All about my University work

Picturing the Body

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These are my pictures of the body. During the taking of the photos I wanted my subject to show sorrow. I also wanted her to open up to me which came apparent because as the shoot progressed she felt more comfortable to take more clothes off. At no point did I suggest that she took any more clothes off as I wanted her to be comfortable with it and I didn’t want to force her to do anything she wanted. Also after learning from my lectures in picbod I also tried to perceive that she was in charge and that we were doing what she wanted. This worked perfectly as she did everything I wanted her to do by giving virtually no hints. This showed that I was still in charge but she never really knew it which allowed her to open up more. As the shoot progressed I found myself getting better photos and a story within the pictures was starting to come out.
She was very good in showing sorrow and all I asked was her to think of times in her life when she was sad. At times she was dramatic but sorrow is a dramatic emotion and one you only use when many options are no longer there.

I saw this photo entitled Pensive frown by Daros Koding which shows a man looking sad and I wanted to explore that some more by taking my own pictures of sadness and sorrow. It’s a photo that really makes you think in why that photo was taken and what is the subject thinking of. I wanted the same kind of thing but I wanted body language to really show the emotions more than the facial expressions.
I was looking for responses like why is she in that position? and why is she looking so sad?

I chose to have a dark background as sorrow is a dark and sad emotion. Having a light or just a different backdrop I feel would take away from the emotion. Which is the same what I thought with the clothing, having her wear dark black clothing as you do when you are in mourning. I wanted the light to be on the subject to really highlight her body language also her facial expressions were key to the whole shoot.
The final pictures that I have used are the ones I feel best describe sorrow and also all link with one another in some way. It also shows her being more comfortable with me due to in the later pictures she is more exposed and more open with me.

I took 180 photos during the shoot and whittled them down to just 7. Throughout the shoot I asked very little but did just talk to her about things like her career and what she does. Some of the pictures don’t show sorrow but different emotions perhaps due to us having a conversation at times when I took the pictures. What I really liked was that the shoot lasted less than an hour but at no point did it feel like it was becoming an arduous task.

I have been in Iceland for the last two weeks making a film so all my energy and effort was put into the production of that. Upon coming back I knew what I wanted but never had a subject. Rebecca Allsop came from nowhere as I never even met her 12 hours before she agreed to the photo shoot. So I had to be on the ball in what I wanted from her. She loved the idea and was very willing to help and the pictures that I have come out with are ones in which I am very pleased as I could’ve easily picked 20 or 30 pictures to use.

My pictures were originally in colour but changed them to black and white. I felt that with such an emotion like sorrow a monochrome picture would have a better effect and also highlights the skin better than if in colour. I also added a slight blue tint. This was to show that sorrow isn’t just a black and white emotion and can be portrayed in different ways and I feel it gives an added edge to the photos that black & white photos wouldn’t do.

I decided on 7 as 7 is always a nice number to lie on. My original inkling was to have either 6 or 8 photos so 7 worked quite well. I chose to have one big picture which I feel is the best one to draw in the viewers and have 3 either side of the main one to really show the emotions that the big picture has, which I think works rather well.

This was really my first proper photo shoot and I am very happy with the results however I was never really set with the lighting which took almost 2hours to set up just right. This lead me to taking alternate shutter frame speeds whilst doing the shoot to experiment abit on which speed would work better. I chose to do 1/80 of a second and 1/30. They both had different positives and negatives from them as some worked better on one shutter speed than the other. So I think If I did more experimenting with shutter speed and lighting before going into a photo shoot. I do however feel that it gave me a huge learning curve by just doing and having a good subject.

I also think if I had more time to think about it then I would have offered her more positions to be in rather than just the 5 or 6 I had. this is where professionalism came out and she offered my different poses which helped me immensely. It shows that having a good relationship between subject and photographer is hugely advantageous.

When I pictured ‘my tribe’ the lighting was very bright and looked rather static so i wanted to move away from that and I feel I have completely different pictures as a result and hugely for the better.

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12 responses

  1. Nice pictures, i think you need to get rid of a few though, there are definatly some that are stronger than others. i think they would be more effective!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  2. hazelsteel

    I think your photographs and the story behind the photographs are fantastic and look really awesome! Definitely exhibit your photographs with us!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  3. You’ve got some really lovely images here. They remind me of stills from a stage show, a one woman show or something like that. The lighting and everything is so beautiful here. I would like to see them large (bigger the better) and framed for the gallery. Really lovely series.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  4. I really like the photograph where she is sitting on the chair with her leg sort of up, it is a lovely photograph and I think that it would look better bigger. There are a few others that are strong within your set of images, so perhaps editing them down and then making them larger. It would be great for the exhibition 🙂 Well Done

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  5. really nice set. I think like I said to ally, less is more. Maybe pick out 3 images you would really like to print and then frame/mount. If its done well it will look gorgeous.
    Having said that I’ve really liked looking at them, great results for a one time shoot. Would love to see more of this stuff in the future.

    Jack

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  6. Dicken,
    I think the set of photographs you have put together look really good!
    The vulnerability of the body and her emotions of sorrow comes across in the photographs very strongly.

    I would like to see them mounted much bigger and experiment with materials.

    Good Job though 🙂

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  7. I love the middle picture i think it is the strongest one. i think they would be better if they were more spread out to give you a chance to focus on each picture. Well done dickie!!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  8. M. Mileva

    Like your pictures, think they need little more contrast. Love this one https://dickenrichards.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/dsc_0152.jpg?w=550, think it deserves a huge print. Facebook story is interesting, I’m with the idea you should add it in. Well done and keep it up!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  9. I really do like this work and i find it amazing that you had only met her 12 hours before hand, i think maybe that would have been something interesting to document. But there is something really dramatic and beautiful about these images im really impressed mate. xx

    March 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

  10. Some bloody good work going on here ! I think the use of emotions was a really strong back bone to the project and the images. It would be nice If you carried this on and produce one big print for a variety of emotions.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

  11. These images definitely convey sorrow, however, I wonder why you wanted her to look a certain way. Why tell her to act in a particular mood? These are good images, though I would like to see different emotions and possibly a less formal setting. This was your first meeting, you could’ve tried to capture the nervousness and awkwardness (or not) of your meeting. You can then continue meeting and taking photos of her, similarly to Ross Rawlings does.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

  12. Very strong, emotional images. Like JW said – draw out the story behind how they were taken, it sounds funny! I suggest you print them nicely (maybe on foam board by David?) – I look forward to you being part of the exhibit 🙂

    March 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm

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