Summary of Project and Development Log

Project Summary

To summarise, my project involves a series of both street and staged photographs. I am trying to see whether staged photography can have the same level of liveness and spontaneity that street photography has.

My Findings

My whole project up until this point, from my initial proposal, to my development log has been done with a high research approach. I have researched thoroughly into the topics of street and staged photography, mobile phone photography, and black and white photography. I have also gone further and analysed the work of some street photographers even deeper, and looked more into ways to make my photographs have a sense of liveness. Overall, doing this amount of research has enabled me to gain a good understanding into my project. I am now ready to implement my findings into my practical work and hopefully will be able to capture a range of photographs which show this. 

My Photographs

Overall, I am going to capture all of my photos on a mobile phone and I will aim for all of my photographs to be black and white, have a high contrast appearance and have a slightly darker exposure, this will hopefully make them all look very cohesive as a collection of photographs.

The Definition of Street Photography

I would also like to mention two definitions of street photography – which are what I am going to be following throughout the capturing of my images. Quite simply, street photography is ‘a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place’ (Britannica, n.d.). And to reiterate what my personal definition of street photography is, as mentioned in my proposal, ‘a photograph taken in the street of a singular moment in time (including a living thing)’. Overall, this is the guideline that I will be considering when taking both my street and staged photographs. I will most likely need to think about this definition more when capturing the staged photos compared to the candid photos. I will need to try and make the staged photos naturally seem like they are singular moments taken in the street, to really capture the feeling of liveness.

Reference:

Britannica (n.d.) Street photography. Available online: https://www.britannica.com/art/street-photography [Accessed 06/05/22].

Additional Planning

Safety and Potential Problems

I would like to address some possible problems that I may encounter when capturing both the street and staged photos. I feel like any potential problems will most likely happen when I am capturing the candid street photographs. I will essentially be taking photographs of strangers and people may react unpredictably to me taking their photo if I were to be caught as some people don’t like having their photo taken, or some may wonder what I am doing. As stated, I am taking all of my photographs on my mobile phone as it should be a subtle and unobtrusive tool – I think that if I use a mobile phone many people won’t even notice I am capturing them on a photo. If, in the event that someone were to approach me I would have to use my initiative dependant on the situation and in the event that they were unhappy with me taking their image, I would have to delete it. Hopefully though, this instance will not happen as I am confident enough that I can judge the situation well and I will only be capturing a photo if I myself feel comfortable with the subjects, and as stated, I will be going about it in a very subtle way. Also, as stated in my earlier blogpost, I will be blurring the faces of anyone who ends up in my photographs who haven’t consented to their photo being taken so I can always explain this to someone if they were to ask. 

In terms of any problems that may arise with the staged photographs, my model is consenting to his photographs being taken, so that isn’t an issue and I won’t be blurring his face. Other members of the public may end up being captured in these staged photos, but that again fits into what I previously spoke about. We will just have to make sure everything is safe in terms of his equipment being out on the street, in terms of possible damage, or in the event of possible theft. To help prevent this from happening, we will make sure to take care handling the equipment and we will never be leaving anything unattended/won’t set up our scene anywhere where we feel at risk. 

Overall, when capturing the street and staged photographs, I will be considering general health and safety. This includes having good awareness of my surroundings, as I just stated earlier for the staged photographs, but I will also need to consider this when taking the street photos as I will be alone when taking these images which can be quite a vulnerable position to be in. I will ensure I feel comfortable in the locations I am capturing the photos and will use my initiative. 

Finally in terms of potential problems, I would like to mention a more personal problem that may arise. I personally already enjoy photography as a hobby, and I mainly like to shoot architectural street photography, where generally, I try to capture the least amount of people as possible in my work. I often get anxiety in social situations, particularly if there are lots of people, for example in busy streets. For this project, I will really be pushing myself due to it being centred on taking photos of people in the street. This is something that I really wanted to do though, to not only push myself out of my comfort zone to help me gain more confidence, but to also help to improve upon my skills as a photographer and branch out into other genres to help me become more creative. I will have to work on trying to not feel awkward or even embarrassed when taking peoples photos, which I often do. To combat any anxiety I may have, I will be taking photographs in locations that I know well and I will only take a photo if I feel comfortable in doing so, I will also be able to take breaks if needed. 

Weather/Lighting Conditions 

I am also going to be putting some consideration into the weather conditions when capturing my photographs. This isn’t because I am concerned by the weather, but more about the different types of lighting the weather gives. I personally like to take photos when it is quite cloudy/overcast as I find that this produces the best type of lighting. Ideally, I am going to try and aim to capture the photographs (in particular the staged photos which I already have more control over) in this type of weather condition.

However, obviously, the weather is very unpredictable and I have to acknowledge that I may not necessarily be able to sit and wait around for my ‘ideal’ type of weather and lighting conditions to take the photos in, as I may miss out on some interesting photographs. I am more than likely just going to have to adapt to the situation on the planned photography days.

If it were to be raining, I won’t be doing the staged photos, due to not wanting to damage any of my models musical equipment, but I do feel that rainy candid street photographs can be really beautiful, so I will definitely attempt to still capture some candid photos on these days.

If it were to be really sunny, this can help add to the high contrast look that I am going for but also sometimes photographs taken in this type of lighting has the tendency to turn out really over-exposed, to rectify this I would either try and find somewhere a bit more shaded, not shoot in very bright, harsh midday sun (which can often cause unflattering shadows) or alternatively, edit the exposure more in post-production editing. 

Costs Involved

Overall, my project won’t really involve any costs at all. I already have the phone which I will be capturing the photos with, and I also already own the back-up camera in case of any problems with the phone. The photo editing app, Photoshop Express that I will be using is free and already on my phone. I will also be using the regular desktop Photoshop to blur the faces, this I already have on my laptop. The only costing will be the petrol costs and parking at some of the locations which I will be covering. 

Timescale

Due to the nature of my work mostly being very spontaneous, I won’t be able to make a really rigid and strict plan. Instead, I will be allocating potential photography days by looking at my schedule, and seeing when in the timescale I could possible go out and capture the photographs. On these days, I will also be considering the weather conditions as mentioned previously, although as stated, I don’t want this to be too much of an obstacle. I also need to consider that even if I do go out with the intention of capturing lots of photographs, on some days I may not necessarily see anything worthy of capturing, which is why I am going to try and allocate as many days and times as possible so that I can have as many opportunities as possible. 

The staged photographs require slightly more planning as I am going to be considering not only my, but also my models schedule so these will require slightly more planning, and the planned days for these will need to be stuck to better. 

Above shows my gantt chart that I have created so I have a timescale to go by

As seen on my Gantt chart above, my project is going to be split into two parts. Throughout April, I am aiming to do all of the photo capturing, and I am planning on editing the photos as I go along, as stated I can do this easily on my phone. The next stage which takes place in the first two weeks of May, is the final stage ready for the project deadline on the 17th May. During this time I will compile all of the final images and do any final touches which may include things like taking some more photos if I feel that I do not have enough. Hopefully, by sticking to this timescale as well as possible, I will be able to complete the project in a reasonable amount of time before the deadline. 

Here is a calendar I created where I have highlighted possible photo capturing days for April 2022

Finally, I created a calendar of April 2022 where I have highlighted possible days where I will be free to go out and capture photos. As seen on my calendar, the possible days for the street photography are highlighted in black, and the staged photos are highlighted in red. The red days are the days I have checked my model is free. Some of the days are split into morning and afternoon too, depending on my plans. Also, on the allocated staged photography days, I may be able to capture some candid street photography too, hence why some of the days are both colours. Overall, I may not end up going out photographing on all of the highlighted days, or I may end up adding in additional days and times when I find I have spare time, but this is just a vague guideline I will try to go by.

Making my photos appear staged

My final project is going to consist of a portfolio of photographs taken in the street, some will be completely spontaneous and some will be staged, they will all be displayed alongside each other so the viewer won’t necessarily be able to tell them apart. 

The spontaneous photos won’t require too much planning, as the name suggests they need to be taken very candidly. They will involve me spending time in some of the locations that I have previously outlined, and looking out for interesting street scenes with my phone at hand ready to capture them. The staged photographs will require more planning than the spontaneous photos. A big part of the staged aspect of my project will be attempting to make the photographs look convincingly spontaneous.

Liveness

To help me with making the staged photos appear spontaneous, I decided to read the book ‘Liveness’ by Philip Auslander. Despite the fact that the book is mostly focused on performance in theatre and TV/film, I felt that I would be able to apply some advice from the book into my own project, because essentially, my model will be ‘performing’ for my photographs. 

One such instance would be where Auslander talks about ‘the pleasure of live performance as deriving from interaction with others’ (Auslander, 2008:76). For this, I may try to do some photos where my model is playing music but looking straight into the camera, almost as if he is giving eye contact to the viewer which will hopefully help to create a ‘bond with the performer’ (Auslander, 2008:76) and therefore make the image seem live. 

Another example I thought was quite helpful for my work is where Auslander discusses how in television, ‘events from outside are transmitted into the viewers home’ (Auslander, 2008:16) and how ‘the position of the television viewer relative to the image on the screen was often compared with that of a boxing fan sitting ringside or theatre-goer with the best seat in the house’ (Auslander, 2008:16). This can link to my photography work, in that I will need to consider the angles and directions that I take my photos in, to capture the best possible view of the scene to help make the viewer feel as if they are part of it, and again, add to the liveness. I am going to try and ensure they are all taken at a height that a regular person would be viewing the scene. For this, I will just take them at regular street-level, stood up and holding the camera in front of my face. I would like my photographs to have a sense of liveness to the viewer, almost as if they are really seeing the scenes through my eyes at the time it was captured – that they are in the audience watching a performance by the busker, or walking past him in the street. 

Staged Photo Ideas

Overall, my staged photos are still going to be taken in the street and not a studio, this is so that the staged photographs still look very cohesive alongside the candid street photographs. The staged photographs will all be focusing on a busker, modelled by my partner who is a musician. Here, I have started thinking about some potential photographs that I could capture, thinking about the photographs I have researched in my proposal, by considering the potential locations and by thinking about my findings from the ‘Liveness’ book. 

As stated, my staged photographs will be focusing on a busker so I will definitely be taking multiple photos of him performing, and for some of these I will definitely take inspiration from my findings from the Liveness book and include some photos where he is looking directly into the camera to give a sense of interaction and liveness. 

However, I do not want all of the staged photographs to just be of him performing – I wanted to have a look into doing some photographs depicting the moments of his life both before and after the performance. These may include:

  • Wandering around trying to look for a good busking spot
  • Setting up the guitar
  • Counting how many coins he has received
  • Walking down the street carrying his guitar bag
  • Waiting at the bus stop to go home

I will be capturing some more staged photos in addition to the ones mentioned above, many I am going to figure out on the day of shooting as new ideas will most likely come about when I am on location and already directing the model. 

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

In addition to my findings and thoughts about making my photographs seem spontaneous and having a sense of liveness, I would like to acknowledge the work of Sociologist, Erving Goffman. Goffman has explored the ways in which we all act differently in social situations, depending on the situation and setting. He compares how we present ourselves within social situations to actors in theatrical performances. In particular, Goffman uses the theatrical terms ‘front’ and ‘backstage.’ ‘Front stage refers to actions that are observed by others, […] an example of a front stage would be the difference between how one would behave in a business meeting versus how one behaves at home with family. When Goffman refers to backstage means is how people act when they are relaxed or unobserved.’ (Crossman, 2019). 

In terms of the front stage, Goffman explains how the setting in which an individual is in plays a big part to this ‘performance.’

First, there is the ‘setting’, involving furniture, decor, physical lay-out, and other background items which supply the scenery and stage props for the spate of human action played out before, within, or upon it. A setting tends to stay put, geographically speaking, so that those who would use a particular setting as part of their performance cannot begin their act until they have brought themselves to the appropriate place and must terminate their performance when they leave it. (Goffman, 1956:13)

I found this idea to be interesting for my work, as essentially, when my model is in his ‘setting’ (on the street ready for busking) surrounded by his ‘props’ (such as his guitar and microphone), if I went by this theory, my model will basically already be presenting himself differently in this situation, regardless of any direction by myself. 

Overall, I found Goffman’s concept to be very intriguing. In a sense, there will never be a way to capture a true ‘liveness’ of anyone, even within candid photography because we are all always somehow putting on a performance or act depending on the situation, even if we are simply just walking down the street.

References:

Auslander, P (2008) Liveness performance in a mediated culture. Abingdon: Routledge

Crossman, A (2019) The Meaning and Purpose of the Dramaturgical Perspective. Available online: https://www.thoughtco.com/dramaturgical-perspective-definition-3026261 [Accessed 31/03/22].

Goffman, E (1956) The presentation of self in everyday life. Monograph. University of Edinburgh. Available online: https://monoskop.org/images/1/19/Goffman_Erving_The_Presentation_of_Self_in_Everyday_Life.pdf [Accessed 31/03/22].

Location Planning

For the potential location ideas for my photographs, I will be focusing on places where I will be able to travel to easily and reasonably quickly. I am also going to focus on places which I have already spent a lot of time exploring so I will therefore know my way around and know the areas/streets with the best potential locations for my photographs. Overall, the three main places I will be taking my photographs will be Hull, Beverley and York. As I am based in South Cave in East Yorkshire, all of these places are within easy travelling distance to me. Hull and Beverley are both about a 20 minute drive away, and York is the furthest at 1 hour which I still feel is very reasonable and I frequently like to travel there for leisure anyway so this won’t be an issue. I also may end up going on some spontaneous days out/trips elsewhere but I always carry my phone around so will easily be able to capture any interesting sights. 

Here, I am going to highlight some potential streets and areas that I could take photos in, both what I feel will be suitable for both spontaneous and staged photos. They are all places I have visited previously, so I have selected them as I think they will have interesting back drops/are busy streets with potentially lots of interesting people to photograph. Here, I will also explain my reasoning for choosing each location more in depth. 

Hull:

Overall, I feel that Hull city centre has some great backdrops due to the wide variety of architecture (both new and old) which should result in a variety of photographs. There are multiple areas of Hull city centre that I would like to focus on:

Fruit Market:

The Fruit market area is a very vibrant and creative part of Hull. Humber Street is the main street within the area which has been recently re-developed, many of the buildings are former warehouses from when the area was a fruit market due to the nearby dock but it now houses independent restaurants and shops but most have retained their warehouse style appearance giving way to some unique architecture. The marina is also here which is always full of boats, and there’s also the nearby Murdoch Connection pedestrian bridge which links the fruit market area to the old town. 

Queen Victoria Square:

Queen Victoria Square is a very central and busy part of Hull, where multiple streets meet. Many architecturally interesting buildings surround the square such as the City Hall, maritime museum, Feren’s art gallery and Princes Quay shopping centre. There is lots of seating areas, some fountains and a large statue of Queen Victoria atop a pedestal with stairs and benches surrounding it. Near to Queen Victoria Square, there is also Paragon Arcade, a Victorian shopping arcade which has beautiful architecture and often has people sat outside the cafes and walking down the archways. 

Central Outdoor Shopping Streets:

The central outdoor shopping streets of Hull may also be good options for photographs. They mainly consist of King Edward Street and Jameson Street, which are both busy thoroughfares with lots of shops, cafes and businesses. There is also a large mural of three ships where the two streets meet which may provide a good backdrop for example for a wide angle photo. 

Hull Old Town:

Finally I will explore the streets around Hull’s Old Town. There is some historic architecture around this area, such as Hull Minster and High Street. The High Street has even been a filming location recently for the film Enola Holmes 2, which is set in Victorian London. This shows how interesting the buildings here are, and how they will hopefully prove to be good locations for some of my photos. The Old Town is a quieter area of Hull, but still has lots of shops, cafes, pubs and museums so I may be able to capture something interesting here. 

Beverley:

Although Beverley is only a small town, it has some interesting parts and beautiful architecture which would be great photo settings. I’ve highlighted the main areas spanning from the North Bar to the Minster in the South. The street that links these two is the high street which is always quite thriving so there should be lots of photo opportunities here. There are also some interesting things along the street such as a bandstand. 

York:

I find that York is always quite a busy city, so I will hopefully be able to find some interesting photo opportunities. I also really love old and interesting architecture which York is full of due to it being a medieval city so I will have lots of great potential backdrops for my photos. I’ve also spent lots of time exploring York over the years and know my way around it really well. Overall, I have highlighted many of the streets in central York, the majority being within the City Walls.

References

All location screenshots taken from Google Maps

Google (2022) Google Maps. Available online: https://www.google.com/maps [Accessed 06/03/22].

Photo Editing Techniques

Here, I am going to outline how I will be editing my photographs using my mobile phone. I will be mostly taking inspiration from the overall look of the photos taken by the photographers I previously researched in my proposal, and from those that I analysed further in my ‘Analysing Photographers Work‘ blogpost.

When it comes to editing photos, every photograph is unique and will be taken in different lighting conditions and some require more adjustments than others, but by practising these techniques I am hoping it will help to clarify how I wish my final photos to appear and to get used to using the settings within the editing app.

I have decided that I will be using the mobile app ‘Photoshop Express’ which is Adobe’s free, simplified mobile version of photoshop. I find it straightforward enough to use and it has plenty of settings which can be adjusted such as exposure, contrast, saturation, highlights and shadows. 

Photo 1:

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Fig 1: Decreasing the saturation completely to eliminate all colours and make it black and white

Fig 2: Increasing the exposure as I felt it was slightly too dark in parts

Fig 3: Increasing the contrast until I felt it looked appealing – in this case I increased it all the way

Fig 4: Adding in some black tones to make the details on the buildings stand out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 1 before and after editing

Photo 2:

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Fig 5: Decreasing the saturation completely to eliminate all colours and make it black and white

Fig 6: Decreasing the exposure as I felt it was too over exposed in parts

Fig 7: Increasing the contrast – I didn’t do this one all the way but still made it quite high

Fig 8: Adding some brightness to the shadows – I felt some parts needed highlighting better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 2 before and after editing

Photo 3:

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Fig 9: Decreasing the saturation completely to eliminate all colours and make it black and white

Fig 10: Decreasing the exposure as it seemed too bright

Fig 11: Increasing the contrast – again, I didn’t do this one all the way but it was increased

Fig 12: Adding in some black tones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 3 before and after editing

Overall, the editing of each photograph only took me a few minutes to do as the process is so straightforward. As stated earlier, each photo is unique so therefore has very different requirements when adjusting the settings, as seen from editing these images. Some photos needed their exposure increasing, some decreasing and some, like photo 1, were able to have their contrast increased all the way and still look good, whereas if I did this on some it wouldn’t look good at all.

Due to the fact that there isn’t a set way in which I will be editing my photos and so I will be unable to follow a constrained process of editing, I will instead just focus on the overall final look I would like my photos to have which is black and white, high contrast and darker appearance. I will have to judge each photos editing needs individually when it comes to the final editing.

Blurring of Faces

I would also like to clarify here that in my final portfolio, I will be blurring the faces of anyone who ends up in my photographs who haven’t consented to their photo being taken – this will most likely be in the spontaneous street photos but it is also very likely that some people may end up in the background of my staged photographs as these will still be captured in the street.

For this step, I will be using Photoshop to create the blur effect after I have edited it on my phone and before uploading it to the portfolio. To do this, I will upload the photograph, zoom in on the face(s), draw a circle around the persons face using the Circle Marquee Tool, then I will apply the Gaussian Blur filter. I will then be able to alter the intensity of the blur, so will do it just enough so that the persons identity can’t be seen. Finally, the photo can be exported. Overall, this process is very important but it still shouldn’t take me that long to do. I have practised doing on a couple of photos already, and it was very simple to do.

Capturing on a mobile phone

Overall, as stated in my proposal, I plan on capturing all of the photographs for my project on my mobile phone. This was for the following reasons: 

‘I would like to demonstrate how they can capture great images and how the photographer doesn’t necessarily need to rely on expensive equipment’

I feel that sometimes in the photography world, mobile phone photography may not be taken as seriously, and seen as something quite ‘amateur’. I want to show that mobile phones can take amazing photos, and that it is more about the actual photo than the tool used to capture it. I also believe that photography should be something that everyone can have access to and enjoy, no matter their background or wealth hence I will be using my iPhone which I already own and have been using for years. 

Mobile phones are the perfect tool when it comes to candid street photography 

They are very instant which means they are good at capturing spontaneous moments. Mobile phones are also very subtle – I feel like people will not find it as intimidating when I am taking photos on the phone compared to a DSLR camera which may draw more attention. I also always have my phone on me, meaning I shouldn’t miss any candid photo opportunities, even if I am not planning on taking any that specific day, I may see something interesting when going about my day-to-day life and need to capture it quickly. 

A mobile phone will be great for taking the staged photos

During the shooting of the staged photographs, I will be taking more time sorting out the scene and directing the model on what I would like them to do to make it look convincingly candid, compared to the spontaneous photos which don’t require this, meaning I don’t want the staged process to take any longer than necessary. Shooting on a phone will enable me to capture the image quickly meaning potentially more time for taking other photos. 

There is a wide variety of free mobile photo editing apps

I plan on editing all of my photographs on my phone. The speed and ease of use of these apps will help me to edit on the go if needed, which again will help when it comes to both the spontaneous and staged photography. For the staged photos, an additional advantage would be that I can always capture a photo and quickly edit it to see how the final image would look, and if I wasn’t happy with it, I can re-take the photo or do adjustments to the scene – for example asking the model to move to a different position, pose differently or perhaps I may want to take the photo from a different angle. 

The steps in the process should flow easily

The majority of the process will be done on my phone – the capturing, editing and uploading of the final images to my Box account. This should mean that each step of the process should flow well. After this, the only other device used will be my laptop for the final uploading of the photos to WordPress for the final portfolio. By keeping the overall number of steps in the process to a minimum, this should allow things run smoothly and quickly compared to having to rely on different devices and tools such as cameras/SD cards/a computer.

The overall ease of use

I should find the capturing and editing of photos straightforward. I’ve been using a mobile phone for many years now and also enjoy photography as a hobby, so I already take lots of photos on my phone. This means that I understand the interface and settings of both the camera app and phone really well. Here, (by taking a photo of some houseplants) I am going to outline how I will be taking the photos using the iPhone camera, and how quick and easy the process is:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
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Step 1: Press the home button (the main button on the phone screen)

Step 2: Swipe the screen to the left (to open camera app)

Step 3: Press on the screen to adjust the exposure (the yellow box on the image has sliders to make it darker/lighter)

Step 4: Finally, press the shutter to take the photo (the photo is automatically saved into the photo gallery)

If this was the photographs for my final project, I would then go onto the editing app (I will be going more in depth on this process later on), and then finally I would upload the edited photograph file to Box. 

Possible problems 

Finally, I would like to acknowledge that there could also be potential issues that may arise from using a mobile phone for my work. As I am just relying on this one device, if anything was to go wrong like if the phone were to break or something went wrong with the camera lens, I would need to have a plan in place for capturing the photos on a different device. So therefore, if anything was to stop me from shooting on my phone, I will be using my DSLR camera instead but would be declaring this somewhere if it were to happen. This situation would obviously be a shame due to me specifying how much I would like to demonstrate how good photographs can be that are taken on a phone, but if this issue happened I still need a way to capture the photographs for my project. 

Clarifying the Aesthetic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of my photographs showing the overall aesthetic I would like to aim for.

Shown above are two photographs that I captured for my previous research proposal, they both are good examples of the sort of appearance I am aiming for my final photographs to have. Photo 1 is a spontaneous photo taken in the street of a man sat on a bench feeding some pigeons and Photo 2 is a staged photo of my partner stood in front of some artwork, I asked him to stand there and pretend to look at his phone, this image hopefully conveys a sense of liveness to someone who didn’t realise it was actually staged. I have edited both of these on my phone, and they both show how I would like my final images to appear. 

A summary of how I will be aiming for my final photographs to appear:

  • Black and White
  • High contrast
  • Slightly darker exposure

Early on in the project, I knew that I wanted my photos to have this sort of appearance. I was really inspired by the street photographers that I researched for in my proposal and how their photographs looked and wanted to create something similar. Many of the photographers had no choice but to shoot in black and white for example, because that was all that was available at the time, but I personally find black and white images in particular to be really captivating. 

I find that black and white photos in particular will be good for street photography as the high contrast within the photo will help to make things in the photograph to stand out well. If there is lots of colour within an image, I feel that things often get lost in the background, this wouldn’t be good for the spontaneous photos as potentially, there may be a lot of things to look at in the frame. For the staged photos, again, I want the subject to be prominent in the photo. 

In terms of the overall photographic portfolio, if all of the images are edited in a similar way, they will look cohesive and as a collection will work well together. I feel that this will really help when it comes to trying to make the staged photos blend in with the rest of the spontaneous street photography, hopefully this way the viewer won’t be able to tell which are staged and which are spontaneous, which is what I am aiming for. 

Analysing Photographers Work

First, I have decided to analyse some of the photographic work by three of my favourite photographers who I previously researched for my proposal. This will help me when deciding upon how I would like to edit my own photographs and to gain inspiration for possible composition ideas, both for my spontaneous and staged photographs. As outlined in my proposal, I will be focusing on black and white street photography in my final portfolio, so here I am going to analyse black and white work only.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the most influential street photographers of all time, and is definitely one of my big inspirations. I find his work to be very captivating and intriguing. Overall after looking at these three photographs, I noticed that Cartier-Bresson uses very high contrast in his work which I find very striking. I find this helps the focal point of the photographs to stand out even more. His photographs also seemed to have lots of movement within them, often resulting in motion blur but I feel this adds to the fact that street photography is of very fleeting moments. 

Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau is another photographer whose work I find very inspiring. Like Cartier-Bresson, he seems to utilise a very striking level of contrast within his photographs. I also like how Doisneau’s photographs are taken in very interesting locations and that you are able to often see a wide area of the background such as down the whole street. Doisneau often seems to photograph multiple people in one image too, which is quite interesting. I also noticed that his photographs are very intriguing – I find myself asking many questions about his photographs which I feel helps create a very memorable image. 

Daidō Moriyama

Moriyama’s work quickly became inspiring to me after doing my research proposal in trimester one. I find his work to almost be very intimate – capturing very candid moments in peoples lives. Overall after analysing his work more, like Cartier-Bresson and Doisneau, I find his photography to have very high contrast too. Moriyama also seems to use quite interesting backgrounds and angles for his photographs as well as showing movement well. 

Overall findings and implementing these:

In my final work I will be taking aspects from each of these photographers styles. Overall, I would like to have a high contrast look to my photographs, as all of these photographers achieve in theirs. I feel this is crucial when it comes to black and white photography as once you take away the colour, if the contrast is not right photographs can often look quite flat. I would like to try and show a sense of movement in some of my photographs, as seen in Cartier-Bresson and Moriyama’s work. I would also like to show some wide views of my locations, as in Doisneau’s work as I believe this makes the photograph very interesting to look at. 

References 

Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs:

Artnet (n.d.) Henri Cartier-Bresson [Photo]. Available online: http://www.artnet.com/artists/henri-cartier-bresson/3 [Accessed 05/03/22].

Robert Doisneau photographs:

Exibart (n.d.) Robert Doisneau: the poetic approach to street photography [Photo]. Available online: https://www.exibartstreet.com/news/robert-doisneau-the-poetic-approach-to-street-photography/ [Accessed 05/03/23].

Daidō Moriyama photographs:

Artsy (n.d.) Daidō Moriyama. Available online: https://www.artsy.net/artist/daido-moriyama/works-for-sale [Accessed 05/03/22].