Photography Planning

I’ve conducted research before going to the factory, which has enabled me to think about the type and style of photography I want to use in my final design.

My initial thoughts are to use portraiture photography to show the workers handling the fruit in the factory. I want to focus on the workers, however I need to think about the tone of voice of the shots. I don’t want it to come across negatively as the purpose of this project is to encourage the staff to waste less.

Another technique I’m considering is photo-montage. This will enable me to incorporate loads of interesting and dynamic images to best represent the process and the fruit. I want the workers to take pride in the work they do, and understand their importance to the final product getting to market.

I want to do some on site photography of the factory, to get a better sense of the type of work that is undertaken, and better understanding the wastage problem. I may try to incorporate shots of the process in action, however at this stage I’m not sure exactly how this will work. The more images I have to choose from, the more resources I will have to draw from in the design process.

One of the strengths I have developed over the last few years in my commercial work is studio photography. I love how you can get such stunning detail from using a macro lens and getting really up close and personal with the fruit. My initial thoughts lead me to use a clean white background, and let the vibrancy of the fruit speak for itself. This means shooting on a white continuous background. One other technique I may consider is the preservation of the shadow definition made when manipulating the light around the subject whilst shoot.

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Development of Photographic Technologies

The camera was based on optical principles developed in the 1500s, since the age of Aristotle used as a sketching aid for professional artists. The design consisted of a small light box with a pinhole or lens on the other side of a translucent screen. The screen gave the artist a suitable image to use for tracing. This invention was called the Camera Obscura.

In the 18th & 19th centuries, inventors stumbled across a method for permanently preserving them using chemicals. This was a major breakthrough for that emerged in 1725, where a German named Johann Heinrich Schulze found that silver salts darkened when exposed to light. Fascinated by his discovery, he cut out letters from a piece of paper and placed on top of a silver mixture. He found that the sun’s rays wrote the words accurately on the chalk sediment. After Johann’s research followed a Frenchman who used the a Camera Obscura combined with a plate coated with light sensitive material to capture and “fix” an image. He used an eight hour exposure time to create what is known as the worlds first photograph.

Following the first picture to ever be produced, another Frenchman named Louis Daguerre discovered that exposing iodized silver plates one reduce the exposure time to 10 or 20 minutes, and two create a sharp image. This development was named “Daguerreotype”. After making the invention public in return for a pension from the French Government, Louis Daguerre’s invention swept across the world and gave rise to the portrait industry.

Around the same sort of time as Louis Daguerre, an Englishman developed his own photographic method called ‘Calotype’. This method replaced the metal plates used in the previous process with photosensitive paper. When exposed to light, the paper could preserve the image by rinsing it with hyposulphite. Although the image quality wasn’t as sharp as Louis Daguerre, the Englishman’s process had one massive advantage; the ease of reproduction. Unlike previous versions, it gave photographers the opportunity to reproduce endless copies of a picture from a single negative. This will prove to be the fundamental principles of modern photography.

The Wet-Collodion Process was developed in 1851 and rendered Daguerreotype and Calotypes ideas redundant. The method combined crisp image quality with negatives that could be easily copied. The secret was the use of a chemical called collodion, a light-sensitive solution applied to metal plates. These wet plates reduced exposure time to just a few seconds, however this was often quite tedious as the plates had to be exposed and processed before the collodion mixture dried and hardened. This meant photographers had to travel with large portable dark rooms in order to expose the image properly. This process however was a very cost effective way to produce high quality images.

During the 1800s, photography was a difficult industry to enter without working knowledge of chemistry. However this changed in the 1870s, where photographers perfected a new type of photographic plate that preserved silver salts in gelatin. Since they retained their light-sensitivity for long periods of time, these “dry” plates could be prepackaged and mass-produced, freeing photographers from the annoying task of prepping and developing their own wet plates on the fly. They offered a much quicker exposure time allowing the camera to capture moving objects whilst maintaining a high image quality. A photographer named Eadweard Muybridge used dry plate cameras to conduct a series of famous studies on humans and animals in motion.

Although the photographic process was becoming easier and quicker, it still wasn’t accessible to amateurs until the mid-1880s when an inventor began producing film rolls. Film was lightweight and durable in comparison to chunky metal plates. The use of a roll meant that photographers could produce images in quick succession.

Colour photography still hadn’t emerged yet, however the industry was crying out for the development of colour photography. French brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière developed an additive colour process named dubbed “Autochrome”. The brothers found the key to their invention in the starch of a potato, adding it to a panchromatic emulsion. This would prove to be the go to process until the 1935, when a more sophisticated colour process arrived in the form of the Eastman Kodak Company’s legendary Kodachrome film.

 Presentation

Following on from week one, where we began to collate ideas and then distill them down into a campaign idea to present. Our focus was to divert attention away from the monetary value of the fruit, and try to engage the workers with the product to encourage them to take more care when handling the fruit, therefore reducing waste.

To do this, we came up with a timeline idea, highlighting the distance and care the fruit has received to get to the workers. We wanted to also highlight that the workers are fundamentally important to getting the product to market. We produced visuals, and displayed them on a powerpoint presentation for the companies representatives.

The presentation went well. We spoke about the overall issue of the workers, and highlighting experiences in the group that had lead us to form the idea. We mentioned the high levels of staff turnover would make it difficult to get them to care about the product, but then presented our idea, approaching the issue from a different stance, that would tug on their human emotions.

Project X – Week 1

We were given a brief that will test our visual communication skills. We will be working with a specialist prepared fruit supplier whose objective is to supply fresh, tasty and innovative prepared fruit packs. They are a huge company, turning over £300m a year. However, the company has a huge problem with wastage, which is impacting on the final profits.

Representatives of our class visited the depot, to understand the problem they have, and experiencing the type of work that is undertaken there. They took images of the plant and fed back to the class.

From there presentation, I made some notes on the key points they raised from there experiences at the depot:

  • Agency workers – Lack of motivation, high staff turnover
  • Machinery causes wastage but is in the process of being replaced
  • Laborious work
  • Cold conditions
  • Minimum wage work
  • Large open spaces
  • Large blank walls

We were put into small groups and asked to think of ideas that could visually stimulate the workers into caring about what they do. At this stage, it was all conceptual, with discussions amongst the group and sketched ideas. There were a broad spectrum of ideas within our group, however we identified that our tone of voice should be soft and gentle, with empathy to the workers but with a clear message, don’t waste.

We watched a presentation designed by the company to try to show the workers they are having on the company, highlighting the profits issue when fruit is wasted and dropped on the floor. I understand why they would do this, however the workers aren’t directly interested in the overall profits of the company as they will only be there for a very short time. I thought this was important to consider when our message is developed.

Company reps will be visiting on Monday 14th of November to have a look at our proposals and ideas, so we will have to quickly gather ideas and turn them into quick visuals to present to them before taking direction after all the ideas are presented.

One idea that we all agreed on was highlighting the journey and distance the fruit has travelled, to just then be wasted because of carelessness. This would address the problem from a different angle other than bottom line profit. It engages the worker and tugs on there emotional heart strings, as they are human and appreciate the problem in a very realistic visual.