Techniques and Processes 2A

My idea for the ‘No Daylight’ brief was to take photos in music venues using artificial lighting and flash. I intended to take photos to show the atmosphere of the show and to put emphasis on the crowd and the fans to show live music from a different perspective. My idea, however, changed slightly throughout my testing as I found that my original idea didn’t turn out as I had wanted it to. Because of this I am now photographing the atmosphere of the show by taking photos of the musicians instead of the crowd, as I thought my initial photos were unsuccessful, and my musician photos were more successful in conveying the ‘feel’ of the gig.

The genre for my project was people, and in particular fans of music, however it changed to musicians due to the results of my testing. Because I am photographing musicians my photos could also fall into the lifestyle genre, as I am photographing a main part of their lifestyle.

For my project I investigated and researched different areas, such as photographers that work with the same subject and photograph in live music settings. I initially researched photographers who took photos of the fans at gigs, but when my project developed I then researched photographers whose subject is musicians. This inspired me and helped me develop my project.

I identified my aims for the project by compiling a structure/plan of what I wanted to accomplish, such as a timeline for completing photoshoots. This helped me to assign a particular week or day to filling a specific aim. My main aims were getting as much testing and photoshoots carried out as possible, and the plan helped me to be able to accomplish this. My goals are to take photos that are successful in conveying the atmosphere of the show, using no daylight and all artificial lighting. Another goal is to successfully use flash in my photos and take a series of photos that are successful in filling my initial brief.

I started my testing by taking photos in a live music setting to test the feasibility of my project, and found that my idea wasn’t unrealistic and was achievable, but that I needed to experiment more with taking crowd photos as this was something I was unfamiliar with.

I then experimented with flash, as I intended to use a flashgun in my project and wasn’t entirely familiar with my flashgun or the different ways it could be used. I took some portrait shots in daylight so I could get used to the settings, and after a while found that I could successfully use flash to enhance my photos. I then went on to use flash in a no daylight setting once I had become familiar with how to use it successfully. This helped my project because I intended to use flash in low light conditions, and experimenting with flash in the dark helped me understand what settings to use with my camera and with my flash to create a perfectly exposed image.

As well as this I made experiments with light trail and light painting as I intended to experiment with creating these effects in my project photos to create unusual looking photos and to show how the colours and scenes sometimes blur together at a gig.

Once I had done this initial testing I then took photos in a live music setting of the fans and because I was focusing on the crowd there wasn’t enough light to fully expose my photos, as the lighting in the room was focused on the musician and the venue prohibited the use of flash. This caused many problems with focusing and my photos being too dark. These photos were unsuccessful, so I decided to take more crowd photos in a different location.

The next gig I was due to photograph at, however, cancelled the gig so instead I took photos at a smaller and more local venue, which posed problems because there was a little crowd, and not enough fans to call a crowd. Because of this I focused on taking photos of the musicians instead, and took the opportunity to experiment with using flash when taking photos of a band. I found that although my photos were colour casted that these photos were successful.

Next I took photos of fans and found that again I had issues with lighting and a lack of it falling on the crowd. My photos were again underexposed and too dark, some even too dark to see the subject. I tried to rectify this by using a high ISO however this made my photos really grainy and they suffered from noise. These photos were again unsuccessful, and as my band photos were successful and still conveyed the atmosphere of the gig, as my crowd photos were intended to, I decided to change the focus of my photos and my subject to take photos of musicians instead of fans.

My project is near to being fully completed. I have finished my testing and have a definite direction for my photos, and have successfully used flash to take musician photos in no daylight settings. I have met both of my goals, but intend to take more photos so that I have a range of photos to select the best from. I aim to complete one or two more photoshoots for my project.