Media City Images
Below are four images that I chose from the Media Studio Shoot.
The Infinity radio station is broadcast from the college by the students. This is a fully equipped working radio studio and was a great opportunity to get some interesting images. This image was taken after they two students had been playing with the controls for a while. The image was staged so they found it difficult to look and feel natural. I asked them to speak into the microphone and use the controls as if they were really making a broadcast and to just talk about the same things they would normally do. After a few shots they relaxed and actually began to enjoy it. This particular image saw them interacting with each other well and had a natural feel. I included the control panel and microphone so the viewer understands the importance of the location and what is happening. Without this the image would have looked like two friends laughing a joking.
I did not use flash as there was enough room light to use a lower ISO and I was using a fast fixed focal length lens and I had a wider aperture available to me. This let in more light providing me with the minimum shutter speed I wanted and gave me a nice shallow depth of field. I used the front student as my main point of focus and the lens blur ensured that he stood out from the background. The student at the back is not too blurred though and still makes up part of the scene.
For this next image I wanted to take a shot from an unusual angle. I was thinking about the image that was taken of Eminem in the studio when I took this. It shows 2 students using the controls of the radio station. I was careful to include the control panels and I had to move various boxes and bins out of the corner in order to get to this angle, it was extremely cramped and I could just about fit in the gap. I shot at eye level with the control panel and used the lines of switches as leading lines to take the eye through. If you were attempting to work out what was happening here just from the control panel it would be difficult to tell it was a radio station and you would most likely come to the conclusion that it is some type of music recording in process. In order to fully understand the image it would need to be included with the previous image. The image does work well on a standalone basis as an image advertising the college though. My previous images in this section had both students in the picture, this one only has the first person’s hands, I did this deliberately as the hands alone say enough about what the person is doing and that leaves the main focus on the one student at the back. When it was two students it was distracting as they competed against each other for attention.
I again used the available lighting in the room, with the slower lens my shutter speed dropped slightly but the subjects were not moving too quickly so it I did not get any motion blur. Because of the wide angle I was using then I had to reduce the distance between the lens and the control panel in order to get a shallow depth of field. Unlike the last image the middle of the image is in focus with both the foreground and background out of focus, this keeps the attention of the main subject.
The third image was taken in the recording studio. I chose this image as I wanted to make an image with a commercial feel that I believed would work well as a marketing image or prospectus image for the college so I decided not to include too much of the studio environment. I wanted to get an image where the viewer could imagine that some students were working away, one then becomes distracted, looks at the viewer, smiles thus giving the impression that ‘This college is a great place where I am happy’ before going back to work. In order to capture this I needed the environment to be busy without causing a distraction. The other student and the control panel worked well and I used a shallow depth of field to ensure that they were involved but the main subject still dominated. I then asked the student at the front to just work away on the control panel and I counted to three when he turned and faced the camera. I tried this twice and this was the first of the two images, this was the most relaxed and natural of the two, already by the second image the subject was showing signs of irritation.
This room was much darker so I was forced to boost the ISO to 3200, this risked noise but I was loathe to use flash. Even trying to bounce the light off the roof it still causes harsh shadows and the constant flashing soon annoys the subjects. I wanted to keep things stress free so I used the available light and risked the noise. The fixed lens allowed me to use a wide aperture creating a focal blur in that meant the background was still involved and formed part of the environment but did not distract from the main subject. The main lighting was coming from a large monitor and I liked the effect it gave. It also gave the image a yellow tint so I corrected the white balance in Photoshop.
I wanted to capture an image that through the environment tells the story of a typical day for students studying music media. I went into the main classroom and the light was much brighter meaning that I could lower the ISO and shoot at higher shutter speeds. I took a series of images from around the room but this one appealed to me because the subject is playing an instrument which he can only hear through his headphones. The person sat next to him is studying something on the screen and making adjustments as he plays.
The environment is made up of other students working on computers, music keyboards, monitors and other electronic equipment. I positioned myself at the desk height and used the computers and keyboards to lead the eye up through the image and produce nice repeating patterns. I used a shallow depth of field and placed the area of focus from about one quarter of the way into the image. The focus area is enough to ensure that the main subject is sharp and the secondary subject is just beginning to fall out of focus. The far subjects are sufficiently blurred to become part of the environment. Another reason I chose this image is because the students are concentrating on their work. When I first went into the room most people were watching me and it took a little while for them to relax and after a few shots it was like I was not even there.