For the photographic side of Visual Exploration, we were asked to get into groups of 2/3 and go out in to Leeds to create a photographic series – a set of images that have, in some form, a similarity. This can be to do with formal elements or even with just an idea. For example, asking people to act out a food of their choice. We were asked to have one set of at the very least 6 photographs featuring people, which would have to have us interact with them .
I was in a pair with Charlotte, and we began by thinking of ideas that related to food:
- Sharing food – Our people series.
- Food which is the same shape in the frame.
- Rubbish in the street.
- Photograph people littering.
- Displays of food.
- Gray-scale/Black & white shots of food.
- Advertisements of food/different locations.
- Food shops.
Here are the experimental sets of photographs not included in my sketchbook, which we decided not to develop further..
Advertising – The shots we got didn’t really interest us, they seemed too different in how we did and could photograph them(in a formal sense) because of their composition on various surfaces as well as location. We also weren’t sure what we wanted to communicate, but ultimately our other ideas were also better.
Circular – We took photographs of food that was circular, and experimented by changing the position of the object in the frame. I did like the result of some of these photographs, however ultimately we didn’t feel it was as strong an idea as our rubbish and people sets, which I will explain more about further down.
Pigeons – These weren’t planned photos, but we found this group of pigeons very amusing. I also thought it was actually very interesting, not least because they were gobbling up pieces of chicken. I thought it could say something about how we as human beings have affected other species, such as pigeons. But also, some of their faces are simply really amusing.
Litter – Here are a few of the many litter experiments. We took all of the photographs in this kind of way; tried far away, to show the location. Tried closer, to show the object clearer. We also tried somewhere in-between the two. There were also other ways of positioning the object, similar to how we experimented with the circular foods. But ultimately, we came to the decision through the crit later that day that actually getting down to the object’s level and zooming in on it worked the best. This is because visually they are composed well.
All other photographs – All other experimentation of the above 8 ideas. The above writing can mostly be applied to these photos too.
The main two sets Charlotte and I decided we wanted to focus on in our crit were Rubbish on the Street and People Sharing Food.
With people sharing food, we started out taking photos from behind the glass, but then actually went up to people in cafes and restaurants to ask if we could take their photo. Some people said they’d rather we didn’t, and some were more than happy to have their photo taken! But the majority, as discussed in the crit, seemed a bit awkward which showed in the photographs.
Photos of people sharing food
The Rubbish on the Street photographs were the ones I enjoyed taking the most. I enjoyed trying different angles, and both I and the others in the crit agreed that the photographs which were on-level with the food were the most successful, because they were visually composed well, due to the angle and colours. However, ultimately when it came to deciding between these two sets, we chose People Sharing Food to work on, because we felt we could communicate more with it. Albeit Rubbish on the Street became our backup for if our first choice didn’t work out when we took more photos, the following day.
Photos of rubbish on-level
(My sketchbook notes which are and aren’t successful)
I have put all of our second shot of photos in my sketchbook, due to there being minors present etc, but here is the final series.
We noticed that they looked a lot better on screen than they did printed out, which leads me to believe maybe enhancing the contrast would help. But we decided to present them physically on the wall – because with a powerpoint, one can’t go back. The point of our series was that usually, you can’t stop and stare at somebody through a window, incase you are spotted. But these photographs enable one to do that, so we didn’t want to present them in a way that would limit how long you could look. Therefore we printed them out, so that people could go back to one if they wished.
We titled the set ‘Shared’, although a title was optional. Charlotte and I were thinking of something along the lines of ‘togetherness’, as we did not only want to communicate people eating, but people eating together, and ‘sharing’ conversation. Thus the name ‘Shared’ was decided on.
Here is how we displayed the set…
We noticed that we had 3 photos with the costa coffee bean on the window, so we decided to place one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end. Then we had 2 primarily red photos and 2 primarily grey photos. So we tried to place these symmetrically in the line of photographs.
We also considered typographic values for the title – we decided that it should be sans serif, and a pretty rounded font, to look friendly and casual. We made it semi-bold to enhance its roundness.