When talking about photographing something or someone, the teacher of the workshop class that I am taking always says, "When you make a picture………." instead of, "When you take a picture…….." At first, I found this curious. I thought maybe he had misspoken, but then I noticed how often he said it. I only have one more class left of this semester and now it makes total sense to me. Sometimes we just record what is already there when we photograph it, but with journalistic photography it is different. What is or isn't included in the frame, makes a big impact on what is communicated to the viewer.
During our last class, we were broken into groups and given four different scenarios to "Make pictures" of. Working together using only what camera gear we had with us and the spaces that were available in the building, we went to work on our assignments .
The first assignment was to make a picture of a journalist who has been told that they have 24 hours to reveal their source, or they will be jailed.
Below is Ben, a group member. We tried to make the light a sickly color to convey the sick feeling. We used a green gel over the flash. There was too much shadow in this one. He is not looking at the camera because we wanted him to be thinking about his fate, not challenging it. This is not the picture we used.
This is the one we ended up using. The window reflecting the exit sign and the blinds gives the illusion of a public building, or perhaps a newspaper office. The crossed arms are meant to show strength and determination and again, the slightly downward eyes show contemplation.
The second assignment:
Make a picture of a bride or a groom on the morning of their wedding. Decide what their emotional state is and portray it in your picture.
We first decided that our group member, Olga was going to be the bride. She had a scarf on that she used to make it look like her hair was up in a towel as if she just gotten out of the shower. She also put the sweater she was wearing around her body like a towel. Off to the bathroom to make it look like she just got out of the shower.
We found the bathroom too tight to get a good picture in.We could see bars on the windows. This didn't work for us.
The reflection of "The Bride" in the mirror was a good effect, but you could either see me taking the picture or the paper towel dispenser if I moved out of the way.
The above photo is what we ended up with. We found this frosted door and put the flash on the other side to give this uncertain looking mood to our "Bride."
The third assignment:
Make a photograph of a free-spirit that is forced to work in his/her fathers corporate office.
Below are the pictures we took of Alex. We went with the last one. We liked how it was simpler, yet showed the stress of his situation in a tight cubicle.
The fourth and final assignment:
Photograph a good person in a bad place.
My turn to be the model. I happened to have worn a white shirt, which works for the suggestion of goodness. We searched for somewhere that would show "Bad." We found a dark doorway and we had Olga stand behind me with a flash that would give a glow around me.
You can see Olga behind me in these practice shots. We decided they didn't say, "Bad place" well enough. Seeing the bars on the windows, we decided to combine the dark doorway and the bars by moving me out a bit so you could see both the dark doorway and the bars. The resulting photo can bee seen below.
I thoroughly enjoyed these assignments. I sure am going to miss this class and the wonderful people that I met in it.
If you are interested in Photography, I highly recommend these workshop classes at The New England School of Photography.
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.