Zine Photography Workshop

Alex Simonics (2018) The Studio Set Up

On the 14th of March, DIT Photography technician Kate, gave us a workshop on how to photograph zines. I underestimated just how much thought and consideration needs to go into making these images- thinking about aspects such as glare, hand position, and how the zine would be held/flipped through. To begin with, Kate ran us through polarising filters, how they worked and how to use them. This would end up solving our issue of potential glare in the images, from the lights. The polarising filters we ended up using on the studio lightboxes were ones that Kate had made herself; using polarising sheet cut out to fit a cardboard frame, and held up to the lightboxes with clips. She also showed us how to set up the lights so that we could achieve the best results; this would mean putting on softbox on either side of the zine, relatively low down.

At the previous session in A4 Sounds, it was agreed that each of us would choose 2 zines that we felt best suited our goals in terms of photography zines. However during our workshop, we had decided that twelve zines would be too much. As I was unable to stand and help with the equipment, my task was to go through the selected zines and narrow them down; the group had decided on narrowing it down to 6. I made my selections based on which ones out of the chosen 12 were best suited under the heading ‘photography zines’. Some of the ones that were chosen were zines that looked almost like photobook mock-ups, while others looked like they could be photobooks themselves.

Part of our task was to figure out how best it would be to position the books with the hand model (who in the end was Shane, as we felt he had the nicest hands for the task). It was agreed that by having one hand hold the zine top right corner and bottom left corner would be the optimal way, as it would hold the book down enough without the hands interfering in the image too much.

The camera, which was a Canon 5D mark iii used at the time, was thethered to Shane’s laptop. This eased to being able to view the images immediately, as viewing them on the back of the camera wasn’t possible due to Shane having to lay on the floor to hold the zines. It also made it easier to view any mistakes, and know what to fix when taking another image.

#lighting #studio #zine #cinemagraph #teamwork

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