My Girl: A2 Print Test

In order to help me decide what size I’m going to print my final images I did a test of sections of each image on one sheet on A2. The paper I used was glossy, and I also tried metallic which is a new paper the University have brought in.

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Shown above, on the left is the metallic finish and on the right is the glossy paper. The images are in a different order is because I only did the glossy layout very quickly and wanted to straighten it up, but forgot to put them in the same order. The picture has only been taken on my iPhone as well. It’s very hard to see the different in this image, and also in real life, I’m not sure which paper I prefer.

The quality of the images is actually pretty good for the format they were taken on. I did however use Ektar 100 film, so I think this made a big different. I think I would be happy to print them all this big, I’m going to show the group these images at the final work review to help me decide how big I should print them. I’m a little cautious to have them really big because of the quality, but I agree that having them small and in domestic frames may take away the quality of the images in general.

Another thing to think about is how the glossy or metallic are going to look behind glass/plastic if I choose to frame them, as this can also change how they look. I’m getting there, but there are still a few more decisions to make as we get closer to the deadline. The small images which I placed in a domestic environment were printed on glossy paper and where behind plastic, which I didn’t think effected the quality too much.

Overall I may be changing my mind on how I want to present, even though testing out different sizes and paper has confused me, it is helpful to see the same work in so many different ways.


Tutorial Review

After having my tutorial and discussing my previous presenting ideas, I may print at A3 or A2 and frame them, displaying the names of the cars. With my domestic presenting idea I could have them in everyday frames on the wall and make a wallpaper, however because the images are so clean and clinical looking this may take away from them.

Instead of printing them all at A2 straight away I’m going to do a test print of all the cars I’m using as my final prints and seeing what they would look like this big. As I shot on 35mm they may look too grainy, and lose quality printed this big, which isn’t what I want. From previous prints I have decided I want them to be glossy, as this really brings out the colours.

During my tutorial I also discussed possible title names such as Anthropomorphic but perhaps having this title AND placing the images in a domestic atmosphere may be too obvious. Instead, and especially if I print them bigger and display in a more structured way, I may title the project My Girl. Due to the fact all the cars I’m using as my final images have female names, and people who name their car a feminine name will tend to call their cars “my girl”. I really like this as a title, especially by having either labels or the names under the images this could be very effective.

Next I’m going to do an A2 test print and see how they turn out, and also decide how i’m going to frame and place the names in the gallery. They could be within the frames under the image, or stuck on a label next to them, I will test out both ways in photoshop to help me decide.

Digital Printing Worksop

During the digital printing workshop we were given a refresher from last year of how to set up our images ready to print.

Before beginning anything it’s important to make sure that the computer we’re on is set to the right colour profile. To do this go to system preferences – displays – colour – Dell 7-14 (which ever you’re on) D65.

For the colour profile of our images, for printing they should be Adobe RGB 1998, or for screens they should be sRGB as the colours appear different on screens to on print.

As well as colour profile the colour space also needs to be checked to make sure every time our images are set to Adobe RGB. To do this within Photoshop go to edit – colour settings – Europe Prepress 3.

After scanning images, the profile will change when moving to a different computer, when it asks to convert profile you should change it.

We then went through step by step of which order to edit our images (all from TIFF):
1. Crop (this will get rid of any unnecessary light or dark areas around the image making the histogram easier to read).
2. Levels, use alt key to see what you would lose in terms of highlights and shadows.
3. RGB, you can changed each colour individually on levels to try and get the correct colour.
4. Blending layers – multiply darkens.
5. Masks – gradient (black or black to clear) opacity 30% – used to lighten and darken areas of the image.

Resolution – smaller the bigger the pixels – larger image.

Resize image – sharpen (unsharp mask or hypass) – canvas size (borders

Duplicate layer when sharpening, smaller the image the less you need to sharpen. Blending mode – soft light.

Full bleed – image size the same as size of paper.

Proofing paper to see what the image will look like, see if any adjustments are needed.
View – proof setup – custom
We were using Epson Stylus Pro 7890_Phototex colour profile. This is for the paper West Photo use, it’s matte and has a sticky back so they can stick it onto the wall.

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Shown above are my prints, I decided to print the image A4 rather than do an A1 test strip as I’ve already printed this one large during the large C-Type workshop. The top image turned out this way because the printer hadn’t been cleaned so messed up the colours, the bottom was one which was repeated, and looks much better. From seeing this print I have decided to definitely print them using glossy paper, the colours are not as affective when printed using matte.

Tate Modern

On another visit to the Tate Modern I focus more on the paintings, looking at the type of frames they are in. I thought it would be interesting to not just look at how photography is exhibited, but also other forms of art.

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The pieces shown above are framed in a similar way as I would expect to see photography work. I really liked the layout of this work, with the grid of twelve images with a portrait frame next to them.

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With the other work what I found interesting was the combination of different frames for each individual painting. When thinking about my own work, in a way each car has such different colours that they could have very different frames to go with each tone. Much as frames tend to compliment the tones of a painting. Even though it’s a different medium, so much photography work is influenced by painting that when it comes to being displayed they are quite similar.

During wall I have really opened my mind to different ways of displaying work, and also thought about how I want to display my own work in more depth. Asking myself why I want to display it in this way rather than just sticking them up on the wall in anyway, just to get them up. It’s made me realise how much thought goes into how people present their images. The way work is displayed can completely change the way it is received.

Lecture 8: Polly Braden

For Polly Braden’s talk she showed us a selection of different pieces of work, to show a variety of different ways she’s worked in the industry.

Firstly she spoke of her project Made in China (2003). Travelling to China Braden stayed with six girls at a factory which made shoes for companies such as Topshop and Clarks. The women and men lived in two different blocks. The workers do get paid for over time, however two of the women went on a food strike because the pay wasn’t enough. Some of the factory workers were also imprisoned over a dispute over pay. The women who showed Braden around the factory and acted as her guide was Ho Ping, the workers have to move into the factory away from their family, and only see them once a year.

She also spoke of China Between (2005-2009) this was created over several years and is a bigger body of work. A lot of her work has been based in china, and this is based on it’s street life. Previously Braden’s work has been shot using medium format, but China Between was shot using a Canon EOS 5D II. During the time Braden was there she had a six week residency where she worked teaching at a university.

Polly Braden mostly shoots for magazines mostly, and showed us some of the spreads she has done such as, England’s Woman’s Cricket Team. Magazines she has shot for include the Telegraph and ICON Magazine. An editor Braden has worked with a lot in the past is Sally Williams.

Another piece of work Braden spoke of was London’s Square Mile on her powerpoint she put dates 2006-2015 and on her website it just has 2014. She did however say that it is an ongoing piece of work, because the area is changing so much, each time she shoots their it’s different and so the style changes. To shoot the work she used a digital medium format camera. Some advice she gave the class was to not share our work until you feel it’s complete. She wanted to make a book with this work but ended up sharing parts of it instead, which were shown in different magazine, including The Guardians Big Picture segment.

One of her most successful books was Great Interactions which was created on assignment. This work was exhibited and there is a book. Her most recent book was created with David Campany titled Adventures in Lea Valley (2016) this consists of photograph her and Campany took along the Lea Valley.

Overall I found Polly Braden’s talk very influential, her work is very interesting, she’s a fantastic photographer but and seems to be able to connect with her subjects really well.


Presenting Ideas: part two

Further looking at ideas of how I could present my project, whilst I was home I replaced some of our family photos with images from my project. I wanted to see what they would look like in a domestic environment. One of my ideas for how I could present is turning a section of the gallery space into a domestic environment such as this and presenting them in frames you would find in peoples homes. I couldn’t use all the frames which had been placed on top of these draws in my family home as some were printed larger or were portrait and couldn’t be turned landscape.


Shown above is the display I created, I’m actually really pleased with how it looks. I like that they’re in different styled frames rather than all the same. I also like that all the frames are different sizes even though the images themselves are the same size. I’m also pleased with the image I have framed, as previously I had been showing them in threes, but I think one image of each car works better, gives more of a variety.


My mums also had some flowers in vases so I thought I would put them with the images to see what it would look like, and I think this works even better.  A lot of the cars are quite vibrant colours so the flowers compliment them. It also gives off more of a domestic environment, as well with the ornaments which are there as well.

It is also interesting to note that all the cars within the images have female names, or are related to femininity. From left to right they are; Kylie, Penelope, Goddess, The Bitch, Poppy and Amber. So having them in a feminine environment is interesting as well.
I’m not sure what sort of table I would be able to get hold of to have within the gallery, whether I could borrow one or find one fairly cheap, but then there’s storage for before and after the exhibition which could be an issue.

I’m glad that I am getting closer to figuring out how I want to present my work, and I think that the images shown above will perhaps be my final images for the exhibition. I think they work really well together.


Large C-Type Workshop

For this workshop we were shown how to create large c-type prints in the colour darkroom. We used 24×20 paper, my enlarger was Durst 22 and I used a 50mm lens as I was using 35mm negatives. For smaller images you may have to use an 80mm lens instead. The size of the measuring board was at 23w to 16h in inches with 2 notches at the top and 1/2 at the side.

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The bottom image was my first attempt, the border was not straight and the colour was not right, the top image was my second attempt, the border is better for this one but the colour still is not quite right.
For prints this large it’s best to use either 120 or large format negatives, but I really wanted to see what this image from my current project would look large as I’ve been thinking about how to display. It took me a long time to get the colour right in the image, and even the print shown is still not quite right, so straight away I think printing in the colour darkroom is going to be a very time consuming method. I think that particularly this image looks very painterly this large, you wouldn’t even know that it was a part of a car. Some of my images are quite obvious but this one is definitely the most abstract. However it is my favourite image I’ve taken so far, which is why I picked it.

Because I’ve been working on 35mm, particularly the images that have more detail I think will look very grainy this large. This is another reason I think it would look best if I printed them small.
When I was a college we were always encouraged to print everything really big, just for the sake of it being big, so I think now that experience has made me prefer small prints. It obviously depends on the project, but I have been preferring small prints over large for my own work. It was however a very good experience and for the future if I want to do large prints I will have a better knowledge of how to do it.

Fourth Shoot

For my fourth shoot I again used my Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens, with a ring flash. I shot at the Ace Cafe again at their VW Air Cooled and T4/T5 Vans, which is the same event I went to previously. Some of the same cars were there again, which as I was on my own helped me approach people as I noticed a women I approached who owned ‘The Bitch’ (the yellow VW Beetle) to show her some of the pictures I took, I then was introduced to the man she was with who owned a Van named Nigel. His Van was named this because someone he knew always called it Nigel, thinking it was its name, so he just decided he’d name it that. Once someone called it that so much it just started to to look like a Nigel. He also bought it for £200, the seller tried to buy it back for £2000 because he regretted selling it so cheap.

Through this man I then met another who has a VW Camper names Oakey, which he’s had for thirty years. I talked to them both for a long time, they told me a lot about why they got the vans, and even just about life in general. The only problem with this is that I didn’t get the chance to take all the pictures I wanted because I was distracted chatting to them instead. Even though the experience was good, I’m not very happy with the images I got from the shoot, I think I much prefer the images I’ve taken without the ring flash in daylight. The ring flash picks up all the dirt on the cars, and also leave highlights and over exposure reflected in the car. Whereas in my images without flash the colour and exposure looks more even and doesn’t leave a vignetting around the edges of the image.
Some of the cars I photographed I didn’t get the name of as I didn’t have enough courage to go inside and ask who owned them and I didn’t see them go to their cars, but I may create names for them if I want to add them in. I was against creating fictional names for the cars, but after hearing the Nigel story I think it would work.

All together they might look okay, if I have a mixture of them both put together. Previously I have put them into groups of three’s, but if I have just one image of each I think it will work better. Overall I’m glad I went to the event and gained more experience talking to people, for me it was a big deal to go on my own so I’m really pleased with how I approached people their. I need to think further about how I’m going to present my work but I’m pleased with how it’s going to far.

Why Do People Name Their Cars?

As part of my research for my project I googled Why do people name their cars? to see what would come up. I was surprised by how many articles popped up on this subject, including ones of the most popular car names, these were however mostly American surveys based on states rather than the UK. Some of the titles were Why Do People Feel the Need to Name Their Cars?, Some people like to name their car. Why?, The most popular car names and Why People Name Their Machines. 

The top ten car names in American are apparently:
1. Betsy
2. Bessie
3. Baby/Betty
4. [The] Beast
5. Sally
6. Bertha
7. Lucy (wish I found a car with the same name as me)
8. Big Red
9. Buddy/Fred/Stella

Here in the UK I have not found any cars named any of the above, do Americans and the English name their cars completely differently? The article also had a list of car names given by men and by women, however both of the top ones for this list were Betsy, this is obviously a very popular name for cars.

Most of the articles discuss the same sort of things, how we give cars human characteristics or mention Anthropomorphism, which is the technical term for this. As this was coming up so much when talking about why people name their cars I thought it could be a possible title for my project. I’ve been struggling to think of a title, as I was hoping during one of my shoots someone I spoke to might say something that would be a good title, but nothing came. I can’t think of anything anyone has said either which I think would work. So, my project may be named Anthropomorphic which I think due to the nature of my project would work as a title, so for now I’m going to use this as a working title.

Articles mentioned:


Dissertation Presentation

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  • I haven’t decided on a title yet, so this one is just temporary.
  • I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do my dissertation presentation on but for some reason the photojournalist Weegee popped into my head.
  • Did an essay on one of his images in first year.
  • Found him very interesting.
  • Was a freelance photographer selling to around eight different New York Newspapers. Press photographer, socialite and fashion photographer.
  • Photographed New York between 1935-1947.

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  • To begin with I looked at several books on photojournalism but nothing was catching my eye.
  • Weegee unmentioned in any of the photojournalism books I was looking at.
  • This book was created in conjunction to the exhibition Weegee: Murder is my Business by Brian Willis for the International Centre of Photography (New York).
  • Contained loads of information on his most famous work – press photography for tabloids in New York and the exhibition Weegee curated Murder is My Business in 1941 for Photo League.

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  • Photos taken of the exhibition in 1941 of Weegee’s exhibition Murder is my Business at Photo League.
  • What I found notable about the exhibition was how strange it seems to see images of murders in this way – as art. Weegee saw the murders as art, each was different and sent a message.

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  • The only image shown in the book to have been edited before it could be printed. Took the body out of the trunk.
  • Shows Weegee’s darkroom skill.

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  • The books Weegee produced in order earliest to last.
  • The Village (1989) was the last book Weegee was involved with but was published after he died. The writing in it and the order the images were chosen by him though.
  • Naked City (1945) Weegee’s first book was by far his most successful, photographer Paul Strand said that it was “The first major contribution of day to day journalism to photography as a creative medium.”.
  • After Naked City he no longer took pictures of murders and claimed that “murders weren’t anything anymore”.
  • He shot some pictures for Vogue, he shot Hollywood, celebrities, operas, everyday life.
  • Worked on a lot of film and starred in some.

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Re-construction and comparisons.
Exhibitions – for inspiration.


– Time
– What you’re looking for in the work – issue.
– Other photographers of the time.
– How we look at images today.


Ethical issues
– The camera changing the context of the situation.

Photo history
– The depression
– Psychology and trauma
– Cultural history
– Film and crime novels of the time.