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  • Studio Techniques - Echo Workshop


    Here I have replicated Duffy’s studio portrait of famous pop musician David Bowie. Duffy was hired to photograph the front cover of ‘Alladin Sane’, the Bowie album. This is also one of the real Duffy contact sheets from the shoot.

    Technically, to produce this shoot I used two flash monoheads. One of them, I had facing the camera with a large fish fryer attachment as the back drop, this way I did not have to use two flash’s on the back drop. The second flash was used as a ring flash, this way I could replicate the glow in the eyes and the washed out face.

    As you can see from the diagram which I have created, the key flash being the ring flash is directly in the front of the model. This washes out the model with light whilst also enabling me to recreate the ring flash eye effect in the eye of Bowie. The back drop light simply creates a soft glow whilst acting as full white back ground.

    Camera and Lens

    I have decided to use the Canon 5D to make this image and used a 24mm - 105mm lens. The 5D will give a good quality and also not need a hot shoe attachment due to the flash port being built in. I then chose a zoom lens, as I won’t be able to move closer to the subject easily as I’m shooting through the flash ring on a light stand. The exposure was 1/125 at f.8 with a 100 ISO.

    As the image has alot of colour added through post production and make up, I have to edit a lot of things in lightroom and photoshop to replicate the original image. The hardest part of this image is simply Bowie’s distinctive face structure and eyes.

    Another problem I was faced with was the red cast across Bowie’s face that you can see in the image. To try and replicate this, I tried out using a red gel. However, this did unsurpringly create a red cast over the entire image no matter how much I tweaked it. To combat this, as well as Bowies strange eyes, I did edit in photoshop to recreate these factors.

    Generally, I am happy with my final result from recreating the Duffy image. I think that there are some differences but its clear that mine is an interpretation of her work.

    Other than these difficulties, I think that my shoot went well. All the technology was thought through with reasons behind the use and I feel I have had good experience with taking studio portraits. If I had more time to continue this project I would like to use all different models to recreate more of famous portraits from the same era.


    Mac Demarco // The Old Market // 19/5/2014

    Monday night saw the Canadian slack-rocker return to England’s south coast as Mac Demarco opened the UK tour for third album ‘Salad Days’ to a somewhat raunchy audience. The categorically mature and established nature of The Old Market was thrown out of the window, as the youthful nature of the sold out crowd created an atmosphere more suited to a Brighton club night.

    The 11-track release on label, Captured Tracks has landed DeMarco four hot dates around the UK as well as a huge summer tour, including performances at Wales’ Green Man Festival and Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.

    DeMarco’s popularity has increased rapidly since 2012 release, Rock n Roll Nightclub, which saw him burst onto the scene. Following albums, 2 and Salad Days have cemented the Canadian’s mark on the British indie-rock scene.

    15 minutes later than expected, DeMarco made his way on stage, probably fairly taken-aback by the extremely enthusiastic nature of the intoxicated pit facing him. Title track, Salad Days was eagerly welcomed, despite a technical hitch forcing most of the song to be played without any bass guitar. Oddly however, this sounded okay; maybe the work of a cunning soundman or just proof that it’s not particularly needed?

    Older tracks, such as The Stars On Keep Calling My Name were performed alongside the new material, which went down very well. The famous jizz-jazz’ style of DeMarco’s guitar playing jangled through, sitting above the simplistic style of an anonymous drummer, who seemed happy to keep his playing to a minimum, rather than influencing the characteristics of each track.

    The extended vocal ranges of the bassist and lead guitarist harmonised with DeMarco. This impressive technique had the ability to really stand out, however, it seemed to have an underrated presence, and was somewhat underwhelming.

    Quieter tracks, such as new single, Chamber Of Reflection frustratingly lacked authority, an aspect that should have shone through in live performance. Though I suppose we can only really put this down the venue. (Sorry TOM)!

    The (in)famous comical performance style seems to have become habitual to the band. These, along with the crowd’s own input added a large amount of humour to the show. Security also did their bit to join in on the fun, as a bouncer confronted a fan who had made their way onto the stage during I’m A Man, pushing him back off. Unexpectedly, DeMarco then took matters into his own hands, pushing the bouncer himself into the crowd. This was very well received by the audience, which erupted into a sea of hysterics.

    Mac’s natural ability on and off stage as well as a banter-full ‘fuck-you-establishment’ style made for a memorable night and probably a show that watchers will never forget. I personally won’t forget the moment when DeMarco ordered the crowd to kneel for a rendition of Neil Young’s ‘Unknown Legend’, during a short but very, very sweet encore. Regardless of a few minor technical issues, the musical ability and amusing antics of the four-piece made for a highly entertaining night, which was very much worth a tenner.



    Semiotics is the study of signs, or some times referred to as the ‘science of meanings’. The theory was first developed and coined by Ferdinand de Sassure and Charlie Sanders Peirce.

    The medium includes the study of signs and sign processes, indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication.

    One way of understanding semiotics is by looking at what we call the ‘signifier' and the 'signified’. The former is the object itself while the latter is the meaning conveyed by the signifier. For example in the photo above, we see the proud cowboy smoking a marlboro cigarette, this connotes an image of masculinity and pride. Whereas, what it really is, is just a man dressed as a cowboy on a photo shoot.

    One way I look at the idea of semiotics is by understanding the literal side of something whilst also addressing what it is that an object, image, statement may be suggesting or connoting.

    Semiotics are often broken down into these three branches:

    • Semantics: relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning
    • Syntactics: relations among signs in formal structures
    • Pragmatics: relation between signs and sign-using agents


    Kurt Vile and Pall Jenkins // All Saints Church // 13/04/2014

    Bright acoustics filled All Saints Church as the surreal location of the Philadelphian’s intimate solo performance made for a relaxing evening of obscure guitar plucking and breezy vocals.

    Anyone hoping for a beer-chugging mosh pit would have left bitterly disappointed as the audience sat courteously in the pews. A spotlight shone down on a casual-looking chair, placed on the stage in front of the altar. A personal feel seemed key to the show.

    Pall Jenkings warmed up the audience from behind his dark sunglasses with a minimalistic performance. The Black Heart Procession guitarist showed off his traditional style, beginning each by playing different chord patterns on a loop station, before adding heavier guitar phrases. Jenkings also used a musical saw, played with a bow to create eerie melodies on top of his looped guitar parts, both exciting, and slightly worrying seated audience members.

    Kurt Vile then took his seat after infront of the contented audience. Varying between two guitars and a banjo, he performed songs from 2013 album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze. Expanding riffs drifted around as vocal phrases were pleasantly repeated before wandering off into harmonious drones, Distinguishing lyrics was a challenge in itself, as they seemed to lay far behind instruments in the overall mix.

    Attention was drawn to most things other than the performer as watchers gazed around the building while the dreamy natural reverb of Vile’s twiddling guitar and hazy vocals peacefully resonated around the room. This was pleasant but the civilized nature of the show seemed to become a little restless as the show progressed. Vile’s eccentric plucking style was also often hard to comprehend, with riffs continuously repeated in a slightly different way over and over again creating an odd, staccato nature to many tracks.

    Vile’s passive musical style was warmly complimented by the venue’s tranquil surroundings. Although the respectful mood wasn’t particularly enthralling, the carefree playing style and unconventional venue choice created a serene atmosphere that was overall, weirdly aesthetically pleasing.

    All text and imagery produced by Drone Print.


    Studio Techniques - The Echo Workshop 2

    For this project our brief is to produce images that reinterpret known, important photographic images. To do this we will demonstrate the use of studio techniques, through portraiture with the use of a camera format of our choice (analogue or digital). 

    With the above image we chose to recreate a portrait shot of Michael Caine by the renowned studio photographer, David Bailey. To do this we first had to identify the type of lighting used and the directionality of the light (3x lights lighting subject from the left and background). We then had to work to try and recreate the exact pose and position of Michael Caine in the David Bailey photograph, so that we could produce the exact echo of the image. Above is the worksheet detailing the steps we went through to recreate the image. 

    Studio Techniques - The Echo Workshop 3

    With this image we chose to recreate a shot by Irvinn Penn, taken in the 1950s on film. With this image we identified that we needed soft lighting, so set up one simple large fish fryer facing to the right of the model. The hardest part about recreating this image was trying to get the pose and position of the model the same as in Penn’s photograph. 

    (Source: izzzybellaa)

    My four page article, entitled ‘State of Mind’, printed on standard tabloid newspaper.
    For my documentary piece I focused on recording street portraits of people when they are in a specific state of mine when alone. These images were the finals used in print, accompanied by a relevant text.
    This is my final price for the Colour insight project, however I also have physical a3 prints of my selected favourites.


    TOY // The Old Market Brighton // 18/02/14

    It was a typically dark return home for the Brighton psych rockers at The Old Market on Tuesday, as they wowed the audience with their mysterious build ups and eerie on stage persona.

     I first saw Toy play to an unflatteringly thin crowd at the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury last summer. They impressed me a lot then with their ghostly synth sounds and dreamy melodies, however, they seemed a little restricted in their approach. The recent release of second album, Join The Dots has allowed far more airtime, which has clearly had a positive effect on the confidence of the group.

    Instrumentally, they have become significantly tighter and the music has a less by the book feel to it. Songs were often used simply as a starting point; expanding into progressive, mind spinning instrumentals. The music gained momentum as expansive drum beats added to ambient build-ups. This was particularly effective during recent single, Join The Dots, bursting into faster, heavier rock after a long, monotonous intro. However, guitarist, Dominic O’Dair’s eccentric playing techniques and over complicated guitar solos sometimes overcrowded the sound, drowning out Tom Dougall’s vocals.

     The gloomy stage presence added a visionary aspect to the dark sounds. Vacant stares at their audience whilst playing through the set gave a haunting feel to the gig. Frontman, Dougall stood elegantly poised throughout, like a member of a moody glam rock band from the 70s, whilst others distressingly threw themselves around in a sea of Fender Jaguars.

    Toy are clearly still a vital part of Heavenly Recordings’ psychadelia revival. The continuous guitar drones and weird synth patterns created a chillingly atmospheric show, and although there were a few over keen moments, the explorative nature of the band is excitingly authentic.

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