Assignment 1 Skills

Darkroom- I have used the darkroom before at sixth form and college, however I don’t think you can ever have enough experience and you will ALWAYS learn new things. I have found that everyone who has taught me the basics of the darkroom have used slightly different techniques to the last. These may only be small differences however they might be the solution to the problem that you have been having with the consistency of your prints. Although having used contrast filters before they were always the physical filter and not built into the enlarger like they are in this darkroom, I think this is more convenient as it is easier to experiment with these and you can still see the colour change the higher or lower the contrast goes. I can definitely say I understand the contrast filters more since coming to uni! Something new to me in the darkroom, firstly the size of it! Compared to what I’m used to it’s massive! Also I have never used a dryer for my prints, this is a convince more than anything. It enables me to have my prints dry almost straight away and avoids any images getting stuck together due to them not being dry enough. However I did learn not to put small images and test strips in there as this may jam the dryer, not only ruining your image but possibly others that are put in after!

Scanner- The film scanner is apiece of equipment that I have never been able to use before. This is really easy to use although fairly time consuming if you have a lot to scan. By using the scanner I am able to save time as I can see my film without having to go in the darkroom and print everything. Even if I create a contact sheet in the darkroom it is hard to see the details on some of the prints due to the small size. By using the scanner I am able to establish what prints I want to print in the darkroom and maybe as my final prints.This also saves money on darkroom paper and chemicals.

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Film camera- Again I had used a film camera before however I had always used either a light meter or the automatic setting to help me with the correct settings on the camera. Since being at uni I have just been using the camera and the built in light meter. I also have a better understanding of what aperture to use when I want certain effects such as a blurred background or foreground. This has enabled me to have a stronger understanding of the image and helps me with digitally shot images as well. I think that my developing skills in the darkroom have also got better which enhances the images that I am taking. I plan to use film photography in projects where it isn’t compulsory as well.

Series of images (book)- Having made a few books before uni for final pieces I had a bit of an understanding about series of images and the stories behind them. However being at uni has given me a stronger understanding and allowed me to look at a lot more photo books. These are very easy to get hold of at uni, through the library, tutors, peers and clubs like the photo book club. It has shown me that there are so many layouts to a book that you can use, and not just the simple ones that I am used to, although this sometimes enhances the work there are other ways to do this. A book really is a good way to showcase your work and is an artefact that can be bought and kept by your audience. It is very important to get the right layout for your work and make sure that it doesn’t distract the viewers from your work in any way. I hope to learn more about this form of photography in the future.

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