Final Evaluation.

Overall, I am very pleased with how this project went. I engaged well with it, and it opened up a new level of creativity for me. Being given a piece of writing meant that I could interpret it in any way I wanted. It taught me how to focus on the feeling of a piece of writing rather than the literal context of it. I enjoyed experimenting and broadening my photography skills. I was able to be far more creative with this project, using a hasselblad camera, sourcing props and learning more about my DSLR camera. As well as this, it was a great opportunity to set up an exhibition to be seen by the public and working alongside the cohort. This is a new experience for me and one that I would like to take forward in the future, it has taught me a lot and built on my team work skills. I was able to speak up and give my ideas which is something i have previously been nervous about doing. I am really pleased with how the exhibition turned out, many people saw our images and we got some idea of what this attention would be like in the working world. We all worked well as a team, meeting deadlines which in turn helped each other. In terms of the indesign spreads, this is something i am very pleased to have had some experience in. I now feel confident that i can work my way around indesign in the future to create any kind of publication i may need for my work.

Although all of this went well and i am pleased with the outcome, there are a few things I would change next time around. For the exhibition, I would like to have the courage to take a more leading role (i think this experience has prepared me for this) so that I can help the team to put their ideas into action. Also, I think in the future I would like to contact the local media to get more coverage for our exhibition. This would help us to get more people through the doors, seeing our work and engaging in the arts and Photography. As well as this, if i was to do this project again i would experiment even more and have more studio time. I would use black out blinds in my house for the author portrait shoot as, even though it was dark outside, i think this would have helped to keep out any other light. I would also like to work on accessing different sitters for my portraits. For this project as well as previously, I have used people I know such as friends and family and I would like to be able to approach people who have the perfect look for the shoot and ask them if they would like to. I think this would make me more confident in the long run and also give me an opportunity to be more professional which would help me in my future work. For indesign, i would like to experiment with it more, to find some unique features of it that I could use to make my publications have some extra about them.

 

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External Exhibition – Our Essenscene.

For our exhibition, we used St Saviours Hall, near the barbican as our location. I was part of the curatorial team and worked on the lay out of our exhibition and the logistics of preparing the space and getting all the work up.

This was our floor plan.

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We decided to have a TV screen with the author portrait images on a slide show, along with the pieces of writing being read. We lay out the images in order of title, with the actual writing framed beside it. With a section at the back for refreshments on opening and closing night. Each individual had the responsibility of framing their work and sourcing hanging tools for our team to use. The layout of our exhibition was inspired by the ‘salon style’ lay out with a variety of frames of different colours, textures and sizes. We also ensured that all healthy and safety regulations were met, with warnings regarding the radiators and any trip hazards as well as the refreshment stall being manned at all times.

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There were two other groups, for advertising and designing. This is the poster that they designed, with all the relevant information on it. We had a facebook, twitter, instagram and weebly account which updated the public on times, location and gave hints of what to expect when they visited.

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Lesley Lees – I travelled lonely as an empty dream.

‘Alone, I couldn’t smile as I passed through immigration. Maybe that’s why I got pulled aside and taken to a room for a closer inspection. Would they find the immeasurable hollow inside me, or discover my tormented heart – despite everything it kept contracting and pumping blood to the fragmented bits of self I seemed to be. Eventually I was deemed wholesome enough and granted entry into the country. I laid down the dollars and asked for a ticket to match that amount, an open ticket to anywhere, valid for three months. I was on my way to somewhere at last. I smiled as I looked in my bag, for there, next to mine, was your passport, your car keys and your loaded wallet.’

When I first looked at this piece of writing, i had a few ideas come to mind. So to gather my thoughts and prevent any ideas from getting lost, I wrote everything down. From photographic set ups, to phrases, words i thought were relevant and general shoot ideas.

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Instead of capturing a literal interpretation of this piece of writing, I wanted to give an essence of the feeling. I get feelings of chaos, dizziness, confusion, upset, a lost person when i read it so tried to portray that in my image.

Here are some examples from my final shoot.

I think these images show that life was moving fast around this person and she had little control of it.

I chose this as my final image as I think this is my strongest image, which presents this idea best. The background is clear and still whilst the slow shutter speed made the swing out of focus, giving the impression of chaos. I also shows loneliness as there is no one in sight in this image.

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When researching this idea, I searched for photographers that showed movement in their images. For example, Christopher Martin focuses a lot on motion blur in traffic (focusing on one subject whilst everything around it is moving) Here are a couple of his images –

Although these are similar to the effect I wanted, I specifically wanted the object of focus to be blurred. It was then that I found Camil Tulcan.

I was influenced by these images, and used the effect in my final image.

Sally Wilson – Who killed the world?

WHO KILLED THE WORLD

Who flew on a plane?

Who made acid rain?

Who was it tained

What nature painted?

Who killed the world?

You did.

You did.

You did.

Who built the power lines?

Who dropped the landmines?

Who devastated

What nature created?

Who killed the world?

You did.

You did.

You did.

Who chopped down the trees?

Who poisoned the seas?

There’s no solution

To your pollution.

Who killed the world?

You did.

You did.

You did.

Who knew it was wrong?

Who still carried on?

Now each child counts the cost

Of a future they lost.

Who killed their world?

You did.

You did.

You did.

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When I was deciding how to approach the image to go with this piece of writing, I had many ideas but none of them felt like enough. Here are the images I took whilst figuring it all out.

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For my final image, I decided to stick with the glass world globe as I felt it shows the world to be delicate and fragile. It also reflects beauty in light and I felt it helped me to create my strongest image. I felt that my final image needed the human influence in it to show that it is us that has ‘killed the world’. I also kept the background black to show darkness and the state the world is in. I wanted the hand to hold the globe carefully to enhance the idea that the world is fragile and I think the fact that the globe is smaller than the hand shows how much control and power we have over the world and its condition. I like how in this image, the setting I was in reflected trees from the surroundings onto the globe as this is mentioned in the piece of writing too.

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Studio based Author Portrait.

For this module, I have been given a description of an Author from Ocean City Writers (a Plymouth-based creative writing group)

‘If Catherine Zeta Jones and Jabba the Hut had a lovechild, it would resemble me. Although, to my shame Papa Jabbas genepool would have to be stronger than Catherine’s to get the mix right. As jack of all trades and master of none I have surrendered to my failings. The misguided titles of domestic goddess, cupcake queen and Photographer extraordinaire long forgotten dreams as I now attempt my lifelong ambition of becoming a mistress of the written word. As I am to writing what Frank Spencer was to D.I.Y please bear with me, this might take some time.’ – Cassy Trew.

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To start with, I did some practice shoots. I experimented with the rembrandt lighting technique.

My equipment list was

  • Bx kit
  • 2×21 cm dishes
  • Soft box
  • Reflector
  • Sky port
  • Beauty dish
  • Light meter
  • Extension lead
  • Nikon 7200 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm lens
  • Honeycomb

I took the following images in my university studio using a white backdrop.

As you can see, it took some experimenting to reach something i was happy with and that i thought represented the rembrandt lighting technique well. I began, making the images over exposed and out of focus but once i slowed down and used the light meter I slowly got better images. I then moved around the lights around to create the effect typical of rembrandt (one side of the face in shadow with a triangle of light under the eye).

The is my favourite image because i think it depicts rembrandt. As well as this, the sitter is looking very thoughtful which is what i want for the author description image. Cassy describes herself as having ‘long forgotten dreams’ and i would like my image to show this.

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At this point, I felt confident in a studio setting. I knew how to get the light effect I wanted and had a good idea of the feeling I wanted to put across in my author portrait image. For my final author portrait image, I wanted to recreate this using a few props and taking the studio to a home environment.

The equipment I used –

  • Arri 800W Open Face Light
  • Hasselblad 500 6×6 medium format camera
  • Large lighting stand
  • Reflector x 2

I knew that I wanted to use the line regarding misguided titles of long forgotten dreams and chose to have a camera in the final image. This piece of writing doesn’t tell me too much about the writers physical appearance but I felt that it gives an idea that she doesn’t think very highly of her appearance and may have low self esteem, so i tried to capture this too.

When it came to using the hasselblad, I felt confident in doing so and began planning how I would like to present the portrait. I looked at the different styles of portrait photography – traditional portrait, environmental, candid, glamour, lifestyle, surreal, conceptual and abstract. I came to the conclusion that the styles environmental, candid, lifestyle and conceptual could all represent the author in the best possible way. I felt that the environmental style would complement the description of the author’s character by showing her in her daily setting as a writer. I also felt that shooting this in a candid way would mean that the viewer would have more empathy for the writer and more of an understanding of her. Using the lifestyle style means that it could evoke emotions for the reader, maybe of familiarity. This leads me on to the conceptual aspect. I wanted the image to have a hidden meaning which wasn’t totally obvious but the viewer could speculate over. This being that she had finally settled on a career path which she loved, instead of focusing on others which did not bring her as much joy. I wanted her to seem calm, at peace and comfortable in that environment but also like it was something she loved doing, that she couldn’t help but stay up into the early hours of the morning working on written pieces. It was because of this that I used a desk lamp and a mug of coffee.  Also, although I hadn’t intended on my final portrait being out of focus, (and it is because of the poor lighting) I am actually quite pleased that it is. I think it adds a hazy feeling to the image which may not have been there otherwise.