Commercial products vs. Still Life Project

Having not done a project in a while I thought it’s time to get my butt in gear and do one. I’ve been looking at a lot of product photography jobs in the last few weeks, all of which want a product style portfolio. Whilst it’s not in my nature to produce a series of “consumerism” images, I can’t think of a better job than spending all day in a studio with objects and playing around with lighting.

This made me think about a project in which I can both fulfil my desire to create and build a series of images for product photography jobs. I looked around my room, thinking “What objects can I photograph?” I thought about this past year and decided things I brought back from Japan would be great.

Not having access to Cov uni’s studio anymore I had to improvise and googled it. To my delight I found this great tutorial article “How to Create an Inexpensive Photography Lightbox” – so I did. It’s a great temporary solution if you are tight on money and rich in time.

testers_0149

I started with the conventional white background set up, and then moved onto a more meaningful idea – using posters-maps and documents that coincide with the object. I know neither of these ideas were great or original, but I just had to start somewhere.

I took my Blue Rose figure down from my shelf and began shooting, I used a map of Tokyo’s Akihabara district synonymous with anime/manga and Otaku culture.

testest2 testtest

As I said before this is just a kick off point, my plan is to research still life projects. However, I’m aware that what constitutes as good commercial product photography is not what I would consider a thought provoking series, I may have to run two series at the same time using the same objects.

Let the research begin… Yay!

Printed Figurine

Today I awoke to an exciting text message telling me my figurine was ready to be picked up from the basement in Graham Sutherland. I was very excited to see it and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It was presented to me and I was confused at first, the figurine was surrounded in a plastic waxy substance, the technicians put me at ease once they told me that is to be washed away. The figurine is also slightly smaller than I originally wanted but due to the Universities 3D printing facilities it is the biggest I could get it.

The next step was to soak the figurine in cold water, I did so for about an hour before starting to clean it.

On the technicians advice I used a tooth brush and scrubbed the figurine, this took just over an hour but was strangely therapeutic and relaxing. I took a video of myself cleaning the figurine for around 10 minutes, I found it really hard when doing research to see any videos on the post production of 3D printing i.e. cleaning, prepping and painting so I thought I would make a video which anyone could access and not have the problems I had.

The figurine still has a rough texture on the back half so I will leave it in soak over night and scrub it again tomorrow, then it will be ready for painting.

Pinhole Day: My Digital Pinhole

Today is worldwide pinhole day, I have attempted pinhole photography before, but only ever in film, as much as I loved the process it took too long and was to stressful for something which is meant to be fun and different. So this time I decided to make a Digital Pinhole camera, without spending any money.

I used my Nikon D40x, cardboard, foil, a pin, scissors and electrical tape.

I cut out a piece of cardboard that would just cover the lens mount, this would be my lens, I then cut a square out from the middle of this lens.

to make it light proof i covered it in black electrical tape. I then cut a small piece of foil which covered the square hole, taped it over and pierced a hole in the centre with the pin. next I used electrical tape to fasten it to the camera, insuring there were no gaps.

I then set my camera to manual and began shooting.

Working Prism

Finally i have the perfect combination for a prism, a projector and crystal candle holder.

I set the Crystal in front of the projector…

I pointed the projector towards a white wall. I then Held the crystal up, turning it to create different results…

I just wanted to play, and these are the images i got, some of which are quite nice.

some nie images, but it was really hard to capture the colour and detail, everything always looks out of focus, perhaps projecting onto a wall isn’t the way forward. more experimenting then…

ishootshows.com: 8 tips for a great photography portfolio

TAKEN FROM ISHOOTSHOWS.COM

“8 Tips for a Great Photography Portfolio

Creating a portfolio of one’s own work can be a daunting task, but it’s an essential part of presenting oneself as a photographer. A top notch book is one of the best ways communicate one’s ability and vision, especially when it can be viewed online and around the world.

Here are eight ways to make yourself look good.

Keep it short and sweet

Show quality

Show range

Start strong

End strong

Put the rest in the middle

Don’t put it to popular vote

Keep it fresh

These are my suggestions for building a portfolio with the maximum impact. Let’s drill down.

1) Keep It Short & Sweet

With a portfolio, quantity counts for nothing. If the viewer wants to see more, they’ll look for it. And if they can’t find it, they’ll ask. Both of these consequences are good. I usually aim to include 12-20 images in a photography portfolio.

2) Show Quality

Following up to the first tip, only the best images should go into the portfolio. Consistency and distinction in your images should be a key takeaway. Showing anything but the best is often a waste of time; when you have someone’s attention, make every image count.

3) Show Range

And aside from quality, each image should speak to some aspect of your vision and ability. In choosing images, ask, “What does this image say about me as a photographer?” If multiple images are competing for the same specific message, consider paring down for the sake of efficiency. Expressing range, however, should not be confused with a lack of focus. Every image should work toward a singular goal of expressing your eye and capabilities as a photographer.

4) Start Strong

Start out with a bang. You want to put your second to best shot up front to catch the viewer’s attention. Why the second best? Keep reading.

5) End Strong

With your last image, you want to reinforce everything that has come before and end with the impression of excellence. This position is where your standout image goes, since it’s the last image in the set that the viewer will see.With the last piece, your goal is to leave a mark. The viewer made it to the end, so go for the knock out punch.

6) Put The Rest In The Middle

There is no filler in a portfolio, but everything that isn’t your absolute best should go in the middle. After the lead off image, gradually decrease in image impact until you get to the middle of the series, and then ramp back up for the strong finish.In other words, the highest impact images should be book ends to the images that establish the tone of your work.

7) Don’t Put It To Popular Vote

Bless your friends and family, but portfolios should not be decided by committee; what is popular is not always what makes your eye or execution unique.If need be, I’d suggest paring down a selection of your best images as well as you can and then enlist the keen eye of someone whose taste you trust to make the final selection.

Keep It Fresh

Just like seafood, it’s better fresh. Once you’ve established your book, keep it as up to date as possible. Aside from assembling it in the first place, this task is one of the biggest challenges of a great portfolio.As you develop as a photographer and add different elements to your style (or polish it), don’t neglect to reflect that growth in the portfolio.

End Notes:

As a condensed representation of a photographer’s vision, the portfolio is a highly valuable tool for introducing oneself to an audience, especially with the ease of sending someone a link.

Whether it’s used as a sales piece to land clients, an informative statement about one’s work and capabilities, or simply a way to succinctly share with friends and family, a portfolio is a great tool for making an effective and lasting impression. If someone is taking the time to look at your work, make it count.

If you want to see if I followed the above eight tips, head over to my portfolio.”

Writing a Creative CV

Creative CV’s – General guidelines

  • Don’t let the medium interfere with the message. You need to balance eye-catching/different with a sharp and professional promotion of your style. Presentation is particularly important but that does not necessarily mean an unusual CV.
  • Start by producing a standard CV. Only when the wording is excellent consider something that is a bit different: get the content right before focusing on the design.
  • Once you do start introducing more of a design element to a CV you have to recognise that this is more of a high risk strategy. Some recruiters may love your design, others may hate it, so show your CV to other people first.
  • The same will go for many big organisations.  Where they have specialized recruitment functions, a well formatted CV will always work better.  One large advertising agency recommended a standard CV.  Some smaller companies may like a more individual approach. They may be more impressed by an unusual CV because they have fewer to look at.  It’s the content, practical skills, and work experience that employers are particularly interested in and evidence of what you have created: listings of exhibitions etc and work experience can sometimes take priority over education.
  • If in doubt call the employer and ask them what they would like you to send. You don’t even have to leave your name!
  • Provide a link on your CV to a web site with examples of projects from your portfolio.
  • Use your logo if you have one and ensure your CV and portfolio is the same stylistically.
  • For most roles the content will most likely stay the same for both your creative and corporate CV – unless of course the design of your creative CV limits what you can write OR if you are applying for a part time job in which case the content will be considerably different.

Note for artists – when contacting galleries and exhibitions for the purpose of showing your work you will need to send an Artists CV. A photo of an example CV is included in this pack but in summary the headings to use in your CV are:

    • Personal Details
      As described in a standard CV
    • Artist Statement
      this should be a short and clear statement of your work and thoughts as an artist. Feel free to use relevant industry terminology as you will most likely be dealing with industry professionals. Statements can include information on the themes of your work, the direction it is heading in, its meaning, etc.
    • Professional Artist Training
      Include information on relevant artist specific education and training such as your BA or Foundation Degree.
    • Artistic Achievement
      List your achievements, starting with the most recent including things such as awards and reviews.
    • Art Related Employment
      List your related employment such as teaching and commissions. Include any placements if you do not have any employment.
    • Agent
      If you have one.

Produced by Seema Tailor, Careers and Employability Adviser 

Last updated – August 2010