I started photography in September 2010 without any previous knowledge, (other than a point and shoot camera). Our first assignment was black & white 35mm film, we took pictures and developed them in the darkroom ourselves, this gave an insight as to how the camera works with exposure. The majority of my pictures were rubbish as I had no idea how to use the old film cameras properly, I didn’t even manage to get the film in right. After several attempts I finally managed to get some decent images.We studied the style of well-known B&W photographers, then took photographs in their style. I was particularly inspired by Man Ray and took a couple of good photographs that replicated his style.
Following this our second assignment was digital, we were each given themes related to advertising, mine was “cool & green” . I can’t say that I took well to the theme, my initial thoughts were a green bush with ice hanging from it, my tutor was thinking more on the lines of bikes, I spent far too much time worrying about what to take pictures of instead of practicing the technical techniques that we had learnt. As a result I had some pretty bad technical shots. It wasn’t until after I’d finished the assignment that I got to grips with the whole aperture shutter speed thing. Most of my pictures were taken in the P mode and my focusing was terrible. I’ve come along way since then through practice and I’m looking forward to photography this year.
Photography year 2
This semester we are studying anti-ads, we have been looking at ads from the 1950s onwards and analysing their content. The intention is to make our own anti ad in the next few weeks. Alongside this we been having time in the studio experimenting with lighting set-ups.
As part of our photography module we are looking at documentary photography, starting the task included extensive research into other well-known documentary photographers, looking at their intentions, motivations and techniques. From this initial research I was able to gain inspiration for starting my project. My original ideas proved to be too difficult to achieve in a short amount of time as it involved children and whenever children are involved it means lots of permissions. I really wanted to document something that I was passionate about as I believe this will be reflected in the photography, dogs are great passion of mine so I used them as a starting point and looked at issues relating to dog ownership. Dogs are often used as status symbols so this was an area I researched, I found that many status symbol dogs had been abandoned. whilst looking at documentary style images of dogs I came across several photographers who had made studies on man and his dog, Jill Krementz work in particular stood out, She made images of famous authors and their canine companions.
I contacted the Bath Cats and dogs home to ask permission to photograph abandoned, abused and status symbol dogs at the home, after some negotiation I managed to get an appointment. In the meantime I have taken photographs of men and their dogs, I spent a day in Bath looking for status symbol dogs and talking to the homeless about their dogs and what they mean to them, I was lucky enough to get their permission to photograph them. So far I haven’t had any huge successes but I feel as long as I’m taking photographs of something I’m moving in the right direction. Hopefully my trip to the bath cats and dogs home will bring me some interesting images.