Research- Duane Michals

The sheer size of this book is what mainly caught my attention when I was researching different types of portraiture. Upon looking inside I discovered the numerous portraits that Duane Michals has photographed of famous people. The composition seems to be different in all of them, which supports my previous findings that show that diversity keeps the whole thing more interesting. His use of lighting to place emphasis on certain characters of the face, such as the human eye, and how he cleverly manipulates the ambient light around him has inspired me to really try and think of different compositions. The image that particularly grabbed my attention was the one of Andy Warhol and his mum. The way that he has composed this image, with Warhol himself in focus, but stood behind his mother who is out of focus. Through composing it in this way it makes us as the viewer wonder the story that is behind this picture, and what the reason is for them to be stood in this. The photograph makes you ask questions and gets you talking, which I think is a really good technique at getting a photograph noticed.

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Interview with Leslie

There was one clip of footage which I had really wanted to include in my film of a man named Leslie who used to be a reporter. I had a less formal interview with him whereby he explained what stories him and his friends used to cover, some of which were horrifying. However it is so hard to make out what he is saying in some parts of it, so much so that even to attempt to put subtitles over it, it would be hard to distinguish what it is that he was saying in the first place. In addition to this there is talking in the background which is very distracting as it was filmed in the communal room. Furthermore, there is a lady who is sat next to him grinding her teeth really loudly, so much so that it sounds like a loud clicking noise, as if there is something faulty with the camera.This was such a shame because his interview was really nice, however I still may include the visuals from it in my three minute video and maybe parts of the more distinguishable audio.

 

Third draft of video

In preparation for my third draft for my video I went back to Greville house just to shoot in the grounds outside. For example I re-shot the beginning scene of the sign and placed it upon a tripod this time so that the footage is steady, which looks more professional. Additionally, I also shot just a clip of the trees outside, as I found when asking peoples opinions on my video they had said about the part where one of the residents is feeding the birds, you don’t see what she is really doing because the food that she has for them is concealed by her hat, through providing the tree it gives more context to that scene. Also I moved the audio to a bit later on the part where she says that they have a few characters and its on Betty folding napkins, as I feel that this worked better however its not completely flowing still.

Research- The Metrograph

The next short video that I decided to look at was The Metrograph, which was about New York’s classic theatre and this mans journey into creating it. The lighting at the beginning is subtle and romantic, which runs parallel to him explaining his love for film. There is a gentle piano playing in the background, which adds to the romanticised effect. The opening shots that we have of him just reveal parts of him and we don’t actually see his face until it cuts to the part where he is sat down on the sofa talking directly to the camera. Throughout the video it keeps cutting back to the film reel, which re-instates that this is about original film. Included are lots of panning shots, often at a wide angle so that we can see as much of the rooms as possible and appreciate the grandeur of the place. The narrative is complemented by the visuals, as often what he is talking about is then being shown on the film, this is something which I may try to replicate as it joins the audio and visual together well. Incorporated is quite a lot of zooming in and out of objects, especially food, which adds more interest. Throughout the whole clip it keeps on referring back to him and the film, implying that this is where it all started from, and his love for films has stayed with him throughout.

Second draft of video

For my second draft I decided to add music into the background to make the footage flow a bit more and fill in the spaces where there was no voice over. I chose the audio from a copyright free website called Bens sound, I tried to pick something that wasn’t too distracting so that it didn’t detract from the footage itself. Furthermore, I still had the background noise overlaid on the music, so that you didn’t loose the sense of atmosphere. In addition to this I reviewed some of my filler shots and adjusted some of them to suit the narrative more. I also added some more close up shots as I realised that my previous footage only had a couple in, and they work well to break it up more. I do still feel as though some of my transitions are still too disjointed though. I also feel as though the opening shot of the sign for Greville house is messy, as in the camera is shaky and there’s a lot of clattering in the background, which sets you up to believe that the rest of the film is going to be like this which I definitely don’t think works well.

Shoot Three- Contact Sheets

I think that so far this has been my most unsuccessful shoot due to the problem of lighting again. I have tried preiviously to bring in a flash, however this was denied as it would have upset some of the residents. I did take them in raw so tried to bring some of them back, however because I used such a high ISO they were very grainy, which didn’t look good. This shoot was taken in the afternoon on a dark and rainy day which didn’t help the light. Next time I need to start shooting earlier to make the most out of the available lighting. contactsheet-0011contactsheet-0021

Research Bill Brandt

In regards to my images that I have to produce I decided to do some research into photographers who capture people off guard and going about their lives. As it might be nice for some of my photographs to have a similar feel. The photographer that I looked at was Bill Brandt and his book homes fit for heroes. In which he photographed families in their homes. The photographs are all in black and white and taken on film. What captured my attention was how diverse he has managed to make each of the images, some of them are just of one person specifically, whereas others are of the whole family. As well as this, he has them all in different environments around the house, from cooking in the kitchen, to sleeping in their beds. I though it was good how he hasn’t decided to make all of them up close portraits, and has also included images where he has stepped back and taken it from a wider angle. Additionally I thought it was good how in most of the images the family pay no attention to him, making it looks as though you are looking in on this family, as they are unaware of the cameras presence, this is something which I would like to try to include in my work, as I feel then that the viewer feels more as though they are witnessing what really happens in their homes as they are not acting up for the camera. In particular I thought the photo below where the photographer is outside the room looking in on the lady sat in her chair works well as its unique to the others, and we truly feel as though we are witnessing something that is not staged or set up.

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First draft of video

For my first attempt at making a video I decided to gather all my footage together and look through it, making notes as to which ones worked well together as a sequence. I decided to use the footage I had of one of the carers as the main body of the film. Her narration flows throughout the footage. However, what I did find was that I didn’t quite have enough footage of her talking to fill the whole 90 seconds, consequently there are sections where no one is talking. Even though I did have other filler shots I felt as though it might not flow as well because the filler shots would have been on something different. Due to this I feel as though it can be a little disjointed at times. Additionally, I think that the transitions between each scene can sometimes be too distracting. However, for my first draft I thought it was okay and it gives me some points to build upon and work with. Furthermore, I found premier pro itself simple to use, I did try to brighten some of my shots, as again some were too dark to use which was a shame. But when I tried to brighten them they either turned out slightly grey, or because I had to se such a high ISO the grain was too prominent.