Saturday, 7 May 2011

TPI - Assignment 11

This is where I had to put everything I had learned into practice and produce a set of images.  The whole process from start to finish.  Everything from the initial concept, visualisation, taking the images, processing and then selecting the best ones for a "no holds barred" review.

Ideally I would have liked to have completed a portfolio of Portraits but I knew it would be time consuming getting subjects lined up.  (I will do this in the near future).   My second choice was Seascapes which was made a lot simpler as I live on the coast.  Also, unlike portraits I could go and get the images whenever I wanted.  The only factors I had to consider where sunrise/sunset times and the tidal charts.

On reflection, I probably spent more time working on the presentation of the images rather than the actual process of taking the images.  I wanted to display my set of images in a consistent way, after all, the images where to be a set and I wanted them to look like that in every possible way.  Having said that I actually ended up with five long exposures and one normal exposure.  I guess that's down to artistic license ! 

Having spent so much time learning all of the science and technology of photography it was a welcome break to simply go out and take pictures.  I'm not saying that I ignored the "maths" but I think a lot of it is now almost second nature and so not getting in the way.  I tried to focus more on aspects such as composition, leading lines, contrast etc.  I'm also less trigger happy now, I used to snap away all over the place and come home with hundreds of images to process.  Now, with the aid of pre-visualisation, scouting for locations (and knowing where the sun is going to be) I pretty much know exactly what I am going to shoot, therefore, far fewer images to process.    

When you are sat in front of your PC post processing hundreds of images it is important to have a good efficient workflow.  My process has developed quite a lot while following this course but I'm still hindered by the 80-20 rule, i.e. rejecting the poor images (80%) can be relatively quick but then deciding which of the 20% you are going to keep can take forever.  Then there is the dilemma of keeping or deleting the rejects.  I have (on several occasions) reviewed previous work and picked out images that were overlooked first time around.  (Tip - regularly look through your previous work, it's great to see how much you have improved).

So, you've completed post processing and gone from 100 images to 10 but you only want to showcase 6 of them.  "You'll be remembered by your weakest image so it is important that they are all top drawer", this is what I have been telling my self constantly as it is the first thing you will hear when researching "how to create a portfolio".  It's great to get into this way of working and I'm quite comfortable now with my workflow and find it easy to discard unwanted images.  However, there is a down side.  When you spend so much time looking at your images you can start to get bored of them.  Sounds strange but its true.  By the time I had selected my final 6 images I was starting to doubt myself and the images and even thought about starting over.   

This is where your confidence needs a little boost and the quickest way to do this is to have someone else look your images.  So, I uploaded a few of them onto flickr and I didn't have to wait long before some positive comments appeared.  Simple, problem solved.  But as with all photographers you'll never capture the perfect image because once you do you want to get straight back out there and get a better one.

I was (without sounding modest) expecting a decent score as I put a lot of effort into the images and also the write up completed for each one.  The 10/10 was very pleasing but again the detailed feedback was much more valuable to me.

The final assignment doesn't require submission but I will be completing it anyway and reporting back on here. 

So that's it, I've completed the Photography Institutes'  "Professional Photography Course".

Thank you for reading and I hope that you have found this useful.