City of Glasgow College Graded Unit 2 HND 2C: The Plan

Scott CJ McKelvie HND 2C

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 22.43.58I have always had a great fascination and love for things relating to the natural world which is part of the reason why I got into photography. Beautiful landscapes, nature and wildlife in their natural habitat really inspired me. For my graded unit I plan to create a series of images based around Scottish wildlife. From my research I came across many wonderfully talented wildlife photographers with inspirational work. A great example of this would be the photographer Art Wolfe who provides some fantastic examples of a variety of techniques that I could use for my own personal project. This includes shallow and extended depth of field, macro, fast and slow shutter speed, as well as wide angle and telephoto shots. Some good examples of his work demonstrate the use of slow shutter speed using a pan technique for creative movement blurring the background.

Another thing I like about Art Wolfe’s work is his ability to capture the viewers eye. For instance in one of his photographs an owl camouflaged with a tree or in another photograph a giraffe blends with its surroundings that keeps the observer searching. His work also includes a variety of landscape environmental shots which I found quite inspiring. I want to be able to show a mixture of environmental landscape images where the wildlife is shown in its surroundings and natural  habitat. Knowing that photographers spend days, weeks and sometimes months with wildlife I cannot guarantee capturing the wildlife doingScreen Shot 2017-03-20 at 22.39.28 something dramatic in action. However, this remains an ambitious target and I feel that if I capture this it will certainly be a nice bonus.

Another photographer that stood out with fine examples of wildlife was Frans Lanting. He shows a variety of images with different lighting, colour and a mixture of other techniques such as slow and faster shutter speeds. I know from research and in my own past experience wildlife photographers will sometimes spend weeks or even months just to get that single stunning shot. My goal therefore would be to try and show the creature in such a way that it looks like it is in its natural habitat by using different techniques. Also to capture a variety of landscape shots of their habitat under a variety of weather conditions will bring a different look and feel in both lighting and atmosphere. Overall I aim to ensure the images of their habitat relate to the creatures I capture. It must be noted that as previously mentioned nature photographers spend a massive amount of time photographing and living amongst nature and that for what I am doing I have a limited amount of  time. I want my final 20 images to turn out to be the best.

The weather may be an issue for certain images but I am not letting that get in my way. With sufficient planning I’ll need to make sure I can get the images I want with sunny weather or sunsets. Travelling and expenses isn’t an issue and I have a fair idea of locations to visit to capture images of wildlife. The only down side for ensuring that I capture wildlife is that I will need to restrict myself to visiting wildlife centres and parks. Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 22.35.49Nonetheless it’s manageable within the limited timescale allocated for the final submission.

There are a number of places that I plan to visit to capture images of wildlife such as; Edinburgh Zoo, Five Sisters Zoo, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Highland Wildlife Park, Black Isle Wildlife Park, Glencoe, Loch Lomond and the Scottish Seabird Centre. I plan to also capture landscape photographs in various places relating to the wildlife such as; Glencoe, Loch Linnhe, the Cairngorms and North Berwick. I also plan on booking day sessions with wildlife photographers that will give me an opportunity to capture wildlife in their natural habitat, locations unknown.

I can say confidently that I’m competent with the skills I have acquired and I expect to capture a variety of shots between the shallow and extended depth of field. An example would be the use of an extended depth of field for landscape shots and a variety of shallow depth of field as well as extended when photographing the animals. I would like to capture birds in flight using a faster shutter speed. I also hope to capture  some pan shots, again relating to slower shutter speeds to capture some motion perhaps of birds in flight. For smaller creatures such as insects I would be keen to capture a variety of macro closeup shots. Depending on the available light I may use a flash.

Rsq-03991For my 20 final graded unit prints I want each individual print to be of the best quality and so I plan to get these final images printed in A3 size on metallic paper. I think this will give the final prints a nice shine. Although having analysed the difference between  metallic and lustre the metallic will really only show best for certain images. The 20 final graded unit prints will come Rsq-0302to an estimated cost of £160 and will be mounted on 3 inch foamex which effectively doubles that estimate to a total of £320. For my exhibition prints I plan on getting two large A1 size prints that will also be printed on metallic paper. I was recommended for A1 sized prints to be mounted on 5 inch foamex where the total estimated cost for both A1, 5 inch foamed mounted metallic prints for exhibition will be £132.

I plan on being well organised keeping track of the weather ensuring that each week I have sufficient images and other material. I also plan to update a blog with information before each shoot with a written plan as well as detailing the results after each shoot. I am dedicated to working hard and allocating time for post processing work including edited contact sheets. I am pretty confident that I can complete my final 20 images with post processing and workbook as well as the evaluation within 5 weeks. I do need to take into consideration the length of time for travelling to certain locations and finding days with better weather. Therefore on days where it is cloudy I will experiment with dramatic shots on location. My target would be to capture at least 3 of my best images per week. This should give me sufficient time to reshoot any images if required. Since I’m skilled in Adobe Photoshop CC and competent with image editing I am confident that I will have each final image completed in post process in less than a day with the creative updated images in my workbook blog.

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