#Picbod – The Tribe

On Thursday 16th January 2014, I attended a day of lectures and workshops where we were split into three groups; I was in Group A. Our group started the day off with a workshop and refresher session with a 5×4” large format camera, before receieving feedback from last weeks Self-Portrait Task (please see https://hollyconstantinephotography.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/picbod-week-1-task-the-self-portrait-2/), and having a Flextight Scanner workshop. At lunchtime, we also had a brief #Picbod Exhibition meeting where we decided the teams and leader roles. After these  sessions were completed, we then congregated as a year group to have a lecture on #Picbod – The Tribe. All of the notes from today can be found below:

Group A – 5×4” refresher, Self-Portrait Feedback, Flextight Scanner

5×4” Workshop

  • Make the camera longer to focus on closer things
  • Image is upside down and back to front – laterally inverted
  • Use this camera for stuff that isn’t moving much at all – portraits, still life
  • Would use them for the picture quality – resolution
  • 20 odd times larger than a 35mm film – can therefore blow them up huge and still have a lack of grain
  • Mechanics of the camera work the same as a 35 mm camera in terms of aperture and shutter speed
  • Can change the perspective and focal plane by tilting and shifting the lens and film
    • Rising front = Move the front lens up in conjunction with the film at the back and it will change your point of view – makes a straight on, geometric photo
  • Langford Basic Photography – link to be posted on Moodle about the movement of the camera
  • Two different types of camera – Field camera (fold up really small, better for travelling and landscapes) and monorail camera (has more range with tilts and shifts)
  • Link to video of how to use the camera will be placed on Moodle

Toyo field camera walkthrough from CU Photography on Vimeo.

  • Lenses are mounted onto square plate
  • Focus isn’t done through the lens but through the camera body
  • Leaf shutters tend to work best for these particular cameras because the mechanism is rather small and can fit in the lens
  • 90mm – wide angle
  • Whatever the negative is, measure it from corner to corner and that will give you the standard lens for that camera
  • Standard for this type of camera is about 180mm
  • Focusing screen – has a built in lens hood
  • Usually with this camera you would use a cable release so that you don’t jog the camera when it fires
  • Double dark slide – DDS
  • Can put one sheet of film on each side
  • Can’t wind on the film
  • Video on loading the DDS will be posted on Moodle
  • Has to be loaded in the loading room (pitch black) if we are using film
    • (We’re using paper today so can load under red light – so we can develop it quicker)
  • Ridges of the film should be placed in the DDS so that they are found in the bottom right corner with the emulsion side up
  • White side of the DDS shown on the outside – shows the film has not been exposed
  • Light meter reading – f/11 at 8 seconds
  • Used the shutter release due to the long shutter speed – pressed it down and held it down for the 8 seconds

Self-Portrait Feedback:

During this self-portrait feedback, we were asked to place our printed final images on the table before moving around the table writing notes about the other people’s self-portraits. We were then asked to individually hold up our images whilst the rest of the group suggested their reading to the image. We were then asked to explain the reading behind the image from what we wanted to try and achieve, and then the rest of the group were asked to discuss the technical lighting of the images. Below I have placed some responses and feedback I got from my final image:

  • Movement – shows multiple personalities and that I am constantly busy
  • Spotlight – want people to look at me, have a need for interaction
  • Lighting of objects/background – originally unsure as to why but understand now after telling them that I wanted to include something for the viewers to understand my multiple personalities further
  • Discussed that it was the perfect balance of concept and technique – one didn’t overshadow the other

Picbod Meeting:

  • Venue Leader
  • Dates – (Possibly Wednesday 5th) Thursday 6th – Monday 10th
  • Deadline is Thursday 6th
  • Opening night Friday 7th
  • Close Sunday 8th
  • Look for something in the Coventry Area
  • Should have £510 (£15 each) – look for something for £250-300?


Flextight Scanner:

  • Really expensive, high-quality scanner
  • 500MB per minute – fastest scanner the university owns
  • Can select different sized negative folders from the Media Loan Shop
  • Turn on by pressing the red button
  • Once the negative is in place – emulsion side down – so that you can see the image the right way round
  • Slide across the bit at the bottom to hold the negative in place
  • Clean the negatives with a dust remover (air spray)
  • FlexColour software on the computer
  • “Register Later” window
  • “Ok” to prevented maintenance window
  • Set up is right:
    • Scan 3F window – if you want to scan in the RAW format
      • (Suggest to scan as a TIFF)
      • Negative in RGB standard
      • Has adjustments in terms of colour
      • Choose where you want the scan to be placed – what folder
      • Frame size – on the auto setting
  • Normal set up
    • Setup – RGB Standard
    • Frame – 60×60/6.0×4.5
    • Mode – RGB 16-bit – choose this even if you are scanning a black and white image
    • Size – 1600dpi (164MB) – can make this file size smaller afterwards if required
    • Now time to do the Preview
  • Preview
    • Can zoom in really far
    • Want to make some basic adjustments to make sure the colour cast is okay
      • Select a part of the image – do not include the black edge as the computer will adjust the colour to the darkest point of the image
  • Histogram Corrections
    • Pick a grey using the tool (middle)
    • Pick a dark colour (left tool)
    • Pick a white colour (right tool)
    • Can choose the automatic tool – not recommended for most photos
    • Can use the histogram sliders but not recommended
  • Contrast Correction
    • Can place two points on the line to play around with the contrast
  • Colour Correction
    • Saturation – can use this but only really use this if there is something wrong with the negative
  • Texture Correction
    • Make adjustments in terms of sharpening
    • Only want to do sharpening in Photoshop afterwards as it may add unwanted noise
    • The one that is good to keep in is the FlexTouch – scanners automatic sharpening
  • Detail window – found in view
    • Can select a part of the image to scan just that section
    • Can add more than one sections to be scanned by pressing the +
  • Can rotate the scan
  • Once all of these small changes have been made, you can then select the whole image (without the black border) and scan it – by default it scans in TIFF

#Picbod – The Tribe

  • Photographing those that we surround ourselves by
  • Alec Soth
    • He has a shopping list of images that he wants to capture when he’s on his photo shoot
    • We know he is not a part of the relationships he photographs
    • That’s not to say that he can’t photograph intimate relationships
    • Manages to get some very honest images of people – people still seem awkward and wary of the camera

Alec Soth

Alec Soth 2

  • The Tribe
    • May well be our family
  • Larry Sultan
    • Something that is slightly uncomfortable
    • Something very everyday at the same time
    • Lets us into moments we, as strangers, wouldn’t otherwise see
    • Shows an uncomfortable representation
    • We can have these odd tensions – things can get more difficult

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan 2

  • Mike Brodie
    • Period of Juvenile Prosperity
    • Bound by an experience and common goal
    • Not friends from the start
    • Creates incredibly intimate photographs
    • The person taking these images are not really a photographer, but the same as the subject, just with a camera – he becomes them
    • Community

Mike Brodie

Mike Brodie 2

  • Elinor Carucci
    • Took photographs of her family in very intimate family details
    • Photographs very intimate details
    • Photographed every part of her life
    • Does have an incredible gift to hone in on intimate moments that we can all relate to
    • Where do you place your subjects? – place them somewhere you’re both very comfortable with, somewhere only the subject is comfortable with, somewhere completely new to them?
    • Some intimate moments are extended for the camera, she recreates them and chooses lighting, but if they feel like they’re playing to the camera, it just doesn’t work

Elinor Carucci

Elinor Carucci 2

  • LaToya Ruby Frazier
    • Spaces are very important
    • Portraits shaped by the subjects and the place it was taken
    • Need to think about the role of performance
    • Striving for record or performance?

LaToya Ruby Frazier 2

LaToya Ruby Frazier

  • Sally Mann
    • Performance and record is important here – that split, decisive moment
    • They are often set up
    • Authenticity and validity
    • Immediate family”
    • Sally Mann – What Remains video – WATCH
      • Never occurred to her to leave home to create art – what she was surrounded by on a daily basis she was interested by

Sally Mann

Sally Mann 2

  • Nan Goldin
    • “The Tribe” phrase originally comes from Nan Goldin
    • Portraits, self-portraits, groups of people
    • The Ballad of Sexual Dependency – “The only thing you can really photograph is your own tribe

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin 2

  • Larry Clark
    • He was able to reveal drug addictions from certain social demographics that weren’t the stereotypical ideology behind the drug addictions
    • Very intimate moments
    • Unrelenting documentation – might choose to constantly make images, so much so that they become used to you taking images

Larry Clark

Larry Clark 2

  • Ryan McGinley
    • Unrelenting documentation of everything
    • We’re not looking for specific moments, but all moments

Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley 2

  • Nobuyoshi Araki
    • Sentimental Journey, Winter Journey
    • Artistic choices – no longer a snapshot

Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki 2

  • Filipe Casaca
    • Subject becomes like a statue
    • It’s more about the form, the body itself, rather than the relationship

Filipe Casaca

  • Ross Rawlings
    • Photographing a relationship
    • Deals with the difficulties of constantly having a camera within a relationship – accentuate both the happy and the dark times within the relationship
    • Very fine line between the performance of record

Ross Rawlings 2

Ross Rawlings

The Task:

  • These images should reveal an intimacy
  • This should be a collaboration between two people
  • Try this task with more than one member or your tribe – try photographing different relationships
  • Revisit names here for thoughts on intimacy and the tribe
  • The View From The Inside
    • To photography from the inside. Photograph as Nan Goldin says, “Your Tribe”. Study someone you are close to and make images with them of an intimate nature.
    • Bear in mind your own vulnerabilities from the first task when you begin this new photographic relationship and ensure you are completely competent technically so you can focus on the making of the images without being distracted by other details
  • Alternative/additional task: The Communal Space
    • Identify and photograph a space that your ‘tribe’ interact or live within. In treating the space as a body and considering our image making, can we communicate the interactions and events that happen within the space? Can we infer a sense of the communal space?
  • Richard Renaldi
    • “Touching Strangers”
    • Unlikely intimates
    • Do have some very awkward images but some definitely do show realistic intimates

Richard Renaldi

Richard Renaldi 2

  • Joshua Lutz
    • Might find we want to couple some of the portraits with an image of a space
    • Think about whether these furnishings add something to the reading – is it better alone

Joshua Lutz 2

Joshua Lutz

  • Jennifer Pattison
    • Familiarize yourself with her work
    • We will be joined by her next week – Nude and Naked

Jennifer Pattison

Jennifer Pattison 2