G.F. Smiths Paper Company Visit

To understand the process of creating a physical hand out like a business card or letterhead, I found it was vital to research the companies that produce these things. I organised a visit to G.F. Smith, the paper manufacturer and Wyke Printers.

G.F. Smith is a paper manufacturer founded in 1885 by George Frederick Smith. The start of any printing process is with the type and style of paper you are going to print on, so i took a trip to the premises and got a private tour. I spoke to a manager about the history of the company including how debt almost destroyed the company in 1915, supplies being shortened in 1939 because of world war 2 and the purchase of the Hull premises in 1969.

During the tour I was shown the room with their clients whom had had used their paper in their packaging. It also showed off all the different colours they could offer their paper in. You can see an example of this book here:


This room full of different types and colours of the paper which was for clients to touch and feel the actual materials they might be using in their product. The most important lesson I learnt during my visit, was there are different weights of materials measured in GSM (Grams per square metre), different colours,  and effects that can be applied to the card such as a gloss. These allow the card to be styled in a certain way. The company also offer press services to imprint the card with a certain design, a client would buy a press designed specifically for their needs for anything up to £2,000 depending on size and intricacy. You can see one of G.F Smiths presses below

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Companies like G.F. Smith offer hand made services as well, to do jobs that cannot be done by machine, things like making bespoke envelopes. You can see a team of women sat at a table here making hundreds of these type of letters. With hundreds of clients around Yorkshire, they have a huge warehouse that stores all the paper. This means they can work hand in hand with a company like Wyke printers to meet a clients need for a really speedy delivery on the deadline.

I was also shown another client area, where customers can come and physically feel the paper itself. As you can see with these images:

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There are lot’s of different types so by having the client actually being able to touch the product they would be buying is a brilliant way to make sure you know what your buying, having the right quality material is very important for any business and the market is estimated to be around $23.8 Billion a year.



Presenting my Images

I knew that presenting my images as a collection would be important, to look professional and be enjoyable to look at. Therefore I started to research how to present my images, the first lesson I learnt was that the purpose of setting this up is to show of my work, so it had to be all about the images, no distractions. The format I had chosen for my images were square with one horizontal rectangle. I decided the best way would be to split up the images into three, this would give the viewer more visual space to concentrate on the content and would also allow me to have a set of images. First I had to chose the images in each set and which order they would go in,, this was reasonably easy as I picked images that related to the other based upon their location being close. The next step was the actual order they were to be arranged in, I wanted the leading lines to draw they eye across the content so that the person viewing the collection would be lead from left to right with visual cues.

With my images being black and white I thought the best way to present them would be to use white borders and them present those on a black piece of card. In photoshop I created the layout for the overall portfolio pieces, I used rulers to measure 1 inch borders to each image. This meant the images were evenly spread out. Finally I printed them and applied them to self-adhesive mount card. After using the guillotine  to cut them to perfect size, I was left with well present, professional version of my images.

My Images and Analysis

Analysing my photos.

Pre production had a lot to do with the process of taking photos. In the photographs I noticed that because the colour was removed the artist relied on leading lines to make the composition interesting. By using leading lines you are also able to create shapes within the images, triangles, circles and symmetry all were common in the images that I looked at for my research, therefore this was something I tried to create in my images.
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Image number one

In this image I thought about the shapes I was creating within the composition while I was taking the photo. I tried to create triangular shapes, notice how the image takes up 2/3 of the composition as a whole. There are leading lines that drag your eyes in a zig-zag motion starting from bottom right, along the metal barrier, the right again up to the point of the building. When the image has no field of depth and the colour is taken away it is very difficult to figure out a sense of scale so the framing of the image using the barrier really helps the viewer to understand the image. In the post production stage,  I adjusted the levels of red green and blue within the image to make certain elements stand out much better, I wanted the light within the glass to stand out much better, but I also wanted the texture of the black wall to stand out too. I think I have managed to create an interesting composition that uses the techniques I have learnt in my photography research.

Image Number 2

This was an interesting image to take, I framed the deep with this bridge to give it a sense of size with the field of depth. I think the lighting of the image works really well as the focus point is the the point in which the two lines of the edge of the building meet. The position of the deep within the image is really good too because it is almost centred horizontally, but then takes up 2/3s of the image vertically. Using the levels adjustment I made the glass edge the focus of the image by making it stand out from the rest of the image more.

Image number 3

In this image the rule of thirds again is take into account, the main focus of the image again taking up 2/3 of the image, the spike creating a central focus point. The staircase on the right hand side in a sense creates a leading line that (like in the photos from my research) leads to somewhere that isbn’t visible to the viewer, this creates intrigue in whats the top and makes the composition as whole more interesting.

Image number 4

This images uses the reflection in the water to draw your eyes to the focus point in the image which is rectangular shape in the centre, taking up 1/3 of the composition. The other two thirds are made up above and below the focus point. The line from the left interestingly leads the viewer to the centre of the composition. Adjusting the layers allowed me to create a contrast between the broth and the actual reflection,

Image number 5

Leading lines are a major part of this image as it leads the viewer across the bridge, I made sure when taking the photo again that the windows would be the centre of focus within the image. There are a lot of triangular shapes within the image which creates in an interesting composition for the viewer.

Image number 6
This is one of favourite images from the set I took. The main focus of the image is the clock face in the upper right corner. There are a lot of lines within the image but this helps add a sense of scale to the image. The colours also help to frame the image as the dark colours of the church wall surround the lightness of the clock area, they also draw the viewers attention to the clock.  The lines are leading upward from the wall right up to the clock face.

Image number 7

In this image I have used leading lines really well to give the image a sense of scale with depth of field. It shows the interesting cobbled streets of Old town around Hull. Like in the research of the other artists, I have tried to create this intrigue by not actually showing the user what round the corner, so that the leading lines lead to something that is not entirely visible. This image also used the rule of thirds to give priority and importance to the cobbled road rather than the buildings. This image is also made up of three triangles, the road, buildings on the right and the buildings on theft mixed with sky.

Image number 8

This is one of my most visually interesting images as there is the leading lines making the viewer peer round the corner, then there is the rule of thirds giving importance to the cobbled road. There is the person within the image which I have to chosen because it then shows the shadow of  the sun and gives the image a sense of direction, making the viewer ‘look down the road’. Another interesting element of this image is the shapes within it, there are three triangles on the left, the road, the buildings, and the sky.

Image number 9

The focus of this image is the archway in the background, therefore when I took the image I made sure there were leading lines in that direction, and you will notice there are four different leading lines  that lead the viewer to the archway. The chairs on both sides of the room, then there are the tops of the walls on the sides leading you down as well.

Image number 10

This image was an abstract piece based on one of the images that I found in my research. The leading lines allow the viewer to be shown across the image with ease. An important element of this image is the shapes within it, while the building is made up of lots go squares, the composition as a whole is made up of two triangles. The building and the sky.

Image number 11

Leading lines was the most important element of this photo as it leads the viewer across the bridge to the other side to the south bank, this immediately makes the bridge the centre of attention within the composition. This image also uses the rule of thirds as the bridge is the most dominant part of the image.

Image number 12

This image was to show off the fountain near Princess Quay, the building and the flare of the sun add interest to the the image. The image also used rule of thirds with the buildings in the background and the fountain in the foreground. This perspective add interest as well as showing the building almost in silhouette as the sun sets behind.

Image number 13

This image is of Princess Quay is a shopping centre in Hull town centre and it is built mainly of glass, and the reflection of the sun demonstrates this. There are some interesting shapes in the image as again this image can also be split into triangles. The importance of this image is to show of the general architecture of the build hence the reason the image is mainly made up of leading lines and has no general focus point.

Image number 14

This image is very well composed as it mixes the old with modern and newer architectures, there is one main leading line that draws you from left to right, starting with princess quay to the old municipal buildings, then to the most modern BBC building. You could almost imagine being a seaman on board a boat returning to port and being greeted with this view apart from the modern buildings. The prominent building in the centre has an interesting feature of the clock face which becomes almost a feature within the image itself.

Image number 15

This view shows the Humber bridge and both banks of the river Humber in all it’s majesty. The photograph was taken in the late afternoon as the sun was setting in the west and nicely shows the bridge and the river banks in silhouette. The image shows the most important part of the bridge, the two towers, these are so important because they play a prominent part in the design of the bridge structure and is even shown in the bridge’s logo. The rule of thirds is again shown in the image and makes the water  more prominent to give the viewer a sense of depth of field.

Hull Open Day

Hull College had an open day for potential students and asked me to take some photographs of the day for the student union to use in advertising, below is the contact sheet:


I selected a couple of the images that worked well and used the techniques I have previously used, I ended up with a total of three quality images.

The first one was a shot of the classroom, I weaned to focus on the boys looking forward as if they are concentrating, a crop of the image fixed this. I also noticed there were a few ‘distracting’ elements to the image, the boy forefront in the image had a black eye which I was able to lighten up and made the area look a bit healthier, there is a lot of noise out the window so I was able to remove a lot of unnecessary items out side to tidy it up, then i tidied the room up inside by removing sockets on the wall and loose wires which made the image look a lot cleaner and allowed the viewer to focus on the people. The last adjustment I made was to play with the levels of the image, this allowed me to change the lighting to brighter the image as a whole. You can see the original and edited versions below:


The second image was of the Hull College logo printed on a window with a reflection of the church behind it. It was a nice image to begin with but a fees adjustments made it a whole lot  better. Firstly I removed the dirt from the glass, lights behind the glass and unnecessary reflections. Next I played with the levels to allow the logo to stand out even more, and then finally I selected everything but the logo and filled a layer with black, then brought the transparency down to 10% to make the background darker and again to make the logo stand out more.You can see the original and edited versions below:



The last image I edited was of the front of the building with the logo on it, again the image didn’t look right so I edited it in photoshop. In this image i removed lights within the building and the used the clone tool to clone closed windows onto open windows making all the windows closed, I straightened the image, cropped it then changed levels on the image to make sure the colours looked right. You can see the original and edited versions below:



Rosa Bonheur – The Lion at Home

The Lion at home was a painting (http://uploads4.wikiart.org/images/rosa-bonheur/the-lion-at-home-1881.jpg) in the gallery that really captured my imagination and made me think about size, position and style of images on the web.

A Lion at Home

A Lion at Home 2

The image was centred as you walked into the room, the gold frame was magnificent and instantly drew attention to the grandeur. The second image is again just to show the scale of the image I thought about how the scale of it helped it become the centre of attention within the room, and I set out to look for examples that were like this on the web.

Beats (http://uk.beatsbydre.com) was the first example I found on the web, their homepage featured a picture of the headphones they offer in a range of colour, take up about 50% of the webpage.

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Another example I found was the website of the late Michael Jackson (http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/home) who’s image takes up the entirety of the screen while the text overlays the image. A common theme I have noticed across the sites I have viewed is that the images tend to be the main focus of the website while the text/content seems to to be additional information that compliments what is already there. There is a lot of negative space, and here is another great example of the negative space.(http://www.starbucks.co.uk);

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Trip to Ferens Art Gallery

As a group we took a trip around Ferens Art Gallery to study the artwork, and gather information that we could use to help us understand the creativity that took place when firstly creating the art, and secondly arranging the artwork around the gallery.

The questions I asked myself about the images as I walked round the gallery were;

– What is the image content about, and what emotions does it provoke in the user?

– How does the visual layout of the artwork attract attention, and further interest in the artwork?

– How does the general layout of the art gallery and the presentation of work effect the viewer?

– How can the certain images manipulated for the web to its best ability?

– What do I personally like/dislike about the work, layout and general presentation?

I studied multiple images, and here are the notes that I have for each image.

Featured Image;