Final Photo Story Appraisal
For my photo story assignment I chose the theme of ‘fast’, primarily focusing on the quick pace of city life.
I chose this theme as I am very interested in street photography and haven’t yet had a proper opportunity to experiment with slow shutter speeds during the daytime since moving to a bigger city.
I had a number of different ideas after deciding on the theme ‘fast’ rather than ‘austerity’ or ‘raw’, however the approach I eventually took to this project was based on the idea of a ‘lunch break in the city’ and the various obstacles urban dwellers are faced with on a daily basis.
For my visual research for this assignment I researched various street photographers in order to find inspiration. I was most inspired by the works of Brian Soko, Martin Roemers and Richard Sandler. Brian Soko attempts to capture the quieter moments in his hometown of Chicago, concentrating on the people that make the city rather than the bricks and mortar. I tried to incorporate this into my work by using the people of Leeds as the subjects of my photographs and capturing the bustle of the inhabitants going about their everyday lives rather than focusing on the cities physical infrastructure. Martin Roemers specialises in metropolis photography and uses slow shutter speeds to portray fast moving life in the city. I took Roemers’ work into consideration when shooting my set of photographs for this module by using shutter speeds between 3 and 0.4 seconds in order to depict the commotion during rush hour. Richard Sandler is a well-known street photographer from New York whose work reflects elements that are typically found in the city for example yellow taxicabs and subway trains. I tried to take this into consideration when looking for potential locations for photo shoots for this assignment by finding well known landmarks associated with Leeds, for example the Town Hall, the Headrow and Briggate. When looking for potential locations I needed to find areas that would have a lot of movement in both the people and transport if I wanted to properly portray my chosen topic of fast moving city life. I took some time to walk around the town before deciding on any locations in order to find the places that would be most successful in demonstrating the story I wanted to put across.
One of my images shows a British Red Cross volunteer approaching a man who stereotypically wouldn’t be seen as someone likely to donate to a charity like this due to the way he looks and the way he is dressed. I watched as the man spoke to the volunteer for a few minutes before walking away, burying his head in his hands. This made me wonder what they had been discussing and why it had affected him in this way. I then merged the two photographs together to represent the unfolding of the scenario and to make the viewer question the story behind it.
Two of my images focus on the reliance on public transport in cities and how transportation such as buses are such a massive part in the day to day running of a city. I used a slow shutter speed to reflect the buses in motion therefore sticking to the theme of ‘fast’. I used the buses to frame the image and allow the paths to create a strong linear focal point that attracts the viewer’s eye. I adjusted the exposure, brightness, clarity and vibrance of these photographs to make the buses appear to almost be a flash of colour speeding through a dull city.
My favourite image I took for this set features a boy with the appearance of a typical student in Leeds crossing the road with buses captured in motion either side of him. I like the composition of this photograph because the buses frame it well with the island leading the eye to the centre of the image. Taken on the Headrow, one of the main streets in the city, this picture reflects the business during rush hour. I used Martin Roemers work as inspiration when planning the composition of these photographs, as I wanted to capture the quick pace of life in the city as he does without creating too many distractions away from the main focal point of the images.
I took another photograph, which shows a man on the left standing stationary and smoking a cigarette while a woman hurries past him. I think this image is effective because it represents the differing stories behind people in big cities and how we are not necessarily always aware of everything going on around us.
A number of the photographs I shot for this assignment revolve around the general hustle and bustle of the people of Leeds going about their everyday routine. Looking at these images makes me realise how much variation there is in large urban areas, with so many different backgrounds, cultures and styles. One of my other images features the bustle of customers visiting the new Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds. Being quite well known for its large variety of retail locations I think this photograph represents the city well whilst also keeping within the topic of ‘fast’ because of the use of a slow shutter speed reflecting the movement of the people, giving the image a busier feel.
I took another photograph as I was walking which shows a group of teenagers hanging around in the town centre. Although this was an accidental photograph I was happy with how it came out as the motion of me walking combined with the slow shutter speed my camera was set to resulted in the image having an exciting impression. The fact that it focuses on a group of black teenagers loitering portrays the varying cultures and lifestyles cities have. As I was using the work of Brian Soko as inspiration I feel this photograph ties in well as it focuses on the people of the city rather than the artificial elements that make the city what it is.
We were given the task to ‘Make two pictures: one should be a pure photograph that uses spot colour as a contrast point in the picture. the second picture should do the same but using Photoshop to create the effect’
For already demonstrated examples of spot colour I took these unedited photographs:
I used Photoshop to create these two images which demonstrate examples of spot colour:
These are the two final images I decided to use for the Spot Colour assignment, the first being completely unedited and the second having been created in photoshop.
For this task we were to ‘Make a panorama in Photoshop then add something to this panorama that wasnt there. Make it look like it belongs there.’
Firstly I had to create the panorama of all the images I took for this task.
This is the panorama I worked with for this task:
Firstly, I used a basic colour burn brush to adjust the colour of the image as I had taken the photographs on a very foggy day
I then used a darken brush to add to the adjustments made to the colour
I then began to add items to my panorama, I started by adding this plane
Secondly, I added a picture of two people walking to my panorama
Here, I used a basic eraser tool to remove the original background of the picture of the people walking
I then added a flag to the flag pole on the top of the James Graham building at our University
Finally, I added one of the buses that shuttles students to and from Headingley campus to my panorama.
This is the final panorama I created
For this task we had to take a photograph of something or some place in our favourite room that tells a story about ourself using the bounce flash technique from a external flash gun. I took these 3 photographs:
This image shows the noticeboard in my room which says a lot about me. On this board are my favourite photographs of me, friends and family, my university timetable and to-do list, a manual photography ‘cheat sheet’ as well as my calendar of the ‘Shaytards’ family whose daily videos I enjoy watching on YouTube.
This image shows my iMac which you will find me sitting at for the majority of the day for both work and leisure. However this was the final image I chose which I felt said the most about me. This photograph was taken on my bed, and as a massive sleep fan I spend a lot of time here. Also in this photograph are my 3 teddies, Iron Man (because Iron Man is awesome), Charlie the monkey who I’ve had for about 10 years and Oldy who I’ve had for about 16 years and has a lot of sentimental value. There is also an eye mask in this photo which essentially reflects my feelings towards ever having to leave my bed.
 IMDB <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/> [Accessed 14th February 2013]
 IMDB <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/?ref_=sr_2> [Accessed 14th February 2013]
 IMDB < http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088763/?ref_=sr_1> [Accessed 14th February 2013]
 Jowy Romano, Subway Art Blog, <http://subwayartblog.com/2010/04/20/the-former-new-york-photos-by-richard-sandler/> April 20th 2010 [Accessed 15th February 2013]
  Richard Sandler, Article Author: Caroline Smith, <http://lightbox.time.com/2011/08/03/richard-sandlers-80s-when-greed-was-good/#1>, August 3 2011 [Accessed 15th February 2013]
 World Press Photo, <http://www.worldpressphoto.org/martin-roemers> [Accessed 15th February 2013]
 All That is Interesting, <http://all-that-is-interesting.com/most-iconic-surrealist-paintings> 22nd January 2012, [Accessed 15th February 2013]
The Art Story, David Kupperberg, <http://www.theartstory.org/artist-matta-roberto.htm> [Accessed 15th February 2013]
5 images that define “University Culture”
The indescribable mess above represents the simple laziness of today’s students. If there’s no risk of catching a disease when you go in the kitchen, you’re not having enough fun.
Alcohol is essentially fuel for a large percentage of the fun during University, cards games add to the preparation of a night out by forcing you to consume many drinks in a short space of time.
3) Takeaway and it’s leftovers (dinner for the next 3 days)
Think of it as an investment, you may be spending double figures on a assortment of greasy food, but it will provide 3 meals a day for the rest of the week! Pizza boxes like those above are a good representation of the entrepreneurship of students and again, laziness.
Nobody really knows where they come from, but when you’re living in Student Accommodation you will wake up to at least one new takeaway menu having been thrown under your door. The above reflects the compilation of these adverts that is created within the first week of University, and most likely you will never use any of them, but that’s what those noticeboards are for right?
5) No money for food, but always enough for alcohol
It is seen as somewhat of a responsibilty to make sure you have enough alcohol for the evenings events, even if that mean you don’t eat for a few days. The above view represents something you will experience at least once during your time as a student.
8 examples of subject types that demonstrate clichés in social photography
1) The Tourist
Rule one of visiting a famous monument is to take a clichéd photograph of you perhaps “holding” the Eifell Tower, or “pushing” the leaning tower of Pisa.
The Culprits- People of all ages are victim to this, it just has to be done!
2) The Nail Artisté
You’ve just done your nails for the third time today, it’s key to share this information with the rest of the world as soon as possible.
The Culprits- Teenage girls with an absurd collection of nail varnish.
3) The Underage Party Animal
Take a group of 14 year old girls, a 6 pack of WKD and you have yourself a new FaceBook album.
The Culprits- Only the coolest of the 13-16 year old girls.
You meet your friends and instantly notice you all have similar shoes on. Better take a few snaps and upload them to FaceBook after putting them through various garish editing programs.
The Culprits- Any group of original 12-16 year old girls with a camera phone
The overwhelming desire to share your new outfit/ make-up/ towels with the world. Because, after all, that’s what your family and friends come to FaceBook for!
The Culprits- We’ve all been there.
The sunset looks slightly prettier than usual, take a picture on your 2mp phone camera and upload it to Instagram after putting it through some heavy filters.
The Culprits- Instagram sunsets can tempt even the best of us.
7) The Starbucks and MacBook combo
A trip to do a bit of work at Starbucks doesn’t happen unless you share the moment on Instagram.
The Culprits- Those with a fully functional internet connection at home yet gain satisfaction from others watching them write their next novel with a Skinny Latte in hand.
8) Food Porn
You just spent a good half hour composing the perfect sandwich and it looks damn good. All your friends will be jealous if you upload this on Instagram with a faint sepia filter.
The Culprits- All proud culinary geniuses
5 likes and 5 dislikes of social media
1) Long distance contact- Social media allows me to speak to my friends back home whilst at uni as well as family living abroad.
2) Stalking- I can’t help but take a peek at what poor soul my ex-boyfriends have ended up with.
3) Self esteem boost- It gives me some degree of satisfaction to see people I disliked in school working in McDonalds.
4) Inspiration- Following certain photographer’s lives on social media often inspires me to venture to new parts of the art I may not have known about before.
5) Entertainment- Social media essentially allows me to waste hours at a time and have nothing to show for it, but hey, at least I’m not bored now.
1) Procrastination– I’ll be sitting down to do work one minute, the next I’ve spent an hour trawling through photos of my neighbour’s doctor’s gardner on holiday in Paris.
2) Ridicule- If somebody doesn’t agree with you, they will continue tell you so. The right opinion or no opinion.
3) Misleading- ‘Don’t believe everything you read’ is especially true on social media.
4) Time Consuming- I spend several hours each day using social media, and most of the time I have nothing to show for it.
5) Spam- One can not mention the name of any popular brands without being bombarded with spam replies on websites such as Twitter and Instagram.
For the events assignment I attended the opening of Trinity Leeds, a new shopping centre in the city housing over 120 shops and restaurants. Over 130,000 people attended the two opening ceremonies on the 21st March 2013. The ceremony involved a Aerial Silk Acrobatic performance from Colette Morrow followed by a display of the world’s longest designer dress created by Henry Holland.
This is the photograph I chose as an overall shot describing what was happening during the event. I think it sums it up well as it shows the shopping centre itself, which was clearly the main purpose of my visit there. The image also reflects the amount of people that attended the ceremony.
This is the photograph I chose that sums up my experience of the event. Not only does the image include the main acrobatic performance, but also reflects the amount of people that were there which summarises my experience- a huge number of people eager to get to the front of the crowd.