naples and Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples.

When I visited Milan, it was a hot, sunny day. When I rounded the corner and saw the Duomo cathedral, I could not believe the size of it. The cathedral was in direct sunlight, and I knew that if I wanted to photograph it with some back light, I would have to stand at an angle to it. I did photograph it front on, however, it didn’t have the effect I wanted. I wanted an image which showed the detail on the front of the Duomo, whilst still having the blue sky behind it, which meant I would have to stand close to it. For this image, I used an ISO 100 because there was enough light from the sun. I also used 1/400sec and f/6.3. The histogram shows average exposure which I hoped for.

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Chiesa Anglicana – Cadenabbia

como church outside

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photographs, Castel Nuovo in Naples and Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples.

As the church was situated in a way that I couldn’t photograph it front on, I decided to go around the corner towards the side of the church which lead to a secret area. For this image, the church itself was in strong direct sunlight, however the side of the church was also in some shadow, especially towards the bottom, as it was facing away from the sun. For this reason, I used ISO 100 for this as it was sunny with F/8 and 1/320sec. I did some test shots to see if I could lighten some of the shadow areas around the side of the church, however, this over exposed the grey brick area. When I looked at the histogram, I can see that it is average exposed, with some high spikes towards the shadow area which I expected.

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Chiesa Anglicana – Cadenabbia

small church histogram front

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

This was the front of the church located next door to my hotel. There was a small front step area. I was unable to stand directly in front of the church to photograph it’s entirety as it wouldn’t fit in the screen. Therefore, I had to stand at an angle, to the side of the front step area. With it being a hot sunny day, the church itself was sat in direct sunlight. There was a garden to the left hand side of the frame, with large palm like trees. These trees seemed to break up the direct sunlight, making the front of the church shaded in places. However, the strong sunlight was shining behind the front of the church, as you can see towards the top of the frame. Taken with ISO 100, F/8 and 1/320sec. Looking at the histogram, the photograph appears to be exposed well, however, it is slightly high towards the shadows which I expected.

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Stained Glass Window, Duomo Cathedral, Milan.

duomo cathedral stained glass window histogram

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph, The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

As I rounded the corner, about to que to visit the catacombs, I noticed this huge stained glass window, it’s even larger in real life. Unfortunately, his section of the cathedral was cornered off due to repairs, therefore, I was unable to go round the corner, in order to photograph it front on. I had to stand an at angle to the window whilst standing away the que as it was busy. The sunlight was shining directly through the window, which enabled me to capture all of the details and the colours within the glass panels. I also managed to capture the several sculptures/statues to the left hand side of the stained glass window. Similar to how Gary Arndt captured Jesus on the Cross in the corner of his photograph The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

 Taken with ISO 800, F/4 and 1/40sec, looking at the histogram, I can see that this photograph is underexposed. I expected this due to this location being dark and only illuminated by candles.

 

Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day.

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Inside the Duomo Cathedral, Milan.

 

Reflection window histogram Jesus

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s photograph, The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa.

As I was photographing the row of candles for the situation Indoor scenes illuminated by a single source of artificial light, I looked up and noticed there was a figure of Jesus on the Cross, in a framed glass box. The glass box was reflecting the images from the stained glass window on the opposing wall, and the candles below were illuminating the framed glass box. It was very unusual and I thought it would make an interesting photograph, similar to Gary Arndt’s photograph of The Virgin Mary. I took this photograph standing front on to the glass box as I wanted to include as much detail in the Jesus figure as possible, whilst including the stained glass window reflection.

Taken with ISO 1600, F/5 and 1/80sec, the histogram shows an average exposure with high levels towards the shadow area which I expected.

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Candle stand reflection histogram

As I was standing to photograph the large stained glass window near the Catacomb entrances, I noticed this filigree style stand. I’m unsure of what it was however, it was used to help corner off that certain area. I found it unusual, as the candle light was causing the filigree pattern to reflect onto the wall behind the stand, almost like a mirror image. Unfortunately, this photograph is not clear and has some camera shake and noise, as I was being gradually bumped by other visitors queuing. I didn’t have enough time or the chance to stand and adjust my camera settings. Thus leading to a blurred image. However, I still like it as it is very unusual.

Taken with ISO 1600, F/5 and 1/4sec, the histogram shows it being underexposed which I expected.

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Lake como histogram

Taking inspiration from Gary Arndt’s series of photographs Amalfi Coast 2013 and Colby Brown’s photographs The Beginning of the Universe and Lago de Atitlan.

This photograph was taken whilst looking out from the balcony of my hotel room in Lake Como. It was a hot clear night and the lights were reflecting across the water from the small commune of Bellagio. You can still see the snow on the tops of the mountains behind Bellagio. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a tripod, else I would have used it for this photograph. There is slight camera blur, as I had to rest my arms onto the balcony, in order to steady myself and the camera.

This was taken with ISO 1600, F4 and 1/4sec, the histogram shows it being underexposed which I expected as I didn’t want to use a flash, and I had to use settings which wouldn’t show too much camera shake and blur.

 

( Please note that I included the situation A Scene With Strong Dappled Light when I submitted this assignment to my tutor for marking, however, after receiving his feedback, I have decided to withdraw this category, as I don’t feel that it showcases my travel photography whilst in Italy, and it doesn’t work well for this assignment. I have therefore replaced this category with Number 6 Scenes which include object of very different reflectivity, even in flat light such as an over cast day. I looked through my photographs taken whilst in Italy, and have decided that they would work well for this category and for this assignment.) I have still included the withdrawn photographs below, in order for people to see why I decided to make changes.

 A scene with strong incident dappled light.

For this situation, I decided to use locations where I live, Rather than in Italy, because where I visited in Italy, there were no Forests.

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Snuff Mills

Snuff mills

It was a really hot sunny day when I took this image, which meant that the sun was shining through the trees. I stood at the beginning of a pathway because there was a lot of dappled light and reflections of the leaves on the floor. It looks like a secret pathway in a garden which you want to walk down to see what is at the end. After taking some test shots, I decided to use ISO 100, F/9 and 1/13sec for this image. The histogram shows an average exposed image which I was surprised about, as I thought it may show under exposed due to the darker areas towards the top of the trees. This does kind of show in the histogram with a rise towards the shadow area, however, it is well balanced. There is some highlight clipping on the floor in the large open area which I expected as the sun was shining directly onto it.

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Snuff Mills

Snuff mills tree

I decided to stand underneath the tree in order to capture the light that was shining through gaps in the leaves. I tried to keep the tree in the centre of the image to balance it out. For this image, I took a few test shots, some wanted to use the flash as it was dark and dimly lit stood under the tree, however, I wanted to purposely make the tree a shadow and only focus on the light falling in through the leaves and the gaps between the leaves, causing dappled light. I used ISO 100 as it was still fairly sunny, with F/14, 1/13sec. Looking at the histogram, the image is average exposed with a rise towards the shadow area, which is to be expected. There is also a small amount of highlight clipping in the cloud area which is peaking through one of the gaps.

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Green bank Cemetery

Head stone

This head stone was sat by itself under a tree. The sun was shining through the leaves of the tree onto the head stone, causing some dappled light. I decided to focus on the head stone itself and get as close to it as possible, in order to not have too much shadow from the tree. I used ISO 100 as it was a sunny day with F/5.6 and 1/100sec. When looking at the histogram I was surprised that it was averagely exposed, I though there would be a possibility of some under exposure from the shadow area towards the bottom of the head stone, however, the setting I used managed to expose it well.

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed this assignment, mainly because I was in a new country. This was my first time visiting Italy, so I was unsure of what locations or scenes I would be able to photograph for this assignment. Before I left for Italy, I read through this assignment, making notes for me to take, so when I was over there, I would be able to remind myself what was expected for this assignment. With the inspiration gained from researching Gary Arndt and Colby Brown’s photographs, I had an idea of what I wanted to photograph and how I wanted the photographs to look. I also thought about my tutors advice, and I knew that for this assignment, I would need to step out of my comfort zone, and experiment with locations, subjects and settings.

I was unable to take a tripod with me, therefore it does show some noise and blur in some of the images, especially inside the Duomo cathedral and the landscape view taken from my hotel balcony. If I could have used a tripod inside the Duomo, perhaps I could have experimented more with the settings to make the image of the alter more clearer. However, inside the Duomo itself was quite busy and we were on a time schedule which unfortunately meant that there was not much time for me to keep adjusting my camera settings. I also had to watch out for other tourists who would appear from no where and walk into my shot, which then meant I had to re shoot an image. Although, this is to be expected in a tourist area.

Whilst in Italy, I used a new Samsung system camera (NX1000). It was the first time I would use this camera other than experimenting with it at home, as I bought it specifically because it was small enough to fit into my bag, and I was able to change lenses. This meant that whilst there, it took me some trial and error test shots, in order to ‘Get to know my camera’. When I got back home, and took the images of locations where I live, I used my usual DSLR camera.

This assignment was aimed at making you ‘See’ like your camera, in order to produce correctly exposed images. However, for certain images, I decided that ‘Correct exposure’ would not work in certain circumstances. Therefore, I either under exposed an image, or slightly over exposed the image, for my desired final effect or emphasis on a certain area or subject. I have noted under each photograph my decision for doing so. I think it is a personal preference.

Part Two:

Select one of the four situations that you chose in part one and think about what the lighting conditions should be in order to reduce the contrast of the scenes that you photographed or even make them low contrast scenes. Think about the different variables over which you can have certain control, such as choosing in which weather to shoot (Overcast, Sunny), changing the composition (Avoiding deep shadows) or having some additional sources of light (Fill in flash).

Once you have decided which conditions would result in low contrast scenes, photograph the same three images in your chosen situation, in those conditions.

After reading through part two, one problem is that firstly I would be unable to re shoot the images I took whilst in Italy. Secondly,  I am unsure if it would help with my images, if I was able to change any. Making changes may help reduce the noise or blur in some images, however, I prefer them how they are. I have taken quite high contrast images, and I am unsure whether or not making them low contrast, would create a better final image.

It suggests that you think about what lighting conditions you would change and think about “additional sources of light (Fill in flash)”. The reason I don’t think it would help my images, is that I have under exposed certain images for a reason, example. desired effect or for technical reasons, such as highlight clipping or over exposure.

If I had to choose an example and discuss what would happen if I changed some settings or weather, I would choose the image below. This is a high contrast image. It is taken in bright direct sunlight. There is an area of shadow which contains slight loss of info in some areas. However, the histogram shows an average exposed image. Changing the composition of this wouldn’t work, as there would still be shadow due to the placement of the church, I think this would be the case in any weather situation. Lightening the image to show the detail which has been hidden in the shadow area, would only result in an over exposed top half of the building, leading to slight highlight clipping.

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 References:

Arndt, Gary.

http://travelphotos.everything-everywhere.com/

http://travelphotos.everything-everywhere.com/Europe

http://travelphotos.everything-everywhere.com/Europe/Italy

Pisa 2009:

Looking up the facade of the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Street scene at Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Looking up the pillars and ceiling of Cathedral of Pisa in Italy, Pisa 2009, Gary Arndt.

The Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Sculpture at pulpit of Cathedral of Pisa, Italy, Pisa 2009. Gary Arndt.

Naples 2011:

Inside the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt

Tall hallways inside Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Close-up shot of the ceiling in Galleria Umberto I – Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Entrance building to Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, Naples 2011. Gary Arndt.

Amalfi Coast 2013:

Beautiful view of the ocean and cliff at the Amalfi Coast, Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3297-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

GMA_3430-X2, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Panorama of the buildings along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt.

Detail of buildings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Amalfi Coast 2013. Gary Arndt

Brown, Colby.

Bio

Sunrise Over Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

The Beginning of the Universe, Vivid Sydney, Australia. Colby Brown

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala, 2010, Colby Brown

Grand Reflections, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Colby Brown.

Yi Peng, Chaing Mai, Thailand. Colby Brown.

Buddhist Prayer, Bagan, Myanmar. Colby Brown.

Petra by Night, Ancient City of Petra, Jordan. Colby Brown.

A Homage to Buddha, Angkor Wat City, Cambodia. Colby Brown

Assignment One: Workflow

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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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’
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

1 colour2 colour

3 colour5 colour4 colour6 colour

 

Final Images:

1 black and white

2 black and white

5 black and white4 black and white

 

3 black and white6 colour - Copy

 

Overall Opinion:

‘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.