Assignment 1 – Two Sides of the Story

Assignment 1 

Initial Thoughts

When I first looked at this assignment I was apprehensive. I tried to think of things that you could show two sides of. I made a list, which included festivals, like a food and a music festival. I narrowed it down and eventually settled on showing the two sides to Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire is known for being a beautiful place that attracts tourists year round. I wanted to show the good parts, including the picturesque parts, the places that the tourists are attracted to. But then I wanted to show the other side of Pembrokeshire, which is the ‘bad’ side of the area. I then made a list of places n Pembrokeshire that could represent the pretty places. Whilst out and about I kept a look out for things that could show the bad parts of Pembrokeshire.

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Research 

As I would be looking at possibly abandoned buildings to represent the ‘bad’ side of Pembrokeshire. I looked into Nicholas Grospierre, who has photographed buildings in disrepair. Nicolas Grospierre is a Swiss photograph born in 1975. His images concentrate on angles, he uses architectural plans as his inspiration for his compositions. He describes his work as “On one hand documentary…and on the other conceptual”. I partically like his images of the sides of building, showing the windows, as the windows can show a lot about a building.

Another photographer I looked into was Becher. He composed his shots neatly within the frame, and all his images have the same composition, they are very consistent. I found his images interesting, but I would have liked to see different angles instead of all being the same.

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I also looked at Paul Graham’s work Troubled Lands, which explores the troubles in Ireland. I really like these images, as they show Northern Ireland in a different light, similar to the way I wanted to show Pembrokeshire.


Creativity

As far as being creative with this assignment, I used natural lighting in all my images, and tried to convey an atmosphere using the time of day, the weather and the lighting in particular for the ‘Bad’ Pembrokeshire images. I wanted to show emotion in the images. I tired to use shapes and geometry to aid in my composition of the shots. I aimed to show a contrast between the sunny ‘Good’ images and the dark atmospheric ‘Bad’ images.


Assignment One 

Two Sides of the Story

Create Two Sets of photographs telling different versions of the same story. Choose a theme and aim for 5-7 images for each set, depending on your idea.  

When I first read about this assignment, I wasn’t sure how to go about. I made a list of themes, and then narrowed the list down. In the end I was left with two theme, the first being festivals and the second being Pembrokeshire. The problem I found with the festivals was that there were plenty of local food festivals, I wanted to contrast this with a music festival, but I couldn’t find any suitable. So I settled for my theme of Pembrokeshire. I wanted to look at the two sides to Pembrokeshire. First the pretty Pembrokeshire which most people think of. Including the mountains, the beaches, the rivers, and the landscape in general. Pembrokeshire is seen as a gorgeous place, favoured by tourists. It also is home to the United Kingdoms only Coastal National Park. Pembrokeshire’s landscape is so diverse. I wanted to photograph areas that show the true Pembrokeshire, so not just the parts the tourists visit. I wanted to explore and find less known about places. But as with everywhere there is another side to Pembrokeshire, which I wanted to explore. I wanted to look at what brings the area down, for example the dumping of rubbish, or abandoned buildings, not things you would think of when thinking of Pembrokeshire. After going out and exploring, I was happy with the photographs I got. I found plenty of places to show the Idyllic side of Pembrokeshire, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find many showing the bad parts of Pembrokeshire. But I was surprised of how many photographs I had. I am happy with the photograph, but I am not so happy about the printing. Before the next assignment, I will be getting a new photo printer, so hopefully it will help with the problem.

The Camera I used during this assignment was my Nikon D610 with a Nikon 24-85mm lens. For one of the photographs I was forced to use my Leica Compact Camera. Whilst photographing the Idyllic Pembrokeshire photographs I tried to photograph on clear, sunny beautiful days, in contrast to the Unknown Pembrokeshire photograph which I photographed on dull and stormy days.

Idyllic Pembrokeshire

Ceibwr Pools

The pools are located at Ceibwr Bay, which is a remote bay located in North Pembrokeshire, only accessible down miles of narrow roads. This area is not usually a tourist location. The pools are only accessible on the coastal path, which is a long and difficult walk. I am happy with this photograph. I like the way the pools are centralized, with the sea to back, and the landscape all area, including the rocks and the grass. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 100, f/8.0 at 1/250 sec. I would have liked to have been able to get closer to the pools but the rocks were very unstable.

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Tenby

This scene in Tenby of the colourful buildings is a classic iconic images of Pembrokeshire. Tenby is a beautiful place, with the harbor, the golden sands and the clear waters. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 200, f/11, at 1/400 sec. I would have loved to get this picture when the tide was in, but unfortunately whenever the tide was in the weather took a turn for the worst. I find it quite difficult to get the angle the get all the buildings in.

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Brynberian

Brynberian is a small area situated amongst the Preseli Mountains. Brynberian is only a short drive from where I live, but I find I have often overlooked it as a place for taking photographs. When I took this photograph it was a beautiful but very windy day. In the end I used a tripod to steady the camera in order to get the picture. From this viewpoint you can see for miles, it is truly beautiful. I wanted to show the small wood in the photograph as otherwise it would just show the great expanse of the countryside, with nothing to concentrate on specifically. I really do like the photograph, but I do not think it does the area justice. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 200, f/10 at 1/400 sec.

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Nevern Church

Nevern is a small village in the heart of Pembrokeshire. It is not seen as a place to visit if you’re a tourist, but I wanted to capture this picture showing how the church is nestled amongst the landscape. I find this picture shows how architecture and nature can blend together to create a pretty scene. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 200, f/8.0, at 1/250 sec.

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Cenarth Falls

Cenarth Falls is located in the village called Cenarth. The river runs directly through the village cutting it in two. These waterfalls may not be the biggest or the most impressive in the UK, but it is one of only a few waterfalls in Pembrokeshire. When photographing this, I used a Lee Big Stopper filter. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 200, f/13, at 4.5 sec. When printing this photograph, I found the water has a greenish ting; I tried to edit the colour slightly to help with this. I feel it look better but I am still not entirely happy with the colour.

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Hay Bales

This scene I stumbled upon by accident. I was travelling and took a wrong turn down a narrow road and came across a field with the hay bales. It was late in the evening and the sun was setting giving the picture a yellow-orange hue. My biggest concern with this picture was the sky. I took many pictures, and they all came up very similar. I tried to edit it in lightroom but to no avail. However I kind of like it with the white sky. My setting for this photograph were, ISO 400, f/9.0 at 1/160 sec.

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Unknown Pembrokeshire

Llawhaden House

This building is called Llawhaden House, located in the center of the village of Llawhaden. 15 years ago, a fire destroyed the house, with only some of the walls still standing. It was a historic building but now has been left fenced off. I would have liked to get different angle or closer to the building but as it has been fenced off I was unable to do so. My setting for this photograph were, ISO 400, f/8.0, at 1/100 sec.

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Farmers Dump

This photograph shows an area were local farmers have been dumping rubbish and old machinery. This can be seen from the main road, and is getting bigger by the day. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 800, f/8.0 at 1/60 sec. I photographed this on a very dull day but the sky has gone very light, I would like to capture this photograph again but with different weather.

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Abandoned Cars

This scene can be found on a busy main road. I have lived in the area for 16 years, and these cars have been there all that time, they have been abandoned by the roadside. I wanted to show this scene and how it can bring an area down. My settings for this photograph were, ISO 400, f/4.5, at 1/160 sec. I am happy with this photograph.

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Slebech Church

Slebech Church is located on a dual carriageway opposite a BMW and a Mini Dealership. This Church has been abandoned for a long time. It is a grade II listed building. This Church is seen as being very unlucky by locals, as the builders built it so that the alter faces in the wrong direction. The church has also been the site of a suicide. The church was brought by a businessman and immediately after buying it his business went bankrupt and was forced to sell it, only receiving a £1 for it. The settings for this photograph were, ISO 640, f/8.0, at 1/60 sec. I wanted the trees to be a border to the picture with only a section of the church exposed. I feel the sky adds to the atmosphere of the Church.

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Rubbish

I wanted to included a picture showing the rubbish being left at the sides of the roads. The settings I used for this photograph were, ISO 800, f/7.1, at 1/25 sec. I spent a while searching around for rubbish left, I was not a hundred percent happy with the picture but I would like to keep searching for a more suitable photograph.

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Boncath Station

Boncath village used to have a railway but when it closed the station building was left to stand empty. No one has kept it up or restored it; it has been left to fall down. I feel the picture conveys the derelictness of the building but printing it I found the picture dark. I tried to adjust the brightness but I couldn’t get it so I was totally happy with it. Whilst I was photographing in the area my Nikon D610 battery ran out completely, I thought I had a spare in my bag but it turned out it was in the car, but luckily I had my Leica compact camera, which I used to take this photograph. The settings I used for this photograph were, ISO 80, f/2.8, at 1/30 sec.

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Tutor Feedback 

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Feedback Response

The feedback I received for this assignment was constructive, I was a bit wary as this was my first assignment. My tutor stated that the idea I had was good but the print quality really let it down. Which I completely agree with, I really had problems with my printer, and have since brought another better one. My tutor also mentioned that I could have showed the two sides to the same place, which I might do in the rework. She stated that how I presented my work was bad, but I didn’t know I had to present it, I initially thought it was just prints needed. My tutor went through each image.

Some of the images were over saturated, or not completely straight. Some the composition wasn’t right, and others have some things that were distracting from the image.

She also mentioned that I get my work proofread, as there were some spelling and grammatical errors. She also recommend I look at Niki Feisen.


Rework 
After receiving the feedback, I relooked at the images. I straighten the Ceibwr Bay image, so that the horizon was straight. I adjusted the colours in the majority of images, some of this was due to the print outs that I sent in. I edited the sky in the haybales image to add colour and depth, instead of the bland sky that was there. I also edited the Cenarth Falls image, so the whites weren’t are overexposed. I removed the Tenby, the rubbish and the farmers dump images. I added an image of an abandoned building to show that Pembrokeshire has places like this in contrast to the pretty idyllic images. I also added a new image of a boat on the water for showing the pretty Pembrokeshire.

Idyllic Pembrokeshire 

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Unknown Pembrokeshire 

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