Photo Essay Evaluation

For my photo essay, I chose to do gig photography to show the music scene in Hull. These types of images are likely to be used in magazines with reviews. Due to this theme, I went to a lot of different gigs at different venues in Hull.

When I looked into Kevin Westenberg’s photography, I noticed he used colours to represent the musicians genres. For example, indie artists have very soft, dark colours and lighting. Which is what inspired me to take the below image, because I thought the colours worked well together to present the indie band.


Ami Barwell, the other photographer I researched, presents her images in a different way to Westenberg because they are all very dark with no use of colour at all. To me, this presents all the musicians as very rock and roll and makes them seem like iconic figures. Due to this, I used a black and white filter on most of my photographs because I thought it presented the bands and musicians better. I also felt that when some images were transformed to black and white, they made you focus on what’s happening more. For example, one of the best black and white image I took was:


I think this photograph is more significant in black and white because it makes the audience focus on what the band are actually doing, in terms of facial expression, body language and movement. Whereas if I kept the photograph as it was with all of the colour, I think it would have just looked like a plain photograph of a band and there wouldn’t be as much focus on the individuals.

The positive feedback I received from my classmates included:

  • the use of black and white
  • framing, angles and cropping
  • depth
  • rule of thirds
  • golden triangle
  • balancing elements
  • clear and sharpness of images (good and fast shutter speeds)

In the best compositional photograph I took, you can see the golden triangle. This was created with the light and the angle of the mans guitar (as seen below).


To improve my photographs, it was suggested that I could have used a slower shutter speed to show more movement at the gigs. I did try this, but I thought they didn’t look good and I didn’t like them because everything was blurry.

From the different feedback, it was also suggested I could have shown the atmospheres within the music venues. This would have drawn away from the focus on the musicians and more onto what was happening around them. In the future, when I do gig photography I will keep this in mind to get a variety of images.

When capturing my photographs, I realised it was quite difficult to go to different venues and take pictures. This is because each venue has different lighting and so I had to change my settings to suit each place so the quality remained good. It’s also difficult to judge how bands are going to move around and perform, which makes it harder to get the right angles. From this I learnt it was best to take as many photographs as possible from different angles, to ensure I get good images. I also noticed that a lot of my photographs were from a low angle, so I now know in the future to keep on trying to get higher up to take more flattering images of musicians.

Overall, I think I did really well doing gig photography and I enjoyed it. I now know for in the future to keep on thinking about composition, colours and angles.



Court Snatch

Taking photographs of people walking into court is a lot harder than it seems. This is due to how fast people may walk into buildings and the likelihood of people avoiding the camera.

For the court snatch task, I only managed to capture two images in the amount of time the person took to walk into the building (as seen below). From this, I now know I need to be fast in the future so I have a variety of different shots to choose from.

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The photo I liked the most was the side shot I took of the person walking (as seen below). Although it came out dark, I managed to brighten it up with Photoshop and crop out all the empty space. I think this photo looks really good because the background is blurred, making the individual the focus point for the audience. The angle of the photograph is also good because you can see that the person is trying to avoid all the cameras opposite, by placing his hand over his face. Also, I think this image meets the typical court photograph expectation because you can see the persons negative facial expression.


The photographs I took were also used by Chelsea Martin, to show the different between our pictures.


Aperture really helps you draw audiences to a certain thing in photographs. With camera’s, depth can be manipulated through images. This is because different aperture numbers allow you to either have a lot of depth or very little in photographs. When high F numbers are used for a small aperture it shows depth in photographs, and when low F numbers are used for high aperture images become less focused to create depth.

With my camera, I used different aperture settings to take the same image. However, they both turned out to look the same because my camera doesn’t have a wide range of aperture numbers (as seen below).

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If I did have the option to have very different F numbers, one of my photographs should have looked like the image below.


Angle of View

When you zoom in using a camera, it moves the internal parts of the lens and changes the angle of how things look when they are captured. This ability to zoom can manipulate how things look and it can help support different stories.

Below are two images I took, one of them was captured close up and the other was taken from a distance and zoomed in. The first image portrays the truth because it was captured without using the zoom, and so it showed the actual distance of things in the background, and it supports the idea that Queens Gardens is huge. The second image, however, uses the zoom and it draws the things in the background closer and makes Queens Gardens look really small.

As a journalist, the angle of view in photography is important to me because it can twist stories. I personally don’t like how zoom changes the angle of view because by twisting the truth, it contributes to the negative stereotypes of journalists.

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IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is a regulator that enforces rules for newspapers, magazines and electronic news publishers. To help maintain the professionalism of members of the press, a code of ethical standards was created. In printed and online versions of publications, it is the editors and publishers responsibility to apply the code. Below are the codes that the journalists should follow.
 1. Accuracy
  • Inaccurate, misleading or distorted information should not be published. As a journalist, this would hugely damage your reputation and it’s likely that if you shared incorrect information people will not want to see your work.
  • The Press must also “distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact”.
  • “A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action”, “unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published”.
2. Opportunity to reply
3. Privacy
  • Everyone has entitlement to respect for their private lives. In my opinion, this hugely applies to celebrities and I think it’s unfair when press invade their lives.
  • “Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent”.
  • “It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent. Note – Private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy”.
4. Harassment
  • “Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit”. This is really important to me and I think everyone should follow this because it can bring the quality of people’s lives and their well being down. By harassing people as a journalist, it would also affect your reputation and the companies that you work for.
  • “They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent”.
5. Intrusion into grief or shock
  • “In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings, such as inquests”. Not only is this point taking into account how you could affect others feelings, it helps journalists because they are more likely to get information if they are sympathetic.
  • “When reporting suicide, care should be taken to avoid excessive detail about the method used”. I think this point is really important because if you did go into detail about a suicide in the press, it could influence other suicides.
6. Children
  • “Young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion”.
  • “A child under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents”.
  • “Pupils must not be approached or photographed at school without the permission of the school authorities”.
  • “Minors must not be paid for material involving children’s welfare, nor parents or guardians for material about their children or wards, unless it is clearly in the child’s interest”.
  • “Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life”.
7. Children in sex cases
  • “The press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences”. In all case reports, adults can be identified, the word ‘incest’ cannot be used and nothing should imply the relationship between the child and the accused. I believe it’s very important that victims don’t get identified because it would affect their quality of life, unless they ask to be identified so they can share their story.
8. Hospitals
  • “Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries”.
  • “The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions”.
9. Reporting of crime
  • “Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story”.
  • “Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings”.
10 Clandestine devices and subterfuge
  • “The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held private information without consent”. An example of when this code was broken was when the phone hacking scandal came out about News of the World. I believe this code should never be broken because it’s invading people’s privacy without their permission or acknowledgement.
11. Victims of sexual assault
  • “The press must not identify victims of sexual assault or publish material likely to contribute to such identification unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so”. This is important because most victims of sexual assault don’t like to share their stories and try to get on with their lives.
12. Discrimination
  • “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability”.
  • “Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story”.
13. Financial journalism
  • “Even where the law does not prohibit it, journalists must not use for their own profit financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others”.
  • “They must not write about shares or securities in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest without disclosing the interest to the editor or financial editor”.
  • “They must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares or securities about which they have written recently or about which they intend to write in the near future”.
14 Confidential sources
  • “Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information”.
15 Witness payments in criminal trials
  • Witnesses should not receive or be offered any payments.
16. Payment to criminals
  • “Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues”.
The public interest includes:
  • “Detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety”.
  • “Protecting public health and safety”.
  • “Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation”.
  • “There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself”.
  • “Whenever the public interest is invoked, the Regulator will require editors to demonstrate fully that they reasonably believed that publication, or journalistic activity undertaken with a view to publication, would be in the public interest and how, and with whom, that was established at the time”.
  • “The Regulator will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain, or will become so”.
  • “In cases involving children under 16, editors must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interest of the child”.

This code is very important to me as a journalist. By following the code, it will stop me from gaining a bad reputation and will help maintain my moral and ethical views.