Art, Art Gallery, documentary photography, exhibition, final submission, final year, frames, photography, printing company, prints, The Print Space, uni work

Framed and ready for the final submission

I selected Lumi Silk Coated Card at 300 gsm for my prints. I chose this paper type, as the image quality is very good, appears slightly shiny and as it’s not white, it gives slightly warm feeling to my prints. However, I found out that this paper isn’t available in A2 size therefore, I had to try different types. I’ve ordered a sample pack from The Print Space.

I loved Canson Baryta , but the colour of the paper is too creamy, which could drastically change the mood of my images. The other paper I liked was semi-gloss, as it looks comparable to silk coated card just slightly shinier. However, I decided to go for C-type Epson Matt instead, as the image quality printed on this paper looks stunning. I didn’t want anything glossier, as in my opinion gloss doesn’t fit documentary photography. I’ve used matt in one of the interim shows and it looked amazing.

As our work will be displayed on a white wall, I decided to go for black frames. To create a contrast, to separate the frames from the wall and to make them stand out. I chose to order window mount as well, as it brings the attention towards the image.

I’ve sent out for a few price enquires. Every time I asked for A2 traditional black frame with 50mm white window mount and matt prints. Every quote I received was very expensive, especially that I needed everything times three. The price from Soho Frames was £162.56 + vat; Metro Imaging – £289.72 + vat; The Print Space – £117 + vat and £20 or £25 for each print. All quotes were from London’s recommended companies and I don’t like to order online, not knowing what I am paying for. Therefore, I would have to drive there before making an order and then a second time to collect it. Instead, I went to a few lesser known places in Wakefield with the same frame’s enquiry. The prices were a lot cheaper and I could look at the frame quality.

I decided to order C-type Matt prints (£20 each) from The Print Space and frames from Robin Taylor. Taylor made frames for The Hepworth Wakefield existing exhibition and I am working there, so I knew that the quality of each frame is very good. Additionally, as the frames wasn’t too expensive, I could afford to order non reflective glass, to keep the matt impression. Each frame costs £84, then I was given a discount, so it cost me £240 for three. A lot better that around £200 each when ordered from London’s businesses.

When I received the prints from The Print Space, one of them was damaged. I contacted the company and thankfully they reprinted it and sent it to me within few days. I was glad that I made an order super early and was able to sort it out on time. 

Robin Taylor has made an amazing job, as the frames looks very professional. Although non-reflective glass appears slightly milky, or should I say blurry, I am very happy with the outcome. It further compliments my work and I am very excited to see them displayed in the final exhibition.

Feel free to come and join us at the final exhibition, that will take place at The University of Huddersfield on the 7th of June. I can assure you that there will be a variety of many interesting works, created by very talented students.  

I would truly recommend The Print Space and Robin Taylor, both companies very reliable and professional.

book making, documentary photography, dummy book, exhibition, final year, Interim Show, major project, photo gallery, photobook, photography, uni work, university

Third Interim Show

Yesterday, was the University of Huddersfield’s final year photography students Third Interim Show. The exhibition took place at the Market Hall in Huddersfield. It was amazing to see our work exhibited and evident development from previous exhibitions, visible within the quality of work and prints.

It was our last chance to get feedback on our work before the final submissions. We have five weeks remaining to the deadline, where we must submit our written work as well as physical books, framed prints or portfolio.  

To get ready for the exhibition, I’ve made a few test prints to see what type of paper will be best for my photographs and my photobook.

I chose Lumi Silk Coated Card 300gsm for my photographs and Silk Coated 150gsm paper for the book. Both papers are light cream colour, slightly warmer than white. My displayed prints were in SRA3 size (450mm x320mm) and book printed in B5 (176mm x 250mm).

We were split into groups of 6 – 7 people to give feedback to the other groups. Have a look at my feedback:

Fallowing the group comments, each of us had an individual meeting with one of our tutors. I spoke with Richard Higgingbottom. Richard told me that my project is coming along well and that I chose good paper type. The design and the size of my book are also good however, he advised me to make some changes within the sequence and the text. I told Richard that I am planning to have a hard cover and he advised me to look at Leeds Village Books to find some ideas for the colour of the cloth.

I appreciate all of the feedback I received. I will change the title and think about the cover of the book; I will work on my book sequence and make bigger prints for the exhibition. I won’t include three men, as according to my given feedback it is “Indicating something racial?” I don’t agree with this, as my project is about immigration and clearly anti-racial however, if this is people’s first impression then I will have to work on it.

If you have any comments regarding my exhibition, paper type or my photobook, please get in touch.

Alex Beldea, artist talk, documentary photography, final year, photography, university

Working in Photography by Alex Beldea

University of Huddersfield careers and employability service offer a range of guest speakers and workshops to attend. I recently joined “Working in Photography” by Alex Beldea.

Alex Beldea studying PhD in our university and we’ve had a few tutorials with him last year. However, this time he talked about his career in photography, his experience as professional photographer, his clients and job opportunities. I will mention a few of those:

Back in his country, Romania, he worked as a sport photographer. He came to the UK over 7 years ago to study photography. While studying, he volunteered for 3 years where he photographed musicians for HCMF. He claimed that both jobs improved his technical skills.

He volunteered as events photographer for University International Office. His volunteer job lead to many paid job opportunities.

He then took a placement year and worked at photo studio Hylton Photography in Leeds. It taught him how to deal with clients, see real photography work and improved his technical skills. This job opportunity lead to many collaborations, as Beldea is still working with Hylton and until now both photographers help each other.

Through university he gets many opportunities to cover events, in one of those he had a pleasure to photograph a royal family visit. He stated that it was stressful and challenging, as he only had 5 minutes for the shoot however, he claimed that it was a very good experience.

He worked for the University gym Team Hud.

He photographed York chocolate story museum Treat or Trick walking tour.

He photographed DJs, celebrities, food photography – still and moving image for Epicure.

Photographed Wander-clothing collection.

Discover Magazine-researchers within university.

Every summer for about two weeks he shoots Graduation ceremonies at the university, he works from 8am to 5pm, then edits at night.

Photographed costumes for final project costume departments.

Commissioned for Manchester Gallery as international photographer to exhibit his work about Manchester- Second Home

He worked on many personal projects. The Last Shift is about coal mining in Romania which is planned to be closed. He photographed coal mining workers who will soon become redundant.

In Tunisia, Beldea is making a project about a refugee camp. He is photographing and raising money for 35 refugees who are struggle financially.

Alex Beldea’s tips are: to be patience; work hard and find a way to show your work; work in many photography fields, as you will gain new skills and it could lead to more job opportunities; look for places to get feedback; join portfolio reviews, for example Red Eye in Manchester, Photo Meet in London; attend conferences as you may end up having exhibitions and this is the best way to show your work; alongside professional photographer’s jobs do internships or assisting jobs, as again you will improve your technical skills…

What a brilliant talk, one of best I ever attended. In my opinion Beldea is a very talented photographer and I love his commercial work, so as documentary; especially Valid for Travel. I always look at his photographs when looking for inspiration. Thank you, Alex, for sharing your story and giving us very useful advice.

If you would like to see some more work by Beldea, I will recommend you visit his website

alexbeldea.com

beauty retouching, editorial, fashion, final year, Karina Lex, photography, photoshop, workshop

Retouching workshop with Karina Lax

Karina Lax joined us again, this time she shared her beauty retouching tips. Lax gave us a few of her images to edit and each of us had a go with skin, beauty, hear, clothes and background retouching. We used numerous tools for example Healing Brush or Clone Stamp. Additionally, Lax explained how to use High and Low Frequency, how Liquify Filter works and how to make teeth whiter. I knew most of it, but never used Liquify tool before. I am glad that I took part in this workshop, as I learned a lot and maybe one day, I’ll use the new skills. Though, to be honest I am rubbish with retouching and don’t enjoy it at all. I am specialising in portraiture and documentary style and thanks god this style doesn’t require much Photoshop. The other reason I don’t do much fashion or beauty, as I don’t like to change people’s appearance. I feel as each person have something special what makes them who they are. Each additional scar, wrinkle or extra pound tells their life story; so I don’t see the point to make them appear slimmer, prettier, taller etc.

I understand that we live in 21st century and both fashion and beauty require all this change to sell their product; but playing with Liquify tool makes me think even more about how horrible world we live in. Many people and kids are still looking in beauty or fashion magazines, Instagram, TV and other digital medias and thinking that this is the true appearance of each model/actress etc. Worrying that they will never look as good, but its all one big lie! A lot of make up and Photoshop! Lets not forget about the high expectation imposed especially for woman, but also becoming visible for men. Life is brutal and I always explain my daughter, that the way we look isn’t important. The most significant is if we are happy, healthy and doing all we can to fallow our dreams.

What’s so special about Lax is her honestly, as I mention in the blog before. When someone asked her how long it takes her to edit the image, she replays it depends how much the client pays for it. We all burst in laugh, but she explained that is different if she is editing picture for Instagram account, fashion or beauty magazines. I like this person even more and looking forward to having portfolio review with Lax in a few weeks.

Have a look at some edits. The last one just proves how easy is to change somebody’s appearance in the Photoshop. I made model’s lips and eyes bigger but it clearly doesn’t suit her.

All images taken by Karina Lax, edited by me.

Check Karina Lax website: http://www.karinalax.com/

documentary photography, final year, major project, photography, portfolio review, portraiture, uni work, university

Group and individual tutorial

Each Friday morning, we have group tutorials with one of our tutors or guests, where we talk about our new work. Additionally, every two weeks we have individual tutorials. I had my first meeting with Liam last Thursday.

Feedback form Liam Devlin: Your pictures became a lot better and the lighting is more interesting (thanks Liam). You freed yourself, instead of photographing the same way and you responded to the location. Devlin asked whats the parameters of the project? I replied that is a positive impact of the immigration from West Yorkshire. What drives you to make this project? Showing these people as my own mirror. Having not an easy life as an immigrant, we have to work a lot harder. I am showing that immigrants are also a humans, not just hard workers who contribute to British economy. Devlin adds that it is normal to feel frustrated, as Prime Minister claims that we “jump the queue”. Foreground a humanity in a face of dehumanising process. We have to live our lives through being stereotyped and labelled as the others, outsiders. Those stereotypes breaks down when counted the individuals, as individuals are way more complex. Part of humans condition is not who we are, but who we are not. To present the complexity and the humanity. You kind of getting there. You need to give a working title. I’ve been asked what my relationship to this country? I answer that its my home, I have family and friends here, but I love Poland and I feel Polish. Devlin said that: ” it is complex, very stable relationship between where you from and where you live”. He advised me to play with the pictures when sequencing them. Not to place them besides the people that are exposed to be for, necessarily. Mix them up, make the viewer work and peace together. In this process they will recognise the complexity of it. Add little phrases but don’t placed them next to the person who said it. Surprise the viewer and play with people expectations. Look at Jitka Hanzlova and Tom Duffield’s work.

Friday’s feedback from Yan Preston: your photographs gone better (wow, thanks Yan). I’ve been asked how my experience as immigrant makes me think and feel. I replied that I feel displaced, especially after Brexit I feel uncomfortable, unwanted and blamed (the same as each of the subject I photographed). As many people believes what the media or Theresa May says about immigration, therefore we became blamed for everything. Which is all lie and perhaps May knows this, but she won’t tell the public that European Union Immigrants brings positive impact to UK’s economy. Life as immigrants isn’t easy but we still try to build our homes. Preston advised me to add facts and statistics. To let the viewer know ho claims benefits or to write an essay about it. Additionally, to combine text in my photo-book, to ask each subject for their story, as text is more accessible and not everything could be said through photographs. Guide them, reach deeper into yours and their stories. Reflect on your story, write the story you want to tell. I told her that I came to the UK as fully trained Security Guard able to work as Police Officer. I was trained in self defence and held a gun licence; however, my qualifications wasn’t recognised here and I had to work in the factory. This is one of the main reasons why I went back to University, as I didn’t want to work as a factory worker forever. Similar story applies to many immigrants.

I’ve  been told to consider Self portrait, “no way” I replied. I hate being photographed, that why I became a photographer. However, each of the subject’s story is similar to mine, so the viewer could see me through other photographs, as they became my mirror reflection.

One of the student said that one of the subject seams to be interesting person with worn look, as he went through a lot in his life but, he wants to know more about him. As I explained what is immigrant life experience, I’ve been told to add subject’s stories, to ask them to write a paragraph about their story. What is home? Where is it? What is ideal country you would like to live in? Tell me about you. What is love? Where is homeland? whats your biggest dreams?

I am always responding to my feedback and portfolio reviews and will try my best to deliver it.

artist talk, final year, photography, Sam Laughlin, university

Video chat with Sam Laughlin

Each Friday afternoon we have timetabled speakers talk at uni. Last Friday we had a Skype video chat with Sam Laughlin, who talked about his work and answers our questions.

Frameworks, 2012-15 are photographs of unfinished building and constructions, emphasising the feeling of monumental and transparency, very strong aesthetically created at nigh through long exposure.

In Untitled, Laughlin was commissioned to document constructions where he focused on situation on construction side. His images appear dark, greyish, not as usual black&white. His tonal gradation was made through exposure and developing the film, not much through post production.

Slow Time, 2014 are the photographs of concrete structure, nature, animals, mountains, texture, etc. taken all over the UK and Europe. A state of mind in a black and white photographs is a main element to this work. Meditative photographs, as a result of slow way of looking and considering what to photograph. When the viewer is placed into this stage of mind,  the connection between objects and nature become visible.

Other interesting works: Nest, 2016 and A certain Movement. The movement of landscape, animals behaviour, man made evolution, environmental crisis, landscape shaped the way animals are adapted to…

According to Laughlin, photographs works on tree levels: 1. aesthetics 2, reading the caption 3. poetical and philosophical level

I love the details in every photographs and this sense of intimacy created between the photographer and subjects.

http://www.samlaughlin.co.uk/

final year, photography, portraiture, Rick Kelly, uni work, university, workshop

Portraiture worshop in location with Rick Kelly

This morning I had the pleasure to attend a brilliant workshop with Rick Kelly.

Kelly showed us how to use Elinchrom flashes with Quadra portable battery in location, mixed up with available light. To start with we’ve used one flash on tripod to light the subject. Nikon d700, ISO200, ss 1/125s, f.11 (according to light meter).

Then we added a second flash to light the background. This time the light meter read f.8. Each of us have a chance to shoot some pictures and to change settings to see the difference in exposure. Kelly explained, that when working with flashes and changing the shutter speed one stop down (f.11 to f.8) the light on the subject won’t change, but the background will be brighter. But keep in mind that if you go too slow it will affect both the ambient and subject.

To make a subject brighter, we have three options to chose from: higher ISO, wider aperture or to turn flash power up. Other way round if we want to make the subject darker. Additionally, apart from exposure when working with client remember to always consider composition and subject,s pose.

After that we went to shot in the direct sunlight with one light pointed towards the subject. Then we shot towards the sunlight, with the subject faced back to the sun.

20190123_114540

http://www.rkellyphoto.com

Model: simonweldon.co.uk

baphotohudd

documentary photography, exhibition, final year, major project, photo gallery, photography, portraiture, uni work

SECOND INTERIM SHOW FEEDBACK

Awww no, just remembered about my second interim show. Due to the dissertation, busy time through Christmas break and Amsterdam visit, I forgot to post my feedback. I have received great feedback from my tutor, as well as from students. Let’s see if you agree.

Feedback from students: documentary series, story, emotional, foreign people in England. Statement reads well, tells the intention of the work. Portrait could be bigger and without the chair. More prints next time. Portrait for the final show and photo-book. Good choice of paper type. Think about a new title as it’s a bit funny for such a serious project. Cut out the borders of the portraiture.

Feedback form tutor, Richard Mulhearn: Its visible that you really care about this project. It brings different aspects and uncertainty to each picture. Think about who you photograph, when and where. Really good sense of the absence in relation to person. Really good project, benefiting from your knowledge and experience. I don’t have to talk to you about technical effort and ability as you are doing this well. You need to think about creativity and critical analysis. You gained a confidence and you are moving towards different territory, it become more ambiguous. The idea of foreigners potentially of not knowing how they feel when labelled and constantly defined by people who don’t understand. The project became personal, feels as there is something missing. The person looks as she doesn’t belong in here or is missing something. Become more about somewhere that feels different. Positively confused about whether they want to be here or not. Very well-made picture. Great face and pose. Statement reads well towards the attention of work and what it is about. You need to change the title as it sounds as you don’t care, the irony doesn’t come across. The way she is looking shows this absence, this potential of missing something, being disconnected which is new to your work, as it used to be straight towards the viewer with deadpan face expression.

What do you think about the feedback?

Any additional comments?

What should I improve?

artist talk, editorial, fashion, final year, Karina Lex, major project, photography, Uncategorized, uni work, university

Last term at Uni

In the first week of our second semester, our tutors delivered briefs for our two remaining modules. Professional Practise and Major Project. In the first semester we had Research and Development, the Critical Research Summary was submitted, and now this module is over. I got 68% for it and pretty good feedback, not too bad for a first submission.

One part of professional Practise is done – the dissertation. The title of my dissertation was Theoretical concept and the argument that there is not absolute truth in documentary photography. I analysed the theories of some photography critics and examined case studies of documentary photographers which portrayed people as their subject matter. I am glad that the dissertation is over now. Other two parts of this module are blog, website and the final presentation. Another module is Major Project which is our portfolio or photo-books and the final exhibition.

We have 11 weeks left before Easter break, then the submissions on the 10th of May and hopefully in July I will have a degree in Photography. I am so exciting! Especially, that after the graduation I am off backpacking to South America, I can’t wait! But before this I need to crack on with Uni work. Wish me luck!

Last Friday I had a pleasure to attend a Karina Lex’s talk. A brilliant artist who shared with us her story of becoming a photographer and her 12 years’ experience as a freelance photographer. She is a commercial and commissions-based photographer however, she also creates art work, raising money for charities and is interested in fashion, editorial and psychology.

Her advice was to keep going and say yes to opportunities. To approach customers by email, to list all our skills (technical, customer service, physical work, experience with equipment we are familiar with etc) and to write how it could benefit the company we’re applying for. She also told us how important is to always build a relationship with the subject. When asked if she would choose the photographic work opportunity, or a full-time job and doing photography work on a side, she recommended to always look for photographic opportunities, as after full time at work we won’t have time to do anything else. I must agree.

20190118_132006

Lex presented for us her physical portfolio and I must say it looks incredible. A3 size, black leather cover, each photograph appears glossy and creates some kind of the story. It is a bit crazy to say that fashion photography creates a story, but Lex sequenced her images with similar colours and warmness what forms a harmony when looking through it. I love the design which she ordered from Plastic Sandwich (plasticsanwich.co.uk). I will consider this company when I completed university and will search for work.

The best thing about Karina Lex’s talk was that she was very honest with us when talked about her work, experience, portfolio etc.

Amsterdam, artist talk, Colour&Books, final year, major project, photography, uni work

Amsterdam 2019

As soon as I submitted my dissertation on Friday the 11th (such a relief) I packed my stuff and on Sunday the 13th I went to Amsterdam.

It was a university trip and I’ve had so much fun with other photography students and tutors. The trip was full of exciting visits to photo galleries and photographic workshops, but also filled with time to explore the city, wander around the red-light district, having fun ice-skating, enjoying amazing wafflers, beer, lovely food etc.

On the second day we went to Apeldoorn to attend a brilliant session with Sebastiaan Hankeroot from Colour and Books, who designs photo-books. Very inspiring session with lots of useful information about print, paper type, design that reflects and communicates photographer’s intentions and other important stuff to consider when making books, which I will be doing at the end of this semester.

documentary photography, exhibition, final year, photo gallery, photography, Uncategorized

Second Interim Show

Huddersfield, Market Hardware Gallery. From 14th to 20th of December will be open for the public.

Come round a have a look at our amazing work. While my fellow peeps chose fashion, landscape, still life etc, I presented my favourite documentary photography. Peer review tomorrow. Lets see what feedback I will get.

What do you think about my work?

 

20181213_105155

artist talk, documentary photography, final year, major project, photography, portfolio review, university

Rachel Brown Talk and portfolio review

Rachel Brown is Harper’s Bazaar photographic director and fine art photographer. It was a pleasure to meet her and to hear the story about her journey with photography.

Firstly, Rachel told us about her art collage in Huddersfield and BA studies in London. Then she applied for residency in NYC and received a place and how she creates her cinematic photographs and questions the reality.

She imagined fearful situation to then create her fictional narrative work. She wonders around at night to find new place and often put herself in dangerous situations. She works with long exposure and medium format camera. She works with strangers and landscapes. Approaches strangers by creating a casting exchange for prints. Brown also uses self-portraiture in her work, which she comments that it could influence our own practise.

Later, she told us how she approaches the photographer Steven Klein and starts working for him. When she was back to UK, she got a job as Vogue internship, then works with Tim Walker. Finally, to became Harper’s Bazaar photographic director. Where she works with big names, both celebrities and photographers. Wow what a career.

Rachel encourage us to apply for residencies. She has been in few of them and told us that they could format our photographic career. Also, it is a great way to travel, to see new places, meet interesting people and create contacts. What I get from her talk, was to try different things, to build range of skills and technics within many photography fields to then apply in our professional practise.

Portfolio Review

Rachel Brown told me that my subject is very important today and that this political theme is very interesting especially valid right now with Brexit approaching. That my voice should be heard, and I need to humanize the subjects, therefore I need to give more context to each photographed person. That I need to show that migrants are humans and they deserves to be treated as humans. That I should interview people, ask about their experiences as immigrants, their life stories, how long they’ve been here and what job they are doing to show that they are contributing to the country. Additionally, her advice was to start the book with the essay, with very hard-hitting words like facts and statistics what people believe about immigration. Her advise was to ask somebody important to write the essay for me, however I am not sure if I could afford this, but I will definitely try. Brown’s other advice was to print my work as newspaper, with red heading, statistics and to give away to viewers on our final year exhibition. As this theme is going opposite the media, but migration is normally showed in newspapers.