Professional Experience

Summary

Whilst I have been studying photography I have looked into various professional photographers careers and I have often wondered if I could see myself in their roles. Because of this doubt I tried to fix placements with varied career opportunities. I have spoken with freelance photographers and have received some amazing advice and heard their stories of how they became successful photographers. unfortunately no opportunity of a placement was available at this time. I learnt a lot from an English photographer who is now based in Italy, he explained how he started his own business and how he has been able to keep it running. Through speaking to him I found myself feeling more and more lost as I don’t feel I would be able/want to do all that is needed to run my own business. I felt I needed to go into a company that would support me with my creative work rather than going freelance. I sent out emails to many different companies and photographers but wasn’t having any luck with useful responses. I decided to use my previous connections to help me find a local placement I would be comfortable in. This is how I ended up gaining experience with Stratford-upon-Avon College.

I decided to use this module as an opportunity to try other career options which I otherwise wouldn’t be able to. I have always enjoyed photography as a creative outlet but as my studies have intensified I have questioned if I am motivated enough to work for a career in the creative industry. Therefore I also gained experience in a Primary school, I have done piece of experience in schools and nurseries since my first work placement and have always been unsure if I would be able to perform the role of a teacher.

I first went to Stratford College before the Christmas holidays to discuss what they would be asking of me and if the work is something Id be interested in. After discussing the layout of the placement and their expectations of myself and my work we arranged for a start date of 14th jan, with projects running into may. On my first day I was set up with an email account and given a computer and a phone to organise and arrange photo opportunities with a selection of their apprentices in their working environment. The college had laid out their expectations and given me the tools to achieve this and left me to do what I felt was appropriate to be able to hand them finished works in 2 months time. I came across endless amounts of difficulties with trying to achieve this, from managers not informing the apprentices I was coming, apprentices being on holiday to apprentices/employers refusing to take part. I found myself attached to my phone, emailing and ringing employers continuously and driving around all day getting very lost. This task too up a lot of my time and I was rather disappointed with the outcome of many of my photographs. I often wasn’t allowed very long with the apprentices and found that many couldn’t think of anything that they do in a working day. I also did various tasks within the college, spending days photographing many things from performances to accommodation, even an MP cooking on a visit with one of their apprentices. As much as there was some variety within the work I was producing I didn’t find that creatively it was inspiring me. The working environment of an office from 9-5 with the only break being to photograph some students down the hall was definitely very testing for myself. I enjoy every day being different with new challenges to over come. I found this corporate office didn’t suit me, with shaking endless hands with identically dressed people who didn’t care who I was as long as I got their good side. I did however feel that over my time with Stratford college my confidence and ability to settle my subjects improved dramatically as I settled into my role.

When I had reached the point of being desperate for this placement to end I then finalized my starting point with Alderman’s Green Primary School on March 31st. I arrived at the school unsure of what I would be expected to do and if I would enjoy being in a school environment. I was placed with a mixture of year 1 and 2 classes allowing me 2-3 days with each class over my 2 week placement. I was shocked at how quickly I enjoyed my placement, the teachers were so helpful and how comfortable I was with the children. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to take part much and would be viewing the class from a distance. I was able to observe the teachers and how they all differed in style whilst the children were sat on the carpet at the beginning of every lesson. But I was then also able to get involved with helping the children and supporting them in their work. I often sat with one table of students that needed extra support. From observing the teachers interactions with the pupils I could quickly see which methods I feel are effective. I also saw perfect examples of why I have always been interested in teaching. On a couple of occasions some teachers gave a very negative response to the children such as telling them they “wont be able to do it” I feel that this has set the child up to fail as they often had a defeatist attitude and it was a struggle for me to get them reengaged with the task. I also found it very interesting to see how often the children that I had to tell off and be really firm with often responded to positive encouragement the best and turned out some of the stronger work and were the first to offer to help me with any of my tasks (like clearing up) to me this shows that if each child has clear boundaries but gets praise where praise is due they will respond beyond expectation.

This module has given me the opportunity to see what different types of jobs could offer me. Whether or not I stick down the photography route for my career after my degree or if I should continue to study towards a different career. I have seen how the instability of freelance work would be too unsettling for myself, but also that office work with the same tasks being done day in day out is too boring. I don’t have an interest in photographing for other people’s ideas or needs, I enjoy photography as a personal outlet. Therefore I don’t think I shall be looking to continue into a career in photography. I have however seen how rewarding and interesting life inside a Primary School can be. I now know that I would like to pursue a career in a Primary School.

My next steps will be to finish my degree at Coventry and continue my education with a PGCE with the hope of becoming a Primary School Teacher. I have already started looking at various courses and what they have to offer. Over the next year I shall continue with volunteering within Primary Schools to start my learning process. As much as I enjoyed my placement at Alderman’s it has also highlighted what weaknesses I have. One is mainly my lack of experience, children come out with many strange things and it takes time to get used to dealing with their unique ways. I have got gaps in my basic knowledge and as much as I’m already trying to work on this I know that my basic spelling needs a lot more work before I am confident with teacher pupils.

Without this module I wouldn’t have been able to “test” out what life is like in the working environments I was interested in. It has clarified for me what I am best suited for and what I am inspired to continue with. Stratford College is a familiar environment for me as I am an ex pupil, yet I still felt very uncomfortable and unsure about what was being asked of me. However Alderman’s Green is a new environment for me with all new faces and new position for me to be in yet I instantly felt extremely comfortable with the staff and pupils and felt like I knew what I was meant to be doing and had confidence in what I was advising the children. I enjoy the relaxed and creative learning environment of a Primary School and hope one day I will be able to add to this.

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1 Minute Piece

Theme –

I have chosen the theme of memory, focusing on the how we view memories differently to how we live them. I’m looking into childhood and the speed that it passes us by as well as the way in which we remember small details in little snippets.

I’ve used elements from other experimental pieces as influences on how to capture and edit my piece. Using this as a guide and working with the ideas around my theme I started to experiment shooting various scenes and editing in different styles.

Test Piece

My test piece is extremely different to my final minute film. This is as I refined my idea to focus on the theme so it has a great impact. I also decided to use more relevant sound and to try to edit this. If I was to do this again I’d look into editing sound further and to build on the dimensions of my piece.

Final Piece

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Experimental Research

I am possibly the most clichéd person going so trying to think of idea for an uncliched piece with and experiemental narrative seemed like an impossible task! I went through the pieces shown to me in my lectures, I focused on the ones that grabbed my attention and tried to pick apart why they did so. I focused on the techniques used and how they differ from what I’d instinctively do.

Mothlight

To me this piece takes a detailed look at natural and commonly viewed objects and turns them into the unusual as it views them in a different light to how we would normally. This idea of not using cinema not as a narrative art for but to express ideas that have not been expressed or explored before like 2d art forms are also used for is what I want to pull into my piece. As I am used to only being able to capture my idea in a still frame I want to be able to take the use of moving to be able to express something that cant be captured in still images.

Last England

I’m not going to pretend that I understand what this piece is trying to say but however I am taking inspiration from the aesthetics of this piece. The plain tonal colouring gives a dream like haze to the piece as well as the fast pace motion giving it a fluid but hurried sense of time passing.

Sunless

With this piece they use two completely separate scenes but by placing one after the other give a whole different meaning and impact on the viewer. I want to use this juxtaposition of scenes in my work to keep mixing up the emotions of my viewers to reflect the dream like state of jumping from one scene and one emotion to the next. The use of sound guides the viewer through the piece, sound if a very strong tool for giving the moving image some context.

Berlin Horse

The colour edit on this piece along side the distortion of the film creates a sense of 3D and repeating history. This old flickering film is an effect I’d like to show in my piece. With the fast pace motion I’d like to be reflecting the speed in which our childhood goes by and is left as a memory, echoing my theme.

Tomato. The Tragedy

This piece isn’t experimental in the slightest however it uses stop motion animation with a comic sense which is what I see as fitting my creative style. Its pieces like this where I got my inspiration for my 30 second selfie, as much as I do like this style I’m not sure if I will be able to make it work with my experimental ideas.

Eye Love You

I’ve been looking into different ways to animation lifeless objects to communicate. This very simpe explain shows how subtle movements can create this effect.

The poor Eye

This shows the working of animation and the sound track to create a character which wouldn’t work without the sound.

Just a Dream

Is a great example of a short film being made out of a few clear still images and piecing them together to create a story

Disclosure

On their video ‘F For You’ Disclosure have drawings over the moving image clips to animate them. I really like this effect blurring the lines between real and animated. A similar effect has also been done on a music video as a live project ‘Johnny Cash Project

Sigur ross

This collection of very different films show how audio can be translated many different ways with visual aids and that it is the sound that anchors the response to the piece.

Kim Hiorthoy – tak

Experimental music video, using various old found images and placing them to create a story relevant to the music playing. This piece has a very strong style and by only showing on piece of the picture at a time they are able to create the illusion of the camera moving across the scene as if it was capturing live action.

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30 Second Selfie

For the 30 second selfie I was trying to thing of unusual ways to represent myself/a person without it being a standard head and shoulders shot. I experimented with drawing characters on my hands and fingers with myself in the background to show how we don’t really show ourselves in these selfless but just how we would like to be perceived at that time.

IMG_0057

 

This wasn’t looking as styled as I would have liked to I thought about all the different places people take selfies and how people seem to feel the need to take selfies everywhere. People are now taking it to a new extreme, taking selfies in extremely inappropriate situations. Such as this student who photographed herself with a corps. Inappropriate Selfie

I decided to use a selection of scenes where people often take selfies that are rather odd. My video does have a slight narrative as I showed the nicer and more acceptable scenes first and they got progressively worse.

30 Second Selfie

Unfortunately I had a technical problem so had to quickly put this piece back together so the editing isn’t as polished as it was originally.

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Documentary Styles

Martha Rosler used a combination of photographs and text to create a documentary piece that caused a deal of uproar. She used the context of which the photographs were placed to give a stronger meaning. She selected a mixed of words that were associated with drunkenness and placed them next to the photographs.

The Bowery

Jean Rouch took a new approach to documentary filming by immersing the crew with subjects for the first time. Instead of having questions asked by a host on the other side of the room Rouch mixed all individuals involved in the film and placed them equally around the table for this extremely relaxed approach to documentary filming. Instead of viewing events from a distance the crew have gotten involved with the discussion and the subjects. This is an extremely relaxed approach, making it seem like a friendly chat rather than a constructed situation for filming.

Chronicle of a Summer

On the other end of the scale is modern day ‘documentary’ programs such as Made in Chelsea. It is shot in a style that pretends the camera isn’t there, with no acknowledgment of the film process. It has highly emotive scenes over small issues in comparison to the calm relaxed nature of “Chronicle of a Summer” where they were disguising highly emotive topics.

Made in Chelsea

 

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Vertov

Vertov used various new techniques to show how moving image is a virtual space which can be manipulated. He used the screen as a whole new space, not just a flat surface, showing how it can be edited to create a new effect. He also referred to the theatre seats and camera equipment to acknowledge the different elements that impact on the piece. He didn’t stick to a strict narrative, often using unrelated snaps and abstract framing.

Vertov

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Kuleshov Effect

Kuleshov experimented with using a combination of shots placed together to create the illusion of interaction. He showed an audience a short clip which had a shot of a mans face followed by a shot of soup, then a girl in a coffin and finally a woman. The audience thought that the man pulled three different expressions in reaction to each clip even though all three were actually the same. This was the first time separate shots were used to build a story. No longer did the subject and the viewer need to be in the same frame to understand their connection and reaction. The audience were now able to link different scenes together without it all being on the screen at the same time. This gave directors a new lease of freedom in the way that they were able to build scenes.

Kuleshov Effect

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