Yesterday was my first photo session on the collaborative carboot project I’m doing with Sam, a photographer studying at Leeds City College.
We chose Bingley because it is a regular carboot which means a good turnout, it has inside and outside pitches, so whatever the weather we could achieve something, and because it was in a good location for both of us to get too and then go to Saltaire Festival afterwards.
When initially deciding to work together we had briefly talked about style, interest areas in photography, and purpose of the project. We both felt that these would change as the project progressed, but we needed to do a first session to gauge reaction from carboot organisers, sellers, and buyers on the project as well as have a body of work from each of us on the subject to see how our styles and interests could be merged. Therefore this session was very experimental.
We got our cameras out straight away and found that when we wore them people were naturally curious and asked us about it, we were then able to start talking to them ask about their relationship with the carboot and what they were selling. It was then really easy to get permission to photograph their items and ask if we could take their photo. People were really nice and open to us, which was a relief as the project may have fallen apart if they were really closed.
In previous discussions with Sam, we had decided that the story of the people and items were as important as the photographs so this dialogue was very important. Sam noted it down. My notebook was too big to keep handy, I will need to get one like Sam’s that fits into a coat pocket and is easy to hold open in one hand.
I felt comfortable talking to people, and although not uncomfortable taking photos I certainly grew bolder with what I was taking pictures of as the morning progressed and I knew the people weren’t bothered.
After around two hours at the carboot we went for tea and cake and talked about how we felt the morning went, we worked well and what didn’t, what to do with the resulting images, and our next steps.
I took a total of 185 photos. To select the images I wanted to put forward to Flickr I:
- quickly looked through all the images and selected the ones I liked aesthetically and narratively, changing the file name to start with ‘0’ so they were organised
- reviewed all the 0 images, renaming the strongest ones to being with ‘z’ so they would separate out
Doing this I managed to cut the 185 to 52 and then to 31. I feel that 31 is still too many to take forward from the day in terms of the full project, but in terms of one shoot and that one being the first I think it’s OK for now but will need reviewed in the future.
Sam and I discussed how to share the photos between us and most of our work on the project will be electronic due to our varying timetables and the distance between where we live. As we both use Flickr and it allows us to create a group that only we can post to but others can view (excellent for tutors to offer support or for marking), and we can comment on, we thought it was the best solution. We also agreed on an image naming convention that means we know when, where, and who took the photo. To do this I decided it was time to get to grips with the Adobe app ‘Lightroom’.
I used a very good online tutorial by Adobe to help me do this…
I’m interested in getting the most out of Lightroom so explored the tutorials further to learn how to make the cropping adjustments I want to make to some images before sharing. I don’t want to make any additional adjustments at this stage and Sam and I need to look at our seperate styles and decide together how we’ll adjust them for a coherent ‘look’ across the project.
This video was very useful in learning how to crop. It’s just like in Photoshop but the fabulous thing is that the action is non-destructive.
I also learnt how to flag or rate images, which I’ll use rather than the renaming process I had previously used in the Finder window, and how to export directly to Flickr.