AD5801

What im not allowed to show

Elaborating on the previous post, I want to show the secret “classified” photographs that come out of the typical nightclub in a rather posh/middle class part of the UK. A place that you wouldn’t expect these types of photographs to be coming from.

Here are 5 examples of the type of images i’m talking about.
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As you can see, the photos are very punchy, vulgar (for the most part) and shocking. Thats exactly what I want to show in my book. No censoring, nothing that would deminish the brutality of the image with an intent to keep the images as free and as shocking as possible. I’m kind of aiming to encourage some sort of emotion out of the viewer. I want them to go “ewww” I want them to comment on how disgusting some of the images are. I dont want it to be a book you look at once and never look at again. I want people to remember it, for the sake of the photography and brutality of it. I want people to actually feel something. Even if it’s just a laugh at someones funny face they’ve just pulled, thats great. I think thats better than just sitting there with no emotion flicking through the pages.

There are rules of what im not allowed to photograph are very clear. I cant upload any photos of overly drunk people, swearing, kissing, nudity or aggressive behavior. So basically i’m choosing to represent the club through my photographs, so whilst working I need to make the club look as appealing and as fun as possible. If i did upload an embarrassing photo of a really drunk woman, it would not only look bad from the clubs point of view, but also it would look bad of myself for uploading it. As at the end of the day my credibility is at risk as well as that of the clubs.

Documentary Perspectives change

So, i’ve diteched the idea of doing portraits of the crew members as it’s kinda of a dead end project that I cant go back to re shoot if I wanted. I feel like if I wanted to change the style of what I was shooting it would be very difficult to do so as I only have a limited amount of photographs to play with. I do still like the images of the crew membembers, but I think for this module, it doesn’t work well enough especially for the book format.

Therefore I’ve decided to change my idea rather late in the game (I seem to enjoy putting myself in this situation) to something i’ve been dieing to do for a while now. I want to showcase some of the most hilarious photos that i’ve taken whilst working as a nightclub photographer. As I have tons of really funny, explicit and disgusting photographs from the past year. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now mainly because I’m technically not allowed to show these images online to anyone because of their nature. I cant upload them to the clubs facebook as it would look bad not only for them, but also for me. So I’ve just been compiling this set of images over the last 40 odd weeks of working there.

So whats the perspective? Well i’m only allowed to upload a certain ‘type’ of photograph to the clubs facebook. A clean, well exposed image with people having a good time which shows off how good the club is. They’re basically advertising images used to entice people to come to the club and have as much of a good time as the people in the photographs are having. I want to go in the complete opposite to the above, I want to show you the most gruesome, explicit and dirty photos I have. I want the book to be really offensive and in your face! There’s no beating around the bush with this book as it is very crude.

They are all very similar however, all shot in the same way and all in the same sort of setting. So it is very repetitive.

Documentary Perspectives Research

Pit crew shots aren’t as popular as driver portraits in the motorsport scheme of things. There isn’t really much in the way of articles/works dedicated to the pit crew. There are normally just one or two shots of the crew mixed in with the general motorsports action shots. That’s not to say they arn’t good, but I feel there should be more, if not a whole article dedicated to the pit crew every once in a while.

Here’s a few pieces of work I found that I really enjoyed.

First of all Jordan Butters, he has a few shots of the crew and drivers on his portfolio website under the race section. I feel that even though you cant see the whole person in frame, I like the aesthetics of the photograph. Focusing on their feet which makes you think about their feet, as well as maintaining the car in the background.

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http://www.jordanbuttersphotography.co.uk/gallery/race/

I also found an article from a recent Rally that Larry Chen shot in Spain. Again the majority of the images from the article are of cars, as you’d expect. But Larry does dive into some mechanic/crew shots down the line. I like the crew shots that Larry has captured, they’re not glamorous and they’re not setup. They’re just doing their job, working hard to get the driver back out on track.

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I like the way that he’s used the high pressure air hoses as a leading line in the foreground, it grabs your eyes attention and forces you to look at where the mechanic is. The image is simply just a good documentary image, showing the crew working hard servicing the car. That’s what they’re there for and that’s what they’re best at.

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This image is fairly simular to the one above, just a very good shot of the people working their asses of.

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http://www.speedhunters.com/2014/11/wrc-through-my-lens/

I then found a really good article, which is quiet different to what I am showing, but also shares the same behind the scenes aspect of what it takes to go motor racing. The story is of a custom helmet maker in New Zealand who customizes helmets for a living. It goes into great detail into what it takes to design, make and produce a helmet. I know it’s not the same subject as what i’m shooting, but I like this piece of work as it dives into the behind the scenes aspect of motor racing that you never normally see, much like the crew members. I like the way it’s shot and I think it’s a very good documentary story piece.

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http://www.speedhunters.com/2014/11/helmart-helmet-creators-story/

Documentary Perspectives – Book Layouts

I’ve been playing around with a few simple, minimalist style book layouts for a couple days now. I’ve decided to focus the book on the pit crew entirely, compared to mixing them with the driver portraits. I feel that the pit crew play such an important part into the inner workings of what goes in to being successful at a premiere race like this. I also feel that they dont get the recognition deserved of them. The hours and job the provide are full of stress and have to accommodate any given problem in an instant. Therefore I have decided to make this book dedicated to the pit crew.

Here’s a my favorite layout to date.

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I did this in Lightroom. I like the way the images flow, and i tried to kep the more important image on the right hand page, as that’s where your eye is drawn with you turn the page. I like the use of smaller images incorporated with larger images aswell and I feel it adds to the flow and makes it a bit easier on the eyes.

I decided to keep my images rather large. They’re there to be seen, I dont see the point of having them so small that you’d have to lift the book up closer to your face to be able to see it better. I want the images to stand and jump off the page.

I need to work out a front and back cover, a title and also if i want to add page numbers or not.

So far i’m happy with how the books coming along, i just need some feedback on the layout and flow and if i should add more images.

Here’s the ISSUU link, with working and a much better looking presentation of the pages: http://issuu.com/mattcrosspjd/docs/book2_test/1

Documentary Perspectives – Supporting Statement/Mid Evaluation

Normally motorsports are focused on one thing and one thing only, the car on track. But there’s much more going on behind the scenes that are much more significant than just the car on track. The Pit crew play just as great a role as the driver. And in most cases the pit crew don’t get nearly as much attention as the drivers. I want to challenge this by making a photobook that shows only the pit crew in action as I feel they are the backbone to the whole event even taking place and normally aren’t even shown in traditional media.

I was photographing at Donington Park on the 1st November at the Britcar final thanks to my friend Josh Bailes. I was photographing a TVR club day at his workplace in Swindon (Neil Garner Motorsport) a few months back, just for fun and to get to know Josh better. I was talking to Josh at the end of the day when he mentioned the Britcar final at Donington Park in a few weeks, he asked if I would want to come along. Ofcource I said yes, I’ve never photographed an official race before, let along a night race. So I jumped at the chance to photograph the race. We spoke to Josh’ boss Neil Garner and sorted out arrangements for the race.

I would be photographing and representing for Neil Garner Motorsport. This is step one into how I got the access to a Media Pass. I would need to sort out some Public Liability Insurance (PLI) in order to have access to a media pass. The coverage needed to photograph at Donington would have to be up to £5m coverage. I’ve had PLI before and i’m used to the way it works and understand why it’s needed. In short, it covers me incase I cause a crash or cause any other damages to the circuit etc. It does not cover my own equipment however, it’s there simply to cover you as a photographer should you ever be in the wrong place. Thankfully it’s hard to be in the wrong place at a circuit like Donington Park with all it’s protective walls and barriers, so i’d be perfectly fine. It’s just something you need, just in case the worst happens. I’d also need a letter from the publication (in this case, I would be shooting for Neil Garner Motorsport) confirming that I am actually photographing for them. This is the letter they sent me.

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On the 1st, I got to the track an hour early before the first practice session, to say hi to the team, sign on, have a coffee and work out the proceedings for the day. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I spent most of my time in the pits, talking to people and lurking in the back with my camera snapping away. It was cool that the dunlop tire changers were situated in the pit box next door, they would be the ones putting tyres on rims for all cars throughout the day. With a lorry full of slicks, they were well prepared.

Photographing in the pits was alot of fun, especially with unlimited access. Although it was rather challenging at times, especially due to the poor lighting. I would be stuck at 2.8 the whole time pretty much. It was hard to be unique too, I felt that what I was getting, would be what anyone with a DSLR could get most of the time. So I decided to get closer to my subjects. When the crew were preparing the car for the race, I would get up close and sometimes even lay on the floor with them, trying to get the expressions on their face. I thought it would be better to get close, yet try not to get in the way, as they all have a job to do at the end of the day. So I did, I thought it worked pretty well, rather than just being in the corner with my telephoto.

What problems did I face? Well I regret not getting everyone’s individual portraits at the end of the day. In my head I wanted to line up the subject along the garage door and photograph them with real moody lighting from the overhead garage light. I really wish I had done this. Some of the images are very repetitive, it was hard to get unique images in such a small and concise garage like the one at Donington. I could have taken my time and got better pictures. Most images were rushed if i’m honest. I didn’t want to get in the way, so i’d snap a few then back off out the back for a drink then go and get a few more pictures.

I feel like the images I took are fairly strong, yet could use some improving if I had the chance to shoot again. I think my pictures of the drivers in the car are stronger than the pit crews working. Why is that? I think mentally I thought the drivers were more significant than the crew, so I took more time and thought about what I wanted, looked for different ways of photographing them and got a better image as a result. I am happy with the images i’ve taken, I just need to work out the correct order for the book. As the low isn’t right at the moment.

AD5801 – Documentary Perspectives

I’ve been stuck for an idea for Documentary Perspectives for a month now. Nothing i’ve thought of in my head seemed worthy or appropriate to work with this module. Therefore progress has been very very slow.

Although I have been productive and have been shooting alot over the past month. I decided to look into what I’ve been shooting (for myself) to see if any of the subjects could be used to accommodate this module. I am really interested in using some of the images I shot from Britcar at Donnington in November. As I feel some are my best work to date, and doesn’t deserve to just be sitting on my hard drive doing nothing. I want people to see them, as I am genuinely proud of them. Anthony and Kim are starting to get a little bit disheartened at the amount of car pictures I take, so I decided to focus most of my time in the Pit/Paddocks. I already knew before photographing that I might be using the images for an assignment in the future, so mentally I told myself to get more human interaction. Whether that be portraits, candid shots or anything… other than racecars wizzing around on track.

After talking to Anthony and the class today, people have said that they would rather see the pit crew and mechanics other than just the drivers. I have plenty of images of the Mechanics, team owner, drivers and pit crew. Some from even a month before the race, from the Neil Garner Motorsport garage with all the parts layed out on the bench. I got some pretty cool detailed shots of the engine components, as well as the bodywork/suspension.

I intend to mix the photographs from the Garage detailed shot with the paddock shots from the race, with an intention to build a narrative of the hard work and importance of teamwork to get the car on track in the first place.

I will talk about how I want my ‘book’ layout in another post with sketches.

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