As with my previous posts, this post summarises what I have learnt from part three and Assignment three of the course, with the aims: 1) to embed the learning for future courses and projects and 2) to act as a review and reflection tool which gives ease of reference to the learning points.
So to summarise the feedback received:
- Experiment more using the exercises to inform assignments,
- avoid repetitive subjects and compositions (as appropriate),
- check the frame and internals for unwanted items,
- ensure the images are on sharp where they should be,
- give both sides of an argument before stating yours, and
- take care with which practitioners are referenced; they should be published in either national or international magazines or who have won competition awards.
Following tutor feedback I have included within this post my re-work of image 6 – The Jump, an experimentation with overlaid images and my response to the work of Tobin Yelland and Giovanni Reda.
Image 6 – The Jump
I have adjusted this image by re-cropping to exclude the concrete ramp and to lift the shadows so there is more detail in the trousers. I have posted below the original image together with the re-worked image to show the difference the re-work has made.
By re-cropping the image it adds a sense of space below the skateboarder and gives the impression that the jump is higher than it appears in the original image. By lifting the shadows it gives a more informed image as you can now see the detail in the black areas.
Tobin Yelland (born: 1970):
A commercial/fine arts photographer from America, whose childhood interest in skateboarding led him from his hobby in photography, capturing fellow skaters and the sub-culture surrounding the skating scene mostly for skateboard magasines, to a full time professional portrait/lifestyle/skateboarding photographer of some 20 years.
Notably he has worked with some large brands synonymous with skateboarding and others which are alternative lifestyle/culture focused.
Tobin uses a fish-eye or straight lens and his website showcases a lot of black & white images. Most of the subjects in the online images have been photographed mid trick, which makes for a more impressive capture.
In an interview with Huck Magasine, Tobin says:
“I think finding the perfect moment to take a photograph is all about knowing that person really well,”
I can relate to this, as when I have worked with a model for the first time there is always a honeymoon period where you are both getting used to working with each other. It takes some time to build a good rapport and on a first shoot you might get a handful of natural relaxed shots, however, come the 3rd or 4th time working with the same model it’s so much easier to get a lot of really good natural shots.
Also I think with action photography you really need to be au fait with the activity so you can anticipate the moves, tricks, positioning of the subject/s that you are photographing.
Giovanni Reda (born 1974):
A photographer and filmmaker from Brooklyn, NYC who has been photographing skateboarding and portraits and people for over 20 years.
Curiously his main website does not have any write up about the artist only photographs from his different projects but I found an interview with him on the ilovecreatives website which contained far more information on Giovanni the person rather than showcasing his work.
You can see from his colourful images online that he also sometimes uses a fish-eye lens which is quite popular in this genre of photography. He also an external flash to either accent a particular subject, give a bit more light to enable a higher shutter speed to stop motion or to create some interesting shadows.
The interview reinforces the notion that to improve your skills you have to be persistent and practice, Giovanni says:
“I keep my camera with me and I shoot a portrait every day. I need to keep myself busy and my creativity flowing.”
This raises an interesting point about keeping yourself creatively challenged as a photographer. Whilst being on the course, a couple of times I have noticed online posts from other students who have sought advice because they have lost interest in taking photographs. It’s a weird feeling not wanting to do something that you love to do but I have to say I have been there too. This, of course, can happen with any pursuit e.g. you hear about writers block all the time. It must be part of the human condition, however, I am in agreement with Giovanni, the key is to keep going and take a photograph everyday if you can and that will keep you continually in the creative mindset.
For the purposes of my Assessment submission I have provided an A4 print of the re-shot image 6. This now completes my work, re-work and reflection of part three/Assignment three.