Hayley Fearnley

Second Year Photography Blog

Task 5 – Sara Cwynar

The Tweeted Task

The Portrait

inspired by the aesthetics of antiquated studio photography and the unnatural cleanliness of contemporary commercial imagery.

Work in the Style

Takes pictures of current pictures and manipulates them. Look in magazines. Pop Culture images

I am interested in the steady stream of images that comes at us from different channels in everyday life, how these have helped to build and reinforce a shared view of the world.

The Task – Shot Digitally Due to Time Constraints

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Critical Rationale

For this task, I was really excited to use film however, I found that I just didn’t have the time to get the film developed and printed, therefore I went with digital, but only allowed myself to take 36 images, reminiscent of film, and also did very minimal editing. The only editing I undertook was to give the images more of a film look as I am a fan of the colours I get from film. I used a preset in Lightroom for a consistent look. The objects I chose were based around the theme of memory and the little things I keep as memories. I added my hand into some shots for a more personal feel and photographed a book held in my bed which I felt was even more intimate.

I was slightly worried about the task at first as I thought I’d struggle to capture the objects in an interesting way, especially after taking 36 photos of similar items, but towards the end I experimented with double exposures and adding different textures which I think worked well. I’d like to try this again in future with film and maybe lay the objects outside instead. This task was quite challenging for me and I still think I have some improvement to make in terms of making the objects interesting. I feel as though I took on more personal objects for this task and in future, would try random objects like Cwynar does with her own work, that have more depth and structure.

Task 4 – Tim Walker

Task 4 was a part of the group tasks. I chose Tim Walker’s task, as tweeted below:

This then had to be turned into a video or audio piece:

Critical Rationale

For my video, I focused it on the Tim Walker task, and chose to include nature and my boyfriend, as I love both things. I chose to film it in Leicester as opposed to Coventry as I love Leicester a lot more and there are better areas of nature close by. When I started filming, I realised I completely forgot about bringing a tripod and ND filter for my DSLR so this really challenged me and pushed me to work through these challenges, which I feel as though I did quite well. Some parts of the video are still slightly overexposed but overall, I quite like the final piece. I think challenging myself like this will really help with future work, where I could be out and about and see something I really want to capture but don’t have all the equipment, I can improvise.

What I love most about this video is how calming it is. I didn’t set out with this in mind, and I already created a whole project around calming videos, but I really like this quick edit. I kept the original sound in as this felt quite calming to me too, and fits better than calming music, which I was tempted to add instead. I have noticed that my passion for video is growing more and more, and this has shown me how much I enjoy it. I experimented more with changing the colours in Premier Pro for this too, to make certain colours of the flowers stand out more which is something I’ve not done before but I thought worked well. There’s still room for improvement, which I’d like to look into after this module.

I feel this would not have worked as well using still image as it wouldn’t have the calming effect and wouldn’t have displayed the swaying of the trees and attention to detail within the movement and sound.

Task 3 – Charles Harbutt

The Tweet

The Portrait

 

Work in the Style of

After looking at Charles Harbutt's work and looking further into interviews and why he captures what he captures, I chose to focus on shadows and light rather than the subject. He has said "gradually my pictures became more about what I experienced in my day to day wanderings and not so much about subject. They started to be about the shapes and forms I was seeing and drawn to, suggesting content different from their subject matter" I saw this shadow as I was leaving the house to get pictures for the assignment and really like the form of the shadow. To me, it looks like the shadows of people rather than a chimney which relates to content being different from subject matter. It also relates to Harbutt's practice and his photos of people. For me, this is a mix of his work that focuses more on forms, as well as his work focusing more on portraiture. #CharlesHarbutt #PhotographersPlaybook #Phonar2016

A photo posted by Hayley Fearnley (@hayleyrfoto) on May 19, 2016 at 10:36am PDT

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Film Images – Scanned in Digitally – Point and shoot focused more on the content, less on the technique.

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Critical Rationale

I mostly used film for this task, partly because Charles Harbutt used the same, and also to slow down my picture taking and make me really think about the images I’ll be producing within this 24 hours. I could have taken them digitally, but this would take up more time of my 24 hours and I would have to go through a lot more photos and I’d also feel the need to photoshop them. However, I’ve always liked the look of film. I also chose point and shoot like Harbutt as it focused me more on the content as I wasn’t worrying about the exposure etc.

I also like that some of the images might not turn out as expected, and will provide me with more “entertainment” as I struggle to make certain shapes out or try to make sense of it more. Some of the images I took related to this well, as they were blurred and they made more sense to me turned the wrong way round. I flipped them around and would see a whole new image. I also took pictures of nature as this is something I love, and who knows if it will be out in space! I really enjoyed this task as it got me thinking more about what was precious to me, and I found it involved more simplistic things than I would’ve originally thought, and also involved nice formations of light and shadows which caught my eye. I like that various images can tell different stories.

Task 2 – A Project

For this task, I looked into the previous tasks I’d responded to and made a project out of it. Here are the tasks I responded to via twitter:

Christine Shank – For this, we were given a random pack of objects and had to photograph the contents on our own, outside.

Shawn Records – We were given a set of directions and had to follow them and then photograph what the directions led to.

Aline Smithson – We were given 10 questions to respond to for this. I can’t list all here, but here’s an example of one.

The task I enjoyed most was the Aline Smithson one which we had to answer questions with. Within this, I found it interesting answering the question “Who Are You?” This is such a tough question to answer, and lots of people will probably have a different response to who they think I am. I wanted to focus on my own response to this and go further into portraiture as it’s something I’ve never really done before. I focused on what I’m self-conscious of and made quite vulnerable images, to allow people to see who I am more and for me to understand the answer better myself. I used out of focus shots for a lot of the images to show that even I don’t know who I am, and I think a lot of us never really will, we learn more and change each day.

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1. This image would be the starter image, and you can tell I’m taking the picture myself due to my outstretched arm. This shows it’s portraiture, along with the title. The out of focus shot also shows what’s to come.

2. I feel like the thing I often notice most about myself is my slouched back and this is something people often point out too and tell me to stand straight. I often wonder if this is due to lack of self confidence that I hunch over, and is something I wanted to explore here.

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3. I liked this image as a follow up image as it’s out of focus but I like how it makes my insecurities more appealing due to the lighting, which relates to how I’m trying to accept my insecurities and find beauty in them.

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4. I wanted to take a picture of myself for this image, but realised I really hate having my picture taken and I wasn’t wearing makeup which is my mask and makes me feel so much more confident. Until recently, I’ve always had long hair too which I think I often used to hide behind due to a lack of self confidence.

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5. I think this follows on from the previous image really well as I’m still not showing my face properly, but again it links to how I’m moving in the direction of accepting myself. I also placed my face in direct sunlight to show I’m exposed and vulnerable when I could’ve chose to hide in the shadows around my face. I kept this out of focus as I’m still not in a place where I’ve fully accepted myself, but I am moving towards it, and to also show I don’t really know who I am either.

Critical Analysis

For our first group task, I most enjoyed the Aline Smithson task which involved answering a series of questions with photographs. I most enjoyed this as I’ve never really focused on portraiture before or explored who I am within my photography. I was really interested in the question “Who Are You?” and the more I thought about it, the more I realised I didn’t really know. I realised everyone will have their own idea of who I am, and I often go on what other people say, but I’ve never really thought about it myself and who I think I am. I thought about my insecurities, and the things people don’t really know about me, to break away from what other people think I am, and to focus on things only I really know.

This was quite a vulnerable mini-project for me and isn’t something I’m often comfortable sharing, therefore I tried to make my images quite beautiful. I didn’t want to appear ashamed of my insecurities, I wanted to show that I’m growing to accept them. I used interesting lighting patterns to make the images more beautiful, and to also shine the light on my insecurities more to make them stand out rather than hiding in the dark. I’d really like to explore this more in future and develop it further, and there could be the potential to look more into nude portraiture which creates an even more vulnerable image, which is something I’ve been even more scared to try but think it can be done very tastefully and doesn’t have to show any body parts I wouldn’t usually show.

Final Summary

Over this module, I’ve found I’ve really enjoyed event and music photography and built up a passion for it. Even after this module, I’m going to keep applying to all the events and gigs I can and keep working hard so I’m prepared for when I graduate. I already have two jobs lined up which involves photographing a dog show at Fargo Village this upcoming Sunday (May 1st) as well as shooting a gig on May 10th for the webzine I have been hired at. One thing I’m going to push myself to do is use flash more and become an expert at using it. I also want to delve more into fashion photography but I’ve been finding it really hard to find people who will model for me so I’ve put an advert up on “Freelancer Club” for aspiring models and will also look into other ways of finding models for my shoots so I can become more experienced in this and maybe work with fashion magazines too. I feel as though my main goal is to work with magazines. This interests me the most as I love the opportunities that can be gained with magazines and the potential job stability.

In regards to the more art based work I do/more personal projects such as those I produce at university and what I displayed in my exhibition, I plan to still undertake personal projects when I graduate, but do these in my own time. I do hope to make money off my own personal projects some day too.

A Job Offer

After sending out email after email after email to magazines over the course of this module, today I finally got an email back which invited me to photograph for their online publication (linked here). They were really impressed with the work they saw on my online portfolio and said they’d love to have me as a part of their team which is great news! I feel as though this shows that the effort I have been putting in with my gig photography and online portfolio has paid off and I hope to continue to get better and better.

This will be an unpaid position but will be great exposure for my work and will allow me to photograph more gigs with a press pass rather than from the crowd, which will allow me to produce much better work. It will also give me work experience within the industry and will teach me a lot about working towards deadlines (48 hours after the gig, photos have to be with the editor)

I am really pleased to be working with the publication too as the music they cover is the music I am most interested in, which will keep me even more motivated to keep producing high quality pieces of work.

Adding to my Portfolio Website

As I’m trying to get more work with magazines within the music industry, and photographing live concerts for them, I have found that a lot of magazines have photographers that also write for them; this includes reviewing gigs and writing about upcoming gigs etc. Therefore, I decided to also place within the blog on my website, new posts that will help me practice my writing skills more. I’ve always enjoyed writing and think this will be a great way for me to find my feet with it again and will hopefully help me gain more jobs with magazines, so I can build up my writing skills and write for them too.

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