Tag Archives: 35mm

Second page designs

Original layout


This seemed to be the most obvious layout for 4 pictures of this format, where I felt one stood out as being more important than the others. It is neat and simple and leaves clear negative space along the right side where I have chosen to place my website.

I considered using this space to place a list of Figures but I feel like I’ve already listed what the pictures are within the main text and a list of figures might just feel like repetition. This is something I need to play around with though as I do still think I need a clear pointer that says ‘top right:…’ either within the text of in a list.

Layout 2



I really liked this layout but you can see on the page that the space left for text is awkward and the layout will not work as a result.

Layout 3


This layout works as it leaves a simple rectangular space for text, like the original layout but as you can see below, the centre gutter will chop the bottom centre picture in half, which I think will be too damaging to the picture story.


Layout 4



By making the three bottom pictures smaller I was able to avoid placing the bottom centre picture in the centre of the gutter, which I think is better but obviously not ideal.

I have then made the top image slightly smaller so it fits on one side of the page and have placed my pull quote in the gap, which is an element I like.

Unfortunately this leaves a larger gap for the story and I can’t fill the gap, which isn’t a massive problem but I’m just not sure I like the space it leaves.

I’ve tried putting in a list of figures to see how it would look on the page and I’m also not sure it works. It seems to make the design look too bitty.

Layout 5


I think having the Figures placed as a design element in this design works much better. My eyes are not searching around the design like they were in Layout 4.


I think of them all I prefer layouts 1 & 5. I need to look at the Figures and consider whether directing the reader towards pictures would work within the main text in brackets such as (top left) and such as (bottom right) without it breaking up the flow of the story too much.





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I knew I wouldn’t like this design, and I don’t.


I said back in my research that I often have a problem with text over image. I find it distracting and often the text looks as though it doesn’t belong on the page.

I thought I would still try it out as there is an obvious place to place text in this picture, which is inside the illuminated part of the wall. I placed a dropshadow on the text to look as though the lightbulb is casting a shadow on the text. I think despite this, I still have a problem and don’t want to use this design! …But at least I tried.




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New establishing spread design

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I wanted to do a design that included a full bleed on one side. This means that the picture has to be enlarged, if you are to stick to a design that is fairly conventional and ‘belongs’ on the page.

With a narrower column for text, I thought I’d tip the headline on it’s side and match the headline’s height to the picture, once again stretching the word like it’s meaning.

The text then looked odd as a block, but by stretching it vertically, it looks more as though it belongs.

Although I like the title on its side like this, there is something about this design that reminds me of a fashion magazine. Possibly the headline in capitals? I can’t quite put my finger on it but I don’t think it necessarily reflects the story as well as the previous designs.

I’ve also played around with the title of the editorial and the page numbers again and once again I think this works just as well as the other designs.

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First draft of double page spread

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The content

As discussed on March 1st in the article ‘Choosing a Story’, I think of the five images selected for the story, Jean on the stairs has to be the establisher. It’s a visually striking picture that entices you into the story. The second most important is Hugh and Jean on the bed as it introduces you to the couple and their bedridden existence. The other three are important in terms of telling the story but are more detailed shots, which are talked about within the text.

I wrote this story back in December for an issue of 205dpi magazine and have found myself editing it slightly, partly through criticism of my own writing but partly because I hadn’t really explained who I was in relation to Hugh and Jean and hadn’t made it clear enough what was going on in some of the detail pictures.

Originally, this story was called ‘Mortlake Road’ but I have tried to be less objective and more suggestive and elegant with my choice of word(s) for the headline. ‘Longevity’ seems the perfect description for Hugh and Jean and I have tried to use design to mimic this by loosening the tracking.

I will need to play around with Figures. I can either direct you to the pictures within the main body of text ie (top left), or I can create a design element for them. The space on the far right could work well for this although I’m enjoying the negative space I’ve created in that column.


The design

This design is based on a selection of elements I found myself being particularly drawn to during my editorial design research. My aim is to produce two double page spreads that borrows these elements to create a clear vision for my work that can communicate the story clearly whilst looking attractive on the page.

You can see here that I like the design to be simple and minimalist with plenty of negative space, simple type faces and clean shapes. Whilst designing, I found myself being very aware not to create a design element purely for the sake of design, but to make sure that it had a benefit to the story or to the editorial itself. For example, I have named the editorial ‘Documentary Photography’ (invention clearly not my forte), and have given it an Issue number. This is something you would find in any art editorial and allows me to think about design. However, when I started placing elements such as lines around the design, most of the time I deleted them as they seemed to have no purpose and distracted me from the content.

As I seemed to be drawn to the establishing image leaking itself across onto two pages, I have started with this design. It gives a clear area for the headline and standfirst, it looks crisp and I don’t have to worry about the issues faced when placing text over the top of an image.

The lines around the quote I think help the quote stand out and are therefore justified. They also look aesthetically pleasing as the lines match the thickness of the crisp capitals of Futura Light.

Having assessed editorials to look at how many typefaces they use on average, I found that generally editorials use no more than three typefaces. Often, they use two but will use a few various typefaces from their font family, as opposed to using different fonts altogether. In my design, I have used three fonts: Lixus Libertine and Minion Pro for the main body text and standfirst and Futura for the other elements.

I particularly wanted to link the headline to the title of the editorial, page numbers, website etc because it tightens up the editorial gives it a stronger brand (were it real) and I used Futura for this because it seems to be a versatile font that is crisp and modern but classic at the same time.

A note of Futura:

Following the Bauhaus design philosophy, German type designer Paul Renner first created Futura between 1924 and 1926. Although Renner was not a member of the Bauhaus, he shared many of its views, believing that a modern typeface should express modern models rather than be a rivial of a previous design. Futura was commercially released in 1927, commissioned by the Bauer type foundry.

While designing Futura, Renner avoided creating any non-essential elements, making use of basic geometric proportions with no serifs or frills. Futura’s crisp, clean forms reflect the appearance of efficiency and forwardness even today.


It is interesting to see that I seem to have chosen a typeface that mimics what I’ve been saying about avoiding ‘non-essential elements’ with its efficient, crisp appearance.



Next I will be showing various versions of this design. The changes are subtle but nevertheless important!


All images © Amy Romer 2014

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Scanning professionally and the digital darkroom

Using 35mm negatives digitally requires a high resolution scanning facility and the ability to understand how to scan non-destructively in order to retain as much information from the negative as possible.

Using the Epson Perfection V750 Pro with 35mm inserts, I will take you through each step of scanning, followed by all the important elements of using Photoshop CS6 as a digital darkroom.

Using Professional Mode

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Firstly, it’s important to check that you are working in Professional Mode, as unlike any of the other default settings, it allows you to work with negatives, providing options such as film type, high quality resolutions of up to 12800 dpi and bit-depth. You can also make adjustments, although it is advised to not make any adjustments that will lessen the quality of the negative. Adjustments are better applied at the later stages of Photoshop.

Document Type – In this case the document type is ‘Film (with film holder)’ as I have inserted my negatives into 35mm film inserts.

The Film Type –  This is self-explanatory and you choose from ‘B&W Negative Film’, ‘Colour Negative Film’ and ‘Positive Film’.

Image Type – When we say ’16-bit’ we are referring to the image’s ‘bit depth’, which is the maximum number of levels per channel that can be contained in a photograph. For example, a 24-bit RGB colour image is made up of three 8-bit image channels, where each 8-bit channel can contain up to 256 level of tone.

So by selecting a high bit depth to scan, more information is being embedded within the image. This means that when you come to dodge and burn in your digital darkroom, Photoshop will be able to use the extra information from the bit depth to adjust for you, rather than guessing information for you and destructing the quality and accuracy of the image.

You will notice on the Image Type drop-down that there is an option to select ’24-bit Colour’, which from my experience gives black and white negative scans a slightly inaccurate green tinge. I know professionals that would disagree but personally, I prefer to use 16-bit Grayscale for my black and white scans and 24-bit Colour for my colour scans.

Resolution – Although there is the option to scan up to 12800 dpi, this particular scanner will only be able to scan quality up to 6400 dpi. The reason I have chosen to scan at 3200 dpi is because for the purpose of this project, 3200 dpi is plenty sufficient. It also saves on time as high resolution scans will require much more time than low resolution scans and there is a big difference in time between 3200 and 6400 dpi without any sufficient visual difference in quality.

 Document size – For the preview the document size should be left to the scan areas full size. When selecting a negative to scan from the preview, you can either edit the document size to the size of a 35mm negative, which is 35mm x 24mm but I personally like to use the marquee tool to the left of the preview to select a slightly larger area than the 35mm negative to ensure I haven’t cropped my negative on any side.

Target size and Adjustments: Target size should be left as ‘Original’ and it is important to make sure that Unsharp Mask is deselected as the Epson software often voluntarily ticks this box without your permission and this is ultimately destruct the image quality.

The only adjustment I would make is slightly broadening the highlights and shadows on the histogram by clicking on the histogram icon and pulling the correct triangles outward. This way you will gain even more tonal range in your scan.

When your marquee has been selected and all of the above settings have been considered and applied, you are ready to scan.

Note: when scanning for a preview, 300 dpi is sufficient, and much faster. Previews are only beneficial to your selection process, so quality at this stage is not important.

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After clicking ‘Scan’, Epson will take you to this screen. The main thing to remember is to save the scan as a TIFF file.

A TIFF file is the industry standard format for archive work and publishing. TIFF files can and should be treated as uncompressed files and are compatible with both 8-bits and 16-bits per channel, unlike JPEG, which are only compatible with 8-bits per channel.


Photoshop CS6 as a digital darkroom

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Before starting anything, it’s important to know what your looking at. Although it is arguably best to work in Adobe RGB (1998), it is important to remember what your output is. In this case, I will be printing the image using CMYK, so I want to view the image as CMYK, so I know exactly what it will look like, despite working on it using Adobe RGB (1998) via Colour Settings and Image Mode.

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Before editing, make sure you make a Background copy so that there i always the untampered original to fall back on, should you need it.

To dodge and burn non-destructively, make a new layer by holding option>shift whilst selecting the new layer icon on the bottom of the panels. This gives you the opportunity to select a Blending Mode  and in this instance I have chosen Overlay with 50% grey.

For areas that are too dark to dodge or too light to burn effectively, you can use Curves with the hand tool to select the local area you want to lighten or darken. Drag the hand up to lighten and down to darken until that area is how you want it to look. Don’t be put off that the whole of the image is darkening or lightening as you will then put a lid on it (so to speak) by using command>i. Now select the paintbrush tool and make sure the colour you are using is white  (reveals) and not black (hides). You can now use your paintbrush to reveal the area you want to dodge or burn.

At this point, I don’t want to crop my image but I know that a full size A3 is 420mm x 297mm so I resize the image t 420mm on the longest side and leave the shorter side at 276mm. I’m not sure whether I need to lessen the pixel dimensions at this stage so I will leave that for a later date.

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Once I am completely happy with all post-processing, I flatten the image reducing its size, and save it once again as a TIFF.

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Alternative stories

Although I’m fairly certain I want to use Mortlake Road, these are the other two stories I could potentially use for an editorial spread.


Although I really like all these images separately, they do not link together to form a picture story.

This is from a brief called ‘A Person At Work’, where we were to summarise the title of the brief in one picture. I followed Liam, who is part of the Bennett’s family that own and run Chy-An-Besow Farm, a free-range chicken and rare breed pig farm in West Cornwall.

Liam takes part in the daily running of the farm and so I photographed him during various activities, which does not necessarily form a coherent story for an editorial.

It is possible that I could make a tight edit and only use the photographs of Liam with the chickens and form a story around the free-range element of the farm, but I can’t see how these images will form the story I’d want to tell.


For the same brief – ‘A Person At Work’, I photographed Garry Johnson, an artist blacksmith in East Cornwall. Although I was still shooting for the one picture, I managed to unconsciously create a picture story on Garry and his work.

This shoot took place after Chy-an-Besow and so maybe I was more conscious of moving in close, stepping back and creating more options for myself. I think also because we were in a small workshop, I had more time to think about the different ways of photographing rather than dealing with different scenes and photographing each scene in a few minutes.

I always knew that I couldn’t use the formal portrait but it was a picture I had to take because as he was talking to me the light became diffused and suddenly fell on his face really beautifully so it was an opportunity not to be missed.

Together, the pictures form all the elements to make a portraiture photo story suitable for an editorial format. The formal, the observed, the detail and the environmental.

I think my reservation lies in the story itself. I’m not sure how much I really have to say about artist blacksmithing, in comparison to what I have to say about Mortlake Road, which is a private family story about life-long love and the effects of dementia.

If possible, I think I’d like to do an editorial spread for both Garry Johnson and Mortlake Road. I think it would be interesting to see how I direct the two stories and deal with design, writing and editing.

All images © Amy Romer 2014






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Choosing a story

A key part to this assignment will be choosing a story that works well in an editorial format. I don’t just want the pictures to be strong,  I need them to be flexible enough to allow me to play around with the design of 2 DPSs.

Having looked back at my work, I think I have three possibilities but there is one story that I know I really want to work with, which is Mortlake Road.

Please note: Any scanned work at this stage will be rescanned if used in the editorial to obtain maximum resolution. 



All images © Amy Romer 2014


This set of images has been taken from ‘The Establishing Image’ where we were to find the opening image of a picture story, based around the theme ‘Isolation’.

I chose to photograph my Great Aunt and Uncle – Hugh and Jean Romer. Both are in their 90s and live in a large house in Kew Gardens. For the past year or so, they have been living mostly in the bedroom, as their physical ailments worsen and their dementia continue to grow.

It was a subject I found difficult to photograph, not only because of the nature of the story but because of my relation to them. Although I only took 36 frames (my average for a shoot is 3-4 roles) I think I managed to achieve my strongest set of pictures to date. I think that when there is a tension between subject and photographer, better pictures will often come from it.

I chose to use the bottom picture as my ‘Establishing Image’. I think the picture makes you want to read the story. Her ghostly face and awkward positioning on the stairs creates an eerie quality as she moves from darkness to the light.

I am also very aware that this shot would make an ideal opening shot to an editorial as it contains plenty of negative space to place text. I shot the picture like this because the only way to get a decent exposure was to include the light source in the frame, which I hoped would add to the banality and sadness of the picture.

I then have a choice of 4 pictures for the second DPS. I could use all or just one. I think they all have a place within the story. They were all taken for a reason and I can talk about those reasons within the text. However, I may find that aesthetically something isn’t quite working or the design isn’t allowing for all the images and I will have to make a decision based on what I feel is most important.

My next step is going to be checking the other two stories I considered using.

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PEP160 Narrative & Storytelling 1: News, Editorial & Documentary

This blog is dedicated to a new module of my BA(Hons) Press & Editorial Photography course, where I am creating four double-page spread editorials based on two photo stories.

One will use an existing 35mm black and white photo story from module PEP110 (see previous posts on home page), and one will be made up of pictures from a current project, which can be either digital or 35mm analogue.

The main difference between the two double page spreads is that one will be made up from pictures where I have not necessarily shot for an editorial space, where as the second will be pictures I have shot specifically for the editorial space.

For the second double page spread, I have the option to use digital pictures, which opens doors to potentially creating a layout with colour images as opposed to black and white. I will also be given complete control over how many images I can use for the establishing page and the main body, where as for the first spread, I am limited to one picture for the establishing spread.

In a world where there are fewer and fewer jobs within the editorial process, it is necessary to be the ‘architect’ of your own work. Not just being able to take a photograph as a photographer, but to also be the picture editor, journalist, designer and art director.

This blog will hopefully take you on my journey of creating the editorial. I will post what I have been inspired by, my choices of negatives and digital files, the scanning/digital editing processes, successes and struggles with InDesign, lecture notes and so on.

So if you have an interest in creating editorials but don’t know much about it – you may find this page interesting/useful/boring/rubbish.

See you on the next post.

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Beth De Tisi, Exeter Northcott Theatre Wardrobe

The Exeter Northcott Wardrobe is one of a hand few of professional and original theatre wardrobes left in the country.

Since the steady decline of theatre arts funding nationwide, many wardrobes have been forced to close and sell their historic archive of costume, from original nineteenth century dress to handmade costume by skilled seams-people. (maybe this is why ‘vintage fashion’ is now so popular…?)

Beth de Tisi, Wardrobe Manager, has fought to keep the Northcott wardrobe a working and fully functional space and has succeeded. She is now employing volunteers to help sort through the hundreds of interesting items in return for theatre tickets and is preparing for the exciting new year projects ‘Jeruselum’ and ‘The Day We Played Brazil’.


All images © Amy Romer, 2014

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