18-31 July: Sun Pier House Gallery, Chatham – Residency

Following the walk with Elspeth Penfold, she asked me if I would like to do a joint residency with her using images I had taken from the walk.  This shows us setting up:

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The following are the images I exhibited:

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It was the first time I had done a residency so felt it was valuable experience and a chance for my work to be seen away from the local area.

17 July: TSE Walking Group

Elspeth who set up the original Turner Contemporary group held another walk as part of a TSE symposium day for the University of Kent.  I was commissioned to take images of the walk for her.  This in turn led her to ask me to do a joint Artist in Residency with her at Sun Pier House Gallery, Chatham.

The following are some of the images from the day:

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20 August: Corporate Portraits Commission

CORPORATE PORTRAITS

I am not sure if it is easier working with someone who you have already met, but I felt that in this case the client would be more relaxed and this would be evident hopefully in the end results.  I was asked to take some head and shoulder shots which will be used initially to go on an international website for those working and interested in the Kinesiology.  This is a new area that I was previously unfamiliar with of and is defined as:  Human kinetics – the scientific study of human movement and which addresses physiological, mechanical and psychological mechanisms.  

It was helpful to have someone who knew exactly what they wanted, so there were set guidelines from the start, rather than perhaps my making decisions that may not have been quite what the client had in mind.   I also sent the client an initial questionnaire which was helpful for pre-shoot planning, such as whether she wanted to be appear more approachable by smiling, where she wanted the images to be taken and suggested a couple of changes of coloured tops to see what would work the best.

Although there were aspects of the initial images I took that I liked, it made me very aware of the lighting and colours and where the client was standing.  We agreed that it was important to show evidence of her qualifications etc. rather that just a portrait shot but this created problems, such as  a shelf at just below shoulder height as shown below.

We tried different areas and different changes of coloured tops and it was agreed that the background needed to be simple, so the remainder of the images were taken to the side of her accreditation qualification.

 As she was small we then resorted  to having her stand on some books which gave a more satisfying result as shown in the before and after images below.

On looking at the end results whilst I was concentrating on the most flattering images taking lighting, colours and angles into account, it is easy to over look things such as the effect of what is behind the subject and how these affect the final results.  Very little adjustments have been made in Lightroom and Photoshop apart from some slight adjustments in the contrast, some spot removal and slight cropping in a couple of instances.  The  client will be given with the best results on a USB stick and I have passed the copyright of the images over to her.  She has however in turn agreed for me to use them on my blog / website if I wish to do so.

I found it much more satisfactory to take my laptop together with the USB stick so that I could fully explain what I had done and in turn check that the client was happy and could access what she needed.

Another learning curve – perhaps university is just the starting point and the learning and progress develops from now on!!

12 August : Update and Jewellery commission

UPDATE

After handing in my last assignment for my degree course it has been a time to reflect, together with catching up on some of the things I have rather neglected at home.  My final results came through last month and I was awarded a 2:1, which was very pleasing as I went through a few challenging episodes towards the end of the course.   A friend pointed out that if I had been younger I would have gained a 1st which I’m not sure was helpful or not!

So it now gives me the opportunity to take my studies a stage further and perhaps do an MA.  Karen, my personal tutor gave me the benefit of her words of wisdom but whatever happens I plan to have a ‘Gap Year’ and give this some serious consideration during that time.    So the next main event will be the Graduation Ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral next month.

COMMISSION

I was asked to take some images of handmade headdresses to be used to update the website of the person who had created them.  All are completely original with no patterns etc. having been used in their creation.  There were 11 different pieces in total and for each one I produced one main image on a mannequin head and four supplementary images to show the piece from different angles.  It was also important that the images are sharp and clear so that prospective customers can see the items in close up and the work that has gone into each creation.

This was the first time of tackling such an undertaking so the initial test shots took longer, whilst I tried different settings to see what worked well.  By the end of the work I knew what were the best settings to use and what proved to be most successful.  The challenge was to  make the pieces look as beautiful as possible, to show that crystals and pearls had been used in their construction etc. but at the same time to ensure that the images were not over exposed.  The 50mm f/1.4 lens worked well for this together with the use of my home studio lighting kit.

The following are a few images taken from the final submission given to my client.

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