Assignment 2: Collecting: Legs
Create a series of between six and ten photographs on Crowds, Views, Heads or your own choosing. Use variety focal lengths, viewpoints and apertures.
Sample of Collection Photos
To start with I tried looking at views. However, despite trying several locations I still felt they were not telling much of a story. Looking at all the shots although some had interesting lighting I felt it better to try another subject. Whilst looking at the alternatives thinking heads and the opposite tails I then thought legs. About two years ago I had seen a Guy Bourdin Exhibition in London where the main subject was legs and I remember some works from Helmut Newton. Although they were in a glamour setting I thought I would attempt to see if I could make it work in everyday life.
The final ten shots I chose all ended up coming from the same shoot. I had hoped to have a variety but they just did not seem to gel. On the technical side the lenses range from 55mm to 300mm. Due to low light levels the ISOs tend to be quite high – 400 to 3600 and f numbers wide – f4.5 to f8. Shutter speeds are relatively low for the zoom lens from 1/60 to 1/125.
Whilst taking views wasn’t too difficult I was not happy that there was any story being told by them. I thought a collection of legs would actually be quite easy to put together but it was harder than I expected. Although having many ideas in my head, actually capturing them was a different matter.
Low light was a primary reason for using wide apertures, but it also suited the subject well reducing depth of field and highlighting the subject. Even wider apertures would have helped even more to achieve this. The shutter speeds were consistent and not really relevant for this project. The focal lengths used I felt were appropriate to each subject. I was surprised how difficult it was to get long distance suitably framed shots. I feel I could have perhaps done more with viewpoints although some of the shots like the swing and climbing frame I think offer something that could be worked upon.
I feel the series worked quite well as a whole and I think that by not doing views I have pushed myself to try to get the viewer to question more and question what is going on. Whilst there is a link between the park shots and the street shots it is perhaps harder to see how the two lots fit together. Perhaps developing the movement theme might have helped with an overall theme. The bright orange overalls add a bit of warmth but stand out from the other shots. My favourite shot is the reflection in the window with the manikin legs behind the glass.
On reflection I think the subject idea was quite strong but I needed more of a linking theme to tie them together better. As well as movement, suitable other themes could include age, colour, reflection, leisure or in particular locations. This exercise has taught me I need to be giving considerably more time to planning and what I am aiming to get out as an end result. I also felt it helped me to understand what magazines such as British Journal of Photography are trying to portray rather than everyday technique magazines.
Technical and visual – I think these photos worked quite well to fulfil the theme. On reflection I think there are many things I could do to improve quality of the individual photos such as better framing and better use of depth of field. Exploring more of the movement of each subject could have added an extra layer to the composition.
Quality of Outcome- I am pleased that I pushed myself further to try and put more of a story together. I think with better planning and more thought in taking shots I can increase this.
Demonstration of Creativity- I think that I achieved a level of creativity with a coherent theme and wanting the viewer to question what is going on.
Context- Reflection is something new to me but hopefully this is something that I am starting to develop.