Thursday, 31 March 2011

Local Heroes

For me as i want to work as a humanitarian photographer it makes sense for me to use the FMP to break into this field.

I have began to work for an Eating Disorder charity as part of my Individual Practice which has seen me producing a campaign for them to be used in their media and for my brief at uni.

An example of this is shown here:

I intitially wanted to expand my work with Seed/Breathe (the eating disorder charities) for my FMP but for several reasons this would have been too easy and wouldnt have fulfilled the South Africa brief very well.

One thing i have become more aware of during this brief is that the people who run these small local charities are very selfless hardworking people who have a genuine concern to eradicate the issue, with my main passion being for portraits i thought about portraits of Volunteers or organisers at a charity.

One of my initial ideas was to photograph volunteers or people who run charities, giving their time to help others


I wouldnt necessarily photograph international volunteers, but local heroes who have achieved something amazing by being selfless and giving their time to help others.

In the end I decided not to do this as it didnt seem enough for my FMP and I wanted something that i was totally passionate about.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Videos about Cotton Slavery

I needed somewhere to post videos so decided to do this on my blog, there were quite a few videos that influenced me in my research so i have shown a few here.

After watching these videos I was obviously affected by the issues surrounding cotton picking but it wasnt until i found the video below, that I knew i had to find a way to link this into the Fashion brief.
The video isnt on You tube so i have pasted the link below as i cant upload the video.
It is quite comprehensive and covers the affects of pesticides on farmers through interviews with the farmers themselves.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fashion Photography- Inspiration and Influences

For the Fashion brief i have produced a sketchbook containing a small amount of research appropriate to what i am doing.

I found it easier to produce a blog in addition to this to show some of the images that have inspired me.

Oliviero Toscani:

This work has had a huge impact on the Fashion brief. It made me think about the different ways to communicate a message. I think it is very clever to use images that are seemingly unrelated to the products of Bennetton. The images show various glimpses of integral parts of humanity and appeal to us as individuals rather than a group of consumers. They paint the picture that Bennetton is ethical and fair, a brand for every human being, regardless of who they are or race, colour, nationality. The images make us think and draw us in looking for answers, they may be sometimes contraversial and subject to endless complaints, but these campaigns are famous for that and have certainly got the Bennetton name out there. It would be appropriate to say here that there is no such thing as bad advertising.

Alexander Mcqueen

Mcqueen has inspired me for his radical non conformist approach to fashion. It isnt his work that inspired me as much as his attitude and what he achieved by being true to himself. His work was contraversial and slated by critics for his shocking fashion shows and reluctance to stick to the rules. In the end he sadly eneded his life. I have quite strong views about the fashion industry and i think the death of Mcqueen added to this. His story perhaps illustrates the pressure of fashion and the constant need for something new and better.

I wanted to somehow show my distaste for the industry, yet still produce images that appear to be fashion. I needed to use this brief to tell a story of the negative and much less glamorous side to fashion.


I started to look at other campaigns used by charities, for inspiration and to see how they get the message across:

I think this is quite clever but they are definitely using shock tactics to achieve the effect, this isnt unusual though for charity campaigns.

Again, this uses shock but not to get the viewers attention. The attractive naked Jamelia is used to pull in the viewer then as we look closer we see what the campaign is about.

Another fairly shocking image to draw the viewer in to read the information about domestic abuse.

These images got me thinking about how much work goes into an image like this before it is produced into a campaign. Everything must be considered in great detail to make sure it conveys the message with maximum impact.

Another photographer who works in this field is Oliviero Toscani, his anorexia campaign caught my eye when I was researching for the fashion brief. His photographs are very simple but given the models heavily emaciated body, there isnt much need for anything else, she says it all.

It isnt just the Anorexia work that interests me of Toscani's. I find his Benneton work quite inspiring for the way that he produced advertising campaigns and did this by pointing out glimpses of humanity. His work makes the viewer ask questions and ultimately drags us in as we try to work out what the hidden message is. This is certainly one way to get people to notice campaigns and it created the sense that Benetton were reaching out to the individual rather than the masses. It said that they were for everyone human, regardless of race, colour, caste or nationality. The campaigns are innovative in the way that they dont show the clothes which is the reason for the campain, but point out a bigger issue or vision of something that makes us human.

I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve and knew that I would photograph people who had been affected by eating disorders, but I needed to research different lighting techniques. I wanted to portray a sense of drama and discomfort so I began researching dramatic lighting setups, here are some of the images that I looked at for their lighting:

Andrzej Dragan is a Polish photographer. Dramatic lighting and post production techniques give his personal portraits an animation. I love this lighting for documentary style images but i dont think its appropriate for this brief.

This lighitng would be effective, i think it would seem appropriate to have areas of extreme shadow to hide parts of the models body as this would work with the concept of people with eating disorders.

Here is another lighting setup with an image of the actual setup below it, I think this would be an interesting setup to try.

Initial Research

It made sense for me to combine the two briefs for FMP (Final Major Project) and the South Africa brief, both in the way of a realistic timescale and also to ensure that i produced the best possible outcome for both.

In a way this has made it more difficult for me in coming up with initial ideas, because i have to satisfy two briefs, the FMP being very open and the South Africa brief being open but the emphasis being on showcasing an aspect of the Northwest in a postive light.

Firstly i thought of producing photographs in Blackpool, with it being a very 'typical' english sea side town and envisioned old couples by the sea eating fish and chips, elderly ladies having tea and cake, candyfloss stands, men in kiss me quick hats etc....

This was inspired by images such as these by Martin Parr:

Although some people think that Martin Parr mocks a certain level of society in these images, i like his matter- of- fact style of photography, although i would have to be careful to portray people in a fairly non-judgemental way.

After looking at this I decided that it was more important to research South African photographers as it would be interesting to see how they see things as this would affect how my work is viewed in Cape Town and I need to see what kind of work is being produced there.

This work is by Joao Silva from the Bang Bang club, a Portugese photojournalist based in South Africa and part of the bang bang club:

Kevin Carter was an award winning South African photojournalist. This is his most famous photograph for which he won the Pulitzer prize. Its truth is still disputed and to this day contraversial.

I also looked at a photographer named Roger Sedres who is based in cape town and works as a photojournalist there, here are a few examples of his work:

It struck me that his work is more contemporary in style than i imagined. I suppose it would be unfair to think that because someone lives in a developing country that their practice would reflect this in quality. I wouldnt say I necessarily like his work but i think it has given me an insight into the type of Photography that is being produced in Cape Town.

Lizane Louw

This is another photojournalist I found, based in Cape Town. Her work is much more in keeping with my photographic style so I found it interesting to look at her work and what she is doing.

The below image I think is really powerful, this has shown me a glimpse of how talented some of the Photographers are in Cape Town, this motivates me more to produce something that will impress people at the exhibition.

Rashaad Staggies' daughter was shot in a police raid, in Bonteheuwel.

The mystery shots that landed Ingrid Jacobs in hospital with two wounds in the stomach was allegedly fired by the police. The incident happened when the police raided a well known tik-den in Safraan Street in Bonteheuwel.
An official attempted murder docket was opened, after it came to light that one of the bystanders filmed the shooting.
Igrid was watching the raid through metal plates serving as a wall when the shots were fired.

The police arrested 10 alleged drug dealers and confiscated illegal substances and money. Six grams of tik with a street value of R2 000 and R1 800 cash was found.
The investigation continues.