Welcome to the first ever end of year digital exhibition by year 1 photography students at Harlow College. This year has obviously presented the class with many challenges due to the difficult times we are living in. They have shown a determination, maturity and professionalism to adapt themselves to these difficulties to continue to create original and imaginative work. I am very proud of all of them and I hope you enjoy their work.
Tom Davies, Senior Tutor Photography
Project title- 'Vehemence'
My project is about mental health and how it can affect someone, their emotions and behaviour changes causing them to feel trapped alone and a completely different person. I have used self portraits to present my work as this makes the photos more personal to me and can also show my true emotions on the subject. The photograph I have chosen shows control over a person due to their mental health, what I like about the photograph is it shows a physical struggle that mental health can bring to someone. Through this project I have learnt to come out of my comfort zone and progress in taking self portraits and developing them. During this project I have loved experimenting with different lighting and also poses in my photos, I have also loved the challenge of using what I have at home!
The challenge of being in lockdown has influenced my work by using self portraits in my work to get my message across, also learning and developing working on my own and using equipment and props that I have at home. Overall I feel this challenge has really improved the way I work and pushed me to better things with my work.
Project title - 'Working in Lockdown'
The main idea for this project was to capture the way that bullying affects both humans and animals, as both are different things but have the same effect. What I learnt during this project is that I prefer photographing animals in the studio rather than people. I enjoyed using different techniques in my work, for example shooting a shadow instead of the model.
Being in lockdown has certainly made it more difficult to do work, but it wasn’t impossible, I just used a makeshift studio and used the people and animals around me to help with my work.
Project title - 'The Wrong Shadow'
My photograph I have chosen to present is an image that hadn’t gone to plan. The reason I have chosen this particular photograph is because it is one that gave me a lot of confidence in my work. I did a night shoot which I had planned to be with UV paints. I had come home disappointed that my shoot didn’t go to plan. After looking through my images, I came across this one. I liked the way the shadow came across my models face and there was a lot of tone and contrast in my image that I was really happy with. I have always enjoyed looking at different photographers’ work who play around with shadows, so I began to love with this particular piece of work of mine. It then gave me much more confidence in the fact that a “bad photoshoot” isn’t always particularly bad, and made me feel much happier about my work.
I feel as though being in lockdown has influenced my work massively. It’s given me the freedom and a lot of time to work and experiment with different genres of photography I haven’t tried before e.g. light painting, blurred motion etc. As well as the different genres of photography I have also been learning how to become better using Photoshop. I am very proud of my work during lockdown and the new skills I have picked up, I can’t wait to continue using them when I return back to college for the second year.
Project title: 'Different Types of Portraiture
This project of work is about trying different photography techniques to be able to produce high quality pictures. I wanted to focus on two main subjects, animals and people which I have showcased below. While doing these different shoots I enjoyed many things about them however I particularly enjoyed doing self portraiture as it not only allowed me to practise taking photos on my own allowing myself to become more independent with my work but also become more confident as I usually dislike taking pictures of myself, so some of my photoshoots have allowed me to boost my self-confidence and realise that I can do it which I am proud of.
As I am in lockdown there has been some challenges that I have faced, one being that I had a plethora of ideas that I wanted to do but couldn't due to the situation. Additionally, another challenge faced was that I was on my own so I needed to practice doing self portraiture so I could still take photos, this challenge was overcome very easy and I am happy with how all of these photos came out.
Project title - 'FASHION SNOWFLAKE'
My project “Fashion Snowflake” combines the modern trends in fashion with the changing attitudes created by the patriarchal society that oppress a majority of this generation to use their fashion sense to use as a coping mechanism towards the mentality of what is considered 'normal and appropriate' and what is considered a 'phrase' or nonsense.
Project title - 'Who am I?'
The project is simply about expectations in our everyday life and how people always try to aspire to these expectations about 'beauty'. Most seem very happy but in reality they are not happy with what they're doing to themselves but because most of them are so afraid of being judged that they then go through and continue with different procedures to change who they're. So I wanted to portray the affects that these expectations have on most people and how people should feel free and encouraged enough to break stereotypes.
Trying to create a shoot at home with very little equipment has been challenging but using some creativity has allowed me to come up with ways to create different types of lighting for example for spotlights I used a toilet roll taped to a phone torch. It has also made me change my ideas so that I can create them with the things available to me at home. Overall being in lockdown has enhanced my creativity level for each of my shoots.
Project title - Untitled
In my photography this year I tried to focus on exploring different types of photography to see which I enjoyed the most. I have found I tend to lean more to portraiture photography which I really enjoy. During lockdown I have had to experiment with different styles of photography, one being self-portraiture. This proved to be a challenge. However I feel as if after some practice it was easier to do. I have really enjoyed this year as I have had a chance to explore my creativity and hope to carry on next year
My intentions whilst planning this shoot called ‘The Burst Bubble’ was to show the emotional distress of people’s minds and the effects of Covid-19 on the world throughout lockdown in a photograph. The message I am trying to put out is that no one is safe as their protective bubble has now burst and everything is no longer safe and sound. The burst is a representation of a mass disruption to people’s day to day routine as everything has changed.
The original project was based around disruption, I found what was going on in the world was a great opportunity to grasp and form something that described the current situation of a global pandemic. I learned from my final piece that one photograph can describe many things by just taking the time and looking in depth, sometimes it has a very meaningful message behind it.
Project title- 'Flynn Feeling Free'
I decided to do something that I hadn’t really tried before, photographing my dog in a public open space, which is also his favourite park, where he feels free in an attempt to capture a moment in which you can clearly see his emotion and how happy he is to be in his element. I enjoyed this shoot because it gave not only me but my dog as well a chance to get out, play and have some fresh air instead of being stuck inside. I loved being able to see what images I could capture of him, it made me want to keep going to see what else I might be able to capture.
I originally would’ve wanted to do a portrait photo-shoot of one of my peers, however lockdown ruined the chances of that happening. I asked family members if they would like to be involved but they all said no because none of them really enjoy being the model which I had to respect. Since parks were open and I wanted to overcome my fear of shooting in public without my peers, I decided this was a perfect opportunity, which I actually ended up enjoying.
Project title - 'Disruption'
My project is about how disruption within nature and how it is affected by architecture and the modern world I wanted to show how architecture can affect and change a landscape and also include picture of untouched land and the contrast between landscapes which are being disrupted and to ones that are not.
The challenge of being in lockdown has help me to think outside of the box a bit more when shooting as having to change my original plan to fit what I wanted my outcomes to be.
Project title 'What Day Is It Again?'
My final photography project for year one is inspired entirely by the disruption caused in our day to day lives by the COVID-19 virus and government restrictions that followed. I have created a few different series surrounding the idea that we can be whoever we want and do whatever we want in the comfort of our own homes, where we have been instructed to remain as much as possible. It was left to us to make light of the situation we suddenly found ourselves in, so I decided to have my family members help me out by dressing up in various costumes and carry out their daily activities. I focused on missing out on events, on our favourite hobbies, and discovering new ones to help pass the time and keep our spirits up - along with the perception of time having become warped in itself.
The challenge of remaining in lockdown and being unable to access certain facilities and areas has meant that I have had to be a lot more creative with my work, and having to come up with new ideas to give it all a professional finish. I have tested out in camera techniques such as using a long exposure to make light trails, and have been predominantly using natural lighting and changing up my camera’s white balance to give off new and colourful effects. I feel this time has tested my skills in a very different way, and if anything helped me to think thoroughly and come up with new ideas and solutions on the spot.
Project title - 'In isolation'
My project is about mental illnesses and its affects during this period of isolation. I wanted to show how it actually looks like and it should be visible and more attention is paid to those people who need help and support.
The lockdown affected my equipment needs as my photoshoot was studio-based, I was struggling with lighting mostly and I had very limited space to work with.
Project title - 'My Personal Experience with Sexual Assault'
My project was about disrupting the daily feed of societal norms and rubbish with the reality for most women and girls. I felt a responsibility to shed light on the situation for women and men, especially the stigma and the most common responses when we tell someone we have been sexually assaulted.
During this project, I learnt that there are so many ways to portray sexual assault and it’s affects. I enjoyed getting all of this out in the open and hopefully showing some people that they are not alone. Being in lockdown hasn’t influenced my work too much. It has certainly made everything a little harder.
Project title - 'Disruptive Soul'
My project is about how fragile people’s minds can be. The meaning behind my photos is to demonstrate the affects of when people become mentally and emotionally unstable. People can feel overwhelming emotions that they wish not to be shown in front of other people around them. I had learned more on how people have a mask to hide their emotions such as celebrities. For example, when people see them, they put happy faces on but in their private lives, they could be depressed. I enjoy exploring different ways on how to produce a photograph that shows great meaning behind my work.
I personally think that during the lockdown it was difficult as I didn’t have much resources but I managed to make photos and edit them the way I wanted them to be.
Project title 'Wet Dog'
Well I think that my photograph is pretty self-explanatory, it’s a photo of a wet dog. I think taking this photograph was quite difficult since he kept moving and he didn’t stay still. The awkward part about it was capturing the depth of the photo and the texture. I’m glad I manged to capture these main aspects of the photo since I believe that it shows how my skills have grown throughout being in the course. The whole idea of doing photography in lockdown was awkward but as long as you’re a problem solver and can open your mind to new ways of doing things I don’t think you can kind of put a limit on creative photography. I definitely know that I have been creating less work since I am a key worker so I was working every day during lock down which was a struggle and really affected the work I was producing.
Project title - 'A Little Hope'
The meaning behind this photograph is that even in dark times there is always a little hope things could become better. I felt that this was relevant to these rough times when we have a pandemic disrupting our lives, it is important to not lose hope.
In this project, I enjoyed using natural resources to create the rainbow and using natural lighting as well.
Project title - 'Working In A Different Environment'
For our project ‘Disruption’ my main idea was to capture the way that things can change and affect people during day to day life, and reflect them through both people and animals in my work. During this project, I have learnt to discover my love of photographing animals, as I normally focus mainly on portraits.
During lockdown I have learnt to develop my work styles as I have had more time to find and research inspiration for my work, although it has been hard having to use a makeshift set up due to not having access to a studio during this time.
Project title - 'The Old and The New'
The photograph I have taken is about how there’s old historic buildings in new building estates. It shows the difference in the exterior and how modern today's buildings are. What I learnt about this project is to enjoy your surroundings and take it in because I didn’t know there was so many older buildings around where I live and it taught me to appreciate it more. Also to appreciate the history in the town and keep it undisturbed. Being in lockdown has influenced my work by enjoying going out and taking pictures of my surroundings and enjoy what we have around us.