Carolyn Lefley & Photo Editing

Carolyn Lefley

Carolyn Lefley studied at Coventry University from 1997-2000, studying a BA in Fine Art. With no intentions to do photography, initially Carolyn interests were painting and working in art studios. However this soon branched out into an interest in photography.

Through the process of building upon her work, Carolyn had to learn about ‘access’. This began when she began photographing empty houses in the transition of people moving in an out. To do so, she had to contact a number of estate agents where most turned the request down. However, one did accept which allowed Carolyn to enter these houses and shoot evidence of what people had left behind. At this stage, Carolyn’s knowledge of using the camera was minimal therefore a number of photographs were shot with a short depth of field.

Following this, Carolyns interest grew in shooting panoramics and polaroids as well as assisting a number of photographers. Carolyn was never very interested in photographing people, however she would use this style in her work such as with ‘Viewpoint’, where she photographed telescopes like a portrait.

  • 2004, ‘The Watchers.’
  • 2005, ‘Home.’ Through this, Carolyn explored how through someones home you can tell their identity and emotions as well as showing the depths of being the place where you live, grow and die. This was high dynamic range photography where the images featured a wide tonal range from the brightest and darkest area.
  • 2006, ‘Semi Detached.’ With this, Carolyn entered semi-detached homes in order to photograph the similarities and differences between the two.
  • 2006, ‘Belonging’. Here Carolyn became very critical of her own images, photographing dolls houses with the intentions of capturing one thing within the home – identity. This work was published in the Stimulus Respond magazine for the article ‘search for the ideal home in the real world.’
  • 2007, ‘Within’. Similar to ‘Belonging’, Carolyn again photographed inside dolls houses however with the ‘real outside’ shown through the windows.

  • 2007-2008,  ‘Quotidian Snapshot’. Carolyn shot a photo everyday for 2 years. These photos remain as an instant reminder of what was done that day when looking back at the images. Something as simple as a bottle of deodorant, Carolyn framed this so it appeared more sculptural.

  • 2009-2012,  ‘Realm’. A long-term project working with putting various images together creating a supernatural feel.

Photo Editing

Editing photographs is an incredibly important process – not the type of editing through Photoshop but the preparation of material ready for publication through correcting, condensing and modifying.  By doing so, this influences how photographs are portrayed and perceived.

To do so, first the material used has to be collected together for whatever its purpose and then arranged to form a whole. Following this, it is important to remove the unneeded material in order not to detract away from the purpose of the publication. The way in which things are edited depends very much upon what is being published be it an exhibition, photo book, magazine, portfolio, website, blog, slideshow or photojournalism/a photo essay. In all publications, there is a goal to work towards.

There are two different types of photography, which require alternative styles of editing – sequential and series/collection.

  • A sequence of photographs only makes sense in a certain order eg. Eadweard Muybridge shot the movement of a horse, therefore these had to be in order to understand and see how it moved.
  • A non-sequential series of photographs can normally be arranged in two different ways: to either create a narrative and a story, or to enhance formal aspects of images (such as the colours, shapes and tones).

Contact sheets hold important parts of information behind the editing process. Once the editing process is complete and ready for publication, we see what we were intended to see. However, the contact sheet will tell the real story and the truth behind the photograph. It shows the process in which was gone through to provide the outcome. Something that may be perceived through one image may not appear the same in context with the contact sheet. Considering this, it is questionable as to whether the photographer has the intentions of producing what they do, or whether its simply coincidence. Is it a matter of being in the right place at the right time or was it planned to perfection?


~ by victoriasimkissphotography on November 2, 2012.

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