This week has been about thinking more closely about our photobooks. What I have been considering and planning has primarily been what kind of story I want to tell about cars through photography, and also how I will improve my technical and aesthetic practice when photographing cars.
So in my consult with Brian last week I was thinking about presenting my photobook like Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, in the sense that I wanted to go up to strangers with their cars and have a quick 2 min interview with them about why they like cars etc. What I want to get out of this approach is a humanising perspective of car culture.
In terms of my technical skills, this week I began doing some practice photography of cars. I practiced light painting, which i mainly done at night and involves having a really long shutter speed and then literally painting the car with light from a torch. My practice has proven effective so far. Now I need to practice composition and framing.
This week, having finished our PB3 on Strangers and Stories, we are starting our next PB which is the photobook/compendium.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do initially. I was going to do cosplayers, but it quickly became apparent that it would be a bit complicated and I would rather keep it neat and accessible and simpler for this project. So I’m going to do car photography.
We had pitches and feedback on Tuesday. Considering I tend to get easily nervous, I felt good getting up and talking about what I wanted to do. I felt as though one of the tutors who gave feedback was more discouraging than encouraging, whether she meant it or not. The session definitely made me think about how I want to construct my idea.
Something that I can already see myself struggling with is the technical aspect. Taking photos of cars, especially as a speciality or for commercial purposes, is difficult to make look good. I’m going to do some research, practice and get some help from friends and my partner who have more experience in it.
Having just finished our PB3 on Strangers and Stories, we will next week be starting on our final PB4, which is a photobook.
The only photobooks that I really know or have looked through include Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel and this gorgeous book from the Australian Ballet.
I want to do something about people who love what they do. I’ve thought of a couple of things: illustrators, comic book artists, cosplayers. I really like the idea of doing cosplayers. It reminds me of the TED Talk by Adam Savage about the culture and community of cosplay, and it would be a great opportunity to get an insight into the process of creating an idea of a costume and becoming a character.
This past week has involved finalising our photo essay projects for this assessment. I went into the Laundry Station this week for my photo essay, which is owned by the friend of my classmate Chynnae’s mum in Wyndham Vale.
What I wanted to convey in my photo essay was this notion that the laundry is a private space, but when we make it into a public space like a laundromat humans tend to find little bits of community and friendship even though they don’t go to the laundry to do so.
Technically, I chose to use a fixed 24mm lens for this shoot. The reason for this is that I wanted to expand the space that I was in and a wide angle lens tends to do this well. I wanted to create a sense of depth in the space. Additionally, I chose to use a fixed lens because I wanted to create an aesthetic consistency with my shots; I was aiming for a cinematic appearance to this photo essay. This created a difficulty for me in that I was more aware of how close I was to people, since I could not zoom in on figures. I noticed in editing that the edges were often more bowed out like a fisheye lens that I originally intended, but I find that aesthetically this creates a Wes Anderson-ish, quirky mood.