Contextual Research, Coursework, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Exhibition Evaluation

Having an exhibition has really opened my eyes to how my work could be viewed by others.

I have been asked why I decided to to start the MA course, when in the questioner’s opinion, my previous work was already very good.  This was interesting and not a question I had really though about myself.  In answering her question, I now realise how important to me the challenge of the MA has been.  Initially I enrolled because I thought it would be an interesting thing to do.  I hadn’t realised that I was craving the technical and mental challenge the course has brought me.

A long and indent discussion with a fellow photographer about my ‘Only Human’ work was eye opening.  To the visitor, the images were about tonality in the image.  He was shocked that I had not used luminosity filters to get the tonal ranges seen in my images.  To be honest, I haven’t ever used one of these filters (and don’t even know where they are on Photoshop!). He was interested in the minimal post processing that I do in Lightroom, and that I tried to get everything as right as I could in camera first.

He challenged me about some of my images – their tonal ranges, their crop and my choice of parts of bodies to photograph.  I was able to justify and explain each of my images him, which encouraged me that I had made the right choices for the portfolio.

There was a really interesting conversation about the value of labels.  The photographer always includes labels on his images to see it people agree with his take on things.  I on the other hand do not include labels.  I explained that I do not want to tell the tale, but want the viewer to read the story.  He found this interesting and asked how the viewer was to get an indicator about where to start interpreting the work.  My response was “the title of the project” and that the viewer needs to make their own links between images.

At the end of the discussion , he gave me his opinion as to the top 3 and bottom 3 of my images.  Each one with his opinion.  Whilst, I didn’t agree with his views, it was really interesting to hear how someone else viewed the images and to discuss this with him in depth.

The installation it self was great fun to curate and install.  Thinking about the placement and how the work is presented has made me realise that this public display of work should be as personal to me as the work itself.

Overall, I have enjoyed hearing what people have to say about the work and am hopeful that the exhibition has prompted people to consider taking part in future project.



Contextual Research, Coursework, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Advertising the exhibition

The exhibition was advertised through as many mediums as I could access.  All helped to bring visitors in.


Facebook Page created for the exhibition – shared to many groups that could be interested.  Posts scheduled everyday to keep profile raised:-




Twitter Feeds:-



Videos published on Twitter:-



Posters created and published by the studio owner:-


All forms of advertising that I used brought in people.  Many of the models and photographers I know shared the information and brought family and friends along.

A successful campaign is one that hits as many different types of social media as possible and gets in front of as many people as possible.  Constant posts and encouraging others to share helps maintain the profile.  I am sure that if we had had longer to complete this task I would have included advertisements in local papers and publications.

Contextual Research, Coursework, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Work in Progress Portfolio – Final Version


The traditional font (see blog post) sets the project up with a classical feel.

The white text on black is an indication that the project is presented in monochrome.


This image offers a strong opening to the portfolio. The composition is beautifully sculptural and striking.  The viewer is encouraged to consider if the shape has been carved from a solid material rather than mere flesh.

Sculptures invite the viewer in and they often touch actual sculptures in galleries, running their hands over the forms.  This is obviously not something that can happen here (nor would it be very appropriate), but the impression of tactility is part of the strength of the image.

The model freely offered this pose and commented on her modeling site that “I think I worried Jo. She didn’t know I could bend like that haha.”(, 2017).  She did shock me as I had no idea that she was so flexible.

A comment from a viewer of the image on the site commented “Bloody love this – beautiful bodyscape! (, 2017).

The image has a range of tonal values with no blown highlights.  The blacks are rich and velvety. This helps to make the image engaging for the audience.


The image of the lumpy legs was a late comer to the portfolio.  The owner of these legs was keen for me to photograph them for the body of work.

By turning the legs through 90 degrees, I was able to create an interesting landscape.

Again, the tonal range is strong and enhances the detail in the lumps and bumps.

This is obviously not an image of a young nubile youth.  We are a society obsessed with the culture of youth and so do not we usually expect to see these types of legs being photographed.  My intent is to challenge that and to try to beautify the older generation through images like this. The influence of Coplans is evident here.  However, Coplans tended to use much harsher lighting and I have tried not to do that.  The contrast and clarity have been increased to show the detail in the forms, but the resultant image is gentler in the tones used.


This image reminds some of “a macro shot of one of those Australian grubs the aboriginals eat”. I have to admit, that I had not seen the image in that light before that comment.

The image has since been re-edited to increase the tonal range and to make it less grub-like in appearance.

The image may appear to have an unhealthy appearance to it, yet the owner of this body moved her body into a position to get this shot.  She is a gorgeous woman, who you would not associate an unhealthy lifestyle with if you saw her clothed and walking down the street.  This body of work has opened my eyes (and hopefully those of the viewer) to what lies beneath the surface of our clothes.


The close up of this elbow has a good range of rich tones.  The detail is quite remarkable and has been enhanced by the lighting used, an 85mm/1.4 prime lens and the adjustments to clarity as part of the post-processing.

It was great to hear the owner of this elbow exclaim “that’s mine!” as she came into the exhibition.


This body shot also belongs to the elbow owner.  She wanted to show me what a woman’s body looks like after having children quite a few years ago.

When she stands up, you would not know that the owner has these saggy looking parts.  In fact, her art nude photographs reveal a toned body, with no hint of this memory of a major life event.

I have included this image as the identification of the part of the body is not immediately obvious.  Also, as previously mentioned, my intent with this work is to challenge the obsession with youth and to beautify the older generation through images like this.


In this image, composition and form were of the utmost importance to me when taking the image.  The composition conforms to the golden spiral.  The eyes of the viewer are intended to sweep around the male form, taking in the minute details in the image.

The skin is smooth with soft hairs that delight the viewer.  The eyes are drawn up to the little mole at the top of the image before they drop back down into the image again for another viewing.


This was another late arrival to the portfolio.  The owner of this mole covered back was very generous with his participation in the project.

His back and other parts of his body are covered with these harmless moles (he is regularly checked at the hospital for those of you who are reading this and are worried).  He describes his back as a ‘map of the universe’.

Again the tonal range and richness of the black really emphasise the speckledness of his back.  The composition is reminiscent of the back portraits that Weston and others have done.  However, shooting slightly off to one side at a shallow angle have enabled me to show more texture across the back.


By turning the image of a beautiful back onto its side, I have been able to portray a sensual landscape.  In the media and publications, we do not get to see enough people with this type of body.  It seems to me that unless you are young and skinny you are not considered photogenic. This model is the most photogenic person I know, and the most amazing person to go with it.

The image is elegant and empathetic; the tones rich and sumptuous.  Bodies of all shapes and sizes deserve to be presented in a way that makes everyone seem more worthy of publication, and not just the ‘commercial’ body types.


This edit is a different version of the hairy bottom shot seen in earlier versions.  This version is less obvious that it is a bottom, and does not jar the viewer’s eyes as much as the first version.

There is a bit of strength in the muscles that mirrors the strength of character of this model to disrobe before the questing gaze of the camera. This was out of his comfort zone, but he worked through this to achieve shots like this.

The amount of hair is quite remarkable.  However, it does not repel or disgust the viewer but seems soft and fluffy like a teddy bear.  The hair grows in really interesting patterns, which engages the viewer and encourages them to stop and stare.


This shot shows a glorious human back.  The tonal range gives the image the appearance of a smooth stone sculpture that invites touch (again it would be inappropriate!). This increase the tactile feel and gives the viewer more to think about when looking at the image.

The model who this belongs to, has issues finding paid work because she does not conform to society’s ideal.  However, it is far easier to photograph any model who is comfortable in their own skin, as she is.


This outstretched hand produces a landscape of rolling hills created by skin and sinew. There is a real gentleness to the sweeping form, that is enhanced by the tonal range and the lighting used.

The model that this belongs to has all sorts of different and wondrous parts to her body, several of which appear later in this portfolio.


The temptation was to turn this shot through 90 degrees to create another human landscape.  I did debate that but feel that a vertical form is a more effective and impactful shot.

The tonal range and the richness of the black encourages the viewer to enjoy the texture of the skin.

The lighting and angle of shot have really worked well in this image to make the spine appear really prominent, more than it seemed in real life.


Tself-portrait portrait shot of my knee.  I set up the lighting and camera and asked a friend to press the shutter (as my cable release was not focussing the image correctly)

The form has been described in many ways by viewers. My favourite is that it reminded someone of an “asteroid spinning its lonely way through space”.

My scars are from many operations and were described by one viewer as like Chinese symbols.  I wear my scars with pride – they are part of me and remind me of the events I have been through in my life.

The tones help this to be a serene shot that is full of minute details that again makes the viewer stop and stare. They may have questions about the scars that cause them to further study the image.


This image is an abstract frontal shot of a man.  The shapes were produced by trying out different arm positions and heights.

The image is full of details that make you look closely.  The skin tags are captured well and enhanced with the lighting and post-processing.  I find them fascinating to look at and hope that the viewer does too.


This image is a celebration of age worn with pride around the eyes of a kindhearted and generous man.

The shot was taken with a 85mm/1.4 prime lens to get as much detail as possible.  There has been some cropping as part of the post-processing to make sure that the framing of the image was exactly as I wanted.


Like others, this is a gentler form of a Coplans influenced image.  The muscle tone is enhanced by the lighting and clarity adjustments in post-processing.

This version replaces an earlier version that seemed too soft to me. The tonal range of this image is better and the form is more in line with the rest of the portfolio.


This image is simply fascinating to all who see it.

The neck structure has a monumental feel to it, rather like an effigy carved into the cliffs.  My husband commented that it reminded him of the root structure of a Banyan tree.

The eyes of the viewer are drawn into the central features and details by the soft focus of the chin and the foreground area.



For the final image, we again return to the human body as a sensual landscape.

This shot was a serendipitous meeting of creative minds in the studio and is one of my favourites of the whole portfolio.

The interesting crop has been created by the clothing worn by the owner.  Whilst I like this, I can appreciate that to others this may be slightly jarring.

In a webinar, this image was described as being like a 3D scan.  Others see “an asteroid floating in the darkness of space” or an “unrolling scroll”.  For me, this is tremendous because this image is creating a narrative of its own.


REFERENCES (2017). 404 – PurpleFail / Portfolio hosting and networking for models, photographers and related creatives / PurplePort. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Aug. 2017].

Contextual Research, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Publication Number Seven

Working with folded card again, I had an idea of producing an exhibition in a book.


Firstly, I designed a series of 3 sided shapes on a CAD program.  These were cut on a laser cutter and folded into shapes and stuck together with double sided sticky tape.  These shapes were stuck together to produce the first prototype shown in video 1 below.


Video 1


With this prototype successfully produced, I decided to produce a larger version with doors between the rooms. This required careful planning to ensure the doors matched up.

The main issue I faced was with the edges of the card after laser cutting.  A residue was left which blackened my fingers.  In order not to get this on the card, hygiene was crucial. Assembly was as before, with care and attention being given to the alignment of the doors.

Video 2 below shows the completed publication of an exhibition in a book. The images


Video 2


This publication allows the viewer to reflect and revisit an exhibition at any point in time. It offers the reader more in the second and subsequent viewings of each image as seen in its displayed context.

The quirky nature of the publication lends itself well to my quest to understand performance – in itself is a performance. The opening of the book and the revealing of the ‘rooms’ is very compelling and theatrical.

Overall, this is my favourite publication and the one that fits best with the work I have been doing with performance.

Contextual Research, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Gaze

When starting this module, as one of 3 areas I wanted to explore, I was considering the gaze I use when shooting a male nude.  Throughout the module I have been considering this and what the gazes mean to me when shooting.

Figure 1: Female Gaze

I have determined that when I shoot with a female gaze, I tend to concentrate predominantly on shapes and form. The poses are gentle and do not challenge the viewer, as the penis is often not visible, and nudity is implied and not explicit.

Figure 2: Male Gaze

When I shoot with a male gaze, my images show the model as strong and powerful. His muscles become the main focus of the image and the penis, whilst visible is often almost irrelevant.

Figure 3: Gay Gaze

And when I shoot with a gay gaze, my images tend to concentrate on the prominence of the penis in the image and often have humour running through them. These images can sometimes have a direct sexual content through positioning and pose.

Before I explored this through practical work, I was not able to identify which gaze I was using for images.  I am now able to determine the gaze and easily explain it to someone else (which was very useful in the workshop session).

Obviously, there are those who will look at the gaze in each image and interpret it differently, and that is what makes photography so exciting. i look forward to exploring this further.


Contextual Research, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Why volunteer?

Considering why strangers and friends have volunteered for this project.

In order to get people to model for this project, I put out a casting call on a model website called PurplePort and also put out casting calls on Facebook and twitter.  These were successful in many ways. Not only did I get friends reply to the casting, but I also got strangers volunteering to take part.

When each turned up, one of my questions to them would be why they had volunteered.  In some cases, they just wanted to help and thought that the body parts project was worthwhile in getting involved in. For others, the challenge of being naked in a studio in front of other people was one they wanted to tackle head-on.

Some of my volunteers were very comfortable in the studio, whilst others took a little while to relax. One volunteer turned up and was visibly shaking. As with all the models and volunteers in this project, I reassured her that she did not need to take part unless she wanted to and that no one was going to force her. She did explain that she had PTSD from a car accident several years ago. So whilst her anxiety was trying to take over, she really needed and wanted to do the shoot. I started the shoot by photographing her feet, legs, and hands. Within a short space of time, she was confident and comfortable enough to be fully naked in the studio.

A plus-size (horrible term) model who posed naked for me, told me her reasons for doing it were “It’s a body. Everyone’s got one and I’m fine with mine, so I am fine with being naked. My body requires no justification or explanation. It is mine and I am proud of it.”

Another volunteer told me that she had offered to take part because she had previously had a boudoir shoot where the photographer Photoshopped her body without permission. When she looked at these images she did not see herself. She informed me that the quality of my work spoke for itself and that is why she got involved. She has now gone onto take modeling as a hobby, inspired she tells me by this shoot with me. I have shot with her since and have many plans for future shoots.

One female model came along having informed me that she was prepared only to do implied nude and wanted to keep her pants on. Of course, this is totally acceptable as I do not want to put anybody in a position where they feel uncomfortable. However after a short time she too felt relaxed and was happy to work fully nude.  Talking to her during the shoot, it became apparent that she had worked predominantly with one photographer in the past that she trusted, and had worked with other photographers with whom she had bad experiences.

A friend who volunteered commented that she was curious about what her body looked like captured in a photograph.  She wanted to capture her body as it was, before it deteriorated with age (her choice of words, not mine).  Having a friend behind the camera made the process a safe space for her.  She commented that although it was a daring and brave decision for her, she was proud of herself and just wanted to help me.  I was very touched by this.

The male models the reason for applying is often different. Some have told me that they have suffered a midlife crisis and feel that something they need to do. For other male models, they struggle to get paid work, so feel that refreshing their portfolios with new art nude images and body part images may help them in the future. A couple of the male models enjoy experimenting with different props and styles of shoots, so find working with me gives them the freedom to do that and get images of a high-quality.  One of my male models told me that he had a subconscious desire for exhibitionism. Standing in front of a camera naked, posing for a MA project that will be published is not such a subconscious desire then.

One chap offered to help because I ‘asked on Facebook for volunteers’ and he thought ‘why not?’.  He also commented that he had had several health problems since turning 50 and had decided to do things he had never done before.  He compared the shoot to jumping out of a plane (seems extreme…). Once we got going, he was proudly showing me his moles, skin tags and lumps and bumps.  This shoot threw me into turmoil as I had considered my work in progress portfolio completed.  The shoot produced amazing images that were necessary to be included.

Most models leave the session having had fun in a relaxed atmosphere.   They volunteer to come back and help as many times as possible.  All have been very pleased with their images and most have happily shared these with their friends and family.

So, could I strip for the camera? At this moment in time it is not something that I could see myself doing. I have too many hang ups about my body and I would not feel comfortable and relaxed in front of a camera, no matter who the photographer was.  I have taken part in my project, but it has only been my knee and a scar on my stomach that have been photographed.  This is enough for me at the moment.



Contextual Research, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Art Nude – The Photographer in the Frame

During one of the university webinars, it was suggested by the Module Leader, that I should consider the use of a pocket mirror, or similar, to place myself in my images.

I have previously considered Vivienne Maricevic’s work and remembered seeing some of her work where she inserted parts of herself into the images.  Figures 1-3 are examples.


Figures 1-3: Maricevic. Unknown Titles. Unknown Dates


There is an element of humour to her images. Her hands add an element of voyeurism to the images as we are fully aware that the photographer is present when the images are taken.  Why voyeuristic?  Because in many cases the model has an erection and this leads me to think of the photographer as voyeuristic in this case.


Figure 4: Sutherst. 2017


For my experiments, I decided to initially trial resting a large mirror against the backdrop (figure 4).

The reflection show me sat, photographing a full frontal image of the model.  The white object in the top righthand side of the mirror is a reflection of the soft box.

In this image, I feel very voyeuristic. The pose makes the model seem exposed and to some extent vulnerable (as he is obviously naked). The voyeuristic aspect of the image is enhanced by the distance of my reflection from the model.


Figure 5: Sutherst. 2017


The second image (figure 5) has my reflection in a circular mirror held by the model.  The phallic symbolism of the me in the mirror replacing his manhood is hard to miss.

The image reads as though I am trying to assert dominance over the image.  I have become more important than his penis.

This is still voyeuristic in nature in my opinion.  I found this shot both amusing and awkward to shoot.  I was very aware of the voyeuristic and dominant impression my reflection gives to the image.


Figure 6: Sutherst. 2017


The most successful image is the last one I took (figure 6).  My presence in the image is much more subtle and the mirror less obtrusive.  I do not feel so much a voyeur in this image as I am not the first thing you look at the time.  It was a tricky shot to set up to ensure my reflection was in the mirror, so communication between me and the model was vital.

There is potential to develop this idea further.  I do find the whole thing awkward as I hate being in photos and this feels like I am intruding on the model’s private life.  Silly really since the model and I are both in the studio (this was not our first shoot).  Yet somehow it feels different being in the images with him.

I feel I need to do more work on this theme.



Figures 1 – 3: (2017) 😉. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].

Contextual Research, Coursework, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Workshop Evaluation

As a qualified teacher, leading a workshop was always going to offer me the chance to enthusiastically share my passion with like minded individuals.

The workshop was planned and delivered on the 12th August.  The topic was one that had been requested by a club that I belong to – a male art nude session.  For the participants (all ladies), there was a mix of excitement and nervousness when they arrived at 9am. I started the session with introductions and a general briefing.

Figure 1: Sutherst. Goody bag. 2017

Each participant was given a goody bag with resources needed for the day. This included a notebook, which they eagerly filled with notes throughout the day.

The first discussions of the day were about model etiquette, lighting for art nude, and potential poses that can be used when working with a nude model. I also explained my motivation for the work that I have been doing and this prompted an in-depth discussion about the gaze. One of the participants, Holly, is currently studying for her BA Photography and has a particular interest in gaze. The entire group had an in depth discussion about the male vs the female gaze, as well as considering the gay gaze and how that may be different from the other gazes.

Once the model, Clint, arrived at 10 am, I started the practical part of the workshop with a single light, low key lighting set up against a black drop. To ease the participants into working with a nude male model, the session started with the model being topless. The participants were nervous originally, but very quickly were able to ask Clint to pose how they wanted him to. A second light was introduced to show the different effect that this would have to the images.

After 45 minutes or so, I explained that Clint would be naked for the next part of the workshop. So the ladies put their brave pants on as Clint’s came off, and the session got underway. One of the ladies, Anne, commented that she felt that the ambiance in the room had changed and that it became harder to make conversation with the model. This did not last for very long though as they settled down quickly as they were so engrossed in obtaining the best images that they could. There were moments of awkwardness, especially when the ladies wanted to ask Clint to position his penis so that it couldn’t be seen on camera. There is no delicate way to say things sometimes, but once you have had that conversation, it isn’t a problem anymore.

Very soon Clint’s nakedness became irrelevant and less noticeable, with the ladies relaxing into the session well. They became more and more confident with directing Clint with poses and positions. There are poses that Clint is unable to perform because of his muscularity, and others he needs to empty his lungs for parts of his body to fit together; this the ladies found really interesting.

The agenda I had planned for the day was adjusted as we went along. This is where my years of teaching really help, as the ability to seamlessly alter and adjust the teaching segments as the session progresses is something that I am comfortable with.

We moved onto high key lighting against a white backdrop. This offered the opportunity for a different type of shot. The backdrop was lit to provide separation of the model and the ladies tried with the light on and off to see the effects.

The ladies were also introduced to shooting through sheer material and shooting a model in a mask. Both of these set ups have provided them with creative, experimental images that they were proud of.

The final lighting set up was backlighting the model to create just an outline. The main studio lights were turned off to reduce stray light interfering with the shot. To enable focusing, I shone a light onto the back of Clint’s head. This set up was done both on the white and black backdrops, with successful images from both.

At the end of the workshop, an in-depth discussion took place with the ladies and Clint. The discussion turned to gaze and the conversation was extremely interesting. Clint is an experienced model and has been photographed predominantly by male photographers in the past. He feels that male photographers converse less and that they are in some cases, intimidated and uncomfortable with his nudity. It was interesting that he found some acted threatened by his nude body. Women, however, do not seem to experience that.

Clint explained that when he looks at an image of himself, he is able to tell whether a straight man, a gay man or a woman had taken the image. The images taken by a woman or a gay man have a very different feel to those taken by the straight man. The images taken by women tend to concentrate predominantly on shapes and form. The poses are gentle and do not challenge the viewer, as the penis is often not visible, and nudity is implied and not explicit. The images taken by gay men tend to concentrate on the prominence of the penis in the image and often have humour running through them. These images can often have a direct sexual content through positioning and pose. The images taken by the straight men show Clint as strong and powerful. His muscles become the main focus of the image and the penis, whilst visible is often almost irrelevant.

For each shoot, Clint is fully aware and involved in the making of the images. He is keen to ensure that the shots are exactly what the photographer wanted. In order for the participants to publish any images, they had to get a model release form signed (and a small fee paid). I provided them with these release forms and had explained the importance of getting these signed at each opportunity when shooting with models.

The workshop was a great success, with the participants all taking away images that they are proud of. Throughout the session, we examined their images and talked about how they could improve and develop their work. At times I felt almost redundant as their confidence grew and they were happy to ask Clint to produce different poses using the source material I had brought along.

During the day, I realised that I photograph the male nude using each gaze – the male gaze, female gaze and gay gaze. My images are very varied and include many different styles. Having the discussions with Clint and the ladies really helped me to realise this. The ladies did challenge me on my images at times and were interested in why I shot images in a particular way. I did enjoy these conversations as they made me realise why I chose different gazes for different views.

My teaching style is relaxed. I like to make sure that I have prepared and planned for all eventualities, and that the participants leave having had an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. I am a kinesthetic learner and find that by doing things I remember them. This is the main learning experience type I used in the workshop. I also provided learning materials for both visual learners (hand-outs and resources) and aural learners through discussions and tutor talking sessions.

The participants have left feedback explaining that they enjoyed the day and felt they learned a lot. Holly has published a couple of images on the photography club page and has written a blog post for her course about the experience. Warning – proud teacher moment

Link to Holly’s blog –

Figure 2: Holly Woodward. 2017

For me, the workshop offered a great way to communicate my work with other like-minded individuals.  Being able to share the enthusiasm I have for photography and to see the quality of images that the attendees have produced, is a feeling that is hard to explain.  It is a privilege to be in a position to do this.



Figure 2: (2017). 需要安全验证. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].

Contextual Research, Coursework, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Workshop Plans

In order to assist the learning of my participants, I have created a few documents for them to use based on previous documents I have used at school.  I am unsure of the original source of the documents, as I last used them for lessons 2 years ago.  I have amended and updated them for the session.

I have printed a copy of each of these resources and a model release form for each participant.

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Resource 1: Teaching notes



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Resource 2: Lighting diagrams (including blank ones to write on during the session)



9am – 10am

Introduction and welcome.  Explain content of workshop.  Give out resources.

Model etiquette, model release forms and their importance when working with nude models.

Explanation of camera settings, lighting set ups etc


10am – 11.30am

Model arrives.  Low key lighting set up.

Start with partial nudes to relax participants

Individual shooting with model and tuition given as required (10 minute sessions)

Others to observe and ask questions, make notes etc.


11.30am – 11.45am



11.45am – 1.45pm

High key lighting set up.

Individual shooting with model and tuition given as required (10 minute sessions)

Others to observe and ask questions, make notes etc.

Opportunity to learn editing techniques and edit an image.


1.45pm – 2pm

Getting model release forms signed



Each participant to get the following in their goody bag:-

  • A5 notebook
  • Pen
  • Course notes in a plastic popper wallet
  • Model release form
  • USB with useful resources downloaded from internet
  • Tote bag
  • Business card and contact details for post course support


Ready and excited to teach this now.

Contextual Research, Project Development, Surfaces and Strategies

Surfaces and Strategies – Shoot Mod3#29 – Body Shapes – “Phil”

“The central act of photography [is] the act of choosing and eliminating”.

– (Szarkowski 2012: 9)


For my shoot with Phil, I deliberately choose to frame these images so that the viewer must concentrate on the content. The images were shot against a black background to remove distractions.  This, combined with the lighting set up isolates the parts of the body so that the viewer can be clear about what is being photographed and can attune themselves to the physicality of the subject in the image. By isolating fragments of the body, I have been able to elevate what seems trivial. This is in much the same way that Coplans nude self-portraits isolated portions of his aging body.

Phil had driven from Doncaster to Cricklade to take part in my project.  I am very fortunate to have had such wonderful and generous people answer my casting call for the project. Their honesty and willingness to participate are the reason the body of work has developed.

The images encourage us to stop and stare at what they portray. Photographs afford us that privilege.  By studying the images in detail, we appreciate the layers of texture in the form.

The feet images were deliberately shot from a perspective that is unexpected.  The feet were facing towards the light, with the rest of the body unlit.  This combined with the detritus on the soles of the feet, leads the viewer to question where the feet have been and what surfaces have they walked on.  This engagement with image draws the viewer in and, whilst it may offend some, others will find this image intriguing. For some, these images may satisfy or stimulate a foot fetish.

Phil was really keen to ensure that the images we captured during the session were exactly what I was aiming for in the project. This was an enjoyable and very productive project. I am grateful to Phil for his participation.



Szarkowski, J. (2012). The photographer’s eye. New York: Museum of Modern Art.