Category Archives: SP3

Software Comparison: Corrupted Files Restoration

While working on my SP3 project, I encountered a problem: I was using new memory card, images looked fine on my camera screen and in MicrosoftPhotos. But after opening them with Camera Raw/Photoshop/Lightroom, many of them looked like this:

To recover the images, I conducted some research:

I decided to try Photo Mechanic because it has demo version. I’ve found out that the program is able to extract jpg file from raw file – the one that camera screen and Microsoft Photos preview. Obviously it’s not as good as raw file, but it can rescue you when a photoshoot can’t be redone.

Here is how Photo Mechanic restored file looks in Camera Raw:


You can see that all the corrupted area is restored.

(Outcome 4)


Software Comparison: Noise Reduction

There are times when I need to work in a quite dark environment and not always flash can be used because of various reasons (this time it was potential interference, but sometimes I have to avoid using speedlight for safety reasons because some people have photosensitive epilepsy). It results in necessity to use high ISO which produces noise in the image. So I decided to compare different software to find out which copes with noise better.

I think that Lightroom works better than Capture One and Camera Row in this case, so I would use it if I need to reduce noise in many photographs quickly. But if I had more time to retouch a photograph, I would use Photoshop because it gives possibility to apply noise reduction as a layer/mask, to use it for chosen areas only and to control its opacity quickly and easily.

(Outcome 4)

Social Adaptation and Assimilation: Final Selection

My Social Adaptation and Assimilation project reflects the ways migrants from Latvia go through these processes by the example of one family and three members of it.

The idea for the project was born about two years ago when I was dejected feeling that I still didn’t fit new society. The reason was that I always felt like a stranger even in my native country. I’m a mixture of different nationalities and cultures, and when a teenager I’ve heard negative opinions about Latvians, I’ve heard that Russians should go back to Russia, I heard many rude jokes about Jewish… And I was all of that and really confused about my cultural identity, avoided talking about it and felt ‘homeless’ in respect of homeland. It got even more complicated when I moved to UK and was considered as being Polish. Moreover I felt that I couldn’t integrate into local society. But at some point the whole situation turned upside down in my head, I thought that here, in Britain, no-one really cares about my nationality and cultural identity and I can be myself, take the situation into my own hands and participate in the activities that can help me to integrate. Thus also the final idea for my project formed.

The visual style of this project differs from my previous projects. I used to create story telling photographs with a touch of editorial style, but this time, influenced by exhibitions in the Impressions Gallery and at the Format festival (see research folder) I decided to follow current trends and make photographs in some simple visual way. ‘More simple’ was actually harder to do, probably because I tried not to direct my subjects too much, instead I’ve chosen to follow them and sometimes asked to repeat what they were doing. It was even harder to achieve that spontaneity in self-portrsiture, so instead I was selecting my portraits with a sense of self-irony which was probably influenced by works of Jo Spence while I was working on my dissertation.

The photographs are less saturated following one of the trends I learned when attending exhibitions and researching current photography trends. I used it to give the images an  ‘everyday’ look, thus telling that it’s subjects’ everyday reality.


For her maintaining eating habits is an important part of adaptation. I’ve chosen the image of her cooking what’s traditional for her to depict it.

Keeping a bag full of hay in the bedroom to remember scent of childhood is another way for Leonarda to adapt.

Gardening is both adaptation and assimilation in her case because it’s what she liked when living in Latvia, but main source for her inspirations are English gardens. But it’s also about the process of passing her knowledge about plants to her grandson, he’s a great part of her life, so I’ve chosen the image with both of them gardening.

Visiting local parks and gardens is a way of assimilation for Leonarda. I’ve chosen image of her with the willow because it depicts her love to Britain nature.


Yuri: Airsoft

Here is another Yuri’s hobby that help him both to adapt and assimilate, it’s airsoft. To adapt – because it’s something that he used to do in Latvia as well. To assimilate – because he meets new people when participating in this sport. People play in commands, communicate and according to my research (see research folder) that promotes integration into society.

I photographed Yuri in early morning before he went to an airsoft site.

(Outcome 1)

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Yuri: pubs

This is my second attempt to photograph Yuri as a pub customer. Because it’s not really about having a drink, but rather about enjoying the atmosphere, I decided to photograph him near the pub because on nice days some of its clients prefer to take their drinks outside, sit on the benches or rocks enjoying views of Shipley Glen.

(Outcome 1)

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Me: Volunteering

Probably it is volunteering that makes me feel a part of local society more than anything else. I’m mostly photographing (volunteering) for potentially vulnerable people, so it’s obvious that I didn’t want to depict myself among them to protect their identities. So I decided to make some images of myself getting ready for volunteering, checking and packing my equipment. Moreover the images show some of things that inspire my artistic/photographic practice.

(Outcome 1)

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This time I decided to photographs all of us – Leonarda, Yuri and me (and Leonarda’s grandson because he is an integral part of her life. Yuri and me often visit Leonarda and she always treats us with something.

It was the most difficult photo shoot for me because I was photographing three or four people and being one of the subjects at the same time. I made it to use as an  introductory image of all subjects together.

Migration issues are actively discussed nowadays. Debates about its cultural, social, political and economical effects are reflected in in the media, public opinions and even in art. While most of the researches, statistics and opinions analyse global and common effects of migration, either positive or negative, I decided to look at what’s happening on the personal level. The questions I posed were: what do migrants do to assimilate and/or to adapt? why do migrants choose to assimilate or to adapt?

Within the project I was observing one family as an example of one social unit. I chose three family members as representatives of different ways of assimilation/adaptation. And the subjects are my partner (Yuri), his mother (Leonarda) and me.

Leonarda came to Britain from Latvia 8 years ago, when her native country was experiencing an economic crisis, to find a job and also to avoid her ex-husband. In the beginning she had tough times in the UK. She didn’t know the language at all, had never been in Britain, had no friends or family here. At her first workplace in the host country, she also experienced age discrimination, but being very hardworking, positive and purposeful person, Leonarda began learning English language and secured permanent workplace at another job. After she settled down in new country, she began to persuade her children, including Yuri, to join her.

Yuri  came to Britain 6 years ago, when Latvia was still in crisis and when he wasn’t satisfied with the level of his incomes. He knew just a few words and phrases in English from PC games and yet he decided to follow his mother’s example and to migrate. He started factory worker job and took English course. Within a year and a half he went from being a conveyor worker to cleaner, handyman and finally, engineer position. And he wanted me to come and join him.

I never wanted to migrate. I remember myself learning English words when I was about four years old. I had visited UK years before I moved here, I felt in love with Edinburgh’s architecture, was fascinated by all the museums I visited,  I couldn’t take my eyes off paintings at The National Gallery in London and pulled my lower back after standing and staring at them for the whole day. I really liked the country, and yet when Yuri decided to move to Britain, I didn’t come along with him. I liked my life in Latvia, in a beautiful city, having a good job and an active social and cultural life, being close to my family and friends. But after a year and a half of regular flights to Yuri and back, I agreed to move for the sake of our relationship.

This project observes how each of us, Leonarda, Yuri and me were and still are trying to adapt to our new lives and to assimilate into local society.

I acknowledge that there are much more various ways of assimilation and adaptation than redlected in the project because everyone is unique and has his or her own reasons for or against integration, everyone has own way of achieving or resisting it and there’s no right or wrong choice, either decision has both positive and negative effects. But at the end of the day, we all (migrants) go through the both processes and probably the most difficult challenge is to chase the balance between integrating and retaining our cultural identity.

(Outcome 01)

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Audience Preference Survey

Nowadays we are surrounded by photographs, we look at them even without realizing the action of looking, they are everywhere: on the Internet, especially social media, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and much more. The aim of this survey is to find out are audience preferences and how do people perceive photography.

The survey is anonymous and consists of 10 questions with answer choices and ‘other’ option where the number of possible answers is more than seven. Two questions have multiple-choice answers because it might be too difficult for a person to choose only one.

The survey should reflect what visual aesthetics does audience prefer (editorial vs documentary style, colour vs black&white etc) and how supplementary text works (what people would like to know about an image, how much they would read etc).

Click here to take the survey.

The survey has shown that most people who took it prefer to see photographs online. Saturated images are preferred over less saturated and B&W. Photography type preferences were distributed almost evenly living just three types behind: food/object, magazine/editorial and animal photography. Visual aesthetics was selected as more important then narrative. Most people agreed that text changes perception of an image.

Regarding my photographic practice it means that if I want to interest not only those who are mostly interested in a message transmitted by a photograph, but also those who look at an image only to gain aesthetic pleasure, I need to use visual beauty of an image to draw viewer’s attention and then to transfer the message by using clues within the image and supplementing texts.

According to the survey, most people read texts that come with photographs, but mostly 2-4 sentences and are interested in information about a subject. I will use this findings when working on my final project exhibition, I will supplement my photographs with short texts about the subjects.

The survey enabled me to understand two significant things: everyone enjoys looking at photographs and  most people are often triggered to think. This means that by using right methods, most people can be influenced by photographs. That’s why ethical issues are extremely important when creating a photograph.

(Outcome 4)

Anna: Exploring Public Paths 2


As I mentioned before, walking in the nature was one of my first activities that helped me to begin adapting and assimilating. I enjoyed it because I missed Latvian nature and because I felt as a part of society every time when somebody was greeting me while passing by.

This time I photographed myself on the public paths in Ilkley.

(Outcome 1)

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Yuri: Fencing 3


This is my third try to capture Yuri’s involvement in fencing. Same style as the second shoot, but this time with a flash to make the subject stand out.

I was photographing while he was getting ready for the training. I noted some moments/movements that looked good and directed him by asking to repeat them a couple of times.

(Outcome 1)

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fencing1cs1           fencing3cs