Short Evaluation

Above all, I feel that this shoot went exceptionally well, despite the problems I ran into. I like the images, I don’t love them, but I feel like they meet my aims. I wanted a warm on cold contrast between the night sky and the bottle. There is definitely room for improvement though. I would have liked to have gone out on a clearer night, however, with the weather, this was the best I could get. I have thoroughly enjoyed this assignment and cannot wait for the next,


The Shoot

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I went out at around 7pm armed with a Canon 5d mkiii, two Bowens lights, a tripod and a pair of honeycombs. This has to be one of my most challenging shoots to date. I needed somewhere that isn’t burdened by light pollution so that I could shoot starscape in the cold night. I wanted to do this to give my whiskey a warm and cold feeling. The warmth of the whiskey and the cold blue of the night sky. So, I went to Pendle Hill at the foot of the Ribble Valley. After I parked up, I had the difficult challenge of getting the equipment up the hill. Bare in mind it had been raining continuously for days, so it was extremely slippery. After I got to the top of the hill, I set up the lights and hooked them up to the battery. After doing so, I realised that the battery only operates the flash and not the bulb. So I was shooting in total darkness.

After I set up the camera, I set up the whiskey on a rock, with the lights of the town behind it, just for some extra lighting. It took a while of experimenting with different settings and trying to keep the camera from falling over in the wind, challenging as it was, it was rather successful. I feel that I got what I needed. All that is left to do now is the editing of the final six images that I have selected.


Due to the laws around photography it is with in my best interest to generate a code of ethics to work by professionally as a photographer.

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one’s own biases in the work.
  4. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
  5. While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
  6. Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  7. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  8. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  9. Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.

The code of ethics above belongs to the NPPA, it suggests that photographers must give the up most respect to peoples privacy. In order to come up with my own code of ethics, I must ask myself an important question. Is this ethical? In order to answer this question, I must answer these.

  1. In what way can I show respect for a person’s right to decline or consent to photography? How do I handle informed consent?
  2.  Am I creating and using photos in a manner that will do no harm to persons appearing in photos?
  3.  What is my intention or purpose for taking this photo? How can I use a photo to promote a good cause while ensuring that I do no harm to individuals in photos?
  4.  Am I using photos in a context that fairly represents the real situation, subject identity, or physical location of the image? What steps am I taking to properly credit the photographer?
  5.  Am I photographing people and communities with the same respect I would show to neighbors and strangers in my home country?

Asking these questions, this is what I came up with in terms of ethics. This is based off the NPPA code of ethics as a guideline.

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Respect the integrity of the photographic moment.
  4. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects.
  5. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups.
  6. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity.
  7. Be unobtrusive and humble in dealing with subjects.
  8. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy.
  9. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see it.
  10. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  11. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  12. Defend the rights of access for all photographers and journalists.
  13. Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising my own independence.
  14. Do not manipulate images in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  15. Strive by example and influence to maintain the spirit and high standards expressed in this code.




Legal Restrictions and Copyright

It is always important to know the law around your profession. Whether it be contracting or photography.

In general under the law of the United Kingdom one cannot prevent photography of private property from a public place, and in general the right to take photographs on private land upon which permission has been obtained is similarly unrestricted. However, landowners are permitted to impose any conditions they wish upon entry to a property, such as forbidding or restricting photography. Two public locations in the UK, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, have a specific provision against photography for commercial purposes without the written permission of the Mayor, or the Squares’ Management Team and paying a fee, and permission is needed to photograph or film for commercial purposes in the Royal Parks.

Persistent or aggressive photography of a single individual may come under the legal definition of harassment.

It is a criminal offence (contempt) to take a photograph in any court of any person, being a judge of the court or a juror or a witness in or a party to any proceedings before the court, whether civil or criminal, or to publish such a photograph. This includes photographs taken in a court building, or the precincts of the court. Taking a photograph in a court can be seen as a serious offence, leading to a prison sentence. The prohibition on taking photographs in the precincts is vague. It was designed to prevent the undermining of the dignity of the court, through the exploitation of images in low brow ‘picture papers’.

Photography of certain subject matter is restricted in the United Kingdom. In particular, the Protection of Children Act 1978 restricts making or possessing pornography of under-18s, or what looks like pornography of under-18s. However, the taking of photographs of children in public spaces is not illegal.

It is an offence under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 to publish or communicate a photograph of a constable (not including PCSOs), a member of the armed forces, or a member of the security services, which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. There is a defence of acting with a reasonable excuse, however the onus of proof is on the defence, under section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000. A PCSO cited Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to prevent a member of the public photographing him. Section 44 actually concerns stop and search powers. However, in January 2010 the stop-and-search powers granted under Section 44 were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights.

Following a prolonged campaign, including a series of demonstrations by photographers dealt with by Police Officers and PCSOs, the Metropolitan Police was forced to issue updated legal advice which now confirms that ‘Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel’ and that ‘The power to stop and search someone under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 no longer exists.’

It is also an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to take a photograph of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or possessing such a photograph. There is an identical defence of reasonable excuse. This offence (and possibly, but not necessarily the s.58A offence) covers only a photograph as described in s.2(3)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006. As such, it must be of a kind likely to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. Whether the photograph in question is such is a matter for a jury, which is not required to look at the surrounding circumstances. The photograph must contain information of such a nature as to raise a reasonable suspicion that it was intended to be used to assist in the preparation or commission of an act of terrorism. It must call for an explanation. A photograph which is innocuous on its face will not fall foul of the provision if the prosecution adduces evidence that it was intended to be used for the purpose of committing or preparing a terrorist act. The defense may prove a reasonable excuse simply by showing that the photograph is possessed for a purpose other than to assist in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism, even if the purpose of possession is otherwise unlawful.

Copyright can subsist in an original photograph, i.e. a recording of light or other radiation on any medium on which an image is produced or from which an image by any means be produced, and which is not part of a film. Whilst photographs are classified as artistic works, the subsistence of copyright does not depend on artistic merit. The owner of the copyright in the photograph is the photographer – the person who creates it, by default. However, where a photograph is taken by an employee in the course of employment, the first owner of the copyright is the employer, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

Copyright which subsists in a photograph protects not merely the photographer from direct copying of his/her work, but also from indirect copying to reproduce his/her work, where a substantial part of his/her work has been copied.

Copyright in a photograph lasts for 70 years from the end of the year in which the photographer dies. A consequence of this lengthy period of existence of the copyright is that many family photographs which have no market value, but significant emotional value, remain subject to copyright, even when the original photographer cannot be traced (a problem known as copyright orphan), has given up photography, or died. In the absence of a licence, it will be an infringement of copyright in the photographs to copy them. When someone dies the rights will have transferred to someone else, perhaps through testamentary deposition (a will) or by inheritance. If there was no will, or if the photographer has not specified where the rights in the material should go, then the normal rules of inheritance will apply (although these rules are not specific to copyright and legal advice should be sought). Scanning old family photographs, without permission, to a digital file for personal use is prima facie an infringement of copyright.

Certain photographs may not be protected by copyright. Section 171(3) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 gives courts jurisdiction to refrain from enforcing the copyright which subsists in works on the grounds of public interest. For example, patent diagrams are held to be in the public domain, and are thus not subject to copyright.

In order to make sure I follow the law accordingly, I will create a personal and professional list of ethics to follow when photographing on location.

Final Idea

My final idea is to bring the studio outdoors. I loved the image of the whiskey bottle outside on the ground. I loved the lighting and I loved the idea. However, I wish to improve on this. Whiskey is a warm drink. It’s coming up to Autumn and the weather will soon change. Leaves are already starting to fall from the trees and it’s mid-October. Whiskey is definitely a winter drink, especially if you want a drink that will warm your insides. I want to make warmth a theme in my photographs. Bring the winter into the images and light the whiskey using studio lights. However, I also want to incorporate something else.


This image is the one I’m basing my idea off. I love the lighting and the vibrancy of the bottle. However, I don’t like the shallow depth of field or the composition. The composition is great, don’t get me wrong, but I want to see more of the background. So this is what I aim to do.

My Aim: To create a small portfolio of images of a bottle of Gentleman Jack whiskey in a location shoot. I will use studio lighting to light the bottle and include a starscape in the background.

My Objectives: I will book out a full frame camera and two Bowens lights with honeycombs. I will then go to a location that is free from light pollution to shoot my images.

Research – Gentleman Jack

After I narrowed down my idea’s, I decided I didn’t really want to do any of them so, after thinking about it, I chose to shoot a bottle of Gentleman Jack Whiskey. I’ve looked at a few photographs of this particular product to try and get a feel for what I wanted to with the product. I know that I want to use a studio setting, but I wasn’t sure on what lighting or even scenery I wanted to use. Did I want to use a soft lighting? Did I want to use an acrylic board for a reflection? Did I want to use a glass? I had no idea. So I began to research existing photographs and came to a conclusion.

jack daniels gentleman jack

The first of these photographs is rather simple. Simple back lighting and a front flash to light the bottle evenly. As much as it is a very good photograph, it’s a bit simple. It would be a perfect photograph for maybe a small magazine or a leaflet for a supermarket, but it isn’t really what I’m looking for. It’s just too minimalist. It’s also whiskey! It’s supposed to be warm, but a white background sadly doesn’t do that.


This next photograph is a little better, but it’s still holding the same issues as the previous photograph. Granted, the background is a little better and the lighting is slightly better. However, it still doesn’t do this product any justice. Again, I feel that this is to minimalist. It needs more.


I quite like this one. Shot outside on what seems to be a car park. I know this because I can make out an out of focus can on the right hand side of the frame. I imagine those lights in the background are also the lights of a pub. I do like this though. It has quite a warm hue to it. I also love the concept of shooting it outside. Using the lights of street lamps and a flash gun, it’s created a beautiful frame of light around the broad shape of the bottle. I think I would like a similar effect.


I quite like the scene in this one, although the use of a wine glass instead of a whiskey glass is just ridiculous. I love the scene, but for me the light is off a little. I can see what the photographer was trying to accomplish with this lighting, but I don’t think it works with this particular whiskey. The whiskey is extremely light coloured, but the barrel and flooring is extremely dark wood. Mixed with the underexposure, it just doesn’t go. The contrast between the light of the whiskey and the dark of the barrel is off. It just doesn’t make it aesthetically pleasing. I do like the use of the glass though, it would be better with an actual whiskey glass though.

Overall, looking at these images I have an idea. Though I’m not entirely sure how feasible it is yet.