For this project we have been tasked with taking photos which either sum up humanity or contemporary youth.
Before we started on the unit properly, we were introduced to the different methods and theory which goes into photography/photojournalism:
Rule of Thirds
The reason behind the rule of thirds is so that the photographer can produce an image which has a better balance, composition, and overall, makes it more engaging.
The idea of this method is to imagine two horizontal and two vertical lines when taking the picture, lining the main subject along these lines or at where they intersect one another.
To explain the use of this rule in regards to this photo, here is a description from the website Photographymad.com:
” Here the main subject has been placed at one of the intersections, and also along one a vertical line. The twig roughly follows the top horizontal line. The empty space at the bottom left provides balance and prevents the picture from feeling overcrowded.
Balance is important because if you put every element on one side, or in the middle as is the case with most amateur photographers, you run the risk of taking an uninteresting photograph.
Similarly to the Rule of Thirds, you will make the main focus of your image off centre, filling the void left on the opposite side of the photograph with a lesser significant object.
Framing is one of the more commonly used and easiest techniques when it comes to photography. It acts to add focus and more depth to subject.
You can use almost anything as a frame when taking a photograph – From door frames and windows to cave entrances, branches and the circle you can create when your thumb and your index finger meet.
These can be both intentional and unintentional features within an image, leading the viewer’s eye to or from the vocal point from one side of the photograph to the other, creating a real sense of depth.
Leading lines can range from being a straight/squiggly pencil line on a piece of paper, to a road, to a natural leading line such as a river.
I have chosen to concentrate on humanity as it would be easier to take multiple photographs which will conjure up human emotions rather than a single photograph which sums up an entire generation of youth – especially one which is constantly glued to their smart phones and the internet rather than doing something interesting.
I initially drawn up a mind map consisting of various human emotions which can be captured:
As you can see, I have marked out that I want to concentrate on the diversity, and the acceptance of diversity, as my main human theme.
This is mainly because I believe that acceptance is a very important quality within a human being, as well as modern democracy – It’s a very human thing to be different to everybody else and these should be celebrated, not oppressed. Finger prints are individual for a reason.
The first thing I did was I researched into the different aspects of diversity issues – such as a race, religion etc, and pinned them as inspiration:
Because I have a keen interest in sport, most notably Liverpool, I thought of ways in which I could put the two together. I thought about what goes into supporting a football teams – the pride of representing your side, having an expansive knowledge of what it stands for.
When you break it down basically, football supporters are essentially different tribes, so I looked into tribalism, making note of how tribes would paint their faces and bodies, a lot like very devoted sports fans do:
This gave me the idea to use double exposure, in which I would take photos of peoples faces and basically do THIS:
While experimenting I initially found it difficult, no thanks to bad lighting or Photoshop generally not doing what it was I wanted it to do for one reason or another that I couldn’t quite put on.
It’s not just football teams people can be proud of – they can also be proud of where they are from, or being in their favourite city.
When you look over the River Mersey at Liverpool, there is a shining example of a diverse city – Upon a brief piece of research you will find that it is home to Europe’s oldest Chinatown, as well as being famous for the Irish immigrants which found a new home there during the potato famine.
Because of this I researched further in to the cities famous landmarks such as the Cathedral, the Three Graces and the Albert Dock, which I planned to take photos of and use those images to try to do more double exposure images with.
Link to my Liverpool Pinterest board
Diversity isn’t always a matter of race or sexual orient – it can simple be a matter of elderly and young, old or new.
While walking alongside the Shropshire Union Canal it occurred to me that I could use the history of my home town within this project.
I only have to look out of my window to see what Ellesmere Port is known for nowadays – mostly Shell and the Cheshire Oaks designers outlet, but researching into the history shows that the canal played a huge part in the town existing in the first place.
What is interesting today is from the canal you can see the newer industries Ellesmere Port is known for shadow it’s humble beginnings, which gave me the idea for the old/new photographs.
I’ll be honest – The idea of using M&Ms to show diversity was just something that came to me while looking in the sweets aisle in Asda.
As THIS shows, I wasn’t the first ever to demonstrate diversity with M&Ms, but upon further research there weren’t many photos/art works which shown it.
The idea of recreating Earth’s land with the M&Ms was essentially my way of saying we all may look and be different but we’re all the same – Human.