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Having been told via a timetable what I'll be having to shoot, I was able to prepare my camera settings ahead of time. Having never been to Centre Parcs I wasn't really sure what to expect, so this was certainly useful. I did some research on photographing birds of prey when in flight.
Being able to be a part of this last week has been such a privilege especially as this sort of a gathering isn't something that's part of one's everyday things to witness. An exchange between the very "open" Spanish Martial Arts company (DKF - Spain) and the classically private Brits (DKF - UK), this exchange was certainly an experience to behold.
The difference between the two groups in terms of confidence was evident especially, when it came finding ways to communicate with each other. Typically, the athletes from Spain were very loud and confident, and were definitely willing to have a go at finding ways to break the language barriers - always a good laugh and part of the fun for both parties involved; on the other hand I felt the rather "private" British team had managed to create a little clique like group, which would have been fine if they'd then be encouraged by the adults/carers to venture around and talk to the Spanish Groups. Without encouragement from people we turn to for safety and without being shown examples from that carer, it's not at all surprising that some were too shy to get involved and attempt the language barriers. This all changed however as soon as the Karate Gi's were put on during the final day, there was nothing stopping both sides from communicating and enjoying their usual weekly activity that brought them together in the first place.
From a Photographers point of view, there were many brilliant photo opportunities that came about, with both adults and children struggling from physical disability such as being hard of hearing, paraplegic etc and others who have mental/learning difficulties. To see everyone having fun playing badminton, going bowling, kanu-ing and interacting with wildlife was truly something else to be a part of. One could almost describe as a family built up from a wider community, evidence in my opinion that this form of rehabilitation works wonders for everyone - shy mainstream people too. This was also brought to my attention when I a passer by spoke to me on our last day, sharing her opinion of how wonderful it is to see such a huge group of people in the same boat, having a place such as Center Parcs to go and get away from everyday life.
Although Leahovcenco's work is usually wedding based, her series on the Mongolian Eagle Hunters has certainly caught my eye. The sharpness and colour quality within this series is without a doubt very striking to say the least.
Although the likely hood of having a sunset background between 1:30pm-2:14pm on a Thursday afternoon are definitely slim, Sasha's examples of dropping down low to get a simple yet effective background of the sky, is something which I need to find myself doing more often.
Having been pre-told that during my next week I'll be coming face to face with the challenge of photographing children and adults with disabilities as they interact with Falconry at Longleat Center Parcs, Sasha Leahovcencho's work is what came immediately came to mind.
Now having a much better grip around the manual settings around my camera, I feel confident I could perhaps create my own version of this, and correct any issues that might occur whilst shooting such as not getting a perfectly frozen image. That's of course not to say I may not experiment around with more motion blur.
Having been experimenting with motion blur, I wanted to see how I could use my new found skills and understanding of "manual mode" and use of flash within my photo story bringing together both Martial arts and people with a disability.
Hopefully by trying out Booth's approach to Photography I could potentially create a visual way of showing viewers that people living with a disability don't need to necessarily sit at home all day, and that everyone is there own way, even in the worse cases, have their own ABILITY to focus in on
"Evacuation of the US embassy during a battle between Christian and Muslim fighters as a result of the Muslim revolt, West Beirut, January-February 1984".
It's possible to see in these contact sheets that photographers tend to use a brightly coloured wax pen to select the best.
By looking at the 'rejected' photographs, it becomes clear that although the circled ones are very effective in their own right, as a collection, it all becomes evidence. They become part of an experience as a whole. As each photograph is relatively consistent in terms of having high standards in regards to story telling.
Following the Irish Traveller community, Mattia Zoppellaro's work shows an in depth view to their world. His use of framing suggests that his subjects are aware of who he is and what he does, as there's a lack of anger and fear with his presence.
His manipulation of exposure In my mind is what really bring this photographic collection of Appleby Horse Fair go-ers together to create this set of images.
With a day at Stow Gypsy Horse Fair coming up, I felt that Mattia's work would be a great to have a look at in terms of inspiration. It'll also give me that personal push in my own confidence to talk to people upfront - would be nice to have at least one successful portrait in my portfolio.
What I admire most about Martin's work is the sheer detail in his photographs (mud above). He's able to capture moments in the world of photojournalism which doesn't only show the sports, but shows it with an artistic approach through the use of manipulating aperture and shutter speed (football photograph above).
In terms of inspiration for my first project photographing for a Disability Martial Arts company, I thought Bob Martin would be a great photographer to use as inspiration. Although some of his disability photography is rather minimalistic (above), in terms of getting inspired by his alternative use of angles he could be a good starting point. Since my project will take place both in Center Parks (UK) and Jerez (Spain), I feel I could get some interesting shots using the sky as the background like his example in the football shot.
The main challenge at Tewkesbury Mop Fair was being able to deal with the available light as the sun went down in the evening, however since studying how to use all my manual settings, my fear of this location shooting went away. Being able to take my own time to adjust my aperture, shutter speed and exposure allowed me to create any effect I wanted. I found that I my overall image quality boosted right up.
In terms of taking photographs of strangers, making friends with a member of the fairground security team who attends every year, was very helpful in terms of being able to give me tips what interesting things he usually finds around the fair. Including the "stunter" who works at the Waltzers. (White T-shirt fair right).
Following fairground attractions around Canada since the 70's Vail's images can be seen developing along alongside the up and coming technology of cameras (above). I felt that Vail's work would be a good to have a look at especially with 'Tewkesbury Mop Fair" around the corner. The Fair itself celebrated it's 400th anniversary back in 2010, and is still going strong, doing it's annual appearance in Gloucester, so in comparison both Tewkesbury and Vail have both been incredibly determined to keep the interest of the subject/audience.
Although in today's society, fairgrounds tend to draw many in due to the attraction thrill rides as opposed to the history, so hopefully during my visit this year I'll very much be looking forward to see element of Tewkesbury's history as well as the rides.
"The Tewkesbury Mop Fair dates back to 12th century when farm hands, labourers, servants and craftsmen looking for work, would take along a piece of equipment to represent their trade. Those with no specific skills would carry a mop head to signify they were free for work, hoping a prospective employer would spot them in the crowds." - http://www.visittewkesbury.info/whats-on/tewkesbury-mop-fair/