As a document of life on earth I think that my project has worked well. My images show a selection of people and some of their daily activities. Therefore I think that I have succeeded in my aim to create a piece of work that is both photographically and historically interesting. I have documented the work of the builder and mechanic as accurately and as naturally as possible, so given an insight into their working life. I am pleased with the images that I have produced and think that I have been able to put into practice my knowledge of camera functions, composition and post editing skills. As a body of black and white images I am pleased with the outcome.
Through my work in the darkroom to accompany this blog I have improved my printing skills and learned more about the functions of the enlargers. I have also experimented with new techniques to give interesting effects such as the tracing paper and plastic sheets.
Through the project I have looked into the work of some photographers that I hadn’t seen before and this has helped to inspire me and help me to guide my project in the direction that I took it. The work of James Ravilious has been particularly inspiring and I think that his work is a brilliant record of life on earth in the area and time that he was covering. His work, was the most influential on my project out of the photographers that I studied. The idea of following the subject around for a period of time like W. Eugene Smith also influenced my project and is how I decided to conduct my shoots.
Through the project I have also looked into narratives and story telling through photography and how elements within photographs, and captions to accompany, them can build a story for the viewer, whether real or not.
To extend the project it would be nice to document the work of other professions and equipment, giving a wider view of working life within the population. I could also combine this with the idea of narrative, and tell a story of a day in the life of each.
f/5, 1/320s, 18-105 at 52mm
This image is from the third shoot with the builder. I again like this shot as it show traditional builders equipment which could be many years old. For the image I used the largest aperture possible at that focal length to give a shallow depth of field. I have then placed the focus point on the fourth rung down so that each end of the ladder gradually becomes less and less sharp. This emphasises the texture of the wood where it is in focus, which if the whole ladder were in focus would perhaps not be such a noticeable feature of the image. I like the way in which the struts of the ladder come out towards the frame and the viewer.
f/5, 1/160s, 18-105 at 58mm
This image is from the third shoot with the builder. I like this image because it shows two traditional tools which have been used for hundreds of years before the introduction of electrical tools. They go back to days of craftsmanship, and represent the builders skills with his materials and tools. I like the contrasting textures and tones of the polystyrene, metals and woods. The stone dust and scratches on the tools represent the hard work of the builder. I think that the shadowing on the bolster works well with the handle creating a deep black shadow. The shallow depth of field works nicely to highlight the textures on the tools against the wood in the background. I have used a focal length of 58mm to frame the tools quite tightly and make them fill the frame.
f/2.2, 1/80s, 50mm
This image is from the garage shoot. I took this image with the 50mm lens so that I could use a large aperture. For this shot I have used an aperture of f/2.2 to give a large enough depth of field to keep the whole of the mechanic acceptably sharp, while shallow enough to put the background out of focus. This gives and interesting effect and reduces the effect of distracting elements in the background. I like the lines in this shot with the arms, metal bar and tire forming a triangle, and the body and tire two uprights. The oil on the gloves also hints at the nature of the work.
f/4.2, 1/15s, 18-105 at 30mm
This image is from the garage shoot. I took this image with a focal length of 30mm to give a wide enough angle to include the mechanic and a large section of the wall behind. I like the composition of the image, with the mechanic over to the right and the notes, MOTs and signs spread out over the wall. This tells you about the work being undertaken in the garage and the atmosphere that they work in. I like the way that the telephone wire trails out of the shot, and the mechanic’s animated actions.
f/4.2, 1/125s, 18-105mm at 30mm
This image is from the garage shoot. I again tried to take this image using my knowledge about composition. I have taken the image from a low viewpoint and placed points of interest in keeping with the rule of thirds. I like the contrast between the black of the chair and the white wall. The image also shows some of the old tools and equipment around the garage and part of the typical calendar on the wall. Bits and bobs like these give a clue to the character of the workplace and the people that work there. I like the textures on the wall and the rusting machinery.
f/7.1, 1/160s, 18-105mm at 38mm
This image is from the second shoot. It shows the builder on his tea break. I tried took use my knowledge of the rule of thirds to take this image and I think that it has worked. The face and the hands are roughly on the top and bottom right points. I like this image as it captures part of his daily routine. I also like the way it shows his typical builders clothing and the wear and tear to it, telling a story about his work and way of life. I also like the reflected patterns of the trees in the glass which provide an interesting background to the portrait.