Archive for March, 2012

4th and last shoot with Jean – 22/3/12

March 30, 2012

Date of Shoot: 22/3/12

Following from the feedback that I had got from Suky Best on my photographs, on this shoot I followed Jean for the day and captured her. I felt following her for the day show her as a person, her natural self and activities, the daily tasks that she is used to doing in England (her home environment). When taking the photographs it was like I was not there, she had forgotten I was there with a camera. This gave me the chance to see her for herself and I felt that in each photograph there is a mixture of emotions in Jeans face, from thoughts and also the happiness of this person. It definetley gave me more of an insight of the life of Jean. It made me realise her vibrant character, her positivity and her inner thoughts which come from being aware of the world and the way it is.

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Visit to our Mentor in London

March 28, 2012

We went to London to visit our mentors. Each group went off together because we have the same mentor. Chloe, Larissa and Craig and I got dropped off, and we went to go and meet Suky Best. After meeting her she took us to an installation piece that was created by David Hall. The reason why she took us there was for us to see the installation, and for us to observe how the artist uses audio in his work. I suppose this would help us think about how we were going to use audio in our exhibition. I found that is was great because it showed a different way to show imagery and not just through photography prints.  After the viewing of the installation we went to the place where Suky Best’s studio space is located. We all sat down and discussed all of our ideas for the exhibition and how far we was all up to. I decided to take the images that I had done so far with Jean to get some feedback. I felt that by taking the photographs, it gave me an idea of what other kind of photographs I could capture of Jean on our last shoot. Suky suggested taking photographs of Jean in her home in a day, following her as if I am not there for a whole day. I thought that the feedback was great and so this was what I was going to do on the next and last shoot with Jean. When we had all discussed where we were at she took us to the Tate Gallery and it was nice to have gone to this place as we are so close to showing our work in the exhibition. It was as if we could visualise our own work in the surrounding. It was nice to see different work and the different ways works are presented.

Practise interview – Someone’s day in three minutes

March 25, 2012

After the feedback from Suky Best and the task she suggested me to do is to get together some questions to find out what someone had done in their whole day by asking questions and getting the person to repeat the question with the answer. This will result in a final edited three minute story of someone and what they have done in their day.

The questions asked and asking the person to repeat the question with the answer:

What time did you get up?

What did you have for breakfast?

How did you start your day?

What did you do this afternoon?

What was the best part of your afternoon?

Was it busy at the vets?

Did you find that it took up most of your day?

What did you do on the  night time?

What was the most things you enjoyed at the night time?

Did you have a good day or not

Why did you have a good day or not a good day?

What time did you go to bed?

Did you have a good sleep?

If yes why and if no why?

The original recording:

The edited recording:

Research Radio 4 – Womens Hour

March 25, 2012

In the interview on the show Women’s Hours on Radio 4 with Melanie C they intorduce the person by saying well-known things about Melanie’s life and so this captured the reader by introducing them to her gently, and not giving away the person straight away. Again, there is music shown before starting the interview but I feel the music tends too go on for too long. I feel that the questions asked  blend in well with the conversation that the interviewer and the subject are having.  The interview is relaxing and easy to listen to because it is casual. With it being casual, perhaps informal I feel the interviewer and the person that is being interviewed feel more relaxed and open to conversating. I have found that this interview is similar to the way Ruby Wax interviews, it is informal as it is not directly asking questions in a straight way. It is structured in the way of a general conversation, bringing questions in when they do, and these make us learn more about Melanie’s life in an honest way.  I like this style of having a conversation but approaching questions to gain answers for the conversation to continue.

I listened to the interview with Holly Hunter and in the introduction her name is first said but then she says about different parts of Holly’s life, ending with the latest part of her life, where she is up to now and her performing role she has been playing for a play. Next in the interview the radio shows an example of a clip of Holly acting. I felt the acting clip went on for a while similar to how the music went on for a while when Melanie C was interviewed. I like how this clip is used in the interview and then it starts straight with a question about her and the role that was shown in the clip. Again, the questions are just like having a conversation. I found the interviewer lets Holly talk as she reveals those answers in a natural way. Also the interviewer knows so much about the role Holly is playing so she can just continue with this conversation and ask a question regarding the role. I think that with the interviewer knowing the subject I think that gives the interviewer the chance to get the next conversation question in, to get new information whilst doing the interview.

I think that this interview is my favourite because it is a social matter shown in media, and this is one of my interests in documentary photography. I really like how the interview states the research fact of a stroke, of how it talks about the amount of people that suffer from Aphasia after having a stroke. They talk about the disability in communication a stroke produces, where the speech is affected, making it sometimes harder to talk, or longer to act upon conversating back to someone.  This information I have found has fed me new information. The last part of the introduction sets the scene of what the interview is going to be about. Then Sharon Smith is brought up in the interview telling her story how she suffers from Aphasia and did not find out until 7 years later. This works because it does not just give out facts on the subject, but invited people who have real-life experience of the suffering. Then a professor is brought in to the interview and he explains more about Aphasia and how it effects people. Then, Sharon is brought in to the interview. I feel that this interview seems alot more formal than the other interviews. Each part is telling something new about Aphasia. The interview brings new information and is telling you about her and how it all started with the symptons she experienced. I like how this interview feeds the viewer information about the disability and also a real-life story that connects to the disability. I feel this is why I feel engaged when I listen to it.  Sometimes the interviewer cuts in when Sharon is talking to gain the information that she wants to know, for example, when she says “I want to know when you became aware and was struggling with speech?” I feel that this technique is good to find out more information on the certain part you would want to get in the interview. I like how the interviewer is joining in with a convesation question to gain answers in this interview. I feel that the interview shows a formal style and also comes across as informal. In this interview I like how there are some questions that are formal and then during the answer it is like she turns it into a conversation  but by doing so, it is a clever way to naturally bring in another question.

Research BBC 4 Ruby Wax interviews

March 25, 2012

My mentor Suky Best had suggested to watch an interview by Ruby Wax which play on BBC Radio 4. I watched the interview she did with Shelley Winters. At the start of the interview she does not introduce who the subject is. She is still interviewing but  she starts off by saying her own thoughts on Shelley Winters.

I enjoyed Rub’ys techniqueof making the interview casual and informal. It is as if Ruby is just sitting and having a conversation with Shelley which presents itself as a comfortable approach to interviewing. Watching the interview has gave me more of an idea on how to produce an interview in a conversational style. I feel that she has done this so well as she brings up certain parts about the subjects life to find out about this specific moment. I feel like she focuses on the moments that have a narrative to them from Shelley’s life. Ruby joins in with the conversations as she says small sentences that link to the response Shelley gives, and also by agreeing with her subject. The interviewer puts herself in the same shoes as the person being interviewed. We see this as Ruby questions if certain things are right, which is what the interviewee questionned in the first place. She has the skill of making the interviewee feel relaxed, which means you can really feel them open up to Ruby as they both have a laugh together.  

Ruby’s way of interviewing, I feel, has made Shelley Winters feel really comfortable throughout the whole of the interview. This can be seen in the signs of the way Shelley is sitting. She is sitting in a comfortable position because she is made to feel at ease. Therefore, the subject tells more about the life she has had without any holding back of thought.

3rd shoot with Jean – 15/3/12

March 25, 2012

Date of Shoot: 15/3/12

On this third shoot I reflected on the feedback that Suky Best had given me. In this shoot I aimed to show a high amount of context of Jean as she is captured in her home environment. I wanted to capture her and the context of her room around her as this is what reflects on the story the most. It shows more of her as a person instead of just focusing on close-ups of my subject. I want to focus on the objects she has compared to in the past where she had to give up her objects in able to travel. It was also vital to capture good images from the shoot as I have misplaced the images from last shoot with Jean on 29th March. I will revisit after this date to shoot more. I feel the shots I have got do not show my subject in the correct way and the photographs do not show enough context to go with the audio. I felt that this shoot really did connect more with Jean and it showed her as a person, what she does in her day to day life, the decore around her matches her story that I want to show. I feel that thinking about context in the photograph is what Tom Hunter shows in his work. Hunter is a photographer I have researched. In his series of photographs of the travellers he shows the context of the subjects in their travelling homes. From looking into the photographs you see objects around them. This gives you an idea of the story of the person who  has been shown in each image. I felt that photographing the home environment, and even being in the home envionmentm my subject was alot more confident. I felt that each of the photographs we had captured on the shoot really extended the showing of her character. This is also because of the context I have shown in the subjects home, around and infront of her.

In these two photographs I wanted to show the artwork that Jean had created on her living room walls as the design is African and Jamaican inspired. I feel that from shooting my subject in this postition I am able to show this feature of the room and also the wooden decoration that is a Jamaican culture decorative piece. I prefer the second photograph to the first because I like the pensive look that she shows in the photograph, the thinking moment where she sits and thinks of the life she has lived and is also living now. It is as if when I am documenting her, she too is looking back and trying to document her journey. 

I wanted to capture photographs that showed Jean’s paintings that are African and Jamaican inspired. I decided to place these photographs around my subject and capture her as she is in the moment as she draws away. I felt that these photographs had to be shot as all of these painting ideas come to her mind and she says that she can smell the places as she is producing the art work. It is as if she captures her past and she continues to do this every day of her life. Therefore, showing the artwork is a big thing to me as I feel it is part of the story I am trying to show and it is also a big part of her life and the life she once lived, but the life that will always be in her spirit, imagination and the creative mind.

I really like these photographs I have shot because my subject looks very happy. I feel that I have captured her happiness in an honest way. I have captured my subjects as she walks through the beads that she has created herself. This craft part of her reflects to the time that she spent out of England where she made everything from craft. Therefore, it is great to show a piece that is her own self-creation,  which is now in her England surroundings.

Lastly, I have shown her as she plays her drum as the drum is a context that is a part of her home. The drum is an item that is from both Africa and Jamaica and so it is nice to capture this item in her home. I suppose it could be seen as a prop, yet it shows the roots of the African and Jamaican culture. I wonder if Jean gets into the rhythm of the drum to connect her back to her past rhythms of living in other countries.

Showing context in photography

March 25, 2012

* Determine the purpose of the photograph

* What is the mood for the photograph to be

* Determine the subject

* What should I include/exclude around the subject

* What is the background

* Do I include some of the environment infront of the subject

* Am I making an image that is just graphically strong or does the space around them give context

* What is beside or on the same plane as the subject giving it equal importance

* When do I press the shutter

a) Are they interacting with another person

b) Do I show a serious or light moment

* What lighting is used

Feed back from mentor Suky Best over Skype

March 25, 2012

Suky Best said that I need to rethink about my title for my final major project and this is something that I also agree on as it does not feel strong enough. The title is one of the major parts of the project, it is what tells people and gives them an idea of what the exhibition is about. This is something I really need to focus on aswell as all of the other work. I am going to redo my proposal to make it more clearer and understandable. I found the skype feedback really helpful, it made me realise that I did not focus on showing any context in my images that I was creating with Jean. This was something that I need to do so people can engage with the images and also the audio.

While on skype we asked each other questions. She did this process to get clear information of where the subject repeats the question with the answer. I suppose it is a kind of research in which can b reflected upon. For example, one of her questions was “Donna what did you have for breakfast this morning?” and repeat the question. My answer was, “This morning I had a breakfast bar for breakfast”. I know that these may seem like simple questions but I have  never thought of asking my subject to repeat the question with the answer, and it does make it more clear to understand what they are talking about. These techniques helped me think of ways in which I can get information from my subject and create a clear story to show the viewers. She said to interview someone and try and find out what they have done in a whole day by asking questions and asking them to repeat the questions with the answer and have this last for 3 minutes. This is something that I am going to do next as a task to help me think about what questions I want to ask Jean to get clear answers for a story. By doing this process I am hoping Jean and I can get all the audio recorded in one day and then that gives me more time to work on it. I was going to use background noise from DVD’s of Jean in the audio but after talking to Suky I feel that the audio of just her voice will keep people engaged. Having only the voice makes it more simple, yet with it being simple I believe it makes it more effective.  There are no interruptions in her story as this may take the viewers interest away from my piece of work. Suky also suggested to listen to a series on BBC 4 of Ruby Wax interviewing, as with her interviewing process she asks the subjects questions. Also, to listen to lots of Women’s Hour on Radio 4 to see how they interview and how the interview techniques differ.

2nd shoot with Jean – 8/3/12

March 25, 2012

Date of Shoot: 8/3/12

On the second shoot with Jean we met in Birmingham City Centre. I wanted to show her in the city that she had come back to, as I wanted to show her adaption from one country to another. I felt it would be a good idea to show her in her home town of Birmingham. Also, when photographing her I like the idea of having a mix of people, of different cultures in the scene.  I focused on capturing Jean in obvious  Birmingham locations, this is so people know what city it is straight away when looking at the photograph. Before the shoot I went to Birmingham and captured images of the areas  where I wanted to shoot Jean. I felt that by doing this before the main shoot I would have more of a plan of walking and also of where to position my subject on the day of the photo shoot. For research regarding this shoot, I focused on the photographer Richard Renaldi’s work as he photographed subjects in the environment that they feel comfortable in. On the day I actually took some print outs of the locations, marking the positions I wanted to place Jean and also print outs of Richard’s work so I could show Jean examples of how he gets his own subjects to stand and also that I could take a quick glance of his work on the shoot, as a reminder.

On the location shoot we first went to the market at the Bull Ring, in Birmingham City Centre. I liked how I had captured Jean in her home town and the array of characters around Jean at the market. I feel she stands out from everyone else that is around her in the photographs. I felt my subject did feel uneasy as she was out of her comfort zone, outisde of  her home and I felt this did effect the photographs but they show the character of her, and this consciousness of being somewhere that must still feel like new, which I suppose she experienced when travelling.

These photographs were taken just before the council house in Birmingham. In these photographs I felt my subject did feel alot more relaxed in this environment and this must have been because there was hardly any people around. You can tell how relaxed she is as she looks a lot more confident in these photographs. This shows when you look at the posture she is portraying in each of the photographs I have taken. It is as if she is trying to get across a message when in these postures.

When we got to the council house in Birmingham I felt the the nervousness had come back in each image. I felt that this tension that my subject was feeling in  the environment worked really well in the photographs, and the photograph above  is one of my favourites from this location. She poses showing an edgy feel, a shifty expression. We can see this as she clenches on to her arm, covering her body as she poses. The body language carries its own story. I like how she is standing and how on either side of Jean the buildings surround her from each side. It does not show the location of Birmingham so obvious but I really like the framing of my subject in the photograph.

I did feel that trying all of these different locations I could see how she would react and how confident she was in each of the locations.

I could see my subjects confidence in each photograph from the posture she was portraying.

This photograph really reminds me of Richard Renaldi’s work (a photographer who I have looked at in my research). I feel that it is similar to his work from the way she is posing, especially with the confidence she is showing in the pose.

As you can see in these last two photographs my subject feels alot more confident, this is because there is hardly anyone around which meant she could be herself without having to be aware of others around her.

Photographs of locations before the Birmingham City Centre shoot with Jean

March 25, 2012

Before doing the photoshoot with Jean in Birmingham City Centre I decided to go and take photographs of the locations I wanted to capture her in. I wanted these locations to be obvious, in the way that they will be noticable places for people who know or have visited Birmingham. I felt that going and taking photographs before the shoot and then to print them off for the day of the shoot made me feel organised. The process really helped as I had already marked exactly where I wanted Jean to stand in these locations. This planning did not just make me feel organised, but also the day was more organised and no time was wasted. By having this planning it had given me a mind map of where I wanted to go on the shoot. Below I have shown the photographs and the markings of where I got Jean to stand for the shoot, also the order of where we shot, from start to the very last location.

ADD PHOTOGRAPHS!!