This assignment was to apply the techniques illustration and narrative and using the skills learned in this assignment. There needed to be a cover page using some of the techniques learned in this section and a story told using images. A few words or titles can be added to explain the story which should be interesting. A series of ideas were given to us such as photographing a commodity or production using a holiday which is what I have chosen. I attended a festival of umbrellas in Bo Sang Thailand. The interest in this story was the craft of making the umbrellas, which had a human interest as everything was made by hand. The people making these umbrellas can be seen sitting or kneeling on the ground and working non stop I wanted to show how they worked many of whom the evidence of the long working hours can be seen on their hands. While taking these photographs I also became involved in the production line passing the umbrella pieces between two ladies as they worked they giggled at how they had found a greater use for me than just my photos all in good humour. The beauty skill and pride they take in this work I hope to also transmit in my images. Social documentary and travel photography has always been an interest, I have been studying several photographers as you can see under my Inspiring photographers section from Salgado (social documentary) to Curry (also social documentary and portrait) also David Noton who is a travel photographer with the most stunning landscapes however his travel portraits are very interesting too.
Tutor Feedback. I had very little time between assignment 4 and assignment 5 due to running out of time for submission. I had sent prints to my tutor in order to be sure to be there however after receiving my feedback on assignment 4 I resubmitted them via my blog and my tutor has commented on these . I had also printed my images in Thailand and had previously brought this up with my tutor as the quality was not the same as at home. However the images were all available on my blog. He said I have made a dramatic improvement and you can see the effect on the quality of my work. (I had issues with sharpness, See post on Asignment 4 reflecton after and sharpness.http://wp.me/p2dUJz-uG)
He said that the level of understanding I had reached is well articulated on the blog. He commented that I have now shown competent technical and visual skills in my image making. That this is reflected in my comments on Hyperfocal distance and sharpening etc.
The strong narrative also supports the view that I have an effective grasp on the communication of ideas.
He also said I have tried hard to be creative and there is evidence of risk taking by taking interesting viewpoints and cropping. My blog shows I understand where my weaknesses are and have undertaking steps to improve these which is articulated well on my blog. Below each image you will see a summary of his comments.
Cover Page image
f8 @ 1 250 ISO250 The aim of this shot above was a close up of how intricate the painting done on these umbrellas are and to show that every detail is done by hand. Using a Juxtaposition of the artist and his work.
Tutor Comments on Cover page Image above.
A very strong image and opens up the story well. It shows some great colour with immediate links to artisanship. It has a good balance exposure and is sharp. A major step forward.
f11 @ 1 /200 ISO 100. f11 allowed me to include all the street details there was good light so ISO 100 and the shutter speed chose itself. This wide angle view to differentiate from the many close up shots. Below: f11 @ 1/80 ISO 250 My aim of this shot was to have tools, umbrella and the artist all in focus and sharp and to see the lovely bright colours.
Tutor comments on page two of magazine includes image above of umbrellas hanging in the sky and below of single umbrella painted and drying on the grass. My tutor commented that the pair of images work well together and are selected well one having sky and the other being grounded on grass. The top image shows us the location and the historical use of umbrellas also in hot climates. The lower image shows us a little more detail of high quality paintings. Both images are good for this type of magazine work. Please be careful with circle of confusion however I think from your blog you have already got an understanding of this.
The final product. I particularly liked the shape of the shadow. The triangle shape and the circles of the umbrella make it a bit more interesting. This photo was taken at f14 @ 1/100, ISO 100 and 28mm on my zoom lens. Taken on a tripod.
f 4 ISO 400 @ 1/100 shutter speed. I wanted to show the detail of the paper being made and the tools used and chose a close up shot rather than the person demonstrating it also as the person demonstrating this tool and others did not seem comfortable with my camera and so I tucked it away and focused on what he was telling us and returned a few minutes later to take the image.
Page 3 Tutor feedback see image above of hammers used to create paper from a mulberry tree and below the paper trying out on the grass. My tutors comments are above image, He liked the image as it says as much about what has happened and what will happen. It has good lighting from the side and is well composed. A good image that takes us into the manufacturing process but has a symbolic feel as well. The lower image show the paper drying on the grass whilst it is not the most interesting image it could be used. It would depend on the number of images required however it could be used which is what you are trying to achieve.
Page four magazine image below.So I learned a valuable lesson while taking this shot. As I was taking my time to try and get the images as sharp as possible. By the time I was ready to shoot the lady had taken away all the umbrellas in front of her and passed them on the production line to the next phase. Luckily for me she then repeated the process and so I waited about 20 minutes to receive again the same scenario. I did a mental note to shoot one shot first and then perfect at least then I would not lose a shot completely this time however I was lucky. The shot is taken at f 10 @ 1/40 and ISO1000 again on a tripod. the only movement is the lace falling down from her hand which adds some interest.
So as these are people shots and I am very conscious not to be an annoying tourist with my camera in peoples face. I first approach the area where the ladies are working say hello one of the few words I have learned so far in Thai and approach there working area. I look at each of the eight ladies at work with my camera in hand but facing down to the ground. I then start to photograph the umbrellas they are working on and later on face the camera towards one of the ladies working with her work spread out in front of her she looks up and acknowledges I am taking a photo and smiles. As she stopped paying attention to me she was concentrated on her work and that is when I shot. I wanted to ensure there was no camera shake and that my images were sharp as in the past this has been a problem. I have taken this shot on a tripod at f/10 to give a good aperture and allow as much detail of the scene as possible. 1/80 as my shutter speed as it is a person working they are of course moving and I wanted to avoid blur. I then was obliged to set ISO1200 as the light was poor. I have used my zoom lens at around 70mm. I also liked how she pursed her lips she is concentrating on her work. I also wanted to leave the pot of glue she is using in as she dips her hand in.
Tutor comments page four image blue umbrellas.
It is a well balanced image both in colour and content. Its sharp and show the process developing. Its different as its the first images to show a person since the cover. It shows the traditional environment and the working conditions and equipment.
Page 5 Images
I have attached the images here below to look closer at the techniques I used to take them. An outdoor shot which makes it easier to hand hold and I was able to get relatively close to my subject as each person was on a stage however on this occasion there were around 20 people together on this stage and you were allowed to climb up to see closer the work of the artist and so I took this shot at f1/8 @ 1/250 at ISO 250. This allowed me to comfortable hand hold the camera. See image below.
f10 @ 1/6 ISO 250 still on a tripod with my zoom lens at approximately 105. I wanted to show the detail of this item. Each piece hand carved and then wrapped with string. I have been striving to get my images as sharp as possible however I wanted the wood to be seen and not the person behind or there would have been too many people shots and not enough detail and it would have made for a boring narrative.
With the above shot my aim was to show the quantity of work going on the position in which the lady is sitting and the way everything is done by hand. I was conscious of the composition. I wanted to get as tight as I could to exclude all the other going on around her to show the concentration involved without distractions. Her feet in stockings her traditional clothes the shavings. What particularly took my interest was how she has bandaged her hand and the wood chippings on the floor. Her more traditional clothes and how she is sitting. Today this is a festival to show us how these people work however one can see that this is what she does every day. The images is taken at f5 a 1/40 and ISO 400. I was risking it with the hand held at 1/40 also I would have preferred a higher aperture but he light was so poor. I positioned myself comfortably to try and avoid shake. The surroundings were too distracting however I could not get in any closer and still get the composition which included her feet and the wood chippings. My last few images were at a high ISO and I wanted one without grain or noise and so I chose ISO 400 and clicked. See image above. I have admittedly cropped her head as while trying to get the detail of her hands and the wood chippings with an aperture of 5 I have not managed to get also her face sharp. I have made great improvements in my sharpness and on my blog documented how I am improving this.
f 10 @ 1/30 ISO 250. Zoom lens at 65mm. I waiting watching this young man as he worked. Eventually he bent down towards his umbrella and that is when I knew I had my shot. This was taken on a tripod also.
P age 6 tutor comments on two images above. This shows exactly what is missing in the previous image. This keeps the whole thing human, traditional and personal. There is again a continuing good level of composition. The tripod works well for you. There is good colour work in the iamges the two reds balancing well.
The lower image I have this in print so I know that the original had the whole figure. This is necessary for what you saw to come through. The print shows that you got the focus point wrong. I think you would not get to use this one having said that your cleaning up and post shooting sharpening added a lot of quality to the image you have on the blog well done.
My tutor also commented on how I have put a great deal of effort into my blog since he pointed out my faults. It is up to date and structured to show my learning process. The reflection element is much stronger in the earlier parts. His advise was to continue reading my Scott Kelby book which I have been doing in every step of the way. I had no photoshop skills when starting. Take a look also at my Assignment three creating documents on Photoshop, shapes colours
etc and my reflection after assignment four which was completed after my feedback on assignment four when things finally started to make sense as to my learning process due to some very helpful and encouraging advice from my tutor.
Research for assignment 5.
Ideas for Photo essays.
Working towards Assignment 5