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Final Spreads!

Final Submission:

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When writing the piece I realised that the tattoo was an important element of the story and so I had to make a decision as to where it would go and what I would take out as I think 7 images would be too busy on the page.

I decided to take the picture of Josh looking up at his Dad in the living room because Josh in the bath looking up at his Dad represents the same thing.

I considered taking out the top middle picture with the red walls in the background because I felt it was in danger of being too similar to the establishing page but I decided that the content was different enough and the unconcious mirroring of Paul and Joshua on the sofa was important. Also, they aren’t on the same page so having a similarity like that in’t really too much of an issue.

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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.

http://idsgn.org/posts/know-your-type-futura/

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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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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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Scanning saves the day – extras from Mortlake Road, Kew

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Mortlake Road, Kew continues. In preparation for the project being featured in Issuu’s 205dpi December Issue.

I was unable to print these images because of some alien marks on my negatives! Likely to be caused during some stage of processing.

These small cabinets are dotted around the entire house. On them sit photographs of late family members. This is my Grandfather John Romer, the founder and former chairman of the Hong Kong Natural History Society. He also grew up in Mortlake Road. In the garden, the remains of animal enclosures he made as a boy can still be found.

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My father inspects the ‘My Daily Visit Records’ left by the care worker. Here, she writes what Hugh and Jean have eaten through the day and any activity they have undertaken.

All images © Amy Romer 2013

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Halloween at Eden

As a busy summer of tourism comes to an end in Cornwall, the Eden Project continue to strive, producing innovative workshops for children throughout the halloween half term as well as getting ready for christmas with their purpose-built winter ice rink, proving popular each year.
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All images © Amy Romer 2013
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A Person At Work: Stones Bakery, Falmouth

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Third and final subject for my first assignment on Press & Editorial Photography at Falmouth University.

Out of the three shoots for A Person At Work, this is the set of images I have struggled to decide which to print to 8×10 and use for my January portfolio.

I think this is mainly because they’re the most consistent set of images. I was hoping that our group crit. earlier in the week would help me decide but it seems that all of us are undecided with equal votes for each.

We did manage to eliminate the 3rd image based on the fact that the baker in the picture was not necessarily a baker within the context of the picture.

I’ve printed the other 3 to 8×10 to see if the increase in size would help me form a decision, as is sometimes the case, but at the moment I’m still undecided.

Any thoughts? Please share.

All images © Amy Romer 2013

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