top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Wayling

Beginning of Portraiture: Music and Portraits

Lomography – Lady Grey Film: General Research

To understand the Lomography Lady Grey Film, the amount of research and understanding the processing of the film progress time with developer film was quite interesting and unique, since it needed a specific type of chemical to process fully and be seen clearly and positively as a complete negative to be used either as an analogue print or scanned image into a digital image. But getting carried away with the areas of what can be done with the negative, discovering the requirements and knowledge of the ratios and chemical, demonstrated the commitment and dedication needed to understand the film/analogue industry either as a darkroom practitioner for commercial, business or art reasoning within photography as a spectrum.

The research of the processing ratio and chemical, display that the Lomography film needed these type of chemical and times to fully develop the negatives completely. But it did not display Ilford, which was tested on the scrap end of the negative (didn’t want to risk the whole negative if it was a fail – wasting time and dedication) if it worked as a success or failure with that type of chemical but did work successfully only as the Stop and Fixer when it is Ilford but not developer. Ilford developer made it too weak and overexposed when used as a test example for developing the scrap example from the end piece of the negative (Should have scanned/photograph it to show proof but seen too much of a little deal to be presented as an issue or problem). Looking into the only chemical type of Kodak TMax Developer, which was a stronger and reliable source than Ilford developer within the darkroom.

After the chemical mathematic ratios and times of process, the testing of the reliability or usage was key due to the fact of finding the Lomography Lady Grey 400, traits, characteristic and nature of the film can deliver towards my work if furthered or used for self-analogue photography within portraiture, documentary and artistic purposes if looking for a more richer tone and contrast within negative which could be show through the printing stages (either in the darkroom or digitally printed).

Review – Comparison and Differences of Ilford and Lomography

Comparing both film of ISO 400:

Aug – Sept 2017: Judgement of self-practice and experience


  • Stronger blacks and grey/silver (If pushed to its limits)

  • Very Grainy and Contrast is heavy

  • Good Attention to detail but slightly weaker by the grain and textures (Noticeable and sometimes easy to see by specific photographers and artists within analogue photography)


  • Grains are less noticeable, reducing the contrast but focusing on the attention of details.

  • Stronger greys and silvers for digital/scanning photography, occasionally in printing but takes longer in darkroom to find the perfect exposure, tones and details.

  • Tones and textures are sharper, but grain is less, which can be odd or not the style/theme to look for if going more artistic with the grain.

  • Chemical ratios can be unpredictable, so a lot of experimental and testing if certain chemicals can’t be used or have (Risking the loss of the imagery in the film).

Terence Donovan

Mostly for studio and portraiture-based photography, to understand the lighting correction, reading the expression on the subject’s face.

Lighting; Understanding the style and theme relating to the musicians/band/artist within the photograph, making them feel more human and themselves than what they want to represent as.

Relating to the theme of the genre of music, different mixture of genre in Rock, metal is somewhat dark, gritty and moody whereas punk is sometimes quirky and positivity jokey (upbeat).

Most influential portrait and studio photographer who explores with analogue photography, understanding the quality and grain of the image/photograph more correctly and artistically to identify the subject within the photograph.

Mick Rock

  • Music photographer that explores portraiture photography of the subject within the photograph.

  • Explores the used of both black & white film and colour film within Mick Rock’s analogue practices (which could be explored in both digital and film photography of my own)

  • Explores different aperture, lighting and angles to represent and characterise the individual within the photograph, David Bowie a heavily used subject within the music industry due to David Bowie being an artistic/creative musician even subject throughout music photography, making it an addition artistic notion but also a balance of commercialism at the same time (surreally/abstractly)

Paul Harries

About the Photographer:

  • Music and Studio Photographer

  • Music based within Rock, photograph Amy Lee (Evanescence), Slipknot and singers or musicians within bands.

  • Nominated as Best Photographer in the Heavy Music Awards

Corey Taylor – Slipnot. Unknown Location. 2013. Paul Harries (Figure 1)

One of the well-known and interesting image (Figure 1) within Paul Harries photography work, was capturing the character and nature of Corey Taylor (Singer of Slipnot), where the mask can describe what type of musician and style of music they are. Also, the cover of a mask helps prevents the judgemental media or viewer who judges the musicians by appearances and looks, similar to methods of Daft Punk in the Pop/Hip Hop Music industry but in a metal/rock genre.

The lighting and equipment used within the photograph (figure 1), display as gritty and high contrast feel towards the scenery and appearance of the subject, feeling like the musician wanted to represent his music through the layout and appearance of lighting. Although from this it demonstrates the use of flash or portable lighting to brighten the subject and the surrounding slightly to capture a natural and relaxing view, relating to the theme and style of a movie, having a soldier returning home in which the clothing of the subject is wearing displays a military feel towards the notion of the photograph.

Other than the lighting within the photograph, the subject appearances and character is very different and odd towards other style related location shoots, due to the masks and type of clothing as well. By judging the appearance and looking at it straight away, it notion feels like it a horror theme movie than a musician due to rock/metal genre not being quite noticeable and interesting like Pop/hip-hop music of today.

Methods and Techniques – Little Review:

Exploration within studio, different lighting, props and background lighting. Also creates and design scenes within the studio to create a staged atmosphere within the photograph, detailing the moods and character of subject in the photograph.

Understanding of how music photography in the 21st century is completely different to the methods and ways 20th century music photographers done work, different Medias of camera, techniques and usage media and advertising.

Good photographer as an influence for both projects, for professional portfolio design and layout also website designs influence.

Reviews of the Prints (Digital Imagery):

Contact Review:

Exposure time: 20 seconds, F-Stop: F8

Chemicals Ratio:

  • Developer – 1:4

  • Stop – Just water (For me add 100ml Stop Bath from Film or Photographic Paper Printing)

  • Fix – 1:9

Review of the Contact Sheet:

Within the darkroom practices, the contact sheet displays a series of portraitures, demonstrating the preparation and readiness for using them for scanning and practice printing in darkroom.

The portraiture within the contact sheets were ways to express and capture each band member’s characteristics, nature and personality within each shot and test shot, due to the fact of having between 5-6 photos each to get the best lighting and poses to reflect themselves within the imagery, reflecting on the work and style of Terence Donovan and Mick Rock in which I have been considering to look into the exploration of both music and portraiture photography.

The photographs of the band on a break, by drinking, smoking and vaping. Displays calm and unique sides of the band member’s characteristic and personality which you do not see within the portraits, due to the meaning of them being serious and slightly modelling for the shot than being more natural and relaxed within the break series taken.

Overall from the contact sheet, the contact maybe blurred and out of focus due to only finding out which photographs I wanted to choose and select for the prints (for test printing for final print outcome) and scanning for digital progression for digital and photography portfolio through retouching and portraiture photography.

Improvements of the Print:

  • Less exposure time to get more detail and composition

  • Higher F-Stop between F14 or F16 for a lighter feel towards the print

  • Equipment for focusing, to get sharper and strong details for outcome to be more successful and professional photographic print.

First Test Print – Slightly Out of Focus:

This is the Digital print - But the actual Darkroom prints was blurry/out of focus

Testing out the new chemical ratio (My chemical Printing)

The first print to be created within the darkroom was to explore and understand the progression of chemical processing and testing the first photographic paper on the knowledgably and ratio of my chemicals created, to understand and test my knowledge and experience of darkroom practices within black and white.

Even though it is out of focus, it is a test print to see if the grain and blacks are strong to see if the chemicals are reliable and strong, to further and final outcome for the finals prints for the outcome for the test printing.

Also the overall process of the print coming out, demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of the correct ratio measurements for photographic paper printing but need to understand when given more time to put the print in focus and show the detail of the person’s face, clothing and surrounding.

Overall the outcome and successful of the print, will help finalise and create more photographic prints through the black and white darkroom for the final series of portraits and photographs, if wanting to go traditional and photographic based of photography, going into a creative and art based style or theme towards the project or go into a commercial and modern based photography genre with digital photography and printing.

The Portrait and The Break – Number 1:

Exposure Time: 25.5 F-Stop: F12

First images of the photograph from the CaliburnUK: Black and White series as prints were these two images for the same person but one in the serious and modelling pose to him during the break time after the location shoot with both digital and film camera.

The portraiture of the guitarist, is slightly light and a little bit out of focus due to the fact of testing and understanding how printing works and operates within darkroom practices, understanding the improvements and quality needed to create a photographic print for the outcome for a gallery or exhibition viewing needs.

Improvements of the Print:

  • More Exposure time or F-Stop between F5.6 or F8

  • Use of focusing tools to make sure the image is sharp and in detail for a successful and positive print.

  • More care in the chemical to prevent damage or scratches on the photographic paper

The Portrait and The Break – Number 2:

Exposure time: 25. 5 F-Stop: F12

The second series of CaliburnUK: Black and white series show another portraiture and photograph of one of the band member having break. From this it shows an interesting and unique side of one-self character and nature when reflecting an identity of a musician.

With the portrait of the guitarist, exploration was to capture the chilled and calm demeanour. During the photograph of the portraiture, the musician wanted to explore and capture different poses and clothing to capture the character and nature to represents the genre of music, he is into. Also the character of each individual of each band member in CaliburnUK.

Whereas the photograph of the musician taken a break reflects a stereotype and relatable theme of a typical rock star, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll with the odd alcohol, which is heavily shown with this guitarist within the band. Breaking the individual calm and chilled nature, it shows a more rough, thick-skinned type of person who enjoys living life to his fullest with the band members or with friends.

Improvements for the print:

  • Adjusting the focus on the enlarger for sharper and in-depth detail on the print.

  • Camera: Try to be in focus with the musician drinking and pulling the finger to get a clearer and better detail when printing or using it as a photograph.

The Portrait and The Break – Number 3:

Exposure time: 23.5 F-Stop: F10

The third member of the band portrait and behind-the-scenes photograph, displays very similar and unique style of character by being very contempt and relaxed even within his break when photographing the other band member with the digital camera. Feeling very self-reflective and deep in thoughts when looking at his break photograph.

With the portraiture photograph, model is very relaxed and calm and looking at the photographer more naturally (which you can see from the reflection on his glasses). With this print the only problem of the portrait is the damage or scratch from either the camera or during the process of the printing, making the print if it was a final outcome, looking very unprofessional and unsuccessful to represent myself as a film/analogue photographer within portraiture photography.

Whereas photograph of the musician taken a smoke, displays an odd nature due to musician within rock and metal genre being tough skinned and rough looking appearance, this shows a more gentle and calmed nature which other do not see within that genre, breaking the representation of people and stereotypes within an imagery.

Improvements of the print:

  • Either use the negative for scanning for digital printing or editing to look more clean and professional towards the viewer and self-music photography portfolio.

  • Slightly out of focus, meaning that the photograph needs to be in focus using the Enlarger next time when printing again.

  • If the print shows a lot of scratches or damages from the negative, be more careful and gentle to the negative when it needs to be developed or processed.

Overall from all three series of the three musicians from CaliburnUK, this is the foundation of my idea and progression for my brief towards final project outcome, which is to show and display the career path and interests of the photography I would like to pursuit and passionately enjoys for a career in music, performing arts or studio photography, with the hint of exploration with analogue camera and experimentation of different film and paper materials. Also with the imagery is a brief and basic foundation of what I would like to do as my final outcome for the project, but not only just a project outcome but also the type of career path and area I would enjoy and passionately exploring, due to the exploration of the reliability of a photographer, also maybe a videographer when the times arrives or is needed due to the constant change within technology in the music or performing arts industry.

Outcome of Musicians and Portraits:

Layout (Ideas and Planning):

September 2017 – Third Year Introduction

  • Prints: On Resin Photographic paper if the actual idea and planning is not successful or interesting as an artistic meaning. Between 2-4 A3 Prints, either framed or mounted, depending on the influences and style of photography I’m looking for as a final outcome.

  • Contact Sheets: Printed Resin paper and on black foam-board to match the prints of the Contact Sheets (9 Prints 3 down, 3 across, displaying a lot of planning and dedication towards the practice of darkroom and analogue photography, wanting to show my skill and knowledge within this project)

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page