Monthly Archives: January 2015

‘Image 17’

After showing my work to the class, I was able to decide now which re-photgraph to use as my final large print. Image 17 was an almost unanimous decision, however I would need to do a lot more work to it! For starters, I had made the archival image too opaque, the printers may not be able to decipher between the two photos and the archive shot wasn’t clear enough for its details to be fully appreciated by viewers. The tree line that showed through the huntsman’s chest didn’t look aesthetically pleasing and distracted from the rest of the image. I would need to start fresh in photoshop with new layers and unedited versions of each photos (archive and re-photo) with fresh eyes and clearer vision of where I wanted the image to go.

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The UK Squirrel Accord

“As a UK Squirrel Accord signatory, you are invited to a meeting on Tuesday 27 January at the Linnaen Society, Piccadilly, London W1J OBF to discuss proposals for the implementation of the Accord. The meeting is expected to run from 10:30am to 1:30pm, including a sandwich lunch.

Forestry Commission England would also like to use this opportunity to discuss the revised squirrel policy and implementation of the action plan. For those of you who have an interest in England policy delivery and have received notice from Rebecca Isted, this meeting is expected to run from 1:30pm to 4pm on 27 January at the same location. Other stakeholders will join this meeting.”

I was extremely lucky to get an invite to this event. A meeting that has been waiting to happen for years – perfect timing for my project! On a personal level, it was amazing to see so many people in one room fighting for a cause that my Dad has been fighting for as long as I can remember. I was rather taken aback (in a good way!) I was a bit hesitant to use my camera to start, not wanting to make a noise whilst people were speaking, but I soon gained in confidence and started walking round the room as the signatories spoke. It was really interesting to listen to everyones politics –  something I wasn’t aware of existed in terms of squirrels! I guess there is politics in literally everything. Whilst I was taking photos throughout, I feel the day was more beneficial to me as an information resource rather than for the images I got out of it. I didn’t get any ground breaking shots but I did get an insight into international conservation charities and the fight for red Squirrels (patroned by HRH Prince of Wales) in the UK. I also made valuable contacts and I was introduced to everyone there who now know my name and since meeting me are more than happy to help me out, be it visiting their own charities, publishing my work or passing on my contact details to other organisations. The Accord want to use my images for their own publicity/internal use, but I still need to work out how I want to use them in my book. Whether I have serious messages connoted by the photos or just use the more “jolly” images.

I haven’t got THE picture, of a shouting match in a board room, or tears, or an escalation of happiness… they are all quite subtle and subdued so they won’t stand alone. I wish I’d seen Joel Sternfeld’s When it Changed before I went to the meeting. The room was very small and I was just too close to my subjects, what I needed was my longer lens and some distance from the people. That would have given me the opportunity to capture true emotion on their unsuspecting faces like Sternfeld. It’s very powerful seeing such intense portraits of people of importance in a significant meeting – I would have liked to get similar shots of all the heads of these international conservation charities and caption them with their authorial role in the charity world. Instead I only really got direct portraits when the subject was looking at me which rather defeats the point of capturing their initial emotion to topics raised at the meeting.

I ended up being more interested in the ‘post it notes’ used to vote with for what everyone deemed to be the most important topics to work on first. The signatories and attendees of the meeting voted that “Public Awareness and Education” was the most important thing to focus on, followed by “Landowner and Local Group Engagement”, “Co-ordination and Communication” and “Research and Development”. So its dealing with people that is a current theme running in the top topics to focus on and spend time and money on. I want my book to be an accessible means of publishing the red squirrel struggle to a general audience of a wider community than just people who seek out the information. I envisage a plain grey portrait book with just the word RED written on the front in red. Hopefully that might make people wonder what its about then pick it up… I still need to work on it! Overall I am very grateful that I got to attend this day and it has been invaluable in my own personal understanding of the battle against grey squirrels and the public belief that they are “cute and grey and fluffy and shouldn’t be harmed”.

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Squirrel Accord Contacts

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Initial Major Documentary Project Idea


I started this module on a very different path to the one I’m on now! Whilst I have chosen not to pursue this idea for now, I have made extremely valuable contacts that I will be able to follow up with in the future if or when I decide to continue with this project – the 2016 Rio Olympics my target!! I started volunteering at Rugby For Heroes ( and was in contact and met an injured soldier who agreed to document his life with a disposable camera for me. I also visited Help for Heroes rehabilitation centre Tedworth House ( and made contact there to follow up with for this project. Whilst it has taken a back seat for now I feel that I could continue with it when I saw best fit in the future. 

Scan 10Start of the squirrel project:

Scan 78

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Initial Editing

First I opened my images in Camera Raw and tweaked any adjustments I needed to make, then opened all of the re-photos  taken at one scene. I opened up the archival image in photoshop and compared it to each re-photo and picked which image worked best. I duplicated the layers into a new document and started editing there, calling them by the number I have from the start to keep it systematic. It was only when I was actually in photoshop that I fully realised just how precise my shooting needed to be and was glad I had a variety of shots to choose from. Working with different layers and opacities, I managed to make a start with my editing. I found that if I worked on one image for too long I lost the ability to truly “see” it and so would move onto another and return at a later date with fresh eyes to continue editing on a previous piece. I then showed my progress in class and received very beneficial feedback which made me re-look at my editing.

I had not seen how crucial the role of people were in my images, blindsided by the word “landscape”. It was class feedback that made me see the deeper messages in my re-photography and realise that it was the presence of humans that made my final photos successful. Thus I went back through my 22 photos and removed 2 that were proving exceedingly difficult to edit due to my miss calculation of where I was standing when I took the photo to where the archival image was taken from, and looked at my work with the intent of emphasising the presence of human life – highlighting how frail we are compared to the architectural structures that remain for generations. Once I was happy with an edit I moved it as a JPEG into a new file called “20” and kept the PSD files separate. From class feedback I also was able to decide on my final large print.

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The Print Space

My first visit to the print space before Christmas was an invaluable experience. It gave me the opportunity to see the place and facilities available to me without the pressure of needing a print done! I could ask questions prior to shooting/post production so I always had in my mind the opportunities that could be available to me or possible. I was also able to visualise my images on different paper types by looking at all of their samples – not to mention leaving with my own sample pack! It relaxed me being able to visualise where I could go to get my prints done and knowing they would be able to help me out if I so required. Below are notes I made at the time:



Prepare to Print – About flattening – 8-bit file preparation ready to go. Send your files Tiffs NOT J-pegs (as these will be compressed)

Soft proofing – using Print space paper profiles (eg Fuji Crystal Archive)

Downloadable Profiles for your own computer – Mac and PC (click on download print profiles button)

My sample pack:


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Quick Costing Consideration

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I need to start thinking about my final output/costs whilst I continue to edit my images. I will need to pay for printing the images (one 750mm x 500mm with a 10mm border for mounting and eight minimum at 10x8inch), postage of the images (if not collecting), mounting of my main image and sleeves/presentation for 10×8 prints. I also need to consider time when ordering prints, I must allow for postage and mistakes when ordering prints and mounting. This will require excellent time management skills and sticking to personal deadlines as well as class deadlines.

SQUIRTY INK – Note Bleed sizes and factor this into your print size when outputting final work for exhibition.

Cost to mount supplied prints onto 5mm black foamex PVC board (no lamination)

75cm x 50cm @ £26.00 each

60cm x 60cm @ £24.00 each

75cm x 25cm @ £18.00 each

Excludes VAT

** Add minimum 10mm – 20mm bleed around all edges – No crop marks required **

Turnaround – please allow 3-5 working days turn-around as we may need to order black foamex stock as we usually only stock white.

Please note our NEW office address as from 24th November 2014.

All deliveries and correspondence should be sent to:

Squirty Ink

Unit 53, Space Business Centre,

Tewkesbury Road,


GL51 9FL.

t: 01242 422321

m: 07990 544851


Use their price calculator for more detailed pricing – All prices are for C-Type Photographic prints from digital files.

Access it here

Costs (as of Jan 2015) Including VAT.

Post times vary – Check before order and allow for mounting time (see above).

75cm x 50cm @ £28.02

60cm x 60cm @ £42.00 – note price!

75cm x 25cm @ £17.52

Print-space Technical Help and Guideance


Matt has a limited supply of Hannemuhle Cotton Rag paper (ideal for really subtle work or black and white digital printing) – Reserve in advance to avoid last minute disappointment.

Prices on application – See Matt for details or contact


You are required to produce a minimum of 8 10×8 prints. The cheapest and fastest way is to use the Darkroom in Cheltenham and bulk order more than 10 prints at one time (share printing costs).

See here:

Extra Curricula

Print boxes are desirable but are not a requirement of this module. Portfolio boxes and sleeves can be purchased from Silverpint.

Cheaper CXD grey boxes are a cheaper way to present prints alongside clear sleeves×10/product/71010/BXPADS3363/

For those considering larger portfolio sizes (in advance of a potential portfolio FMP submission), then its best to produce them at the same time via Printspace or similar Photolab – This all depends on your preferences. A good portfolio size is 12×16 inches – Good for reviews, interviews etc. See above links for prices presentation etc.

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Re-Photography Contacts

rephotocontact <<< Clickable PDF for contact sheets

I managed to shoot over several days of SUNSHINE!! England held out for me! So I will be able to contrast the bright modern day with the black and white archive photos, creating a visual clash of decades within one photo.

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