Author Archives: niamhsphotography714680177

3.1 Freeze


I have been asked to use a fast shutter speed and try and isolate a frozen moment in time from a moving subject.


Harold Edgerton – Born in 1903, Edgerton is mostly known for his work within photography, having studied electrical engineering he made revolutionary contributions to photography, he is credited for transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory into a common device. He also helped to develop sonar equipment and deep sea photography. “His experiments with bursts of intense illumination enabled him to photograph motion that eludes normal human perception” The most famous of his work is where he captured the moment milk splashed against a table which in turn gave a crown like figure. He died in 1990. Harold Edgerton – Oxford Reference

Jeff Wall – Born in Canada 1946, he has studied Art history, has a Bachelor of Arts degree and has his Masters of Arts as well. In 1974 he accepted his first teaching position, at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, subsequently teaching at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 1976-87, and since 1987 at the University of British Columbia. He was very interested in contemporary and experimental art. Wall has said, ‘The only way to continue in the spirit of the avant-garde is to experiment with your relation to tradition’ (Artnews, Nov. 1995, p.222). Jeff Wall – Tate Reference

Philip – Lorca DiCorcia – A photographer known for his cinematic images, he studied at the University of Hartford and did not intend to be a photographer. DiCorcia deliberately chose to print in color since it was an underutilized format in fine-art photography. Each of his images are captioned with the model’s (presumed) name, age, and price, like items in a catalogue, signifying the reciprocal commodification of model, artist, and viewer (as potential ‘client’). “He insists that his pictures suggest rather than elucidate a full narrative. His brand of storytelling results in unstable, unfixed images that point in certain directions but never provide a definitive map”. Philip-Lorca DiCorcia – MoMa Reference

I found Dicorcia very influential, his moody scenes and the use of dark colours is what helped me to think more on how I wanted my images to turn out. I want to re-create the moodiness even if my subject isn’t human.

Planning, execution and Final images

After doing research I was thinking of a way I could incorporate fashion into this task and I thought of movement, in particular how a dress sits and flows on the body. I then thought of throwing scarfs across the room and capturing the way they fell. I choose scarfs as they would be light enough to give enough movement.

I then decided I would need a background as the colours needed to stand out so I chose black and set it up. I had to get the lighting perfect otherwise it wouldn’t show up well. In total I used 3 lights, 2 soft boxes and another harsher light pointing upwards. I also needed someone to throw the scarfs, overall I think we spent two hours throwing scarfs and other material across the room. It was a lot harder than you’d think to throw scarfs and get the desired effect, the throw had to perfect and lined up with the camera.

My camera settings:

Nikon D5300, shutter priority mode on a tripod with a shutter speed of 1/800, f/3.5 and my ISO was 6400. I took a picture of my set up as I thought it would be important to demonstrate how I took the photos.


As you can see there are two soft boxes and then the harsh cooler light pointing upwards. I had my friend throw the scarfs from the left. I feel the backdrop was key to ensuring these photos came out well. I did find however that some of the very colourful fabric made the background either take a green or navy tinge and personally I find these images not very flattering. I have added them below.

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The following are my final images,

dsc_0403dsc_0416dsc_0483dsc_0543dsc_0530dsc_0558I feel these images are very effective and I really enjoyed this task. The fabric in each image is uniquely unravelling and I find it very effective. I decided whilst doing the shoot not to just stick to scarfs as I thought the dress would move very differently. The fabric in particular was something I struggled with as it needed to be light enough to fall gracefully but heavy enough to be fired across the room. I definitely feel some images turned out better than others and that it was really just pure luck that some did turn out the way they did. I feel there is a moodiness to the photos, they do look graceful and are definitely a snapshot of time from a moving object, but I feel the black background in particular is the reason why they feel moody, although graceful there is something about how simple the way the fabric is moving that gives this sense of being alone or singled out.

My Contact sheets



Assignment 2. Collecting


I have been asked to create a series of six to ten images on one of the following subjects:

  • Things
  • Views
  • Heads

I have decided to do heads as I have really enjoyed experimenting with portrait photography in during project 2.


After choosing heads, I went to look at some photographers who had done heads before and get a feel for what I could do. I looked into Marten Lange, who was born in Sweden in 1984 and works mainly in black and white. His work called ‘Citizen (2015)’ was inspiring but I decided I would focus on human heads.  Marten Lange ‘Citizen’ 

Marten Lange Interview

I also looked into Bettina Von Zewhl which I found to be very helpful, her approach to getting real emotions from her subject is what inspired me to look more into human emotions. I read about her approach in a book by Charlotte Cotton ‘The Photograph as Contemporary Art’ Published by Thames and Hudson world of art. It is the third edition and was published in 2014 and reprinted in 2018. I read about her approach on pages 31-32, it says that she would let her subjects sleep and then once awake would take a photo of their sleepy delirious states. The subjects will be genuinely sleepy and not try to act sleepy and I really like the truth behind this method. Born in Munich, 1971 Von Zwehl attended the London College of printing in 1994 and ascertained a BA (hons) in Photography, she then went on to the Royal College of Art in London in 1997 and got an MA in Fine Art Photography. She now lives and works in London. Bettina Von Zwehl

I kept wondering about human emotions and why we have them and why that when we take a photo of an emotion it can relate to the way we feel so I decided to do more research on it. I have always wondered why we smile, some say its part of a social construct others say its programmed into us since we are babies and Darwin thought that also in his 1872 book ‘The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals’. ‘It is considered a foundational text of smiling research, proposed that facial expressions are universal products of human evolution rather than unique lessons of one’s culture‘.  Psychological Study of Smiling

There are two muscle groups involved when smiling, the first pulls up the corners of your lips and is called the ‘Zygomatic Major muscle‘. The second muscle is called the ‘Occipitofrontalis (or just frontalis)’ which raises the eyebrows. What Are Facial Expressions

Our State of mind influences our expressions and our expressions also influence our state of mind. ‘turning that frown upside down’ can make you feel happier,‘ Gordon explains. “Research suggests that our brains receive feedback from our muscles (and other internal organs) to help discern how we feel.” Why We Smile

When we smile we release multiple chemicals that can help fight off stress and that boosts overall mood, it can also help us to relax. ‘Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, or excited. The feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin — are all released when a smile flashes across your face’ How Smiling Affects Your Brain

I found this so fascinating and after looking at why we smile I decided to go look for some photographers who take expressive portraits. I first thought of Peter Lindenberg, having looked at his work when doing my coursework I thought he would have been helpful to look at in more depth. Born in Lissa, Germany in 1944, he had worked as a department store window dresser and  then went on to enrol in the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1960’s. After moving to Düsseldorf in 1971, he turned his attention to photography and worked for two years assisting German photographer Hans Lux, before opening his own studio in 1973. “If you take out the fashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person.” Lindbergh says’. Lindenberg always wants to see the real person when he is photographing someone, less is more. He changed drastically the standards of  fashion photography in times of excessive retouching considering that there is something else that makes a person interesting, beyond their age. He explains: “This should be the responsibility of photographers today to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.”. I find this so inspiring and true to what I believe as many people strive to be perfect when taking photos and that is not what is natural to us. By looking into Lindenberg and his work it has reinforced to me that perfection is not necessary and that I would like my portrait photos to be natural. Peter Lindenberg Reference

The next photographer I looked into was Damon Baker. A young relatively unknown photographer whose work is mainly in black and white. Born in Birmingham, England, he has no website or much of any information online apart from his Instagram which is where I came across his work. His work is raw and emotive, he has worked with celebrities like Glen Close, Ian Mc Kellen and Cindy Crawford. He has done campaign shoots with L’Oréal Paris and has photographed Chief Vogue Editor, Edward Enniful. I found his work very inspiring an captivation, his use of the face and how to portray emotions is wonderful and I have decided to do my portraits in black and white. Damon Baker’s Instagram page

The next photographer I cam across who was inspiring was Richard Avedon. His work is mainly in black and white. His portrait of a very sad looking Marilyn Monroe is one of my favourites taken on May 6th 1957. Another one of my favourites is of Janis Joplin shot in Texas 28th of August 1969. The concepts behind some of the photos is so unique and they way he portrays each individual, you can tell he got to know them before he started shooting. The emotions he captures in his photos is so unique, I have found this very helpful as it has made me think on how I want my subject to come across, happy or melancholic. Richard Avedon Foundation

Lee Jefferies, a self-taught British photographer, has taken upon himself to tell the rest of us who the homeless really are. His work consists of portraits of homeless people both in colour and in black and white. ‘Dedicated to telling a story about the people living on the streets, Jeffries honors them by giving their likenesses a greater meaning.
As he explains, each image is the result of long discussions with each individual, a privileged moment that allows him to establish a connection that is particularly palpable in their gaze. In his striking, high-contrasted portraits, he goes beyond circumstances and celebrates the singular character of human emotion’. This work in particular is so fascinating, the photos themselves are up close and striking. The style of the photos is really what works in their favour. Looking into Jefferies has made me consider how I am going to frame my portraits, I think I will take them relatively further away but still quite close so details of the face can be seen because that is one of the things I like most about this work, the detail. Lee Jeffries webpage

Interview with Lee Jeffries

Philippe Halsman, born May 2nd 1906 in Riga, Latvia. In 1928 he spent 2 years in prison for the murder of his father which he did not commit, his sister Liouba drew international attention to his case. Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud and many other important intellectuals and scientists endorsed his innocence. In the autumn of 1930, Liouba brokered an agreement between Paul Painleve’, the Prime Minister of France, and Johann Schober, the Chancellor of Austria, and finally won Philippe’s release. From 1930 – 1940 onwards he worked as a photographer in Paris his work appears in Vogue and is gaining recognition. In 1936 he designs a 9 x 12 cm twin-lens reflex camera and has it built by a cabinetmaker whose grandfather (Alphonse Giroux) built the first camera for Daguerre. He died in New York City June 25th 1979, he had a colourful life full of so many achievements. Some of my favourite work by Halsman is his work with Salvador Dali and his series called ‘The Frenchman’, this work in particular has given me my concept as I have decided to take multiple people and focus on their expressions, I do not want them posed I want genuine expressions. My portraits will be in black and white just like ‘The Frenchman ‘ series as I found it very effective and pleasing to the eye I find that it would only work in a set and that is what I have been asked to do. Philippe Halsman Reference

Planning, Execution and Concept

I have decided to do a series of images looking at genuine emotions from three difference subjects of three different ages. The set will be in black and white. I will have a chair and white background and this will not change throughout the set. Focal length, Aperture and viewpoint will not change and the main concept is too look at our expressions. I have chosen three people one aged 21, another 47 and finally a 75 year old. I am hoping to get 3 photos of each individual therefore meaning I will have a set of 9 final photographs.

I will take these photos over a number of weeks in order to make sure I am happy with the results, some of my subjects have never been photographed in this way so I want to make sure they have time to feel comfortable. My aim is to get each individual to laugh genuinely and to photograph any other expression that happens during the shoot.

The shoot– I set up my tripod and soft box in my dining room and placed a chair against the wall, I lined up and tested my settings. I had previously asked my subjects to wear either a black or navy top as to create contrast against the white wall. Once happy I got my subject in and did a few test shots, I also played around with the lighting as I didn’t want it too bright. I then began to take my photos I started off getting each individual to look dead centre into the lens and not smile, I then got them to turn left and right and from then on I started with the jokes.

In order to get a genuine reaction I had to make my subjects actually laugh. I started with what my mother used to do when I was a child she used to say ‘don’t smile’ and no matter how much you try, you will smile! So that worked a few times, broke the ice a bit and then I told the subjects to pull faces and mess around and from that I got genuine laughter. I also asked my subjects for some stern looks and I played around with props too although in my opinion they didn’t turn out as well as the other ones did. I did not change any settings or positions of the set up, I choose my dining room specifically because I knew it wouldn’t be in anyone’s way the set up wouldn’t get knocked over.

Over all I feel the shoot went better than expected and I was very happy with the results, the subjects were all very easy to work with and listened to my instructions. If I were to so the shoot again I would  get a background screen so the bubbly wallpaper isn’t in the background and I would have played music while actually shooting to liven up the mood.

The following are my set of 9 portraits looking at Human Expressions…

dsc_093521 Year Old.

dsc_098621 Year Old.

dsc_107621 Year Old.

dsc_087447 Year Old.

dsc_088647 Year Old.

DSC_0904.JPG47 Year Old.

dsc_009875 Year Old.

dsc_013275 Year Old.

dsc_013475 Year Old.

I have grouped the photos by age starting from youngest to oldest. In the entire set I think it was essential to have the contrast of the black top with the white wall, it adds depth and gives more colour to the photos. The tripod was another thing I felt was vital to doing this shoot, in some of the photos we can see the subject moving which I find effective, it shows that it really is genuine laughter, the tripod also helped with framing the subjects as I knew it hadn’t moved out of place. The lighting in this set stayed consistent throughout this series the only problem I had was with the last subject as her white hair changed the way the image was looking so I had to make the lighting slightly darker so her hair would show up well and in detail. Each set has detail, overall smoothness of the skin and each photo is the same set up but with a different expression.

What I found out by doing this was that each individual expression is there own and that one smile is not universal we all smile differently, some with our mouths open other with them closed. We all frown differently and we all laugh differently. Each expression of the individual is their own and it is unique to them. People smile all the time and we frown a lot too, I don’t think we take the time to look properly at them or how one differs or if a mother and son smile the same, we take it for granted. I know the next time someone smiles at me I will take a second look.

Overall I am happy with how the photos turned out I feel they are consistent but with slight variations that make them interesting. As a set I feel they work well they are not too boring or repetitive. Doing the portraits in black and white was hugely beneficial to me as it gave a moody-feel to the photos and gave them more depth in my opinion. If they had of been in colour they would have been a bit boring, to me the black and white connects to a deeper meaning especially when viewing them as a set. I am happy with my concept overall and I think that human expression could become a much bigger project, I had lots of options and ideas regarding it. I feel the research was the most beneficial part of this whole assignment as I learnt more about portraits and what I liked in a portrait by looking at others, I was then able to apply that to my own photos. If I was to do this whole assignment again I would not of done much different, I would maybe do something more related to my interests like fashion, makeup etc.


Demonstration of technical and visual skills (40%) – I feel I have demonstrated technical skills widely throughout this assignment, I looked and made note of other technical skills used in the photographers work that I research I then went and applied them to my own work. I made use of tripod and lighting set up, I used my compositional skills when lining up and making sure everything was in frame and dead centre.

Quality of outcome (20%) – I have a good concept and have presented my work in a coherent manner. My photos are of a good quality, I have applied knowledge from my research and have communicated my ideas.

Demonstration of creativity (20%) – I feel that I have not met this criterion as well as I could of.

Context (20%) – I have loads of research and reflection within this assignment I maybe could of done with more critical thinking.




2.4 Woodpecker


I have been asked to find a subject in front of a background of depth, I must then take a very close viewpoint, zoom in and take the shot. I then must without changing the framing/focal length set my focus to infinity and take another shot.

I then must without moving the camera, select an aperture one stop above and find a point of focus that will give acceptable sharpness throughout the shot.

Planning and execution

I planned on using railings in my local park as my subject so decided to do some research on how I would set my camera focus to infinity, after a few google searches I found how to focus manually on my Nikon d5300. Nikon D3500 for Dummies

I set my camera settings and headed to the park, I took the first two photos with ease and they turned out well but as I moved on to try the third and setting my focus to infinity I began to really struggle. I could not find where infinity was on my lens and I tried doing it manually just by looking through the view finder and I still couldn’t get an overall sharpness.  I was then too cold so I decided to leave it and try again the next day.

The below are my poor attempts…


I went back to the park and decided to try again and to my luck they turned out better, not great but better, I really struggled with trying to get the image at an overall sharpness.

The below are my final images…

dsc_0268This is the first image I am close to the subject, the fence and the background has depth. I feel this turned out well and the detailing in the wood is very effective.

dsc_0267This is the second image having not changed the framing or focal length. I feel this has turned out well also. This was taken at f/5.6.

dsc_0269The final photo is one I really struggled with and it is not totally effective there are still some blurry areas of this image but I could not figure out how to achieve sharpness all round, I went up an f/stop to f/6.3.


I found this task very difficult and I am still not quite sure how to achieve complete sharpness but I found this task very interesting and has made me realise the importance of focusing on specific subjects. I really liked working in Manual focus and I look forward to experimenting with it in the future.

Lens work


Adam Ansel – Born 1902 and died in 1984, American photographer and environmentalist who changed photography for generations to come. He was associated with the Sierra club and believed in their message about conservation. “Technically, Adams is particularly known for developing a “zone system” of measuring light in order to capture a range of tones”. He also helped to found the f/64 group in 1932, which was a group of like-minded photographers in California who rejected the pictorialist aesthetic that remained popular among art photographers in the 1930s. His work reached a wide audience in book form after the Sierra Club issued, the first in its series of distinguished picture-book publications, This Is the American Earth (1960), illustrated mainly with his images. These We Inherit: The Parklands of America followed from the Sierra Club in 1962. Among his other books are Photographs of the Southwest (1976), Yosemite and the Range of Light (1979), Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs (1983), and the published Ansel Adams: An Autobiography (1985), left unfinished but completed by Mary Street Alinder. “A crusader for unmanipulated photography, he taught and lectured widely”.

“Impression is not enough. Design, style, technique – these, too, are not enough. Art must reach further than impression or self-revelation .” ~ Ansel Adams  (Ansel Adams, Nancy Wynne Newhall, M.H. De Young Memorial Museum (1963*). “Ansel Adams, photographs 1923-1963”).

“Black and white photography is truly quite a ‘departure from reality’, and the transition from one aspect of visual magic to another was not as complete as many imagine.” ~ Ansel Adams (Ansel Adams (1975). “The role of the artist in conservation” ).

“I believe the approach of the artist and the approach of the environmentalist are fairly close in that both are, to a rather impressive degree, concerned with the affirmation of life.” ~ Ansel Adams (Ansel Adams (1975). “The role of the artist in conservation”).

Adam Ansel, Oxford Reference

Az Quotes of Adam Ansel


Fay Godwin – Much like Ansel Adams above Fay Godwin also had a keen interest in conservation. She started her career photographing writers which may have helped her to gain success as poet Ted Hugh’s said he would write poetry to illustrate her photos. The result of that was ‘Remains of Elmet’ (1979) her work which was mainly monochromatic then changed as she was elected as president of the Ramblers’ Association in 1987. She had the same effect that Ansel Adams had on America except this time it was the UK.

“It never particularly interested me to photograph landscape in colour, but the urban landscape really excited me.” 

One commentator suggested to Godwin that she had been lucky to catch a certain perfect sky. “I didn’t catch it,” was Godwin’s reply. “I sat down and waited three days for it.” 

In a note in the book, Fay remarked that the pictures were taken during an August heatwave, and that several times she “was refused permission to make trips to rigs, platforms, pipelaying barges and other facilities, because I am a woman.”

Fay Godwin Reference

Mona Kuhn – Born in Sao Paulo but of a German family, Mona Kuhn takes an unusual approach to photography; her unique style almost always consists of unusual lighting, some bare skin and architecture. She went to college at Ohio State University in Columbus and studied international relations, she then moved to California where she attended selected classes at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is very popular in America and even has Elton John following her work. She works mainly in monochromatic and does all f her own darkroom developing.

“It’s the range of mid-tones in black-and-white,” she said, explaining why her work is so meticulous and time-demanding. “With mid-tones, it’s hard to hand it to someone else. The eye has to judge. It’s such a nuance. Two percent difference can mean a lot.” 

“At times, I favor androgynous features. I prefer to seek the human and natural in us, to develop images within a full range of emotions, abstract from muscled, gender-heavy renderings of the figure.”

“The nude is basically — how do I say? — it’s just a neutral form of human being,” Kuhn said by phone from her Bay Area home. Her tone emphasized her idea of “being” as a state of existence, not a body’s bone, muscle, fat and sinew. “It’s away from fashion. It’s away from time. It’s a way for me to be timeless, to go to an essence of emotion.”

Mona Kuhn Reference


Kim Kirkpatrick –  Once a postman, American born landscape photographer who now lives in Washington DC, Kim Kirkpatrick became famous between  the 1980s – 1990s for his unique way of photographing places where “nature and humans meet”. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland, he then went on to teach photography as an adjacent member of the faculty at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He has exhibited a lot of his work in galleries and museums and a lot of his work has a ‘Bokeh’ effect.  (Bokeh – the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field ).

“I take pictures where nature and man meet, where one is taking over the other,” he explains.

Kirkpatrick’s fascination with the great outdoors began in childhood. “Like most kids I was looking at the ground,” he recalls. “I was alone a lot. We always had a creek or a hollow near our house.”.

Kirkpatrick gets annoyed when people label him a “construction site photographer.” The place “isn’t the point,” he insists. “People will latch on to it. These images can be found behind the school, anywhere. You grow up thinking you have to be somewhere else to create art.”

Gazette Kim Kirkpatrick Reference

Wikipedia Kim Kirkpatrick Reference

Definition of Bokeh

Guy Bourdin – Born in  Paris 1928 and died in 1991. He was a painter and self-taught photographer his whole life, he has worked with Vogue, Chanel and even had work exhibited in the Victoria & Albert museum. He worked both in black and white and in colour, his main body of work was fashion photography, he was also among one of the first to tell a story through his photographs. He often used mirrors in his work and reflections which was new to commercial photography back in the 1970s, he was a perfectionist, he developed a technic using hyper real colours, meticulous compositions of cropped elements such as low skies with high grounds and the interplay of light and shadows as well as the unique make-up of the models, which of course on paper looked even better. He viewed that the product was secondary to the image and I believe that was what made him so famous. It was his work for the shoe label, Charles Jourdan, that brought him the attention of a wider public, he dared to barely show the product and turned the shoe into a trivial element of a theatrical scene that enhanced sex and bad taste.

Despite being considered a cult figure by fashion insiders and photography connoisseurs, Bourdin – who never accepted invitations for interviews, nor consented to having his photograph on the Vogue contributors page – was renowned for being a solitary figure. As one of his long-time collaborators at Vogue remarked, “Guy wanted to remove every trace of his life.”  I believe this is why I cannot find any quotations from Guy Bourdin.

Louise Alexander Article on Guy Bourdin

Vogue Article on Guy Bourdin


Depth of field and how it influences the way a photo is perceived 

Depth of field is a measure of the zone of distances (from near to far) that are within acceptable sharpness at a given aperture and focus distance. If for example something is close to us it will be of an acceptable sharpness but as soon as you move away the more and more things become unclear. Although as human eyes cannot distinguish a very small degree of unsharpness, some subjects that are in front of and behind the sharply focused subjects may still appear to be sharp.

If the subject say a portrait of a women at the beach is only focused on the face the background will not be perceived as much as the face will. Our brains are programmed to look at the obvious stuff, the things that stick out therefore we might not notice straight away that she dropped her ice-cream.

Camerapedia Article on Depth of Field

A perfect example of this is a well known photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt ‘VJ Day’ (1945)


This was taken in New York, Times Square 15 August 1945 the celebration taking place here is because the Second World War is over. The main focus of this image is the couple, she is wearing all white and it is really eye-catching, but if you look at the background you will start to notice the smiling faces of those also celebrating. There is a real sense of exuberance, pure joy. The depth of field in this photo is more of an after thought as the main focus of the images is the couple.

Taken from the book ’50 Photo Icons the story behind the pictures’ by Hans-Michael Koetzle which was published by Taschen in 2017 (page 162).


Fashion Photography

Peter Lindenberg – Born in Lissa, Germany 1944, Lindenberg had worked as a department store window dresser, he then went on to enroll in the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1960’s. “I preferred actively seeking out van Gogh’s inspirations, my idol, rather than painting the mandatory portraits and landscapes taught in Art schools…”. After moving to Düsseldorf in 1971, he turned his attention to photography and worked for two years assisting German photographer Hans Lux, before opening his own studio in 1973.

He introduced a form of new realism by redefining the standards of beauty with timeless images. His humanist approach and idealisation of women sets him apart from the other photographers as he privileges the soul and the personality. He changed drastically the standards of the fashion photography in times of excessive retouching considering that there is something else that makes a person interesting, beyond their age. He explains: “This should be the responsibility of photographers today to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.”
“If you take out the fashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person.” Lindbergh says. British journalist Suzy Menkes points out that the German photographer is: “Refusing to bow to glossy perfection is Peter Lindbergh’s trademark – the essence of the images that look into each person’s unvarnished soul, however familiar or famous the sitter.

In the May 2016 issue of the prestigious magazine Art Forum, Lindbergh declares in his interview with journalist Isabel Flower that “a fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. how surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?” He has worked with so many like Vogue, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar US, Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Face, Visionaire and many more. He set the tone and showed others working in the industry that you can still have a beautiful, real image true to the subject without all the props, glitz and glamour.

Peter Lindenberg Reference



Look back at your personal archive of photography and try and find one photograph to illustrate one of the aesthetic codes discussed in project 2. Find a photo with a good depth of field that fits the code you have selected. Add a playful word/title that anchors the new meaning. The ability of photographs to suit a range of usages is something we will return to later on in the course.

Planning, execution and final outcome

Having looked back over project 2, my favourite part has been exploring the portrait side of photography. I have learned so much in regards to background, lighting and the subject themselves. I have decided to choose a previous photo that I have used in my coursework as I love the photo, it had good depth of field and fits the aesthetic of portrait photography. As mentioned above the uses and way in which we can adapt photos is ever changing and this is the perfect example. I also look forward to delving deeper into fashion photography in particular as the research has been fascinating.

DSC_0037 2.3 focus‘Windswept in Winter’

This photo was from a shoot at the beach for my coursework ‘2.3 Focus’ I was asked to make sure the face was the main focus of the image and that the background had a depth of field. I quite like the idea of going to the beach during the winter and always have even as a child, it becomes a place of peace which completely juxtaposes what the beach is like in the summer. The way the wind has naturally flung her hair about is another thing I love about this image, the hair looks chaotic but the image itself doesn’t seem to be, her scarf wrapped around and the little bit of yellow from her coat adds a nice touch of colour to the grey gloomy sky.






2.2 Viewpoint


I have been asked to select my longest focal length and compose a portrait shot fairly tightly within the frame in front of a background with depth. I have to take one photograph, then walk towards your subject while zooming out to your shortest focal length. It has also been noted to take care to frame the subject in precisely the same way in the viewfinder and take a second shot. I must then compare the two images.

My thoughts

I am very excited to do some portrait photography as I have a real personal interest in it. I decided I would borrow one of my friends and would take a portrait while out and about.

Planning and execution

I hadn’t really planned too much with this unfortunately, I had taken a photo of the brief on my phone so I had it there for when the opportunity struck, as my phone is almost always with me (no surprise there!)

I had been out with a friend and had brought my camera with me and decided that the street we where on was full of depth so I took the shots. Although I decided to do this at night time and looking back that was a bad idea but after fiddling with settings for what seemed a while I took the shots and enjoyed the rest of my night!

This is the first shot taken at the longest focal length of 55mm. The background has loads of depth and the lighting is good considering its night time. The focus in on the subject and has blurred out the background making the Christmas lights take a Bokeh effect which I personally like.
DSC_0037 2.2 viewpoint

This second photo was taken at the shortest focal length of 18mm and I had also moved closer to the subject but still trying to keep the framing the same. The background has kept its depth but has changed, this biggest deference in the photo is the lighting, this photo is a lot darker than the previous one. If you can see in the background one of the streetlights was out and that has altered the photo completely. I still like the fact that the Christmas lights still have a Bokeh effect and that the main focus is the subject.

Comparison and final thoughts

This has been a very interesting task for me to do, I didn’t think much would change as the framing and subject stayed the same but to my surprise a lot changed.

The lighting in the second shot is the most dramatic thing between both photos, it isn’t hitting the subjects face as it was in the first shot it is also a darker background compared to the first shot. We can see some similarities though, like the trees in the background. In both photos they are in the same position and frame of both shots, even when I moved. We can also see a lot more newer things in second shot and get more of the sense that we are on a street as we can see both buildings and more Christmas lights. In the second shot the background looks closer than the second and we see new stuff as I move closer.

I feel I could have done a lot better and that night photography isn’t really my thing! Although I can see and learn from these photos I would consider doing this again and in daylight but overall I feel I have learnt a lot from this task and it has given me a new perspective on how important background is, I have also a new found appreciation for how hard night time photography is!



2.3 Focus


I have been asked to find a good location with good light and take a portrait shot. I must select a wide aperture and long focal length, I must also take a viewpoint about one and a half meters from my subject. It is suggested to focus on the eyes.

Planning and execution

I decided I would take this photo at the beach where there are loads of weather beaten cliffs and dunes. I felt outdoors would be the best place to get good lighting and hoped that the sand would contribute in some way of reflecting light back onto my subject.

I selected a wide aperture and focal length and took the shots, I made note of the fact that I wanted my background a bit blurry so the main focus was on the face.

DSC_0037 2.3 focus.JPGI feel this photo is very effective, the eyes are the main focus and the way the wind has blown her hair is very natural looking. The dunes in the background give some warmth to the photo and the light house also lets the viewer know that we were at the beach.

Final thoughts

I found this very interesting and I am very happy with the results, it has made me want to take more portrait shots. It has also taught me that lighting and location are very important and I would not change anything in the future.


2.1 Zoom


I have been asked to find a scene that has depth and take five or six photos from a fixed position. I must used different focal lengths and not change my viewpoint. once I have completed that I must create my own image to go at the end of the sequence.

My thoughts

After studying the brief I began to write down any ideas that came to mind, the one that I really got excited about was to take the photos in a tunnel. This would be a big challenge for me as I have never photographed in tunnel/underpass before and I have always been fascinated with how photos of the tube and the underground in London have looked as I have never personally been there before. In Ireland they don’t have trains that go underground and the only time I have ever experienced something like that would have been when I was five in Paris.

Planning and execution

I know of an underpass near where I live so I decided to head down, I brought my tripod and a book to write down my focal lengths as I went along. I started to set up, I hadn’t actually planned what I had wanted to do when I got to the underpass so I did a lot of surveying as to what would look best. I then decided to stand further back and zoom into the underpass rather than be in the tunnel where as I later found out was too dark. I set my camera to Aperture- priority mode and got to work.

The following photos are of the underpass, I used a tripod and different focal lengths in each image.

DSC_0729Image 1, Focal length – 18mm


DSC_0730Image 2, Focal length- 24mm



Image 3, Focal length – 35mm


DSC_0732.JPGImage 4, Focal length – 45mm


DSC_0733.JPGImage 5, Focal length – 55mm

In each image although the viewpoint never changes the photo itself seems to crop and we get a different a perspective. We can also see more detail as each photo zooms further in. In the slide show below we can easily see that when the photos are put together it looks as though we are walking closer and closer to the underpass. Its as if we are there in real life.



As previously stated I have always had a fascination with underpasses, tunnels etc. There is just something about the saying “there is always light a the end of the tunnel” yes, it is very cliché but there really is some truth to that. I always seem to associate it with mental health, there is so much stigma around mental health and we all have mental health whether it is stress or depression and so many people know of that saying because they have at some time felt like there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.

I went on to research if any photographer had gone down this path and I didn’t find much, but I did come across a photographer in America, Tonya Johnston. She had named one of her works “Light at the end of the tunnel”  I personally find it beautiful and says a lot more than meets the eye.

Tonya Johnston – Light at the end of the tunnel

I also went looking for some London underground photos and came across Luke Agbaimoni, a British free lance photographer who also does portraiture and weddinging photography. He specifically did a project called “Tunnel Vision” which I found fascinating.

Tunnel Vision Project by Luke Agbaimoni

Luke Agbaimoni’s personal website


My final image

I was asked to create an image that will go together as a set with the above five images, I decided to get a toilet tube roll and make my own tunnel. I held it up close to the lens and then I also got a cardboard box from my cupboard and tried the different shape in order to match my actual photos of the underpass. I did quite a few test shots before picking my final one. the following are the test shots…

DSC_0762Test image 1 with toilet tube, Focal length – 55mm

DSC_0765Test image 2 with square cardboard box, Focal length – 35mm

DSC_0773.JPGTest image 3 with square cardboard box, Focal length – 45mm

My final image 

DSC_0767Final image with square cardboard box, Focal length 55mm

I choose this image because it really gives an impression of an underpass. I found it hard to recreate the image as the only way this would work was if it was right up close to the lens. Although the image is focused on the box more than the other end I still find it very effective and in the previous images using the actual underpass, I feel the main focus is the underpass itself not what is at the other end. I also feel the first image of test shots is very effective but there is no sense of an opening of the tunnel its very much just a circle, therefore did not use it as my final image.