Assignment 1: Encountering Culture (Further Initial Prints and Tests)

In order for me to produce my 10 final prints I produced what seems like endless test prints and test strips to determine the right exposure and size for my images. Using my contact sheet I selected the strongest images and went through the process of developing them. Along the way I did face a number of challenges in relation to developing the prints and using the enlarger correctly. However I think this is due to my lack of experience in the darkroom. Having never used a darkroom before, it was a big learning curve and a lot to take in. As a result this project has really pushed me and tested my ability to learn quickly as well become more patience in my photographic practice. This is also one of the main reasons why I did lots of test prints as I wanted to ensure my final images came out as best as possible under the short time scale.

Initial test prints – Failed Prints 

Scan 21

On the contact sheet and negative this image appeared to look in focus and when I shot it I thought I got the whole scene in focus. I did not want a shallow depth of field, however the bench in the foreground appears to be the only object in focus. Therefore I decided against this image being used as a final image. However I still believe that this image relates to my theme greatly and it would of been good to add to my series. If I had more time I would of reshot this.

Scan 22

This was another image which I did want to include in my final series however it took many attempts to get the exposure right and when I did manage to ensure the exposure/contrast was right the text on the box was too small to read clearly and this was a key part of the image. However I do not have evidence of this because I forgot to pick up the print in the darkroom. The box was discarded next to a trolley full of rubbish and gave instructions of how to expose of needles correctly. I wanted to include this in my final series as I believed it supported my main idea of a trash culture and how it applied to other aspects of our life. That even though help is given we still throw that away. The bold title ‘Do the right thing’ plays on morals and if the person does not discard of it in the manner shown on the box it is as if they are going against societies morals. In turn, because the box was to discard of needles it was more than likely it was used for drugs and this further reinforces the context behind the image and tells a story of the objects life and the type of person how discarded it.

If I was to visit this site again I would re-shoot the object, however I would move closer to the image and just get the detail of the description.

Scan 9

Scan 5

Again I wanted to use this image in my final series however no matter how many times I changed the print size and exposure time it was not very sharp. I came to the conclusion that it was out of focus when I took the shot, I am quite disappointed that this image did not turn out in focus as it gives context to my other images. This is where I shot many of the pieces of rubbish and graffiti. The industrial like structure shows what the area within coventry was once used for however now after most of the industry has moved out of the city centre it has fallen into disrepair and a place where people dump their rubbish.

For this image I found it very difficult to get an exposure and contrast that worked well. The first image was very underexposed even at 17 seconds. In order to make it darker I increased the aperture on the enlarger to 4 and then set the time to 12 seconds with a contrast of 2.5. However I felt that the brick white brick wall behind the skip was too white. I then tried the same exposure & aperture time but I decreased the contrast to 1.5. However this made the image very grey and there were no clear highlights and shadows. I do want to use this image so I will continue to experiment with different exposure times and contrasts.

Scan 19

I also tried to re print this image however I over exposed it again even on 10 seconds. I do want to use this as one of my final images therefore I am going to keep experimenting with different exposure times in the darkroom. Although I am planning on my images being relatively dark, you cannot see any detail in this.

Scan 23The same with this image. Although I want the main focus to be on the graffiti on the wall the image overall is too dark and you cannot see the detail in the brick work. I will have to re print this and decrease the exposure time in order for this to work well as a final print.


Published by

Charlotte Pattinson

Photography student

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