Assignment 2 – Collecting -Rework

Lucy Courtney 513637 – Assignment 2 – Collecting


Create a series of between six to ten photographs from one of the following options, or a subject of your own choosing:
– Crowds
– Views
– Heads
Use the exercises from Part Two as a starting point to test out combinations of focal length, aperture and view point for the set. Decide upon a single format, either vertical or horizontal to lend coherence to the series.


 Using my own mother as a model, I took a number of shots with her in various scenarios, highlighting a number of issues relating to the older generation. Loneliness, social isolation, fuel poverty, unhealthy life style, physical and health problems, these being some of the issues which affect over three and half million older persons today.  Source Mail on-line

There are 10 images in this series, taken at various settings and focal length. As dof is the focus of this assignment, the camera was set to aperture priority. The colours are muted and in one or two cases, intentionally under or over exposed in order to evoke a stronger sense of emotion. The images were shot from various viewpoints in order to give the desired message, making sure that all the elements needed in the scene are included in the image.  It was not necessary to include the models full face in all the photographs, as the whole image, not just the expression was required to tell the story.  The captions are important as they are a contradiction to the image, which will make the viewer think about the scenario.  The whole series knits well together following one format. All these images were processed from RAW files. None have been cropped.

I have reworked the assignment after the tutors report, and thought further of the order of the images. I have taken ‘the day’ into account and started with getting up and coming down stairs, early morning, mid morning and so forth.  This makes effective use of the images when related to what usually happens during the day.

Some of the inspiration came from young photographers who took photographs for age concern at this link . All these were of happy occasions relating to family and achievements in old age. I wanted the opposite,  I needed to make the model a universal older person, who everyone could relate to, and the problems that person has in everyday life.

In my research I came across photographer Isadora Kosofsky, who at a very young age was able to capture emotion and such intimacy of the older person in her images. In three different series of photographs,  ‘The Three’  ‘The Existence’ and ‘Single’   she was able to portray 3 differing stories relating to the older generation. I found her work inspirational, in that just because people grow old, they are still people, with feelings, emotion and desires.

Since reading of Karen Knorr and her use of captions in photography, I have wanted to use the same process myself, I think title/caption make the viewer think about what they are looking at. As Karen Knorr say, it will create a 3rd meaning. The text says one thing, the image says another, but both together will leave the spectator making up their own mind on what the ‘whole’ is saying.


Image #1
Caption – Full of Vitality and Go 
f/5; 1/3;  ISO100; 55mm

What worked well
The shot was taken looking down on the model and the full face is shown.  The lady’s face says it all. This expression could be similar to the expression of a young person going to the gym might look like after a few hours hard physical training. The newspaper on the stairs is advertising fitness with fits in well into the scene and the agony felt with the physical excursion. The slight under exposure makes the scene cold and pales the skin, adding to the scenario of discomfort and pain.

What didn’t work well
Initially I wanted the model to stand by the stair lift chair, but the whole balance of the image would have been to heavy on the left. Sitting does work but it meant that the newspaper had to put on the stairs. I wanted to have a cold feeling about the photograph so I experimented with  the white balance, to give a blue tinge.

How the image be improved
As it is I don’t think I would change anything in the image


Image #2
Caption – The Banquet Breakfast Feast
f/3.5;  1/6   ISO100;   18mm

What worked well
Taking the over shoulder shot worked well in getting the two slices of brown bread into the image, together with the magazine depicting the pizza feast on the counter top.  Shallow depth of field works well, muting the microwave and kettle, which are there to show the model is in the kitchen. In addition, the pizza feast image in still in enough focus for the viewer to make out what it is.

What didn’t work well
It would have been better if the bread was more in focus, but this would have meant the the other objects were in focus too

How the image could be improved 
Maybe taking the shot with the sandwich made?


Image #3
Caption – Happy Days Texting
f/6.3;  1/15;  ISO100;  43mm

What worked well 
Because of the angle taken, there is just enough of the models face in the shot, to show the anticipation of waiting for a call from someone, with an expression, almost willing the phone to ring. This is a total opposite to todays culture where people are in constant contact using text and social media. The hand on the phone, as if caressing it adds to the emotion I want to evoke.

What didn’t work well.
This shot is as I had planned.

How can the image be improved
This is how I planned the shot so would not change it


Image #4
Caption – Visitors for  Tea and Coffee
f/5;1/8; ISO100; 42mm

What worked well

The reflection in the tv worked very well, being more in focus and showing the opposite to the caption, in as much as there is no-one coming for afternoon tea. The model is out of focus, while the reflection is clearer. To this elderly lady, she only has herself for company. Holding the tv remote is the invitation for friends to come and join the model for a nice cup of tea. The muted colours add a little emotion to the image. In reality, you may be holding your mobile, calling friends to come along and meet up.

What didn’t work well
I wanted the model to be a little more out of focus, but the environment was rather cramped. I tried to take the shot so that you only see very little of the model but I needed the reflection to be in full.

How the image may be improved
I would have the model wearing darker colours, with a cup of tea in the foreground.


Image #5
Caption – Meeting Up With Friends
f/5.6; 1/5;  ISO100;  18mm

What worked well
The dof I required worked well, as did the angle the shot was taken. I wanted to give the impression that the model was now with friends, part of the scene, inside the tv. While the model is almost in shadow, the important part of this image is that she is there amongst the people on the tv, allowing her to be part of the conversation.  The bright colours against her in dark shadow add a sad sense of emotion.

What didn’t work well
Nothing, I got the shot I wanted


Image #6
Caption – Sunbathing On The Beach
f/5.6;  1/6;  ISO100;  55mm

What worked well
The composition worked well, with the holiday magazine in the foreground and the fire on the 3rd to the left.  The orange and black blanket being knitted, adds the idea of the model being cold.  Fuel poverty is portrayed as only one bar of the fire is on. The colour of the fire is reflected in the face, which is looking toward the heat, as one might, when they are sunbathing.

What didn’t work well
The light coming from the conservatory in the top half of the image should be muted so that the glow of the fire works better.

How can the image be improved
Remove the clutter from the top half of the image and draw the blinds to make it darker.


Image #7
Caption – Quality Time With Your Soul-mate
f/6.3;  1/15;  ISO100  39mm

What worked well
The shallow depth of field worked well, with the image of her deceased husband in full view.  The empty space below his portrait reflects the empty space she now feels that he is gone. Whereas, the model’s head and hair, just covering the photograph of herself in her youth, takes up all the space to the left. Using photographs of them in their youth, adds to the feeling of loss, whereas a young couple may spend quality time together, a paradox to what we see here.

What didn’t work well
This shot turned out as I wanted

How the image can be improved
I don’t think I would change it


Image #8
Caption – BBQ Time With Friends & Family

What worked well
As in image #4, using a magazine in the foreground giving the viewer an idea of the season, worked well with the caption. Again the shallow depth of field puts the emphasis on the magazine, but using the tv image with shrubbery on the screen, reinforces the garden theme and acts as springboard to imagining the scene, a family bbq in the garden.

What did not work well
Holding the magazine at the right distance from the model, and at the right angle to get the wording in focus was very difficult due to the fact that I was working in a restricted space and the magazine was too close to the model.

How the image can be improved
Perhaps having a table beside the model to hold the magazine. but I would have to make sure that I can get the angle of the shot right.


Image #9
Caption – Party Time
f/6.3;  1/6   ISO 100;

What works well
The slight under exposure was intended and I wanted to ensure that the room was on the dark side. When we think of a party we think of low lights and dancing and music. In the background there is a cd player which I hope will be noticed by the viewer on a subconscious level. The wide focus takes in all the objects and props used in some of the other images in the is series, and hopefully making the viewer think about the images that have already been seen. The dull tones and muted colours, go further to evoke an emotion in the viewer.

What didn’t work well
Nothing, it’s as I planned

How the image can be improved
It says exactly what I want it to say, so nothing else.


Image #10
Caption – Being Popular and the Centre of Attention
f/20;  4;  ISO100  32mm

What worked well
I am really pleased with this image.  I used a slow shutter speed and hand held the camera to get a ghost like appearance. This is depicting the person who is there and yet not seen, like many of our elderly today. Here the lady is depicted as a non entity.

What didn’t work well

How the image can me improved
This image is exactly what I wanted


Project 2 – Lens Work

Project 2 – Research Photographers
Fay Godwin
Ansel Adams

Links to Part 2 Exercises
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.1
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.2
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.3
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.4
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.5
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.6
Part 2: Project 1: Exercise 2.7

Link to Drop Box for photographs used in this assignment



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