f/5, 1/250s 18-105mm at 58mm
This image is from the second shoot. I have chosen this image as it shows the builder at work with an old tool which isn’t used as much today. I took the image in such a way so that the plank of wood comes out towards the viewer and forms a visual connection between the viewer and the builder. I like the concentration in the face and the textures on the hands and the face. I have cropped the image slightly and made it black and white with quite a high contrast to make the blacks dark which I like. The image shows some of the skills of his trade.
f/2, 1/500 s, 50mm
This image was from the first shoot. I took this image with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. I chose the aperture of f/2 to give a deep enough depth of field to put most of the shoe in focus, but shallow enough to put the rest of the background out of focus. I think that this has worked well and the shoe stands out against the hedge which is very out of focus and has a bokeh effect happening with the light coming through the hedge. I like the lines of the image and the different textures of the shoe and the ladder. I like the image as it shows quite a lot about the builder and his work. It is hard, wearing and dirty work and this can be seen in the shoe. I have documented the editing of this image earlier in the blog.
With my images for this project i have kept the editing to a minimum and have done little more than would be possible in the darkroom. I have done this because I want to keep the images as documentary and truthful as possible.
The first editing I have done is in the RAW Photoshop menu. Here you can make adjustments to exposure, tint and temperature as well as many other settings. I have kept this to a minimum though. I also made slight adjustments to the levels which can be adjusted by selecting Image > Adjustments > Levels. I then moved the black and white markers in to eliminate areas on the scale which had no information.
For my images I have decided to make all of my images black and white. I have done this because black and white is traditionally associated with documentary photography and it suits this style of project. I have done this in Photoshop. You do this by selecting Image > Adjustments > Black & White. Then in the Black & White menu that appears you can choose various options such as preset black and white setting or manually select the tones within the image. For my images I mainly chose a preset selection depending on its effect on the image.
I also changed the contrast and brightness of the images to enhance them. This can be done by selecting Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. You can then increase or decrease the brightness and contrast of the image on the scale which pops up. For most of my images I have gone for quite a high contrast as I like the appearance of deep blacks and brighter whites.
The last editing I have done is use the dodge and burn tools on some images to brighten or darken certain areas and the cropping tool to improve composition in some shots.
This is an example of my editing with one image that I have edited.
This is one of my images from the second shoot with the builder. I took this shot to show him at work – it shows some of the tools and techniques that he uses, and I like the fact that he is getting covered in wood dust. No goggles and gloves shows his relaxed attitude to health and safety. I took the image on my D90 with the 18-105mm lens at 18mm. This has given a wide angle and enabled me to include a lot of the scene in the shot. The wide angle has also brought the builder out towards the viewer and he fills the whole of the left of the image. I have shot the image on an aperture of f5.6 to give a large enough depth of field to keep the builder and tools in focus, but put the background out of focus, isolating the foreground subject and reducing distracting features in the background. I have taken the image with the builder on the left hand side using the rule of thirds. The sander is roughly on the bottom left point where the lines would meet, the face roughly on the top left point, and the body up the left vertical line . This I think makes the image more interesting to look at compared to if he was in the center. The shutter speed was 1/125, selected to give a correct exposure, while being fast enough to freeze his movement and camera shake, giving a sharp image. I have turned the image into black and white using Photoshop – in keeping with the other shots in my project and giving a more documentary feel and also giving the images a more timeless look. Turning them black and white also removes colours which may distract the eye and adds atmosphere to the images.