Sunday, 17 October 2010

Exercise 4 : Editing

For this task I decided to use the set of images I took during my Commercial Road shoot. There was a large selection of images to choose from and I could practise using the rating system within Adobe Bridge.

Editing Step One - the technical edit.

I opened all the images in Bridge and used the "reject" option to remove any of the images that were obvious faulty, the over/underexposed or those with camera shake. Select the image Alt + Delete marks the image as a reject. These images remain in the same folder but can be hidden using the filter options.

The Technical Edit

Editing Step 2 - the selects.

From the remaining images I chose the selection that I felt were most creatively pleasing and marked these by giving them 1 star, Ctrl + 1

The Selects

Editing Step Three - the first selects

Working with this smaller group of images I need to choose several "bests". I used the filter for 1 star to bring up the step 2 selections. To make the next edit I marked the images with 2 stars, Ctrl 2. Before the technical edit I originally started out with over 200 shots; by this step I had whittled it down to 25. For a smaller portfolio I would go through these once more to have the final compliment of photographs. Thinking ahead to the final select of 2 I made the decision to cut these down to 12.

Most of the images I chose within this final group were selected because together they are a cohesive collection of images exploring a given area. They show the people and their environment, living in their environment and the mix of characters you find there. I liked the exploration of light and dark, the way the colours in each individual image pulled together. There is also a subtext of graffiti running through the set. In some of the images there is also a comparison of things old and new. Some images were chosen over others due to the composition or the fact they made for a more cohesive body of work.

Editing Step Four - group and review

Having made the decisions I had, I took a break so I could return to the process with a refreshed eye. Sometimes it is easy to overlook errors and include an image that may in fact be out of focus in the main area, or it may not have the movement you desired. Also you may sometimes exclude an image that may not be technically perfect but is actually a good record of an event, therefore it is good practise to review both rejected and first selects to confirm your final choices. Some technical errors can be recovered in post processing.

Below are the twelve images in my final set.

The order of the images tell the story of the journey walking down the Commercial Road. This first image I selected for several reasons. I like the composition of the people within the frame, the man walking out gives a sense of movement, whilst the pose and body language of the couple is that of a man trying to puzzle out some information while the female looks on waiting. The sign on the shop states "Posh Lady" but she is obviously dressed very casually. I love the way her top is reflected in the shutter and the colour is echoed in the red route markings on the road. The graffiti on the shutter is just one or many pieces of graffiti found along the route.

Walking further down one of the shop fronts has been painted with a very vibrant red and white mural, I like the primary colours in this shot, and the way the diversion sign was blowing in the wind. The shaft of light lighting up the facade adds interest. The arrows on the diversion sign help lead your eye into the frame.
I loved this shaft of light and spent some time trying to get the timing right with people or vehicles entering into it. I preferred this as it made for an interesting silhouette with the circle of the wheel echoed in the art work.
I chose this image mainly due to the colours and the shapes., however I feel many of the components indicate a time in history. The design of the bus, the phone booth and even the KFC cup will all eventually change.

What I liked about this shot is the contradiction of old peeling paint and a rundown shop compared to the Mercedes, and other expensive car parked outside. The colour of the cars and the blanked out sign compliment each other and we find yet more graffiti.
I enjoy the symmetry of this photograph and the contrast of the light and dark. I think this image shows the influences I have taken on board from Joel Meyerowitz, his use of light and dark, inclusion of street furniture and it's shadows. There is also the comparison of an older building situation opposite a modern glass structure.
Just off the Commercial Road is a thriving street market. I selected this image as it shows different generations using the market for their own purposes. The composion of the people allows you to see down through the market and the area in which it is set. The reds all help tie the image together.
Another busy market shot showing the people who frequent it. I liked the eye contact that the woman in the centre of the shot made. I included the silver bollard as I felt the reflections gave added interest. Here the colours also compliment each other, the blues and the blacks being most predominant, but the child's orangey top blends well with the head scarf.
I chose this image mainly for it's simplicity. I liked the composition and although there is a mix of colours I was pleased by the fact the woman in the background was wearing a purple headscarf which echoed in the vegetables on the stall just behind her. The beading on the scarf worn by my main subject echoed the mix of colours on the stall. What also caught my eye were the adverts in the shop window which indicate this is a very multicultural area.
As you walk further down the dereliction seems to increase with many boarded up shops and areas of demolition. These sit side by side with residential areas.
A closed down pub, again all boarded up, I was amused by the spelling mistake which seems to say as much about the care taken over attention to detail as well as the care taken over the area as a whole.

My final choice shows more empty and derelict business' while the posters on the front boast of new developments available to buy/rent.

The people in the shot also show how this is a multicultural area and the fashions of today will help date the shot to a certain era.

Editing Step Five - a final triage

These are my final 2 images.

It was quite difficult making a decision to choose these two final images. In the end I decided to pick the two that summed the area up best. There are a few images I personally prefer or I feel are possibly technically better but they did not narrate the story in a way these did.

This image made it into my final two because to me it shows despite the dilapidation and very depressing surroundings, life goes on in a very busy and vibrant way. It also is an indication of how the generations change, a young girl enjoying playing with balloons, a teen sporting the latest fashion, and the current trend for wearing jeans half mast, with the older generation wearing traditional dress. I also liked the way the colour red was a theme throughout.

This is a very simple shot but I chose it not only for the interpretations that can be made from it but also it is a true repesentation of what you find. There is a mix of residentional and business premises, many areas where buildings have been demolished and not rebuilt, walls and windows with graffiti, with a general feeling in places of everything shut down and locked up. The broken link suggests that something in society is broken but all it needs is someone or something to come and unlock it's potential.

This exercise has honed my editing skills. I followed a very similar routine previously but the majority of photographs I take are for my own pleasure or snapshots of a day out which others also also wish to share. In these circumstances I sometimes include shots that I am not totally happy with but do sum up the atmosphere of the day/event.

Having to select a series of images of a limited number is an interesting experience, making you examine the minute details of what makes an image work as an individual shot and also in a set. Learning more about the ratings in Bridge has proved very useful and I will use this feature now.

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