Studio photography project weirdness

We’ve just started a module on Studio Photography, and yesterday I spent the whole afternoon taking portraits with professional lighting equipment. It’s a hard life, sometimes. It was an introductory session so we were learning how everything works rather than trying to produce anything specific, but the whole group came out with some classy results. We now have to use the same equipment to work on a fairly tricky project.

Over the next four weeks we have to find an interesting photograph taken in controlled conditions, then a) recreate it 1:1 b) shoot a further picture that interprets and extends the original in some way. We’re using film, which is a slight pain. I’ve nothing against film, but when recreating a particular scene it makes far more sense to use digital, imho – having to wait until the film is developed to know whether you’ve got the shot is tedious, especially when studio resources are tight. Still, that’s fairly minor compared to the difficulty of finding an interesting photo in the first place.

The niggle is that we have to create a ten-minute presentation on the photographer, which immediately limits the options to people with some public history. So we can’t use something cool from a magazine/flickr. It’s also difficult for us part-time students to find models, especially as the studios are only open 9-6 weekdays, so still-lifes are a better bet. Admittedly I haven’t properly researched yet, but two hours of browsing the library this afternoon suggested that still-lifes by well-known photographers are scarce, and usually boring as hell. There’s not all that much contemporary stuff, though – I’ll try online.

Hmm, that’s all a bit whiny, isn’t it. Wasn’t meant to be, and isn’t actually as bad in my head. I’m actually looking forward to the challenge, I just think it’s a bit weirdly structured. Get to play with large and expensive toys complex pieces of equipment, though, which is always a good thing 🙂