Photography Technicals

Equipment needed:

  • Photography camera – can be rented from the equipment room
  • Lens – comes attached with the camera
  • SD card – can be rented from equipment room or found around the house

All of these items were rented from the equipment room and a form was filled in to ensure safety and responsibility.

Props/features needed:

  • Models
  • Mirror
  • Bath
  • Bath products
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Memory stick
  • Mac computer

Locations:

  • Bathroom with a bath

Test/Practise Photography Portfolio

Shutter Speed

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For this photograph I took a still of a bee mid flight. To do this, I set the camera to the highest shutter speed it had and turned the exposure down for a silhouette effect. The effect of the high shutter speed was that it meant I could capture the bee mid flight as they fly very fast, so the camera needed to be able to catch up and so high shutter speed was the most effective method. In addition to this a high shutter speed meant that the shape of the bee was sharp and in focus rather than blurry. I turned the exposure down which was effective as the silhouette created a deeper mood.

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For this photograph I took a photograph of a waterfall using slow shutter speed. I chose this because the effect of slow shutter speed on this image is that the water appears smoother and you can see each ripple and curve which creates a calming vibe.

Aperture/Depth of Field

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For this photograph I used a large aperture for a shallow depth of field image. I did this so that the flowers at the front were more in focus than the images in the back which makes the image look deeper. I also framed it so that biggest bunch of white flowers in the image fell in line with the rule of thirds.

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For this image I photographed the sea through silhouetted nature and also the colour of leaves. I set the camera to a small aperture and a deep depth of field so that the whole image would be in sharp focus. This turned out to be effective with the contrasting colours of the sea water and the leaves, and also the added effect of silhouetted nature.

Exposure

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For this image I photographed the moon with a bird flying in front of it. Originally, the exposure level was a little bit darker but I turned it up so that the bird would stand out more against a lighter background. The effect was that the image would be calming to look at rather than the moon being very bright and harsh to the eye. In addition to this it meant that the colours of the moon craters would match the colour of the sky.

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For this photograph I turned the exposure of the camera down. I did this so that the moon stood out more and became a brighter central feature for the photograph, and in addition to this the effect was the light and darker colours contrasted.

Abstract

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For this abstract image I zoomed in to a leaf to show the details of the veins. This was simple to do as it only required a zoom and getting the camera to focus. The effect of this image is that it is detailed and each vein has an in depth effect.

Interview Write Up

  1. How are you doing today?

“I’m pretty good yeah. I always struggle a bit after a holiday to get back into things but yes I’m very good thank you.”

  1.  What is your favourite colour and why?

My favourite colour is a deep, dark turquoise, and I like it because it’s very gender neutral. You know when you look at a colour and it makes you feel warm and cosy? That’s how I feel when I look at the colour turquoise.

  1.  What has been your favourite Proud2Be project so far?

I think probably our craft days. We run them every month and it’s nice because they’re really chilled out and very therapeutic. Making beads, colouring things in, making something…it’s very calming for me, so on a personal level I find it really calming and nice. I think it’s also a really nice atmosphere, especially for Totnes pride where we make banners and it feels like we’re building towards something which is exciting. I love everything we do, but that’s very special to me.

  1. What has been your most successful Proud2Be project so far?

Ooh well it’s something we haven’t actually done yet, but we’re campaigning to have the first permanent rainbow crossing in Totnes, which would be Europe’s first! I’d say it’s already been a success because people are talking about it more than any other project we’ve been involved in. People have different opinions on whether it should be there or not, and it creates discussion. I guess it’s weird to be proud of something that hasn’t been done yet, but I think it’s really doing its job!

  1. How old were you when you found out you were part of the LGBT community?

Oh gosh, how old was I? For me it wasn’t really a definite time. There wasn’t really an exact time where I was like, “I’m gay!” it was more a number of realisations. I was very young, and there was this popstar called Chesney Hawkes. I knew that I fancied him even though the words weren’t there, and the other boys in my class fancied other pop stars that I didn’t have an interest in. I also had a crush on the Incredible Hulk! Slowly but surely I found out what the term gay meant, and it was like a timeline of events. It was a process of my own experiences and accepting that part of me.

  1. Have you got any upcoming Proud2Be projects you can tell us about?

It’s something we’re looking at doing, but we’re really interested in bringing young people together to share stories. The thing is, what we’ve learnt over the past few years is that there are miscommunication between the lives of older LGBT people and younger LGBT people, there’s a lot of assumptions. People say it’s really easy for young LGBT people these days as opposed to the older generation. We hear that a lot and actually that’s not the reality. It’s a misconception and to have a space where older and younger LGBT people can meet and share stories will be a good growing space. It’s not all flowers and roses for young LGBT people, which is a dangerous thing to assume, ya know?

  1. How do you feel about LGBT portrayal in the media, such as in films and games?

I’m not sure about games as I’m not really a gamer, but I know that from my friends perspective it is apparently pretty poor. But, there are people who are now starting to create gender neutral characters, but that’s just my knowledge of gaming. In terms of television, I’d say it’s getting better, things are improving slowly. For trans people, I think we’re probably a bit behind, but there’s people working to improve that. There are some really good LGBT storylines and writing, For example recently I watched this show called Sense 8 which is really good. There’s a trans actor, and the writing is really good. I would say things are definitely improving.

  1. What has been your best achievement through Proud2Be so far?

This interview? Haha. I’d say I’m very proud of how inclusive Proud2Be is. It’s very friendly and welcoming, which is really important to me. We didn’t want it to be unwelcoming, we wanted to create a really friendly and loving group.

  1. Why did you decide to start the project Proud2Be?

Well, me and Mat we’re in San Francisco in 2010. We came back and we didn’t really have any money, so we didn’t really know where to go. We went back to our home town to stay at our mother’s. It was there we re-discovered how rural the area was and how far away from the rest of the LGBT community it was. It reminded us of what it was like growing up. We weren’t taught about these things at school, we didn’t have a lot of understanding of being LGBT growing up. We wanted to feel part of a really positive message because we were really done with hearing the negative. It was a challenge for us to sit in front of a laptop and say that we were proud to be gay. For us it was really difficult and confronting because we’d never really said it before. Things came together and we had a space to talk about it.

  1. What challenges does Proud2Be present?

It’s an important challenge for us to stay relevant. We don’t want to be stuck in what we felt was needed seven years ago. We have to move with how things are changing for the world and our community, we need to evolve and be open to change and new ideas, which is an exciting challenge. Keep it fresh!

  1. Have you ever conducted a project with a celebrity? If so how did it turn out?

The first campaign we did was called the Proud2Be campaign. We asked people to send in videos and to state who they were proud to be, like the video we did. One of the videos that was sent to us turned out be from Stephen Fry! It was amazing that we managed to reach that far. We used to wake up and see how many views on Youtube we’d got, and suddenly overnight through Stephen Fry we rocketed with recognition. It was amazing that someone could shine such a light on our project.

  1. I recently read that you’re going to set up a rainbow road in Totnes. Is there anything you can tell us about that?

It’s going to be rainbow? Haha. It’s looking more likely as we go along. The thing is with the rainbow crossing is that it isn’t behind closed doors. People have an issue sometimes with LGBT and prefer it when we come together behind closed doors rather than more openly. When we take our work out onto the street, such as pride, that’s where you see how people really feel about it. It’s easy to say things without being faced with it, but by putting a rainbow crossing in the middle of Totnes would be a really interesting way of seeing how people really feel about it. Totnes is known as being a very accepting and diverse place, so it would be exciting to put that to the test!

  1. When did you decide to start the project Proud2Be?

We decided to start the project around 6 years ago. We didn’t really know what we were going to do, we just thought it would be the Proud2Be video campaign. So we moved to Devon and it evolved into more ideas and campaigns, we didn’t know it would unfold this much. It was very exciting!

  1. What would you say a friend, family member or relative can do to make an LGBT person feel accepted or celebrated?

The first thing I would say is believe them. It can be really easy to say that young people don’t know how they’re feeling when they’re young or that it’s just a phase, but I think young people are actually more in touch with how they feel than they are credited for, because they haven’t had as much time to hide how they feel. So I’d say just simply trust them, and be open for those conversations. Be there, just be supportive and don’t feel like you have to handle this on your own if you struggle to. It doesn’t have to be depressing, make that person feel loved and supported! People need time and it’s important to recognise that, on both ends too.

  1. What have your experiences as an LGBT person taught you?

It taught me to acknowledge myself and the part of me that is LGBT. It wasn’t until I was older that I realised what it would be like if I accepted myself, instead of looking to other people for them to acknowledge and accept this part of me. A bit cheesy I know, but it’s true for me. I learnt through people accepting and not accepting me that it was more important that I accepted me, than other people accepted me. It’s still an ongoing journey and I’ve also learnt it’s important to recognise that we shouldn’t categorise people into LGBT and non LGBT. We need to happily share this bubble, it’s not a game of us and them.

  1. What would you say to someone struggling to be accepted to be as LGBT?

Reach out for support, whatever shape that takes…forums, groups, drop ins, social groups…anything that makes you feel accepted, and expose yourself to positive, affirming messages. Look for things that show you positiveness. If you can, if you feel safe to, be open with the people you trust the most about who you are and how you really feel. Gaining support in as many ways as you can is vital. Not everyone can do this so easily but working out and being aware of your surroundings, finding pockets of time where you can accept yourself is great. There’s nothing wrong or shameful about being part of the LGBT community.

Graphic Narrative Evaluation

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For my graphic narrative I decided to focus on the theme of superpowers and individuality. My concept was to photograph a handful of individuals and ask them what their passion or best asset was, and portray it as it as a superpower.

To do this, I photographed three of my classmates in the photography studio at college, using the lights and the fan provided. Then, I took the pictures and opened them on Adobe Photoshop, to create the comic like effect which enhances the superhero theme. To create this effect I added a comic style filter and adjusted it to look like how it looks in my final piece. I then added a white border on each individual photo to again highlight the comic style theme of my graphic narrative. This border also highlights the content of the image and makes the photo pop. After this, I brainstormed the text I would use to highlight my concept and tell my story. I then wrote each line up individually and placed it roughly where I wanted it to be on my design. I created black rectangles with a white frame and copied it onto the software, which I felt represented the comic strip theme well as this is generally how text is presented in comics. Finally, I designed the shape of a superhero mask on Adobe Illustrator, and copied it onto Photoshop and adjusted the colour and the filter to overlay, before placing it onto the individuals faces.

For narrative structure, my graphic narrative doesn’t particularly follow a certain story based narrative as it is less of a story and more of a motivational design. Because of this it is hard to judge whether it is an open or a closed narrative. However, it is clear to see that my graphic narrative follows a single strand. There is only one perspective used which is a positive one and there is no other threads or leads in the story.

In terms of image construction, the texture of my graphic narrative is a comic strip style. The reason I have done this is it reflects my theme of superheroes well as the majority of superheroes originate from comics. In addition to this for image construction, the captions on my graphic narrative are bold and presented within a black box with as white frame. This is to also reflect the comic theme as in comics there is little text and instead smaller captions which are often boxed.

The cultural context that links to my graphic narrative is pop culture. This is because my graphic narrative is all about combining individuality with the pop culture theme of superheroes. Superheroes are a common part of British and American pop culture, such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. so my graphic narrative links to this as I portray the same theme.

For production processes I focused on feedback response. I asked some class mates to point out 5 flaws in my graphic narrative and 5 things which were positive.

For flaws, one of the mentioned factors was that the comic style texture was not strong enough. You could say that the images still look like unedited photographs so it would be more effective if I increased the levels of the filter. Another small flaw is that the third mask doesn’t look as realistic as the first and second due to the brighter choice of colour meaning the overlay filter of the mask doesn’t compliment as well. A third flaw that was pointed out was that the placement of the captions is not aligned as well as it could be due to the fact that aligning the captions in perfect symmetry can be difficult, even with the assistance of the ruler tool. Fourthly, a flaw that was mentioned was the fact that not all of the text was evenly sized and equal in proportion. Lastly, a flaw was that some of the photos needed cropping so the proportions of the photos to make the images align symmetrically are slightly off.

In terms of positive factors, one factor a classmate mentioned was that as a whole my graphic narrative followed the comic style format effectively and that my superhero theme was strongly present, due to the brightness of the superhero masks in contrast to the rest of the colour theme. In addition to this, another positive that was mentioned was that the photographs capture the personality of the individuals well, through the postures and positioning of the frames. Thirdly, the texture of the photographs which has been edited strongly enhances the comic style theme due to it’s hand/digitally drawn appearance, highlighting the superhero concept. A fourth point is that the masks (primarily the first two) were designed well and the overlay filter makes them look realistic and well placed. Lastly, a good factor about my graphic narrative is how each photo is placed out. I conducted a photoshoot and shortened down which pictures I wanted. For the first person, I ordered the images specifically so the first picture didn’t show her face, and then in the image opposite it did. I did this because a superhero convention is that they don’t always show their identity right away – they usually remain a mystery for a certain amount of time. In addition to this, I decided that the first group photo would only reveal the first superhero and not the other two as this highlights that they are still shrouded in mystery.