Sunday, 22 February 2015


Strangers are scary intimidating, naturally, because you've never met them.  You don't know how they'll react to questions.
This weeks task was to go out into Brighton and talk to shopkeepers.  The task was essentially to try to get us used to talking to strangers and taking photos of strangers. Quite the challenge I can say that much.  Most were happy for you to take pictures of their shops but not of them.  I only managed to find 2 people who were happy for me to take photos of them.
Brighton Jewels
The guy who runs this store was more than happy for me to take photographs of him and his stall so long as he could just carry on doing what he wanted.  It seemed that me taking photos of him prevented people from going up and talking to him because whilst I was there, no one came up to him.  Having a camera seems to intimidate some people.

This set of pictures was fairly hard to take as it was such a bright day.  Although this does mean that the photos taken fully in the sun look striking as the sun bounces off the reflective surfaces, the shadows cast by the sun were quite severe, and required a fair amount of editing in order to be able to see everything the way I wanted.

Snoopers Attic
Snoopers Attic is one of my favourite places to go.  It's full of kitsch little trinkets and they're all so beautiful.  The people working in there when I went in were a mother and daughter pair.  Pictures of them were off the cards completely.  So instead I was left wondering around taking pictures of things in their store.  Beautiful as they are, the lighting wasn't great so most of the pictures came out a bit too dark or blurry.

Snoopers Attic had a lot of interesting trinkets to take pictures of, and the light was really nice in there (which is why I kept the pictures).  But that fact that the people working there were so unwilling to let me take pictures of them, it put me off a fair bit.  I felt like if they got into any of the pictures accidentally, that I was intruding their privacy.
Artemis Sheepskin
Well, where do I even start?
The owner of Artemis is called Melissa, in true Brighton style she was eccentric and brilliant.  More than happy to let me take photos of her and her shop, and even pose her!
Artemis is a shop that supports artisans.  All the skins are sourced from one family in the Carpathian Mountains and all hand made, and BOY are the slippers soft.
Here are some of my favourite shots from the time I spent in her shop.  She said I'm welcome back any time!

Artemis stocked a lot of the same products as snoopers attic, just in a smaller space.  The glass and reflective surfaces were fun to take pictures of as they defract the light.  Particularly the chandelier.  The textures of the different fabrics and furs look great as well because the pictures I have on here are so clear.  In reality, a lot of the pictures came out just a tiny bit blurry, although the blur couldn't be seen on the camera screen.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Losing Light

Our project has been based on the idea of otherness.  We had to go out and take portraits of a peer and  a stranger on what makes people different.  I'm going to put up all the photos I have as I don't really like any of them.  We ran into problems with the aperture as the light we had was fading very fast.  The photos mostly came out dark or with use of the flash, the background wasn't visible.

If I'm honest, I'm actually not happy with any of these pictures.  None of them are completely clear just because of the time we were out taking these pictures.  Using an external flash for this task would have been better as it would have made up for the lack of natural light.


So, for the past week, me and 3 others have been putting together a presentation.
To say it was a challenge would be a little bit of an understatement.  The reading was 68 pages long, but luckily for me, I looked at the topic of otherness last term so I had a pretty solid understanding of it already.  The title is;
Gender, Gaze, Otherness, & Photography
I looked at Diane Arbus as my photographer because she looks at "the other".  Not in the sense of the racial other, which is what we normally see being refereed to as "other", but in the sense of anyone who lives outside of normality.

Diane Arbus was an american photographer who took pictures of “deviant and marginal people or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal”.  Most well known as a woman who took photos of freaks, she strongly believed that a camera had the ability to reveal the truth about people even though it could be harsh.  She suffered from depression for her whole life and took her own life at the age of 48.

The picture I have chosen which I feel best demonstrates her series is this one of the twins.  These twins look nothing like the people you come across on an every day basis, they don’t look “normal”, the strightforward format of her pictures force the viewer to really evaluate the subject.  by only looking at the abnormal, she makes us begin to question what the true meaning of normal is.  Since the idea of “otherness” is based on a theory of “us and them”, what defines “us” against “them”.  She points out the differences between “normal” people and her freaks, turning them into a spectacle and playing on the strong human impulse to stare.

In our own theory, the meaning of the “other” has been redefined from what it used to be.  Most visible in the world of celebrity, the new ideal body is not the typical white body.  As you can see from the pictures, Kim Kardashian (who many define as having the perfect body) looks very similar to the first picture of the Hottentot Venus, the major differences being that her face is more like that of a white person and her waist if waif-like.  Also a typical white ideal.  The new “other” is now what we would see as being typically white, for example, being flat chested and pale.  Back in colonial times, the ideal body was the typical white body, proving that the sterotypes of ideal change through trans-coding.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Outdoor Exploration


We went exploring in photography.  Again experimenting a little bit more with aperture.  We went out into Stanmer Park and took a series of photos.  The theme for my little series was things that don't belong.  This meant things that stood out obviously from the environment with bright colours or litter with unusual packaging.

 I tried to mess around with how the photos were composed based on the different "rules" of the perfect composition.  This included; the rule of thirds, the golden ratio, and diagonals. It was a challenge trying to get the composition right, but when it was possible the pictures looked a lot better.  They seemed easier to look at.


 When it comes to aperture, I prefer having a larger aperture as it means that the background is more blurry.  Since you can only see the area in focus clearly the viewer knows where to look.  When the aperture is smaller, there is more in focus, making the picture seem chaotic in my own opinion.  The small aperture also means that the background acquires a "bokeh" effect, there spots of light are soft, larger, and circular.  The new trend of bokeh pictures have resulted in camera companies coming up with different shaped fixed aperture rings, so the light can be shaped (for example heart shaped).  I would love to experiment with one of these lenses but they can be very expensive.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Depth of Feild

Currently sitting in my photography workshop, we're learning about depth of field.  Even though I remember it from A-Level its always handy to have a re-cap.  Having not picked up a camera for a fair few weeks after taking photos for the football girls its nice to get back into it.

We have been looking at changing the f-stop of the cameras today.  What this basically means is how much is kept in focus when taking a picture.  We did some exploring on campus and found things to take pictures of.

Here are some of my faves from the experimenting that we did today.  Completely unedited... almost...

I like these last two the most.  Even thought they don't have much to do with depth of field I love the content of them.  The very last one has a lot of mood to it.  It's dark and the odd angle of light makes it look quite creepy.