This post concludes assignment one, and collects my thoughts on the workflow I carried out, compared to what others may follow, along with reflections in the context of the assessment criteria for the course.
The assignment brief asks how my workflow might differ from that of other photographers. I’ve taken a look around a few sites found through search on Google and found that the “ideas” stage is very much a part of a still-life photographer’s workflow.
Peter at Prosophos (I’m unsure if that’s his surname) details what he keeps in mind at this stage as follows:
- Infusion of self
Some parts of that I went through anyway, prior to starting my published workflow, but I didn’t include it (which I have noted previously in my workflow write-up post). Certainly I was “inspired” by a theme and at some level there was an “infusion of self” in terms of my sense of humour being reflected in the original idea and “story” I created. I couldn’t claim that was on a wholly conscious level, however. Thinking back on feedback from my tutor for The Art of Photography, on putting more of “Phil” in my images, perhaps an inclusion of that concept in my workflow and planning may be a good way to practice at that.
On “Illumination” and “Inclusion/Exclusion” I’ve no real idea what Peter is talking about – and his post isn’t, ironically, particularly illuminating on what he means there. “Intelligence/Iteration” is fairly clear though – and while I made small changes, I didn’t really go through much of an iterative process.
At the start of this video by Julieanne Kost on Adobe TV, she shows the iterative process as part of her workflow; experimenting with different ideas and – even having found an image she was happy with – continuing with further ideas. That wasn’t something I did – though perhaps the fact I had a reasonably clear idea of the result I wanted made that kind of iteration less applicable.
Comparing my actual “practice” workflow, I’ve seen a few examples where photographers backup images prior to processing. This workflow posted by Thomas Hawk is an example. I’m not convinced that’s a good option as – prior to the technical edit – it represents a lot of storage (for RAW files) being used for images that I already know should never see the light of day.
Thomas’ processing step is more rigid than mine – with images flagged first and processed later. However, his work is generally travel photography – where images are taken more “in the field”, whereas in my assignment I was performing basic processing to determine whether to revisit a particular image idea before moving on to the next – I had full control over what I was shooting, and was making a decision based on a better idea of the final result.
Key-wording is also completed later in Thomas’ workflow – though I noted in my write-up that, on reflection, I should probably have done this later.
Conclusions and Reflection
I will look to include my preparation and “ideas’ stages in my future workflow as I think I am missing an opportunity to think about what I’m doing and why – as well as risking some forgetfulness – e.g. not having enough batteries!
A flexible approach was needed to the workflow – particularly around processing – but that was more specific to the type of subject I chose, which is why this element differed from other workflows I’ve researched.
A new element of this course is the reflection in relation to the assessment criteria; so hopefully I do it (and myself) justice here:
Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills
- I’ve set up a high-key “studio” set up and feel I’ve got my desired result from this.
- As the subjects are close-up I’ve made appropriate choices to maximise depth-of-field (except when I haven’t wanted to, for deliberate effect).
- I’ve improvised with the lens choices available where necessary – aware that I’d get what I needed through processing.
- I’ve “designed” the images in terms of object placement and composition to create a sense of relationship between them, and “action”
Quality of Outcome
- Overall I’m satisfied with this – though presentation hasn’t been something I’ve thought about.
- The images to, in my mind, clearly communicate an idea and the “story” I had in mind at conception.
Demonstration of Creativity
- While the images fit with my sense of humour I wouldn’t claim they are especially imaginative or innovative. I couldn’t find images on an identical/similar theme, but the photographic style – and even the “quirkiness” – is far from unique.
- I’ve researched other workflows in the context of what I chose to do for this assignment, as well as looking for information on high-key photography. Iv’e also looked at images of others for additional inspiration.
- With this assignment I have reflected critically on my work far more than previously – both in my methods and conclusions – within the workflow write-up and in this post; and particularly when comparing my workflow to others.
- Peter Prosophos. (2013). My Photography Workflow, Part 2. Available: http://prosophos.com/2013/01/07/my-photography-workflow-part-2/. Last accessed 18th February 2013.
- Kost, J. (2013). Cyclical – The Creative Process. Available: http://adobe.ly/V4Cram. Last accessed 18th February 2013.
- Hawk, T. (2011). My Photography Workflow 2011. Available: http://thomashawk.com/2011/08/my-photography-workflow-2011.html. Last accessed 18th February 2013.
- Johnson, J. (2010). The Complete Beginner?s Guide to Shooting High Key. Available: http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/lighting/beginners-guide-to-shooting-high-key/. Last accessed 18th February 2013.