Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Self Written Brief - Photo Manipulations

I have tried to make a few photo manipulations but so far, I'm only happy with the one shown in this post.

It was made of 3 separate images - the water and the hills in the background, the tree and grass in the foreground (both licence free stock images) and the third image is of me, taken in a home studio using studio flash lights.

I'm surprised that this one worked as the studio image was quite bright and there was no way I could make it work in colour as the images just wouldn't match no matter how hard I tried.
But now, I think I actually prefer it in black and white. The mist was added to the image last with the use of Photoshop.

I would like to produce more images with a similar theme to this but I think I will do them on location if possible as it would make it a lot easier!

Self Written Brief: Portraits

So far, I'm really enjoying this project and the biggest problem I have had is finding models.

I have used my fiance, Josh and 2 of my closest friends. A friend from Uni has agreed to model for me and another friend is visiting this weekend so I'm hoping he will let me use him too!

I've also asked my neighbour as I want more variation with the age of models.

So far, the majority of my portraits are very 'commercial' and focus on making the subject look flawless rather than perhaps more natural or personnal. I would like to try out some other styles and maybe use some themes. 1940's hollywood, film noir and some fairy tale themes images to get more variation in my collection. But it depends on the model as to what kind of images you can do to an extent so I will just have to see who I can find!

Here are a few of the images so far. There are a few more that can be viewed on my website at;

Whitby Goth Festival

I felt in dire need of a day out at the weekend to escape the suffocation of this city and to get some fresh air.
I thought Whitby would be a nice idea as I miss the coast so much and then I discovered that Whitby Goth Festival was on! No, I didn't get dressed up, I overslept so there wasn't enough time and I also didn't think it would be very practical while lugging camera equipment around.

When we arrived I was quite surprised...there weren't many 'Goths' at all...until we got right into the town centre and it was exactly what I had hoped - hardly any of these 'teeny bopper goths' as I call them, there were REAL GOTHS! YAY!
By this I mean Gothic not 'goth' - Gothic being Medieval, Edwardian, Victorian etc etc - traditional gothic with culture.

Unfortunately, this type of goth is rarely applicable to the younger generation who have no idea what real Gothic is all about so as you can imagine, most of the people showing off their favourite outfits and feeling quite comfortable for once were in their 30's and there was this wonderful couple who must have been in their 60's who looked absolutely fabulous. My favourite outfit had to be the nice red Edwardian dress though, without a doubt!

The main let down was that the place was crawling with middle age, fat, balding, smelly, greasy, chauvinistic, think-they-are-pro's men! Grrrrr I HATE THEM SOOOOO MUCH!
You can tell they aren't pros because they are rude, they shove, use the wrong equipment and blatantly try to act like they are. From my experience, real pro's are generally quite pleasant, helpful and respectable, so I doubt very much that most of them there were pros.
Also, the middle age wanna-be's always scowl at me in particular and pulling face and making snide comments such as 'what the hell is she doing with a camera like that!' just like I get when I go to the zoo or anywhere else with my camera.

I'm not a pro, I don't consider myself to be and I know I have a lot to learn but at the same time, and as big headed as it may sound, I can do a lot better than a lot of these people and just because they are older and male, doesn't make them better or right.
I was the ONLY female there with an SLR, in fact, I don't remember seeing any women with cameras at all!

Anyway, enough of my moaning about these ignorant men...here are a few photos of the wonderful outfits that were on show, and amazing they were!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Film Stills: Maggie

The stills from 'Maggie' a student short are now available to view on my website at;

I have had issues with the copyright on these images as the University concerned is insisting on having full copyright ownership which I will not give them as I had originally offered to do it as a favour for the purpose of the film and the film alone. But the university want to use them for their own advertising brochures and are not offering any kind of payment, not even expenses and will not agree credit me where the images are used. So I am sticking to my guns and they aren't having them unless they sign the license that I offered them (which they very rudely turned their noses up at).

I'm fairly happy with the images, although low lighting was somewhat of an issue as I didn't have many lenses at the time that would cope with the situation. For most of the indoor shots I was stuck with my 50mm f1.8 which was a bit frustrating.

I have since invested in a 24-70 f2.8, I had to settle for the Sigma version rather than the Canon but I'm far more impressed with it that I thought I would be.
I just hope it can cope with the gig I'm photographing in a few weeks!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Photography Elective: Can't Make Up My Mind!

Well, I was working on portraiture as the subject matter for my photography elective but I have since decided to use this for the self-written brief. So what am I going to use for the elective work?!

I have had another burst of playing with Macro and close-ups recently, so I might use that but I'm also quite tempted to use 'painting with light'. The problem is, I can't make up my mind.
Macro would be far more convenient as I can do it from home easily but I really want to paint with light after seeing an article in a recent magazine!

The problem with painting with light means I need ot do thework in the dark and I want to use buildings and monuments for subjects. This becomes very inconvenient as I can't do take the images by myself. Well, thats not true, I can but I'm not leaving my camera on a tripod in a park at night while I run around with a flash gun - that's just asking for trouble I think! But then, so is being in an unlit, empty place at night. This is frustrating.
Maybe I will just do both and then use what i prefer!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Lacking in inspiration

So far, I have done quite a bit of research into other photographers and techniques for my portraits project, I've even started on my images. I have had the use of 3 people to model as well as myself but I feel that I need more variation in the age range of my subjects.

So far, I have used my flash gun for one model and studio lights for the other 2 and myself. I would like to do some with just natural light and on location would also be good. I have a few places in mind so I just need the permissions and people to model and I'm sorted.

The problem I'm facing right now, is that I'm lacking in inspiration some what.
Its probably just because I'm not feeling too well at the moment which doesn't help and despite trying to get as much done as possible, I feel like I am in limbo and I'm starting to get frustrated which doesn't help!

I think I'm going to go for a wander in the Dales at the weekend, being outside always makes me feel better and gives me some inspiration. I'm also planning to go home for a weekend soon so that I can photograph a wider variety of people as I dont' really know that many people in Leeds.
Hopefully that will help :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Self Written Brief

I must admit, I have been looking forward to this project as it gives me the freedom to practice and explore exactly what I want and also gives me a push to do it. I would have done it anyway - it would have just taken an awful lot longer!

I intend to produce a series of portrait images as I don't usually photograph people, I tend to stick to landscapes and architecture. My interest to do this has been bubbling in my mind for some time now and the more I have been looking at other portrait photographer’s work, the more I have wanted to give it a go.

I am not sure what style of portraits I want to focus on, so I have decided not to specify a style, giving myself the ability to try different things and broaden my scope. I would also like to use some self portraiture in my project.

Some of the artists that I have been looking at in particular are as below. All of them are freelance artists.

Ian Phillips-McLaren
I like Ian’s work because it is simple yet very effective. I don’t’ feel that it is to ‘arty’ which I like as I feel that it doesn’t over-complicate his images and there is plenty of character to his models, making the images have a friendly and very personnal feel.
Among his client base are; McLaren F1, L’Oreal, Channel 4, Topshop and Firetrap. Ian has also produced album artwork for ‘Wet Wet Wet’ and provided a series of portraits for Vidal Sassoon which were published in American Vogue.

Lara Jade (see earlier post in January 2008)
I love her images because they are quite surreal and very imaginative.
They draw you in to another world and I like the element of fairy tales within them that enovokes childhood memories.
Lara is also a Vis Com student working as a freelance photographer. The majority of Lara’s client base includes models and musicians as her work is heavily portraiture based. She has also provided photography for jewellery companies, fashion and produced the artwork for CD albums.

Liliana Sanches
I also quite like ‘Gothic’ style artwork like Liliana’s photo manipulations.
Again, there is a fairy tale or fantasy element which draws you into the image and gets your imagination ticking away. I am drawn to this style of imagry though and I think it is because I am a keen fan of anything gothic and this in turn, reminds me of Paganism and all things mystical.
However, I don’t think my photoshop skills are advanced enough to produce work as manipulated as these and in all honesty, I would prefer my work to look a little more natural and photographic than artificial.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Photography Elective

I'm about half way through my elective and I have enjoyed it as I have been able to use studio lights - so much so that I borrowed the lights last weekend and have built a studio in my spare room!

However, I am feeling somewhat dishearted about the lecturer. I know I shouldn't moan about stuff like this really, but it has reeeeeally reeeeeally been bugging me and I have to get it off my chest!

She's very nice and all, but I don't feel that she is giving me the tuition that I need or want really... Admittedly I have missed a few sessions due to illness but that's not really the point here.
But I don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing to be honest - even after asking her!
I have a copy of the brief, but I wanted a bit more to go on and to understand what and how it is being marked. On asking, her reply was simply 'take lots of photos' and 'the only person I have ever given a 1st too had about 40 photos'. Well I'm sorry, but that doesn't really give me much to go on and wasn't very positive or constructive!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! I feel so lost! Obviously I am supposed to take photos! Its a photography class!!!!!
Also, she nearly ripped the hot shoe off my camera which really really annoyed me! I would have thought she would know how to take an IR trigger off the hot shoe of a DSLR! You know how Gollum refers to the ring as 'my precious' in Lord of the rings? Well, to me, that's MY CAMERA!

So, as you can imagine, I'm dishearted and rather frustrated at the moment and as I appear to be getting no where with information. I think I shall just do what the hell I feel like and try not think about marks (which is very important to me). I just don't see the point in doing things if you aren't going to do them properly, know how to or put the effort in and right now, she isn't helping!
I'm peeved :-(

Web Site

I have actually really been enjoing web design and writing and I'm glad that I decided to build my own site as it is quite useful!

I'm not going to incorporate it into the next uni project which is a self-written brief as I'm quite happy to update and manage it in my own time.

I have updated it recently, so it basically looks the same except I have changed the navigation structure at the top of the page and changed all of the links to match on the gallery and links pages but I feel that a simple change has made thesite look so different!

I'm chuffed with it :-)

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About Me...

Photographer based in Dawlish, Devon. I'm available for weddings, portraits and commissions.

Please see my website for further details.

* Please note that all images in this blog are © Eleanor Stobbart unless stated otherwise. Please do not use these images without the permission of the copyright owner. *