1st Week!

What a week its been! Everything has built up to the first classes of the Fall term (or the Autumn Term for those back home in UK).

I’ve figured that as well as doing the monthly blogs, I might do a weekly blog as well detailing everything I have gotten up to the week in a more condensed form, leaving my vlogs to me a more overview sight of the month!

So here goes…


So the first class to begin the term off was my Photography, Art, and the Media: The 19th Century.  To start off the class, we decided to watch two film to make us think about the age old question: What is Photography? The films to help the grey brain cells were:

  • Ulysses: Based on a picture that was somewhat spontaneous, the director looked at how the memory affected those that were part of the original photo and how much they could remember of it, whilst also looking at the other historical events that were happening at the same time.
  • Nostalgia: Looking at the pictures taken back by Hollis Frampton, we are taken down a journey with personal comments made on each individual picture whilst they are being burnt; however there is a slight twist to it (watch the film to find out!)

Both of these films were a great start in getting the whole group to think not critically, but offer a variety opinions not only on the film but towards the question “What is Photography?”


Oh yes. The class I was pumped for. This was the beginning of the Colour Printing class, taught by Darin Mickey (have a look at his work if you can!) I was quite excited for this class as it was going to push me into a new limit of analogue I have always wanted to try. Shooting in colour isn’t the hardest, but being able to go into a fully functioning colour lab? It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass down.

And although we didn’t go straight into printing this week, we are given quite a few tips. For example, with negative printing (this would be colour and Black+White shooting) you want to over pose the prints more as it allows it to be dealt easier in printing.

This can be done by either going up an aperture or shutter stop. However, an easier way is that if you are using a light meter, by changing the ISO settings on it, it will automatically give you that 1 stop change.


A 400 ISO —> Shoot at “200 ISO”

So now its onto shooting more rolls of film in order to start printing!

In the afternoon, we had our first Seminar class. As we were in smaller groups, it was an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better, with everyone talking about their interests, their aspirations etc. It was interesting to hear what everyone had to say, giving a deeper insight into them all. Afterwards, we started looking through each others work, but in a different critique method: instead of explaining their work, we as the viewers had to decipher the work with no help and make our own interpretations on it, providing interesting responses.


This was the first lecture with the Dean of the School, Fred Ritchin. This was possibly the one class I had no idea of what to expect, apart from that I was prepared for a lot of information to be heading my way.

And I was right! In three hours, which seemed to fly by so quickly, we had covered so much material my brain was hurting. The conversation started talking off about hyper text (non linear narrative) and how it can begin a collaboration with the reader, something which the digital is good at doing. This then led on to a conversation about digital and analogue and the restrictions between the two and how a multitude of ideas can be implemented differently.

We was introduced to a site Fred used to run called pixelpress.org which should the capabilities of the digital in which analogue could not do, and in how text can provide a different meaning to the image as well. Do have a look at the website, as it will definitely start making you think about how important text is…


This was the start of my video class. I know I have already done video in the past, however I personally del that there was much more that I could lear from this, especially in terms of editing the video to an acceptable standard.

So we was introduced to some of the tools in order to give more steady shots (fluid tripods, shoulder rigs) as well as some of the better external microphones that we had on offer for us to use. And it was drilled in that with DSLR’s, the internal microphone is rubbish, so using an external microphone is always the route you want to head along.

We was also given our assignment for the week which was to shoot a video on out daily routine, and we was advised to follow the 5 second rule (don’t remain on a frame for more then 5 seconds.) To help us understand this more, we was shown then short film The Big Shave by Sorcasse (again something I would highly recommend but be warned, very graphic!)  to show us how we could shoot a similar video.


The class where I was different whoop!

So this was the first class for Future Storytelling and the main thing was that stories can be told however we want them to, whether it be via Transmedia (art of telling one story over multiple media where each is unique) and Multimedia (different forms of media to create powerful stories that can communicate.)

However to make a more powerful story sometimes, it is best to get the obvious out of the way in order to surprise both the audience and you, with surprise being a way for the brain to release dopamine to the body.

We was also introduced to the different types of User experiences out there:

  • Visceral design
  • Behavioural design
  • Reflective design

And finally, to finish off the week, we had our Digital technical seminar to round off the afternoon. This was just a quick introduction and recap over Colour theory and how the Primary and Complimentary colours work together and how it helps with colour correction.

For example:

If there are 256 different shades of RGB (primary colours), we could check to see if we have a correct exposure on an area by clicking a grey area to make sure that there are equal amounts there, such as R= 119 G= 119 B=119.

If one is unequal, then you have to change the others so that you can make everything balanced out

This led onto us talking about histograms and the actual importance they hold when we go and take photographs. The rule of thumb for getting a good capture is to get your histogram more to the right (e.g. making it more over exposed.) Now this may seem strange to do, however this allows the highlights to have more information stored in them and giving more subtlety in the tonal ranges. So when it comes to editing the picture, you can avoid loosing any information in any area if you decided to darken the image in RAW for example.

I also learnt the use of the HDR feature as well! If you are in a situation where you cannot change your histogram at the risk of loosing information in your image, you can use the HDR feature to give a more rounded exposure that will give the information in all areas of the picture by combining multiple images of different exposures.

So yeah, that was just a general overview of what I got up to this week… A lot isn’t it? There was more I could have included, but all I have mentioned was probably the more interesting stuff I think! Next week will begin to get more serious, and I can’t wait for it as it means more information is gonna be chucked at me and I so ready to absorb it all! Until next time!


The Move, Adjustment and Settling

When they said it was going to be intense, they weren’t kidding. And that even before I moved to the USA!

The past year has been a blur of sorts. It was hard to believe that this time last year, I was even considering the notion of studying in the USA. Of course I had the option of places in Europe, but obviously I had to be the odd one out and be different. So begun the process of talking to lectures about advice and opinions, before I settled on trying out The International Centre of Photography in New York.

This was the beginning stages of what was a long and tiring process; never before I had to write a proposal of my work at such a high level of writing. Yet I still managed it; I think it was down to my determination of getting everything right and not leaving anything to chance helped. As well as getting lecturers to proof read it all!
Soon, everything had been handed in, and began the waiting period of hearing anything.





When the e-mail came through stating that I had got my place in the programme, I screamed. In a restaurant. Yeah I was quite excited… But still, the feelings that were bursting through me was unreal. Words could not explain it at all. But now it was real, it was time to start prepping for the travels. And that meant getting my visa (however that’s a story I don’t want to get into as I fear for my blood pressure rising…)

Time flew by, and before I knew it, I was leaving the house at 4am. The flight was how flights should be; smooth and steady. But the excitement was building up inside me more and more, eager to actually start this new adventure. In the first week of being in The Big Apple, my family and I started the basics of moving into my accommodation and getting the essentials for me to live in some sort of student way (don’t worry I bought all the snacky stuff later on!)
We also planned the journey I would take in the mornings to actually get to ICP, so I had an understanding of where I needed to head to so I wouldn’t get lost (although the travelling system is fairly straight forward there.)

And then I was left all by myself. It was emotional saying goodbye to my parents as we all knew how big and life changing this could be for me. Tears were shed by everyone, par my brother who seemed more interested in Youtube at the time (although I’m hoping there was some emotion later on though.)
I know that for the past two years I have essentially lived on my own in Coventry, but this was different. Living alone, in a different country thousands of miles away? It’s the same but not the same. And I will always miss home, that’s a given.

But I wasn’t given much time to dwell on that as the orientation period was starting. For 3 weeks.

Yes you read that right, 3 weeks. And it may seem like a long time. but with the amount covered (darkrooms, DML, printing, Library etc) it was needed. And having it all spaced out helped as well, as it allowed everything to be taken in. What I found to be very interesting (and also a good way to bond people from the different courses) was the Scavenger Hunt. Rather then your traditional hunt of finding items, we were given set themes that we could interpret fully and do whatever we wanted with.
And the ability to be free and shoot whatever was amazing, and I felt like that I came out with some interesting shoots. But the main thing was that I had a fun time shooting, which is the main thing. Here are some of the images I shot:

Edit1_46 Edit1_47 spirit Edit1_1 Edit1_25 Edit1_36 Edit1_41

So as I type this out, I’m prepping for my first proper week at ICP. This is where I’m gonna be starting all my classes in full and start my journey into learning so much. However, I don’t want to bore you all with writing about everything! I have created a youtube channel where I will be making monthly vlogs at least saying what I have learnt etc. I’ve already shot a video about my classes and scavenger hunt, so click on the video below to find out more (when I publish it)!

The Beginning! August-September Vlog

Until in a months time people…

How it all looks…

Final look

This is all of my final pieces for the hand in, as well as how I want it to look like in the exhibtion. We have the 3 prints at the top, which are the best three from the whole series, and underneath I have 5 QR codes linking to each interview (this way each individual can listen to each interview by themselves without missing out on any important details.)

Finally underneeth, I will have my book resting on a plimpth. In this image, I have it on a chair to ressemble what it would look like, but in the real exhibition I am planning on having a white plimph in that it will rest on.


‘Outrage: Why I Will No Longer Follow Humans Of New York’. Chocolate, Pomp, and Circumstance2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

‘Why I Hate Humans Of New York’. 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Abrill, Laia. ‘THE EPILOGUE *Book’. Laia Abril – Photographer. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Anonymous, Anonymous. ‘This Is Why I Hate Humans Of New York (And You Should, Too)’.Thought Catalog 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Barry, See. ‘The New Homeless: ‘Her Life Just Turned Bad, By One Simple Thing’’. TheJournal.ie. N.p., 2014. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

BBC News,. ‘Anger Over Studs ‘To Stop Homeless”. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

BBC News,. ‘In Pictures: Living On The Street’. N.p., 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

Bicker, Phil. ‘Portraits Of The Homeless By Lee Jeffries | Lightbox | TIME.Com’. TIME.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

Bigactive.com,. ‘Hide That Can – Books – Art Direction & Design – Big Active’. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Catrambone, Camilla. #Grandma Ilva. Mario’s Wife.. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Catrambone, Camilla. Grandpa Mario. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Chap-at-the-door.org.uk,. ‘Chap At The Door/Homelessness’. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

CHRISTIE, JOEL. ‘Emotional Campaign Trying To Break Down Stereotypes Of The Homeless’. Mail Online. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

Collections.vam.ac.uk,. ‘Billy Brennan; Hide That Can | O’callaghan, Deirdre | V&A Search The Collections’. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

D’Addario, Daniel. ‘The Problem With Humans Of New York’. Gawker 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Golembewski, Vanessa. ‘NYC’s Favorite Blogger Takes Down Internet Trolls With An Amazing Open Letter’. Refinery29. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Gómez-C, Anais. That’s Not Me In The Mirror. 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Google Books,. ‘Hide That Can’. N.p., 2002. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Hynd, Laura. ‘Laura Hynd’. Laurahynd.blogspot.co.uk. N.p., 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Internet Archive, (2013) Shahidul Alam : Jonathan Worth : Internet Archive available from <https://archive.org/details/ShahidulAlamWorth&gt; [14 November 2014]

Ipsos-mori.com,. ‘Ipsos MORI | Poll | Perceptions Of Homelessness’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

Jimgoldberg.com,. ‘Jim Goldberg, Photographer’. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Lutz, Joshua. On The Tradgedy Of Reflection. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Miller, Cynthia. ‘Images From The Streets: Art For Social Change From The Homelessness Photography Project’. Social Justice 33.2 (2006): 123-124. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

Miller, Cynthia. ‘Images From The Streets: Art For Social Change From The Homelessness Photography Project’. Social Justice 33.2 (2015): n. pag. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

National Portrait Gallery,. ‘Grayson Perry’. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Ngân, Bùi Linh. Haunted. 2004. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Nilsson, Bertil. Naturally. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Onesmallseed.net,. ‘THE INSIGHTS OF JOEY LAWRENCE’. N.p., 2009. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Passaro, Joanne 1996 The Unequal Homeless: Men on the Streets, Women in Their Place. New York: Routledge.

PBS NewsHour,. ‘In ‘Pilgrimage,’ Leibovitz Explores Portraits Without People’. N.p., 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Phoblachtáigh do Aontiú / Republican Network for Unity,. ‘Food Or Fascism For The Homeless? – Arrests Unhelpful And Unnecessary’. N.p., 2014. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

Pogorelec, Nicholas. ‘Society Needs To Change Perception Of The Homeless’. The Badger Herald. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

reddit,. ‘Reddit, What Do You Think When You See The Homeless On The Street And Why? • /R/Askreddit’. N.p., 2015. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

reddit,. ‘Redditors, When You Have A Bad Day What Things Do You Do To Make You Feel Better? • /R/Askreddit’. N.p., 2015. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.


Regatao, Gisele. ‘Leibovitz’s Portraits — But The People Are Missing’. WNYC. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Rosenberg, David. ‘Forget Stereotypes. This Is What Homelessness Really Looks Like.’. Slate Magazine. N.p., 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

Rosler, M. (1981) ‘In, Around and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography)’ Rosler 3 Works, Halifax, N.S.: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Sasewich, Anastasia. ”Humans Of New York’ Isn’t Clickbait—It’s Why The Internet Exists’. The Daily Dot. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Shahidul Alam: Photographer/Writer/Curator,. ‘Shahidul Alam: Photographer/Writer/Curator’. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Shahidul Alam: Photographer/Writer/Curator,. ‘Shahidul Alam: Photographer/Writer/Curator’. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Smyth, Melissa. ‘On Sentimentality: A Critique Of Humans Of New York’. Warscapes. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Solomon-Godeau, A. (1994) ‘Inside/Out (Public Information: Desire, Disaster, Document, Exhibition)’ Catalog. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. New York: Art Publishers, 49-62

Stanton, Brian. 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Tengtio, Katharine. ‘Challenging Our Perceptions Of Homelessness’. The Huffington Post UK. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

The Huffington Post,. ‘A Unique Family Portrait’. N.p., 2013. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

The Independent,. ‘Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, Channel 4 – TV Review: Potter Asks Age Old Question With The Help Of Chris Huhne And Rylan Clarke’. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Trolleybooks.com,. ‘** TROLLEY BOOKS **      Hide That Can’. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Wollaston, Sam. ‘Grayson Perry: Who Are You Review – It Takes A Real Artist To Get To The Heart Of Chris Huhne’. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Zhang, Michael. ‘Photo Project Shows What People Would Save From A Burning House’. PetaPixel. N.p., 2011. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Zhang, Michael. ‘Photographer Creates Portraits Of Family Members By Shooting Possessions’.PetaPixel. N.p., 2013. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

How it fits in + Evaluation

So how does my work fit in with the current work out there, and who is the audience that I am putting my work to? Has it been carefully considered, or has it been randomly put together with no thought at all?

Firstly, I would think that my work is different from the other work that surrounds the homeless in the photographic community. The majority of people will focus on portraiture to represent them, and whilst I do understand why it is popular, it doesn’t work with what I want to do with my work.

My work is based on the identity of the homeless and the relationship they have with not only themselves, but with everyone else as well. Within my images, I am trying to address the fact there is more to their identity then being homeless. Their whole identity is complex in which homelessness is part of it, yet they have other identities for us to remember as well.

In my work, I have addressed these other identities through the memories they have told me when I have had a one to one conversation with them and treating them like anyone else. And from what I am told, I have gone out to recreate some of the key moments as a way of putting an image to what is being said, so that we can understand it all a little bit better.

It would be naïve for me as a photographer to say that the images can give them back their identity. There is only so much the images can do to evoke a reaction; we have to speak to the individuals, open our minds etc. This project is a tool in order to show that there is more than what meets the eye to each person, and that in the future we could be like that. We have to remember the identities that we all have and why they are so important to us.
What is interesting to note though is that everyone is going through a transitional stage: home to homeless, homeless to a future, or to hope for the future. All part from the second Gary (the one that used heroin). He isn’t homeless at the minute, but rather he has found his home as he has accepted his life and isn’t doing much to change it at the minute.

So who is my audience too then? I would say that the audience is anyone who walks the homeless and judges them for what they are doing, as I want this project to make them stop and think for a moment so that they can reconsider. At the same time, I also want this project to be something that the homeless can see somewhere and remember who they are exactly and to not loose that part of them at all.

I think each image has been carefully considered and made in a way that doesn’t give a negative connotation of the past identity, but rather links into the positive of themselves and the possible future as well. Like I stated at the beginning of the project, I wanted to move away from all the negative connotations homelessness is given through imagery, and wanted to produce something more positive.
To some, they may see the images negative regardless, but I think in combination with the text that I would provide as well as the audio, they would begin to see that each image has a silver lining to it in showing the good side of life.

However, there are a few things that, if given more time, I would like to further on with. Firstly, I would like to speak to a bigger range of people. As part of my interviews I went to a Soup Kitchen that is held every Monday night, and it was a change to speak and see how everyone interacted with each other. I think there is potential there to look more into nights and talking to each individual there to get their story, and look at the identity they have.

And I think as well as being a photography project, it has the chance of being produced in a video format as well in a documentary style almost. Social media tends to show the negative side of homelessness, and while photographers do try to bring it out in a more positive light, there is a lot more work to be done to rise up this issue.

Presentation Method

So for my presentation method, I have decided that I want to show my work in 3 different manners.

The first part would be to have 3 prints up on the wall with two landscapes and 1 portrait. The reasoning for this is that I want to show off some stills that resemble the positives from across the board including dreams, hopes and past lives.

The thing with having these three images is that on their own they wouldn’t mean much at all hence you would have to read the book that accompanies it to understand how it fits in with the puzzle.

I have also made a photobook as a way of noting down the memories. Just like a photo album is used to store family memories etc. I am using the book as a way of storing the identities down onto paper to show that they have existed for each person.

Having learnt from my previous attempt with Paul, what I plan to do is just have the images going in one line throughout the book (they will be compiled together relating to the person) with a text piece at the end explaining who the person is and what their story is.

Each picture has been carefully considered as to how it has been laid out. One of the problems I had was that for certain images, portrait was the preferred way of shooting. However when placing this into a book, I had the choice of putting them in landscape (meaning you would have to turn the book) or crop them down to fit as a portrait. Not wanting to have the viewer turn the page, I decided to crop the portraits so they would fit in. I think if I was given much more time I would try and take each image the same, however I have made the most of it.

Additionally, I want to talk about the last image in the book as well. Throughout the book you cannot see a single face or you are presented with objects; the last image is in complete contrast as it shows 3 people looking at the camera. The reasoning for this is that I want to show that Dan, the main subject, has actually re-found his identity and is now part of our society again. He has worked hard to be were he is with the help of friends and his own determination, so he deserves to have this portrait as it works for his story.
And I hear you asking, how can you get the story down perfectly when there might be other things to include as well? I have thought this out, and I have realized that the audio pieces are as equally important for this project as the images are. With the audio we hear the emotion that is missed in the images, but we begin to compile up the story as we look as well.
My plan would be to have different ER codes up on the wall linking to each persons interview; I want this because if I was to have a laptop playing the interviews one at a time, someone might come in half way and miss something important. SO by having an ER code to the audio, you can scan it in and listen from the beginning so that you don’t miss anything out.

My mock up of how things should look:

Presentation plan

Shoot for Dan

Jobs + Flat:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.29.54

One of the things Dan wants to do in his life is find a little bit of stability so that he can put his life back on track one step at a time. Currently, he is trying to find a job so that he can go and buy a flat for him to live in.

For my image, I got the local newspaper and opened it up to the classifieds page to show that he is currently looking for a job at the minute.


Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.30.09

When he was in trouble and was facing the prospect of jail, his brother found out and told his mum, which led her to calling him to basically get the truth with happened. But it was also to make sure that he was ok, as all mothers do.
SO for my image, I kept it simple by doing a close up of a phone with just the contact Mum showing up on the screen to symbolise the contact going on between the two.


Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.30.02

One of the things that Dan is grateful for is the friends that he has made ever since he has begun to get himself clean. He has said that they have done so much for him, and he is striving to be like them in the future as they were such an inspiration in helping him get back up on his feet.
SO for this image, it was completely different from the rest of the images as I included a portrait of Dan with the two people closest to him. The reasoning for this was that Dan has finally found his identity after all his hard work, and his new image with his friends is part of it.