Archives for posts with tag: portrait

At the start of the year traditionally people reflect on the year gone by and take some time to look at what they want to achieve for the year ahead. So what do I want to work towards in terms of my photography? I want to capture more meaningful and narrative images consistently. Throughout the last year I have worked hard on creating images regularly and of a consistent quality however I feel that I would be happier with fewer, far more meaningful images. I have definitely found myself more comfortable working in black and white, shooting on film and with a 35mm lens or equivalent. I find myself gravitating towards high contrast black and white images and want them to include more narrative, more layers. I have recognised a series that I want to further develop in the theme of myself included in reflections / shadows in my street photography and would like to put together a small self published book for myself containing my best images for the year. I would like to take some workshops and start working on some more conceptual photograph series that I have in my mind. My ultimate goal is to set myself up ready to exhibit some of my photographs as fine art for the next year. And that about wraps up my goals for the year, I think they are definitely achievable and I will have to work hard on developing projects and concepts that will hopefully be interesting and have artistic merit. I guess we will see how far I get in the year ahead! Happy New Year, I hope you achieve all that you set your mind on! – Michael Jolliffe.

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Voigtlander R2M, 35mm 1.4 Nokton, Kodak Tri-X 400.

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©Michael Jolliffe
Visit: www.michaeljolliffe.com

I wasn’t planning on getting any more cameras just yet but whilst shooting at the markets, my girlfriend Jess pointed out this Polaroid MiniPortrait 402. It wasn’t pretty, being covered in dust and very grubby and the seller wasn’t sure if it worked but I took a chance on it and scored it for $30aud. Got it home and cleaned it up, looks pretty and works fine! No focus adjustment, comes with a built in tape measure, focus is at 1.2 meters. My next project is to make a set of lens caps so that I can do a quadruple exposure whilst covering 3 of the lenses at a time, that way I can have 4 unique shots instead of 4 of the same! Has a removable back and takes the same pack film as the land cameras, which is now made by Fujifilm! Shutter speeds are 60, 125 and bulb. Aperture settings are 8, 16 and 32 with half stops in between.

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The Dolls of Newtown, Sydney.

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I look at creating photographs that are slightly different than what we see in the real world but are still easily identifiable and relatable. With the use of angles to black and white and over saturated colour, composition, hopefully I make a representation that is not just documentary but different enough from the real world that the average person could see it as being art. That is my surreal intention.

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I look at things to strip back to a clean minimalist form. Composition in black and white helps clear clutter in my photos and with contrast I can further direct the eye around the photograph. I think black and white lends itself to a pleasing candid and nostalgic mood.

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I never set out to photograph children, in fact I thought of children photography as something I wanted to avoid! Whenever I thought of it I imagined cringe worthy shots of children in awkward poses propped against a generic background or babies in pumpkins (it was done and then imitated to death). So, I surprised myself by enjoying photographing kids their own terms. They will never do what you want, you have to be cool, gain their trust. Put the camera down and play with them. When you are no longer a stranger, then you can begin documenting them in their natural environment. The results will be how the parents and family know and see their kids, dirty faces, emotions, laughs and everything you wanted to capture in the first place and while having a bit of fun being a kid.

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A trip to the local park with my daughter in Merrylands, NSW, Australia. So much energy and emotion in my little angel. She is a joy to photograph. I think that without the distraction of colour, the raw emotion is more present. There is always a time for colour, but I tend to see everything in black and white first.

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Last few days of shooting. Sneaking up on lizards and a portrait shoot in the Blue Mountains after recent bush fires.

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I would like to share a little about this photograph of my daughter Emiliana. It was taken a few weeks ago, I had decided to take the afternoon off my day job and take my daughter down to her favourite local park. I brought along one of my smaller body camera’s with a 35mm lens, just in case anything caught my attention that may be worth photographing. Instead, I ended up running all over the playground with my daughter, laughing and having a great time. She kept going back to the flying fox and I thought this could make a great shot, at least as a family snapshot for some fun. As she is a little bit too short, I had to lift her onto the seat at the start and run to the end to stop her falling off, because it ends pretty suddenly and almost sends the kids flying horizontally! After a few times down and back I thought that I would give a go at jogging alongside whilst taking a few snaps as we got near the end and then cushion the finish by gently slowing her speed. Because I was so close, the 35mm was perfect, adding a sense of intimacy to the scene, I chose my angle to be able to clearly see Emilianas’ face and a wide aperture for a some nice background blur or bokeh. This was my favourite from the few that I captured and I love her expression.

Take care and thanks for reading!

Michael Jolliffe

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