Tag Archives: Week8

Activities Linked to Week 8 of a module

Estimate – Activity

The second activity of the week was to produce an estimate.

“A small communications agency contacts you and would like you to give them an estimate. They are re-branding Broadgate, an area in London, and need 25 images to use for printed materials, social media, web, tube ads and potentially billboards. The license term is five years. They think you can do the shoot in two days.”

I know the Broadgate area very well as I have worked their for a significant part of my working life or travelled through it on my way to work. This could place me at an advantage to other photographers but equally means that you need to be careful to not just see the environment in the way you have seen it first opened in the 1980s as part of deregulation in the city  aka “Big Bang”.  The site is currently undergoing regeneration this year UBS moved into their new home at 5 Broadgate vacating: 100 Liverpool Street, 6 / 8 Broadgate and 1 / 2 Finsbury Avenue.  The area to the East of Broadgate Sun Street is currently subject to redevelopment work creating a mix of office, a residential property. 100 Liverpool Street and 6/8 Broadgate are currently undergoing redevelopment and ar due to re-open in 2019.

When quoting for this job I decided to treat it like a local shoot as my travel to London is already covered by a season ticket plus it was would be a significant part of my quote. The quote is based on the assumption that the client would want exterior and interior shoots of the space. My thought process was to shoot on one weekday and one weekend day. The week day would be used to capture images that would focus on the building interiors and market stalls that sell food and give the area a much more modern vide than it had in the 1980s. Broadgate can be as a transition between the hipster area of Shoreditch and the more tradition Square Mile (the pre big bang home for Brokers and Dealers on the merkets of London.)

The weekend day would be used to shoot exterior images of the building due to the lower volume of people walking through the space. My initial quote therefore did not include an assistant as typically I would approach this type of shoot asa single handed crew. I decide to separate usage from my time to establish a base cost with the client for image usage. As the requirement had not been specific I restricted the region to London only allowing for the option to renegotiate the usage costs if the client wants to use the images to attract overseas clients.

Included time for retouching of the images.

I included a quote for hiring equipment for the shoot based on hiring costs from TheFlashCentre (www.theflashcentre.co.uk) even though I have all of the equipment required for this shoot in my equipment store. This strategy means that if I had an equipment failure I could hire replacement items without eating into my contingency with the quote. Separating the costs out helps with negotiating with the client, as quoting a single all in price means they can try to apply an overall haircut to whole quote. With an itemised we can now negotiate on the inclusion or exclusion of specific costs if necessary.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Photo-Shoot-Estimate-Week8-2.pdf” title=”Photo Shoot Estimate Week8-2″]

After feedback from tutors and reflecting upon my own experience of shooting at weekends in London I added an assistant to the estimate.  

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Photo-Shoot-Estimate-Week8-2-revised.pdf” title=”Photo Shoot Estimate Week8-2 revised”]

The most difficult task for this activity was establishing a baseline cost to quote against to ensure the final estimate was in an appropriate ballpark to allow a dialogue to take place with the agency.

Final consideration for this job is timing we are in November and that means Broadgate Estates will put up their Christmas decorations. To ensure that the images are not immediately dated the timing of the shoot might need to be altered to avoid that period. Weather is a final factor to consider and would be something to discuss with the client though being local means I could easily move the shoot schedule if there was adverse weather on the intended shoot dates. 

Tell A Story – Activity

The activity this week was to tell a story that has a clear beginning middle and end in 5 to 7 images that could be local. ParisPhoto was this weekend and I decided to make a return visit as in 2016 it was one of the field trips for the MA course. Work is currently very busy so I decided to compress my time in Paris to two days. Travelling on the Saturday and returning on the Sunday. Saturday was planned for ParisPhoto and OffPrint and Sunday morning time to shoot a continuation of my City Canyons project in Paris. I had originally intended that this activity would be the story of my trip to PhotoParis however when shooting around Paris on Sunday I decided I had a stronger story about the journey to finding the Eiffel Tower which was a 20 minute walk from my hotel.

The first image is the view of the Eiffel Tower from just outside the hotel front entrance. It had been raining overnight and the sky’s remained heavy suggesting a downpour was imminent. For me it created a melancholy feeling to my walk to the tower.

This  second image taken maybe about 0.5 km from the Eiffel Tower I really liked as the trees framed the tower and gave the impression of it being something organic.

I got close the base of the Eiffel Tower to be greeted by a Steel wall that stretched left and right as far as I could see. A reminder of the fact that Paris and France are a country under attack. This ring of steel around a landmark is a counterpoint to the French values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (En.wikipedia.org, 2017) fostered after the French Revolution.

The next image I included to reinforce the message that freedom comes at a price we are all being watched and we can no longer roam where we want without restrictions.

The final image in my series was the entrance to gain access to the Eiffel Tower with the queue of people waiting in the rain. 

References

  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Liberté, égalité, fraternité. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libert%C3%A9,_%C3%A9galit%C3%A9,_fraternit%C3%A9 [Accessed 19 Nov. 2017].

Who Buys Photography Part 1 – Reflection

For this week’s reflection I will look back on the following items:

  • Selling my work
  • Estimate – Challenge
  • ParisPhoto and Offprint visit
  • Paris photo – creating work in an unfamiliar environment

Earlier in this module I exhibited my work at the London Photo Show for the Series “Last person to leave turn off the tap” for the exhibition I selected 8 images from last modules work in progress for the exhibition. Given the industrial nature of the prints I decided to print them on 16-inch square aluminium panels. The show allowed exhibitors to sell work directly to visitors therefore I had to make some decisions about price and if the work should be structured using editions. During a talk in Krakow Gerry Badger had covered this topic of applying editions to work as a way of buyers having comfort that a photograph can have a similar level of rarity to other art works such as paintings and sculptures.

After much reflection, I decided that this initial body of work would be for sale as a single size with an edition of 5 plus two artist’s proofs. The manufacturing process is higher than printing on archival quality paper and framing the images but I overall like the effect. When considering pricing I decided that I would apply a consistent price across the edition and not increase the price as the edition starts to sell. My view on this approach was to build trust in the brand and not appear to be cashing in on popularity. I priced the work at 2 times production cost when I compared this to other works the price compared favourably with other work for sale at the show. If I was selling via a gallery that price would need to be higher to cover gallery commission which I understand is typically 50% of sale price. Therefore, to retain the same margin as a direct sale the work would then need to be priced at 4 times production cost.

The challenge work this week was all about estimating for a commercial job. It was ironic that the commercial job was in an area of London that I know very well which provided me with a potential local knowledge advantage. I constructed an initial estimate based on my usual shooting approach which is to work on my own thought based on feedback from the tutors I produced a revised quote including an assistant which only increased the overall quote by a few percent. I decided to separate usage costs in the quote to help establish a baseline for image usage with the client, so if they wanted to extend the usage period for a longer term or expand the distribution channels for the image we had an established reference point. My view is that if the usage costs were embedded in the production costs both parties do not have a common starting point. It was interesting to see that post student’s quotes were in a range between £5,000 and £10,000 with one noticeable outlier who decided to quote over £40,000 which means most us were underpricing our work or he was deliberately highballing to avoid his quote being picked as the quote was submitted after other students had published their quotes.

I visited ParisPhoto for the second-year galleries and many photographs on display were familiar to last year or other photo shows such as Photo London or Unseen in Amsterdam. Compared to Unseen galleries are displaying higher value pieces that is reflective of the exhibition space. I went to the show on the Saturday which I feel is more of a day for the public rather than the buying of art by collectors as many of the gallerists were huddled over their laptops and did not appear to be engaging with visitors. The story was very different around the book stands where queues formed to get books signed by well known photographers which I think supports my assessment that we are not just buying work we are buying into the brand of the person who created the work. Prior to this module, I have taken a low key position with my work but I now realise if I want to have a sustainable practice I need to promote myself and my brand via multiple channels.

The final reflection point for this week is my photo shoot in Paris. The weather on the Sunday was not ideal in the past I would have kept the camera in the bag and done something else. In this case I decided to go out and shoot. Overall I did not consider the shoot a success but it did remind me that when undertaking work in locations where you do not have local knowledge it is important incorporate scouting time into the schedule and allow time for unexpected circumstances such as adverse weather. It is cheaper to add an extra couple of days of hotel time when on location rather than leave empty handed and must absorb the travel costs involved in returning to the location later.

Paris – Project

Location:

Paris

Intent:

While visiting Paris I decided to revisit my body of work City Canyons and explore how this work would translate to some of the streets in Paris.

Equipment Used:

I decided to use the same equipment that worked successfully for the City Canyon’s project earlier in 2017 which is a GoPro mounted on a chest harness. The setup appears to be invisible to others as I walk around the street.

Methodology:

The GoPro is configured to capture images using timelapse and then groups of images are selected to create the composite image. When I originally started to create, work using this method I had been rigid and always used 7 images in the composite however through refinement of technique I discovered that the subjects in the source images influenced the number of images that I considered as optimal for the result. The indeed outcome being to create an image that had a painterly effect.

Based on the last experiments with this technique I decided that I would only start the timelapse where I felt the route presented me with promising material rather than leaving the GoPro recording for the duration of the walk and requiring more work to select promising combinations in post-production.

Images:

The weather in Paris was not promising with heavily overcast skies but I decided to venture out with the River Seine and the Eiffel Tower being my primary areas of exploration. While out shooting, it started to rain. Fortunately, the GoPro was in a waterproof housing however rain was falling on the lens area this resulted which created micro distortions within the source images. Rather than recreating the City Canyon images I went with a Hockney perspective inspired approach to combining images.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-11-Paris.pdf”]

 

Research References:

I did not undertake any new technical research in preparation for this shoot instead I considered visual references when entering the editing phase I returned to the work of David Hockney on perspectives and used photo merging to create perspective defying images from the GoPro frames.

Card Players #1, 2014 © David Hockney

 

Assessment of Outcome:

The premise for the shoot and methodology where I felt reasonable however the final outcome was from the shoot was not as successful as I envisioned when planning the trip to Paris.

I believe there were several factors that resulted in a less successful body of work. Firstly, I did not allow myself enough time to explore the streets of Paris and find suitable locations. I have spent a significant amount of time in the City of London so the street is familiar so expecting to get the same result in a short time frame was too ambitious. The second reason was the nature of the urban geography the City of London has narrow streets that help create the natural canyons whereas the area around the Eiffel Tower consists of wider boulevards removing the proximity of the building facades that help in the previous work. Selecting a different arrondissements of Paris could have addressed that aspect. This resulted in an important lesson for me you need to allow scouting time in the schedule especially when visiting a new location.

The final element that did not work for this shoot was the weather, it might have been better to adopt a different shoot technique once it was clear on the morning of the shoot that it was gone to rain for the duration of the time allocated to the shoot.

References:

 

 

ParisPhoto and OffPrint – Event

Last year we visited ParisPhoto as a field trip with Falmouth University and this year I decided to visit ParisPhoto to specifically look at work of photographers who I view as contemporary photographers such as Nadav Kander and Simon Roberts.

On the Flowers Gallery Stand was a print from Nadav’s recent Thames Estuary body of work. The print was a larger portrait image with subtle colour tones similar to the colour tones found in Jason Orton and my own work from the Essex Coast / Thames Estuary. My own images are currently presented in landscape form, though I like the idea of converting the image into a series of three panels which reminiscent of the panels that were created in the 14th century.

Simon Roberts’ Merrie Albion – Landscapes Studies of a Small Island has been produced in large print and book formats. Similar to Nadav’s work the colour tones are subtle and the landscapes included an image from Flatford Mill famously recorded on canvas by Constable with well known titles such as Lott’s Cottage.

ParisPhoto is towards the pinnacle of the photographic art market with pictures commanding prices at the higher end of the market out of reach with ownership being out of reach for most of the visitors attending on the Saturday this is a consequence of the fact that it is expensive for galleries to hire space in the Grand Palais. The show had gallery representation from the across the globe with multiple Asian galleries having made the trip to Paris.

The scale of the amazing Grand Palais could overwhelm the casual visitor and the following video is a tour of the centre section only.

 

In addition to the prints being exhibited a number of book publishers has stands and arranged book signings. The book signings provided visitors with a chance to speak to photographers and I spent time talking to the photographer Stefan Bladh about is new book Hidden Kingdom published by Kerber.

After spending time at ParisPhoto I went to OffPrint which sits at a very different position within the art market. Exhibitions having a single 6ft trestle table to house books, zines and prints. While Grand Palais atmosphere might be described as refined whereas OffPrint has a grass roots / art student vibe with exhibitors drinking glasses of wine and pints of beer. I had a chance to catch-up with Arron Morel from Morel Books who I had meets earlier in the year at a Magnum Photobook event. Arron was selling a number of books including a new limited edition surrealist photobook what was interesting about this specific book was the pricing strategy that Arron had adopted where as he sold each copy of the book he increased the book price by 1 unit of the local currency. No 1 of the edition sells for £1, €1 or $1 yet No 68 sells for £68/€68/$68 directly linking rarity to value. An interesting strategy encouraging collectors to buy close to release date.

Looking back on ParisPhoto 2016 to ParisPhoto 2017 I feel I have a better appreciation of the art market and how artists and galleries operate within the market. At ParisPhoto most galleries were showing work from multiple artists rather than UnSeen where the same galleries were showing single artists and less well recognised artists. The presence of Asian galleries reinforcing interest in vintage photographs especially by Japanese Photographers

Workshop Guidance – Reflection

In this week’s reflection I have considered the following questions:

  • What is your role as a photographer? 
  • How can you help others?
  • What might teaching others actually teach you?

For the type of workshop I am planning for this module I will be taking on a number of different roles. The first is as event organiser designing the event so that attendees will find it fun and engaging. The next role is as guide ensuring that on the day the group get to see the different locations from different perspectives to challenge their image making skills. Third is an educator sharing photographic knowledge with people attending the event and providing feedback on the photographs that people take during the walk.

In organising photowalks I can help attendees in several different ways the first is sharing technical knowledge with attendees to allow them use features on their camera that they might not have used previously. Though technical skills are not the only thing that I can share as camera is a tool and images are created by the person behind the camera and the elements that we decide to include and exclude from the image. Szarkowski (Szarkowski, 2007, p. 70) describes how the photographer uses the frame to create interest within the photograph by what is the frame and what is left out. The final thing that I could share with the attendees is a passion for image making.

When I have attended workshops there have been a number of times when the tutor comments that they have learnt something new from the people attending the workshop either through a happy accident during the workshop or because someone attending approaches image making from a different direction to the tutor. I could expect this to happen in my workshops. Sharing with other makes us examine our own methods and strategies as muscle memory can sometimes make us lazy and we use familiar setups that might be closing doors to different ways of seeing. Teaching naturally creates new questions and new possibilities. I remember one of my secondary school teachers telling me the day we stop learning is the day we die and in teaching other we learn more about ourselves. It is something that drive me forward each day within my practice.

References

  • Szarkowski, J. (2007). The Photographer’s Eye. New York: Museum of Modern Art.

Enter the Academy – Reflection

Many artists including photographs aspire to have their work exhibited in a gallery possibly as an affirmation that their work relevance and meaning. Yet when as a group we discussed our experience of visiting different galleries, we talked about these venues are viewed as being elitist and therefore their appeal to a broader population is some how reduced. For me galleries serve a number of purposes and it is important to discuss their effectiveness within those contexts.

There are the public galleries (museums) who are exhibiting works to inform their audience about a specific topic. Either as curated work from multiple artists  on a specific theme or single artist who has a meaningful body of work on a specific subject. The Tate and Barbican galleries represent the public gallery space that support the types of work I am referencing above. I visited The Curve gallery at the Barbican is an internal space with no natural light and grey walls, for the Richard Mosse exhibition titled Incoming they used limited lighting that complemented the images that had been recorded on infrared imaging equipment that are a series of grey tones. In this situation if a gallery informs me and I am able to engage with the work of an artist who interests me the gallery exhibition has been effective in executing its mission.

There are a group of galleries that I classify as commercial in outlook, who arrange exhibitions of artists that they represent with the objective of selling those pieces to collectors with galleries such as Gagosian and Atlas at the upper end of that market. For the large commercial galleries success of an exhibition can be measured in more tangible terms such as the value of sales generated as a result of the exhibition.Then their are smaller galleries who cater for collectors with smaller budgets but also provide space that photographers can hire to stage their own exhibitions. The duration of exhibitions in the small galleries is measured in days while a large gallery exhibition might last for a month or longer. These gallery spaces traditionally make use of plain white walls large open spaces that are neutral to different exhibitions that will come and go during the year. 

An article by Jonathan Jones in the Guardian challenges the traditional gallery construct ‘Flat, Soulless and Stupid – Why Photographs Don’t Work in Art Galleries’ (Links to an external site.)

Today there are organisations who are looking to take art out of the traditional gallery space to make the work more accessible. A good example of that approach is the current exhibition for the 2016 Landscape Photographer of the year. The exhibition of winning work is currently touring the United Kingdom, however instead of hosting the images in a gallery the works are being exhibited a major train stations. The revised dates are as follows:

London Bridge – Until 11 March
Glasgow Central – 13 March to 8 April
Manchester Piccadilly – 10 April to 22 April
Leeds – 24 April to 13 May
Birmingham – 15 May to 27 May
London Charing Cross – 29 May to 10 June
London Paddington – 12 June to 24 June

This non-traditional approach to exhibiting work has made me think about the different options for my own project, that could include hosting an exhibition outdoors though clearly there are challenges given the unpredictable nature of the weather in the UK.

In the museum / gallery context there are multiple voices who are interpreting the works in the exhibition. The first is the curator who outlines how the different pieces in the exhibition combine together to tell the story of the exhibition which can be communicated in a number of through a number of different forms the titling of each piece, the accompanying brochure for larger exhibitions this might take the form of a show catalogue. Art critics and journalist might be asked to write pieces about the exhibition. In the case of the interview with on Terrains of the Body  exhibition this was the journalist for Winkball, Emily Butler Curator for the Whitechapel Gallery and Kathryn Wat, National Museum of Women in the Arts Curator.

The individuals speaking about the exhibition are all female which reinforces the fact the exhibition is about female photographers and how they have an important voice within contemporary similar to their male counterparts. The voices speak as a cohesive one the importance of female empowerment, overcoming preconceptions of gender, race and nationality while giving life to the imagination.

Overall the exhibition has a strong message to communicate about women and female form in contemporary art. I like the fact that the exhibition is challenging traditional norms and asks questions that make us want to look more closely at how we view the subject matter. I hope to find time to view visit the exhibition before it closes on the 16th April.

  

 

Exhibition – Richard Mosse: Incoming

Week 8 included a task to visit a gallery I decided to go an exhibition by Richard Mosse at the Barbican Curve titled Incoming. The exhibition chart the journey of refuges crossing the Europes Borders. The images were recorded using long range military imaging equipment. The exhibition was a mix of printed images and multi-media presentations.

When entering the curve gallery the visitor confronts a 4×4 wall of monitors that show images in a loop and on the right is a short text that provides context to the works on display. In fact it is the only text in the exhibition. After walking past the TV wall the visitor encounters two large prints. At the end of the curve gallery is the main piece consists of a large projection using three projectors. The visual element is support by audio which is based on sound recorded during the image recording process. The area in front of the projection has seating to encourage the viewer to linger and watch the complete cycle of images.

I felt the curve gallery space and the ambient lighting worked perfectly to complete the work on display. The curve of the gallery space means the viewer is not immediately aware where the gallery space ends this is similar to the refuges travelling across Europe who are not sure of their end destination. The grey walls and the subdued lighting mirror the fact the some of the refugees journey takes place during the hours of darkness.

The use of powerful military imaging equipment has allowed Mosse to record the images as though he was closer to his subjects however some of the longer range images remind us that Mosse in viewing the subjects from the position that would more traditionally occupied by a voyeur.

 

Exploring contexts: Web Presentation

I feel today having an internet presence is a key element of any artists practice as it allows you to project your practice globally. I have experiment over the years with many different tools and products to build an online gallery. My first sites used hand coded script which is time consuming and was acceptable at a time where limited functionality was acceptable on the web. However today expectations on what represents a well branded site have changed but so have the tools available.

I have looked a t multiple photography hosting options including Squarespace, jAlbum and Zenfolio. Adobe Creative cloud provides a number of free portfolio options via Behance and myportfolio which provides free hosting within the monthly subscription. I have been using WordPress since version 2.0 on a hosted site. When I have periodically reviewed the different options there has not been a compelling reason to migrate. The key reasons for my continued use of wordpress are:

  • I can integrate photo galleries and a blog into a single site
  • Regular updates to the core platform that keep it current to evolving web standards
  • Rich community of third party developers providing free or paid extensions to the core product
  • Integration with other social media platforms
  • Easy changes to look and feel of site
  • Integration into my mobile workflow. I no longer need use a computer to publish on site it can all be accomplished via a smartphone

I now make more use of subscription based plug-ins on my sites with Photocrati being my preferred theme for photography centric sites (in fact this CRJ is using a Photocrati theme.)

Given the diverse nature of the my photographic and artistic influences the websites used by those individuals vary significantly however there are a number of common design aesthetics that are present in the sites. They are typically clean using simple typographic layout, menus create clear sections to the information on the sites. Generally they use a strong single topic on the landing (home) page. The sites contain other forms of media in addition to the photography which I consider as important to provide the visitor with added context. When publishing work online the question of watermarking images is raised as a protection mechanism. What is interesting is that the sites have looked at do not watermark the images which has prompted me to reconsider its use on my own sites as I now consider it as a distraction and I am better using other techniques to prevent copyright infringement.

The current layout for my primary web presence:

Simonfremont.com