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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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

Alumni portfolio review

It was an honour to show my work to photographers who once were Students of University of Huddersfield as I am now. Each of them works in different photography field however, it was great to hear what they think about my work and how they are doing as practitioners. I am really appreciated for all the great feedback.

Tom Duffield – Freelance, Editorial

Tom was impressed that I found so many people and told me that my subject is very interesting and valid. He likes the images which have quiet surrounding, and the one which have additional picture related to person’s work.

I spoke with Tom that I would like to try different approaches, so he told me that is good idea to try to photograph them on white background, to isolate the subject from their surroundings, so the viewer concentrates on each individual person and the person become the most important. However, he told me that the editorial portraiture which I did are good enough. Additionally, he advised me to take some pictures around subject’s house to portray important stuff for them and to ask each person to hand write something about themselves. To ask them how long they have been here? What is their experience as migrants? That it will add their voice and their authorship to the project and the project would become more personal.

Laura Patric – Freelance Studio, Digital Assistant

Laura likes the idea of my project and was impressed that I have a mixture of men and women, wide range of careers and variation of ethnicities. She advised me to work on white balance, colour cast and to use grey card so the images fits together and have similar colours and consistency. I am absolutely going to do this, I told her that I already bought grey card and will start to use it.

Ryan Fitzpatric – Freelance Food Stylist, Studio Photographer

Another commercial practitioner who points out white balance in my work. Thanks guys, it would be fixed. Ryan’s advice was to write a story about each subject, what they did in their own country, if they worked in the same field etc. Additionally, to create more of their story I should add images related to them or their archive images from their country.

Silvana Trevale – Freelance Editorial, Fashion, Portraiture

Silvana advised me to look at Katy Granan and Lewis Khan’s work with white background. She told me to spend time with each of the subject, to get to know them, to fallow them in their daily basis. Not to be worry if they won’t let me in their house. But if they agree I should have their prints for them. Great idea, I will definitively try this.

 

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

Artist talk-Pablo Antoli

Pablo is another great photographer who as part of creative exchange week came to uni and talked to students about his practise.

Each of Pablo’s work is different than other, he breaks the boundaries within his creativity. As a commercial practitioner he creates artistic images of food. His travel images are documentary about the place, people, culture, food… His MA work contains found images which he placed into wooden wall and explored what time and decay does to the images. Other work was created by folding images of mountains, rocks, stones into landscapes, then faking sunsets, skies and photograph models as they are landscapes. His recent Sleepers work is an installation created with the mixture of film archives and the landscapes he created in Mexico. The project is about Mexican Revolution and combines projections, risographs and prints on glass.

He shared with us very interesting way of approaching the clients. While travelling, he creates the images about the place, their culture, food then edits them down so photographs creates the story. Then he writes a brief and approach client by sending his work to magazines, restaurants…as part of his professional practice and to gain new customers.

He clarified that his assisting and commercial work fund his living, while money from Mexico allows him to travel and pays for the equipment. Very interesting how he was honest with us and told us that is not easy to make money within photography. That we must always work hard within the field that interest us but also commercially to be able to fund our travel or artistic work.

He advised us to approach photographers and to work with them as photography assistants, as we will gain new skills, get to test new equipment and learn new Technics. Also, to systematically sending our work to clients and photography awards to get our works seen, to gain clients and to receive awards.

If you’re interested in Pablo Antoli’s work, have a look at his websites:

http://anto.li/

http://www.antolistudio.com/

 

 

 

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

Bella West’s talk, workshop and portfolio review

Last week I’ve had a pleasure to attend Bella West’s talk, to have workshop with the artist and to watch her working in the location.

The artist talked about her work, how mostly she uses natural light or adding reflector if needed and how she uses the space and simplicity in her photographs. She advised us (students) that to be a good photographer we need to be more than just to catch a moment; that we need to create colour harmony in our images. That we need to consider the light, time of the day, place where we photograph, how much shape and space do we use. That the composition is very important to create cohesion between the location and the subject. To not be afraid of playing with dept of field, movement and being creative. Additionally, artist explained that as portrait photographer is very important to make a connection with the subject. To let them be themselves and to bring their own personality into our work. She also told us to get away from our comfort zone and to try to photograph other stuff, different subject, styles, events etc. As each time we gain new skills, experiences and build our confidence within something new to us what makes us stronger as a photographer. Furthermore, West told us that is important to show our work and to enter photography competitions, as it’s always good to be seen and we may land ourselves an award or an exhibition etc.

Portfolio review:

I presented my Bloody Foreigners? work and I received a very good feedback. Bella West said that I am photographing very interesting subject, that the design of my photobook is very good and some of my portraits are strong. She recommended that I should go wider and use more space in my photographs. Also, that I shouldn’t concentrate on the subject directly looking at the camera but could be more playful and portray the subjects while they do their jobs, and through location I could tell more of their story. Additionally, I’ve been told to use colour passport or grey card when I photograph inside. I’ve been also advised that I look at the work of Anastasia Taylor Lind and Gales Duley. Both artists are a real story teller, but I am going to try my best to add this useful advice in my new photographs. I have some new ideas.

 

 

dissertation, final year, major project, Uncategorized, uni work, university

Back to uni, the final year begins…

Final year? Already? Aw my God, where has the time gone? In a few months hopefully, I will graduate with a BA in Photography but now I am freaked out!

So much information about the work which must be done through the year and sooo much to do. However, the dissertation is the worst of all and its due for the 11th of January. Why is it the worst? As I hate writing and English isn’t my first language so its not easy! But nobody said it would be, so I must stop feeling sorry for myself and start working.

So, what’s next? Individual meetings with tutors, to talk about our research for the dissertation. After that I will have to write 1000 words for the next meeting, and the next one and so on. If everything goes as planned, the dissertation would be done by December. I wish, I can’t wait to have it out of the way. But when the dissertation would be done, we would have a trip to Amsterdam! Hurray, something to look forward to!

The next module is Professional Practice, where I must create a website and blog (already on it). Third and the most exciting one is the Major Project and the research around my work. Now I am continuing Bloody Foreigners? so let’s see where it gets me.

It’s time to work, work, work, work…

I promise new work coming soon.

dissertation, documentary photography, major project, university

Major project and the dissertation ideas

As photography student approaching the final year, over the summer I had to think about my major project and a potential subject for my dissertation. I decided to carry on my Bloody Foreigners work and consequently, to make a connection between the major project and the dissertation, I’ve decided to write about the documentary photography. However, I am going to pay the most attention towards the photographers which documented people as their subject matter.

To create my new work, which I shared with you recently, I meet new people, talk to them about my university project and ask for their permission to photograph them. Mostly they were helpful, however I meet a few which did not want to be photographed.

For my new work, I am planning to find some more interesting people, experiment with the lighting, locations and maybe use some black & white photographs. I have some new ideas after writing the dissertation draft and researching many photographers and artists work.

New images coming soon.