OCA Photography Two: Documentary barry511915 Assignment Two


(Photography 2 Assignment 2
In preparation…
Revisit Chapters 4 and 5 in
Creative Photography: Context and Narrative.
The brief Produce eight images that, individually, have a narrative and convey a specific idea. You needn’t limit yourself to your immediate surroundings as you did in the previous assignment. Rather than focusing on a theme or activity, work on a concept. The more abstract the concept, the better. Abstract concepts name ideas, feelings, qualities or characteristics that are not directly perceived by the senses, e.g. hope, love, exploitation, sadness, freedom and greed. You can do this assignment in B&W or colour. Discuss with your tutor which medium is most appropriate for your chosen concept. Provide a short commentary (200 words) explaining your ethos and rationale along with your images.
Delivery For this assignment you need to publish a blog page. Thumbnails should link to high-resolution
Images. If you haven’t done this before, liaise with your tutor regarding the technical aspects of keeping a blog.) (https://www.oca-student.com/sites/default/files/oca-content/course-pdfs/ph2_documentary_260313.pdf) (Accessed 8/01/2018)


 The images below are to represent freedom without getting all deep into the politics of freedom they are just to celebrate the freedom we have now and hopefully even more in the future.

What does freedom mean it means being free to do the things I want to do without affecting others. However, it also means equal opportunities to pursue a better life.



I started off with just the idea of freedom and went on from there. I did not have any particular theme in mind each Image was shot on individual bases. I found it quite difficult to think of Images that weren’t the run of the mill and obvious;  I have viewed images under the heading of freedom for Ideas and found a lot of them are a bit predictable. I have taken inspiration from Jeff Wall’s Idea of Cinema photography. The egg shot evolved trying this that and the other to get at least a reasonable shot. As Wall says you start with an Idea and work at it and it becomes something else. The same with the nails, with these two shots I wanted to get images that are telling a story as well as a statement of freedom. The nail image l can tell different stories depending on the heading. While  I was making the nail Image, I thought it looked much better without the sand, but with the sand, the story was deeper it added more connotations to the Image.

The visual communication in each of the Images is freedom, the thread of freedom runs through each image. Each image tells a different story of freedom the first Image we can see the Runner but also the couple sat on the bench free to relax were and when they chose, the road sweeper hard at work free to earn a living. The shops also show freedoms that could be restricted if we did not have the freedom to do what we want. The betting shop shows that the people are free to spend their money as they chose.

In the constructed image of the chicks freed from the egg is only implied. The viewer will need to work out what is going on. Gregory Crewdson’s Images he would have started with the Idea and as he uses a lot of actors that give feedback on various aspects of the production. He changes it working at it until he is completely satisfied with the Image and just like Wall, said you start with an Idea, and it turns in to something else.

Visual punctuation

The size and shape of the Images do have a relevance to the overall presentation. Some images dictate the size or least the orientation of the image. I have found that when trying to put them on wordpress you are sometimes limited to the size, I haven’t been able to make the Images go full screen even after publishing, although I can make them larger as my computer is a touchscreen so I can pinch them out.


The Images below show Freedoms we sometimes take for granted

Freedom Images

After a telephone conversation with my tutor, I have now added a critique below each Image, giving my thoughts and the reasons behind the Images.

Freedom Runner Manchester

When I first came across the runners I thought to myself these will make some good images for this assignment and the images are ok. Viewing it now after some time has passed, I ask myself what is the image saying is it really sending a message of freedom or is it just an unusual image, after all, it not every day you find someone leaping off a lamp post. He does look free, but on the other hand, he could be running from the police and not be free much longer.

On reflection I would put this in what I would describe the run of the mill category, I don’t think it tells the viewer much other than there is a young man jumping in the air. Although it doses fit in with the brief.

Free To Splash

This Image is in contrast as to how

This was when I made the Image of the water skier jumping off the ramp and the sailing boats, I thought to my self you don’t get much freer than that even if confined the Manchester ship canal. The image was quite challenging as the speed varied and he would fall over before or just after the ramp, the wind was biting.

I made several Images of varied success, I have chosen this one of the water skier being in the air but also for the boats on the left forming a nice triangle, the building in the background mimicking the height of the Hilton building. In the distance, the moody skies and the golden tree on the left contrasting the unfinished building on the right.

The shot below was almost black and white with only a hint of colour, so I desaturated it. I know it looks a little out of place mixed in with the colour Images, but I like the image, so I have left it in.

As Free as a bird

I just like the image above and although it is a little cliche it does represent freedom not just the person rowing but also the bird is a metaphor for freedom.

Free To Grow

This is a constructed shot and is meant to represent freedom from the nest and the egg, as you can see the footprints show the mother’s footprints going to and from the nest and then eventually the smaller footprints of the chick eventually leaving the nest, a metaphor for freedom.

Free from Stress

With this image, I tried to look further into the potential meaning of an image that on the first view is not realised. I feel this images as several metaphorical implications and works well as freedom image.

Free to go where you want

This image is meant to be a bit of tong and cheek images it could have been taken by a dad or the driving instructor, but in reality, it was set up and taken by me to represent freedom to travel. It is a real image that is to say she had just passed her driving test. I suppose it as a metaphorical implication of more freedom we have as we get older.

Free To Rome

Each step we make as we get older is a step towards more freedom until we reach the age where we are free to make our own choices and the responsibility that comes with that, as in the image above.

Singing In the rain

This image was the first thoughts a metaphorical image. I originally wanted the model to be walking down a long main road, but the weather was against us, so I opted for this quiet road a the side of the reservoir I was lucky enough to be treated to the rainbow witch in its self is a metaphor for freedom.

Assignment Two Contact sheet of just some of the Images taken I shot too many to include them all these were picked at random.

2.Barry-Senior.docAssi2Report (1)


 I found this assignment a little challenging to visualise my first thoughts were to use the Idea of behaviour and although I was initially enthusiastic after a day of taking images in the centre of Manchester I have decided against it. My primary concern was that it seemed a little negative, as the more interesting behaviours were bad behaviours. Also, the people that were demonstrating these behaviours were people that were a lot less fortunate than me. I felt a little guilty showing these people at there worst when they needed help, and I wasn’t giving any, and although I probably had enough Images to make the assignment work, I decided against it. I started a new assignment around the Idea of freedom I discussed the Idea with my Daughter, and she seemed enthusiastic. I had seen a picture of a broken egg on the net, and I thought I could put a different twist on it and make a shot that represented freedom, so I made the egg shot. I had to work out how I could show the chicken free from its shell as I didn’t have a live chicken, I have achieved this by showing the footprints.

I had some free time, so I decided to the Lowery centre in Salford to view L.S. Lowery paintings and Photography by ( Clive Arrowsmith, See Study and research) While I was there I took the opportunity to make some Images, I was lucky as there were some water sports on the canal. The little girl shot is my granddaughter. I was thinking of possible shots that would represent freedom I remembered a line in the film the Wolf of wall street. Decapreo said to Jonah Hill, what will you do if your children are retarded, he was in a relationship with his sister, he said he would take them to the woods and let them run free, go free.

Jeff Wall says he gets a lot of his Ideas from reading; I got my Idea from a film. I tried to visualise images that would represent freedom without stating the obvious  I found this relatively tricky to do as the obvious just keeps spring to mind, the slave breaking his changes, the birds flying, a Horse running in a field,   and so on. I have tried to be individual taking my own ideas and turning them into Images that represent freedom, I think some are more successful in the message than others, but I do believe they all have at least a thread of freedom running through them.

While working on this assignment, I have visited the Tate gallery in Hull and at the same time the Hip Photography Festival. I found these visits very informative and would like to go on more but I don’t seem to be able to see anything going on in Manchester or even within 100 miles, but I will keep looking. The study visit to Hull was excellent and related to this assignment as I have mentioned in study and research, it is only because of the freedoms we had and worked for over the years that photographers are able to go about there profession. If I am sincere, I think my original Idea would have been more reliable as an assignment more interesting than the one I have chosen. The problem was the people I decided to shoot the homeless, I didn’t mind taking their picture but how I was going to use them was a problem for me, I just didn’t think it was fair. While shooting the homeless I did feel a sense of achievement that I had got some good or at least reasonable Images, they were REAL. I was pleased with myself, but when I thought about it, I realised I was a bit selfish. If I were putting them to better use, I would have been happy to use them. My freedom pictures are weak they lack punch and to me are at best average, I can’t really say why this is apart from the contrast I feel between the two Ideas. With the Homeless Images, some were powerful Images, and now I think I should have been selfishly used them instead but at the same time pleased I didn’t.  I now realise that the freedom Images are ok they are just different from the real-life Images of the homeless and you can’t really compare the two sets.


Below is a contact sheet for the Images from my first idea of Behaviour which I decided against.


Free Runners contact sheet Just a few of the shots taken.


The Image below I edited.

Edited Images