FMP – Photography Styles & Choices

My plan was to have the recipes and method on the left page, with a lifestyle shot filling the whole of the right hand side of the page. This shows the audience the final product, whilst the left page highlights fresh ingredients .

I chose to use the studio at college to isolate key ingredients for each recipe. As my research suggests, I wanted to take the images from directly above, giving them a 3 dimensional style combined with shadow. I wanted to engage my audience, and I felt this would be a great way to do this. Below are the unedited images:

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On the first day of shooting, I felt all was going well until I looked at the images afterwards. I found I wasn’t properly exposing the shots, and therefore they were looking very dark. I could lighten them in photoshop, however they’re not as sharp as I’d like. I was able to get advice from the photography technician, who upped the light directly from the power source. He then upped the appeture to F20, and reduced the shutter speed to around 1/20. The results were dramatically different, and the sharpness of the images is there to be seen. He said that cameras and lenses work best at a mid range appeture, and to adjust the light settings around that. Using the arm to control the camera means the camera is much more still, and therefore doesn’t need a fast shutterspeed.

Edited Images

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At this stage, I looked back at my research and found that there were also a combination of lifestyle shots. I wanted to actually make the final product to show the audience what they can make in their own kitchen.

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Final Designs – Dungeness Postcards

After careful selection of my photography, I wanted to use simple but effect  way of identifying the area. I used a transparent box, with a scratched texture over the top to add interest. I also clipped the text to the background image, making it seem see-through, through the white transparent box.



To conclude on the project, I actually found it really interesting to be submersed into a different environment, whilst being able to see and and experience new sites. This is invaluable as a graphic designer, as it gives me inspiration for future projects, and encourages me to experience more and implement them into my designs.

FMP – Disintegration Effect Photoshop

One effect I’ve always been fascinated with is disintegration of an isolated subject. My title for my book is “Food For Thought” and I feel this gives me scope to use my creativity on the front cover of the book. The idea I want to get across to my audience is thinking about the food we eat. I feel the disintegration effects signifies the digestion process of the food, whilst also being dynamic as a piece of art.

I selected an image of a strawberry, attempting to symbolise healthy eating.Screenshot 2017-05-08 15.41.57

I created a new layer, and made a selection around the whole strawberry, without the shadow. I saved the path but kept the selection, and cut the strawberry onto a new layer. I filled the selection with white. Using the paint brush tool I then painted everything other than the shadow pure white, then selected the image, copied it, and pasted it onto an alpha channel. I created a fresh new layer and loaded the selection, and finally filled it white black.

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I created a new layer with the cut strawberry, and used the used the liquify tool to stretch the colours out, giving me space to create the disintegration effect. I created a layer mask, filling it with black to hide it for the moment..

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On another cut strawberry layer, I started to use scatter brushes to “chop” into the strawberry, which will allow space for the effect to show.

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On the liquified layer, I used more scatter brushes to reveal more of the layer mask.Screenshot 2017-05-08 15.44.22

The Final Pieces..

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Dungeness Bomb Project

We visited the RSPB in Dungeness, mainly to experience a different environment, but also to gather inspiration for not only this project, but future ones too. We were tasked with making a couple of postcards inspired by either illustrations of pictures we took in Dungeness. Whilst walking around, we were encouraged to keep noticing different species of birds, and also how quickly the mood and environment could change simply from the weather. There was an interesting contrast between the natural environment of the bird sanctuary, and the industrial power station site just across the water.

We also visited the lighthouse just up the road, which gave a really interesting and different perspective. Below are some of my best images, that I have edited in photoshop using the camera raw filter. I sorted through all my images, choosing images that had good composition, whilst also expressing the diverse nature of the landscape.



FMP Research – Photography

Something that I’ve noticed in recent projects I have worked on, such as the fruit distribution client, and the exhibition “Staples” at the Design Museum London, Is shooting from directly above the subject can add a 3 dimensional feel. When we visited the Design Museum, the designer had simply shot very simple, basic staple foods indivually, and blew them up on a white background. The key to the effect however, is the lighting and position of the camera. The shadow cast below the objects is a consequence of the lighting above. I’ve practiced this myself with the fruit factory client, and the results on paper really pop out of the page.

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Whilst also looking at grid layouts, I stubbled across this really interesting blog, showing how to use the tools in Indesign to maximise the grid structure layout and design for a cookbook. In their demonstration, they also display ingredients shot from above, with shadow cast. My photoshop skills have developed over the past year or so, and I understand how to use alpha channels in Photoshop in order to preserve shadow. I want to use this technique in my final piece. So in conclusion, I have made a design decision based on my research, knowledge, and digital design capabilities. 6_Step-7.jpg

Final Designs & Evaluation

After completing the project and presenting my work to classmates and tutors, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on my work.

I think I effectively explored different styles of both photography and style, and enhanced my knowledge of both as a result. I considered my role as the photographer and adapted the brief to work to my strengths as a photographer and a graphic designer. I produced two double page spreads using 3 images.

Although my tutors disagreed, I think I could have nudged the point size down a fraction to make it slightly less clunky on the page. I also noticed a typo on the page, which I will change for my portfolio, but disappointed I lacked that essential attention to detail required. I want to try and stay on top of my body text and make sure everything is at its optimal best.

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Black & White Photography Research – Henri Cartier-Bresson

As part of my research, I wanted to look at some well known black and white photographers to see how they use the contrast and texture to create mood and atmosphere in their photography.

“For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to give a “meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.”

The work of Henri Cartier-Bresson is a massive part of the makeup of contemporary photography. He help shaped the modern form of photojournalism. He had an extraordinary talent for judging “the decisive moment” served to blur the boundary between an artist and a journalist, whilst working predominantly in black and white and producing countless iconic images.

I love how this shot is framed. the audience can see the urban landscape, with focus to the bottom right on a spiral stairwell leading to the ground. The photographer is positioned at the top of the stair well, capturing a cyclist in the top right speeding through the streets. Again the cyclist is positioned perfectly in a small space in the frame between the buildings and the railings of the stairwell. There is a small amount of motion blur, which would strongly suggest the photographer has used a slightly longer exposure time instead of “freezing time”. The contrast of black and white has a very “moody” feel to it, and provides strong contrast between the subject and the rest of the scene.


This portrait shot also provides an exciting contrast between black and white. There are two figures that stand out in the shot, however they have been “blacked out” to just be sillhouttes. The water offers the contrast between the black buildings and figures, with light from the sky reflecting from above. I love how the reflection is used to create mood, with exciting visuals. The person running across the ladder is captured and the perfect moment, just as the persons shoe is about to touch the water. The audience can see the path the person has tavelled from the ripple of the ladder in the water, though the rest of the frame is frozen still. There is a small amount of blur on the man that is running, which again tells the audience he is running and they may ask themselves, why? Henri Cartier-Bresson has merged art with journalism, setting the scene yet creating mood and visually stimulating images.


There is one sole figure in this image with his head resting against the desk. This tells the audience that he is either tired, or depressed. I think the fact he is sitting by himself, with his hat positioned next to him tells the reader he is unhappy. This works well with the atmospheric contrast between black and white. If colour was present, I think it would detract from the feeling of the frame. Black, white and grey have “dull” connotations, which could be a sign of what the mans life is like.




From this research I think I have learnt how black and white photography can influence the feeling and mood of the photograph. Some of the techniques I want to use from this research are as follows:

  • Motion Blur
  • Water Reflection
  • Silhouettes
  • Framing