FMP Experimental Shoot 5 – Wildlife

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FMP Experimental Shoot 4 – Birds of Prey

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Using Photoshop, I carefully sharpened the image to draw the audience towards the face, including the eye, beak and textural details in the feathers. The Magnetic Lasso tool allowed me to select the background and reduce saturation, drawing attention to the strikingly bold coloration within the face of the bird, and particularly the bright yellow colour circling the eye. Not only does this capture the audience, but the resolute stare of the hawk holds their attention. A slight crop provided the image with an aesthetic composition, with the eye within the centre point of the top third of the image, allowing the audiences’ view to then flow down the body, following the feathers.

Brno Del Zou

The work of Brno uses a variety of images to conform as a group into a large, abstract picture that can be viewed by the audience as an abstruse face, caused by a variety of perspectives. His use of installations also allows for a depth within the layers, causing them, when presented, to cast shadows which add to the dramatic effect of the piece, as well as obscuring photographs that Brno does not necessarily want to be the initial focus of the audience. This effect is empowered by his use of black and white, as the shadows almost blend in to the overall piece, and contrast well with the harsh spotlight that draws out the brightness within the piece.



This effect is very similar to what I am attempting to achieve, albeit more perplexing because of Brno’s use of excess features and perspectives, whereas I endeavour to create a vague realism in my installation. This will be achieved by creating an installation whereby the pieces are proportionately balanced, causing the overall image to be easily viewed as one. However, my variety of subjects will create a diversity within the installation, offering a hint of complexion to the image.


Brno Del Zou Influenced Experiment


FMP Experimental Shoot 3 – New Forest Ponies

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Using PowerPoint, I created a rough mock-up of a basic formation, using four images. This allowed me to crop my images, and resize them to achieve the correct proportions. However, within the final installation, since the pieces will transparent I aim to use some overlaying to add depth and details, which I will need to experiment with in advance of creating the final product.

Furthermore, the use of only four images made the image altogether quite dull, which indicates that my final outcome will require a substantial amount of components in order to create a more substantial impact. This may also be beneficial in reducing the stark contrast of perspective within my photos, as a wide variety of portraits and macro shots will be used to create one image and may not be entirely harmonious.



Francesco Sambo

Developing the theme of creating a bond between humans and animals, Francesco Sambo creates fantastical pieces featuring hybrids between people and a variety of animals, causing the audience to question their ties with familiar species as opposed to seeing them as altogether different from us. His use of nude models is indicative of nature, and creates a direct reference to how close we are to animals. This is further induced by using body language that directly correlates with the expressions captured in his animal subjects, offering a distinct link between our own instincts and reactions with theirs.


Despite not being typical within the field of pet portraiture, Sambo has created pieces that form strong connections between man and beast, and cause the audience to think. I feel that this impact can be replicated within pet portraiture in an abstract way, featuring owner and pet within one outcome that demonstrates a bond, and therefore connection.



Francesco Sambo Influenced Experiment


As a subtle interpretation of Sambo’s work, I added donkey ears to a female model, using Photoshop. This was achieved using the Magnetic Lasso Tool to carefully select each ear individually, copying and pasting it onto my background image at an appropriate scale, and then using the Marquee tool to softly feather the base of the ear into the model’s hair, as well as softening the edges of the ears to give them a natural, fluffy look.

I feel that this response made a relative link to Francesco’s work, however the link of pet and owner is not clearly definable. Therefore, I feel that this experiment is conceptually a failure, despite being of skilled competence. As a result, I would not return to using this concept in future when creating a pet portrait themed shoot, however the techniques used in Photoshop were beneficial and may be useful for future work, including lifting a subject from one photo and placing it on an artificial background.


Emily Hancock

Many photographers focusing on equine or pet portraits endeavor to capture personality and establish a bond between animal and human, as their client will cherish the outcome(s) likely longer than they shall have with their beloved pet. Hancock’s work is no different, using subtle contact between the equine subjects and their owners in each portrait. This instantly causes the audience, typically the client, to see a relationship between the subjects and creates an emotional warmth to the photograph.


In addition to this, Emily uses a variety of locations within her shots. With equine based work, locations can be quite limited due to transporting the animals, and therefore typically the photographer will have to travel to their client. However, using familiar locations, such as the horses’ stable, can also have a large impact on tying an emotional response to a photograph when viewed by the correct audience (such as the horses’ owner). This effect can be achieved also by photographing in favorite riding spots, paddocks and other frequented locations, where memories can be linked to the image.


Additional work by Emily:


Emily Hancock Influenced Experiment


In response to Hancock’s work, I decided to replicate her technique of forming bonds using touch. A local stud approached me to capture photographs of their newborn foals, and I used this opportunity to capture images of the owners’ first physical interaction with one of the colts.

Since my favourite work of Emily’s is black and white, I decided to adopt this into my experiment, carefully adjusting each colour using the ‘Black & White’ tool in order to manipulate the tones within the photograph when reduced to greyscale. I sharpened the image slightly and cloned out the distracting horses in the background, before adding a subtle vignette. Overall, these effects drew the attention to the connection, both physical and emotional, between the equine and his owner, as well as reducing distraction both from colour and background.


This experiment was successful, as I feel the subtle touch resonates emotional ties as seen in Emily’s work, as well as having created a well composed and edited photograph. The soft, greyscale tones also had a positive impact on the delicate subject, enhancing the tones and textures seen in both the foal and the outreached hand.

FMP Experimental Shoot 2 – New Forest Ponies

During my first shoot in the Forest, I had gradually tested the boundaries in which the ponies felt comfortable with me, and deciphered how close I felt I could be before they were threatened by my presence. Due to spending much of the shoot a distance away, I decided to return to the same part of the Forest (name unknown) in order to try and capture more successful outcomes.


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After experimenting with creating a vignette and liking the outcomes, I decided to experiment using the same technique but increasing the brightness, rather than reducing it. The effect created was an overexposed border around a well photographed subject, and did not have a positive impact on the overall photograph like the vignette, as the surroundings became quite harsh and bright, detracting from the horse.


As a development on the effect of lightening the surroundings, I decided to attempt to create a mist around the horse. Whilst this may have created an interesting effect, my own outcome was poor and therefore the experiment was deemed a failure.


FMP Experimental Shoot 1 – New Forest Ponies

For my experimental shoots, I decided to plan a long weekend visit to the New Forest. The picturesque environment is home to over 3000 free-roaming equines, as well as donkeys, cattle and boars. This provided a variety of subject matter within the realms of equines, since they cover a wide range of types and colours, as well as offering an ideal setting, lending itself well to indefectible backgrounds.

For this shoot I was equipped with my Nikon D7100, with my 70-300mm Sigma lens for optimal zoom abilities. With suggestions to remain a lengthy distance from the equines for safety reasons, it was imperative that I be able to capture close up portraits and macro shots from a distance.


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For these outcomes, I experimented with using techniques that I have found effective within my research, with examples found in Catherine Dashwood and Lindsay Robertson’s work, using Photoshop. To do so, I first subtly sharpened the images (and straightened the first image, balancing the mare). Following this, I reduced the saturation using the ‘vibrance’ tool, and then used the burn tool to softly darken the edges. This, however, caused those areas to appear highly saturated, and so I edited the vibrance again before saving.

In order to create a neater, more prominent vignette, I then experimented with using the marquee tool, with a feather strength of 200. I inverted this, then reduced the brightness and increased contrast. These effects, matched with the reduction of vibrance, create a soft and natural feel to the photograph, and while the model did not offer a pose allowing for better composition, I feel that this outcome is particularly striking after post-production editing.

Final Triptychs

My first final triptych is focused on the town park and Harlow bandstand, which is now for the most part in disuse. This location has been a large part of my life, due to it being one of the largest open spaces within the town. Throughout my childhood, it hosted the most frequented playground, and from then onwards became a route to secondary school. Since then, it has been a place for social interactions and photography, as well as fitness and recreation.

Image result for harlow bandstand



First Mock Up



For my second mock up, I focused on light. I decided I wanted to capture a variety of themes, including community, nature and travel. In order to create a successful triptych following these themes, it was important to find a commonality among the three, which I concluded to be light. These concepts are valued to me as throughout my life I have been encouraged to embrace or celebrate them, and have therefore grown up with them.



Second Mock Up



For these shoots, I experimented with the concept of having my models facing the camera with obscured faces.