an award for female photographers, BJP, competition, documentary photography, female in focus award, photography, photography award, portraiture

Female in Focus

I entered my work for Female in Focus – An award for female photographers. For a cost of $25, I submitted three photographs for a single image award. Wish me luck!

The winning prize is amazing, have a look for yourself.

Winning images will be exhibited as part of the group show at the United Photo Industries Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC, USA. The exhibition will run for a month between October and November 2019.

Receive international press coverage; work could be featured across the globe, reaching millions of people and leading to Worldwide recognition.

Be featured on BJP-Online.

Have your work judged by outstanding women photographers and industry leaders.

Judge panel include:

 Neo Ntsoma, Cécile Montigny, Veronica Sanchis Bencomo, Hannah Starkey, Laura Roumanos, Devika Daulet-Singh and Brandei Estes.

Today is the deadline for submissions, so if you’re interested in entering your work, you need to hurry up.

femaleinfocus.com

documentary photography, dummy book, immigration, photobook, photography, portfolio review

Portfolio Review by photographers Richard Kelly and Garry Clarkson

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 Kelly

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

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…

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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

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Lewis Chaplin from Loose Joints publications guest speaker

Last Friday I had a pleasure to attend Lewis Chaplin’s talk.

Chaplin talked about his adventure with photography, as well as publications, book making and designing process. He made his first book when he was a teenager, printed in numerous examples and sent it to many publishing companies. Someone got back to him and this was his first step towards his carrier. He then introduced us to his publishing company Loose Joints he created together with his partner. As well as speaking about the books he published, he brought many physical examples of them, so we could have a chance to look through. One which catches my eyes was about fetish and called 2041. Book isn’t as interesting, but the way Chaplin talked about his relationship with the photographer and how they become friend and shared their interest in dressing up, was very interesting and really funny. The book contains self-portraiture, where the artist performs in his own house, but as he covers his own body in a various textiles, he always remains anonymous.

The most interesting for me was a book called Homes by Harley Weir. Weir created his body of work in refugees camp in Calais in 2016. I love the context of the book and the way she photographed the camp, which shows migrants’ struggle and the conditions they get to live in. She doesn’t’ just raised the awareness of the migrants situation in the camp, but also raised the money for human rights charities in the area.

After the guest speaker, we went to our base room and was able to show our work to Lewis Chaplin. He was very useful and gave me some good ideas. He said that I have a lot of strong portraits, but as a viewer he can not get the message I am trying to say to the viewers. Therefore, he advised me to add a lot of text, like essay, subject’s stories, facts, statistics etc. He suggested to talk to each photographed people and ask about their feelings, if they feel frustrated, or as they are working too hard, or are they under valued?… I told him that I am planning to mix the subjects with their belongings, so as their stories and he said that this is a good idea, as I shouldn’t give the viewers every answer, as it may changes their perception.

If you would like to see some more Loose Joins publications, check their website

http://www.loosejoints.biz

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Lens Culture Portrait Award 2019

Today, I entered a single image for Lens Culture Portrait Awards 2019.

I chose this image, as I love the lighting, so as subject’s pose and the composition.

The image is part of my project about the foreign people who live and work in the UK. The image doesn’t necessarily communicate what’s my project about. But as the subject is looking away it gives me impression as she is missing something, possibly her country of birth or the family who lives there. As the media relentlessly portray immigrants as damaging to the UK, she feels displaced, just like perhaps every foreign born; and since the public voted for Brexit, she feels unwanted in the UK, broken apart between their country of birth and the country of residence, so as many other European Union’s immigrants, including myself. While each of us is different, none of us knows our future in here. One day we could end up like one of those poor South Americans, which UK decided to kick out of the country.

I choose the Lens Culture competition for many reasons. Firstly, as its free entry for a single image (which is significant, as being student I need to be careful where I am spending my money) and most importantly for great opportunities.

  • Possibility to have work exhibited at Aperture Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea district
  • A chance to receive press coverage from publications and media outlets around the world.
  • A chance to have work reviewed by Lens Culture editors for immediate exposure in their Competition Gallery and across all their online channels, reaching a combined audience of over three million.
  • An opportunity to have the work reviewed by International Jury
  • “Entrants to our Awards receive massive online exposure throughout the competition”
  • “Winners, finalists and selected entrants have been featured in major publications like BBC, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Internazionale, VICE, The Times of London, Huffington Post, Spiegel Online, The British Journal of Photography, and The Telegraph.”
  • “Selected works will be screened at photo festivals and events worldwide. Over the past year, our winners and finalists were screened at festivals in the UK, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Japan, Australia, Spain, France, the US, and more.
  • “Lens Culture is continually forging new partnerships with leading photo festivals around the world (like Voies Off, FORMAT, Tokyo International Photography Festival, and more) to increase exposure and showcase opportunities for our winners and finalists from our competitions.”
  • have the work “Published in the best of Lens Culture, volume 4”

Deadline for entries: Wednesday, the 20th of February 2019

To find out more about the competition check Lens Culture website:

https://www.lensculture.com/photo-competitions/portrait-awards-2019

Wish me luck!

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.

Candid, Cuba, Street Photography, Travel, Travel Photography

Photography Competition

Travel Photographer of the Year Award – category: FACES, PEOPLE, CULTURES PORTFOLIO is another competition I am planning to enter. I chose to enter the images of my CUBA work.

  • It costs £15 to enter a portfolio of 4 images.
  • 1st of October 2018 is the deadline for the entry.
  • Shortlisting of entries will be announced at the beginning of November 2018.
  • The winner of Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 will be announced Mid-December 2018

“The winner of this category will receive a Fujifilm X-Series camera and lens of their choice plus membership of the Royal Photographic Society. The judges will also select their favourite image from all the entered portfolios. The winner will receive a Genesis Imaging giclee exhibition print”. Retrieved form https://www.tpoty.com/2018-competition/how-to-enter/

Does the images says enough about Cubans and their culture?