Experimenting with Print Size

After listening to Mark Galer speak about uploading one’s images as screen savers to a 4K TV, I started thinking about scale and my A1 images. I decided to see if I could create a large version of the print of Terry that I did yesterday. As the largest paper my printer can take is A3+ (13 x 19 inches) I decided to divide the image into 4 sections and print each section at A3+. I was just not sure what would happen with the upscaling. I only have LightRoom and Photoshop Elements so I sent the image over to Elements and worked out the crops and printed each section off.

Once I printed them off I had to lay them out on the floor to see the result. Unfortunately I had forgotten to select borderless printing so the interior borders spoil the effect a bit. But I do have to say that I really do prefer this larger version (26 x 38 inches) than the A3+. I will lay them out again tomorrow on my dining room table which has better light and photograph the result, then I’m going to take an exacto knife and cut away those internal borders and tape the 4 sections together and will rephotograph them.

The following day I laid out the four sections of Terry’s photo on the dining room table and made a couple of photographs with the two versions together. The difference in size is obviously quite dramatic. The portrait is larger than life size. I hauled out the step ladder and had to photograph the second image from the side and rotate it in post-processing. The perspectives aren’t 100% but it does convey the idea well enough. I think, instead of trying to slice the internal white space off these images (those margins are so small), I’ll rather try this technique out with one of the other A1 images using the borderless option.

(Please note this post has been duplicated from my Weekly Check In – 9 May 2020 post purely for assessment purposes).

Post Google Hangout Thoughts on Assignment 1

Now that I’ve had a chance to mull over the feedback I received from the LiveForum and further discussing it with the Rest of the World gang and taking their comments into consideration, I’ve been playing around with some options for my final ten images as well as the sequencing. Where I had originally thought to use the following headings for my narrative:

  • opening [O]
  • make [M]
  • bake [B]
  • grow [G]
  • gathering place [GA]
  • community [C]
  • relationship [R]
  • close up [CU]
  • detail [D]
  • closing [CR]

I realise that I’m not going to be able to accommodate all of this in ten images, so I’m amending my headings to the list below, allowing for a couple of duplications:

  • opening [O]
  • make [M]
  • bake [B]
  • community [C]
  • relationship [R]
  • close up [CU]
  • detail [D]
  • closing [CR]

I am still going to go with my gut instinct and include a wide angle establishment photo as I do think that this is needed, but have changed the photo from the one originally presented to the LiveForum. I think ideally this project will work better if it could stretch to twenty images, but I’m trying to work within the constraints of the brief here.

I’ve reached the stage where I  need to submit the assignment to my tutor and wait for her feedback and then do any amendments from there.

Request for Feedback – Live Forum – 2 June, 2019

I have taken approximately 499 photos at the market and have edited down to 109, now I have to bring it down to 10.

Applying keywords to all my images, I then sorted each category, namely each vendor,  and starred the images that were technically sharper and more engaging to come up with the 44 images below.  Then following the advice of David Hurn (2011: 56), I designated ten headings (one heading per image to be submitted).

  • opening [O]
  • make [M]
  • bake [B]
  • grow [G]
  • gathering place [GA]
  • community [C]
  • relationship [R]
  • close up [CU]
  • detail [D]
  • closing [CR]

I printed out these contacts and then noted which heading is applicable to each picture and also further designating “overall/establishment picture” [O], “medium distance/relationship picture” [MD] and “close up picture” [CU]. These notes are to act as a shooting script in order to help me pace the narrative of the photo essay.

Using the headings above, I have managed to whittle my edit down to 19 and now need some feedback from my peers in order to determine whether the flow is working and which images to loose or replace. Editing down to 10 images is no easy task when there are so many vendors that have such interesting stalls. I am still in the process of getting my captions together – all a work in progress at the moment.

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3. “Sunshine Boy: Terry, 30, is a man for every taste. He enjoys everything from country music to classical and he also likes theatre. But the outdoorsman in him likes to get away fishing once in a while.” Terry once was a welder and won a stripping competition with 2 weeks paid holiday in Las Vegas. Now he sells firepokers at the market.

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7

Fig 8

Fig 9

Fig 10

Fig 11

Fig 12 This is Reyn’s most expensive pen that he makes. It sells for CAD $70 and has a pump action mechanism, like a rifle. All his pens use Parker refills.

Fig 13

Fig 14 Michele Broemeling and Ann Steenhuysen of Michele’s Dawg Waggin

Fig 15

Fig 16

Chris from White Lake Organics

Fig 18 (option 1)

Fig 18 (option 2)

 

Bibliography

Hurn, D. and Jay, B. (2011) On Being a Photographer: A Practical Guide. Anacortes, WA: LensWork Publishing.

Research Notes on Farmers’ Markets

Below are some notes that I have made from three papers on farmers’ markets.

Linking Local Food Systems and the Social Economy? Future Roles for Farmers’ Markets in Alberta and British Columbia
  • grassroots, non-profit organizations
  • strategic venues that serve social, economic and environmental objectives
  • potential of farmers’ markets -> catalyst in linking local food systems to social economy in Western Canada
  • definitions of local food systems
  • supply and demand relationships
  • perceptions of “authenticity”
  • farmers’ markets operate as part of social economy
  • higher levels of trust and reciprocity
  • shortened food chains
  • “re-socialize and re-spatialize food” (Wittman, 2012)
  • conceptual and geographical boundaries as to what is authentically local are fluid
  • local food systems are dynamic, diverse and fragile
  • social economy is characterized by being non-profit
  • provide venue for rebuilding relationships between producers and consumers/urban and rural communities
  • market space allocation is regulated according to local and democratic rules
  • vendor space limited to “make, bake or grow” vendors
  • getting products to consumers on a face-to-face level builds trust
Farmers Markets, Local Food Systems and the Social Economy
  • farmers’ market means as taking back control from large corporate/multinational organizations
  • farmers’ markets are flagship of civic agriculture
  • four types of urban farmers’ markets – each occupy different type of space:
    • traditional – un-revitalized portions of the city
    • public – in new or refurbished buildings/revitalized parts of city
    • farmers’ –  at edge of city in open space
    • festival – aimed at tourists
  • According to the British Colombia Ministry of Agriculture, a farmers market is: “A common area where farmers and other producers gather on a regular, recurring basis to sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked and processed food and local handcrafts directly to consumers.
  • recurring event – emphasis is on local produce/products
  • producers and consumers -> two points in a food cycle
  • Spaces:
    • “alternative space” – a place where the constructed spaces of the big box supermarkets can be avoided
    • “reactionary space” – markets attempt to recall tradition – a search for identity and place
  • Benefits: Farmers:
    • economic and social benefits to producers overlap: greater profits and cash in hand at day’s end
    • psycho-social benefits: sense of fulfillment, confidence and accomplishment
  • Benefits Consumers:
    • authenticity and sense of local community
    • products have ethical and environmental dimension that appeals to consumers
    • superior quality of goods
    • value of social interaction is high – people like having fun
  • social economy = “a collection of organizations which are neither capitalist or run by the state” (Hergesheimer and Kennedy, 2010: 27)
  • number of farms in B.C. sits at around 19, 844, population currently sits at 85% urban and 15% rural (Statistics Canada 2006)
  • agri-tourism
From civic institution to community place: the meaning of the public market in modern America

This paper was mainly about public markets which are different from farmers’ markets. However it did cover some interesting semiotics which I will note briefly.

  • Market places represent the community, epitomize the community and are symbols in the community
  • Signs consist of signifier and signified. These produce meaning through different processes: metonymy, metaphor and opposition
    • Metonymy – an association between signifier and signified which occupies the same domain of meaning, enabling the signifier to stand for the signified, e.g. public market stands for the city (it functions as a microcosm)
    • The “marketplace” signifies across conceptual domains as a metaphor for good government
    • Oppositions: signs can map their meaning by opposition – a symbol of what it is not, e.g. “public markets are alternatives to the industrial food distribution system” (Kurland, N.B. and Aleci, L.S., 2015: 509). The market signifies a form of localization and artisanal production in opposition to the mechanized, standardized means of food distribution.

I found the following table very interesting in the comparison denotative and connotative associations between the public market and the farmers’ market.

Kurland, N.B. and Aleci, L.S. (2015: 511)

Bibliography

Hergesheimer, C. and Kennedy, E.H. (2010) Farmers Markets, Local Food Systems and the Social Economy. Canadian Centre for Community Renewal (CCCR) on behalf of the BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance. pp.1-63

Kurland, N.B. and Aleci, L.S. (2015) ‘From civic institution to community place: the meaning of the public market in modern America’ In: Agriculture and Human Values 32 (3) pp.505–521. [online] At: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10460-014-9579-2 (Accessed 30 May, 2019)

Wittman, H. et al. (2012) ‘Linking Local Food Systems and the Social Economy? Future Roles for Farmers’ Markets in Alberta and British Columbia’ In: Rural Sociology 77 (1) pp.36–61

Research – Sorrento Village Farmers’ Market

Sorrento Village Farmers’ Market had its origins in 2000 and its primary goals were to:

  1. To provide those who “make, bake, or grow” goods in the local area a local venue for sale of their quality goods.
  2. To provide a local gathering place for people to visit their neighbours on a regular basis.
  3. To assist in establishing a sense of community for the Sorrento area.
  4. To encourage traffic in the ‘downtown’ core of Sorrento.

About Sorrento Village Farmers’ Market

The market is a registered non-profit society and is a member of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. The market runs each Saturday morning from May through to mid-October each year and the vendors are classified as Farmers/Foodies or Artisans and further as either full-time, alternating or seasonal/occasional. The seasonal/occasional vendors only come to market when their fruit/crops are in season, or when there is room for their stall.

The farmers and foodies provide products such as pork, local wines, organic ales, chicken, eggs, European bakery items such as fruit pies and strudels, organic produce and fruit juice, seedlings, jams and preserves, spices, honey, and vegan baked goods. The artisans sell jewelry, baby clothing, kitchen accessories, various woodwork items such as planters, potato bins, trivets, bird houses. Also sold are horse halters and dog leashes, antler fire sticks, chainsaw carvings, pens, engraved wood signs, alpaca wool, clothing and accessories. The quality of all items sold is really exceptional.

All vendors pay an annual membership fee ($10) and an annual stall fee (amount depends on whether they are full-time/alternate or occasional). Sixty percent of the vendors sell foodstuffs which has to be locally grown or produced, while there is only a forty percent allowance for the artisans. Strict guidelines ensure that the crafts are locally produced and no items produced via kits are allowed. Antiques and second hand items are also banned.  Vendors selling food items have to have a current FoodSafe certification and have to abide by the provincial health regulations. Various other bylaws are in place to ensure the integrity of organic produce and health and safety of the market.

 

Bibliography

Sorrento Village Farmers’ Market (s.d.) ABOUT – Sorrento Village Farmers’ Market. At: https://sorrentofarmersmarket.ca/about/ (Accessed on 29 May 2019)

Sorrento Farmers’ Market – 25 May, 2019

The day started off rather gloomy and threatening to rain, but luckily the wet stuff held off for my third shoot at the Sorrento Farmers’ Market. The regular vendors are quite comfortable with me drifting up and down photographing them and have become quite interested in the project. I noticed this week that I tended to take a lot of portrait shots as I’m still finding the spacing in the aisle between the tents a tad constricting. I will try and do more landscape format images next week. I had decided prior to heading out that I needed to get some close ups – perhaps of people’s hands while exchanging money or examining the wares and I was lucky to get some of these images this week. I have taken 460 photos of the market over these three weeks and I think I will draw a line under this next week. I have more than enough to edit from. I’m finding that I am adjusting to the lens better each week and there were less blurry images from camera shake this week.

Sorrento Farmers’ Market 18 May, 2019

Saturday’s weather was overcast and drizzling so at least I didn’t have to contend with harsh shadows which I welcomed. Luckily for me the rain let up fairly quickly as I didn’t have any rain gear with me. I managed to get a few fairly interesting photographs of the produce stall this time and there was some friendly banter between the stall owners and customers that I managed to capture.

This was my second time here and the stall owners that I spoke to last week recognized me and waved, still happy to be photographed. Some of them showed me some of their new work and I can definitely feel a rapport building between us. There were also more shoppers around this week than the previous one, which provided a few interesting opportunities, such as a biker dressed in a Gene Simmons Kiss mask. One of the stall owners, who makes fire pokers which are decorated with deer antlers, was quite chuffed that I was taking his photograph every time I walked past his stall. He called me over and showed me an old newspaper cutting from the 1980’s that he had stashed away in a cooler. Apparently he won a stripping contest back in the day. I suggested to him to pose with his newspaper cutting and he gladly obliged. So I have an extremely interesting story for one of the stall owners. Hopefully I can unearth a few more gems like this. I was really happy with my close up of the gent playing his conduit flute/pennywhistle as I was standing about two feet from him. I think I shall have to take a notebook with me next time to see if I can capture a few stories. There are still a few people that I have to introduce myself to so I shall see how that goes next week.

I feel I’m beginning to get used to my new 35 mm lens, although I really do wish it has vibration reduction. Perhaps it might be a good idea to go into town and just walk some of the streets and practice with the lens.

Overall I’m happy with the way the project is shaping up. I feel that I am still missing some crucial types of images though – perhaps a decisive moment or two and I’d really like to make one or two portraits of someone’s hands while they are working. Hopefully this will pan out next week.

The Photographic Brief

In preparation for Assignment 1 we are asked to read pages 20 – 26 of Creative Photography: Context and Narrative by Maria Short. The relevant pages are about the photographic brief. I am just making a few bullet point notes in order to remind me of some of the salient points.

  • The brief will define the context of the final output. It may also contain information regarding conceptual approaches.
  • It is important to know what you are making photos of, as well as where and why. I know some of this might seem obvious, but it is important when it comes to putting together an artist’s statement as I have learned in my Landscape module.
  • Develop an affinity for what one is photographing, become part of the scenario, but at the same time remain sufficiently detached so as to be objective.
  • There are three kinds of briefs:
    • Student Brief
      • These briefs are usually fairly loose so that students can develop their areas of interest and develop a personal visual language
      • Workflow: initiate -> develop -> articulate ideas -> translate into photographs
      • Begin research as soon as possible. Present work at tutorials and group crits, participate in feedback/give and receive. Be constructive.
      • Responding to brief: read carefully, list key points, clarify learning outcomes within brief. Manage time, allow for research, experimentation, post-processing and printing. Share images in tutorials and crits. Practice verbalizing your idea, ask questions. Keep record of feedback in learning log.
      • Group Critique: Practice presentation, note how you want to present work/key points/questions
    • Self-directed Brief
      • Identify key areas of interest re conceptual approach and subject. Work on assignment alongside other work. This will allow for work to be less rushed and more time to percolate.
      • Work can develop in unexpected/unforeseen directions/ways.
      • Advice from Keith Arnatt: start with idea -> get result -> look at result (reiterative process) -> might give you a departure from original idea. This is not something you can preconceive.
      • Time: give enough time to develop idea through practice. Ideas can change/evolve in different ways. Taking pictures allows for ideas to assimilate and marinate with experience and interaction with subjects.
      • Personal connection with subject(s): two-way process. Remember social, psychological and physical nuances of people.
      • Developing ideas: Try 1 photo/day at same time -> identify which has more importance (time or place); collect inspiring photos in workbook; select topic and make a photographic collection; set a target 1/day/1/month photograph your subject, set aside time for research each week.
    • Professional Brief
      • ‘Pitched’ to client/funding body or response by photographer when approached by client.
      • Submit initial quote, offer ideas, samples of work.
      • Context of final outcome will inform conceptual, practical and financial considerations.
      • Gather as much information as possible at first point of contact.
      • Determine time to submit quote, as well as when & where to send it. Ensure there is enough time research/reflect on all priorities in order to respond to brief in professional manner.
      • Balancing brief & subject: Draw out personality of subject(s). Be aware of social and cultural climate/situations and incorporate into work wherever possible.

Of these three briefs, it is only the student and self-directed brief which are of main importance to me right now. I will probably only need to flesh out the professional brief once I get to level 3. I think I do follow most of the advice given above, but it is usually a good idea to recap and evaluate just to make sure I’m still in line with what I should be doing and not maybe skipping a step somewhere. I think that I could probably be a little more reflective in my work by following Keith Arnatt’s advice of getting an idea, then working it, looking at the result and repeating the process. I know I sometimes don’t reflect as much as I should, or at least get it written down and not keep it in my head as I’m prone to do.

Bibliography

Short, M. (2011) ‘The Photographic Brief’ In: Creative Photography: Context and Narrative. Lausanne: AVA Publishing.  pp.20–26.

Initial Visits to the Farmers’ Markets

Askew’s Organic Farmers’ Market

I took myself off to the Askew’s Organic Farmers’ Market on 1 May, 2019 hoping that the weather would hold off for the shoot. As luck would have it (ornot), there was a bit of a cloud burst just after I arrived and started photographing. The result was that I was taking cover with some of the farmers under their canopies and having a bit of a natter most of the time. I think it is a little early in the season for this market to be humming yet, as the fruit sellers are not there yet as the trees are still in blossom. So there were only the regular winter farmers here on this day which amounted to about 5 stalls. I was also trying out my new 35mm lens which I discovered doesn’t have vibration reduction so quite a few of my images were a little on the blurry side. I will have to get used to that lens.

Sorrento Farmers’ Market

Yesterday (11 May, 2019) I went to the market just up the road in Sorrento. What a difference! This is a well established market and has been running for over twenty years apparently. It is photographically also more interesting as its not just food/produce that is being sold, but various artisanal goods as well. I wasn’t able to get a good distance away for some of the wide angle shots, as the two rows of stalls are placed quite close to each other and I also found myself contending with very bright sunlight and deep shadows even though I was there fairly early on. But then the sun does rise at 4:00 am here in summer so by 9:00 am it is sitting quite high in the sky already. But I think I fared better with the new lens this time round. The people were extremely interested in what I was doing and very willing to be photographed. The two young men working at the coffee station immediately went into goofy posing modes as soon as they saw my camera and I quite liked the spontaneity of their actions, as it was documenting their joie de vie spirit. It was also nice to see young men showing a spirit of entrepreneurship instead of just sitting planted in front of a computer playing video games.

Not all the stall owners are at the market every week as some are on alternating weekends, while others are there on an occasional basis. So there will always be something different to photograph.  I had a great time chatting to some of the stall owners and building up a bit of a rapport. I’m looking forward to going back next week.

It was a really good day for me too, in that I obtained permission to shoot the local organically certified Irish micro brewery, Crannóg Ales, and Rebecca Kneen advised me which days would best suit and so I will be able to work on this over an extended period of time for one of my other assignments.

I also made contact with one of the ladies who works at the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge and she was very enthusiastic about me doing some documentary work at the Refuge. She has given me the one of the founder’s telephone number so that I can make contact with her and get permission there. I think this would make a fantastic longer-term project.

The images that I have posted here are only a few of the ones I took yesterday. I’ll have a better idea of my edits in a few weeks time.