Assignment 3 – Technical considerations and shooting process.

A total of 314 photographs were taken for this assignment (link to annotated contact sheets), of which 23 were shortlisted and 9 made it to the pre-final selection (see below). Some are straight, one-shot images without significant manipulations (other than for adjusting lighting and converting to black and white) but many of the photographs were created in post-processing by combining various exposures, using techniques similar to those I already explored for part one of this course (link). Some of those images that were captured directly in camera make use of sequential strobes over a single long exposure shot to capture multiple impressions of myself, a technique first popularised by Harold Edgerton (link) (1) and which I had explored in a previous OCA course (link). Another set was done by capturing body movement over a long exposure, this time by taking advantage of ambient light only.

All images were cropped to a 2:3 aspect ratio and shown in landscape, to maintain uniformity of presentation. Every image features me or parts of me only. The final selection of images is shown below with some commentary on the how the images came about

Image 1: 35mm lens – 1/320s at f8. ISO 50. This image, initially devised to convey fear, particularly of being harmed, was taken during a field trip to the Sussex coast in which I was experimenting with long shadows under strong, lateral sunlight. Both the shadow and hand shown are mine, but the image play on the idea of being attached by a stranger. The image is essentially a straight shot but the shadow was manipulated in post-processing to enhance impact. The building, a beach hut, had a bright yellow front wall (left hand side of the frame). I decided to convert this to black and white to eliminate this as a distraction.
Image 2: 35mm lens – 13s at f22. ISO 50. GN 43 Flash fired three times during exposure at 1/8th power. This image, taken to convey a state of frenzy, is a single long exposure where ambient light was reduced to the minimum level and a strobe was fired repeatedly to freeze my movement.
Image 3: 28mm lens – 15m at f8. ISO 200. This image, taken in total darkness, is part of a series meant to capture my movement while sleeping. It was achieved in a single exposure and there was not manipulation other than to adjust lighting, crop and convert to black and white.
Image 4: 90mm lens – 1/60s at f8. ISO 4000. Initially part of a study on subject placement and negative space, this image evolved to become an exploration of self-inflicted anguish. The image is the result of combining three exposures in post-processing.
Image 5: 41mm lens – 1/30s at f4 – ISO 2500. This image was taken with a relatively slow shutter speed to intensify its tension. Both the face and the punch are mine, but I used a shirt on top of another one to create the illusion that somebody else is trying to punch me. This was all captured in a single shot without manipulation in post-processing (other than to adjust lighting, crop and convert to black and white).
Image 6: 41mm lens – 1/20s at f4. ISO 200. This image, derived from a similar still I captured of my cat escaping through our flap door, was intended to illustrate an entry on my diary about fate. A slow shutter speed was selected to emphasize the movement of the legs. The image was created by combining two exposures in post-processing.
Image 7: 34mm lens. 1/8000s at f13. ISO 6400. This image, which tries to comment on the quest for happiness, is the re-imagining of a picture taken before I started this assignment. The final image is the result of combining two exposures taken in different places under the same lighting and exposure conditions.
Image 8: 90mm lens – 1/60s at f8. ISO 800. This image, which is a commentary on obsessiveness, is the result of combining 9 images as layers in post processing.
Image 9: 42mm lens – 1/60s at f8. ISO 1600. This image, which was taken to illustrate feelings of paranoia, was in part inspired by the portraits taken by David Bailey of the Kray brothers in the 1960s (link) (2), as well as by an article from The Guardian explaining how lower relative height can increase the feeling of vulnerability and paranoia (link) (3). The final image is the result of combining three exposures in post-processing.

All images shown above were used in the final presentation except numbers 4 and 8. In the case of image 4, I decided to leave it out because I felt there was another image that fitted better the text I wanted to use as caption. In the case of image 8, I felt that the connection between the concept I wanted to illustrate (obsessiveness) and the image itself was too vague, and the diary excerpt I had for this idea was not sufficiently related to the image itself.


(1) Michael Hoppen Gallery. 2018. Dr Harold Edgerton | Michael Hoppen Gallery. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 06 February 2018].

(2) DAVID BAILEY (b.1938) , The Kray Brothers, 1965 | Christie’s . 2018. DAVID BAILEY (b.1938) , The Kray Brothers, 1965 | Christie’s . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 08 February 2018].

(3) The Guardian. 2018. Height perception and paranoia | Science | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 08 February 2018].


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