Week Twelve: Progress Update

After selecting the photographs for my final project, I began to create my final piece using InDesign.

Following a discussion with my tutors, I decided to do a magazine format, rather than a website. The target publication for my piece was the lifestyle and home magazine, Country Living.

In order to create the appropriate format, I purchased several gardening-inspired magazines, including Country Living and Gardens Illustrated. These have been a great help thus far for inspiration in regards to layout and design.

I am now looking forward to publishing my final piece.

Week Eleven: Progress Update

This week, I reflected on the photographs I have taken so far.

The first selection of photographs were taken in Norman Ellerington’s garden in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. These photos are my favourite from the selection, as they are bold, bright and offer a ‘magical’ glimpse into the world of gardening. I feel these photos would be appropriate for a magazine such as Country Living.

Moreover, the second set of photographs were taken at an allotment in Lancashire. The allotment was initially started by Denise and Phil Evans in 2015. After speaking with Karl and Ruth, we concluded that this set of photos were drastically different to the first set. These images were less strong, and would be more suited for a local newspaper format.

Following feedback from Karl and Ruth, I have decided to create two separate features. The first will contain 6-8 photos from the seaside-style garden in West Yorkshire, in a magazine layout.

Whereas, the second will feature 2-4 photographs from the second selection, suitable for a newspaper outlet.

Week Ten: Progress Update

Following my decision to choose gardening as my topic, this week I began to take some photos for my final submission.

I went to Norman and Pat Ellerington’s garden in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. During the day spent there, I took a series of photos, using a variety of angles and photo techniques.

I was really pleased with the way these photos turned out. Once I had selected my favourite photos from the shots taken, I uploaded them into Adobe Photoshop and began editing them, my main aim was to make the colours pop.

I also considered various title options for my feature, such as: A Trend that’s Blooming.

Overall, I’m really pleased with my progress this week, and I am looking forward to bringing my project together.

Week Seven Reflection: 13/03/2023

The focus of workshop task seven was reflection and improvement. We were instructed to repeat the task from week one, using the skills and knowledge we have learnt throughout the module, in order to reflect and illustrate our improvement.

For this task, I chose to document my meal at popular Leeds eatery- Doner Summer, and review the experience.

When photographing the burger, I adjusted the camera and used a shallow depth of field. This meant that the burger was in focus, while the background was slightly blurred. I chose to do this in order to emphasise a specific part of the image, in this case it was the burger.

Moreover, I used a fast shutter speed to capture the shot of the person eating the burger. This meant that the motion of the subject eating the burger was frozen. Therefore, the image was clear and wasn’t blurred.

Also, in order to improve from the task I completed in workshop one, I made sure to include a person in my shots, as I didn’t do this in week one. This added more life to the review.

Once I had selected my best photographs from the shoot, I inserted them into Adobe Photoshop and began editing.

I used the adjustment layers to improve the images, increasing the exposure and the saturation in order to make the photographs more suitable for publication.

I saved the images in JPEG format, 1920 pixels wide- the ideal format for online publication.

Week Seven: Take a bite into Doner Summer

Yorkshire favourite, Doner Summer, has been at the heart of Leeds city-centre since 2020. Specialising in plant-based goodness, the restaurant boasts a 100% vegan menu- inspired by the street food of Berlin.

After following their Instagram page for almost a year, I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and have a bite of Doner Summer.

Meat-free buttermilk 'chicken' burger
Person eating vegan burger

My lunchtime companion and I, opted for the the special lunch deal, available in the eatery Monday- Friday, 12-5pm.

Our order consisted of a ‘classique’ burger each, accompanied by skin-on-fries. For an extra £1 there was the option to upgrade and add a special sauce- we both chose the ‘What’s Garlic In French’. Alongside our mains, we both had a Rhubarb & Custard soda, only an extra £1.50 each with the lunchtime promotion.

Situated in Leeds hotspot, Call Lane, it’s no surprise that the the tables quickly filled up for the lunchtime rush.

Meat-free burger

After sipping on our sodas, our food arrived-gorgeously presented. It was now time to take a bite.

The plant-based chicken was delicious. Crispy buttermilk-fried batter, with tender guilt-free ‘chicken’ inside- it tasted almost as good as the real thing.

The tasty seasoning sprinkled on the fries meant that they were the perfect side.

The meal for two came to just under £20, and it was totally worth it.

A meat-free lunch has a whole new meaning.

Week Six Reflection: 06/03/2023

For workshop task six, we were instructed to take a series of photographs in both RAW mode and JPEG, and then compare the images.

When zooming in, and reviewing the photographs, there were clear differences, and the RAW files appeared to be of a higher quality.

I then inputed the images into two separate Adobe Photoshop windows and began editing, adjusting the various levels in order to produce more appealing images.

I made a series of adjustments to the JPEG image, including increasing the exposure and saturation, as well as decreasing the contrast level. However, on reflection, I think I decreased the contrast too much as it softened the image, blending the light and dark areas slightly. This created the affect of a more flat photograph. Therefore, when editing in the future, I will be more conscious when adjusting the contrast.

Moreover, I then began to edit the RAW file. I felt the image needed more warmth and thus I increased the saturation which added more pigment to the photograph. I also used the cropping tool to adjust the image, ensuring it followed the rule of thirds. This resulted in a more well-composed shot.

However, in order to improve the image, I would reduce the saturation. I think that I increased the saturation level too highly which resulted in an unnatural-looking image.

Overall, I found the workshop task very insightful, and after reviewing the difference images, I would opt to use RAW mode in the future, as opposed to JPEG.

Week Six: RAW Images

When comparing the JPEG and RAW images there were clear differences. Firstly, the RAW image had more clarity, sharpness and detail, as opposed to the JPEG image.

This is one of the main advantages of shooting in RAW mode. The RAW file was high quality and this meant that I was able to edit the photograph to a good standard.

The RAW photograph also had more defined colours, in comparison to the JPEG file.

Original JPEG Image

For this photograph, I began by increasing the exposure which brightened the image. I then decreased the contrast and set the range to -18.

Karl stood in the classroom teaching

I then used the channel mixer to increase the red pigment in the image and I also increased the saturation, as I felt more colour and warmth was needed.

Edited JPEG Image

Karl stood in the classroom teaching

Original RAW Image

Once I had uploaded the RAW image in Adobe Photoshop, I then began to make some adjustments. I used the exposure slider to brighten the image and ensure the image was properly exposed.

Karl stood in the classroom teaching

I adjusted the image and put it into a black & white filter. However, I decided to return to the coloured image, as I felt this was more suitable for the selected image.

In addition, once the image was returned to colour, I increased the contrast to adjust the overall tonal range of the image. I also increased the saturation slightly, which added more pigment to the photograph.

I also used the cropping tool and adjusted the image to fit the rule of thirds.

Edited RAW Image

Karl stood in the classroom teaching

Extra Credit Task:

After a long shoot, there can be a large amount of photographs to choose from, therefore a clear selection process is essential.

When choosing the photographs I want to keep, there are various elements to consider. Firstly, if a photograph is blurry or out of focus, I will usually reject it and opt for the photographs that have more clarity instead.

Moreover, if I am taking candids, I will shoot the photographs in bursts and then select the best images from the collection.

After workshop task seven, I think shooting in RAW will now be my method of choice when taking photographs because the images have more clarity, as opposed to JPEG images. Thus, when choosing from a large amount of images, I would opt for the photographs in RAW mode, rather than JPEG, as the overall quality is better.

In addition, the framing of the photographs is also something to consider. If the photograph has good framing, and follows the rule of thirds, for example, then I would be more likely to select it, as opposed to an image with poor composition.

Week Five Reflection: 27/02/2023

In workshop task five, we learnt to use a series of post-production techniques on Adobe Photoshop.

The editing platform chosen isn’t a tool I have previously used. Therefore, I enjoyed learning how to use elements of the application and experimenting with the various adjustment levels.

I think this particular workshop was my favourite so far, as I enjoyed adjusting the images and seeing the effect the different changes made to the photographs. For example, I increased the saturation level on all of my photographs in order to make the colours appear bold, which made the shots appear more striking.

Experimenting with the various adjustment levels was interesting, and I liked trialling the various filters to see what complimented the photographs most.

For example, I trialled the cool filter on the photograph of Sapphire. However, the filter was too harsh. Therefore, I tried the warmth filter instead, and this created a more aesthetically-pleasing effect, complimenting the orange and red colours in the photo nicely.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to experimenting with different photographs, using the various adjustment levels to enhance my shots, and I am hoping to continue to expand my knowledge of Adobe Photoshop further.

Week Five: Cropping and Colour Correction

In workshop five, we experimented with picture editing using the adjustment layers on Adobe Photoshop.

Using a series of post-production techniques, we adjusted a selection of photos we have taken throughout the module- cropping, editing and colour-correcting our images.

Cropping and colour correction one:

I began by using the cropping tool when editing my first photo, in order to remove the person on the right-hand side of the image. I then increased the brightness level from 0 to +60, as I felt the photograph was too dark.

I also experimented with various filters, including the cooling filter and the warming filter. After some consideration, I decided to use the warming filter as I felt it added depth.

Moreover, I then decided to increase the saturation of the photograph to +5 and the vibrance level to +40. This was very effective as it complimented the shot well, and boosted the warmth- making Sapphire’s hair even more bold.

Using the various adjustment layers, I was able to make the photograph appear more more striking and eye-catching.

Cropping and colour correction two:

My second photograph was taken in an office that contained lots of dark furniture. Therefore, when editing this image, I began by increasing the brightness level to +20 which instantly made the image pop.

In addiction, I felt the original photograph appeared to be fairly cold. Therefore, I increased the saturation level to +20, and also added a cyan red tint which made the image appear warmer.

Cropping and colour correction three:

For the third photograph, I began decreasing the brightness to -10. As the photograph had been taken using the flash setting, I felt it needed to be made darker in order for the pigment of the flowers to appear stronger.

Moreover, I then increased the vibrance level to +50 and the saturation to +10. These big increases were necessary as they made the photograph more colourful and bold.

Experimenting with the different adjustment layers meant that, after a series of changes, I was able to create a more aesthetically pleasing image.

Once I had edited the photographs on Adobe Photoshop, I resized them before exporting.

Extra Credit Task: Post-production “before and after” task

For the extra credit task, I chose to take a series of portrait shots of my cousin on a quiet street in Leeds city centre.

The image below was the best shot from the selection, and therefore, I chose to edit this one first.

Following a series of adjustments, using Adobe Photoshop, I was pleased with the final result.

I shot the images using a Canon EOS DSLR camera. I chose to use the creative auto mode because I wanted the effect of the background blur, as I felt it made the subject the primary focus of the shot.

In order to improve the image, I increased the exposure to make the image brighter. I then increased the saturation and vibrance levels, which helped to add more life to the photograph.

I was pleased with the composition of the shot, and felt the subject was positioned well, and thus I didn’t feel the photo needed to be cropped. Therefore, only a few adjustments were needed to be made to improve the image.

Once the photographs had been edited, I saved the images in the correct format for online- JPEG.

This image is another test shot I chose from the selection. I used the creative mode once again for this shot, as I wanted the subject to be the central focus.

I made a series of changes using the adjustment levels to enhance the shot. I increased the vibrance and saturation levels which helped to make the image pop, adding more pigment to the shot and making the colours more vivid.

Overall, I really enjoyed the extra credit task. I liked experimenting with the different camera modes until I found one which produced the best image.

Editing the photographs was also fun. I felt I was able to enhance the images using the different adjustment levels and further improve my knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.