Author Archives: maccphoto

Final Major Project Images From Level 3 BTEC Photography

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Its been very quiet of late on the Maccphoto blog, all effort has been put into getting the second year BTEC photography students through their final year (results of the fruits of their labour below!). However, the BTEC Extended Diploma students have now finished their final major projects and, in turn, passed the course! The exhibition went really well with lots of very positive feedback from the general public. Below is a small taster from each students final project. We were incredibly proud of every single one of the students and we cannot wait to see what work they produce in the future either at university or in the big wide open world! Below are a selection of the final projects…

Kane Adamson

As a photographer Kane has always been preoccupied with colour, for his FMP he has carried this tradition on and has produced some beautiful still life images of frozen flowers trapped in ice. The project is incredibly vibrant, fresh and at times abstract. Kane is looking to sell some prints of these at the local ‘Treacle Market’ so if you’d like to purchase any of his prints get in touch at matt.davenport@macclesfield.ac.uk and I’ll pass the message on. Here’s what Kane has to say about his project: “I wanted to encapsulate the colours and vibrancy of spring, before the blossom withered and died. To do this I froze the flowers in water and then photographed them with a macro lens. The result is an abstract selection of the colours and shapes of spring”.

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Alexandra Dewhurst

Rather than using a camera for her final project Alex instead decided to use a scanner, she manipulated her images by asking her subject to move around as the scanner sensor passed over them the, result is a compelling and surreal series of images that illustrate the distorted view that young people can have of their identity.

Alex say’s: “The concept behind this work is linked with the chronic mental illness ‘Body Dysmorhpic Disorder’ which means people can be obsessed with a minor or imagined flaw, individuals think they have a defect in either one or several features of their body, which causes psychological and clinically significant distress.

Using the process ‘scanography’ for my FMP, creates the idea of someone being trapped-unsatisfied with their reflection when they look in the mirror, which can be perceived and emphasized through the scanner. Images made with the scanner appear as if the person is stuck behind the screen, like they are emotionally, linking with my concept of a person being insecure about their appearance, almost as if they feel like a prisoner inside a body they do not want”.

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Faye Dixon

Faye has produced a really interesting portraiture project for her FMP. She created psychedelic repeated patterns in photoshop and then projected them over her male and female models. Inspired by 60’s psychedelic art Faye said: “Peter Blake and Roger Deans music related art have inspired my project, it was my intention to incorporate people or portrait photography into psychedelic art”.  

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Dean Holland

Dean has produced a really unique body of work. He started off by going out and shooting street photography on 35mm film, he then produced a number of 10X8 silver gelatin prints in the darkroom. After evaluating his work he wanted to see where else he could go with the project. Inspired by a variety of contemporary artists, he went about cutting the people out of the prints and replacing them with fabric that he felt represented them. Dean says:  “Appearances aren’t always as they seem, everyone is judged by the way that they look. So what if that ‘look’ was removed and replaced with something that represented the person? That is when you see the open book, not just a cover”.

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Aaron Munro

Aaron’s project is based on the demise of analogue technology and the rise of digital capture in contemporary photography. The images were shot using a long exposure technique in the studio. Aaron chose to shoot his project using a medium format studio camera, the images were then scanned digitally. During the scan Aaron manipulated the scanning process, degrading the image, causing the digital artefacts on the final images.

Stephanie Walden:

Stephanie is primarily interested in macro photography. This particular project was inspired by contemporary fashion/product photography. Stephanie has produced a surreal series of photographs of eyes, overlaying textures and altering the eyes slightly in photoshop, here’s what Stephanie has to say about her work: “I love finding abnormalities in everyday life, and I try to use my camera as a tool to investigate how some things can look perfectly normal until you take a closer look and then they reveal their inherent weirdness”.

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I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of the BTEC photography students, you really have produced some outstanding work over the past two years and its been a pleasure teaching you all. If anyone is interested in purchasing any of the prints get in touch at matt.davenport@macclesfield.ac.uk and I’ll pass the message on to the students.

Matt

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by | July 1, 2014 · 12:46 pm

Long Live Film

Earlier this year, Indie Film Lab, a lab dedicated to film shooters, decided to take a road trip. It was from Montgomery, Alabama to Las Vegas, Nevada. During that time they made a documentary about it. It is called “Long Live Film” on the trip they talked about why they shoot film. They talked with other photographers about how they feel about film photography. In essence its about their love of film photography.

Via: http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/11/19/long-live-film-documentry-live/

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Dodge and Burn Look in Photoshop in 20 Seconds

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Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
Gaia, The Birth of an End © Kirsty Mitchell

Part tribute, part conceptual photography, part exploration of costume and set design, Wonderland is an ongoing series of portraits by UK photographer Kirsty Mitchell. After the loss of her mother in 2008, Mitchell found herself in need of a creative outlet to grapple with the emptiness that often follows the death of a loved one. To fill the vacuum, Mitchell began to revisit fragments of fairy tales her mother would share with her as a child and decided to use them as a starting point for a series of elaborate portraits that would make use of her background in fashion design and costume making. The resulting images would form a storybook without words, a sort of visual narrative that people might project their own stories onto.

Everything you see in Mitchell’s photos from the costumes to the sets have been sewn, painted, glued, and assembled completely by hand, requiring up to five months of preparation. By the time of each photoshoot, which generally happens in the woodlands around her home, an elaborate scene has been constructed that the photographer says is akin to a miniature movie set, complete with lighting and assistants, let alone her absurdly patient models.

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
Gammelyn’s Daughter © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
Gammelyn’s Daughter a Waking Dream © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
The Ghost Swift © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
The Last Door of Autumn © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
The Guidance of Stray Souls © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
The Faraway Tree © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
The Storyteller © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
The Queen’s Armada © Kirsty Mitchell

Wonderland: A Fantastical Voyage of Remembrance Through Portrait Photography by Kirsty Mitchell portaits conceptual
A Floral Birth © Kirsty Mitchell

Now five years later the Wonderland project has practically consumed Mitchell’s life. The photos, which total 69 pictures, have gone thoroughly viral around the web and have opened up entirely new avenues in her artistic career. Mitchell has just announced a collaboration with FX Media, who is helping to shoot a full-length documentary about the final 10 photos in the series, including a 5-minute behind-the-scenes clip detailing the preparation for each image, the first of which, Gaia, you can watch above. Mitchell also recently exhibited with Italian Vogue and was made Nikon UK’s Ambassador of Fine Art Photography in July of this year. You can learn more about her work via her website and get info on limited edition prints here.

Lastly, please do not use Mitchell’s Wonderland images on your billboard, t-shirt, coffee mug or shower curtain without her permission. Seriously. She’s an exceptionally kind person to speak with and will be thrilled to hear all about your amazing ideas for her work. All images above courtesy Kirsty Mitchell. (via PetaPixel)

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How To Shoot Street Photography

The popular gadget website ‘Engadget’ has recently produced a series of videos that show some of the countries leading street photographers in action. The photographers give us some good tips on how they shoot street photography and also an insight into why they choose to shoot street photography.

See below for the videos…

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Macclesfield College Pinterest

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For those of you who haven’t been and had a look yet we have put together a Maccphoto Pinterest board with interesting pinboards on such subjects as: ‘Photography Sketchbook Examples & Advice’ and general ‘Tips and Techniques’ go and take a look when you get a spare second.

http://www.pinterest.com/maccphoto/

for those of you who haven’t heard of Pinterest before, its an incredible learning resource that allows you to create online moodboards, this could be to gather inspiration for a particular project you have in mind or it could be a place to collect links to great online photography tutorials.

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Expert Advice: Print Portfolios

Via the amazing site: A PHOTO EDITOR

I’ve had the opportunity to consult with hundreds of photographers over the years, and while I love working on websites, promos, or creative coaching, print portfolios have always been my favorite. Just as art buyers tell us how much they enjoy the chance to thumb through books at meetings, I love to see the work come to life on paper. Photographers will sometimes ask “what’s the best kind of portfolio?” to which I can only respond, “well, that depends…” and launch into a questionnaire about budget, marketing strategy, overall brand, and zodiac sign.

You need to consider a number of factors to help you choose the type of portfolio that will serve your needs:

How much to spend? Like all marketing materials, a portfolio is an investment. It’s going to require time and money to put together, and you need to decide how much of each you can realistically afford. The biggest consideration is just how big of a part this book will play in your marketing plan for the coming months/years. If you are going to travel, meet clients as often as you are able, or attend a lot of portfolio events, the book is critical and needs to be a priority. Similarly, if your goal is to get more advertising assignments, expect your book to be more critical to successful marketing. On the other hand, if you are shooting mainly editorial, your website is going to do most of the heavy lifting. A book is still a must have, but may not require the same level of investment.

What are you going to show? Your website is a much larger piece of real estate than a print book. A good book edit shouldn’t exceed thirty spreads. I have seen books come into our office that are gorgeous, but so lengthy that I jump forward ten pages at a time, even though I love the work. It’s better to create an edit that is short and sweet, with every page a superstar, than to risk a potential client skipping right past a winning shot.

If you shoot strictly one thing, like automotive, the choice of what goes into the edit is pretty much made for you. If, on the other hand, you shoot industrial, corporate portraits, and food, one book might not be the best way to go. Creating a single book that is geared towards several different types of clients doesn’t effectively serve them, nor will it benefit your own marketing goals. Consider the types of clients you shoot for, would like to shoot for, and how much they will realistically want to see your book. You might decide that it makes sense to have two or three separate, specialized books. And remember that you might not need to include everything you shoot in a book at all!

How will it compliment your brand? A web portfolio can have infinite variations in design and edit, but in the end it shows up on a screen. The presentation options at your disposal for a printed piece are pretty much limitless. As you start thinking about the look and material that your print portfolio should have, I recommend you grab a friend to brainstorm. A consultant, editor, or other trusted collaborator will do nicely. Think about words that describe your photographic style, and consider materials that speak to those descriptors. Are you shooting bright, cheerful, kids lifestyle? Maybe steer away from the carbon fiber binding or glossy, cool-tone paper. Photographing surfers and rockstars for edgy youth brands? The stoic leather book with plastic sleeves might not be best for you. The materials you choose to work with can work like a logo; not the star of the show, but can go a long way to reinforce your visual brand and create a more polished, memorable presentation. Here are a few of the more common print portfolio styles I recommend:

iPad: Not a print portfolio per se, but it can be useful in meetings. If a client calls without much notice, you can download an app like padport or foliobook, and build a presentation in a couple of hours. It can be most effective as a supplemental tool; containing your motion reel, and a very broad range of images to share if the client asks about work not seen in your book. Looking for something versatile and a little different? Take note from Mark Katzman, whose portfolio consists of a walnut box with a built-in iPad as well as printed images.

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Pros: Fast and flexible for in-person meetings.

Cons: If you don’t already have one, they aren’t exactly cheap. Also not a good option if you are shipping for a client to review. They might have a hard time figuring out where to find the work without you there, pushing the buttons.

On-Demand book: These days, there are dozens of options for printers, some are very inexpensive, and they generally top out around $400. While your options for sizes, papers, and cover materials will be limited, there is nothing stopping you from gussying the book up yourself. Matthew Carbone printed his book with Artifact Uprising, then worked with a local press to imprint his logo on the cover. Letterpress, slip cases or a clamshell box, you can use an inexpensive book as the basis for your presentation, not the final product. Many companies will have set numbers of pages that they accommodate, so you will have to take that into consideration when editing. Check out a full list of printing companies on our resources page.

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Pros: Cost effective and convenient. Upload your layout to an online template, get a book a week or two later!

Cons: No control over printing. You send images off and hope for the best. Prints are not interchangeable, so when the time comes to update, you need a whole new book.

Screwpost book: The ol’ standby. Usually just two covers held together with long screws. Traditional materials are usually leather or cloth, but a custom bookmaker like Nicole Andersen can help you get creative and build a presentation that will stand out. If you choose to skip the custom route, companies like Pina Zangaro and Lost Luggage offer slick, modern covers in metal, acrylic, carbon fiber etc. I’ve also found some beautiful wood books on Etsy.

Roger Snider’s book is one of my favorite examples of getting creative on a budget. We used an inexpensive Pina Zangaro aluminum book that was customized to reflect his brand of big rig truck photography. Roger didn’t have to break the bank to make something memorable and distinctive. All we needed was a good idea and a really, really good painter. View Roger’s full portfolio here.

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You can find a few types of paper drilled and scored, ready to pop right into one of these bindings. If you’re not afraid of a little hard work, you can always cut and punch the pages by hand, as I have done when building books with luster or glossy papers. Some paper vendors sell sample packs of double sided papers, so you can pull a few test prints before you commit to the stock that’s best for you!

While plastic sleeves have largely fallen out of favor, they are unquestionably convenient and shouldn’t be ruled out automatically. Creating single prints and loading them into sleeves is worlds faster and easier than printing double sided. Constructing books with double sided prints has more than once left me in a screaming rage, pacing the office and violently threatening the printer. If you are in a hurry, sleeves can save the day. Better to have a current portfolio with prints behind plastic than an outdated book.

Pros: Very customizable, whether you work with a bookmaker or portfolio manufacturer. Lots of options for sizes, style, and material means you can create a look that reflects your style and brand. The same goes for papers. Pages can be removed and replaced, so once you have invested in a good binding, the cost of an update is just paper and ink.

Cons: Will almost always require a larger investment of time and money compared to an on-demand book.

Box of prints: I don’t see this done too often, but it can be quite effective. Nick Nacca put together a great example; a nicely branded leather box packed with sturdy prints. What makes his portfolio clever is that each print includes his logo and contact information right on the front. When he is meeting with clients and they comment on a particular image, he invites them to keep it. So he is essentially using a box of leave behinds in place of a bound book.

View Nick’s portfolio here:

Pros: Completely flexible, easy to update and replace images. If you are in a meeting with multiple creatives you can pass prints around and keep everybody’s hands busy.

Cons: No real control of sequencing. Depending on your style and edit, this can be a deal breaker.

Especially if it’s been a while since you put together a book, I know the number of choices can seem intimidating. Thoughtfully considering your branding, work, and marketing strategy can help you whittle down these options and create a book that you and your clients will love. Whether you spend $20 or $2,000, the most important thing is to have a book! If you have strong photography and a comprehensive edit, your stylistic choice for presentation will only serve to enhance an already strong portfolio. The short answer to the question, “what’s the best kind of portfolio?” is really, “the one you have ready for meetings.”

For more video examples of print portfolios, check out our YouTube channel. If you would like help editing and designing a print portfolio, or any other promotional materials, send me an email! You can also find links to on-demand printers, portfolios, and bookmakers on our full resources page.

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by | October 16, 2013 · 9:55 am

Figures and Fictions: Jodi Bieber

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http://www.vam.ac.uk/channel/people/photography/figures_and_fictions_jodi_bieber/

South African photographer Jodi Bieber’s Real Beauty series was inspired by a Dove advertising campaign that put ordinary women of all shapes and sizes on the billboards. Bieber translated the idea into a South African context and encouraged women of black, white, Asian and coloured backgrounds to take part. In this film Bieber also talks about the iconic Time Magazine cover of Afghani woman, Bibi Aisha which recently won the accolade of Photograph of the Year in the World Press Awards.

Via: http://www.vam.ac.uk/channel/people/photography/figures_and_fictions_jodi_bieber/

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by | October 14, 2013 · 8:08 pm

The Art of Photography Podcast: Sohei Nishino

The incredibly talented Sohei Nishino, creates large scale ‘joiner style’ dioramas using 35mm contact sheets cut up and spliced together. The work was first brought to my attention a few years ago when the Guardian ran a feature on the artist’s work, however, the brilliant ‘Art of Photography’ podcast recently published a brilliant video of the artists work. Take a look below:
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    Sohei Nishino: New York

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    Sohei Nishino: Hong Kong

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    Sohei Nishino: Tokyo

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    Sohei Nishino: Rio de Janeiro

  • Sohei-nishino-3-berlin

    Sohei Nishino: Berlin

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    Sohei Nishino: Shanghai

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    Sohei Nishino: New York (detail)

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    Sohei Nishino: New York (detail)

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    Sohei Nishino: New York (detail)

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Guy Archard’s ‘Almost’

Some of the second year BTEC students studying towards their module in ‘Experimental Image Making’ may want to take a look at the work of Guy Archard. Does his technique look familiar? What materials do you think he uses to create his photographs?

Archard’s work is an enigmatic exploration of beauty and decay both in the physical and metaphysical form. Abstracted images take the viewer on a poetic meander through relationships with loved ones past and present, accompanied by pondering day-dream fixations on everyday objects.

http://www.phasesmag.com/almost/

 

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