Saturday, 30 April 2011

B&^%y British weather!

It can be odd, being a photographer - you're never quite satisfied. Take now: most of the population are basking in glorious, unseasonably fine weather. Me, I'm cursing it every morning that the sun shines. I'm not being Mr. Grumpy about this, it's just that I need to get my project shoot finished and, for that, I want overcast days.

The problem I have with the current weather is harsh shadows. A nice layer of not-to-thick cloud eliminates those and suits my subjects much better. Also, I've started in that light, and I want the whole set to be consistent.

Fortunately, there's still time for our weather to be its usual self and change dramatically - except that it'll probably go from sunny to chucking it down without passing through any intermediate stages.

So, whilst you're out there soaking up the rays, think of me looking up and crying: "cloud over, dammit!"

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Emma's Update

I haven't blogged yet about my project, so I'll start with a brief intro.

My project focuses on teenagers in pursuit of 'something to do'. I have been following and photographing different groups for the past few months in a variety of locations. I have had my fair share of excitement from getting muddy in 'Maggie's Cave' to being chased by a security guard. "You only live once", was the encouragement one of the teens said while trying to persuade others to go into an abandoned hospital. 

I'm using an Olympus 35mm SLR with flash. My choice of film is transparency. I'm using this as it increases the contrast and the colours are more vibrant.

Below is one of my shots -

As well as documenting them and what they get up to on the streets, in parks or in each others houses I am also using video to produce 'moving portraits'.

I'm in the early process of getting them all to stand still in front of a black background alone for 2 minutes. This allows the viewer to study each teen and then make up their own opinion about them. Being in front of the black background alone isolates them and displays some vulnerability through feeling awkward or embarrassed. Also, when asked to answer a random question the teen gives the viewer a better understanding of their character. A picture captures the essence of the moment. A video captures the complete moment.

Below is a video still -

I'm still not 100% sure of the title but I do quite like 'Friday Night Flash'.

Thats it for now, will keep posting regulary for here on, Emma McKay.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Minute by Minute

Well I thought it was about time for me to put some stuff up about my project. Its called Minute by Minute and will be a series of portraits, mostly self portraits I think...

The idea is capture the ever changing form which is the individual or self. I plan on doing this through long exposures then using darkroom techniques or digital equivalents (not quite decided yet, more experimentation me thinks) mash them together to make a really cool composite type thingy! When you add all the times up it should be about a minutes worth of exposures hence the name, maybe even each one will be a different day or something...

Anyway, the resultant image will be an expression of who I (or the model) was for that minute, on that day etc etc etc

Casey Carlin

Saturday, 2 April 2011

On rediscovering the joys of walking around

By Graham Douglas

originally posted on

I've been doing a bit of walking around the backside of Manchester recently for my final project at college. Following the Bridgewater Way gives you a new perspective on areas that you thought you knew well. Distances change, for example - a long-ish journey by road is actually quite short along the towpath; five minutes by tram becomes half an hour on foot.

What you also see from these alternative paths are some stunning examples of the graffitist's art. The illiterate scrawlings that pepper the well-travelled areas bear no relation to some of the stuff you can find in these out-of the-way places. Who would have thought that this sits underneath the A56 in Stretford:

Under the bridge

Lovely, vibrant colours and sense of joie-de-vivre. It has no point other than to exist, and maybe bring a smile to someone's face and the secret knowledge that you've seen it, but all those thousands passing a few feet above have no idea.

If this project's done nothing else for me, it's persuaded me to explore the back ways and byways much more than I have before. You never know what little gems might be out there.

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