Reflective Log PEP210: Genre
Jake de Buriatte Moglia Student number:1402300
Contents 1 ... Introduction 2 ... Product Photography 3 ... Lit Interior 4 ... SDA 5 ... Peer Assesment 6 ... Food 7 ... Sports 8 ... Conclusion 9 ... Metadata
The module is broken down into 12 parts forming a portfolio and one reflective report. In order to produce the reflective report, I intend to document the module on a weekly basis, summarising to form a full report at the end of the module.
– High quality, professional output – Development upon rudimentary skills such as lighting – To form a wide and varied output
I look forward to exploring multiple genres whilst being The first week provided and insight to the module and a able to develop upon interests wide overview of the parts. that already exist, such as fashion photography. Immediately my ideas started flowing – to better record my idea generation process, I I intend to log all of my shoots have started a new sketchbook on a calendar, which will enable which enables me to expand me to refer back and view what I and develop my ideas, typically have shot and when. through use of spider diagrams. I have derived several core aims for the module:
Product Photography Due to the small scale of the shoot I decided to utilise my living room as a makeshift studio. After a period of trial and error with adjustments I was able to finalise a setup, shown below:
1. Speedlight with a DIY card snoot – this produced a strong, narrow beam of light which would illuminate the label on the bottle – essential in showing of the product. 2. Canon 5D , 70-200mm – mounted on a tripod in a portrait orientation, enabling me to get consistent shots, which would also enable me to do composite images if I needed to. The 70-200mm enabled me to keep my distance preventing any shadows, whilst retaining detail and a good crop. 3. Flash head shooting into a gold reflective umbrella – the umbrella provided a very wide, soft light which was used to illuminated the wider sections of the bottle and the foreground of the table. 4. Speedlight – placed directly behind the bottle, shooting straight through. This illuminated the beer within the bottle, emphasising the amber colour and emphasising the beads of condensation across the cold bottle. 5. Beer Bottle – placed in the middle of the table 6. DIY Table – for the purpose of this shoot, I made a table out of a reclaimed gate. This provided a complementary setting to the beer. 7. Continuous light – directed towards the wall to illuminate
the backdrop slightly. 8.Bed sheet backdrop – used to create a grey background against the bottle. Post Production:: As the backdrop wasn’t smooth, I removed it and replaced it with a solid black fill using Photoshop. This removed any distraction from the image, drawing focus to the bottle – emphasising the bottle. In lightroom, I boosted the contrast and vibrancy slightly, adjusted the white balance which removed some of the blue flash tint and boosted the highlights. This all made for a very rich image. Related: - Profoto - Co-Op Food
Related: - Crack Magazine - High Snobiety - Complex - The Basement
Photographing for the lit interior portrait brief was particularly rewarding for me to shoot. I have used studios and flash to some extent before, so I was able to build upon a solid skill set. I opted for a simple yet effective light set up, consisting of a single light with a large, square soft box. This resulted in a clean, soft and even light falling on the subjectâ€™s face. With the soft box in front of the subject, I was able to capture a suitable catch light in the subjectâ€™s eyes. I balanced the exposure so that the subject was lit perfectly, whilst leafing
the background slightly under exposed, producing an off white background. However, I did come across issues whist shooting for the brief. If I was to reshoot, I would place a reflector beneath the subject to bounce some light beneath the chin, removing some of the shadow around the beard and neck. I feel this would be applicable to an editorial piece, perhaps in a publication such as Crack Magazine.
Above: Contact Sheets
Under the SDA brief, I shot Elliot Stanley, a fine art student at Falmouth University, who is currently running a therapy based instillation. The location was interesting to shoot around, with large white walls surrounding the instillation. The ambient light was good, however, in post production I found there to be green lines across some of the images, as a result of the fluorescent ceiling lights. If I was to reshoot, I would make use of a speed light or two, balancing the ambient and artificial light. If reshooting, I would have taken
another lens. Having taken a wide angle lens, and shooting at a wide f-stop, I inadvertently encountered a vignette. As a result of the green lines and vignette, I had to do a large amount of work to recover the images. After furthering my skillset in split toning, gradient filters and highlight / shadow manipulation I managed to bring the images back to an acceptable standard.
Related: - Huck Magazine - Paul Neaguv
An example of the vignette
An example of the green line caused by the location lights
Notes from peer assesment
Midway through the semester, I had the opportunity to participate in a peer group assessment, during which I met with my peers so discuss the work we have produced so far. I found this a thoroughly interesting experience as it moved me away from producing work that was good in my eyes, to work of a high standard that appeals to a varied audience. I was able to take several very constructive points away from the session: - Lit interior portrait – “the photograph doesn’t shout” “a slow burner” – this was easy for me to fix, a simply adjusted clarity, highlights and shadows in Lightroom to really give the image some punch, producing a much stronger portrait.
- Product shot – it was drawn to my attention that the edges of the bottle were merging into the background. In order to rectify this, I had two options; shooting again with a rim/hair light or recovering the edges in Photoshop. I opted for the latter as a first port of call, and I was able to recover the areas by adding a small about of inner glow. - Fashion shot – feedback suggested I ensure the subject is separated from the background and ensuring the preservation of detail. This was easily rectified with some level adjustments in Lightroom.
I found food photography to be one of the most challenging aspects of the 12-part brief. Although I love food, I didnâ€™t know where to begin with photographing it. I began with the idea of photographing individual ingredients from a recipe, then compositing each image into a neatly ordered grid, such as those found on the outfit grid Instagram. However, I found it hard to produce the results I desired. Instead, I opted to photograph a simple recipe. To reflect the simple food, I wanted to
shoot on a simple background that I could set up quickly but effectively. I am happy with the results, but I feel there could have been a few worthwhile changes If I had the time. I have like to used more daylight in the shots, as apposed to the single flash. This would bring a more natural tone to the greens in the image.
Related: - M&S - Waitrose - The Gaurdian
Above: Contact Sheets
I have never really shot any sports photography, other than skating which has a very set format. I wanted to push my boundaries and shoot a faced paced sport such as rugby. I had to develop a new skillset, including the use of large focal length lenses. It was challenging but I thoroughly enjoyed the learning. One issue I have faced is determining how to frame action. My instinct is to produce content with space around the action, however I have learnt that for publications such as
newspapers, my shots need to be much closer with very little space around the action. This makes it more appealing to the eye, especially in low quality print such as newspapers.
Related: - Filippo Venturi - The Telegraph - England Rugby
One of the difficulties I came across with sports photography was editing down my shots. Above is a selection of images that I narrowed the shoot down to.
In summary, I am happy with my progression throughout the 12part portfolio. There have been many skills that I have learnt or improved upon. However, there have also been various downfalls and set backs. One of my proudest achievements has been my continued training with artificial light sources, such as the portraiture lighting. I have also enjoyed photographing subjects that I might not have actively looked to shoot before, such as the rugby. My biggest set back would not be technical, more so time management. I feel I could have pushed myself further to pursue a wider and richer collection of stories. Technically, I still have many things to improve upon, such as
my application of flash such in scenarios such as my SDA shoot, where I could have benefited from the use of a speed light. I would also like to dedicate more time to print quality, learning more about colour and detail, which would enable my output to be of a very high standard. I am happy with the foundation I have laid with the 12-part portfolio but I look forward to developing and progressing my skill set across the board.