documentary photography, final exhibition, final submission, photobook, photography award, uni work, university

My photobook is finally ready for the submission

For my book’s pages I chose Lumi Silk Coated paper (150gsm), as the image quality is very good; the paper appear slightly shiny, feels nice when touched and as it isn’t white, it gives a slightly warm feeling to the photographs.

I experimented with book sizes and decided that A4 is too large, A5 is too small, so I tried the version in between them-B5 and it’s perfect. I printed the book pages at the University printing bureau and delivered them to Spink and Thackray in Leeds for binding. I chose a light yellow hard cover and for the second book I selected a slightly larger size, orange cover and very similar to Lumi Silk paper. However, the prints quality in the second book wasn’t as good as the ones printed at the University.

Unfortunately, I realised that one of the images in the book was cropped. The same one that I printed for an exhibition and came damaged. Unlucky. Fallowing my mistake, I had to reprint the book pages again. I drove to uni on Wednesday the 24th of April and the printing bureau was closed for an Easter break. I went there the day after, printed the pages and drove to Leeds to make an order. The fallowing Thursday, I collected the book which wasn’t as ordered. The letters on the front page was damaged and appears slightly dirty around the edges however, it wasn’t too bad. In addition, when I came home, I realised that they put two front pages in the book. I wanted to scream!

This means that I had to drive to Leeds again! I drove in London, Manchester and other big cities in the World, but I hate driving in Leeds. Never mind, the next morning I gave them a ring and made a complaint. I was told to bring the book back and they will sort it out for me. This time I sent my boyfriend, as I was stressed enough and had million other things to do before the submissions. Three days before the submission I finally collected my book! Thankfully this time it looks amazing and I am very proud of it!

I need to take a pictures of my book, make some changes and finally I will be ready to submit my work, both written and physical form.

If you would like to see my book and many other interesting work, come to The University of Huddersfield on the 7th of June for the final year photography student’s exhibition. I can’t wait for it!

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

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

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.

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.

 

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

Portfolio review

I’ve had a pleasure to show my work to two very interesting photographers, Pablo Antoli and Mario Popham.

Artists told that some of my photographs are better than others however, are good technically and that I am concentrating on very important subject and current political issue. I told them that I would like to change something within this project however, they told me not to look for any ideas as I already have a good one. Their advice was to build connection with my subjects, to investigate their lives, interview them and asked them to write something about themselves. They advised me to look at Gim Golberg’s work Rich and Poor and Open See where artist applied hand writing on the image. I am really appreciated about the feedback and some great ideas. I will definitely try them in my new work.

 

artist talk, final year, food photography, photography, portraiture, studio workshop, university

Studio Workshop with Pablo Antoli

Last Wednesday I’ve had a pleasure to attend Pablo Antoli studio workshop.

Antoli showed us how he keeps his photo sessions and other useful documents about the project in Capture one. How he titles them according to the subject matter and date, how he makes folders and subfolders so when he needs the image, he could easily find them. Very useful advice, I need to start doing this. He also showed us how he creates studio portraiture and commercial food photographs with the movement . How he focuses on different point in each image and then blends them in Photoshop.

He explained how large format camera works and let us have a go with it. I love his Camera Sony Alpha 7R II, for its picture quality and lightweight. The camera is very easy to use and it has a very accurate focus point. I was considering buying Nikon D810 body but now I am not sure if I should go for Sony instead.

He biggest advise was to always use light meter when working with a flash, to always be prepared for the shoot, to have a spare battery, camera etc. also to create kit order for the client.

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/