Tutor’s Feedback For OCA Learning Log: Part Five; The Final Image and Assignment Five: Personal Project

Feedback on assignment

In my opinion this was a very well researched and well executed project, which demonstrated both a commitment to an angle / ideal and resulted in some strong monochrome imagery.  I think this was the best work I have seen from you to date.

Key issues mentioned in my last report are as follows:

  •  Look at the work of Nick Ut / Dorothea Lange / Robert Capa
  • Consider the format of your front cover Assignment 4 (Landscape / Portrait)
  • Consider the technical aspects of the submission and the impact of using either colour or monochrome.
  • Look at Mishka Henner / Chambre Hardman in relation to image manipulation.

Having looked through your blog again I can see that you have responded very well to all suggestions made. The re-worked final image for Assignment 4 works much better now and I was glad to read you were happier with it.

As mentioned above … I was really impressed with this assignment Chantelle and think that it shows a real development and maturity within your photographic practice.  You came at it from the right angle and really drilled down into the research including Jaschinski / Winogrand / Vanden Eeckhoudt … all of whom are very pertinent to the project being tackled.  You really thought about this and presented your arguments very clearly prior to shooting … thus being able to be very clear in your own mind what it was you were intending to capture.  This comes across in the final images … which work really well for me.

Your comprehensive and appropriate research has clearly had a very positive influence on your final images.  This really shows how important this part of the image making process can be … and how it is so often overlooked.  You ventured into this space with clear images ‘pre-visualised’ within your mind’s eye … which I am convinced has helped you focus upon the job in hand.  It can so often be the case that once you arrive at a venue, you are overwhelmed by what is going on and lose sight of the original purpose.  You have not fallen into this trap and the quality of the images you have returned with provides clear evidence of this.

I enjoyed looking through all the images as a series, but I thought images five and eight really stood out for me.   The first as it was really full frame, with the animal stretched out to the four corners of the image.  Compositionally I thought this image worked well … given the fact the wire meshing was visible across the entire image and the patterns that this made added to the shot. For shot eight, the key to this image compositionally was the foregrounded warning sign … which was just sufficiently out of focus to place the attention on the eyes of the gorilla in the background.

With regards to your thoughts on monochrome … I’ve just finished a powerful little book by Vilem Flusser entitled “Towards a Philosophy of Photography”. (See Below for reference)  On pages 43 and 44, Flusser discusses the differences stating:

“Colour photographs are on a higher level of abstraction than black and white ones.  Black and white photographs are more concrete and in this sense more true: They reveal their theoretical origin more clearly, and vice versa: The ‘more genuine’ the colours of a photograph become, the more untruthful they are, the more they conceal their theoretical origin.” (Flusser, 1983)

On several occasions within your research you have identified specific elements or components within an image which for you, presents the reason why the image works.  I’m not sure whether or not you have come across Roland Barthes yet within your readings …. But would urge you to at least read Camera Lucida.   When you look at a series of images and one makes you stop, this can be referred to in terms of what Barthes would call ‘Studium’ or a general enthusiasm or interest assigned to an image.  This is as opposed to something that might be classed as a rare detail or piercing moment of either pain or delight, which Barthes would term ‘Punctum’.  I have listed a publication below by Barthes entitled Camera Lucida, which I urge you to read in relation to developing your photographic critical position.

I will point some of my other students to your assignment as I think it is an excellent example of how time spent prior to picking up a camera, is time well spent.  In addition to this …. I really like your images and the reasoning why you have taken them.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

Again … I have nothing further to comment upon here, as everything appears to be in order.  I particularly like your writings … which are very clear and very reflective.

 Suggested reading/viewing

Barthes, Roland.1993: Camera Lucida. Vintage Classics. London.

ISBN 13: 978-0099225416

Flusser, Vilem.1983: Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books. London.

ISBN: 978-1-86189-076-4

Conclusions and targets for next assignment

Having completed all five assignments for this module it is now time to submit the work for formal summative assessment which has been discussed above.

My Thoughts:

Im am extremely happy with the feedback I received from my tutor regarding this assignment. This assignment allowed me to research into something I felt strongly about. I was able to focus my research around a specific area, which allowed me to research a lot, prior to me going out to shoot for my final photographs. By researching different photographers, and reading articles online about zoo’s, I was able to take in as much information as possible, with enabled me to pre-visualize how I wanted my final photographs to look. By doing so, I was able to produce powerful final photographs which have a story behind them. They draw the viewers attention in, and by doing so, you want to find out more about why this photograph was taken. This then allows me to explain the bad side of zoo’s and I am able to express my views and opinions through these photographs.

I have taken all of my tutors feedback into consideration, and I don’t believe that I need to change anything. I will have a look and read the two recommended books that he suggested as I believe that they can help me more.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Assignment Five: Personal Project

This final assignment asks you to apply all you’ve learned in the course to build a collection of 10-12 final images on a theme of your choice.

When you’ve completed your collection, return to the brief that you set yourself at the start, and consider how well your completed project matches up to your original intentions. Write a reflective account of around 500 words to accompany your images. Below are a few ideas:

  • How did you choose your theme?
  • Was it a good choice?
  • What went well?
  • What went badly?
  • Did you stick to your original brief or did you find yourself departing from it? If yes, then why?
  • What technical problems did you experience?
  • How did you solve any technical problems?
  • Are you pleased with your final collection?
  • What could you have done differently?

Before I begin this assignment, I remembered that my tutor gave me some advice regarding this upcoming final assignment. Below is his advice:

“Jumping ahead a little it might be worth thinking about the following in relation to the fifth and final assignment.  The shots an editor would be expecting to see in a photo story would be Establishing [setting the scene], Portrait [Human Condition], Action and Detail shots.  Obviously depending on what you are trying to say with the work, they would not always include all of these.

Photographic stories are the visual communication of a personal experience.  They can be considered unique and can provide an excellent vehicle for personal expression.  In order to communicate effectively, you must try to make a connection with what is happening.  In order for this to work, you must research your subject thoroughly and if the story includes people, patiently observe before starting to photograph them.

Just to dwell on the subject of the photo story for a while, it is important for you to have a ‘point of view’ or an ‘angle’ for the story.  With this work you could argue it was capturing the space of yesteryear. You must have an opinion about what is being recorded and this should in turn come across.

The most popular subject for the photo story has always been the ‘human condition’.  The aim is usually to select one individual or group of individuals and try to relate their story to the viewer.  The story may then relate the experience to a brief or extended period of time.”

After taking my tutors advice into consideration, I decided on a subject that I wanted to focus this assignment on. During my studies of Photography 1: The Art of Photography, my fifth and final assignment was Assignment Five: Applying the Techniques of Illustration and Narrative. For that assignment, I focused on Bristol zoo, and decided that I would base that assignment around the ‘Good Sides’ of zoos and conservation. I remember reading through my previous tutors feedback regarding that assignment, and it has played on my mind ever since. Below is some of her feedback regarding that assignment:

“I think that you have chosen a great subject in Bristol Zoo, you might be interest in the work of Britta Jaschinski “ZOO” where she took monochrome images within zoos but challenge the celebratory image of the zoo that the organization would want to put across, showing an oppressive place with animals shown very much as in captivity, perhaps with more of a political slant than the images you have produced.”

“You have adequately realised your ideas in this project and presented your work well. You show the zoo in some images as a place to visit to see these particular animals but I feel some images look a little more snapshot in appearance as they include the wires of the cages which you wouldn’t usually see in images to promote a place, zoos battle against this view that people have of animals in cages and focus more on the conservation side of things. It is more likely to see these sort of images in a more challenging work on zoos. For promotional work showing the positive side of zoos I would expect to see more images of animals looking like they are in their natural environment, for example the meerkat, bird and reptile images.”

I remember her feedback mainly because I agreed that some images I used included cages or glass windows, which is not something that you would want to include in a photograph if you were promoting zoos and conservation. As my tutor stated, if you were promoting a zoo, you would want to show the animals in their natural environment, not behind cages or glassed enclosures.

Thinking back to my tutors advice for this assignment; “Just to dwell on the subject of the photo story for a while, it is important for you to have a ‘point of view’ or an ‘angle’ for the story. You must have an opinion about what is being recorded and this should in turn come across.” Therefore, this meant that I have chosen to focus this assignment on ‘Bad Side’ of zoos and conservation. I would have to multitask whilst completing this assignment, and re-do my previous assignment ( Assignment Five: Applying the Techniques of Illustration and Narrative ) , as it wouldn’t make sense to keep the images which included cages in the previous assignment.

Therefore, for this final assignment, I will be focusing on showing the bad side of zoos and conservation. I will take my previous tutors feedback and I will study Britta Jaschinski. When shooting for my final images, I will focus on showing the animals in their cages, glassed enclosures and I would try to focus on their expressions to see if I could capture any depressed faces.

Before I began photographing any images for this assignment, I decided to do research regarding the bad side of zoos and conservation. We don’t usually hear about the bad side of zoos and conservation. I personally think that it is withheld for a reason, so that we don’t question their work, the captivity side and any deaths for example. However, I also think that we purposely shield ourselves from even thinking that there is a bad side to zoos and conservation. When we visit a zoo, we think that out ticket monkey will go to help pay for the upkeep of the animals and the zoo itself, and when we are inside, all of the animals are happy, well fed, looked after, enjoying where they are, however, this may not be the case, and these false smiles and fake behaviour could in fact be hiding something much more shocking and upsetting. I wanted to make sure that I began with research, in order to see the wider perspective of this subject. I didn’t want to be just influenced by my feelings and my previous experiences of zoo visits, I wanted other people’s views and opinions, to help me gain knowledge of bad experiences that they may have witnessed for example.

I began by reading an article written on the PETA website regarding the reality of zoos. The article was written by Michelle Carr in 2013. http://www.peta.org/living/entertainment/reality-zoos/

Michelle Carr wrote this article, in response to a question she had received from a reader. The question was from an animal lover in St. Louis USA , this reader asks; ‘ I’m a huge animal lover, and I understand why the circus is bad for animals, but what about zoos?’ Carr responds by confirming that not many people are aware of the amount of cruelty behind zoos. She goes on to explain her experiences when visiting zoos as a child and quotes,  ‘When I was a kid, I went to the zoo all the time with my family. I loved pandas as a kid (still do!), and I thought being able to see them in person would be neat. But once I saw them “up close and personal,” I realized that the animals were miserable. It instantly became very clear to me that the animals imprisoned in zoos are sad and don’t want to be kept in artificial environments, have people gawk at them, listen to children who bang on the windows of their enclosures, or have cameras flashing in their faces. To put it simply, zoos are imprisoning animals who want to be free’.

This is sad to hear, as my own personal experiences when visiting zoos as a child, have been exciting and good. I have always loved visiting the zoo, and still do, so to hear that someone who was a child at the time, noticing something like this and realising that something was wrong, even back then, makes you question what really goes on behind closed doors, and how long has this been going on for.

Carr goes on to explain that captive animals are essentially deprived of everything, from their natural environment, all the way up to the correct type of food suitable for that animal. She advises the reader, that captive animals can sometimes suffer from ‘Zoochosis’, a heart-breaking condition which affects animals who have been confined for a number of years. This is usually shown by the animal rocking back and forth, or pacing around their enclosures. This is something that I have previously read about and have watched on documentaries on the television. It is an awful thing to watch, and I am fortunate to have not witnessed this in my local zoo. Carr explains that animals suffering from Zoochosis are often given medication such as Prozac, which will alter their mood, essentially calming them down and making them more docile, in order to stop the symptoms, as visitors to zoos were stating to witness the behaviour problems first hand, and were raising the issues with the zoo itself.

I read an article written by Liz Tyson on 23 June 2014, after she had visited Chester zoo, UK. She mentions that she witnessed an elephant showing the symptoms of Zoochosis with constant head rocking and swaying. Her article includes a short video which is extremely sad to watch, but I have included a link below so that you can read her article and watch her video. https://www.thedodo.com/community/Liz_Tyson/if-we-really-care-about-animal-601151421.html

Carr advises us that a gorilla named Jabari in a Dallas zoo, was shot dead by police, after an attempt to escape his enclosure. A witness described that a group of teenagers had been tormenting the gorilla, throwing rocks at him and taunting him, causing the male gorilla to attempt an escape. He jumped over the walls and moats of his enclosure, only to be fatally shot. This is an extremely sad story, something which makes you sit back and question just exactly what must have been going through the gorillas mind at that time. Imagine if roles were reversed, and that was a human, being taunted, stoned with rocks and shouted at by another group of humans…. Not only is that illegal and should be a prosecution case, but it is disgusting behaviour, and the gorilla must have been terrified and petrified. Just because it happened to a wild animal, who was imprisoned in a cell, doesn’t mean that what happened was ok. This animal was shot dead because he wanted to escape this bullying and stoning. What makes this ok? Has this happened in other zoos? I hope it hasn’t, but I was shocked to even read that this has happened.

Carr then goes on to explain that un-natural weather environments such as severe cold, rain and wind, can debilitate certain animals. Lucy, a lone elephant from Edmonton zoo is usually locked inside her barn during the frigid cold winters. This means that Lucy only has a small amount of room to walk around, and is therefore locked inside for a long period of time. The constant confinement during these winter periods, have left Lucy with extremely painful and debilitating arthritis. Elephants are known to walk 30 miles in one day, but Lucy doesn’t even come close to walking that long. She has been withheld from her natural instinct and is now left with this crippling arthritis, she will be able to walk even less than she did before.

How is this ok? Why are we not told about this….? Are we only shown the ‘Pretty’ side when we visit, when in reality, behind closed doors, these things really are happening? Perhaps we as visitors are held back at a long enough distance, so that we don’t see the truth behind what really happens. Carr mentions that we as visitors, only usually spend a few seconds or minutes at the enclosures, waiting for the animals to do something exciting. So we don’t actually spend enough time looking and observing the enclosures, or the animals. Therefore we miss things.

In addition, captive animals don’t get to choose who they mate with, like they would in the wild. They are in fact, usually artificially inseminated for breeding purposes, leading to sales and trading of young between other zoos. This artificial breeding can lead to miscarriages, death and rejection between mother and baby, probably because they don’t actually know what this baby is and what to do with it, because they haven’t been taught by their mothers. This is really sad, and especially the loss of a baby, and in some circumstances, it’s a baby of an endangered species which makes it even more precious.

In regards to what Michelle Carr advises regarding zoos, she quotes; ‘ Instead of going to the zoo, you can learn about animals by watching nature documentaries or observing the animals in their own natural habitats instead. Now that I know the reality behind zoos, I don’t go to the zoo, and I encourage my friends and family to boycott them as well. I love animals, and I want to see them free, not held captive behind bars!’

I read a further two articles regarding the bad sides of zoos and conservation. Both of these articles have bullet points as to how zoos fail, and what is actually happening behind our backs. I have included the link to both articles below, however, I will include the bullet points from article two below.

Article One: PETA – 13 Times Zoos Were Bad for Animals – http://www.peta.org/features/zoo-animal-abuse/

Article Two: CAPS – 10 Facts about Zoos – March 3rd 2010 –  http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2010/03/10-facts-about-zoos

Captive Animals Protection Society / CAPS – 10 Facts about Zoos – March 3rd 2010:

  • Zoos are miserable places for animals
  • Zoos can’t provide sufficient space for the animals
  • Animals suffer in zoos
  • Animals die prematurely in zoos
  • Surplus animals are killed
  • UK Zoos are connected to circuses
  • Animals are trained to perform tricks
  • Animals are still taken from the wild
  • Zoos don’t serve conservation
  • Zoos fail education

After doing my research regarding arguments against zoos and conservation, I decided to do photographer research. I decided to begin with Britta Jaschinski.

Britta Jaschinski

Britta

Britta Jaschinski by Spiros Politis

Jaschinski is a world-renowned, award-winning, German photographer. She learned the skill of photography whilst working in a German advertising studio. She studied photographer’s art whilst at Bournemouth College of Art and Design. Ever since she was young, she had empathy for animals.

On January 1st 2010, Sublime Magazine published an article about Britta Jaschinski called ‘Cage Fighter’ written by Stephen Armstrong.

Britta Jaschinski Sublime Magazine January 1st 2010 Article 'Cage Fighter' by Stephen Armstrong.

Britta Jaschinski, Sublime Magazine. Article ‘Cage Fighter’ by Stephen Armstrong, January 1st 2010

Her parents quoted that they would find Jaschinski ‘Scooping insects out of her sandpit, worried she might squash one, she turned vegetarian at 16′. Her animal and nature photography has won her a dedicated and strong international following.

Walking past London Zoo gave her an idea which later turned her into a well-known international photographer.  Jaschinski quotes in an article for Sublime magazine  ‘Even as a kid I felt uncomfortable going to zoos but I could never express why,’ she explains. ‘While other kids licked ice creams and laughed at the animals, I just felt an intense pain in mind and body. And when I developed my photos I could see why I felt so deeply depressed about the fate of the animals incarcerated in the name of education and conservation. My Zoo book was the result.’

On May 13th 1996, Phaidon Press published her Zoo book. 112 pages of black and white, bold, captivating photographs which showed animals in concrete cells, glass compounds and caged exhibits. Below are two reviews for her book;

Britta Jaschinski Zoo Phaidon Press ISBN-13: 9780714834726 ISBN-10: 0714834726

Britta Jaschinski
Zoo
Phaidon Press – 1996
ISBN-13: 9780714834726
ISBN-10: 0714834726

‘A point forcefully made through outstanding photography.’ (Amateur Photographer)

‘Here is a book with almost no text, but full of unease and mystery…’ (The Good Book Guide)

Her second, Wild Things followed in 2003. This photo book is quite simply apologising to the world for human interference and destruction.

She is a member of CAPS, which stands for Captive Animals’ Protection Society

She quotes:

“We talk to animals but we don’t listen to them. We stroke them with one hand and beat them with the other. CAPS gives animals a voice and fights for their rights. Animals don’t need us but we need them. We must protect them from ourselves.” Britta Jaschinski.

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo 1996

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo
1996

This image is saddening, elephants are beautiful, majestic animals, and when I think of elephants, I think of them in their natural environments. Seeing an elephant behind bars, to me symbolises the same as being a prisoner in a cell. The trunk of the elephant is reaching out almost to touch the walls trying to find a way out, or shouting after someone for help to get out of the cell. This is a very strong image, and as a viewer, it is sad to see this. You don’t want to think of an animals stuck behind bars in a zoo, however, if you were to perhaps look deeper into the story behind this elephant, it may not stay in this cell all day, it probably only sleeps in there or perhaps is in there for a short period of time, and in fact has a bigger enclosure somewhere. However, seeing this image shocks you first into thinking about this poor elephant trapped, and not necessarily thinking about the story behind the image.

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo 1996

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo
1996

This is an interesting image. Jaschinski has managed to incorporate the scratches on the glass windows of these primates enclosure. For me, when I visit the zoo, I stand for ages looking into the eyes of the primates, as you can tell so much from their eyes. You can see when they are sad, happy or even depressed. Jaschinski has managed to capture both of these primates eyes, which can be hard, as usually one animal always moves or looks away when you try to photograph them. Capturing both sets of eyes is great, as this has created a depressing looking image. You can see the boredom and depression in their eyes. The scratches on the panes of glass can be interpreted as escape attempts, or boredom. This is a very interesting image, and something I will keep in mind when photographing the zoo.

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo 1996

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo
1996

When I think of a camel, I think of the desert, lots of sand, beaming sun. However, this is thee complete opposite. Concrete walls and wire to keep the camel from escaping. The enclosure doesn’t even look as though it is suitable for a camel to reside, it looks small. Similar to the elephant photograph, perhaps there is a story behind why the camel is in this concrete enclosure, however, a photograph speaks a thousand words, and when you see this first, you immediately think that the camel is trapped in a cell.

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo 1996

Britta Jaschinski, Zoo
1996

It’s hard to say that this is my ‘Favourite’ photograph, however, it is. Jaschinski has captured an amazing image here of this gibbon monkey. When I look at this photograph, I can almost feel the sadness, the depression, the boredom of this little monkey. She manages to compose this image so the monkey is in the centre of the frame, surrounding it with what looks like a circular toy or running wheel, keeping him as the main focal point in the image. She keeps the monkeys eyes visible, in order to see his expression clearly. She also manages to capture the cage wires ever so faintly in the foreground, they aren’t distracting which is good, as you want the focus to be on the monkey, however, you can still see that there are wires, and this monkey is enclosed and bored in his enclosure. This is such a brilliant photograph, and I hope to capture something similar when I photograph the zoo.

Looking at Jaschinski’s Zoo photographs, one thing that is noticeable is that she uses black and white / monochrome. Using black and white enables you to bring the viewer’s attention to details within the image such as the wires from the cages, scratches on the panes of glass and the look of depression in the animals eyes. Using colour within photographs like this may distract viewers from the main subject, keeping to black and white gives you the impression of depression, bleakness, coldness, giving the appearance of a dull world that these animals live in. You are also able to show the detail from the scratching of the glass, dirt on the walls or wires, which you may not see so clearly in a colour photograph,

Keeping the cage wires, scratches in the glass windows and black and white final images, is something that I will remember when shooting my photographs and when I am processing my final images.

The second photographer I researched was Garry Winogrand.

Garry Winogrand Self Portrait

Garry Winogrand Self Portrait

Garry Winogrand was born January 14th 1928, in New York City. After high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force, but later returned to New York in 1947 to study painting at City College of New York and Columbia University.

He later decided to focus his studies on Photography and Photojournalism, which he proceeded to study in college. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Winogrand began working as an advertising photographer and a freelance photojournalist.

In 1969, Winogrand’s photographed his observations of the Bronx Zoo and Coney Island Aquarium.  A collection of these photographs completed his first photo book called ‘The Animals’, which contained images showing the connections between humans and animals.

‘Winogrand’s zoo, even if true, is a grotesquery. It is a surreal Disneyland where unlikely human beings and jaded careerist animals stare at each other through bars, exhibiting bad manners and a mutual failure to recognize their own ludicrous predicaments’.
–John Szarkowski

Garry Winogrand, The Animals. Published By: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 2nd edition (April 2, 2004)

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.
Published By:
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 2nd edition (April 2, 2004) ISBN-10: 0870706330 ISBN-13: 978-0870706332

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

This image for me represents young children’s attention spans. You don’t normally see rhino so close, it’s not an everyday occurrence that we are fortunate to one. When I think of rhino’s, I think of the African safari sites. However, these children clearly aren’t interested in looking at these beautiful animals, which by the way are an endangered species, but they are more interested in hanging off of the railings like monkeys hanging from monkey bars. Even the mother is more interested in watching these two children messing around, then looking at the rhino. This is an interesting subject, and knowing that there will be similar situations at Bristol zoo when I go, I will keep an eye out for situations like this, which I can photograph.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

This is a sad image. Winogrand manages to capture the eye of this rhino, looking up to this gentleman. In the real world, unless you are on safari, lucky enough to get this close to a rhino, then there is no way you could possibly be this close. Capturing this intimate moment of curiosity, shows how this rhino is not acting how it would in the wild. It is sad to see that an animal which should be scared of humans, is actually showing it’s helplessness, and it’s need of human love. When shooting my images, curiosity from the animal to the visitor, is something that I would love to try and capture, as we should technically be curious about them as well.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

Who says that animals don’t have feeling! This is such a brilliant photograph. There is a saying ‘It’s like being in a zoo’, you normally hear that when you are in a crowded situation, being stared at. You may encounter this in a waiting room or a job interview. Imagine being in cages, enclosed for the rest of your life….. hundreds of scary, noisy people staring at you, shouting at you, poking you every day of your life. This is what it is like, being an exhibition piece in a zoo. Winogrand has captured a  photograph showing the true feelings of what this bear thinks about being poked at. This is great! I have to keep this in mind when I shoot my images. Animals facial expressions and behaviour, can tell you a lot about how they are feeling in that current situation, and this bear does just that. I want to try to capture the expressions on the animals face when I shoot my photographs, as their expressions can really help make an image.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

This photograph is similar to Jaschinski’s photograph of the elephant in the cell room. Similarly, both of these elephants have their trunks stretched out, almost looking for attention, help, or a method to escape. This elephant is being hand fed by visitors by the looks of it, not something that would usually happen in the wild. The positioning and stance of this elephant is somewhat slumped and leaning, almost as though it has given up hope.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

Garry Winogrand, The Animals, 1968.

This is an interesting photograph. To me, the visitors are more interested in other things, that they are not even looking at the seals. One woman looks like she is crying, one woman is being kissed by a male, whilst looking bored and uninterested, and one male isn’t even looking at the seals. From my point of view, the seals look more interested in the visitors, than the visitors being interested in the seals. This shows how we as visitors take these animals for granted. You wouldn’t normally be able to see these animals this close in the wild, so why not appreciate seeing them this close now…… They are positioned directly in front of you, yet you still ignore them…. This is something that I need to look out for in the zoo when I shoot my images. Lack of interest from the human side, yet much interest from the animal side, shows almost a role reversal.

The composition of this photograph is also interesting, as Winogrand has composed it so that there is only a small amount of water visible. It doesn’t look as though it is enough water for all of them to reside or swim in on a daily basis. I personally think that this is done purposely, to portray and even smaller enclosure and lack of room or space, making us as the viewer concerned about how small their enclosure must be.

Comparing Winogrand’s work to Jaschinski’s, I can see some similarities and some differences. Thee most obvious being that they both have used black and white / monochrome photographs. Thus meaning that each image draws the viewer’s attention in without the distraction from any colour. The second being that they both decided to keep the cages, wires and glass in the image, adding to the hidden message of captivity and depression. Winogrand, however, makes a purpose of including people within his photographs. Including guests at the zoo, observing the animals, with the animals observing the guests gives the image two stories. One being what the people within the photograph were thinking when looking at the animals, and the second being what the animals were thinking when looking back at the people. The inclusion of people looking at the animals and the animals looking back has a sad message of captivation, not being able to leave that enclosure, being stared at constantly with little children making strange scary noises, and banging the cages or glass windows. The saying ‘ It’s like being in a zoo’ springs to mind, when I look at photographs like this, because we as humans don’t necessarily enjoy being stared at by fellow human beings, however, on a daily basis, these animals are being watched, stared at, tormented and locked in an enclosure.

This is very interesting and is something that I will think about when shooting my photographs. Including people in the image may help make an interesting photograph.

I have found an interesting blog regarding zoos and Winogrand’s work. Written by Peter Barker on February 28th 2013, http://peterbaker.org/the-animals/

Barker writes about whether or not Winogrand was photographing the ‘Truth’ about what really happened / happens at zoos, whether he was finding the confinement of animals who had to perform tricks for food funny, or whether he just photographed these situations for us, the viewers to make our own choices. Peter Barker doesn’t agree that Winogrand’s zoos are everywhere, and there is infact brilliant zoos around. Zoos which don’t humiliate animals in the return for treats, zoos which care for the conservation of the species, and zoos which show that animals are happy in the environment that they are in.

However, Barker then goes on to question whether or not these ‘Happy’ outer appearances are in fact just for show, and whether deep down, Winogrand did actually manage to see beyond the ‘Front cover appearances’ and captured the sadness within each animal.

‘Until relatively recently zoos were called menageries, and were hobbies of princes, serving the same function as court dwarfs and court musicians. After the rise of modern science such simple entertainments seemed frivolous, so menageries were called zoological gardens—the idea being that they were really laboratories for the study of animal behaviour. While this concept is superficially plausible, a moment’s thought makes it evident that one cannot very well study the behaviour of lions and gazelles, for example, as long as they are locked in separate cages. The real reason that zoos have been built, and even sustained with tax money, is that people think that the other animals are (1) noble, or (2) funny looking. Winogrand’s book proves that those who hold the second opinion are correct. The other animals are indeed funny looking.’ Peter Barker

‘For those of us on the other side of the bars the case is less clear. We are there because animals look funny, or conceivably because they look noble, but there may be a darker side to the satisfaction we find at the zoo. It may be that we are relieved to find that even the animals, with their much-­‐publicized supposed virtues—sharp of tooth, swift of foot, courageous in protecting their young, good eyes, etc.—that even the animals can be reduced to a state of whimpering psychic paralysis if they are forced to live in circumstances similar to those of the typical modern urban dweller. After all that has been said in the past fifty years concerning man’s deep-­rooted inadequacies, it is bracing to go to the zoo and observe that the orangutang, magnificent though he may be in the jungle, is no better than the rest of us when forced to live in a modern city.’ Peter Barker

Whether what Peter Barker is saying has any truth to it, and whether or not you or I agree or disagree with what he is saying, you can see from Winogrand’s photographs, that there is indeed some truth to this. Zoos have been called Zoological Gardens to make it sound ‘Better’ and more appealing to us as customers. We want to think of the animals in their natural environments, even though we know that’s merely impossible as we are entering a concrete jungle, filled with cages and windows, for us to peer in and look at them. One can argue that yes, zoos do a brilliant job at saving animals, helping with conservation so that in years to come, when several animals which are then extinct, can be used to re-produce to then re-populate the wild. However, is keeping them locked away in these concrete, caged houses, really the best thing for them in the end. This is a discussion that could have many answers, and can be looked at from many different angles, linking it to things such as hunting and poaching. The possibilities are endless.

The third photographer I researched was Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt.

Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

Eeckhoudt is a Belgian photographer, who lives in Brussels. He is well-known for his animal photography, just like Jaschinski and Winogrand. Usually, his animal photography looks into the troubling and sad relationships between pets and their masters, however, in 1982, a book called ‘Zoologies’ was published containing sad images of captive zoo animals.

Zoologies Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt Paris: Delpire, 1982. ISBN: 2851071041

Zoologies
Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt Paris: Delpire, 1982.
ISBN: 2851071041

“The clear, cold and cruel eye of Michel Van Eeckhoudt forces us to see what onlookers zoo perhaps forget to see: that the animals in the pen are the largest permanent exhibition of sadness.”

Zoologies 1928 Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

Zoologies 1928
Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

This too is a sad image, similar to that of Jaschinski’s gibbon monkey. With this monkey however, having it almost pleading for help with hands on the glass, is extremely sad.

Zoologies 1928 Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

Zoologies 1928
Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

To me, this shows the sheer ignorance of humans. Eeckhoudt has captured a moment in time which shows one of thee most majestic, powerful and dangerous animals on this earth, being harassed by a man in a suit, somewhat sticking his face or head, into the lion’s head and mouth area. Fair enough, by all means get a close look at one of these incredible animals. When I’ve visited the zoo before and the Lion enclosures, I’ve stood for ages just watching the lions, simply because I will never be able to get that close to a wild animal like this again, unless I am fortunate in the future to go on a safari. However, I don’t torment the animals, by poking them, sticking my face in theirs and so forth. The sheer ignorance of this man astonishes me, if this was in the wild, this Lion would have eaten you. Just because it’s behind bars and it’s dignity, rights, and life has been taken from him, doesn’t mean that we as visitors have the right to not respect them still. You are tormenting him, and almost taunting him by showing that you are now the dominant male, and I can do what I want because I know that these bars will stop you from eating me………… I hope not to see something like this on my visit, but you never know. If I do, I may have to photograph it to show human ignorance and lack of respect for animals.

I also find this an oddly composed photograph, I am unsure as to why he never cut the males face out from the right hand side of the frame, and only focused on the male in the background?

Zoologies 1928 Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

Zoologies 1928
Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

This is similar to the enclosure we have at Bristol zoo, for the lions. People are able to get this close to the glass panels. I hope to shoot images like this, because I want to show again, how something that could kill a human being, is now stuck behind a pane of glass or a cage, still following you and looking at you as though you are prey….. the only thing is that these bars, and windows, are stopping them.

Comparing Winogrand’s and Jaschinski’s work to Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt, you can again see similarities and differences. The three of them use black and white / monochrome photography, to stop colour from distracting the viewer and to enhance to main message or subject within the photograph. Like Winogrand and Eeckhoudt, they both include the visitors to the zoo, within the photograph.  They all include the cages, glass windows, scratches on the windows and depressed faces on the animals.

My Personal Project:

Taking my photographer research into consideration , I now know that for this assignment, I want to produce a set of photographs, using inspiration from all three of the photographers I have researched. Taking inspiration from my previous assignment, Assignment Three: Monochrome, I will convert my final photographs to monochrome, as by removing any colour distractions, I will be able to include different textures and details on the wire cages, glass panels, walls, details on the faces of the animals, sharper details on the facial areas. I will also be able to show different shapes and tones of enclosures. With the removal of colour and the inclusion of details and texture, I believe this will help to create a sombre, cold, depressed and sad feeling to each image, as it will show elements of the zoo, which can be missed or overlooked in a colour photograph.

I want to compose my images so that I include cages, glass windows, concrete enclosures and zoo visitors in my photographs. I will try to capture the moment when the animal(s) look back and the visitor(s), perhaps looking at each other through a cage or a window. I want to try and capture the expressions of the faces of the animals, including their eyes, as I believe this will help produce a better final image.

Therefore, for this assignment, I will be revisiting my local Zoological Gardens, Bristol Zoo. Pre-visualizing how I wanted my photographs to look, and knowing what animals I wanted to photograph,  I decided that I would take my usual Canon 18mm-55mm lens, and my Sigma 70mm-300mm lens. Taking both a 55mm lens and a 300mm lens, enabled me to capture any small details on the animals faces, or capture any animals which were too far away in their enclosure. By using a long lens, I am also able to zoom into an enclosure, cutting out vacant space or parts of the enclosure I don’t want in the frame, and I am able to portray an even smaller enclosure, similar to how the photographers I researched have composed their images.

Having being born in Bristol, and visiting the zoo on that many occasions, I pretty much know my way around in the dark, however, with techniques learned at the beginning of this course, in Exercise: Your Own Workflow, I still decided to plan my visit so I knew exactly where to go and what animals to see first before any crowds arrived. I arrived at the zoo at approximately 11:00am. The zoo was quiet with only a handful of people walking around. I decided to go straight to the Lion enclosure, as I thought that by going there first, I would be able to photograph them without anyone in the way, especially as I know that throughout the day, the lion enclosure is extremely popular and would be busy. Unfortunately, they were sound asleep and wouldn’t budge for anyone. I was surprised that I was on my own, and I was able to take a quantity of photographs from different angles, of the lions asleep. At one stage, one of them woke up, and at the right time, I was able to shoot some images of him looking out the window as if to see where the visitors were. Of course, I did want to take photographs with visitors in the shot, similar to Eeckhoudt’s photograph of the tiger, however, being the only one there, I knew that I would have to revisit the lion enclosure later in the day for those shots.

After visiting the lion enclosure, I walked through the butterfly house, which was much too hot, and being as it was an actual reproduction of a tropical rain forest, I knew that this wasn’t the best place for taking ‘Captivity’ shots, as these butterflies and moths were almost in a real jungle environment, but that didn’t stop me from taking photographs which I knew I could use later on, with other assignments and projects.

After cooling down from the butterfly house, I decided to visit the giant tortoise, and reptile houses. By this time, it was mid-day, and therefore, crowds of people had arrived. It took me a while to manage to shoot the giant tortoise, as there were too many people stood in front of their glass enclosure. I could have photographed this, but as you couldn’t see that giant tortoise, I knew that this would be a wasted photograph, as it would only show a crowd of people looking into an enclosure, but we as viewers wouldn’t be able to see what was in that enclosure. Using my senses, I managed to find a small room where two other giant tortoise were. They were in a barren room, with just some bedding and lights. No one was looking at them, and to me, I knew this could be an interesting shot. I took several shots of this pair, however, I was then engulfed by people who had somehow managed to find this secret enclosure, which meant I then had to move along.

I worked my way around the zoo, until I reached the primate section and gorilla island. These have always been one of my favourite areas in the zoo, and I stand for ages watching the primates. You have to watch their every movement, as they always do something interesting, quirky or funny. Unfortunately though, I’m not the only one that loves the primate section. It was crowded and full of people. I knew that this was the perfect timing for me to stand back from the crowds, and shoot them watching the primates, as the primates then watched them in return, keeping in mind the work of Winogrand and Eeckhoudt. It is fascinating to watch, especially when you look at the primates eyes, and you can see confusion, depression and sometimes even sadness, at the simple fact that us visitors are stood staring at them whilst they go about their daily business. Once I had managed to shoot photographs of the visitors, I decided to focus on trying to capture some shots of the primates, similar to that of Britta Jaschinski’s work, especially of the gibbon monkey. They have an outside enclosure, which is caged off from the visitors. I decided to stand by the fences, and see whether or not they would venture out from their glass enclosure, as they were becoming agitated with the noise from children banging on the windows. I was extremely luck, and one brown spider monkey, decided to venture out into the caged enclosure. I was quick enough to be able to shoot some photographs, whilst he was climbing along the cages. And to my luck, he decided to sit right in front of my camera, on a tree, and positioned himself similar to that of Britta Jaschinski’s monkey. I was thrilled, and shot away making sure I captured this moment before he moved off inside again.

After this, I decided to visit the Gorilla island. By this time of the day, hundreds of visitors were now inside the zoo. They were doing a lot of renovation to the gorilla island area, and only the male silver back was inside the 360 degree glass enclosure. The rest of the gorilla family were outside, asleep on their island. I decided to focus on the male silver back, and stood at the back of the crowds, in order to shoot several images of the gorilla being watched by the visitors. Once I had photographed this, I managed to squeeze my way into a corner of the window area. I stood and waited with camera ready, and shot the male silver back, looking back through the windows at the visitors. He decided to lie down with his head resting on his hands, and I noticed that there was a sign on the pillar I was stood next to. I positioned myself so that the pillar and the sign were visible, but the depressed gorilla was in the centre of the frame. I knew that this would be a great shot.

I then moved onto the seal and penguin coast area. This was packed with visitors because they were doing the specialised talk about the penguins and it was feeding time for them. I knew this would be great for taking shots of the crowds and the hand feeding of fish which the penguins were receiving. I wanted to try and get the hand feeding in with the crowds of people, as the hand feeding of fish, is not something that ‘Normal’ penguins would do or receive, so by including this into my photograph, I would be able to show the unnatural way of feeding. I managed to squeeze into a corner near a rock. I was angled so that I could photograph the zoo keeper feeding the penguins, whilst being able to incorporate the crowd of people, watching the penguins. Moving onto the seal section, this was not so crowded, however, whenever I seem to think that, the crowd of people then decide to appear from nowhere and engulf you. I managed to cling to the wooden railings overlooking the seals. They were very active as they knew it was nearing feeding time for them too. I managed to shoot several photographs of them jumping through the water, however, I struggled trying to use the correct shutter speed, and by this time, they had moved on, and were interested in something else. Once I had found the correct settings, I managed to shoot three of the seals, looking up at the visitors, as they looked down upon them. This was similar to that of Garry Winogrand’s photograph of the seals he captured. I composed the images, using a long lens, so that the enclosure looked smaller, and I could focus on a small amount of water with them in it, and the visitors watching them. I also then managed to shoot the seals during feeding time on the ‘Pride Rock’ until they decided to move the seals to the separate enclosure.

Afterwards, I decided to visit the Meerkat enclosures. I knew that this would be a popular section of the zoo, so I was expecting to be here for a while. When I arrived at the enclosure, I realised that it wasn’t too full, and I was the only person photographing the Meerkat’s in their outdoor, glass enclosure, yet the inside glass enclosure was full. I decided to start shooting with my 55mm lens, taking shots of them in their surroundings, digging the corners of the enclosure, as it trying to escape, then I decided to use my 70-300mm lens. I decided to use this, as there was one meerkat sat on his ‘Pride Rock’ almost posing for his photograph to be taken. I positioned myself so that I could zoom in for close detail and zoom out for the background. In the outdoor enclosure, there is a ‘Mole Hill’ type area, with glass or plastic windows, in which you can climb into to be ‘Inside’ the meerkat enclosure yourself. Two young male children decided that they would use these and were messing around as their parents attempted to photograph them with the meerkat in the photograph. I decided that like Winogrand and Eeckhoudt, I would use this opportunity to shoot this photograph, showing that these young boys were only interested in messing around, and weren’t interested in actually looking and appreciating the meerkat. I knew that this would turn out as a great final image.

After the Meerkat section, I made my way around the rest of the zoo, taking opportunity to photograph any animals I missed, and incorporating the crowds of people who had descended on the zoo. I left the zoo at closing time which was 16:30, I had been there all day. I knew that I had managed to capture some great images which would work well for final images, and that on some occasions, I was lucky enough to capture images similar to that of the Jaschinski, Winogrand and Eeckhoudt. When I got home and looked through the 500 photographs I had taken, several immediately jumped out at me and got my attention. I knew that these would be the ones I would use for final images, as they were exactly what I was hoping to have photographed.

Final images:

Choosing my final images was not that hard, as the ones that caught my eye, I knew were the ones that would make great final images. I had to keep in mind that I would be processing these into monochrome images. I opened a separate file in my images, and copied these images into the folder. I chose 20 in total, even though I knew I was only to select between 10-12 final images, however, I knew that by selecting 20, I would be able to process them, and decided whether or not they work well in monochrome, as sometimes, an image may look better in colour, rather than monochrome, and vice versa. I decided to use Lightroom 4.4 for processing my images into monochrome, as I am comfortable using Lightroom settings. I have gained experience using the settings such as converting the image to black and white, then altering the colour tones, lights, darks, blacks, whites etc, in order to produce a well composed monochrome image. I would then use Photoshop Elements 9 for any brush tools, such as lightening eyes, details, dodge and burn areas, as I am comfortable using these adjustments in Photoshop.

Regarding processing and adjustments, for each image, I tried to use the same adjustments. I converted the colour image into black and white in Lightroom, I then used the colour sliders to alter the tones of the areas within the image, to make them lighter or darker. I then adjusted the tone curve, contrast, brightness, darkness, clarity, sharpness and exposure. Once this had been done, I then saved the image, and opened it in Photoshop Elements 9. Once in Photoshop, I used the smart brush tool and enhanced details, dodge and burned areas, sharpened areas, and lightened eyes.

The Photographs:

IMG_6168 - Copy copy

Photograph One: Asiatic Lion Enclosure – Bristol Zoo – 2015

When taking this photograph, I used inspiration from Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt’s photograph of the tiger in the glass enclosure. I wanted to achieve somewhat the same type of photograph, however, at the time when I shot this, there was no one around except myself. This meant that I could then focus on taking photographs, portraying the loneliness of the lions. These lions slept the whole time I was at the zoo, so I was lucky enough to photograph this lion waking up, only because he heard a helicopter flying past. As this enclosure was almost a 360 degree enclosure, I decided not to shoot from the front on, but rather to go around the back, and photograph them with the windows the opposite side, in the shot. This would give the perspective of what the lions see on a daily basis. Through the eye of the lions you could say. In a way, with no visitors around, and only the Lion looking out to a vacant zoo, it appears as though the Lion is somewhat happy that there are no visitors, and now he can get some peace and quiet. It was just unfortunate that there were no visitors standing, watching them through these windows, as this could have been interesting, seeing what the lions see on a daily basis.

By shooting from this angle, I was able to compose a photograph which showed a small area of glassed enclosure, portraying it as being smaller than it actually was. Similar to the work of Winogrand and Eeckhoudt.

I decided to focus the lions face in the middle of the frame, whilst keeping two stickers on the windows visible and framing his face. The stickers on the windows are of a female lioness and a giraffe. I found this interesting, as in the wild, it has been known for lions to hunt giraffes. Keeping these stickers in the shot, allowed me to frame a ‘Lazy, Sleepy’ Lion, with an active hunting type scene.

I am very pleased with the final image, I believe that this image works well in monochrome, more than colour. I was able to enhance the texture of the wood chippings, the details and texture on the lions face and mane and in some places, you can see the scratches on the glass window panels. I also like the different tones in this photograph, the difference between light and dark, you are also able to see the small white glint in the Lions eye. I am to use the colour version of this image in the future, I would probably work on the saturation of colours, brightness and darkness, and sharpening the details.

Photograph Two: Asiatic Lion Enclosure - Bristol Zoo - 2013

Photograph Two: Asiatic Lion Enclosure – Bristol Zoo – 2013

I took this photograph in 2013, whilst photographing Bristol Zoo for my other assignment. The two male brothers, Kamran and Ketan, were only one year old, so were still babies. My tutor back then, advised me that this image would not be suitable for portraying the ‘Good Side’ of zoological gardens and conservation, as by showing cages, in fact does the opposite, and symbolises captivation, and entrapment. I took her advice, and decided to no longer use this image, but I saved it for another time. For this assignment, I looked back through my previous zoo photographs, and decided to use this image as one of my final images, because it is similar to Michel Van Eeckhoudt’s photograph of the gentleman in the suit, sticking his head into the lions mouth almost.

I know it is not the exact replica of Eeckhoudt’s photograph, but I don’t want it to be. I decided this would be a good final image because it is showing that again, humans aren’t supposed to be this close to wild animals, especially Lions. To be this close to a predator is unusual when you think about it, and similarly to Eeckhoudt’s photograph, it’s only the cages and wires, keeping this zookeeper from being this male lions dinner.

The raised hand in fact had a chunk of raw meat inside, in order to grab the lions attention, as this zookeeper was feeding them treats with a stick. However, showing this raised hand, is almost portraying a circus feeling, when you grab the attention of the animal to jump or stand on its hind legs, to show off to visitors. This was a similar situation, only involving meat on a stick, which made these lions jump up the cages. During this time and situation, I was unable to shoot a clear shot of them jumping with the meat dangling off of the stick, as I needed to change shutter speed, and I was being pushed by crowds, so this was the only clear image left showing what was happening.

I am pleased with this photograph, especially in monochrome. I was able to enhance the texture of the wire cages and the different tones within the image. It definitely works better with this assignment, as to my previous one that I used it for. If I could re shoot this image, I would compose it so the sign board wasn’t in the frame, however, I was unable to do so, because there were too many people stood watching. I think this is a photograph that will have multiple meanings depending on the viewers, however, this is interesting, to see how others interpret this photograph.

Photograph Three: Giant Tortoise Enclosure - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Three: Giant Tortoise Enclosure – Bristol Zoo – 2015

I spotted this hidden cell which enclosed two giant tortoises. It was barren, apart from the bedding area which one of the tortoises was already sat in. I waited for a while, waiting for the second tortoise to join the first, and managed to capture this photograph. I thought it was an interesting situation, especially as the rest of the tortoises were outside in the outdoor enclosure, yet these two were stuck inside. The one tortoise was trying to climb on top of the other tortoise, and being situated directly below a large glass window, I thought it would create an interesting final image.

Similar to Jaschinski’s monkey photograph, and Eeckhoudt’s monkey photography, I perceived these giant tortoise attempting to look out of the window. Others could perceive it as being loneliness, especially as no one is looking at them through the opposite window. It’s as though they are hidden away, almost forgotten about.

I decided to compose this image by zooming into the room, cutting out the vacant concrete flooring in the foreground, and by only focusing on the two tortoise, the window and the lights above, portraying a small room. I decided to burn the detail into the opposite window, in order to bring out the detail from the trees outside, which would then show the difference between the barren, concrete cell inside, and the sunny outdoors with trees.

I am pleased with this photograph. I am glad that I managed to burn the detail back into the window, which wasn’t that clear in the colour version. I think this is an interesting image, especially as it shows heat lamps, yet outside, it was hot and sunny, and with it being in monochrome, you can’t see the red heat coming from the lamps. Without the inclusion of the red heat from the lamps, it helps to portray this room as being cold.

Photograph Four: Brown Spider Monkey Enclosure - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Four: Brown Spider Monkey Enclosure – Bristol Zoo – 2015

When I visited the primate section of the zoo, I kept in mind Britta Jaschinski’s work. Her photographs of the gibbon monkey behind cages really stuck with me, especially the facial features and the eyes.

I knew that attempting to compose an image similar to Jaschinski’s would be hard, especially as you are unable to tell the monkey where to sit, and animals don’t usually stay around long enough to shoot clear photographs. However, I positioned myself outside the cage, leaning on a wooden railing, and I was lucky enough to have this brown spider monkey sit directly in front of my camera, but only for a short time. As I previously described above, the noise from inside drove him out, and the noise then outside drove him back in. However, I managed to shoot some brilliant photographs of this monkey.

I positioned him in the frame similar to Jaschinski, I wanted to keep the focus on his face. Photographing him quickly, whilst being able to keep him in focus, yet keep the cage in shot was difficult, but I managed to achieve it. I made sure that I kept his eyes visible, in order to see his facial expression and the depression and sadness, similar to Jaschinski’s gibbon monkey. Even his posture is similar to her photograph.

I was extremely happy with this photograph, and converting it to monochrome was a good decision. It brings out the detail of his hair, eyes and facial features, the ropes from his enclosure and the wires from the cages.

Photograph Five: Brown Spider Monkey Enclosure - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Five: Brown Spider Monkey – Bristol Zoo – 2015

This was the same brown spider monkey, whilst he was swinging across the cage away from the noise. I decided to use this as a final image because it is similar to Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt’s photograph of the monkey behind the glass window, holding his hands up.

I composed this image making sure that he filled the frame, I wanted him to dominate the photograph, holding onto the cage as if he was a prisoner, or was trying to escape.

My interpretation of this photograph, is captivity, not being able to break through these cages, not being able to climb over the top, but being able to see through the cages the outside world. This brown spider monkey’s eyes and face show these emotions in my opinion. His facial expression is similar to Eeckhoudt’s monkey, the expression of ‘Help’ and confusion as to why this ‘Thing (Cage)’ s holding me back, why can’t I get out.

I am pleased with this photograph, as with the previous image, it works better in monochrome, as you can see the details better, and the tones in contrast.

Photograph Six: Brown Spider Monkey Enclosure - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Six: Brown Spider Monkey Enclosure – Bristol Zoo – 2015

Taking inspiration from Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt, I decided to photograph the pair of the brown spider monkeys whilst they were inside their glass enclosure. I photographed them with the cages and wires, similar to that of Jaschinski’s work, however, I wanted to include an image which showed the glass windows and people looking through at the animals, whilst the animals looked at the visitors, similar to Eeckhoudt’s work.

Composing this image was difficult, as there were many people inside the glass enclosure area, so I knew that I had to stand at an angle to the glass windows and the visitors, in order to show the layers of glass windows and the people the other side. I made sure that I composed the image, to include the window frame in the centre of the image, as this broke the image up, making the enclosure look even more smaller. I knew that there would be reflections in the windows from the lighting, people and posters, however, I knew that this would be a great image. If I hadn’t of stood at an angle to the window, I wouldn’t have been able to include both the monkeys, the glass from the window and the people on the other side. I also made sure that I included the door where the zoo keepers enter the enclosure, in the frame, as this portrays it being an artificial enclosure.

Converting this to monochrome was a good choice, as the amount of detail, tones and contrast is great. I was able to show the reflection from the glass panels, the people looking through the glass windows, the detail on the wooden structures, the monkeys and much more. I am really pleased with this image. This photograph will have many different interpretations to different people, depending on how they view it.

Photograph Six: Gorilla Island - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Seven: Gorilla Island – Bristol Zoo – 2015

Although none of the photographers I have researched, photographed a male silver back gorilla, I do find similarities between this image and the works of Garry Winogrand. I took Winogrand’s approach at standing back and allowing visitors to do as they please, whilst you shoot away, taking photographs of them looking upon the animal, whilst the animal looks upon them. Although in most of Winogrand’s photographs, the visitors are ignoring the animals, but the animals are interested in them.

With this photograph, I decided to stand back and shoot. I saw this opportunity of photographing this young child, who was actually intrigued and interested in this male silver back gorilla, unlike the children in Winogrand’s photographs.

I composed this image so that the glass window panel was framing the gorilla, again showing that this powerful animal was only enclosed between a glass window and us. It was great that the young child put his arms up onto the railings, that gave the child that interested stance. The gorilla was extremely fed up and his eyes said it all. Like I mentioned previously, when you look into a primates eyes, you can see exactly how they are feeling. This male gorilla flopped into this position and then proceeded to rest his head on his hand, thus showing the human characteristics of how we rest our head on our hands if we are sad, bored or depressed.

I was unsure whether or not to crop the right hand side of this image, making the focus be only on the young child and the gorilla in the window, however, when I made a copy of this image and cropped it, I didn’t find it appealing. I personally believe that by keeping the right hand side of the image still in the frame, I was able to give it the feeling of perhaps a prison cell, with the dividing line from the glass window frame splitting the two rooms. You can also see a second gorilla asleep in the top right hand corner, with the vacant cell below. Converting it to monochrome also helps with the portrayal of a prison cell, as I was able to remove any colour distraction which enabled me to show the blank, colourless walls. Giving the Gorilla, an almost dull, boring and plain room.

Photograph Seven: Gorilla Island - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Eight: Gorilla Island – Bristol Zoo – 2015

I took the opportunity to move to the other side of the enclosure, so that I could see the gorillas face, in order to see his facial expressions. I noticed an interesting sign on a post where I was stood, it said ‘Please do not cross the barrier’.

I knew that this could be a great photograph if I composed it well. I decided to bend down slightly, in order to focus on the gorillas face, I wanted to frame him with this post and the post inside his enclosure. By doing so, I was able to frame him in an almost triangular shape. I kept him in focus, which therefore made the writing on the sign out of focus, however, it was still visible and readable.

Keeping in mind that we were in a 360 degree glass enclosure, with only the framework holding up the glass, there was no way we could ‘Cross the barrier’ as we would technically walk into a glass panel. Therefore, this sign has an interesting meaning, and can be see to represent the ‘Barrier’ stopping, holding and keeping this gorilla inside this enclosure. That is why I wanted to include it into the shot.

On the other side of this post, was the details from the cage door, which lead into the second bedding area. This therefore again, shows the cages and not being able to get through them or get out of them.

I am pleased with this photograph, I am glad that I was able to photograph a clear image of this gorilla’s face and his expressions. Framing him in the triangular section was an interesting composition for me. Converting this to monochrome, again was a good idea, as I could show the detail, contrast between the different materials. The white writing on the sign also stood out better.

Photograph Nine: Meerkat Enclosure - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Nine: Meerkat Enclosure – Bristol Zoo – 2015

Whilst visiting the Meerkat enclosure, we have a see through dome which you as visitors are able to be inside the enclosure, to see the Meerkat’s up close and in detail. I was stood photographing this little meerkat on his pride rock, whilst keeping the glass panels from the enclosure in shot, showing that even though he looks as though he is in the wild, he is enclosed by glass.

However, as I was photographing him, I noticed that two young male children were playing around inside the dome area. Their mother was trying to photograph them with the meerkat in the shot, but they kept messing around. I knew that this was a similar situation photographed by Garry Winogrand of the Rhino’s.

I decided to use my long lens for this image, as I could zoom into the enclosure, cutting out the wide enclosure full of sand in the foreground. Therefore, I could compose it so the focus was only on the two young male children and the meerkat on his pride rock. I managed to capture this photograph at the right moment when both boys were laughing whilst posing for their parents photograph.

What I like about this photograph, is the posture of the meerkat, he is posing like a model, waiting for his photograph to be taken. Yet, he doesn’t realise that behind him are two boys who are laughing at him. It is similar to us humans posing for a photograph, and someone behind making a silly face or ‘Photobombing’ causing you to have a bad photograph. However, this isn’t a bad photograph, and I am in fact pleased with this image. It shows that like Winogrand’s rhino photograph, these boys aren’t interested in the meerkat, they are only interested in making silly faces at the camera, and jumping around.

Photograph Ten: Penguin Coast - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Ten: Penguin Coast – Bristol Zoo – 2015

I decided to photograph the penguin coast during feeding time, in order to show how in captivity, you wait to be either hand fed, or you wait until the fish is thrown into the water for you to ‘Catch’. This is not what it is like in the wild, as penguins have the opportunity to hunt for fish every second of the day, not just at certain times like how it is in a zoo or in conservation.

I wanted to copse this image so that I could include the zoo keeper handing fish to each penguin. As you can see, the penguins are still huddled together and are unsure whether or not to approach the keeper, even though she has food. In my opinion, this shows that they are uncertain of their environment, and even though the smell of fish is appealing, they still aren’t sure whether or not to approach, as if they do, they could be in danger.

I also wanted to include visitors in the background, similar to how Garry Winogrand shoots his photographs. By doing so, I can incorporate the feeling of the penguins being similar to an exhibition piece, people constantly watching your every move. I used my cannon lens for this, as I would be able to compose an image which contained everything in it. However, I did zoom in slightly to cut out the buildings opposite the enclosure, which therefore cropped the image.

Photograph Eleven: Seal Coast - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Eleven: Seal Coast – Bristol Zoo – 2015

Photographing the seals was not the easiest of tasks, especially as on this day, they were very active, and were jumping through the water, showing off to the visitors. Seal coast is normally very busy with visitors, so I was thankful that I was able to position myself close enough to photograph them.

When photographing the seals, I kept in mind the photograph of seals taken by Garry Winogrand. I wanted to create something similar, where the seals were looking up at the visitors, and either the visitors were looking back at the seals, or the visitors were looking away, uninterested.

I was fortunate to have been able to photograph the three seals, just as they stopped near the bridge, with visitors looking down at them. Unlike Winogrand’s photograph, all of the visitors in my photograph are interested in looking at the seals. This photograph shows a lot of curiosity, more so from the seals. They look curious as to who is watching them, and what the ‘Click, Click’ noise is from the camera.

In terms of showing the bad side of zoos, I believe this photograph shows that especially in terms of the small water space. Like Winogrand, I composed this image by zooming in and focusing on including the visitors and the seals, making sure that I only showed a small amount of water and the closeness of the visitors, to portray a smaller enclosure and to give the photograph an almost ‘Enclosed’ feeling. By doing so, when you look at this photograph for the first time, you immediately think, ‘Is that really how much water they have to swim in?’. However, what people don’t realise, is that I cut out from the frame, the rest of the seal coast, which contained extremely deep water with underwater viewing galleries, and several mountain type rocks, for them to sleep or rest on. If I hadn’t of composed the image this way, and included the rest of the coast are in the frame, I don’t think it would have the same impact, and I personally believe this is what Winogrand was thinking when he shot his photograph of the seals.

Photograph Twelve: Seal Coast - Bristol Zoo - 2015

Photograph Twelve: Seal Coast – Bristol Zoo – 2015

Keeping Garry Winogrand’s photographs in mind, I decided to shoot photographs of the seals during feeding time. I decided to compose the photograph so that the focus was on the seal in the centre of the frame, in order to balance the photograph. By doing so, I was able to then include the visitors either side watching the seal.

Similar to Winogrand’s photograph of the seals, I noticed that several people were not interested in the seal, and were in fact more concerned about their mobile phones. I noticed a monotonous expression on the face of the zookeeper, which to me shows how his excitement for caring for this animal may be expiring. Perhaps he has worked with seals for years, and the mundane task of feeding the seals for entertainment purposes has begun to bore him too. It’s as though the zookeeper is showing the facial expressions, of what the seal is probably thinking himself.

In my opinion, this is a very lifeless photograph. The seal is sitting waiting for the food, as he knows that the keeper in the suit is the only one that feeds him. The facial expressions on the visitors are somewhat lifeless, as there is only about 4 people who actually look happy to see the seal. Converting it to monochrome also helps to add a lifeless, boring feeling to the situation in the photograph, as by removing colour distractions, I have made the visitors faces the target to look at.

Conclusion:

At the beginning of this assignment, I read through my tutors advice;

“Jumping ahead a little it might be worth thinking about the following in relation to the fifth and final assignment.  The shots an editor would be expecting to see in a photo story would be Establishing [setting the scene], Portrait [Human Condition], Action and Detail shots.  Obviously depending on what you are trying to say with the work, they would not always include all of these.

Photographic stories are the visual communication of a personal experience.  They can be considered unique and can provide an excellent vehicle for personal expression.  In order to communicate effectively, you must try to make a connection with what is happening.  In order for this to work, you must research your subject thoroughly and if the story includes people, patiently observe before starting to photograph them.

Just to dwell on the subject of the photo story for a while, it is important for you to have a ‘point of view’ or an ‘angle’ for the story.  With this work you could argue it was capturing the space of yesteryear. You must have an opinion about what is being recorded and this should in turn come across.”

His advice was very helpful, and when I answer the questions below, you will be able to see why I decided to choose this theme to study my personal project on, and any technical issues etc that I may have had.

When you’ve completed your collection, return to the brief that you set yourself at the start, and consider how well your completed project matches up to your original intentions. Write a reflective account of around 500 words to accompany your images. Below are a few ideas:

  • How did you choose your theme?
  • Was it a good choice?
  • What went well?
  • What went badly?
  • Did you stick to your original brief or did you find yourself departing from it? If yes, then why?
  • What technical problems did you experience?
  • How did you solve any technical problems?
  • Are you pleased with your final collection?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • How did you choose your theme?

As previously mentioned at the beginning of this assignment, I remembered some feedback that I received from my previous tutor, regarding an assignment I had submitted. For that assignment, I decided to study my research around the ‘Good Side’ of zoos and conservation, however, her feedback advised me that some of the photographs I had submitted, included cages and windows, which gave the photograph the opposite feeling of what I wanted to portray, and I was in fact showing a bad side, by including these cages. She advised me to research Britta Jaschinski and Garry Winogrand, in order to understand why she was advising me that I should perhaps remove these photographs from my submission.

Therefore, I decided to research Britta Jaschinski and Garry Winogrand’s work, and I was taken back by how amazing yet how sad their work was. I had previously researched animal hunting, animal cruelty, the fur trade and cosmetic testing, so I had some knowledge of researching works for this and photographing the bad side of these subjects, however, I wasn’t aware of photographers who had shot works of the bad side of zoos and conservation, until now. After looking at these photographers, I knew that if I had the opportunity in the future, that I would research them again and study this subject, in order to make my own set of photographs and works based upon this theme.

Ever since I was a chid, I have always loved visiting zoos and zoo like environments, unlike Britta Jaschinski, so for me, getting my brain around the idea that I would have to stop thinking about the good side of zoos and animal conservation, and that I would have to in fact look closer at the bad side of zoos and conservation, for me was going to be slightly difficult, especially as I didn’t want to then stop enjoying any future visits to the zoo. I suppose I thought to myself that once I opened my eyes to the truth behind the animals being born in captivity, never knowing what it’s like to be in their natural environment, never experiencing freedom, it would shock me and I would then start to question myself whether or not a zoo environment was actually a good place or whether or not it was all for show, and deep down it wasn’t all as it appears to be.

This is similar to the blog article written by Peter Barker in 2013, regarding Garry Winogrand’s photographs, portraying what he believed to be the real side of zoos.

I think that by researching the bad side and hidden side of zoos and conservation, before I began this assignment, I was able to get the other side of what we usually see when we visit the zoo. It’s the harsh truth perhaps, and we as visitors are unaware that these things happen behind closed doors. It is slightly hard to believe, and I don’t for one minute believe that my local zoo is anything like these zoos mentioned in these articles, however I wanted to study this theme, in order to decided for myself, whether or not bad sides of zoos and conservation existed, and Jaschinski, Winogrand and Eeckhoudt’s photographs do in fact reveal to us the truth, or whether or not there is some underlying falseness to their works and to the accusations.

  • Was it a good choice?

100% Yes, it was a good choice. For me to be able to research this subject, something which I had no previous experience of studying, really opened my eyes to something that I never knew really happens or takes place. I have seen things like this on documentaries, and you sometimes hear about these things in the news regarding the mistreating of animals whilst in zoo care or perhaps circuses, however, it is very few and far between that the news do in fact report on stories like this. I personally believe that this is not reported on purposely, as it will cause major problems if the truth behind captivation and the bad sides of zoos, really did come to light, and was publicised. I find this a very upsetting subject, as I am for animal rights, and I hate to see any type of mistreating of animals, hence why this is a topic that I wanted to study, to see whether or not it was in fact true and whether I saw anything like this at my local zoo.

My photographer research enabled me to compare all three of their works, and to see whether or not there were any similarities regarding the cages, enclosures etc. It also enabled me to compare how each of them composed their photographs.

Once I had found similarities between all three of them regarding how they composed their photograph, making sure that they cropped the enclosures, portraying them to be smaller than they were, making sure that they composed it so the cage wires were visible, glass panes were visible and visitors were visible, made me question whether or not all three of these photographers purposely composed their photographs in order to falsely portray the bad side of zoos, or whether they were composed to actually show us as viewers, what it is like to be one of these animals, in one of these small enclosures every single day.

Therefore, yes, it was a good choice, because I would be able to see what is the truth and what isn’t the truth. What has been falsely represented and what is real. Since I was a young child, I have never seen any mistreating of animals in out local zoo, in fact they have been known to rescue mistreated animals from other conservation areas. So for me, to think that my local zoo was covering up the captivation by making it look as though the animals were in their real environment, by painting on their enclosure walls, adding natural sources such as sand, wood etc into their enclosures, was hard to try to believe or disbelieve. I suppose I just wanted to know the truth.

  • What went well?

I was able to get the shots that I wanted. I must admit, it wasn’t easy, but I will explain why below, but I am happy with what I managed to shoot.

I was glad that I planned my visit. Taking two lenses so I could change the view of the image, was a good idea. I was pleased with the weather, thankfully it wasn’t raining and it was a lovely sunny day, which meant that I wouldn’t have to worry so much about lighting, getting my equipment wet, or having to trudge around soaking wet.

I was pleased that I managed to arrive early, enabling me to photograph scenes quietly, so I was able to photograph the lions for example, easier alone, than if there was a huge amount of people around. I don’t think I would have been able to achieve some of the shots, if I hadn’t of planned my visit beforehand.

  • What went badly?

People! I know that zoos are a favourite attraction, but I found the crowds of people, and the manners of the people ever so rude and annoying. I tried to keep calm, I didn’t get flustered, I just wanted to take my time, shoot what I needed to shoot, and then I would move onto the next part. However, I just find that people inside of zoos, can sometimes act worse than the animals that live in them. I was constantly pushed around, causing blurred images, which meant I would have to steady myself again to reshoot the image, I was move along, when I didn’t want to move. It wasn’t thee best. But I suppose that is what shows the difference between the well-mannered animals and the ill-mannered humans viewing them….

I remember my tutors advice regarding photographing people, ‘you must research your subject thoroughly and if the story includes people, patiently observe before starting to photograph them.’  I took this advice on board, and I made sure that in any situation with a large crowd of people, I stood back and waited, photographing along the way, but I made sure to wait for the right moment which could be the right shot.

Another thing that didn’t go to plan was the animals….. They say never work with animals or children. Well, unfortunately, the zoo was renovating some enclosures, so some animals were not available to view, which meant some pre-planned shots, were not available for me to take. Some animals were asleep, or were hiding in their enclosures, which meant that again, I was unable to photograph them how I had wanted. I can’t blame them, I would probably be asleep or hiding from the crowds too, but when I had a pre-planned vision of what animals I wanted to photograph, and they weren’t around, made me somewhat disappointed.

  • Did you stick to your original brief or did you find yourself departing from it? If yes, then why?

I did stick to my original brief.

  • What technical problems did you experience?

It is hard for me to say really, I found it difficult when shooting in the twilight world. In the twilight world, we have nocturnal animals, which meant it was completely in the dark except for a few small red heat lamps. When shooting under here, it was advised as a rule to not shoot with a flash, which was completely understandable, so I had to adjust my settings manually, in order to photograph them in the small amount of available light. However, it took me a while as I was being pushed again, causing my camera to move, which meant that my photographs were blurred. I was slightly annoyed when leaving this area, as I found the manners of people very rude and annoying. I decided to not use any of these photographs for this assignment, simply because I didn’t feel that they were suitable.

Another thing regarding shutter speed, was when I was photographing the seals. They were extremely active due to it being feeding time, which meant that I had to adjust my settings manually, in order to capture them. However, again I had to stand my ground and stop myself from being nudged and pushed against the railings, causing me to shake, blurring some images.

I also had to decide when to change lenses for certain enclosures, and halfway through, I had to check my images were being saved on my memory card, and I had to add a second memory card, as the first one was full.

  • How did you solve any technical problems?

It was just common sense really, I used my settings on my camera and adjusted them accordingly to the situation I was shooting. I positioned myself against railings or rocks, in order to stop camera shake and to steady my hands when photographing moving animals, as I was unable to use a tripod.

  • Are you pleased with your final collection?

Yes, I am extremely pleased with my final collection. I am glad that I was able to use the inspiration from my photographer research to help me when I was shooting for these, as I was able to compose these images with their inspiration in mind, which I may not have done if I hadn’t researched beforehand.

I am pleased that I chose to convert all of these to monochrome final images, as I believe that this has made them better. By converting to monochrome, I was able to enhance the contrasting tones, the details on the cages, windows and the animals. This would have been slightly challenging with colour images, as the colour would have been too distracting.

  • What could you have done differently?

I don’t think that I could have changed anything regarding my final images, as I am pleased with them. However, I think if I could have done anything differently, It would have been taking more photographs. Unfortunately as I previously mentioned, some animals were unavailable due to renovations on their enclosures, however, if I could have changed that, and they were available, then I would have photographed them, the same with the animals that were hiding or were asleep.

I could also have composed different photographs, especially if there weren’t too many people around. I may have been able to have shot more interesting photographs, however, the amount of visitors stopped me from doing to as I was unable to reach places.

My Personal Opinion:

I really enjoyed the freedom of this assignment. At the beginning, I thought that it may be quite difficult to think of something to base this assignment on, as when you are given the freedom to study a theme of your choice, I usually find it hard to think of something that I haven’t previously studied. You also have to decide whether or not it would make an interesting set of final photographs, and whether or not the subject would be easy to photograph. However, being able to choose your own subject and theme to focus this assignment on, was great for showing something that you felt strongly about.

For me, I have always been an animal lover, and I am against the mistreating of animals in any way shape or form. I have studied other themes regarding mistreating of animals, such as hunting, fur trade, cosmetic testing etc, however, I have not studied the bad sides of zoos and conservation. I remembered feedback from my previous tutor regarding an old assignment, when I had studied the good side of zoos. She mentioned to me that I should research Britta Jaschinski, a photographer who focused on the bad side of zoos and conservation. After researching her work, I knew that sometime in the future, I would most definitely want to study the bad side of zoos, and use Britta Jaschinski’s work as inspiration for any images that I shot. When this assignment came up, I knew that this subject would be perfect for me to focus on. Therefore, researching and studying the bad side of zoos would be a first for me, and I thought that it was be very interesting and would lead to an interesting set of final images.

This meant that I would have to begin this assignment by researching into the bad side of zoos and conservation. I found some very interesting articles online which shocked and saddened me, as to the extent of what really is hidden from us on our visits to zoo type environments, and also what is hidden from us in the media. Doing photographer research also really helped me.

When I was doing my photographer research, I noticed that they all had similar composition, focusing on the animals enclosures, expression, cages and glass windows. I noticed that how they stood whilst taking these photographs could cause perhaps a misrepresentation of the enclosure and the situation at the time. These techniques when shooting, would allow them to produce sets of images which portrayed smaller enclosures, and depressed animals, when in fact, they were cropping out perhaps a huge part of the enclosure, in order to give the shot in the frame an enclosed feel. This was done purposely, to give the final image a better impact on us as viewers. I took note of these techniques and I used them whilst shooting for my images, and I must admit that where you position yourself, and what lens you use can alter your image dramatically. I was able to make enclosures looks smaller than they were. I was able to focus on cages, glass windows and visitors. Some may argue that this is entirely wrong and I have purposely shown smaller enclosures to mislead people, and I couldn’t agree more. I have purposely done this.

I think by doing so, I was able to show that perhaps Jaschinski, Winogrand and Eeckhoudt didn’t shoot the bad side of their zoos. Perhaps they have taken misleading photographs, in order to make it a better story and a talking point. Are their photographs lies? Are they misleading? or are they truthful, and have they actually been able to capture the truth behind the bad side of zoos. I suppose it is something that we will never know the real answer too, however, I can admit, that I used their techniques whilst photographing for my final images, and I believe that I have been able to produce some very interesting, very striking final photographs for this assignment. I have never seen any mistreating of zoo animals at my local zoo, and I don’t believe that what I shot that day shows any mistreating, however, I do believe that I used my composition skills, software processing skills and techniques I have learnt from research, have enabled me to produce a final set of photographs that you could argue, show that my local zoo cages and encloses depressed animals, bored animals, and lonely animals.

I suppose this is a subject that we will never fully understand, nor will we ever be told the entire truth about, as it would cause uproar. However, some zoos and conservation places are fantastic and do care 100% for the animals and their wellbeing. It was hard for me to try to portray a good zoo, as being a bad one. I knew that I would have to in order to produce these photographs, however, it does make me question whether or not these other photographs I have seen, and articles I have read are in fact truthful or not, or are they in fact good zoos that have been portrayed badly, just for a talking point.

I don’t think that we will ever know, however, my view on my local zoo is still a good one. I still love going to the zoo. Maybe I am wrong for those thoughts, but I love animals, and seeing wild animals who are endangered, up close, for me is a special, unique opportunity, that my children or grandchildren in the future, may never get the chance to see for themselves. I treasure the chances that I get to view a majestic lion so close, and I only hope that others do from here on. I also hope that in the future, any problems regarding mistreating of animals in zoos, small enclosures etc, can be changed, and perhaps if light was shone on this subject more, than maybe zoos which are struggling, could receive the help they may desperately need.

References:

PETA article – The Reality of Zoos – Michelle Carr – 2013

http://www.peta.org/living/entertainment/reality-zoos/

Liz Tyson article – 23rd June 2013 – Chester Zoo, UK.

https://www.thedodo.com/community/Liz_Tyson/if-we-really-care-about-animal-601151421.html

Article One: PETA – 13 Times Zoos Were Bad for Animals – http://www.peta.org/features/zoo-animal-abuse/

Article Two: CAPS – 10 Facts about Zoos – March 3rd 2010 –  http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2010/03/10-facts-about-zoos

Jaschinski, Britta.

Britta Jaschinski – Zoo Book – Amazon.

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (13 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714834726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714834726

Britta Jaschinski Photograph, By Spiros Politis, Jan 01, 2010,

Website: http://www.brittaphotography.com/projects.php

Winogrand, Garry.

Garry Winogrand – The Animals Book – Amazon

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 2nd edition (April 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870706330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870706332

Garry Winogrand Photograph, Self Portrait.

http://shooterfiles.com/2015/05/master-profiles-garry-winogrand/

Garry Winogrand, The Animals Photographs,

http://peterbaker.org/the-animals/

Peter Barker Blog Article, February 18th 2013 –

http://peterbaker.org/the-animals/

Vanden Eeckhoudt, Michel.

Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt – Zoologies Book – Amazon

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Delpire; First edition (1982)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2851071041
  • ISBN-13: 978-2851071040

Photo Book and Photographs –

http://www.agencevu.com/photographers/photographer.php?id=83

Project: A Web Gallery

What you can see on your monitor can also be distributed across the internet to as many people as you can persuade to look. Posting a selection of your images to a web gallery is quite straightforward (You will need a web account), and a number of image-processing programs and photo-browsing programs offer simple procedures for creating one. This part is not at all taxing, and you should concentrate on two aspects that will establish the character and quality of your gallery – preparing the images for on-screen display, and designing the viewer’s experience of visiting the site in such a way that it shows off your images to their best advantage.

Most of what we have been through in this course has been directed at the on-screen appearance of photographs, so there is very little else that you will need to consider for the gallery.

The size of the image is one. Usually, a large size on-screen delivers a stronger visual impact, but this may be offset by slower loading. You might also want to consider whether the images at your chosen size would benefit from a certain amount of sharpening.

The seconds aspect is editorial, and concerns the design of the pages and the sequencing of images. Work with the tools offered by the program you decide to use, which will almost certainly include a choice of already designed templates. You might want to consider the following;

  • Decide what you want from your website. What is its purpose? Do you want to show off your best images, or exchange all of them with friends, or present just one aspect of your work?
  • You are presenting your best work. Maintain confidence in the excellence of your images, and think of the website as a display arena of fine photographs.
  • The image comes first. The first priority should be displaying each photograph to its best advantage. That means occupying a substantial area of the screen and with nothing around it that fights for attention.
  • Everything needs a reason. Add symbols, buttons and words only as necessary.
  • Do you want your site to fit in with the general standards and style of other photography sites? Or do you want it to stand apart? Take some time to look at other photographers’ websites. Consider making screen grabs of them so that later, you can put your new design among them to see how it compares.
  • Keep it simple. A good default decision in photo gallery design is simplicity.
  • Offer the fewest clicks to navigate. Don’t make the viewer work hard.
  • Make it searchable. Put important words in HTML, not embedded in pictures. Search engines like Google can search only words, not pictures.
  • Let viewers know where they are at any time, and how to get to the next picture or set of pictures. An array of thumbnail images is a good way of stepping in and out of a collection.
  • Get other people’s opinions. Talk through your ideas and design with friends and other photographers, in order to help give advice and an objective opinion.

It’s up to you whether you want to attempt to create a web gallery at this stage or not. If you feel as though you are not yet ready, spend some time looking at other photographers’ galleries and make notes, about what you like and don’t like, useful features, things that get in the way etc.

Before I begin this project, I want to do some research into what makes a great photography website / gallery. I will look at well established photography websites and galleries, and note any eye-catching qualities, anything I like or dislike, and any similarities or differences between them.

Fashion / Beauty Galleries:

Tim Walker – London.

http://www.timwalkerphotography.com/recent-work

Walker is a British photographer who gained his passion for photography whilst working at the Condé Nast library in London where he worked on the Cecil Beaton archive for a year before university. After completing his 3 year BA Honors degree in Photography, he was awarded third prize as The Independent Young Photographer Of The Year. He began working as a freelance photographic assistant in London, before moving to New York City to work as a full-time assistant to Richard Avedon.

Upon his return to England, he began focusing his photography around portrait and documentary work for British newspapers. At the age of 25 he shot his first fashion story for Vogue. He has since photographed for the British, Italian, and American editions, as well as W Magazine and LOVE Magazine ever since.

Tim Walker Front Page

Tim Walker Front Page

Tim Walker Recent Work

Tim Walker Recent Work

Tim Walker Biography

Tim Walker Biography

Tim Walker Photo Book Page

Tim Walker Photo Book Page

When looking at Walker’s website, I have noticed that he keeps it very simple, similar to a high-end fashion magazine. A plain white background enabled his photographs to stand out a lot more, than if they were on a busy background, similar to how he would expect his photographs to be shown in a fashion magazine. Because his photographs are very unique and thought-provoking, I think that by keeping a simple background, it helps to draw the viewer’s attention to the photograph. He also includes details in the bottom left hand corner regarding who the photograph is of, where it was taken, for whom it was taken and the date.

It is a very easy website to use, the tabs in the left hand corner are accessible and simple. He includes options to view his photo books, news articles, biography and contact details.

  • Simple yet bold front page with only one photograph
  • Simple white background
  • Bold name header
  • Simple, clear tabs in the left hand corner
  • Options to view his photo books, news articles, biography, videos
  • Information regarding the photograph, included at the bottom left corner
  • Large and medium-sized photographs
  • Contact details available
  • Professional looking

Jason Bell – London / New York City

http://www.jasonbellphoto.com/#/home/

Bell is a British photographer, born in London. He chose a career as a portrait photographer whilst in university. His work has included well-known celebrities and has appeared in some of the worlds most famous publications, such as Vanity Fair and Vogue US & UK.

Bell has shot photographs which have been used for film posters including Billy Elliot, Love Actually and Bridget Jones 2. The National Portrait Gallery have purchased several pieces from Bell’s work, and have been kept for their permanent collection.

Jason Bell Front Page

Jason Bell Front Page

Jason Bell Vogue Photographs

Jason Bell Vogue Photographs

Jason Bell Biography

Jason Bell Biography

Jason Bell Photo Books

Jason Bell Photo Books

There are noticeable similarities between Tim Walker and Jason Bell’s website. The first being that they both have a simple front page. They both have a large striking photograph on the front, drawing the viewer’s attention in. They keep the background simple, keeping it plain white. Bell includes the name of the model under the photograph, similar to Walker.

They have simple easy to use tabs on the left hand side of the page. These too include present and previous works, photo books, biography and contact details.

They are both professional, clean-looking websites that are easy to use, and therefore only focus on their work. They let their photographs speak for themselves and for the website. They both remind me of high-end magazines, in which they have plain white backgrounds, where the photographs are the main focus with little but necessary writing.

  • Simple yet bold front page with only one photograph
  • Simple white background
  • Bold name header
  • Simple, clear tabs in the left hand side of the page
  • Options to view his photo books, present and previous work, biography, videos
  • Information regarding the photograph, included at the bottom left corner
  • Large and medium-sized photographs
  • Contact details available
  • Professional looking

Richard Miles

http://www.richardmilesphotography.co.uk/#!/home/

Richard Miles is an award-winning, freelance photographer who has been internationally published. He has appeared on BBC television and has worked with respected industry names such as Errol Douglas, Phil Smith and Royston Blythe. His hair and beauty photographs have regularly appeared on the front cover of several best-selling glossy magazines.

Richard Miles Front Page

Richard Miles Front Page

Richard Miles Hair and Beauty

Richard Miles Hair and Beauty Colour

Richard Miles Hair and Beauty Monochrome

Richard Miles Hair and Beauty Monochrome

Richard Miles Biography

Richard Miles Biography

One noticeable difference with Miles website is that he has decided to use a black background. His front page contains a slide show, consisting of large monochrome and colour photographs which take up a large quantity of the screen.

His links are situated at the top of the page, which take up less room, enabling larger photographs to be used. His links include options to other works, videos, biography and contact details, similar to Walker and Bells. He also uses links to social media sites, something which Walker and Bell don’t use.

His photographs of the hair and beauty are located on a slide which you slide along in order to view each photograph. The photographs are all the same size, giving the feeling of uniformity and tidiness.

His choice of using a black background is a very well thought out choice. His photographs of the hair and beauty are either colour or monochrome. They each contain a well-lit model with a striking pose. Although they are lined up at the same size, on a slide mechanism, and don’t include much of the black background, they are still somewhat framed by the background, making them stand out much more.

This is a very easy to use website, with a lot of his work available to view.

  • Bold front page with a slide show of work
  • Simple black background
  • Bold name header
  • Simple, clear tabs at the top of the page
  • Options to view his present and previous work, biography, videos, blog and social media links
  • Large and medium-sized photographs
  • Contact details available
  • Professional looking

Animal / Wildlife Galleries:

Joel Sartore

http://www.joelsartore.com/

Joel Sartore is a world-famous photographer, who specializes in photographing landscapes and documenting endangered species. He chooses to photograph these subjects, because he is a conservationist. He wants to show us as viewers, a world worth saving. Sartore is also a speaker, author, teacher and a National Geographic Fellow. He regularly contributes to the  National Geographic Magazine. He is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project to save species and habitat. He has also written several books.

In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, his work has also appeared in Audubon Magazine, Geo, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and numerous book projects. Not only has his work been published in magazines, but it has also appeared in several national broadcasts, such as National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition and an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range.

Joel Sartore Front Page

Joel Sartore Front Page

Joel Sartore Photographs Page

Joel Sartore Photographs Page

Joel Sartore Buy Photographs Individually

Joel Sartore Buy Photographs Individually

Joel Sartore Store

Joel Sartore Store

Joel Sartore Biography

Joel Sartore Biography

Comparing Joel Sartore’s website, to the three previous fashion websites, I have found some similarities and differences. The first similarity is on the front page. Sartore uses a slide show on the front page, which moves through medium size photographs. Similar to Richard Miles, only just on a smaller scale. There is also a short description about Sartore and his work on the front page, which helps draw your interest in, and makes you want to look through the rest of his website.

The tabs and links are situated at the top of the page, leaving more space and room for photographs in the main section of the page. He also has quick links which enable you to search for certain photographs, rather than scrolling through all of them. There is also quick links to his social network pages and contact details, all located on the front page, making it quick and easy for people to look and click for any information they may need.

When you click to view his ‘Photos’ page, each set of photographs are in categories which makes things easier and simple to view, rather than scrolling through one large section of photographs.

Once you click to view a photograph, there is an opportunity to purchase them individually, check for stock quantity and an option to share the photograph via social media. This is a great idea if you are thinking of selling your photographs on your website. Enabling the viewers to check for stock next to each photograph, is a great idea, especially as it can be annoying if you add an item to your basket, and attempt to check out, only to find that it is not in stock. At least with this feature, you’re able to check in advance. Each photograph also contains details about the image underneath, similar to the other websites previous.

Sartore has a store on his website, which contains several different items, all incorporating his photographs, for you to purchase. Therefore, not only is this a portfolio website, it is also a shop, and you are able to purchase your favourite prints or products.

He also has several other links, similar to the three previous website, including a biography page. There is also links which enable you to download head shots, documents from events he has attended, videos to watch and much more.

I find this website very easy to use, similar to the previous three. He has kept it simple with a plain dark background which help to show off his photographs against the simple background. There is a bold yet simple front page, incorporating a slide show of his best work, similar again to the others. It is a user-friendly website, with simple links, social media links and a lot of event details, contact details, videos to watch and much more.

I like the addition of the store, and being able to purchase prints. This gives us as viewers the opportunity to own a great piece of work.

  • Bold front page with a slide show of work
  • Simple dark background
  • Bold name header
  • Simple, clear tabs at the top of the page
  • Options to view his present and previous work, biography, events, videos, blog and social media links
  • Large and medium-sized photographs
  • Details about each photograph, underneath.
  • Contact details available
  • Store to purchase prints and products
  • Downloadable PDF files and Photographs
  • Professional looking

Jim Dratfield

http://petography.com/

Jim Dratfield was born in Princeton NJ. He grew up in a theatrical family, and even starred on Broadway himself, when he was young. His love for theatre encouraged him to open up his own theatre company O Drat! Productions.

Jim decided to move back to the East Coast, where he later combined his love for photography and animals, whilst dreaming up concepts for promotional mailing which was being sent to casting directors, and photographing himself and his beloved pet dog Kuma an Akita. Combining photography and pets was something he knew would be popular, as owners like him, have a deep affection for their pets and he knew that they would cherish portraits of their little ones.

In February 1993, Dratfield co-founded Petography Inc, an animal portrait studio, specializing in fine art photographs of pets, all shapes and sizes. Since then, Petography Inc has become a huge success. Dratfield has flown all around the world photographing owners with their pets, he has even photographed portraits for well-known celebrities.

Jim Dratfield Front Page

Jim Dratfield Front Page

Jim Dratfield Drop Down Menu - Portfolios

Jim Dratfield Drop Down Menu – Portfolios

Jim Dratfield Cat Portfolio

Jim Dratfield Cat Portfolio

Jim Dratfield Book Page

Jim Dratfield Book Page

Jim Dratfield Biography

Jim Dratfield Biography

Jim Dratfield’s website is very similar to all of the above websites. He has a very simple front page, with a slide show of his best work in a large size. He has a large name header at the top, followed by his easy to use links.

When viewing his portfolio work, he uses slide shows to look through his work, this is similar to Richard Miles. A difference is that he doesn’t include any information about each photograph.

He uses a plain dark background, again similar to the previous websites, this makes his work stand out from the background.

There is a book link which takes you to a list of his published books, and a link to Amazon where you can purchase them. Different to the other websites.

There are links for biography, events and press, and also a contact link which takes you straight to a message box and email address. Very simple, yet different to the other websites. There is also now links to social media, which is similar to Tim Walker and Jason Bell, leaving me to have the feeling that this is a high-end photographer, who can only be reached by message or email only.

  • Bold front page with a slide show of work
  • Simple dark background
  • Bold name header
  • Simple, clear tabs at the top of the page
  • Options to view his present and previous work, biography, events and contact details
  • Large and medium-sized photographs
  • Contact details available
  • Professional Looking

After looking at all of the websites and galleries, I have found similarities and differences between all of them. Some things I like and some I don’t.  The first similarity is that they all look professional. The first appearance always count, and every front page is clean, simple and tidy. They each contain a bold image which draws you in as a viewer first, and some even contain a slide show which showcases their best work, as like me, I would find it hard to choose just one photograph to put as a front cover, and therefore choosing a slide show option would work better.

They each keep to a simple plain colour tone, whether it is white or black. None of them have chosen to use patterned backgrounds or multi-coloured backgrounds. By doing so, they have avoided any confusion. Choosing a wild patterned or multi-coloured background would be very messy and it wouldn’t pull your attention into the photographs as well as a simple background would. Perhaps a faint pattern or pastel multi-coloured could work, however, it would depend on what theme of photography you would be showcasing.

They all have bold name headers, showing off their names or the company’s name. This is extremely important, as you want people to know who you are. They all have simple, quick and easy to use links to other pages, portfolio works, biography, contact areas and books or shops. Navigating around a website can be confusing at times, however, I found that navigating around these were very easy and simple. This is something that I want to incorporate into my website.

I like the use of categories when showcasing your work, for example, Joel Sartore uses categories to split the large quantity of photographs up. It looks tidy and is easy to use and find certain themes of work, rather than scrolling through image after image.

The use of social media links is a good idea, as this makes you more accessible to your clients, viewers or fans. They are therefore able to see any upcoming events, news feeds or new photographs that you have taken. It may be difficult if you don’t have a social media page based on your photography work. This is something I don’t have, so using social media links wouldn’t work for me. However, this is something that I do like.

Incorporating a store / shop, where you can purchase prints or products is a great idea. However, I have to decide whether or not I want my website to just be a portfolio for my best work, or whether I want to combine that with the opportunity to sell prints.

Therefore, after gaining inspiration from researching other photographers website and galleries, I now have to plan my own.

My Own Web Gallery:

Looking back to the advice given at the beginning of this project, we were given bullet points of key things to remember when beginning your own website and web gallery. I will add them below and reply with my response.

  • Decide what you want from your website. What is its purpose? Do you want to show off your best images, or exchange all of them with friends, or present just one aspect of your work?

I want to produce a website which shows off my best photographs, similar to a portfolio of work. I want to showcase three or four themes of work, I don’t want to just focus on one area of photography. I want to have a website which is accessible to not only friends, but to everyone. I want it to be seen worldwide.

  • Do you want your site to fit in with the general standards and style of other photography sites? Or do you want it to stand apart?

After researching other photographers websites, I would like to fit in with the general standards and style of their sites. I prefer the professional looking websites when it comes to showcasing your work as it looks more appealing. The viewers are able to focus more on your photographs, rather than focusing on a distracting background, or they may give up looking all together if your website is messy or difficult to navigate around.

  • You are presenting your best work. Maintain confidence in the excellence of your images, and think of the website as a display arena of fine photographs.

For my website, I will be presenting my best photographs. I will have to look through all of my saved photographs on my computer, and choose only a handful to show. I have to remember that less is more, so when I am choosing what photographs I want to show, I need to select the best ones. I also have to decide what themes of work I want to present, for example, Animals, Flowers, Landscapes, Travel, Portraits… I need to narrow it down to only a few, but I want to show a range of work, in order to show that I am able to photograph a variety of things.

  • Keep it simple. A good default decision in photo gallery design is simplicity.

In regards to the research I have done on the photographers websites, the one similarity I noticed was that they were all simple, clean and easy to use. This is something I want to apply to my website. I want it to be easy for people to use. I want easy, clear links to use, so people know where they are when viewing the different photographs or pages.

I want to produce a striking front page. The websites I researched all used either one main photograph to grab the viewer’s attention, or they used a handful of their best pieces, and used a slide show. I need to remember that the first appearance is what counts, it needs to have a lasting impression and needs to either pull the viewer in, making them stay and proceed to look around, or it can make them exit and look elsewhere.

I need to make sure that each photograph is categorised, and that they are not all bundled together, making it a long line of photographs to scroll through. It needs to be organized properly.

  • The image comes first. The first priority should be displaying each photograph to its best advantage. That means occupying a substantial area of the screen and with nothing around it that fights for attention.

In terms of displaying each photograph, I need to remember that nowadays, browsing online can be done via PC, Mac, Laptop, Smart Phone or Tablets. Therefore, I need to choose a website which has the added feature of being able to be viewed on all of these devices.

I need to choose a size of photograph to present. I will be using my JPEG photographs, as this is mainly what I shoot with anyway. In terms of the size of the photograph, If I choose a large size, than I need to keep in mind that the larger they are, the slower they may load on certain devices, and the more image processing it may need, such as sharpening.

I also need to decided what colour background I will be using for my website. If I am to fit in to the general standard of photography websites, then showing my photographs may work well on either a white or black background. I will have to decide what looks best when I am designing my website.

  • Everything needs a reason. Add symbols, buttons and words only as necessary.

Less is more, in regard to writing. I will only add writing about where the photograph was taken, if the website template I use will allow me to. I will also create and about page, in order to introduce myself and some background history, but not too much.

In regards to symbols and buttons, again less is more. The less buttons or links there are, the easy it is us use and navigate around. I have found in the past when viewing websites, that the more buttons or links that have been used, the more confusing it can be.

I will be including watermarks on each of my photographs, in order to stop any theft. These watermarks will be very small and faint, in order not to distract the attention from the photograph. My watermark will say Chantelle Grace Photography.

I will not be including a shopping cart or store area, as I don’t intent to sell any prints or products. This may change in the future, and if the website template allows me to add a selling area, then I may include it in the future.

I will also not be using links to social media, as I don’t have social media accounts for my photography.

  • Make it searchable. Put important words in HTML, not embedded in pictures. Search engines like Google can search only words, not pictures.

I want to find a free website which I can create my website on with no charge. I am fully aware that this may hinder certain things for example, it may have advertising from the website company itself, or their domain name, however, at this moment in time, I do not feel that I am 100% certain about diving into a photography website. I want to produce this website for free, as this will be a learning experience for me as I have never made one before, and I would like to learn on the way. I think that by me purchasing anything will be too final, and I am not ready to take that step yet.

  • Let viewers know where they are at any time, and how to get to the next picture or set of pictures. An array of thumbnail images is a good way of stepping in and out of a collection.

When viewing photographs on a website, it is sometimes difficult to find out how you navigate onto the next photograph. Sometimes there are hidden arrows which can only be found if you hover over the present photograph, or sometimes it changes by itself as it may be a slide show. I need to decide what navigation tool I will be using, and whether it will be visible in order to help people navigate their way through my photographs. I will also need to decide if I will use thumbnail photographs at the bottom of each larger photograph, or just allow the viewer to look through each photograph one by one.

  • Get other people’s opinions. Talk through your ideas and design with friends and other photographers, in order to help give advice and an objective opinion.

I will definitely ask my friends and families advice when I am designing my website, after all, second or third opinions are better than just one. They may not like some of my photographs or they may advise me to alter certain things on the website, it just depends on their opinions. I need to remember that these opinions may help as the things they notice, will be what others may notice too, which could lead them to not wanting to stay on my website, and therefore missing out on viewing the rest of my work.

Beginning My Website:

The first thing I had to do was choose what photographs I wanted to present on my website. I own a vast quantity of photographs which I have taken over many years. Thankfully, I always categorise my work, making it easier for me to search for certain photographs. I decided to open up a new folder for this project, in order to drop any photographs I thought would be suitable for this website, into. After looking through all of my photographs, I decided to categorise them in the new folder. I made four folders, Animals, Flowers, Beaches and Sunsets and Travel. Each folder contained approximately 10-16 photographs.

My Folder Choices

My Folder Choices

Animal Choices

Animal Choices

Flower Choices

Flower Choices

Beaches and Sunset Choices

Beaches and Sunset Choices

Travel Choices

Travel Choices

After choosing these photographs, with the help of my Mother, I managed to reject a few which were either too blurred, duplicated and one was better than the other, not bold or interesting enough. I must admit, it was difficult to choose the ones I wanted to keep and the ones to reject, but I had to remember that less is more, and I want to present my best photographs.

Final Animal Choices

Final Animal Choices

Final Flower Choices

Final Flower Choices

Final Beach and Sunset Choices

Final Beach and Sunset Choices

Final Travel Choices

Final Travel Choices

Once I had chosen my final selection of photographs, I had to go through each of them and process them to make them better final images. Some would need cropping slightly, some needed brightening or darkening in places, and some would need sharpening, but the rest were ok. I didn’t want to over process any of them as this would create fake images and I didn’t want to present false images.

Once the image processing had been done, I then needed to find a free website in order to begin building mine. I looked around on Google, for free websites, which have templates already made for you to then alter and adjust yourself as you wish. I found a website called https://www.wix.com/.

Wix Website Builder

Wix Website Builder

After finding the website builder which had templates, I decided to have a look through their photography templates. I wanted to find something which was simple, clean, professional looking and easy to use. They had four pages of photography templates, so deciding on a favourite was going to be difficult.

Wix Template Selection

Wix Template Selection

Wix Photography Templates

Wix Photography Templates

Wix Photography Templates

Wix Photography Templates

Wix Photography Templates

Wix Photography Templates

After looking through all of the templates, I decided on just one. I decided to choose the ‘Fashion Stylist’ website template. Below are some screenshots of the template which I have chosen. I will explain underneath why I decided to choose this template to build my website from.

Fashion Stylist Website Template Front Page

Fashion Stylist Website Template Front Page

I decided to choose this template, because it reminded me of Tim Walker and Jason Bell’s websites. The front page is clean, simple, professional looking and contains one strong photograph to draw the viewer’s attention in. The links are situated at the top of the page, in a tidy row. There is a bold name heading, which makes an impact, and lets people know who I am.

Another reason is because this template is suitable to be viewed on all devices. This way, my website can be viewed on a PC, Mac, Laptop, Mobile or Tablet devices.

Fashion Stylist Website Template Fashion Page

Fashion Stylist Website Template Fashion Page

This is the fashion page. I would obviously change the link names to what themes I am presenting, which is Animals, Beaches, Flowers and Travel. However, what drew me to this template is the way the photographs were presented. I mentioned previously that I liked how Joel Sartore presented his work, in a categorised manner. I didn’t want to use a slide show for my website, so I had to decide whether or not I would present my photographs one by one in a row, or whether or not to use a presentation similar to Joel Sartore.

The way these photographs were presented caught my eye simply because I liked how they have arranged the different shapes and sizes. Rather than lining up all of the horizontal photographs together and the landscapes together, they have mixed them together. This somehow flows and you are able to see every photograph at once. You as a viewer are then able to choose which photograph you want to click on to view larger.

Fashion Stylist Website Template Beauty Page

Fashion Stylist Website Template Beauty Page

Fashion Stylist Website Template Open Image

Fashion Stylist Website Template Open Image

Once you have clicked on a certain photograph to view, the photograph is then opened on the screen like this. It has a clear X to close the photograph, and clear arrows to go back and forth. This is something I like, as I have previously mentioned that it can be annoying or distracting if you can’t find a way of moving onto the next photograph or closing the first one down. Like this project advised, your viewers must always know where they are, and how they can move onto the next set of photographs. This template has made that very clear and easy to use.

Fashion Stylist Website Template Blog Page

Fashion Stylist Website Template Blog Page

Every website I researched contained an about section and a contact section. This template contains both which is great, as this way , I am able to let viewers know who I am, and a way to contact me. It is very simple and easy to use, so they won’t find it difficult to use.

Fashion Stylist Website Template Blog Page

Fashion Stylist Website Template Blog Page

This template contains an option for a blog. You are able to use a current blog or create a new one via your website. You are then able to link and social media pages to that blog. This way you are able to keep any fans or followers updated with any new photographs you may have taken, or any current projects you are on.

I don’t currently use a social media page for my photography work, therefore, I will not be adding any social media links to this website, however, I will keep the blog, as this way, if I am to keep this website in the future, I will be able to write blog entries for viewers of the website to read, and I may think about opening a social media page, which can the be added.

In the meantime, I will most likely inform the viewers of this blog, by adding the link for people to read, and explain why I have opened the website.

Now that I have my photographs ready and I have chosen the website and template I will be using, I now have to proceed in building my website.

I will start with my front page. The first thing I will do, is decide on what photograph I would like to present on my front page. I wanted to use a photograph which contains colour, as this will pull in the viewer’s attention. I have decided to use a large red poppy for my photograph on the front page. It is a very bold, colourful and detailed photograph. This will help to draw viewers in, making them want to look at the rest of my work.

The second thing I needed to change was the name header. It currently had the template name, so I changed it to Chantelle Grace, with Photography underneath. I then had to re name the links at the top, and add one more page as there were only enough for three photographic areas and I needed four. I also changed the copyright name at the bottom of the page to my full name. I have included screenshots of my website. The screen was zoomed out in order to fit the full page onto the screen, therefore, things may appear smaller than they actually are.

My Website Front Page

My Website Front Page

I kept my front page simple, with one singular bold photograph on the front with the links to the other pages up the top. My name is bold and situated in the centre of the page so people know who I am and that it is a photography website. My front page has similarities between Tim Walker and Jim Dratfield’s websites. They both keep their front pages simple with a plain background and a large photograph on the front page. A similarity between mine and Dratfield’s is the links are situated at the top of the page with a photograph in the centre of the page. Apart from the background colour, the only difference is where our name headers are situated. In regards to Walker’s website, there are noticeable differences such as where the photograph is located and the writing, however, it is similar with the clean white background and the professional look. I also haven’t included information about the photograph to the side of this photograph, which Walker does on his front page.

Tim Walker Front Page

Tim Walker Front Page

Jim Dratfield Front Page

Jim Dratfield Front Page

My Website Animal Page

My Website Animal Page

This is how my photographs are presented on each page. Rather than being grouped all together, I have categorised them, allowing each category to have its own page, similar to Joel Sartore. This way, you won’t have to scroll through my photographs as they aren’t on a slideshow mechanism. You are able to see all of the photographs in this category on a small scale, then you can decided whether or not you want to view them larger.

My Website Animal Photograph

My Website Animal Photograph

If you do decide to click on a photograph, to view it on a larger scale, this will appear. The photograph will be on its own with clear arrows either side to let the viewer know where to click in order to view the previous or next photograph. There is also a clear X in the top right hand corner, which allows the viewer to know where to click in order to close the photograph.

My Website Beaches Page

My Website Beaches Page

My Website Flowers Page

My Website Flowers Page

My Website Travel Page

My Website Travel Page

My Website About Page

My Website About Page

Tim Walker Biography

Tim Walker Biography

Richard Miles Biography

Richard Miles Biography

Every website I have researched has contained an about page with contact details, therefore, I knew that I had to keep the one on the template and alter the writing and contact details. I kept the information simple as I didn’t want to write an essay about myself. The message box allows viewers to message me directly to my email account, which means that if they require any more information etc, then they can have direct contact to me. The only difference between my biography and contact section and the websites I researched, is that I combined both together to save space, whereas they had separate pages for biography and contact details. I had to do this because I added a fourth page for the travel photographs.

My Website Blog Page

My Website Blog Page

Unlike the websites I researched, I decided to keep the blog page on this template. The websites I researched contained links to Book pages, Events pages, Video pages and Archive pages, however, none of them contained a blog page. I decided to keep this because in the future, if I am to keep this website and update it regularly, then by keeping a blog going, I will be able to allow the viewers to read my progress. They will be able to read about any new photographs I may have taken and uploaded to the website, about any exhibitions I may have visited and much more. It is a way of keep a social feel to that part of the website, as I don’t own a social media page for my photography yet, so this is one step to beginning a social media presence.

The one unfortunate thing is that because I produced this website for free, the company ‘WIX.com’ have kept an advertising banner at the bottom of the page and in the top right hand corner. This is unfortunate, but understandable, as I know that if I decided to pay in the future, then this would be taken off and removed. However, for now, it stays.

Below is the link to my website. I hope you all have a look and enjoy it as much as I do.

http://chantellegracephotos.wix.com/photography

Conclusion:

I am extremely pleased with my final website. I have never made a website before, so by creating one which would present my photography work was going to be difficult as I wanted to produce something which showed off my work. I thought that if I got something wrong with the website or the designs, then I may end up producing a terrible website and no one would want to look at it or my work. I believe that by researching photography websites of other photographers was a brilliant idea, as I was able to gain a lot of inspiration from looking at how they designed their websites in order to show off their work. I was able to use this inspiration in order to look for the right template design for my website. Once I had chosen the template, I used the inspiration to present my work and keep things simple and professional looking.

The one challenge I experienced was deciding what photographs to present on the website. I have a vast quantity of photographs on my computer, so it took me a while to decide what were the best ones and to narrow my choices down. Once I had chosen the few, I then had to apply some image processing to crop a few areas and lighten some photographs, I also had to add water marks with my name, in order to stop any theft of my photographs once they are on my website.

I had no technical problems in regards to designing my website. I was very fortunate because the template I used was easy to adjust and alter. The designers of the template made everything simple and easy to use. I was also fortunate that this template was able to be used on all type of media devices, so my website can be viewed online on any device.

If I had to change anything, I suppose that in the future, I would add some more photographs or change a few around, keeping it up to date. I would think about paying for the website to enable me to discard any ‘Wix.com’ advertising banners. I would also be able to design my own domain name, allowing me to take out the .wix.com.

I would also think about using the Shop and Store link which my template has, in order to sell a few prints in the future. I would also think about creating some social media sites in order for me to link my website to the social media pages, making my photography more visible and well known. However, for now I am pleased with the final result.

References:

Fashion / Beauty Galleries:

  • Tim Walker – London.

http://www.timwalkerphotography.com/recent-work

  • Jason Bell – London / New York City

http://www.jasonbellphoto.com/#/home/

  • Richard Miles

http://www.richardmilesphotography.co.uk/#!/home/

Animal / Wildlife Galleries:

  • Joel Sartore

http://www.joelsartore.com/

  • Jim Dratfield

http://petography.com/

My Own Website / Web Gallery

  • Website Builder

https://www.wix.com/

  • My Photography Website

http://chantellegracephotos.wix.com/photography

Exercise: Sharpening for Print

For this exercise, you are asked to take an image that you have processed as the reference standard, with some edge detail and some smooth areas. A portrait is ideal – with the eyes carrying wanted detail, and the skin smooth areas that you do not want to be over sharpened. For the reference image, make sure that you have applied no software sharpening.

Once you have your chosen portrait photograph, you are to make three more versions, each with a different degree of sharpening. There will be a certain amount of trial and error in this but make sure that the weakest of the three is quite close in on-screen appearance to the un-sharpened original and the strongest is noticeably aggressive.

Print all four images at full size. Next, with neutral white lighting next to the computer screen, compare these prints with each other and with the 100% magnification images on-screen. You may be surprised at the difference in appearance between the same images as it looks on the screen and as a print. Use a magnifying glass to inspect the prints in detail.

Write down the difference you see, and also your assessment of which degree of sharpening seems to your taste to be the most appropriate for the image in print form.

For this exercise, I decided to use a portrait I took for a previous assignment.

Original Image:

IMG_4246 - Copy

The only alterations made to this original image is blemish removal.

I took several copies of this image and opened the first one in Lightroom 4.4. I decided to use Lightroom, because I prefer the sharpening tool in Lightroom, to the one in my Photoshop Elements 9.

Once in Lightroom, I then scrolled down to the sharpen adjustment box. The maximum amount of sharpness you could apply was 150.

Weakest Sharpening:

Weakest Sharpening After

IMG_4246 - Copy - Copy-Weakest Afer Sharpening

Medium Sharpening:

Medium Sharpening After

IMG_4246 - Copy - Copy - Copy-Medium After Sharpening

Strongest Sharpening:

Strongest Sharpening After

IMG_4246 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy-Strongest After Sharpening

IMG_4246 - CopyIMG_4246 - Copy - Copy-Weakest Afer SharpeningIMG_4246 - Copy - Copy - Copy-Medium After SharpeningIMG_4246 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy-Strongest After Sharpening

After looking at the exported, saved photographs from Lightroom, I noticed that it wasn’t showing the sharpening as much as it did on the Lightroom screen. I therefore screen shot the Lightroom screen to show what I saw.

Weakest

Weakest Sharpening After 2

Weakest Sharpening After 3 zoomed in

Medium

Medium Sharpening After 2

Medium Sharpening After 3 zoomed in

Strongest

Strongest Sharpening After 2

Strongest Sharpening After 3 zoomed in

Weakest Sharpening After 3 zoomed inMedium Sharpening After 3 zoomed inStrongest Sharpening After 3 zoomed in

After looking at these comparisons, I prefer the medium sharpening. The strongest amount of sharpening causes too much noise within the image. The medium amount of sharpening also causes noise, however, this could be reduced and perhaps not as noticeable. I would also have to smooth the skin more, as there is a slight grainy texture to the skin, especially towards the forehead area.

Sharpening an image for online shows that the more sharpening you apply to an image, the more noise and problems that will occur within that image. Less sharpening or medium sharpening is best, so long as you reduce noise at the same time, and think about detail and how realistic your image looks or doesn’t look.

Print all four images at full size. Next, with neutral white lighting next to the computer screen, compare these prints with each other and with the 100% magnification images on-screen. You may be surprised at the difference in appearance between the same images as it looks on the screen and as a print. Use a magnifying glass to inspect the prints in detail.

For this exercise, you are to sharpen for print. This is something which I haven’t really thought about, nor have I really done before. I will be using a Canon Pixma MG3150.

After printing my images, I have noticed that the sharpness is not as noticeable as on screen. In fact, I think it remains almost the same as if the image had not been sharpened. I think this depends on what photo paper you use, ink etc, as perhaps if it was a more professional printer, used for galleries or professional printing, then you may be able to notice sharpening.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed this exercise, as sharpening an image for print is something which I have not done before. I have sharpened images before, but never to the maximum extent, as when you over sharpen an image on screen, they appear extremely pixelated and noisy and I wouldn’t want my final image to have this appearance. However, this has taught me that even after I printed these images, even with the maximum sharpness image, the sharpness was hardly noticeable, something which I was not expecting. I was expecting the printed photographs to have the same appearance as the over sharpened image on screen.

The results could be dependant on what photo paper or ink I used and it may have had different results if I used a professional printer. However, this has been a very interesting exercise.

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.

Alvin Coburn New york

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

Alvin coburn new york 2

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

Alvin Coburn new york 3

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.

AP7206080850

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.

TrangBang

Vietnam Napalm 1972, By Nick Ut for Associated Press

 

Original 

TrangBang

Cropped

AP7206080850

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.

mm1

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.

thumb

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.

fbafefb61909594694f7a3cac68e520b

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.

lange_dorothea_2

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.

article-2107109-11F436EE000005DC-675_470x594
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.

article-2107109-11F436FB000005DC-365_964x309

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.

article-2107109-11F436E4000005DC-227_964x349


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.

Kelly-Clarkson-Cover-Compare

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.

JamesAndTheGiantPeach06b6877c0d9b398a9119caeaeb780ce0_200x307

Charlie%20and%20the%20Chocolate%20Factory_jpgcharcover16

il_fullxfull_165900756face

gatsby-original1great-gatsby-penguin-modern-classics

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.

20150826_15552720150826_155517

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

badger-portrait_315x211

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.

129349686__418758c

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.

_84910043_84910042

Photograph of a poster used in at a Taunton protest

1966861_598159466937020_1026166226_n

Team Badger anti cull poster

Badger-Ad-final-web

Care for the Wild poster

save_our_badgers-288x400

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

stsyhrty (68)

Two

stsyhrty (121)

Three

stsyhrty (123)

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.

stsyhrty (68)

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.

IMG_5467

IMG_5498

IMG_5491

IMG_5495

IMG_5484

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 )

stsyhrty (69) - Copy - Copy - Copy copy - Copy - Copy copy - Copy-2 copy

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.

stsyhrty (123)

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:

IMG_5495 - Copy copyIMG_5493 copyIMG_5498 - Copy copy

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

Exercise: Alteration

The final exercise in this part of the course is deliberate, out-and-out alteration of the content of the image, and requires Photoshop, for its clone stamp tool and its cut and paste abilities. There are many possibilities, limited only by imagination and skill, but to keep this exercise simple in concept (if not necessary in execution), we will concentrate on removing a major element of an image.

Take a photograph which contains one distinct subject occupying an area between about one eighth and one sixth of the total image (this is very approximate). It could be a person in a garden, for example perhaps one of two or three people.

The aim is to successfully remove this one element, replacing it with elements from the background or foreground, ‘successfully’ means that a viewer coming fresh to the picture would not be able to tell that there had been any retouching.

Relevant techniques are:
1: The Clone Stamp Tool – used to replace areas with adjacent areas.
2: Making a selection of a background area, copying, pasting and moving over the area to be retouched.
3:The Patch Tool – used to replace areas with adjacent areas.

For this exercise, I decided to use an image I took whilst in Milan. I was in the castle and spotted these interesting bird figurines that had been placed all around the castle. It was empty when I decided to snap a photograph, however, out of no where, a small boy decided to run right into the frame, and stood right in front of the bird figurines. I waited a while to see if he would run off, but unfortunately he didn’t, therefore I left. I was then left with an image containing this boy which I didn’t want. I knew that this image would be great for this exercise, as I could try to salvage the image, by removing the child, and the woman walking in the background.

Before I began the exercise, I found an interesting article in one of my Practical Photography Magazine, regarding the clone stamp tool. In February 2015’s issue of the magazine, there is an article written by Matthew Higgs.

He writes ” Removing distractions from images is a key skill for all photographers, and the clone stamp tool is often the go to tool for the majority of situations. However, for highly detailed images, the clone stamp tool can prove a little too crude, resulting in cloned areas that stand out….The healing brush tool however, samples pixels from a selected area just like the clone stamp tool, but instead, it matches the texture, lighting, transparency and shading of the area”.

For this exercise, I will be using a mixture of the Clone Stamp Tool and the Healing Brush Tool, to try and remove the people.

Original Image:

I took a copy of this image, and opened it in Photoshop Elements 9. I made a duplicate background layer for the image. I zoomed into the bottom right hand side corner, I selected the Clone stamp tool, and began removing the young boy.

Clone stamp tool

I swapped between the healing brush tool and the clone stamp tool for this image.

Finished

I made two final images, one with the door removed and one without.

Altered Image:

Overall Opinion:

This exercise took a very long time to complete. I have never removed anything like this from an image before. It took several hours, and multiple attempts. I am happy with the results somewhat, I must say that I am not happy with the right hand side foot of the pink statue, the one that was hidden by the young boy. I found this area extremely hard to try to clone, as there was so much detail, and I had to try and build a new foot for the statue, and also the wing area. This is noticeable, but if you just look at the image quite fast, you may not notice it. This is the only thing that does give away the fact that something has been removed from the image.

For my first attempt, I am pleased. I do think that over time, and with some more practice, and learning how to master other tools, I may become better at using them.

In regards to whether or not this is a legitimate adjustment, I think it depends on the situation. I think I have a good reason why the young boy and the woman walking in the back should be removed, as they walked into my frame by accident, and the image would have looked better if they had not walked into the frame, therefore meaning that I should remove them. In a way I have altered reality, as I have removed something, however, there was a valid reason behind this, and I would argue that this is an innocent removal.

References:

  • Practical Photography Magazine. February 2015. Pages 96-97.

Article Retouch detailed images with the healing brush, By Matthew Higgs.

Exercise: Addition

For this exercise, you’ll add one element from a different image. However, in order to make this less obviously full intervention, the exercise will be in two stages.

The aim is to take a conventional landscape view and render the sky do that it appears ideally exposed, with every detail of every cloud visible and textured. With a cloudy or partly cloudy sky this is frequently a problem, as you may already have experienced.

You’ll do this in two ways, the first being more ‘legitimate’ than the second, and for this you should find a location that allows you to make a landscape composition with a significant area of sky (at least a third of the image area). As you will later be making major changes to the sky, you will find it easier if the horizon line is clear, clean and obvious, without such fine details as branches and leaves. A clear blue sky will not do for this shot, as we need for the purposes of the exercise, a scene with a high dynamic range. You will have to wait for a cloudy day or partly cloudy sky, so that the ideal exposure for the sky alone would be significantly less than for the landscape.

Set up the camera on a tripod, so that you can make more than one exposure in perfect register. Make two different exposures, with the camera on either manual settings or using its exposure compensation system if it has obe.
One exposure should be perfect for the landscape (the sky will be over-exposed)
The second exposure should be perfect for the sky, with no highlight clipping (the landscape will be under-exposed).
The difference between these two exposures is likely to be in the region of two F-stops, possibly more.

Process these two images normally, without trying to make significant compensation- without using whatever highlight recovery of fill light controls your processing software offers. The next step is to combine these two images. If you use Photoshop or another image-editing program that allows you to make layers, so much the better. If so, do the following procedure. If not, skip to the paragraph after the next.

Copy the lighter image onto the darker image. Then, erase the over-exposed sky from the upper layer to reveal the darker sky beneath. Flatten the image and save as a copy. Then return to the original state of two layers before using the eraser brush. Now make a selection of the sky in the upper layer, using whatever selection tools you find convenient. Take care to refine the edge of the horizon. Save the selection. Now delete the upper layer’s sky, flatten and save as a copy. Making and saving a selection like this takes more time, but gives you more control over the erasure.

Alternatively, use an exposure blending program such as Photomatix to load and blend two images. Use the exposure blending procedure rather than the HDR tonemapping, as the latter involves advanced image processing beyond what we are disgussing here.
Exposure blending offers several choices of methods. The highlights and shadows- adjust option, is the default and normally the most useful, as it will give a natural-looking result and a choice of bias towards the darker or lighter image. Save the result.

Now, you have created a new image from two separate ones, but while this is clearly intervention, there is also a strong argument that this is perfectly legitimate, and that the procedure of taking more than one exposure within seconds is simply a way of overcoming the camera’s limitations of capturing a full range of brightness. Indeed, as technology progresses, specific software tools are appearing that make use of this’multi-shot’ approach. One such is photomerge scene cleaner in Photoshop elements, another is photomerge group shot.

Now use Photoshop, take this same image (the version exposed for landscape) or any other photograph with a sky. Then choose a different sky from an existing or new photograph.

In the first image, select the area of the sky and save the selection. Then paste into this area, the sky from the second photograph. The aim is to create a realistic effect, as if the new sky could really have been a part of the original image. You will need to consider such things as the direction of the sunlight if this is visible, the overall brightness and the contrast, in order to make the match look good.

One example of ‘doctoring’ an images, was in my work book. The writer included a situation in which he writes “A while ago, I was commissioned to take photographs of a bike workshop for a cycling charity. Unfortunately, my main model had just broken an ankle, and had a fresh cast on his left foot. A photograph of a bike instructor with a broken foot doesn’t inspire confidence to prospective learners, so I had to doctor the shot and clond his right foot. I took the photograph and ‘faked’ it myself using the following tools and techniques:”

1: Copying and pasting selected areas of the image
2: Cloning and Deleting
3: Refining Edges of Selectiobs
4: Transform command – Changing the shape and size of selections

The above case study, is a real example of a situation in which ‘doctoring’ a photograph is a useful solution to a particular situation. However, there are some issues with working in this way. Is it entirely ethical to do this? What sort of ethical issues do you think this raises?

WILL BE UPDATED SOON