Archive for December, 2013

Photo Book – Test Shots

Posted: December 27, 2013 in Photo Book
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For the photo book, I’ve been taking test shots and created a basic layout example for the actual book. I decided to go for black and white, simply because it’s about the problems I encounter on a day-to-day basis with my disability. I’ve had two back surgeries, one of which left me disabled. So I wanted a kind of grim look, because my life isn’t always nice and colourful.

At the time of writing, there aren’t a lot of disabled people that use photography to express their feelings and to focus on their problems. That’s why I want to do this. Make people aware that although I might look fine on the outside, on the inside there’s a lot of different things going on that affect me in a bad way.

So the following images are the self portrait test shots. The idea would be to use these images over a two page spread. I want to try and make each image look almost identical, with a different sign. So the signs on the right page will show the emotions, feelings or even side effects and then on the left page I want to show images that express why I feel these things.




The following image is the actual idea for the two page spread.

Photo Book Sample

As you can see, I’m holding the word ‘anger’ and on the left I’m showing two things that make me angry. One is a lift that’s out of order, making it impossible for me to go up or down as I can’t walk the stairs. The other is a flight of stairs, which leaves me stuck. These are just two examples of things that anger me sometimes.

So that’s the basic idea for now. Going to be shooting more images of course. I’d love to create this as a Japanese Stab Stitch book, so that’s what I’m going to try. Will hopefully be able show on here how that’s done.

So that’s it for now, more to come!


I’ve also looked at a photographer who I admire very much indeed: Joe Cornish.


Joe Cornish is a British landscape photographer, born in 1958 in Exeter in England, UK. Using mainly 5×4 cameras, he has produced a lot of work for the National Trust and has featured in many magazines such as ‘Amateur Photographer’ and ‘Outdoor Photography’.


Cornish has published several books containing his images. He also teaches landscape photography and owns two galleries in North Yorkshire. His interest in photography started when he was studying art at Reading University. After graduating here he worked for four years as an assistant in London and Washington D.C.


For around a decade he used 35mm and 6×6 film cameras for his shots. In 1995 he started working with a Horseman SW 612 wide-angle camera and a year later he started working with the 5×4 cameras. It allowed him to develop the style that he is famous for today. He used these cameras up until 2008, after which he started to integrate four different digital formats. His love for large format work remains, but according to Cornish “times have changed”.


The way Cornish works is all to do with the landscape. Developing a language of light and form that illuminates the subject, without attracting too much attention to the photographer. This is very visible in his images and it remains at the heart of his mission, according to Cornish.

My personal opinion of Cornish’s work is one of admiration. I love his images. The use of light, the low angles of the shots and the colours are simply amazing. His choice of beautiful landscapes with always something in the foreground is beautiful. These images are a perfect example, when it comes to the colours, of what I want to see in my own images in this project. Where Cornish often photographs scenes of water, I’m going to try and apply all this to the hills and fields of the British landscape. Being captivated by landscape photography myself, Cornish’s work is something I would love to try and emulate in my own images. At this moment in time I think he’s my favourite landscape photographer. I just love these ‘dreamscapes’.


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For the landscape module, I’ve been looking at other practitioners that have projects and photographs that tie in with my own work.

Of course I have looked at Ansel Adams, an American landscape photographer and environmentalist. He’s famous for his large format black and white photographs of the American West.


Even though the large format cameras are big and heavy, take a long time to set up and the cost of film is expensive, Adams still preferred them because of their high resolution. This helped in making sure his images were as sharp as they could be.

He produced his first portfolio in 1927, which earned him nearly $3,900. A huge amount for that time. It was called Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras and it contained his famous image Monolith, The Face of Half Dome. It was at this stage that Adams felt his photographs were worthy of the world’s critical examination.

Adams was especially productive, as well as experimental, between 1929 and 1942. It was in 1931 that he put on his first solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, which featured 60 prints taken in the High Sierra. Over his 60 year career, Adams has put on many exhibitions. He also published in magazines, co-founded a magazine, wrote a childrens book with his wife.
He also founded Group f/64, together with Imogen CunninghamWillard van Dyke and Edward Weston after doing a group show at the M.H. de Young Museum in 1932.. This organisation was all about ‘pure and straight photography’, rather than pictorialism. This is quite funny really, because Adams’ famous Monolith photograph would have been unacceptable by their standards, because he used a strong red filter to create a black sky.
Adams has always been well known for his photographs of the National Parks in the US, especially Yosemite National Park, documenting what they were like before the influx of tourism. He contracted with the Department of the Interior in 1941, to take photographs of the National Parks, Indian Reserves and other locations. They wanted mural sized photographs for their new building. Part of the deal was that he could also use some photographs for his own use. Unfortunately, Adams forgot to record the date of his famous photograph ‘Moonrise’, which shows the moon rising above a small Mexican village, with snowy mountains in the background. Because nobody knows the exact date, it is unclear whether this photograph belongs to the U.S. Government or Adams himself.


Although I really like his work and will definitely be influenced by him a lot in my own images, my work will be in colour rather than black and white. My aim will be to portray the idilic British landscape and colour is crucial to achieve this. But I’ll try and use other things, such as his composition, in my own images.

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