Earlier this year a few of the class members volunteered to take some photos at Garthwest, a packaging and design company in Hull. The marketing manager met with us and gave us the following brief.

Garthwest Photography Brief

Executive Summary

Garthwest is undergoing a website re-launch as well as pushing to increase our social media presence. Due to the importance of visual impact of both these aspects of our business we need professional standard photography. As Garthwest places huge importance in our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) we have decide the best way to acquire this photography is to approach students, i.e. yourself, in need of corporate photography experience at Hull College.

Structure and Brief

We plan to follow this structure:

Initial Meeting

This will be an in depth discussion to give a specific brief to the photographers. As these images are being used for marketing there are specific types of image and stories we would like to tell to enhance our brand. We will also plan out our day and have an H & S discussion to make sure the photographers are compliant with our procedures on site.

Test Photo Shoot

This will be a day on site for the photographers in which they will be escorted around our site. This is intended to let them familiarise themselves with the lighting on site, machinery etc. The photos form this day will be submitted to us.

This will allow both parties to see what works best form both an artistic and marketing perspective. We will use any good images in our social media.

Final Shooting Day

Based on a pre-agreed number and types of images required the photographers will spend the day working on site. Working to a “tick list” we will make sure all required images are taken, with some scope for extra images that may happen on the day.

Examples include

  • Staff Portraits
  • Vehicles parked
  • Vehicles being loaded


After editing images will be submitted to our team for review. A full de-brief will then take place to discuss any further editing. The process will then also be examined to make improvements for the next project of this type.

We followed the above brief and feedback was very positive. The main issues that arose after our first day of photography was partly that we had caught some customer details on our images but also that our photos were picking up all the imperfections in the cleaning and tidying of the factory – not that it was particularly untidy but, for example, that palettes could have been stacked more neatly for the photographs and that roof lights.

On our final shooting day the issues that we had talked about had not been resolved in the factory so we were asked to scale back on some of what we had intended to achieve during the shoot. Despite this we were able to capture some good photographs that Garthwest would be able to use on their website and social media sites.

These are some of the photographs that I took at the final shoot.

Debi Keable

We had a visit from Debi Keable to our class last week. She is a local artist, that attended Hull College who came to tell us about how she makes her living.

After finishing college Debi was invited to join something called the Hatch Scheme where new/young artists submit a realistic business plan and receive business support, accounting advice and studio space in order to kickstart their career.

The advice she had to give was very helpful. She recommended that we get to know the ‘art scene’ and attend as many events as possible, saying that once our name is known, further work will come our way. If we sign up to as many artist newsletters, websites and blogs as possible we will begin to know what is going on and be able to attend events. She said that even if we don’t feel like going out, we should make the effort and attend as you never know when a new contact may lead to work.

We were told about the Cartwheels Workshops (CERTA, Skills for Community Arts Work Course) which are hosted in Hull by Artlink. The eight week course enables you to run art and craft workshops and at the end you are included on a database that has provided Debi with work for groups all over Hull.

Other ideas that Debi suggested included crowdfunding for arts projects, approaching local businesses to help with materials and sponsorship and using social media and particularly Twitter for networking and linking with others.

I thought it was very useful to meet Debi and in response I have emailed Artlink to see if they know of anyone who provides the course on the Humber South Bank. I have also begun to follow Debi on Twitter and Instagram.

Disability Games

I spent a fun packed day at the Disability Games in Scunthorpe, hosted at The Pods Leisure Centre by local and regional Rotary Clubs. It was a fantastic event with hundreds of people there from as far afield as Sheffield, Hull, Cleethorpes and Boston.

My friends and I were there to help run the New Age Kurling competition but as there were plenty of us I was able to spend some time around the venue checking out the different events.

This is a short video of some of the photos taken.

Travel Photographer of the Year

Next month entries open for the Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

TPOTY is competition run for photographers by photographers. Categories for last year included Faces People Encounters, Nature & Environment, Monochromal, Street Culture, A Moment in Light, Water, Colours of the World and iCaptured (for mobile phone images) as well as categories for short films and young photographers. Some of the categories require a portfolio of four photographs and a fee of £15 and others just a single image and a fee of £7.50.

Prizes include £1,000 in cash, city breaks or equipment. Winning images are also exhibited in London and in a touring exhibition and are included on postcards, greetings cards and portfolio books.

If I am going to be serious about travel photography this is something I really need to take part in. I will speak to my tutors about my current portfolio of images but the closing date is not until October so I have plenty of time.


Exhibition Title Photograph

Just before Easter we were given an assignment to create a still life image that we may be able to use to highlight our Final Major Project.

Although it was suggested that we might have time to made available to us to create our image in the studio, as I am photographing Constable’s landscapes I discussed it with my lecturer and she agreed that I could do my assignment in Flatford by the River Stour.

Due to inclement weather on several days during my visit I didn’t have a lot of time to complete the assignment. I had planned to take a photograph of my tripod and camera with my walking boots and some ‘Constable props’ by it on the bank of the river. In the end I remembered to take an additional camera with me so that I could swap it and put that on the tripod and use my ‘good camera’ for taking the photo. I called in, early in the morning to my National Trust guide friend and collected a print of Constable’s portrait and one of his many books. At the river I tried a few different arrangements and took a few test shots, adjusting things until I was happy. I decided not to include my walking boots in the end as I had chosen what looked like a sunny spot on some grass but was actually quite wet and muddy and deceivingly cold.

I could have done with a cloth and some polish to clean the portrait before photographing it but overall I think this will do just fine. I particularly like the duck that is just swimming along in the background and slightly out of focus especially as Constable included ducks in so many of his paintings of the area.

Constable Shoot 4-88-Edit-Edit-2-Edit

Constable Shoot 4-88-Edit-Edit-2-Edit-2

I was using my Sony Alpha camera with my 18-200mm lens and as it was so bright I was able to use ISO 100, f4.5 at 1/400 sec. I was keen for the props to stand out from the background.

It Lightroom I increased the clarity and the vibrance slightly and upped the grain as I didn’t want it to look too ‘smooth’ and perfect. I used Silver FX Pro to change a copy of the image to black and white and apply a small vignette.

Then, to reflect the layering in my final photos I opened both the black and white and the colour image in Photoshop then selected the portrait of Constable in the colour version and pasted it onto a new layer in the black and white version. I reduced the opacity in order to line the two images up precisely before increasing it again. then, on an adjustment layer I added a radial transparency graduation that blurred the edges of the join. I wasn’t happy with that as there wasn’t much of the portrait visible so I undid that move, adjusted the graduation settings and applied it again. It took a few attempts and in the end I was quite satisfied with this.

Before exporting and applying my logo I created another version and cropped it squarely so that I have two versions that I can use for different applications.



Family Portraits

This week I was asked to take some portraits of Sarah and her daughter, Abigail. They simply wanted some photographs of themselves, individually and together that they could hang on the wall and give out to family members as gifts. They had no particular style in mind, just something fun, simple and that reflected the images I took for them a few years ago.

I set the studio up at college with a simple white background highlighted by two lamps, one with barn doors and one with a standard hood. I added red and purple coloured gels part way through the session just to give some of the images a subtly different look. To light the subject I used two more lamps, one with a softbox and another with a snood. I set the lights so that I could use the camera at ISO100, f8 and 1/125sec all with my Sony camera and a 50mm prime lens.

When they arrived at the studio the daughter was a little tired and perhaps a little shy. We had a bit of a joke and she soon cheered up and got into the mindset of a catwalk model. These are a few of my favourite photos from the shoot.

I have done very little editing of these photos. Sarah is a very good photographer and editor herself and will amend the photos or turn them black and white to suit her own taste.

I’m pleased to say that Sarah has sent me some very positive comments about them.