Assignment Five – Personal Project.
This is the last project of this course, a course that I started in July last year (2011). I have been able to complete it sooner than I thought due to the fact that in the last few months I have been able to work full-time on the various projects and exercises.
I have been asked to produce a collection of images on a theme of my choice, these images will hopefully show the viewer that over the last few months I have been able to improve the quality of the pictures that I am taking. They should also show an improvement in the following areas:-
- Workflow including editing
- Digital Image Quality
- Processing the Images-taking images in Raw file, colour and tone and monochrome
- The use of Photoshop and other computer programmes after the images have been taken.
I also took into account the following areas from my first course, The Art of Photography:-
- Framing and cropping
- Applying the techniques of illustration and narrative.
In a way this project was chosen for me, following a request to attend a training course and capture images showing the work of the Royal Navy Search and Rescue crews.
The final images would be used in the following ways:-
- Training Aids.
- Advertisement and publicity.
- As personal images for the crews involved.
- A final images , professionally mounted to be presented as a thank you gift.
Of course I could have turned down the request, I could see that there would be difficulties and issues that I would have to overcome. The UK armed services demand and expect professionalism , there would be no second chances to capture the images.
What I wanted to show
- The interaction of the crew members.
- The difficult flying conditions.
- An insight into the type of work that the crew carry out.
The images were to be taken during a live exercise in what could be poor weather conditions, both on land and on water.
My equipment was checked the night before the exercise and extra memory cards had been purchased. There would be limited space for equipment so I was unable to take a laptop. In view of this a portable hard-drive was purchased so I would have back-up images stored.
I took two lenses:-
- Nikon 24-70 F2.8
- Nikon 70-200 F2.8 together with a TC 20E 2 X teleconverter.
The final images would have to be mounted and ready for presentation. The images below are the images that I have chosen, the mounted images will be slightly different as I chose different sized mounts to present the work.
How did the project turn out?
I think that I was very lucky that the request for the images arrived at the same time as I was coming to the end of the course. I had access to areas that members of the public would not normally have. The pilots were flying in very difficult conditions and I had very little contact with them. It would have been nice to have a chat with them to see if there were any particular images that they wanted.
Some of the images were shot in very difficult circumstances , the downdraft front the rota-blades as times nearly blew me over. I had to strap the camera to the side of a ship in order to get the shots that I wanted.
Am I pleased with the Images?
Looking at the images one at a time I would make the following observations.
An opening shot showing the aircraft a Westland Sea King HU5 with the winch-man underneath. This image and image two have been mounted together.
A close-up of the two crew members, I have converted the aircraft to monochrome and kept the winch-man in colour. I like the contrast between the orange flight suit and the helicopter.
There is a section of blue over the winch-man’s right leg that is a bit of a let down.
An image of the aircraft that shows the movement in the rota-blades. I had to take a number of shots at different speeds in order to get the movement in the rear rotor-blade. Mounted pillar-box style taking care that the sea was level.
A close up image of one of the pilots, There is a great contrast between the black and white Ace of Spades playing cars and the red cab. Shallow depth of field was used to remove the distractions in the back-ground.
A close up image of the crew looking out of the aircraft. You can see the look of concentration on one of the guys faces. I like the contrast with the winch-man who’s face you can not see.
To me this is a nice clear shot in focus.
Image 6 and Image 7
Two images showing winching, on reflection they are a little too similar. Both mounted so that there was less deck on display.
As the aircraft turns to fly away I captured this image of the winch-man as he enters the door. Mounted so the rotor-blades are in the top left and right corners of the picture. The Royal Navy is also clearly shown. I also like the heat signature coming from the engines. I have also removed the green sign and the Portacabin on the deck of the ship as they are a distraction.
This image is one of my favourites. It shows three different things
- The aircraft
- The winch-man
- The boat.
The sea looks great and there is great contrast between it and the orange suit. There is movement , a degree of excitement and interest in this image. The eye is drawn down from the aircraft via the winch wire to the winch-man and he is pointing to the rib. Mounted with the rib in the bottom right corner. A good all round action shot, especially for the winch-man.
A final image that has had a serious amount of Photoshop work done to it.
1. Turned into monochrome.
2. Winch-man and RAF target turned back into colour.
3. Cropped and mounted pillar-box style.
Looking at the finished image, I would have liked to have captured a little more of the tail-rotor and maybe I should have converted some of the cab back to red. What do you think?
Am I pleased with the final results?
I am pleased with the results that I managed to end up with . I am not ashamed to admit that there was a certain amount of pressure to get results, especially taking into account the customer!! Some of the images are better that others but I think that they are sharp and the colours are good. They are hopefully interesting and do give a small insight into the work of the flight crew.
What would I do differently?
I would have tried to contact the crew to get close-up images of their flight kits, hands and faces to give the images a more personal touch.
I ended up with a lot of images on a portable hard-drive that were not filed as good as they could have been, this caused me a lot of extra work during the editing process.
As I stated earlier I have mounted the images and will send them to my tutor, Mr Taylor, in the mounts. This will show him what the final images will look like.