I have currently got 3 shoots under my belt for this module, but it has been a learning curve for me on what photographs I can produce and also what my limitations and restrictions are. With my shooting I have been trying to not limit myself too much with what I am shooting, so I have been trying to get to different events within the church community and not just services. I went to a ‘Messy Church’ evening which was really great and was a lot of fun. The people were really friendly and it gave me a little bit more confidence with my work and made the project seem more enjoyable too. I found that the more confidence I had the better I could photograph my subjects and those around me. I moreover felt that the photography was good in showcasing a different side to the religious community and as well, it helped me to get to grips with different techniques and styles of shooting.
I have put together a current edit of photographs that I like from shoots 1-3, but I will have to cut this right down for final submission when I decide on the direction that the project is going on and how I want to convey this community within my 20 images (and then final 10). But for now, these are the images I have selected, mainly because I felt they were the strongest photographs and were mostly sharp and interesting as well.
From Shoot 1, I thought these portraits were great. I loved the light on the hat of the woman, Gucci, in the photograph. My only concern was that this image isn’t in a portrait format, which would have been much better but the images I took in a portrait format were not sharp so that was a bit disappointing. I have found however, that I do still really love this images and think the light is beautiful. I also like the other portrait from shoot 1. The numbers in the background of the different hymns set the scene really well in my opinion and the organ also places the subject into their environment. This context is great as it highlights not only the types of different people that come to church and are religious but it also puts the entire thing into perspective too, so I was quite happy with the ideas surrounding this image.
The other images in this shoot are primarily testing what I could and couldn’t do within the parameters that I have been set. The main thing I was concerned about when shooting this was because I was up on the balcony, so it was really hard to get any nice close action shots or even see the front of the congregation which was a little disappointing. However I have been back since then and have tried to work around this, but I am aware I have to be considerate because things such as the shutter on my camera can be loud and distracting and also I don’t want to be a distraction myself anyway by standing at the front and putting people off. So these other images are more establishing shots and getting to grips with my location and what I can work with but I think they could still be useful for the project.
This shoot was more about getting to know the people that attend church. This was a ‘Messy Church’ event and they take place every 4-5 weeks. They focus on the ideals around the bible through fun and engaging activities that members of the religious community help out with. This was a chance for me to get to know people and speak to them about what was going on and just have a general chat with them about what is going on and things like that. I have picked up and selected some of the better images from this shoot and I have also got a selection of portraits that I quite liked from the shoot. I wanted to showcase the wide variety of people who are involved with this community, ranging from the young to the old. There are some clear issues with some of the images, such as the focus point isn’t quite right, and also there are some distracting pieces in the foreground of the images which detract away from otherwise quite nice images. I think the key thing in this shoot was capturing people from the front, but not so they were always directly aware and I think I got some good photographs in this way despite finding it hard. I also find lighting hard because it was heavy tungsten lighting but I think I haven’t done too badly considering what I was working with. I do have some portraits that I do absolutely love from this piece of work and I think I’d like to keep them in my final cut edit of the project.
This was a relatively small shoot and I didn’t get as many photographs as I had wanted. I was trying to integrate myself into the congregation too, so I was quite aware that the sound of my shutter would be quite distracting. Then at the end I got talking to the man in the portrait of my photograph who was discussing other opportunities to me, and I didn’t manage to get as many photographs of other people as I would have liked. So I tried to get some establishing shots instead of the outside of the church because I think that this a fairly important aspect of the project as it sets up where the entire project is taking place. I also liked the different shot of the inside of the church as it is taken from a level of someone sitting in the church in the congregation. I really like the portraits I’ve got here too, as I feel I was slightly lacking in male members of this community. I’ve found the more I talk to people and get to know them, that it makes me feel a little bit more confident with what I am doing to an extent. These photographs I will add to my current edit, before having to cut them down to make my final smaller edits.