Posted by: photochika42 | December 6, 2010

Production Journal


Originally, I wanted to have more of a theme for my photo essay than my previous photo essay did.  I felt that since I was going to be working on this project over Thanksgiving break, I would have more flexibility with my selection of photos.  Since the break was for Thanksgiving, I thought that I should focus on the holiday that we were celebrating.  I felt that taking pictures of a plate throughout the course of a Thanksgiving dinner would be a good idea.  When I presented this idea to the class, I felt that the project would not work out as I was hoping it would.  I also would have to worry about lighting if I was taking a direct shot of a dinner plate, and there is only so much you can do with a plate full of food.

I had the idea of taking pictures around my town of interesting buildings or different architecture.  I felt that my town was a theme by itself, but I realized that it was not specific enough after I arrived back at American University.  Obviously, it was difficult for me to go back to my hometown to take more pictures that had more of a consistent theme, such as church arches, so I went out and took pictures around DuPont Circle.  Instead of focusing on arches, I felt that focusing on doors would be a more interesting topic to a viewer.

The reason I changed my topic to architecture was because of my passion for taking photos of architecture.  I also chose to take on the idea of architecture because of Polly Chandler.  Polly Chandler is a photographer that has some phenomenal pictures of architecture on her website.  Some of the angles that she used to capture the right picture inspired me to try and mimic what angles she shot from.

Before production, I did not have any difficulties.  Before I went to actually take a picture, the most preparation I had to do was to make sure that my camera was straight, the picture was not fuzzy, and to make sure that I was able to capture what I wanted to capture.

I walked around my town, which is a standard suburb, and stopped by buildings that I felt had some historical value.  Many of the buildings have been around for a long period of time, so I felt that I had a variety of shots to work with.  I never timed myself when I went out to shoot, but I felt that I spent a good amount of time setting up the right shot and taking the picture that I wanted to capture.

The only day that I was able to go out and originally shoot photos for this photo essay had an overcast sky.  This made it difficult for me to play around with the sun’s rays or play around with shadows from trees or from different buildings.  I felt that I could enhance some of the photos using Adobe Photoshop on the computer, but I know that my experience with Photoshop would not be able to re-create a sunny day.

The location was my town for when I originally shot these photos, but then I went into DuPont Circle to add more pictures to this project.  The time was midday when I shot pictures in my town, as well as when I took pictures in DuPont Circle.  I used a digital camera to take the pictures for my photo essay, and I used iPhoto to enhance my pictures.  I felt that I accomplished my goal originally when I was around my town, but that was not the case when I realized that my town was apparently not a consistent theme.

I used iPhoto to help make my photos more dynamic and vivid.  There was not a whole lot I could do about going back to my town after I was back in Washington, D.C. when I realized that my town was not a strong enough theme.

I learned that having my hometown as a theme for this photo essay is apparently too broad of a theme.  I was very disappointed about that, and wish I knew that back over Thanksgiving break.  I would have gone around to more churches and have taken pictures of arches or of church doors, or of any doors that I felt were interesting.  I feel that I was not able to visually convey the original theme that I wanted too, but that my door idea is a nice replacement.  I felt that the theme of church arches was overdone, and that a theme of doors would be a nice replacement for that.

My final result now is nowhere near my original idea.  Doors and plates full of Thanksgiving food do not have anything in common.  I wish that I had more time at home to take more pictures of my hometown to be able to have more of a theme.  It would be easier for me to have a wider selection of photographs to work with to compose my photo essay.

I feel that this project is not my strongest work.  I kept bouncing around from one idea to another, and with that, my work suffered a little bit.  I know that my door idea might not be as interesting as my hometown idea, but I feel that it is my only option now.  I feel that I would be able to have more of a variety of photos if I did not jump around from idea to idea.

I also learned that I should wait to buy supplies in case plans change, as they did for our final. I bought foam board and cut it up while I was at home.  When I got back and went over my rough draft of my final project, the photo essay no longer needed to be printed out or backed on I also bought double-sided tape to mount the pictures onto the foam board.  When I found out that the materials were no longer needed, I was a bit disappointed.  I do understand that with the lack of time to critique every person’s project, it makes more sense to have everything posted on our blogs.

I felt that since I had so much difficulty sticking to one theme or idea with this project, I would not do it again.  I know that a lot of my pictures are decent, but I guess the way I had them relate to each other within the theme was not how the audience for this project would see it.  If I go out and work on another project, I feel like I would be restricted to that theme. I feel that I can be more creative by going out and taking pictures of anything that I find intriguing.  If I have enough pictures to create one solid theme from the collection of pictures that I take, then I would use that theme for a future project.

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