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.
I recently enter two images for the Palm* Photo Prize competition.
The submission is open to photographers working in all disciplines and styles and it’s free to enter. There are no themes, just an emphasis on one strong stand-alone image. The deadline for the submissions is on the 15th of April and entrants are limited to two images per person. On the 10th of May, 100 images will be selected by the Palm* Studios and exhibited in The Print Space Gallery in London from 14th to 17th of May. There will be four winning categories selected from the shortlisted and exhibited images:
Judge’s Panel 1st place
Judge’s Panel 2nd place
People’s Choice Award
People’s Choice Instagram Award
prizes looks very impressive. Judge’s Panel 1st place will receive: Polaroid
Originals OneStep + Camera + film; theprintspace £150 voucher, Labyrinth
photography Lab £150 voucher, Palm* Studios goodie Bag + Palm* Feature, Parallax
Photographic Coop gift voucher £50
Here are my two selected images
I chose them two, as I believe that both are strong single stand-alone images. Each one is also strong technically, with creative lighting and good composition. It would be amazing to be one of the 100 shortlisted. Wish me luck!
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.
Following the talk by our latest guest speaker Richard Kelly, we’ve had an opportunity to share with him our work and get feedback. Garry Clarkson also joined us, and we’ve had a chance to hear what he has to say about our work.
I showed my latest dummy book.
Feedback form Richard
According to Kelly, my project looks very good and I have some strong portraiture with very good lighting. His favourite was the first and second portraiture in the top raw, middle image in the third raw and the bottom left. The middle image on the top reminds him of Richard Billingham’s Ray’s a Laugh. He likes the photographs, as they show real people and emotions, as there is a story, people are thinking, imagining the future, appear hopeful, the viewer feels a connection to them. He also advised me to add more images of their personal stuff or something connected to them, as those little motives, symbolic photographs says a lot about the owner.
Both Kelly and Clarkson agreed that the images with dead pan face expression made in the subjects’ work environment are slightly emotionless and that I should get rid of them. As they don’t fit to the flow of the book, they appear as visual statistics, editorial work, from tabloids, photojournalism, newspapers or magazines when I am trying to show the opposite.
Feedback from Garry
Clarkson said that my book shows the everyday beauty and experience, the positive representation of immigration and humanising them. He stated that the last image in the top raw is too commercial, without the contexts and with missing metaphor, so the viewer moves away. He said that I have good environmental portraits around subjects’ homes and works; with subtle light and contrast of different gazes. Similarly to Kelly, Clarkson likes the emotive images with subtle, window light best, so as the one with dog next to the person, as he claims it signifies “when the space become the place” and the identity. Garry Clarkson adds that those images elevate away from statistical and news photographs, crates emotional connections and good feelings when looking at them. He told me to add images of more personalised items, or to add something symbolic that portrays the struggle people went through.
We spoke about the title, Bloody Foreigners? according to Clarkson “reinforcing the prejudice”. He said that the title shouldn’t be too descriptive, “don’t reveal everything, don’t reveal the magic”, let the viewer interpret and make their own story, the more you hold back the more people will invest. He then said, “I am jealous, a lot of work in here”. Wow, thanks Garry!
With only 7 weeks left to the deadlines, I need to take the advice in consideration when completing my final project. Within 7 weeks I must design and print a book, choose prints for the exhibition in April and for the final exhibition, also prepare final presentation, write critical research summary for my major project and professional practice. Is this even possible?
I will carry on writing the blog and share with you all I’ve
done, and the meetings/portfolio reviews I attended until the end of uni. Then I
will have some other stories…
As we are getting closer to completing the final year, we are not going to have any more tutorials, only individual meetings with our tutors. Last Wednesday, Richard Kelly was our latest guest speaker.
Richard Kelly worked with us in the studio in the first year of our studies. Recently, we also had a lighting workshop with him. However, this time he talked about his photographic career and experience of working with many clients, in many photography fields and doing his personal projects.
He started his photographic career as music bands photographer. He moved on to fashion and was commissioned for Dazed magazine, Elle magazine and shot covers for many other.
His advice was to be flexible and work very fast, as often we don’t get to dictate the rules and will have to work to client’s time scale. For example: when Kelly photographed Amy Whinehouse, he had about 5 to 10 minutes for the shoot; when he photographed a band, he had to shoot in the middle of a night etc. This is one of the reasons why he enjoyed working in fashion best, as he had control of the shoot, the lighting and posing in opposition to bands where he could not choose much, as the client is the one who always dictates the rules.
He was commissioned by Cadbury and claimed that client-based work funds his personal work, as commercial work often pays well.
Fred Perry Way – Ping-Pong and tennis player asked him to create artistic work and payed for it, so according to Kelly this kind of work is always best, as you do what you love, you can shoot what you want, you can be the artist and get payed for it all at the same time.
Kelly has made a few personal projects and his latest one involves a group of young men living in Manchester. He told us that is very difficult to create documentary work, as those people aren’t used to be photographed. That it takes time to get to know the subjects and to negotiate their trust. Similarly, it takes time to make them look relaxed. He recommended to always explain the project, to tell the subject what we want from the shot, ask them what they want from the shot and clarify where we will use the photographs. While photographing people he advised to always talk to them, as it relaxes them, and the more relaxed they look the better the image. When doing commercial work, he also recommended to do something we want, not only what the client is asking for. For example, if we have different ideas how to make the photographs that we should go for it, as we will have something for our portfolio or a new exhibition. To try to think about the bigger picture. I must agree about talking to the subjects, about the difficulty of creating documentary work, so as building subject’s trust.
Kelly also advised us to do the job that pays well even if that it doesn’t interest us. He also told us to get in touch with him after university if we need any help or advice on starting to work in the photography industry, or assisting jobs as he could recommended somebody.
Have a look at Richard Kelly’s website where you will find many other interesting work.
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
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
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.
Our tutorials are finished however, as many of us making photobooks for major project, last Wednesday one of our tutors Richard Higgingbottom delivered book making workshop. Higgingbottom is associated with Tide Press – independent photobook publishing company, what make him a specialist in book making process. Higgingbottom gave us a lot of useful information regarding photobooks and brought a lot of physical books, so we can get the idea about different sizes, covers, bindings, designs etc.
When making books there is many things to consider. Paper
type, the thickness of the paper, size, scale, format, soft or a hard cover, colour
of the cover, kind of bind, font in the book and on the cover, uppercase or
lower case, the cover with the image or without, what writing on the cover both
front and back (title, name or nothing), the consistency within the book or not
at all to surprise the viewer…
Higgingbottom stated that the design must fit the context, however, the design is to elevate the project not to make the project better. The best photobooks are when the design relates to the project and make the viewer engaging with the project. So, we need to make an interesting book that tell the story we want to convey.
I asked Higgingbottom if hard cover would fit my project? He says that I should try it, and to make each portraiture huge full blead to humanize each of the subjects. He recommended book size like A3. As he told me to work on a sequence, he advised me to do a few more dummy books to see how it feels reading through each of them. First to sequence the images as kind of themes (people at work, people at homes looking straight, looking sideways, text etc). Second sequence with consistency. For example, portraiture with additional image, two single portraiture, one with the text and so on. Next one, start from colourful images and carry on to the ones with the lack of colours, or other way round. He also told me to look at Rob Hornstra work 100 Billionaires to see how the adding text works in the book. Thanks for your feedback Richard, I will try all of this.
My latest dummy book:
Higgingbottom also recommended few printing and binding companies:
F&G Ratchford to get stuff for binding; Spink & Thackray – book binding and hard covers; Precision in Leeds – hard cover binds; Entwistle in Manchester for prints, Hp indigo press printers; G & F Smith for paper – Art shop in Leeds and Manchester; For a book pages no thicker that 150gsm, for a cover around 275gsm if we want to fold it and bind it.
If you have any more ideas regarding book design or prints,
please get in touch.
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.
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.
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.