This is my round 3 of photoshoots for this assignment and time is really marching on so I have to wrap this up now. I came up with a new idea (see my planning post for more details) and am now posting a few images as contact sheets in order to get some feedback from my fellow students as to my final five that I need to submit. I know I have included two portrait formats in the set, but that is simply because there is just no way the location would allow for a horizontal image – shooting in a very narrow passage. Please bear in mind I still have some post-processing to do. I’m hoping things like insecurity, fixation with body image, sadness, frustration, depression come through.
Well, my ideas are not panning out for this assignment. After reshooting last Saturday and getting some more feedback from my fellow students, I realised that my initial idea is lacking substance and this is probably due to the fact that I’m tackling it from the wrong end instead of working out a concept first. Feedback that I got ranged from “focusing on what instead of why”, “has an urban fashion shoot feel”, “focusing on the subject and merely see background as colour”.
After watching the documentary “No Body’s Perfect with Ranking and Alison Lapper” on BBC 4 on Sunday night, I felt the percolation of an idea brewing. My goodness I haven’t felt that in such a while – I was almost ecstatic! I thought back to a conversation I had had with a fellow colleague who told me about the problems her young teenage son was having with his body image. After watching Rankin’s gentle approach in getting his subjects to open up and allow him to photograph their insecurities, I felt it worth talking to my colleague to see if I could photograph her son. I spent the night doing some research and coming up with some ideas which I felt he would be able to relate to and explained it all to her the following day also reassuring her that I could make the assignment entry private so that only tutor could view it, if that would make him feel more comfortable. She was willing to ask him if he would take part in the assignment, but unfortunately he declined. So at the moment I am scouting for another model. I’d preferably like to use a male model as there does not seem to be very much documented about eating disorders or body image issues among male teenagers. But as time is marching on and my assignment is so overdue I will be willing to take on a female model as well.
I’m having a difficult time bringing my images down to a final edit of five, so am posting my contact sheets which include another shoot that I did yesterday. I need some fresh eyes on this project so am asking my fellow students for some feedback again. I revisited the scene at the quay later in the day just around sunset as I wasn’t too happy with the earlier colour versions (harbour images on contact sheet 1 and 2) as I think the blue was too light. As a reminder these were all shot with tungsten WB and with an orange gel on the flash (the exception being the bus image). The reason why I’m doing it this way is to reflect the colour of the city. Vancouver is a very blue city. On a bright sunny day, if one goes up one of the local mountains and looks down onto the city there is an overall sense of blueness. This is because there is so much water surrounding the city – it is situated on a bit of peninsula and the sky scrapers are mainly glass buildings which again reflects the tones of the water. My subject is my son who is very environmentally aware and makes use of public transport whenever he needs to get into the city to avoid paying for parking. We have a variety of public transportation here so I was aiming to show the variety as well ranging from ferries, buses, skytrains and bikes.
Again I have been struggling for inspiration on this assignment. As my tutor said when I emailed her about my creative block, I have probably been overthinking the assignment. So with that in mind and having done a bit of research, thus far on Lee Kirby and Bruce Davidson, not forgetting Walker Evans earlier in the coursework, I have settled on the location(s) for my images.
I am planning on shooting in or around train stations, bus stops, ferry terminals and other transport modes in the city. I’m aiming for a moody tone to my images so have tried to create a certain colour palette by shooting in tungsten white balance with an orange gel on my flash. Some images, specifically those indoors, were more successful with this, but I found that the outdoors images were a little iffy for my liking. So I converted to black and white and now I’m not sure if I like that better. Therefore, time to get some peer feedback from my fellow students. Here are a few images in both formats, not necessarily my final picks. Please click on the galleries below to enlarge.