Story Telling Workshops


Story Telling Workshops

In order to experiment in as many forms as possible, workshops are set up by the tutors to help us understand and learn new forms of story telling. Each workshop is focussed on a different aspect of the unit.

Indesign Workshop 

The first workshop that I attended was a workshop recapping us on how to successfully use InDesign. This software is extremely  useful in this unit as it supplies an easy and practical way of creating and constructing a book, magazine or any kind of publication. For the duration of this workshop we recapped on how to use and set up the program and create our own publications. I used work of mine from a previous project that had a narrative to it, and using InDesign, created a small photo book. To get inspiration and ideas on how to layout our books we looked at how other photographers and artists had created their own photo books such as Joel Sternfeld, Sophie Calle and Larry Sultan. After creating our publications in the software, we had them printed to get an idea of what our physical photo books might look like and also help us understand the importance of laying out your work in the correct way to make it suitable for print. The digital version of my publication is linked here.imogen-watt-zine

The idea and them of this work was to use some old work of mine about the stages go grief and bereavement. I wanted the layout to be clean and simply to give the images the most impact. For the same reason I used small simple text on the opposite page to the images to give them a title yet not distracts the from the image. This workshop was very useful as it gave me a better understanding of how to use and create publications using indesign, something that I will most definitely have to do during this project.

Book Binding Workshop

After learning the digital side of creating as a publications we had a more physical workshop based focussed on book binding. It wasn’t until I attended this workshop that I realised the endless amount of way to bind a book, and the different connotations these methods provide. We learnt that the physical form of the book has an effect on the images inside and using different techniques the way that a book is bound can change the meaning of an image. For example we looked at books that had hidden messages due to the way in which it had been bound. We found that artists like Christoph Bangert used a Raw bind in his book, War Porn. Using the raw bind technique, Bangert bound folded paper as his pages, the his war images were printed on these pages, however hidden within the folds were more images, these being a lot more brutal and graphic photographs of war. He wanted to show the impacts of war on all of those involved and go deeper into the issues than the media do. He toyed with the concept of censorship by printing extremely graphic images between the pages that are only accessible if you tear down the perforated edge of the folds. Banger uses this book binding technique to give his book a meaning that would not be achieved if his photo book was printed in a standard way. He uses the bind to create conceptual meaning and get his message across. By looking at artists like this we understood the importance of the way we bind our photo books and the different connotations that binds have. After doing this we then went on to bind our own books, learn different techniques and practise the binds on paper and our zines. I found this workshop very helpful, and it gave me an insight to a world of book binding that I knew nothing about and made me think about how I will bind my own publication.

Bronica Workshop

The Bronica workshop had the aim of recapping us on how to use the Bronica camera and making sure that we are all confident when shooting with this camera. A large portion on the workshop was focussed on the technical side of shooting and making sure we knew the ins and outs of how to use this equipment, how to insert film, change the setting ect. Th practical part of the workshop was to create a short narrative using the bronicas, due to the nature of shooting with film, you are limited to how many shots you can take. This was part of the challenge for this task, the aim was to create a story, unedited, to think about each frame and construct each image in a way that required no post shoot editing. We were also expected to keep the images we shot in the order in which they were taken thinking even more about the unedited story and requiring even more thought about each frame we took. This workshop was put together to help us understand the importance of each shot you take and the way in which it has been constructed when telling a story, especially when sighting with film, and I think that It was successful in doing this.

In Camera Editing 

Similarly to the Bronica workshop, this one as to make us think abouyt each frame and and once again we had to create and narrative but keep the images in the order that they were taken, no moving around,deleting or editing. In doing this the viewer gets a clear understanding of the story line and it gives a truer representation of the situation. We looked at artists that used these methods to create their own work. One example we looked at was the work of Edward Ruscha, ‘Every Building on the Sunset Strip’. In 1996 he self published his accordion folded book featuring every building on the sunset strip, as he loved along the road he photographed continuously capturing every single building in the order in which they appear, this constant snapping created an exact replica of how the street looks only in a 2D paper format. You can turn each folded page of the publication like a normal book or open the whole thing out into one long page getting a more accurate representation of what the ‘Sunset Strip; looks like. Looking at the type of work inspired us and for the practical half of the work shop we had to create our own narrative and keep t in the order in which it was taken and have editing at all. This turned out to be fairly hard in the time frame we had whilst sticking to the uni campus but it was interesting to continuously shoot almost with every step I took and see what narrative was created. It turns out that the narrative that I shot was Giorgianna, a fellow photography student, in search of her own narrative.

In another part of this Workshop  I practise using in-camera techniques to edit my images, I used the multiple exposure settings on the Cannon 6D and experimented with double and multiple exposures.

3D Image Making Workshop

In this workshop we learnt how to use a 3D imaging software and make a set of images into a three dimensional model. To start the session we had a lecture exploring the world of 3D imaging and how it is used. We then had a go at making our own for the practical workshop. In order to do the we had to take multiple images of an object or person getting every angle and making sure the images overlap on and other so there are no gap sin the object. We had to take around 30 images per model. Once the images were all taken we had to upload them onto a computer and then onto the software. Once all the images were uploaded the software would create a 3D model, if all the images were taken correctly and you captured every angle the model should be successful and look lie the real thing. The first model I created was a hand holding a small bunch of white flowers and the second was a fashion mannequin. Both were successful and it was rewarding seeing the final thing, one we had a basic model on the computer we were taught how to make this into a video and move the model around so the short clip showed all the angles, we also leaned how to change the texture of the model and input this to the videos. The workshop was very interesting and entertaining. It was something that I have never done or thought about before, and although I don’t think I will use this technique fro this project it is something that I will consider for the future and enjoyed doing.

 Hasselblad Workshop

This Hasselblad Workshop had the simple purpose of recapping us on how to use and shoot with the Hasselblad cameras. We relearned every aspect of this camera, including how to change settings, who to change lenses and how to swap between film and digital backs. Although we had a very similar workshop in the first year of he course I personally found having a recap workshop very help full as there is a lot to remember with this camera as with every camera and it is equipment that I am not confident with using therefor it is helpful to have a reminded.I now feel a lot more confident in how to use these expensive cameras.

Image and Text

As this is the story telling unit, knowing how to put together images and text is crucial. In this workshop we learnt how text can change the way that an image is perceived. A single word on an image can completely change the context, as can a short sentence or a whole paragraph explaining the image in detail. The way that an image is perceived changes massively when text is incorporated. To demonstrate this we were shown many examples of photographers that combine imagery and text, for example the work of Barbara Kruger and Elisabeth Tonnard. To also get a clearer understanding we looked at found imagery and added our own text to see how it changes the meaning of the photograph. I looked at a Helmut Newton image from the series, ‘White Women/Sleepless Nights/Big Nudes’. I added different text to the image, varying from a single word to a short poetic sentence, and varying fonts to experiment with the different connotations that fonts have. I added all these different texts and then discovered that I was giving each person in the image a voice as well as labelling it in an objectifying way.

Image and Text II

As a second part of this workshop we had to use found imagery to make a short story. This was to help us understand how to create a narrative and the importance of choosing the right images in the editing process. For this section of the workshop I created a short zine that showed a journey. My zine didn’t have a serious message or context and did have a slight comedic value, but mainly it had a horror/thriller theme as it showed the gradual journey to find what was lurking behind a door. It started of with a railroad to represent the journey aspect, and then moved to a landscape of a lighthouse to show where the destination was. From there on the zine seemed to zoom in on the list house, showing a abandoned car left outside, a creepy silhouette of a cat and slowly moving to a locked door and a macro eye. The final seen is a scary clown, that was the climax of the story, the whole zine built up to showing what was behind the door and the clown is the answer. My story isn’t anything to do with my personal project but it did help me understand the importance of image order and layout in the book.

Photobook Workshop

Following a lecture with Chris Coekin, we had a workshop to discuss photo books. In this workshop we looked at Chris’ own published photo books and some of hi favourites form other artists. In particular we looked at the layout, the relation between the images and text and combining all these aspects how the narrative was told. We learnt the difference of a series of image for a photo book and if they are for an exhibition. We looked at the way that if the images are for a gallery wall or to be prints, they must be coherent as a series and all have a similar style too have the aesthetic of a series of images. In position to this, the individual images in a photo book can have different visuals and styles as the book progresses. Th mood of the book can change at the turn of each page so the images reflect this change of tone. In this workshop we also looked at false narratives and the way that different people interpret different books.

Tate Modern Trip 

We took a trip to London to go to the Tate Modern. On at this time was a Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition. The exhibition was huge and had a rare of themes, mediums and styles throughout it. Tillman had presented a variety of creative works from prints, to books and papers, videos and audio.   The wide variety of works were engaging and intriguing, it was more than just photography.


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