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02

Mar

Capital Times - Saint David’s Day Parade

For this brief, Capital Times simply requested coverage of Saint David’s Day event in Cardiff, specifically the big parade, and the things going on within the castle grounds after the parade. 

I didnt feel there was really much I could do in preparation for covering this event, as the variety of different things going on in the parade meant that so many different methods of getting the right photograph would need to be used. 

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A selection of Images;

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I didnt really find any issues when covering the parade, other than maybe slight difficulties getting through crowds of people to get a certain shot, or in some cases having slight issues with focusing on certain aspects of a shot, something which was easily remedied with the use of different focal points on the camera. However, it did make me wonder whether it would be possible to set more than one specific focal point at any one time, as fairly often using the focal points mean only that one specific area is in focus, and this is something I would like to look further in to. 

Overall, I dont think there were any issues found in covering this event that I need to work on, and I think that covering this event gave me a number of different opportunities to practice more documentary style portraiture, in slightly more intense, crowded situations, which will prove valuable in the future. 

27

Feb

Flag Presentation - Capital Times

For this brief, Capital Times requested coverage of the Lord Lieutenant presenting a flag to the head of Cardiff Council. 

This was an interesting brief to cover, as I had no idea what to expect when going into it, as all examples of flag presentations I had researched in advance of this had shown more formal settings, where as this presentation turned out to be the informal presentation of the flag, before the official presentation later this month, which if I had known, would have made me slightly more prepared in what to expect. 

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Overall I think this brief went fairly well. I found it quite intimidating to photograph the head of the council etc, especially seeing as they were obviously busy and wanted to get it over with, which put me under a bit of pressure, but has prepared me more, I feel, for doing more jobs like this in the future. 

The only issues I had with this brief were a slight colour balance issue on the inside shots due to the very yellow wood wall, and slight exposure issues with the outside shots because of the very bright day, both of which were easily remedied with slight tweaking in photoshop. 

07

Jan

Bad Weather Brief

This brief was to clearly illustrate the current bad weather that is currently happening throughout most of the country. 

I had many different ideas for this brief, but in the end, due to unforseen circumstances I ended up having to take a few images as quickly as I could on my phones camera, resulting in images that I am not entirely happy with, but without an option to reshoot them. 

These are the only six of my images that actually came out at all on my phone, and although I am not particularly happy with any of them, I do think that the majority of them depict the current bad weather, and show it in a way that is fairly often used in newspapers, with wide angle shots of the flooding, images showing the ways in which the flood often affects housing and cars etc, and also the ways in which floods are depicted, ie - through signs. 

My favourite images, and the ones I think fulfil the brief the best are the following two images, as I think that through them it is obvious that the issue is bad weather, and flooding, but they also show the ways in which it can be seen to effect small towns and the countryside, ie - effecting the cars and roads, which is just as important an issue to document, but is often less widely shown than the typical bad weather shots of sea fronts and waves etc. 

If I were tasked with doing this brief again I would spend more time researching the type of image I wanted to create, and preferably be able to spend more time on site. I would also attempt to use some flash in my work, as the images, despite being taken in the middle of the day, all seem dark because of the overcast and almost entirely murky surroundings. 

Bad Weather Brief - Research

For research for this brief I looked at numerous different current news stories depicting the bad weather, all of which contained many different, creative images, which then linked me on to other styles of ‘bad weather photography’, all of which gave me a number of different ideas that I would have liked to attempt within my work. 

The majority of UK newspapers all contained interesting, informative and gripping images depicting the flooding and bad weather found across most of the county, and the images below are my favourites from the images seen. 

Barcroft Media

Getty Images

Getty Images

AP Images

Sian Miles

Jake Riding

There are also a number of outstanding images circulating at the moment, of the current American bad weather, which is far more sever than UK weather currently, but of course due to the severity and snow etc, would not be possible to emulate within my own images. 

AP Images

Reuters

AP Images

06

Jan

Cabin Childcare Christmas Party 2013

Over the Christmas holidays I was asked to go along to a nursery and photograph the children’s annual Christmas party, including a visit from a Father Christmas.

I was asked to try and get an image of each individual child at some point, preferably posing with Father Christmas, and also some candid shots of the children at the party. 

The main difficulties I found with this event were the children really, meaning that there was not much I could do to counteract the problems. The main problem was that the children moved very fast, and had very short attention spans, as expected really, so it was quite difficult to get them to stay still long enough to take a photograph, so I ended up mainly taking candid shots when the children weren’t paying attention. 

I also found that most of the children were not very confident in approaching ‘Father Christmas’, and so either came up and ran away too fast for me to get a photo, or refused to come up at all. However there were a small number of children who were happy to pose with ‘Father Christmas’, and the majority of them worked out rather well.

The other main issue that I encountered was that the nursery is located within a wooden cabin, hence the name, and because of this, the light bouncing off of the wooden walls meant that in the majority of my images there was a strong yellow tint. However, this was fixable in photoshop, and with the majority of images I managed to edit them so that the colour seemed a better fit. 

I also found that it was quite hard to get completely candid shots in some instances, as the children were very aware or a strange person pointing a big camera at them in such a small space, meaning that in some of the images the shot will seem completely candid, other than one child staring directly at the camera. However, in some instances this made for quite a nice image, and I rather liked the outcome of them. 

Overall I enjoyed photographing this event, and it was definitely a change from anything I’ve done before, but I think it has given me a pretty good idea of what to expect when photographing children in the future, and actually found out that it is something I quite enjoy doing, and would like to do more of in the future. 

Contacts:

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Images:

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03

Jan

'Pepper's Ghost' Scenes from Charles Dickens' tale 'The Haunted Man'.

This production was definitely one of the hardest events I have covered so far.

On reflection, I should have tried to find out more information about the event before hand, rather than going in expecting it to be a typical staged show, with fairly decent lighting. 

In actual fact, there was only one light used continuously in the entire show, which is difficult enough to deal with, without the added detail of the light being purple, making for some very interesting pictures. 

In this event, I think the biggest issues I had were the fact that there was barely any lighting, and having to deal with the consequences of adjusting my settings to allow for the images to be visible at all because of this, meaning that in some instances the images are grainy for too high an ISO setting, or too dark in places, and too light, or too purple in other places because of the positioning of the actor. 

I tried to make the best of what I had within photoshop, and found that with a little tweaking some of the images came out pretty well, but in some instances the purple in the images was just too much, so I attempted to get around this by converting them into black and white, which was fairly successful for the most part. 

Although I did encounter quite a few problems with shooting this production, for the most part the only thing I could have done to attempt to fix them, would be too add in more lighting, or use a flashgun, both of which I could not do due to it being a dress rehearsal. 

Although there were quite a few problems with shooting the production, and even though Im not particularly happy with the way my images turned out, I really enjoyed covering the production, as it was something completely different to anything I had done before. I also found that the producers were really easy to work with, letting us know if there was anything they did want, and other than that completely ignoring us and letting us just get on with it. They were also very helpful and appreciative on receiving the images, and seem really enthusiastic to work together again, which is really nice to hear. 

Contacts: 

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Images:

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30

Nov

WIYAA - Welsh International Young Artist Award

As a spur of the moment thing, Nicole and I decided to go to the WIYAA, which were being held in a hotel fairly close to where we were. 

Nicole had been in contact with the communications manager of the event, and he said it would be fine for us to go along and photograph the event whilst also getting the chance to see the entries and meet the finalists. 

It was the first event I’ve been to where we had to appear vaguely professional, as it was quite a posh event, and all the other people there were very dressed up.

We began with photographing the drinks reception, before moving on to the viewing of the entries, and then the actual awards ceremony. 

The main difficulties I encountered with this event were the incredibly poor lighting in some areas of the hotel, and the fact that they had a professional photographer going around taking pictures, so there was a slight sense that we were constantly in the way.

However, it was a great event to cover, and was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the other artistic works that come out of Wales, and to meet the finalists, and the winner Andrew Morris.

Contacts:

Sony Award Brief

Contacts:

Final Image:

Overall I think the shoot went fairly well, and I think I manage to transfer my idea onto the images fairly well also. 

The main difficulties I had with this shoot were the very short time in which I had to make it all come together, the fact that neither horses nor children like to stand still for you to take the photo, and that there was fairly bad lighting in the stables where we shot it, due to it raining outside. 

However, I think I basically managed to overcome most of these factors, and am fairly happy with the resulting images. 

Sony Award Brief

Unfortunately, I was not able to shoot the fencing, due to unforeseen circumstances, and so had to very quickly think of something else to cover. 

I decided to stay with my original idea of the combination of a sport/competition, and a partially disabled member, and chose to shoot a young showjumper who is deaf. 

Again, as with the fencing, I anticipated difficulties with making sure the image conveyed all the facts, more so with this as hearing aids are very small and I found it difficult to think of ways in which I would be able to capture both the hearing aids and the horse, due to the massive size difference.

Although working with very little time, I managed to quickly look at some different styles of horse and rider portraits, as I could not find any sort of material involving deaf riders and horses, so just looked at other outlets that achieved vaguely the same things. 

I found that the large majority of horse and rider portraits tended to be full body shots of both the horse and rider, or be at angles,(shown below) both of which would mean that you would be unable to clearly see the hearing aid in my images.

However, I did also manage to find some variations in typical horse and rider portraits, which showed a variety of different angles and poses, in which mainly just the heads of the rider and horse were shown, which would mean that you would be able to see the hearing aid if I attempted to use similar poses in my images.

21

Nov

Research Images

More portrait based fencing images:

Although these images are more portraiture based than the previous action based images, they still are not quite the right sort of aesthetic and style I am planning to attempt in my images. 

I think the majority of my images will be attempted in a style similar to this, where you can clearly see the fencers uniform, the person themselves, and also any sort of badge etc that they have on their uniforms, depicting their group/ awards etc.