Spring Term and it’s Studio time.

Unit 5 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

So, I’m ludicrously late with posting up notes from the last few classes of the autumn term. My excuse? Partly it was Christmas; partly I was ill with some cough/cold lurgy (which finally shifted only to be replaced by an ever-nastier, snottier version, so I’m typing this while necking Benyllin and Lemsip).

But the main reason I’m behind is that my notes are all to do with studio photography.

Back in the days when dinosaurs walked the earth; Top of The Pops mattered; Robert Smith was very much a style icon and wearing trainers for fun was considered, ooh, razor-sharp edgy, I produced and styled celeb’ shoots for a women’s magazine. And, blow me, if here aren’t some ancient, tattered polaroids (say it with me: Poh-La-Royds) to prove it. This young lady’s first pro’ photo shoot; I remember thinking she was one of the most beautiful, fragile creatures I’d ever seen… so I wrapped her up in baggy jumpers. Clearly, the right thing to do; her subsequent Hollywood career was, undoubtedly, all down to that one shared afternoon. Even if she has changed her look a bit since.

But I digress.

Shoots were stressful but fun and I got to work with some renowned portrait photographers. I had and still have max’ respect for them and their work. But I also have, as yet, diddly-squat interest in taking studio shots. Maybe this spring term – which will be studio-based – will change my view. Wouldn’t put money on it, but you never know.

This term has two separate projects. First up, we have to do a 15-minute powerpoint presentation to the class on a studio photographer (dead or alive) of our choice. Things to consider include:

  • The historical context of their work – what else is/was going on at the time?
  • Technical/photographic deconstruction of their work/methods/style
  • What equipment did/do they use; do they work with assistants etc etc
  • What inspires/inspired them?

We should include around ten slides and can use video content, too, if we wish. Deadline is 28/3/18. As you can imagine, we are all gagging to do this. Not. That said, I think I’ve hit upon who my presentation will be on. Watch this space.

More importantly, by the end of term, we have to have taken 2 product shots using one or two of three set items, and present them as A4 prints or larger. One shot must be a straight still life; the other must use a model in some way.  We had to draw lots to see which 3 “products” we would be allocated.

I got hat; boots and apple. Magritte, anyone?

son-of-man
The Son of Man, 1946, by Rene Magritte

I can either work with just the one item across both shots or choose two of the three.

Things to consider:

  • Research of ideas and concepts
  • Setting up studio lights
  • Record all of the light settings during the shooting
  • Record all the research and development in your workbook, blog
  • Record all of the exercises produced in the studio in your workbook/blog
  • Include all of the exercises produced during the work in the studio
  • Include portrait and still life practice with research and examples of shots
  • Analyse and comment on all of the findings during the work on this project
  • Evaluate the project
  • Prepare a workbook, blog with all of the research, planning, work in progress and final images.
  • Analyse and comment on all of the findings during the work on this project.


(Notes to self: To 
become a better photographer you’re gonna have to work outside your comfort zone. Don’t be a hater. You never know, you might enjoy it. No, life isn’t fair. Yadda, yadda, yadda.)

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