Overall Evaluation

This project asked me to find a publication which I wanted to shoot for, finding contacts for my ideas and research into my chosen publications photos. I chose Q music magazine and photographed a local band.

With this project I struggled to find an idea to begin with and what publication I wanted to go with. This made me do a lot of research into ideas and what is around locally. This is when I discovered local uni bands, like Sioux Falls. I thought this would be an interesting subject to photograph and would work well with the project within the context of having to put these images into a magazine and taking photos of them in the studio.

Before this project I had a never really used a medium format film camera for a shoot. Therefore, this project made me practice and learn how to use this style of camera. I really enjoyed it, and found it really intresting to experiment with it. The camera itself was sometimes temperamental, when it did’t wind on, but other from that everything worked quite well. It also made me look into how to change the rolls of films quickly when I am shooting a subject. Another thing is that the hasselblad’s being a square format, I found it challenging to work out where to place the subject, but after practice I found it easier to get use too. Studio was also not my strongest point, as I had never really used the lights to create an image like these but after experimenting with different light sources I could use, poses and through research of artists I came to some plans and ideas. Then i experimented in the studio with these techniques to see if it would work for my subjects.

What worked the best for me in this project was my studio work. I did not think it would be this way round, I thought I would find location a lot easier. But I was really happy with my studio prints due to the way the lighting helped create an interesting atmosphere and captured the band exactly how I wanted. However, I found the location shoots a lot more challenging. The first shoot I did for these, they did not come out at all so had to reorganise another time for me to shoot the band. I used a metz flash which in fact was probably a little but to bright, creating some shards and not getting the subjects in full focus. Therefore, next time I would use a stand to hold the metz flash and an umbrella so it would create softer lighting. If I had more time with this project I would go to some shows of the bands and experiment with taking some photos there as well as maybe doing some more of their rehearsals.

Overall, I have enjoyed this project and feel I have achieved what I wanted too. Shooting my photos for a publication was new and ingesting to learn different styles of photography, and shooting to meet this publication. I found it interesting using medium format film, the issues you can have and how to capture portraits and photos. This project pushed me to try new ideas and push me to use lighting that I was not overly comfortable with. Therefore, overall I feel I completed what I aimed to do for this project.

Written statement alongside article

Sioux Falls: aiming for a print journalist who would follow up by interviewing the subject and writing the article

Sioux Falls is an up and coming pop/punk band currently based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. All 4 members, lead singer Callum Middleton lead singer, drummer Alfie Butcher, guitarist Lewis Whymark and Michael Long on bass, met at University. They all attend University of Gloucestershire, in their first year and studying music, forming their band together ‘Sioux Falls’. They play regular shows supporting artists at various locations around Cheltenham, including frog and fiddle, 2 pigs and Smokey Joe’s.

They are a very exciting band who have many events and new music coming up in the next months. Their energy is lively and fun, photographing them was a good experience, with the band stopping to practice in between takes. They played acoustically, practicing for a show they had that evening. I photographed the band in the studio using set ups I felt expressed them the most and I watched in on their rehearsals. They are very busy with rehearsals and in demand, as when I was photographing them on location they were also being filmed. In the images, they merged well together, being comfortable in front of the camera and keeping the atmosphere up beat.  You would not realise they have only been working together for about 6/7 months, but known each other for a long time. All 4 of their personalities work together, that is why they are ones to watch coming up through this industry.

Recently the band have been working on their new single together, All Talk is Small Talk. This is the first EP they have made together as a band, promoting it on the 12th May 2016 at 2 Pigs, Cheltenham at 7.30pm.

 

Email: siouxfalls@gmail.com

Instagram: siouxfallsuk

Facebook: Sioux Falls UK

My Final 4 Chosen Images

These are my final chosen 4 images. For them I have picked a range from my studio, making sure I included a group shot. I also had the idea in mind of some being used for smaller shots within the magazine, maybe a cover and being used for the man story.

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The set up in this image was two soft boxes placed either side of the subject, so his face would be lit up yet creating a strong shadow in the middle of his face. I really like this lighting effect and feel it works for the bands style of music being pop punk. This image really intrigues you and draws you in to the photo due to the light behind him creating a circle effect, making this area the main focus. I also placed him central in the frame, so I could really capture how the light falls on his face. I caught him just as he was looking away from the camera and looking up. I feel this makes the lighting not look harsh due to his expression in his face being one that is quote soft. To capture this photo I used an aperture of about f16 and a shutter speed of 1/60. For the final photo I had to do a little retouching in photoshop, using the healing brush tool just to erase slight marks on the film from it being rolled through the camera. I think this would work for the publication I have chosen as they do use various portraits, some with quite strong lighting and which are a bit different. Therefore, overall I feel it works well.

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My set up for this image was using a big soft box on a boom stand, I had it above the subjects head. This lit up all of the members making them all stand out.I then placed a fill in light, a soft box on the floor pointing pat the subjects, but on a lot lower brightness than the one above. I also placed them in a certain way, with all touching so they are all connected and had the tallest at the back, behind the others. This not only creates the idea of levels due to him being taller than the others, but also makes him stand out just that little bit more. I did this as through my research I noticed the front man was sometimes made to be the main focus, so I felt this placement worked really well. A triangular shape has also been formed due to the change in height. To capture this photo I used an aperture of about an f11 and a shutter speed of 1/60. I was standing on a ladder, slightly above them, so I could capture this positioning. I feel it has worked well, and created an interesting image. I have chosen to include this group shot as it is a different set up than the photo above and in the magazine a full group shot would be shown.

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I have chosen this image from my location shoot as I have caught the drummer mid motion playing the drums. The location was very hard, there was very low lighting and aesthetically found it hard to choose where my positioning should be. I really like how I have captured the subjects expression and concentration on his face. But I have captured the window on the top left of the photo, which I am not overly pleased with, as I did not realise at the time as could not see it through the viewfinder. However, the publication I have chosen does feature images like this, backstage/rehearsals where the image isn’t necessarily ‘perfect’ but captured the right atmosphere etc. To capture this photo I used an aperture of 5.6 using a metz flash. This meant just the drummer was the main focus with some highlight being created on the walls.

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In this image I have taken a photo of the guitarist playing. I got up close to him and bent down to try and get on more of his level. The background of this photo is a lot more interesting, due to the sofa creating a line in the background so you follow it through to the middle. Also the face painted onto the wall also helps break up the photo creating an interesting background. Being close up has made him be very dominant in the frame. I also placed him just off centre, so I could capture as much of the guitar in as I could. I did crop the photo to the top of the guitar because the edge of the amp speaker had stuff onto of it, which made the background look to busy and distracting. To capture this image I used a large aperture to make the subject the main focus. I also like the fact I have caught the guitarist just as he looked down, I think it shows his concentration and makes the emphasis on his instrument. I feel this image will work much better as a smaller photo on the article page, adding context to the article and images.

Shoot 2

This shoot was my location one. Before this shoot I had in fact done another location but the images did not come out well at all due to there being such limited lighting, as a Metz flash failed on me. Therefore, I had to another shoot on location, where I bought two Metz flashes with me. Before this shoot I had not viewed the location beforehand, so I did not know what the venue would look like. I had to be prepared and I knew there would be a high chance of low lighting, as I was going to a band rehearsal. My idea for this shoot was to capture them in a rehearsal getting close up portraits of them playing their instruments.

My location shoot did go reasonably well, but I struggled with the lighting and background in some photos. There was very low lighting, so I used a Metz flash plugged into the Hasselblad bouncing it off the white ceiling. It did work and I caught some okay images. but I found the flash a bit too powerful so created a lot of highlights to the photo. In one of the images, where a member is standing up playing the guitar, his hands are guitar are in focus but not him. There is also some slight shadow that has been created by the flash, which does work and doesn’t distract your attention.

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My scans:

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James Marcus Haney

James Marcus Haney is an American photographer and filmmaker. He is known for his music work of festivals and photographing Mumford and Sons. He is their official photographer. He does a lot of photography on film following people creating lively atmospheres in his images.

I have particularly looked into his images of the band he follow, Mumford and Sons. His images follows them through shows, backstage, on the road and their life in general. The images have been taken on film, adding a texture to the images that aren’t completely crisp but make them so intriguing. These images give a real sense of the band, getting to know them better as they are quite intimate photos.

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Inspiration:

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I found this particular photo interesting due to it being similar to what I want to capture. The photographer has caught the band backstage practicing. He is at a level looking up at them, making them dominant in the image. Also the lighting looks very low, creating a slight green tone to the image. But it works well and adds something to the image, making it look more raw. This has inspired me in the way the artist has dealt with the lack of lighting in a creative way. Making the main focus be on the ban rather than looking into the lighting. Therefore, in the rehearsal space I am photographing I want to look into interesting ways I could capture the band.

Rachael Wright

http://www.rachaelwright.co.uk

Rachael Wright is a British photographer, based in New York City. She is known for taking photos of musicians. Her work is a variation in mediums between digital, film and polaroids. Wright has been commissioned for a number of things such as, Wireless festival, Converse and many more. She has also been published in varying magazines such as, NME, Time Out New York and London, Marie clare and Q magazine. I have taken particular interest in her work due to her working for the target publication for my project.

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In the studio – ‘Rudimental’  July 2014– for Q Magazine

I have looked into Wright’s project In the studio, which is about musicians she photographed while they are at work in the studio. My favourite of this project was the photos of rudimental. These photos have used natural lighting, from the large windows you can see. The poses of the artists are all quite relaxed, creating a calm atmosphere to view. It’s like you are looking in on there session. There is one main posed shot where all the group is looking into the camera. Even in this shot there is still the group conventions,where they are sitting at different levels. These images have inspired me to capture a similar session of the band, where they are relaxed and processing their music together.

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Images: http://www.rachaelwright.co.uk/in-the-studio-with-rudimental#

On the road – ‘The Drums’ 2010 

On the road is images where Wright have followed a band and captured various images of behind the scenes and performing. For these photos it looks as if she has used film, due to the grain and colour tones. I really like this series of work as it gives you an insight into the band, what they are like and see all the members. The images are a mixture of colour and back and white. Lighting plays a key role in these photos, by the way she has caught the lighting at shows and made this the main focus in some photos. I have looked into this body of work as I really like the atmosphere created and the way the band has been portrayed.

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The particular image that caught my eye was one that is not particularly the strongest  but one that I feel has inspired me the most for my location shoot.

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In this photo the band have been captured backstage or in a rehearsal. It is very low level lighting, so it would of been tough especially with a film camera, which I will be using. To overcome that, she has done a creative way and let shadows form behind the members, which does actually work. This will be a similar situation I will be in. With my location band shoot I am going to do their rehersals so I think it will be in similar situations with low level lighting and cramped space. I don’t know what it will be like as on the day I will have to be prepared for whatever comes up. Therefore, I have looked into this image as inspiration as it is a creative way to deal with the lighting issue. I also will take some flash lights with me so I can be prepared and help light up the subject, even creating this style like Wright’s image.

 

 

Shoot 1

For my first shoot I took them in the studio. Looking into my research, inspiration and my practice shoot I planned my studio work around this. I used two main set ups. 1- A white background with two soft boxes either side of the subject creating a strong shadow and 2) A black background with a soft box on a boom stand, held directly above the heads of my subjects with a fill in soft box on the floor at a lot lower flash brightness than the overhead light. These are the sets ups I practiced previously.

Contact Sheets:

These are my film positives. I took individual portraits of the band members and group shots, using both set ups. I was happy with the way they have come out, some were over exposed but I did move my set up around a bit so I knew that was gong to be expected. Overall, I am very pleased with how they have turned out and feel the set ups have really worked well with the band.

Most of these images have worked, I tried various poses. With the individual shots I wanted to capture a variety, some normal straight on image and some capturing the subject in the moment. In the group shots I tried not only different poses but also different levels, changing the order the members stood in and got them to at different heights to create triangular shapes as well as making the photo interesting to look at.

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My Scans:

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These are the images I felt worked the best out of my film. Some of these images have had to be edited, particularly the white background ones, due to them having small marks on the film from where it has been dragged through the camera. But it was not a major issue, I simply used the healing brush tool to erase the small black marks. I need to decide which two I want to use for my finals. I want to have one individual portrait and one of the group shots, as I feel this is what a magazine would want.