Workbook Task 6

This task involved writing a pitch.  We were given several options, and I chose to pitch to The Big Issue for my recent photo essay “Growing up is Optional”.

The Big Issue

GPO Box 4911
Melbourne
Victoria 3001

Attention:  Alan Attwood, Editor.

 
Dear Mr Attwood,

One in three Australians is over the age of 50, and that number is growing.  With the move away from extended families living in close proximity, I believe that many  older Australians are looking for new activities to fill their leisure hours, activities that will keep them active and provide interesting memories.

As a member of that age group,  and also a diploma student photographer, I have recently created a photographic essay on the joys and benefits of motorcycling for older Australians, something that I also enjoy, and an activity that has helped me to rapidly make new friendships, and settle into new communities on two recent interstate moves.

I would love to show you my images, which showcase the friendships formed, the strong bonds and the community benefits of helping older Australians to remain active.  I believe that this is an issue that suits your publication by raising awareness that aging isn’t all about lawn bowls and bingo, but instead can be filled with a sense of worth, usefulness and belonging.

I can be contacted via return email at dragonsdene@gmail or by telephone to 0406 115 255
Thank you for reading this far, I do hope that we will be able to chat soon.

Kind regards

Carol Shearman

CATC College student.

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Media and Documentary Assessment 3 – final draft

SHOOT EVALUATION AND WRITTEN REPORT

GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL

From commencement of this assignment, my chosen publication has been The Big Issue. After researching their ethics and publishing guidelines and purchasing several issues, I believe it is an ideal fit for my essay.

The Big Issue is not political, the issue referred to in their title is that of homelessness, and their mission revolves around helping those marginalized by it.  The magazine has no political agenda, and as I had decided not to use a political slant to my story, I felt that they would most appreciate the other viewpoints offered, including aging Australians keeping active and social, which is a very current topic, but not a politicized one as yet.

While I believe that some of my images may have been better appreciated by the magazine in colour format, I feel that they will understand that monochrome does give them a timeless quality and appeal that will blend with any words they choose to use.  Another method that I employed to help improve my chances was to ensure that several images had enough negative space for a title, or perhaps even extra text and a title on the cover page.

After making these choices, I had to consider what equipment would be needed to get the quality and style of images I wanted.

Fortunately, having great access to, fellow motorcycle riders, meant that if my own equipment didn’t provide me with the images I desired, I could arrange to hire more suitable equipment and retake them.  I started shooting images very early on in the assignment to ensure that I had the time to allow for this eventuality.

Fortunately, my equipment was up to the task, as I am very fortunate in owning a comprehensive kit with three bodies and several quality lenses of varying focal lengths, along with a good tripod and flash unit.

I found that my full frame body provided me with the best images, this was hardly surprising, most of my quality lenses were purchased with that body in mind.  The two lenses that did most of the work for this assignment were my 70-200 f2.8 and my 24-70 f2.8.  I did take a small number of images for special effects with an 8mm fisheye, and eventually used one of these images in the final presentation, for it’s effective point of view.  Despite taking several experimental images with my iPhone whilst riding, I decided not to use them in the final presentation, although I was quite impressed with their quality.

Every image that I used in the final presentation was shot with natural light, and this is where my 5DII came to the fore, excelling at taking interior images at high ISO and clear images through car windscreens and other less than optimum conditions.  I felt very justified in making the decision to upgrade to this body, it has yet to let me down for any assignment.

I do regret not having purchased a Neutral Density or Polarizing filter for my lenses, but I didn’t allow for that expense, or for the non-availability of those filters in large sizes.  I have since ordered them, and look forward to extending the capabilities of my lenses with them in the future.  I was grateful that the quality of my images meant that post production was limited to cropping and conversion to a suitable monochrome for the mood that I wished to convey.

One of the great benefits of choosing a subject close to my heart was that I already knew many of the people who would be the subjects.  By getting to know them beforehand, I could make an educated list of images that I wished to capture and easily ask for co-operation.  Of course, as my assignment progressed, my shot list changed frequently (as I blogged about several times), but each time, my fellow riders were very accommodating.

I was also introduced as a student photographer to many motorcyclists, and that went a long way into gaining acceptance for any  other shots that I desired.  I was very careful not to impose and to make sure that all people featured in my shots were given access to both prints and digital copies of images that featured them, and to give the various clubs digital copies for reproduction in their newsletters and archives.  I learnt a lot about being accepted by strangers and how to approach them on an individual basis, something that I was quite uncomfortable with before undertaking this assignment.

While I approached this assignment with one point of view, my research and experience led me to adopt a different approach, and I learnt a lot about flexibility and making sure that I took any opportunity to capture images that could have more than one context, as I could see the changes unfolding almost every time I took any images.

This experience also taught me a lot about different ways of using my equipment, and stretched my knowledge of all areas of my ability, I tried techniques and used settings that I had never before entertained, including a lot of manual focus to get just the right look for the images that I was after.  I also added a couple of things to my kit wish list (is it normal to have a never ending wish list???).

I really enjoyed the challenge of this assignment, a lot more than I expected going into it, and I am quite proud of the images that I produced along the way, even the ones that didn’t quite fit the theme I had in mind.  I have learnt how to express an emotion through a shot that doesn’t involve faces, how to tell an entire story with just a few images and how to create edit images for maximum emotional impact.  I would love the chance to continue this series and make it a lot more in depth.  However, I feel that this would require a much longer time frame, given the weather dependability of my chosen subject, and would complete it, like this one, as a freelancer before submitting.

Workbook Task 5 – Event Photography quiz

This workbook task was carried out as a class assignment, with discussion and input by all class members to build comprehensive answers.  The questions and answers as discussed are listed below.

 

What are the essential skills for the success as an event photographer:

 

  • Tech skills – you need to be able to change settings rapidly
  • Confidence
  • People skills
  • Time management skills
  • Prep skills
  • Fast thinking
  • Flexibility – events change very quickly, particularly once underway
  • Reliability
  • Professional
  • Physically healthy

 

 

What are some essential questions you will need to ask the client before the event?

  • Key people
  • Output type required
  • Delivery of images
  • Parking
  • Security
  • Contact details
  • Time frame
  • Transport
  • Sensitivity
  • Who is to have copyright
  • What printing/usage rights are required

 

What are some of the technical considerations of shooting in a large, crowded and often dark space?

 

  • Wide angle / telephoto – both should have some zoom for flexibility
  • Low aperture lens, to cope with low light – at least a 1.8
  • Flash
  • Appropriate bag for carrying gear without being in patron’s way
  • Memory card
  • Monopod

 

One business model for event photographers is to not charge a fee to the event organisers to shoot, but rather sell images directly to the guests who attend the event (some times with a percentage of the sales going back to the organizers).

 

What are some of the advantages to this approach?

  • Makes you perform
  • Make substantial amount of money

 

Consider the workflow that would allow you to sell images directly to guests.

  • Business cards
  • Minimal editing
  • Fast turn around

What are two reasons a client might request images before or immediately after the event has finished?

 

  • Social media
  • Newspapers

 

Consider the workflow you would need to implement to enable you to deliver final images prior to or immediately after the conclusion of the event?

 

  • Jpeg
  • Cds, USB
  • Minimal editing
  • Basic editing presets

 

Consider a strategy to ensure all this information is efficiently and accurately recorded for every image:

 

Iphone notes

Assistant

Forms for clients to fill out before images are taken – image numbers that compare to those clients can be recorded on this form as soon as they are captured.

 

Double booked photographer, why might they be unhappy?

Lack of coverage for their event

 

Income

 

What is the minimum equipment for doing this event

  • two bodies
  • wide + telephoto lenses (one on each body to minimize time changing lenses)
  • batteries – for both camera and flashes
  • flash
  • take charger
  • bag
  • comfortable shoes that look good
  • tripod
  • food and bottled water
  • notebook / pen

Workbook Task 4

Names:__Carol Shearman and Denise Tongara

Brief: Working in groups of two, you have been briefed by City Weekly magazine to photograph a CATC lecturer or student to illustrate a feature story about Think Education’s dynamic Melbourne campus.

Your portraits should capture the energy and excitement of working/studying at CATC as well as giving a sense of the environment.

At a minimum, you are required to produce 2 environmental portraits of your subject suitable for:

  • The magazine cover
  • An opening ‘lead’ shot

Part One:

Research the requirements of the magazine and consider how the commissioning publication uses images.

Consider location, your visual approach and equipment requirements.

 

 

Denise Togara and I are working together on this task.  I feel that having two photographer’s points of view and input will lead to a more successful outcome for a first project of this nature.

CATC college Melbourne is a vibrant and lively place to work and study, well located near transport, it draws students from all areas of Victoria, many of whom travel several hours each way to take advantage of the high standard of teaching and facilities provided.  As the images will be used in a brochure to promote the college, we feel that it is important to take the pictures with identifiable objects or surroundings,not just seated at a computer working on a task.

As students ourselves, we asked each other, what attracted us to study here?  what part of the college really sums up the atmosphere and professionalism of all the staff??  And we then explored those areas first, and left other areas for later exploration, being confident of finding a suitable location fairly quickly.

There are several considerations in place and we have decided to solve any problems as they arise, which will make us better prepared on the day of the shoot.

Pre Production

Firstly, a model is required, we are unable to use a fellow class member, instead, having the pool of available CATC students and staff to explore.  We approached Cameron Durham, a fellow first semester student, studying graphic design.  Don is a young motivated student, with a distinctive style and similar interests to my own.  He travels quite some way to attend the college of his choice.  He wants to study design to “replace all the bad designs in the world, with good ones”  A lofty long term goal indeed! As he was kind enough to agree to give up his daily break for us, I offered to supply any props that we needed.

Cameron is only available for our shoot on his break at 10am Thursday, so it is important that Denise and I are completely set up and ready to go when he arrives.

As we wanted to feature graphic design images in our portrait, to give context and to help Cameron feel more comfortable, we wandered around various areas of the CATC campus, with those restrictions in mind.  Classrooms are going to be difficult, as so many of them are in use, the Library is very suitable as it has lovely natural light, and several areas that will showcase the CATC and it’s student’s work in a positive light.  The mural in the courtyard would be a very creative and colourful background, but being outdoors, is a little weather dependent.  The breakout room was also considered, but the proliferation of black lockers does make lighting difficult.

Ultimately, we decided on two locations within the Library environment, with a back up location of the windows outside the campus building.  A backup location is very important for this brief, as we will be very limited in time, so if the library is quite busy, we need to be able to move immediately to another location that we are comfortable with. The display of graduate students work, the bookshelves and the computer desks will all work as backgrounds to create a sense of efficiency, resources and professionalism that we feel will project a positive image of the college as a learning institution.

Part Two:

Your subject is a very busy person and their time is very limited.  You have been allocated a maximum of 30 minutes to produce the two compelling images.

Consider how to use the time most effectively, or if required, negotiate for more time.

One of the methods we intend to use to make the most of our limited time is to take more test shots of both the primary and backup locations at similar times of day, in both overcast and sunny weather conditions, so that we are confident in our camera settings as a starting point.  This will minimise the time spent on test shots, and maximise the limited production time. We are confident that by having two primary shoot locations, and a backup location, we will be able to produce strong images that will be of benefit to the college, the model and to us.

The backup location has decoration to the college signage done by previous students, and it adds colour and life to the background.  As this location is a public thoroughfare, we will need to give consideration to the crowding issue, but test shots with a long shutter speed and a fellow class member as a model show that the passing foot traffic could actually work to our advantage, creating a dynamic image with a great sense of movement, while not detracting from the subject or the message.

Image

Test image of backup location

F 6.3, shutter speed 1/25 ISO 100 @52mm.. this image is deliberately blurry as I was taken by the thought of using a slow shutter speed to have movement in the image from passing pedestrians.. however, none were passing in my first shot!

Image

Test image of backup location

F 13, shutter speed 1/5, ISO 100@52mm – again, deliberately blurred due to unaware models (sorry James and Andrew!!), as I was focusing more on shutter speeds required to get decent motion blur from pedestrians… naturally, I will use a tripod for the final shoot.

Test shots of the library from two separate angles show that a tripod will be needed to minimise camera shake, and a high ISO setting combined with a wide aperture will overcome the lighting issues without the need for external lights.  Being able to use the available natural and ambient light, even though it is mixed in colour, means that the set up times will be minimalised, and there will be less disruption to other library users.

Image

Test image of main location

F3.2, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 800 @ 56mm

Image

Test image of alternate angle, main location

F 3.2, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 800 @ 56mm

 

Come the day of the shoot, and the sun is shining.  A rarity in a Melbourne summer, it would seem.  Drat you mother nature!  The shadows outside are harsh and very unflattering for both Cameron and for the building that we wished to feature.  We head inside.

Fortunately, despite the hectic pace of trimester end, the library is almost deserted, but we realise it won’t be that way for long.  Fortunately, we have our preset settings, and we can work quickly against the available backgrounds, chatting with Cameron to help him feel at ease and taking several images from slightly different angles to increase the chances of a great shot.

 

Here are my two submissions, I think the second would make a great cover image, the first being a good story image.

 

 

one two

 

 

I have NO idea why these thumbnails are a different size, wordpress is hating on me today :<