In this unit, It was time to establish myself as I had been given a lot of choices (in terms of my major project and a dissertation) which involved some research for the first few weeks in working or writing. For starters I had chosen the subject of Architecture which involved a client for support, a tutor at the University of Creative Arts in Canterbury who was also part of the School Of Architecture which was part of the UCA. I selected this opportunity because of it had a strong link towards my proposals of the third year course.
UCA Canterbury: School Of Architecture
Once I had this subject chosen, I visited the campus and was introduced to a series of events based on the subject such as exhibitions as well as some useful lectures the university had which could possibly help my development within the subject research.
Workshop rooms and a studio I found while browsing though the campus.
For these pictures I tried to use different angles to capture the building as the client explained that the canvas had a lot of history behind its structured forms.
My 2nd Development
For this day, I grabbed a Nikon D90 which was much like the Canon 5D which was a camera that the university would regularly recommend students using, mainly because of the size of lens giving more of a better depth of field as well as sharper focus. The shoot was mostly inside the building as I found it the most photogenic, the outside was more of a book cover like image where the key details were hidden inside, (corny I know). Initially, I tried to see what the architect students were up to and was quite eager to find out their briefs in case if it was beneficial for some more ideas, but to be honest, most of the briefs went over my head.
To make things a little easier for myself, I simply had a visual perspective of the area such as the practice models the architect students were designing which I found very fascinating, in comparison to the abstract images of the School of Architecture’s aspects such as different compositions of the building such as corners of ceilings, dangling light bulbs and edges of balconies, the handmade models had a rather more open approach since they were smaller allowing me to get visual access to their roofs as well a more interesting depth of field.
A workshop with architecture students developing dome structures.
My abstract angles on the ceilings
My 4 week Development
After the photoshoot, I discussed with a tutor about the models I was interested in which then I was suggested some equipment to use to create some interesting images for the future. In my opinion I preferred to negotiate the plans with the architect students who made the models themselves so then I would know what equipment to use to create the architects perspective within the photography handled by myself.
On a study day, I visited the UCA canvas in Canterbury, I honestly wasn’t feeling confident as I had been brainstorming for a few days so coming up with an idea was rather stressful at the time. After my breaks which gave me time to think, I eventually started to walk around the canvas looking for something to develop on. These pyramids were designed by Lawson who was still in development for his pyramid project. The models were interesting as they had this abstract look to them rather than a full shape, much like a miniature scaffolding which introduced new styles or perspectives on the Egyptian subject.
MY IDEA DEVELOPMENT
With the subject of pyramids in mind as well as slowly flowing with the development with less anxiety, I grabbed some wood and an A4 sized cardboard to create an Egyptian vibe to the work, it looked rather surreal than realistic which I thought suited the work the most. I could of improved this development a little bit more if the cardboard in the background had some more work put into in terms of its background usage, it had its creases which I unintentionally created since I thought about bending the edges to create a stand which didn’t work, so I used some sort of wooden block as a stand which was much better. The architect was interested in light and shadow which encouraged me to manipulate the compositions of the models with the balancing mixture of sunlight.
My 3rd Development
After the negotiation, the pyramid images in the end were argued more of as a manipulation of ones work instead of something being documented, as my role was indeed a photographer in residence which involves a little less creativity. At this point, I had to go back to the canvas and try and communicate with Lawson a little more in terms of explaining key terms like my feedback from my previous work as well as what I could do to fix the issues.
When I first met Lawson, I ended up noting his email address so I could contact him outside of working which was essentially useful, this led to him emailing me some of his project development on “furniture” which I had learn’t during this part of my residence experience. He sent me a series of photographs of some recent models he created with the same wooden material he used to design his initial pyramids, they were some sort of triangular combinations of abstract angles which were designed for furniture design practice (a mini version of the large antiques made for mass comfort).
Lawson’s 2nd practice models (photography by helpful colleagues of Lawson’s project who I unfortunately didn’t receive their names)
These images were honestly more of something I would talk about on this blog as I thought it was nice starting point, despite the same techniques in terms of background or space developed by the architect within the school, my own versions definitely presented the models much better than my “desert” space development from earlier as everything was a simple black tone along with a rather natural shade of sunlight for support. I was also happy with my depth of field as well as the compositions which brings a slight commercial feel to the images.
After those shots, I photographed some of the models outside of the area where the black paper was placed, I knew I had to try and document things but the visual reality was just a room with a lot of chaos in terms of the quantity of objects and how untidy they were organised around the room. However, I had the idea of taking a few designs and placing them in a particular composition and by also removing irrelevant aspects such as food & drink to make the space look more like a working space.
The main material I was witnessing in this workshop was “Medium Density Fibreboard” wood which Lawson explained that it was useful for laser cutting to create the shapes the architects wanted in order for them to create their miniature designs, I assumed that those models would be introduced to tutors before negotiating or planning a final structural development. Overall, for my development from then till this point, I had photographed a fair number of places and I had ended up narrowing down the courses to one in particular. I had made that decision as I was concerned if that if I did however choose a series of favourite photographs being a mixture of different courses, the client would perhaps be confused on my direction once again, as he was like that with the ambiguous pyramids I was working on earlier.
The 3rd year Architect’s brief/unit descriptor
This part of my photographic process was much better than the first as more information about the space was visually shown, however the next step was to print some A3 sized photographs as I hoped for them to looked good when printed as well as them being positively reviewed when negotiating about them in a tutorial. When I was shooting, the day was long which did involve some breaks as well as lot of talking with Lawson and other colleagues.
I remember having little thoughts of trying to photograph the personal side of the architect but I initially thought it would be digressional. After printing my 4 chosen images of the shoot, they were reviewed as I thought it would be helpful incase for further advice on how I could push myself even further. When negotiated, it came to my attention that the thought of photographing Lawson a little more was something I could of done earlier as it would create more of a concept more as just photographing some messy work on a desk was more of just some random images of still life.
My 4th Development
Once I had a these prints, I decided to have a tutorial for a little negotiation regarding the prints, overall the images were reviewed as workspace photos which what I was intending at the time but they could’t be final images as the architect wasn’t even shown in the images and a little more personality aside of the workspace would of created an actual concept. The next day, I went back to Canterbury and met Lawson again after sending some emails from the other day to update him on my stages, for this 4th development, I set the day photographing Lawson as my main subject along with some other aspects being his colleagues which I thought would also be quite an essential add to the images mainly to prevent the issues I had in my last shoot where there was a lack of content in some of the images (mostly regarding two prints, the glue and the ball of string).
During this development, I brought in a tripod so I could hopefully straighten some images a little better. It turned out it was useful for rather having the images more sharper or focused within their depth of field as the shutter speed needed to be below 60th of a second to get a few more clearer exposures as the weather was having an effect of the lighting on the space.
The shoot overall was mainly consistent for having myself as a photographer in residence to be following Lawson around the university space to capture him as a person as well as a worker for the CSA (School of Architecture). The images above show a variety of angles or visual interpretation of the architect, whenever it was him having a laugh with colleagues as well as myself, and attending mandatory sessions where I would follow and have a little experience of what It was like to be in Lawson’s shoes as a developing architect in his 3rd year. Once I was at the stage of choosing images to be printed I overall had two workspace images along with three images I liked from my latest shoot of the personality expression of Lawson.