My Photography Work Experience With Archibald Photography.
Text and images by Hugo Baillie, 4th year student at Biggar High School.
This week was my photography work experience. As with many people I see work experience as quite an important event so I didn’t just choose any job that I had no interest in, I chose to come and work with Mark. I was a little nervous as I had never really done any professional photography before and the thought of breaking a priceless camera lens scared me. But the first day went very well. After being dropped of by my dad, Mark grabbed some cameras and some lunch and we both got in the van and headed to the Falls of Clyde. When we arrived we took the equipment out the back of the van and began our walk to a view point. When we’d found the entrance we walked along the path until the view point where Mark set up the tripod and the camera on top. He then proceeded to explain to me how changing the aperture effected the amount of light allowed into the lens and how the shutter speed effected the fluidity of the photo that you were taking. He challenged me to try and take 2 photos; one where the water fall that we were facing looked like it had been frozen in place and one where the waterfall looked as if it were still moving. After a couple of tries I came out with 2 results that I was pretty happy with. We then folded the tripod and set off further down the hill to find the second view point. When we arrived I set up the tripod and camera. Mark then told me he was going to go for a walk and leave me there to take some photos. I spent the next 5 or so minutes taking photos of the cascading waterfall, of the vibrant oranges and red of the autumn trees and of the large natural basin that the waterfalls flowed into. When Mark arrived back I presented him with a collection of new photos that I was happy with. We then, again, packed up the stuff and headed back to the van. With all the the stuff packed up we started up and drove off to New Lanark to continue our photo taking. On arrival we had our lunch and then headed to the visitor centre to inquire as to where we could find the Old Burial Grounds.The woman at the desk told us where to go and we followed her instructions. When we got there Mark used the sign to the burial grounds to enlighten me in the art of using focus to make the background blur. After a quick go at trying focus and succeeding we continued our walk to the grounds. The Burial Grounds were quite fascinating. Head stones dating around the 1800’s and 1900’s were dotted all over the place, some partly submerged, some on their back and some standing. We proceeded to walk around taking photos of the different burial stones. I had to use all my new found knowledge to take the perfect photo. It was a great place to test the aperture because some stones were under the trees in the dark and some where out in the open in the light. Happy with the photos we had taken Mark suggested we went for a walk along the Clyde with the intention of me snapping some great shots without any input from Mark. I would say I succeeded in that as well. On a 20 minute stroll i managed to take loads of nice photos with one photo that I’d say was my favourite of the day. Happy with the outcome we got back in the van and headed home.
The second day of photography work experience was a little less thrilling. I arrived and Mark got my photos from the day before onto the computer. He then sat and explained how to use the editing software and what changing dials like exposure and contrast did to my photos. He then left me to it while he worked in his office in the other room. It was really exciting seeing how my images had turned out. I spent a good 3-4 hours going through every photo, deciding whether i wanted to keep them then editing the ones that i thought looked good. That was basically it for my second day.
The prospect of the third day didn’t fill me with excitement. A meeting. But I was wrong, It was actually very informative. We arrived at Stonehouse then went straight to the meeting room to meet all of Mark’s new colleagues. They were all very nice and welcomed me as part of the team (even though I wasn’t). My main objective for the meeting was to try taking minutes. I didn’t succeed. I spent my time, instead, listening to all their views for their new project, and staring at the biscuit tin formulating a plan in my head to try and get a biscuit without disturbing the meeting. I never did execute my plan for the biscuits though as, soon the biscuit tin was passed around and I managed to satisfy my greed. After the meeting Mark told me I was to be the photographer for the head shots of the team. Even though I was nervous I feel I did quite a good job. Afterwards Mark told me I was to go around Stonehouse and photograph some interesting things. I set of on my walk and found some very interesting…things.This time I tried a lot of photos from different angles. Happy with what I had produced I walked back to the meeting place. Nothing important really happened after that. The day was very interesting and educational and I met lots of new people who I hope do well with their new project, which is entitled Make Your Way
And that brings us to now, thursday ,the day that I’m writing this. I have definitely enjoyed my week with Archibald Photography and have learned a lot of new things and possibly found a new career path. I am very happy with the experiences and knowledge I’m leaving with and hope that I can put them to good use in the future.
This is an example of the difference of shutter speed The one on the left was taken with a fast shutter speed. Being fast it makes it look like the water has just frozen in mid air. The photo on the right was taken with a slow shutter speed so it can take in more information. Being slow gives the photo a feeling of movement with the overlapping of the water.
The right hand photo is an example of using selective focus. I used the camera to focus on the leaves in the fore ground and blur out the background. I think it is really effective and brings out the centre image.
The photo on the right is one of my favourite photos as I think it looks really good because of its symmetry and because the light green tree stands out a lot from all the dark green trees behind it.
These are some of my other favourite photos. I like them because they show all the amazing autumn colours and look really bright and happy.
I really love this photo I have of the waterfall flowing into the massive basin surrounded by the awesome colours of autumn and the steep eroded walls.
Stonehouse was full of amazing colours and plants. I used black and white to show that both photos that are the same can still look incredible with and without colour.
I think this photo shows off the true beauty of autumn. The bright oranges and reds make the photo really stand out.
The photo on the left was one I took inside the meeting place. I looked up to notice these round lights and lined them up symmetrically to take the photo. In the editing software I made it black and white which I feel helps bring out the shape of the lights and the symmetry.
Here are the rest of my photos-
Hugo has been absolutely brilliant to mentor over the past week and has produced some genuinely fantastic, individual work. These images are entirely Hugo’s own, from the capture (completely manually controlling exposure) to the post processing through the text writing to the web-publishing of the final results. In between times, he was also given the task of taking some corporate headshots and managed this potentially nervy experience wonderfully well!
The quality of what Hugo has produced is absolutely outstanding considering the huge amount of information and new techniques he has had to learn in such a short space of time. He has a great future ahead of him and is a young man with real talent.
The only thing I would comment on is this: Hugo…next time just ask for a biscuit…
Here are some portraits of the artist at work.