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28

Apr

Critical Evaluation

Throughout this module, I think I have learnt a developed a great many new skills, and have seen more own work improve a lot from the standard it was at the start of the module.

I think that the techniques and methods we learnt during the module have been easily put into practice, and have really helped me gain what I think is a better understanding of photojournalism, and documentary and news work in particular.

I think that the live briefs we were set weekly helped to teach us how to better create and develop the ideas and inspiration for projects, and looking back I can, even in that short period of time, see how my thinking and subsequent work developed because of this.

In a way I think it would have been helpful to continue doing the live briefs, perhaps not every week though, as I think they really helped me to think outside of the statement or theme we were given, and better develop my planning and developing skills when it comes to a brief.

Looking back, I think that many of the briefs and events I covered in the beginning were very poorly done, and only recently have a seen enough of an improvement in my work to be fairly happy with it for the most part.

I think that working with Capital Times has most definitely helped with this, as the briefs or events to cover are usually very simple and straightforward, which helps because it means that I have more time to fully think through what I’m doing, and concentrate on making sure my photos are technically competent and fulfill the requirements successfully, rather than spending time worrying about the brief or event instead.

Looking back I think the majority of my work for Capital Times was fairly successful, and my images fulfilled each brief to an extent that Capital Times were happy with. Personally, although I can see how my work has improved throughout the different events I have covered for them, I can also clearly see ways in which by just adjusting things slightly, or moving my position, I would have been able to create much stronger images. However, in being able to see this I think it proves to myself that my skills have improved considerably, as before this module, I would not have even given these images a second glance.

I think in working for Capital Times I have also developed new skills in being able to better read a situation, and apply it to the context of the event, and create a image from this, thus linking back to my beginning point of having developed far better skills in developing and following through on my plans and ideas.

Working in collaboration with Zoom is also something that I think has benefited my work, as it has given me an opportunity to work with people I would not normally have had the chance to work with, and to document events such as the film workshops and festivals, that I would not otherwise have had a chance to.

I think if I had the opportunity to do this module again, I would be able to improve quite a lot of my earlier work, and I would definitely like to have reached outside of these means more, and worked in collaboration with other people, such as I did with the Nursery Christmas Party, and the WIYAA.

Overall I think this module was fairly successful, and I am happy with the amount of improvement I can see in my work. Although I am not content with some of the work I had produced, I am confident that I can see the issues I have had in these instances, and think that I could now quite easily fix them, so view that as a success.

Zoom Cymru - Winners Portraits

After the presentation of the awards in the evening, we were also asked to take some portraits of the winners with their awards.

Going on basically the same set up and methods as we had used with the photobooth beforehand, just without the props, I found the portraits very easy to do, and again the main issue was with space, and the shadows the lack of space sometimes causes.

The only other issue I think really came up was the awkwardness of some people, and the difficulty I had in getting them to relax enough to get a half decent picture.

However, we did manage to get a portrait of each of the winners and their awards, and most of them were successful, so I am fairly happy with the way they ll turned out.

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Photovoice - Zoom Cymru Workshops

After covering the Zoom workshops all day on the Thursday, on Friday, we had the opportunity to run a workshop of our own, following our training with Photovoice a few weeks previously.

I found these workshops quite nerve wracking to begin with, as I had never done anything like this before, but I think after a while we managed to pull together as a group and give each other confidence, and the workshops turned out rather well.


I didnt manage to take any photos throughout the workshops, but the ones I have seen seem to show the dynamic in which we worked together, and for the most part the people taking part in the workshop seem to be fairly engaged and interested in the activities we set them.

Overall I think the workshops were fairly successful for our first time, and i did enjoy doing them after a while.

I am looking forward to possibly running more workshops in the future, and bettering the skills I learnt in training, and running this workshop.

Zoom Cymru - Photobooth

On the Friday evening, after running the workshops in the day, we attended the awards presentation and after party of sorts, and ran a photo booth before the presentations started.

I found this quite difficult at first, as the prospect of having to approach people and get them to sort of open up and relax in front of the camera seemed very intimidating. 

However, with Becky’s help it soon seemed easier, and quite quickly because sort of a process, of dragging people in, getting them to pose and them kicking them out quickly, in order to fit everyone in. In a way I think this was quite helpful as it meant we didn’t have anybody hanging around not knowing what to do, and the short time period meant people just got on with it and posed quickly, which can often be the difficult part when doing portraiture of sorts, or so it seems anyway. 

I think the photo booth was fairly successful, and gave me more experience into the more gimmicky side of photography, and gave me more experience with using a set up, and using studio lights when shooting.

For the most part I’m happy with the way the images turned out, and the only way I think they could really be improved is to have had a slightly bigger space to shoot in, as this tended to mean we had some awkward shadows or spacing issues with larger groups of people. However, overall I think this went very well, and the images fulfilled what it was that Zoom wanted from the photo booth, to show the spirit and ‘fun-ness’ of the evening.

Photobooth Images;

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Zoom Cymru - Workshops

For this event, Zoom simply asked that we document the different workshops that would be going on throughout the day, as part of their festival week. After having worked with Zoom earlier on in the year, I was interested to see what sort of things would be going on throughout the day.

I think because I had worked with them before, it made me slightly more comfortable and confident going into the day, as I at least vaguely knew most of the organisers.

The day was very interesting, with a number of different workshops to photograph, from filming and editing workshops, to stage make up demonstrations.

I didn’t really run into any issues while covering this event, just a few issues with exposure here and there because of the constantly hanging environments, particularly when attempting to photograph a film screening, which didn’t really work out image wise.

Over all I think the day was pretty successful, and I think I managed to get a wide variety of images that captured the day.

I think that covering the workshops has helped me to better understand the different pressures and things that can come up when covering multiple things at once, particularly over the course of an entire day, which I think will benefit any work I do related to this in the future.

Contact Sheets;

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Some of my images;

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27

Apr

Sow-a-thon at Cardiff's Atrium

After the ‘Sow-a-thon’ event, my images were used alongside an article on the We Are Cardiff website. 

Ty Gwydr - The Greenhouse - ‘Sow-a-thon’

For this event, I really had no idea what to expect as there was very little information to be found other than that it was something to do with planting. Because of this I presumed it would mostly be documentary shots, and this seemed to play out fairly well for the most part. 

I think the most difficult thing I found with this brief was the uncertainty of both myself and the people involved in the event, as they and not expected any one to come to photograph it, and were slightly awkward for some parts of the time. 

Image wise, Im fairly happy with the images I got, and as I was there for the full extent of the event, over three hours, it really gave me a chance to get all the base shots that I needed and then focus on getting some more interesting variations of shots, such as playing with the depth of field and focus points within the images. 

Overall I think this was fairly successful, and the main thing I have taken away from it is to make sure to get more details about the event, so that I can be sure of the correct start time, and the length of the event next time. 

Contact Sheets;

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Some of my images;

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Adam Amengual is a photographer, best known for his portrait work, in particular his series revolving around former LA gang members.

Website: www.adamamengual.com

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Amengual’s series of LA gang members has to be one of my favourite portraits series’ as of yet. 

His portraits manage to show the subjects in a light that makes them appear strong and almost heroic, whilst managing to steer away from the usual scary and threatening depictions of gang members. 

I also like that his images vary in terms of composition and the ways in which he poses his subjects, and yet there is still a flow and continuity between the set.

The images are documentary but at the same time they are formal, as the subjects are aware that they are being taken, so can position themselves in whichever way they choose. 

I think this awareness is often what it comes down to with portraiture. While you can most definitely get beautiful candid images, the self awareness and presentation that the subject often projects in images like this intrigues me, and I would definitely like to look further into this in the future. 

Richard Avedon was an American photographer, most famed throughout his sixty year career, for his work with fashion and portrait photography.

Website: http://www.richardavedon.com/

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I have always liked Avedon’s work, and I think his is mostly for the fact that is all clean lines and white spaces, fitting in with the traditional style of studio portraiture, and it is from this that so many other styles of portraiture have developed. 

Nadav Kander is a London based photographer, best known for his landscape and portraiture work. 

Website: http://www.nadavkander.com

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I like Kander’s work because he seems to take the same aesthetics as traditional studio portraiture, and make it more modern by changing the colours of lights, or altering the position of the lights so that it creates a far edgier and more unusual image.