Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Posts Tagged ‘assignment

5 more portraits

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Boxer for Oxford University Varsity Team, Oxford vs Cambridge, 18.03.11

I’ve been shooting over the weekend at a couple of boxing fights and a modelling convention (as in minature models, not fashion ones). During the course of the shoots I tried some more portraits. I found I still need a bit more balls to direct the subjects, particularly in angling of the face against the light, but nonetheless I do like these.

 

Boxer for the Cambridge University Varsity Team, Oxford vs Cambridge, 18.03.11

Boxer for the Cambridge University Varsity Team, Oxford vs Cambridge, 18.03.11

Exhibition Attendent, Southern Expo Festival, 20.03.11

Boxing kids and cage-fighting men

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As part of the relationship assignment I decided to go and photograph a teenagers’ boxing session at an MMA and boxing gym in London. Inevitably, after the kids boxing had finished I felt myself drawn towards the fight training going on inside the MMA cage. Funny that.

I have to say that I found this photo session quite difficult; fast moving action is always going to be hard to capture and in a gym like this you are restricted in where you can go (you can’t get that close up relationship picture inside the boxing ring for example). This was certainly a criticism in my tutorial that I took on board. But even if I was allowed in the ring, with a skinny ass frame like mine I’m still not stepping in – especially not to get beat up by a bunch of 15 year olds!

 

Post sparring session

Watching a sparring session

5 minutes of push ups

An MMA fighter is corrected by his coach

The coach and the student go through the drills

Another drill inside the MMA cage

The Theatrical Backdrop (more thoughts on the street photograph)

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I was reading Uta Beyer’s post on street photos (which also has some lovely images and can be seen here). Aside from her images the other thing that I respond to is her enthusiasm for the ‘theatrical backdrop’ approach to taking the photo.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, snapping a moment is incredibly difficult. I’ve tried walking down the street snapping people literally in the face and to be honest it really doesn’t work for me at all. It’s not very nice; I’m not Bruce Gilden enough; I don’t like fights; it’s also an inefficient use of a frame. It’s a bit like cold calling I guess, because in that context people are really not expecting anything. In addition, sticking a camera directly in their face is a fairly violent act. I’m sure Gilden doesn’t think so, but it is. (At a public event I feel it’s quite a different matter however – more on that in a later post.)

But the backdrop approach I find to be much more pleasant, and enjoyable even. 1. You’ve worked out your frame, you’ve worked out the appropriate settings, and you can wait for everything to form in front of you. 2. You’re also not targeting particular people, which you are consciously doing in the street walking approach. 3. You are not disrupting other people’s space; people are only drifting into your frame. (But then I have also previously commented on Jo Ellicott’s blog that street photography is also slightly creepy, so obviously my views on this practice are slightly contradictory at the moment.)

The only thing that this approach drains from you is time.

I’ve been walking through quite a few museums this past week and a half, but the place where I think I found the nicest spot was the British Museum. I don’t think that these images are quite there yet, perhaps there could be more going on in them perhaps, but I do like their simplicity.

Mobile Phone Camera, British Museum

 

Passers By, British Museum

 

Head, British Museum

Written by Max Colson

February 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Blow torched chicken and lamb cubes: My trip to the Halal Butcher

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As I referred to in a previous post, it took me 4 separate attempts to be allowed to photograph inside a Halal butcher. It was hard.

After being labelled an “uneeded factor in the equation” by one man sporting a gleaming business smile, a Bluetooth earphone and a knuckle crunching handshake, I nearly called it quits on my attempt to capture some of Shepherd’s Bush’s finest meatmongery for my ‘people at work’ photo assignment.

However luck finally came my way when I chanced upon ‘Zee’, the genuine and incredibly friendly manager of another joint down the road. Having absolutely no problems with me protruding my lens into the nooks and crannies of his lamb sawing schedule or the intricacies of smoking chicken via blowtorch I was given a time, a handshake and the affirmative. Perseverance does work if you smile enough.

I’d say that 80% of the frames I took were out-of-focused pants quite frankly, so I didn’t decide to show any of the shoot in my tutorial. However there was a blow torching scene at the end of my shoot which is actually quite interesting to look at. Here the selected frames in all their meaty glory (really, really, sorry but I so had to get that pun in there somewhere):

Written by Max Colson

January 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm