Tuesday, 29 November 2016


'Portraits' is our new assignment for these next two weeks.

Firstly I've done my research. It sort of takes me back to my time while studying at Blackpool & The Flyde college.  We always did our research first before we took any photos.  Why, because you learned and got ideas from other people's work.  It quite often got me dreaming of images sometimes practically impossible to take but I dreamed, and sometimes I was able to come up with something else, sometimes just as good.  Once I found inspiration I'm off and running.

I stumbled upon some amazing portraits that are different and I feel that I want to apply this sort of creativity to my work to show what I can do and how I think in terms of seeing and imagining from my mindset.  I just looked at google images and got ideas from there as I scrolled down them.

I've chosen a Spanish girl for my first set of portraits.  She is young and is living and working in England for a year away from home in a college where she is a volunteer as an resident assistant. Which is a job she does in assisting students on a daily basis; she like a voice for them and a listening ear.

Here are a few trial shots I did on my iPhone.

I'd like to think of the first photo as an environmental photo as you can see the rain, along with the reflections of the outside world that surrounds her in this photograph.

The photo below was one I took as I looked at the back of my Nikon camera.
It is what we call a classic portrait.

More photos will follow soon as I continue to walk through this assignment.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Feedback on Relationships

Last Friday having presented my 'Relationships' project which I found to be the most challenging to date on the course.

Firstly I need to try to improve on this way of seeing as Leonie put it and I'm willing to learn this as I did like the idea of trying to capture this genre on camera as it does carry many deep issues.

Before the shoots I thought through the process and had an idea a picture in my head but due to time and other commitments it didn't happen.  The picture I had in my head and the theme that never left me was "A love gone" it simply was an idea to capture someone going through grief a process I've been through and i know the deep feelings one goes through during loss.  I wanted to capture possibly a woman standing at the window looking out yet clutching a photograph of the person no longer here but you can't see the photo as she was clutching it.  Then she sits down and looks at the photo and thats the fist time we get a glimpse of the person 'a love gone'.  Then the story unfolded with however she moved around the home environment.

That was what I kept thinking.  Other areas were a mother and child playing a parent love for the child which has a bond no-one can take away it's strong.

The last one was quite random as I walked the streets of Lancaster one rainy afternoon I thought to myself try the library and see if I could find anything worth photographing so upon entering someone caught my eye straight away.

However I wandered around looking just to see what I could spot.

But I kept thinking about this couple it was well looked like a student getting help with his written work from an older woman.  So I gently approached them and asked if I could photograph them and explained what I was doing and they said yes to my amazement I honestly thought they'd say no so I began to photograph them.

As I was taking the photos it dawned on me that I didn't have much space to move around in it was somewhat hard but I kept going.

Another thing I need to keep in mind is that I need to try and not photograph people from behind as it's important to capture the faces as you can tell so much more from the face, as you can see the emotion and that enables the viewer to get involved.  Lennie said that a fundamental skill of story telling is to bring a closeness into your photography.  And to do this one needs to see the face.  My aim is to now portray this in my work from now onwards.

Some other points relating to the feedback were basically on the mother and daughter photos.
Think about how things change for a mother, there are moments when mothers get fed up and exhausted with children but it's still an aspect of relationship.  Love can be about exhaustion and sacrifice.  Don't just look for one type of relationship but look at really human relationships with different aspects of emotion.  Going back to the images and ask yourself what would you change?

I told Leonie that at first I thought it might be about people in love and then I analysed it further and thought it might be more complex than that so I tried to think outside of the box.  Leonie said "perhaps love is not just one thing, it's many things like tiredness, discomfort, sacrifice, wanting to be alone.

I highly value Leonie's feedback in these sessions.

Below are some photos that I took for this brief.

Monday, 14 November 2016


This past week the Photo project has been on 'Relationships' and for many of us the first thing that come's to mind is a couple in love.

I am somewhat challenged to think 'outside of the box' for this brief.  It has been a challenge as we are not allowed to photograph people we know it has to be strangers which is hard so hard to ask.

These past few days I've been thinking a lot about the brief and why it has to be strangers I can understand why as if we are photojournalists we will never 'know' the people we are photographing as thats the nature of the job.  So I guess this is a great tool to develop and have as we are studying for the degree it will equip us and make us more than ready to face what is ahead of us for when we graduate.

Just the other day I took a walk in a cemetery it was interesting as I had in my mind 'A love lost or gone' I loved that idea as to how to approach this from a different viewpoint as it's not just about someone in love 'present tense'.  As I walked through the cemetery a few people came and went they allowed me to photograph them they shared a little about their loved one who was no longer here so sad yet lovely that they visit the grave to lay fresh flowers and tidy up the area where their loved one was laid to rest.

My main problem I could't get as many photos of the one person so I did a few and I hope that will be accepted within the brief.

Today I went to a local library and saw a student talking with an older woman it looked like they were looking at his work and making adjustments to his written work so I approached and asked if I could photograph them and they said yes straight away.  I began to photograph them it was hard as they were sat in a confined area so small which gave me little room for moving about but I got some good shots I believe.

I'm learning and I'm loving this course so much it's great and oh I can't put into words just how good it is...  So much ideas and things running through my head as I type amongst excitement.  As we have just been given a briefing for the next project and I can't wait to start....

Enjoying the journey

Brownie Girl....

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Street Photography

Street Photography was our last assignment it was interesting and dare I say a real challenge.

The three places I chose to visit with the view of capturing the ongoings were Morecambe, Manchester and Blackpool.

The first town was Morecambe Bay it's a town populated mostly by older people.  I drove over on this beautiful sunny day to begin my first street shoot.  I have done street photography before with the "24hr street photo project" which happens Worldwide every year.  You capture one image every hour in your chosen city and upload them to Instagram or Twitter but having done that on my phone never my Nikon Camera.

So the day began as I found myself walking the streets of Morecambe trying to in someway be discreet but it was impossible to do that as it was evident as from my camera as to what I was doing, people could see that I was taking photos of them and some objected and told me to move on.

Below are a few shots that I managed to get from that trip to morecambe.

This old man was passing by when I spotted him and as I aimed my camera at him he was happy to just stop and pose.  An interesting man yet he seemed happy in himself. 

Man and Child in the shop doorway.

It was an interesting afternoon.


Manchester was quite busy that day with shoppers rushing around and minding their own business, young people too.  They were probably getting their last minute things for halloween who knows what was going on.  As I walked around looking for opportunities and looking for things that were a little different, it was hard as I tried to get away with capturing the people once again some told me to move on..  

See below for some photos I captured that afternoon.

Man asleep on bench

Woman having a break.

Manchester has quite a lot of homeless people which I find heartbreaking to be honest that people find themselves in this awful situation.  It's not something that I take lightly my heart goes out to these people who've lost everything whether through life choices or not of their own choosing it's a tough life and this is so sad I struggle with this area of life in our generation.
It just saddens my heart totally.

Man on a bench

I love the feel of this image the man is sitting there observing what is going on or maybe he's out to clear his head from the ongoings in the office where he works. 

Shoppers rushing past.


Blackpool was interesting and once again it wasn't so busy I had planned to visit on the Saturday but having not been well I had to re-plan this trip to the Tuesday after.  As I wondered through the backstreets of Blackpool looking and observing as I walked along.  Many old people were out in the town that day and a few caught my eye just at the right minute I was able to capture them quickly.

Old man looking in the butchers shop window

Old woman rushing home

Two men having a catch up

The whole project was hard as to the camera I used as firstly people could see what I was upto some gave strange looks whereas others were quite happy to allow me to photograph them.  Others hurried past without even noticing what I just did...

It was also hard at times to get up close to the people I guess its maybe a confidence issue as I'm not used to doing street with my Nikon only on my phone which is more discreet and easier in a way.
Some of my photos have got people looking away from me whereas it would have been better if I had them looking at me to connect with them.  

However I submitted my photos to Leione for feedback she is so knowledgeable in this area of knowing what to look for and what works beside with what doesn't.  I value her feedback massively so interesting and how she is gentle with us too as a class.  

She encourage me to look at Trente Parke "Minutes after Midnight" and Winograd along with Lee Friedlander.  She encouraged me to look for pools of light within my images and not to be afraid of getting closer to the people.  Also cropped heads plus people at the corner of the frame, for myself thats hard a I'm used to capturing the person as a whole not cropped heads etc.  But I do see her point as to why, also she encouraged me to look for simple things, themes too and work with that as well.

It has been interesting this project.




Now I move onto Relationships and haven't a clue at the moment how I will unfold that area with my camera.  

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Review from first hand-in (People at Work)

Friday morning arrived I was somewhat excited yet dreading my first tutorial with Leonie who would look at my work from the "People At Work" project.  I was excited to hear the feedback as that is to help one improve as having sat in many critic sessions while at Blackpool this was daunting as it was online not like sitting opposite the people.

Class already started when I logged on as someone was already presenting their work so next up was me so here is a record of my feedback as I feel it's important to keep an note of it for future reference if needed to look back at.

Artist At Work (shoot 1)
I quickly slotted up the link to my photos, then Leonie asked me to pick three images that I liked best from the first shoot they were 22, 48 and 101 were my favourites.
As they were looking at the images I was telling them about the Artist and what his job was etc.

Leonie said I did a great job on this shoot and that I showed a story they could just run right through.  She said they could see detail and portrait shots which she said were fantastic also the variation and good environmental shots too.

She then asked me to chose three images from the other two galleries as I was looking Leonie was going through the images in more detail form this Artist shoot.

Car Mechanic (shoot 2)
From this shoot my three favourites were 3, 55 and 34.
I talked about image 40 and how he's hard at work and it's a messy job Leonie said "your good at editing" what she means is picking out the best shots in the projects.

Barbers Shop (shoot 3)
In the third project at the Barbers there seemed to be a focus issue and this is the least of the liked projects I shot for the given brief.  I shot some at 1/8th sec f 18 at 800 ISO which was wrong so Leonie said next time go down the F stop and up shutter speed and she said there was no need to be on f18 in such conditions she said don't go below a 60 or 30 sec is a general rule.

Chris mentioned f2.8 would have given me 1/250 sec.  Leonie  said if I'm in a low light situation again to maybe go f2.8 then go up to f4.  She encouraged me to reflect on my practice and experiment on it and find what works better.

*Go up an F stop if you want your image sharper and more in focus

She then said good work but wanted to chat later so I logged on into the later class at 4pm for a more detailed feedback.

Leonie said my thumbnails are square not full frame...I'm not sure how to sort this.

Leonie said image 18 translates very well in terms of on image that illustrates what he does for work.

image 18

She preferred images 18-22.

she then encouraged the class to hunt down the right angle and composition.  She said I did very well expanding the assignment and going beyond the brief, she then went on to say I did very well achieving that one fantastic shot that completely answers the brief namely image 18.

Image 116 would have been great if the man had his face turned towards me and have him engage with the audience.  

Image 116

Image 101 detail shot (first and foremost you need to get the portrait of him).

image 101

Image 111 is very strong

she said I did a good job and hopes I find her feedback to be of help.

Car Mechanic shoot.

Very good details in number 40 underneath the car.

image 40

she said the lighting is nice and it's telling the story nicely and that i got it in that portrait.

The last shoot the Barbers 
This is probably the least out of all three due to shutter speed.
And she mentioned if I shoot looking into a mirror to try and get further away and use a wider shot of the man having his hair cut.
Really just playing around with all the possibilities.

A real learning curve for me the projects were not easy but i have to say I loved the experience and being pushed to preform better.  It was so good the feedback I found it to be of great help and I will mostly build on what was said to improve my technique for the upcoming photo assignments.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

People At Work "Barbers"

Last Tuesday I took a lovely car ride over to Southport a well known location for holiday makers in the Northwest England.

My reasons for this trip was to capture someone at work for my final photoshoot so I chose this particular Barbers as its very vintage and has a retro style / look to it.  It's not only a barbers but it's also a wine shop combined.  I'd never seen it before only online and with the thumbs up from my brother-in law as he's been going to this shop for almost 20 odd years to get his hair cut.

I arrived to be met by the manger Steve who was a pleasant man and seemed quite happy in himself so I discussed what I needed to do and he was fine with that...but the thing is their was no clients at that time...  A few minutes passed and I was wondering what to do then the door opened and an old man walked in for a hair cut.  Steve politely asked if I could photograph him getting his hair cut and he said yes thats fine.

So out came my big Nikon camera so the story begins of capturing this old man getting his hair cut.

Enjoy the photos I can only upload a few images as there are too many to share...

It was a lovely experience to capture this as I never would have thought in a thousand years that I'd do that.



Monday, 10 October 2016

History & Theory Of Photojournalism & Documentary first Lecture

Monday 10th October

This morning was our first lecture on the History and Theory of photojournalism and documentary.
As the class began we waited patiently for the others to log onto the classroom.

Suddenly our first lecture was underway.  I felt a bit lost in the process as I struggled to follow mainly due to my hearing difficulties as normally it's better if I see the person face to face when talking but this isn't the case in class as it's all done online audio only with a blackboard in which things are shown on that board for us to examine or give input to.

I will press on and as I don't let things like this get in the way of what I'm doing I find other ways around it.  I was so curious as to what happened at the beginning as I saw that Paul was asking the others questions so I quickly messaged Tom to ask what was going on he kindly replied so that helped massively.

We were looking at different photos and trying to make meaning of them like we took them apart to make sense of what the story was within the photos.  It was fantastic really.  Other things were Dr Paul Lowe would draw a circle around a photo on the blackboard and ask us "how does that change the image?"  Was interesting really and in one sense sort of brought us closer to what we really saw, it makes you stop and de-construct the photo which is a great method as we did this in our critical studies while I undertook my BA at Blackpool.  It is a valuable tool to have I believe.

I will throw up some screen shots I took to explain things in more detail.

We started off by looking at this image which most of us are familiar with it's very powerful and they're running for their lives the fear can be seen in the faces it's awful really and pure horror.  Yet when we look at the Photographer on the right he seems not really with what is going on, looks like he is preoccupied with reloading his camera maybe I'm not sure.  Dr Lowe then did this to the image and asked up what do we see differently?

It took on a whole new dimension one could see more clearly what was going on its like your eye is drawn towards the girl running naked for her life.  Yet the first image you saw everything the full picture.

We then moved on to look at another image see below 
we spent a few moments looking at this image from what I saw if you look at the soldier you wonder what is going on then look at the people in the background I immediately though this a staged photo it's set up maybe they were making a film as you can see the camera man.

Then Dr Lowe got us to look at the first photo of those children running and compare it to this one for myself the first image is a real life event where as the second one isn't.   Well the second image could be a true life event but being acted out for a film?

The next image we look at was

Such a different thing altogether we jumped around while looking at this photo it was like a huge debate going on in the class as we all gave our own input it was interesting to see what others saw within this image absolutely fantastic.  This image was taken in New Orleans in 1968 we all even debated which year it was shot due to the background and the car I thought the 50's but nope was wrong.   It was a real learning curve. 

My next blog will be on the final photos on "People At Work". 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

People At Work - Car Mechanic

A few days ago I actually was given not only the chance to photograph a car mechanic but to actually look under a car for the first time too.

I asked Dave who works near me if I could capture him at work doing his normal everyday job and he simply said yes that is fine.  So we arranged a suitable time and day.

As I approached his garage he was working on an old car the customer wanted to see if he could fix it so he (the customer) could sell it on.  But unfortunately not the car was written off.

Here are a few photos from that shoot.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Meeting the Class

So today is the day we all get to meet each other online.

A new group of likeminded people about to venture out into an amazing journey a journey of discovery too.  I'm excited about the next two years to be honest and as the days unfold I hope to not only discover new things about myself but of the very things I will capture to be totally immersed into what I will do and to become a real story teller in the worlds eye.

It was fantastic meeting seven lovely people this morning online from different parts of the World mainly the U.K. but a few who are abroad as well.

As the class started I was somewhat ohhhhh don't let me be first to introduce myself I was so nervous and began to think did I set up my gallery ok did it make sense all sorts of thoughts went through my mind....  Then Dr Lowe began to talk so the introduction was under way the first person to share was Tom Warland his work was amazing he showed six different galleries.  I thought oh no I've only put one up!

When Tom finished sharing it was my turn it was weird to be honest to be sat in front of my computer talking away but I couldn't see anyone I just stared straight at my computer and talked then I put up the link to my only gallery hoping it would work and of course it did.

I introduced myself and where I'm from what I've been doing these past few years as a photographer, then I shared my Brownie work as I walked in Edward Chambre Hardman's Footsteps in which I re-traced his Footsteps from the early 1950's till today.

It was good to do this because not only do we get to meet each other we actually get to see a glimpse into our lives to see where we're at and to interact but in a different way.

The online tutorial was so different to what I had while I did my BA in Blackpool as we sat in critic sessions every week and viewed each other's work we were able to interact in different ways but I guess this is a learning curve and we will all settle into it soon enough.

So seven of us shared this morning and more will share this evening so I'm looking forward to that as well it's so interesting to meet and hear about everyone's work.

I'm just excited and nervous at the same time.


Thursday, 6 October 2016

People at Work Project (Artist) Robin Ross

We were given our first assignment on Monday to take photos of People at work.

The details were; One 35mm camera fitted with either a 50mm or a 35mm lens.  Black and White. To use available light no flash.  Maximum 400ASA outdoors, 800ASA indoors.  To take the equivalent of  72-100 frames of each subject.  Use manual focus and manual exposure.

To photograph an individual person at work or at leisure.  Three different subjects in different locations.  Make a series of images that show clearly the job or activity that they are doing and something about the nature of the job.

Artist Photo Shoot

Just yesterday Wednesday 5th October I began my first project in which i photographed another artist over in Blackpool at the Old Rock Factory.

This is his website;  http://www.rockfactoryprintstudio.co.uk

As I drove over to the Old Rock Factory honestly I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I had heard some fantastic reviews on Robins work and what he offers to the comunity in Blackpool as an artist.
I approached the long stairs to the entrance of his studio to find the door slightly ajar and I called in "hello" waiting for an answer and a voice shouted back.  So I went inside and it was an amazing place to be honest.  Robin kindly introduced himself, I did meet him last year when I was exhibiting with Test Bed which was an exhibition on the environment of which I had the privilege to be part of that show.

He started to share about his work as an artist and as I began to take photos he told me about the different process that the artwork goes through while he kindly demonstrated it as well.

I constantly was capturing Robin at work and looking around the surroundings as I was just captivated by what he did and his work is outstanding as for someone who does screen printing I'd never seen a studio quite like it.  He talked about the different colours of ink he uses for the prints its like how we use CMYK on our computer monitors we are restricted to the Green, Red and Black you will know what I mean.  It was simply fascinating.  He clearly loves his work and is so passionate about it too he even runs classes to learn how to screen print you can do some of your own photos if you requested for that its endless what he offers as to printing.

I just snapped away with my camera trying to remember all the details within the brief and trying to pay attention to what I was shooting within the frames it was hard as one had to move fast to capture the different moments within the given time frame and to focus as well was a challenge as I had to use my zoom lens due to a slight problem with my 35mm lens.

The sun kept appearing inside the window so I had to keep changing my camera settings to accommodate the brightness of the sunshine streaming into the room.  It was a challenge and a few of my photos are over exposed and have blurring too.

I was trying to think of the narrative as well but we were constantly on the move it was hard I guess the challenge is (a) Time frame (b) constantly moving (c) natural light source changing (d) trying to make sense of it all as in a story.

I guess its a different way of thinking in this area of photography and I'm only just learning this now as I type and think back to yesterdays shoot with Robin.

See below for some photos I'm showing the best ones, I know you can't blame me.

I have done NO editing whatsoever in the photos they are pure.

It was a great experience and I'm thankful to Robin for allowing me to capture him busy at work in his studio.

A real learning curve too as to having to almost go back to basics with my camera, I always use manual anyway but I use auto focus normally so it was a challenge to get back into doing the whole thing myself.  But I really enjoyed it.

After capturing Robin at work I then went to photograph my next person at work I will blog about that tomorrow.


Major Project

Having received the grades for my recent exams it’s time to focus on the MP. Just last week I began to think about the next step on my pro...