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Portfolio Review by very talented photographers – Silvana Trevale and Tom Duffield

Last Friday, as part of our innovation week we’ve had a few photographers visiting our university. Each of us (final year photography students) could choose up to two of them for a portfolio review and a chance to talk about our major projects. The list of photographers who visited uni: Silvana Trevale, Karina Lax, Mario Popham, Sophie Traynor, Jack Greenwood and Tom Duffield. It was difficult to decide, as they are all very interesting people and brilliant photographers however, I chose Silvana Trevale and Tom Duffield, even though they saw my work before.

I chose Silvana, as she specializes in portraiture and working on personal project about Venezuela’s people and their struggle in the country which face financial, political and social crisis. I selected Tom Duffield, as he published an amazing book about his own family living on a small farm. The Whole House is Shaking explores family members emotional echo, a result of living with and later without the father who was a heroin addict. Tom mixes portraitures with still life and text to tell his story, it seems as a landscape of the everyday. I feel as I struggle to find something interesting apart from portraitures to tell my story about immigration, therefore I believed that he could help me out. I showed my dummy book and a few stories hand written by some of the subjects I photographed.

The feedback form Silvana Trevale

According to Trevale “Dog fits with the subject, as the subject looks as a lonely soul for me.” I told Trevale that now I am concentrating on each person as a human being, not just a person who works and contributes to the UK’s economy. She said that “the little girls’ photographs look too commercial, as they are too cute and doesn’t necessarily fit with the rest of the aesthetics. The girl from the end of a book is beautifully lit”. “Try to photograph differently, maybe without them looking at you, so it won’t be too cute”. “You work nice with the environment. You shot a lot since I last saw you. The images of lights could mean that everyone is form different places”. I also asked Trevale to write her own story as an immigrant and she did. Thank you for that. The last portrait with the cross on the wall is Trevale’s favourite. She said that “It’s a good idea to include some portraits with the story, or just a portrait or just a story, as it will help to build up the whole thing”. Her advice was to “keep shooting”. “I like the serious faces best, but you kept the genuine look of people and even that they are smiling it works”.

Tom Duffield’s feedback

“Very interesting project with ongoing issue and Brexit, it become more relevant. Your portraitures developed”. About the image of a man with picture frame above “there is a level of symmetry, the frame in the background intersects with his eye, brings focal point to his eye which is really interesting, strong portrait”. I asked what I should looked at apart from making portraiture to create narrative. Duffield asked “What I am interested with? I said that “the only thing that interest me was their lights or photo frames. As the light shines in their homes and not everyone has chandeliers”. He showed me that one of the portrait (the one with man and photo frame on the wall) “would look good with the image of ashtray and cigarette. As he looks uncertain about the future or as he is waiting for something”. Duffield asked me “What particular you are interested in immigration?” I said that “Immigrants has been discriminated and blamed for just about everything what is wrong in this country, and that I am trying to show that the truth isn’t like this”. I told him about the hand-written stories I am planning to add to the book. He said that I should put portrait along the story to correspond, or if I don’t have a portraiture but a story, then I should add the story next to the light, or something more abstract next to it, or place it on the blank page. The strongest portraits are the ones with natural lights, window light, simple background, nice skin tones. The last image “gives sense of religion”, the additional image of a light hitting the wallpaper – “change white balance”. He pointed out the image of a man with picture frame as its “slightly warm, a bit green, change white balance. If you want consistency, change it to a similar tone. Colour balance and tint and always the most important. About the first portraiture with lady on the bed “Really nice portraiture, nicely lit, painting-ly feel to it, nice composition how she fills the frame. In sense of visual strategies this is very successful portrait, more engaging, beautiful, natural, unguarded and honest”. Duffield also advised me to add description about every photographed person’s work to show how they valued to the country, how they contribute, or photograph their uniform, qualification certificate, or the tools they are using in their work. To show they have a level of expertise and that they contribute something. The project is looking very good and will be nice on the wall.

Thank you guys, I appreciate your feedback.

If you would like to see Trevale or Duffield’s works have a look at their website, I think they are both brilliant photographers with a lovely personality.

silvanatrevale.com

thomasduffield.com

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.

 

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.