National Trust – Final Evaluation

This project has now come to a end and with everything in place and ready for hand in it was time to give you my final evaluation.

I started off this project pretty worried and was not looking forward to it as I have never shot real landscape photography before. This was not a strong point for me and I had no experience in this type of photography. It has taken me months of research to gain the right amount of knowledge in how to take a good landscape photo and I now feel extremely confident in my approach. I also had no knowledge of The National Trust and this project has made me realise how important their job is and what they are doing for the future generations to come.

I learnt during this project what the National Trust would have wanted from a project like this as my client. I also learned that during this project I had to take on the role not only as the Photographer, but the Art Directer and the Client at times as well. The National Trust’s job is to protect, preserve and maintain the culture, heritage and history of nature in every form. I choose to work on Cliff Erosion throughout my project and I learned a considerable amount of information of how many years it takes for erosion to happen, what different types of chalk and rock there is and why the National Trust are protecting it. This is reflected in my final photos and my research. I feel confident I have done the best I can to make this project the best it could be and the time and effort that has gone into this project is a very considerable amount.

If I ever have to shoot Landscape for a client this project has given me the knowledge and practice to do that now. I also am really happy with the confidence I have gained from doing this project traveling on my own around areas I was not familiar with. I learned the importance of a Recce and how important planning was with weather conditions ect. I also built a closer bond with my father during the lifts he gave me to and from some of the destinations (White Cliffs Of Dover, Birling Gap & Seven Sisters, Horsey Windpump). I have even developed my relationship and made good contacts with the Flash Centre in London and rented out some very expensive equipment and built trust with them now so If I ever need anything they will help me out when I need it.

A few problems for me though was the fact we are shooting landscapes however the layouts provided by our tutors for the posters requires mostly portrait shots rather than landscapes like the brochure. This made it extremely difficult for me as I don’t feel like you can always fit everything in so perhaps the answer to that would be more closer detail shots next time. Another problem I came across was when I went to Dorset, I only packed one pair of jeans for the trip and when falling over unexpected I had to wear my formal trousers for one day of the trip whilst getting the jeans washed in the Hotel. I also was unfortunate in Dorset to have unexpected bad weather and had to cancel the Isle of Purbeck shoot, leaving me wishing I had possibly booked a few more days than planned.

The biggest problem of all was when I done a recce for Horsey Windpump. My dad drove us all the way to the destination taking around about 4/5 hours! and when we got to the postcode given online it wasn’t the right place. We was in a derelict farmhouse in the middle of no where so then my dad then got out his map and helped me get their when the sat nav failed on us. Once arriving I was hugely disappointed as their was nothing around and the windmill itself was being restored and not currently working. This was a complete wasted day but it made me realise how important a recce is because otherwise I could have gone during my week to shoot and would have messed up my plans big time.

If I could do the whole project again I would learn from some of the mistakes from above and also I would have liked a assistant with me if the brief had of allowed it, as at certain times it was very tricky to carry everything and do everything all on my own when in Dorset. It also would have really helped if I had of passed my driving test so this is definitely something I need to get sorted by the time I graduate University. I also would be more cautious about going to close to the cliff edge in certain locations as I had a fair few times I could have fallen over the edge. I also would have liked to have been able to have stayed until Sun-Set in certain locations but this was not possible as my hotel was too far away so perhaps next time book a hotel closer to the action!.

On the technical side of things I have taught myself how to colour grade because of this project and now I will be able to apply this to all of my future shoots. After watching various tutorial videos from Phase One and Lynda I have a clear understanding of how it all works. Another great thing I have learnt from Phase One tutorial videos is how to shoot Landscapes on manual and without a filter and still manage to capture the sun ect in my shots (shooting F-stop 3.5 with a ISO of 50 and a shutter speed of 2,000th of a second) and also they have taught me how to shoot long exposures of up to a minute. This was information I would have not known until this project pushed me in to learning it all. I also got to try out the 35mm Phase One Blue Ring Lens from the Flash Centre for the first ever time. Also stacking has been applied to some of my photos via Helicon Focus a application I hadn’t used until this project came into play.

This project was brilliant! and has changed me and made me a different more positive person from it. Knowledge is power and with the new knowledge I have attained I feel I am one step closer to becoming a real professional photographer. A project I started off with hate slowly turned into a project I loved more than any I have completed yet. I hope you have enjoyed sharing this journey with me courtesy of my blog and if you ever get the chance I really recommend the places I visited as this has proven to me personally that England can be just as beautiful as any other country in this world and its right on your own doorstep.


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