Friday, 14 December 2012

Experiments : Toning

 The photograph above was covered in blue and red ink, which I then decided to bleach as it had covered the entire picture - making it harder to see the image. Although the bleach took away a lot of the detail, you can still see the image a bit better than when it was covered in ink.

 I liked this one above as it looks like blood, which I think relates well to my theme of gothic images. I think in future I will put less ink on to make it more subtle which I think will actually be more effective.

 For this one, I decided that I wanted to colour the star shapes in, as I thought that this would look interesting if there was a blend of colours, as this would add more detail to the image.

This one is similar to the blood- like drip earlier, except this colour is a shimmery green. I think that this technique works better than the one before, except I prefer the red colour.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Darkroom Experiments : Fairytales

For my first roll of film for this project, I decided to experiment with the bokeh technique that I had previously researched. The majority of my film was involving the lights so that I could see if I wanted to use it in my final outcome for this project, as well as general experimentation. I tried taking the photographs using different shaped filters, such as hearts and stars so that you would be able to clearly see that the lights had been changed.

For these two photographs, I created the double exposure effect in the dark room. These are both the same image, except the exposure on them in the darkroom is slightly different, creating two separate outcomes. I personally really liked how the double exposure worked, and I will definitely be using it in some way within my final outcome, perhaps by using a different shape to mirror the gothic theme that I am following.


For the third image, I decided to try out the solarisation effect, as it was something that I liked from the previous project. Although this one didn't work out too well, I think that the overall effect is interesting, especially with the lighting that I used - light only directed to one side of the face. This reminds me of the gothic theme, so I will try and experiment more with this technique on other photographs.

The final image is the same as the first and second one, however I decided to crop the image so that it really focused on the person and the clothes, as well as the stars. I think that this technique works well, but sometimes I prefer to have more of the background showing. Overall I think that it is an interesting technique to keep in mind.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Experimentation : Light and Layer Blending

I recently found a tutorial for different lighting effects for photoshop which you can find here.

I first tried it on a photograph from the Wildfox Couture photoshoot and also I think the first edit looks interesting, it's not something I think that I would try again. The second image was blended with another photograph from the same shoot, and I think that it turned out quite well and reminds me of the ghost style photographs I've looked at previously. Below is one of my own images, where I used some drip brushes (found on google) to create a contrasting effect of the black and white drips. I also think that this relates well to my gothic theme that I am doing.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Experimentation : The vintage photograph effect

I decided to experiment more with the vintage effect as I think that it works really well on photographs. This technique is similar to the Instagram Nashville effect I did a while ago, but is slightly different and creates a unique outcome.

To create this vintage effect, I used the tutorial from here and my version actually turned out slightly different to the example the tutorial used, but I actually like that my one is darker, as it adds to the gothic fairytale theme I am following. There were several different layers used to create the technique, but overall the outcome was easy to create and didn't take a lot of time to do. You could play around with the amounts of each layer to create something unique each time.

Overall, I really like this effect and I think that I will use it for my final outcome. I like how it can relate to the gothic fairytale theme that I have chosen and I also like the vignetting technique that I included in this photograph. I found it easy to create and I think that it is an simple yet dramatic effect to add to any photograph.

I then decided to turn the outcome into black and white and have just the green of the apple showing, which I thought made an interesting effect. I think that it would look better if it was more subtle, however. I did this by duplicating the layer and made the top layer black and white. I then used the eraser tool and rubbed out the image where the apple is, so that the colour showed through. I think that I will use this technique again as it draws more attention to a specific part of the chosen image.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Digital Photographs - Fairytales

Above is the original image, and below is the edited version, where I added blue tones and mades the apple a slightly darker, more vibrant colour. I prefer the edited version as I think it makes the image look 'dreamier' and more fairytale like. 

Above is the original image, and below is the edited version. Like the first photograph, I prefer the edited version, as the colours are more vibrant and again the outcome is 'dreamier'. I also like how the blue of my hair is more vibrant. 

For the photograph of just the apple with the lipstick, I didn't edit it too much, I just darkened it a little to see if the colours would be more vivid. I think that it looks a little better, but I still like the original one as well.

The three photographs above were inspired by the fairytale Snow White - where she bites into the poisoned apple. I wanted to relate this to my chosen theme of fashion, so I wanted to show the lipstick, the hair and the nail varnish - although these aren't clothes, they are related to fashion. I think that this is a subtle reference to both fashion and fairytales, so it makes the viewer think about what the photograph is about, and what the meaning behind it is.

This photograph was inspired by Rapunzel - where she leans out of a window with her long hair flowing over the window sill. This one didn't work as well, mainly because my hair isn't very long! However, I think that this also has a subtle reference to both fashion and fairytales. This one is more related to hair and clothes, rather than makeup, unlike the previous photographs in this post.

 This photograph I edited to make it look like there were lights orbs in the photographs - to symbolise fairies for my fairytale theme. I personally really like how this photograph edit turned out.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Photography techniques : bokeh

Bokeh is a technique where you take a picture of lights (for example Christmas lights) and make the photograph really out of focus, so that the lights look like orbs. I love this effect as I think that it looks really cool and pretty.

Sara Kiesling is a photographer that I found on the photography website flickr (link here). I found a photograph that she took that used not only the bokeh effect, but relates well to my chosen theme of fashion. With the Christmas season fast approaching, I think that it would be worth taking a lot of photographs of Christmas lights and really experimenting with this technique:

You can also put certain filters on your camera lens to change the shape of the bokeh, for example hearts or stars, etc...

Photograph found here.

Here is my own version of a bokeh effect using my film slr camera with a black and white film:

Wildfox Couture Resort 2013 Collection Shoot

View the complete collection of images here.

This is the latest photography shoot for a fashion brand called Wildfox Couture, which is a company based in LA, United States. It's for their collection for Spring/Summer 2013, so the setting, clothes and also weather need to reflect this in the images - it wouldn't work if it was snowing or raining in photographs that are supposed to be for the warmer months, even though the photographs weren't shot in the spring/summer - they were most likely shot in the late summer/early autumn. The photographer for this series is Mark Hunter.

I really love the use of lighting in these images. The photographs are fairly simplistic but I think that they are effective in showing the new collection of clothes. I also like how the models have unique hair colours - blue/green and a silver/pink as these add to the feel of fairy like, as well as childlike themes. It also makes the brand as a whole stand out more.

These photographs have a child-like feel to them - perhaps down to the clothes, but I think that this could actually relate well to the idea of modern fairtytales.I also think that the colours make it seem child-like, with the pastels of the clothes, as well as the prints on the clothes themselves - the rainbows and stars.

I also think that this could be related to my theme of gothic fairytales, as the jumpers actually have rips and holes in them as part of the design, but give the feel of the fairytale falling apart, which I really like. In the third picture, I particularly like how it is slightly darker on the right hand side, as the light is coming from the window on the left - this also gives the photograph a darker more gothic feel, even if it is very subtle.

In the first picture, the skirts of the outfits as well as the setting make the photograph seem grand, however the fact that they are wearing big, chunky cardigans and the models don't look too interested gives the photograph an unusual yet interesting feel which is something that I could use for future photographs. They are both looking away from/ past the camera which makes the photograph feel almost documentary like, as if the camera is looking in on their lives.

One thing that I would change about the first two photographs, is that the colours of the outfits blend in with the background, which are similar creamy colours. I also think that in the second photograph, the lighting is too harsh, and we as the viewer of the photographs don't get to see the real detail in the models' face - it also washes the colour of her out, making it harder to tell that it is a pale silver/green.

Something that is interesting is that for the majority of the photographs of the collection, the materials of the outfits are fairly light - which would make sense as it's their summer collection. I think that for my gothic fairytale photographs, however I could use heavier fabrics for the darker theme, or perhaps mix in some lighter fabrics as a contrast.

If you look closely at the mirror in the background, you can see the photographer, which is something to bear in mind if I decide to use a mirror in my photographs. Overall, I think that this is a particularly effective advertising campaign and I find the photographs very inspiring.

Monday, 26 November 2012

7 day photo challenge

Recently, we were set the 7 day photo challenge. These were the photographs that we had to take:

day 1: a house
day 2: your shoes
day 3: from a high angle
day 4: from a low angle
day 5: something blue
day 6: time
day 7: people

The photograph to the right is for day 1 - a photograph of a house. I placed the nail varnishes in the foreground so that it related to my theme, but you can also clearly see the house behind them, which I think looks interesting.
The photograph to the left is for day 2 - a photograph of shoes. These are my favourite shoes and I also thought that they related well to my theme and they have a gothic feel to them, which is what I am planning to incorporate into my final outcome.
The photograph to the right is for day 3 - a photograph from a high angle. This is an eyeshadow and I took the picture from above as you could see the shimmer better. This could also relate to the blue image for day 5.

The photograph below is for day 4 - a photograph from a low angle. This is a blush and when I took the picture, I thought that it looked interesting from a low angle.

The image to the right is for day 5 - a photograph of something blue. This galaxy pattern is from a pair of leggings that I own, which have a lot of blue in them, which is why I chose to take a picture of them for this day.

The image to the left is for day 6 - a photograph of time. This is a pocket watch necklace that has a lot of detail of the front, but I kept it open in the picture to show the time. I think that this relates well to my idea of fairytales.

The image to the right is for the final day of the challenge, day 7 - a photograph of people. Although these aren't people, the clothes are shown to look how they would on a person, so that you can see what they look like. These are some costumes from the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour that I visited.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Shooting Plan

This is my shooting plan for my first roll of film. There are 24 exposures on this film.

My four ideas were originally : modern fairytales, lookbook style, ghost photographs and personality style photographs.

I decided not to continue with the personality style photographs, as I felt that this wasn't a particularly strong idea, and I would rather use the last six exposures to improve my other ideas to make them stronger.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Joe Gall

Joe Gall is a photographer that I found on the photography website flickr when I was searching for ghost style photographs related to fashion. This photograph is one from a collection titled Ghost Fashion that he took for the magazine Real Detroit Weekly. He took these photographs in January 2012. He uses the technique of double exposure to make the model appear as a ghost, and it also allows us to see more of the background. I personally really like this technique and plan on using it in my future outcomes for this personal project.

As these are digital photographs, I would assume that he created the double exposure technique off camera, in photoshop or a similar editing software. If I were to create my own 'ghost' photographs, I could do them off camera if I was using a digital camera, or on camera if I was using an slr, but I could also do that in the darkroom - it would be interesting to experiment and to see which technique works better.

To create a double exposure in Photoshop, you would open up both photographs that you want to use - for example one of the background and one with the model in the image. You would then copy the image with the model in it, and paste it into a new layer on the other image (the one of the background only). You would then adjust the opacity of the layer so how you like - it could be different for different images, depending on the light settings, etc...

What I like about his photographs is that they look realistic. I think that this is helped by the soft lighting and also how the model is the main thing in focus - again, something to bear in mine when I take my own photographs. The lighting seems somewhat grey toned, as are the clothes which is interesting as perhaps this is to be able to relate it to the graveyard setting.

I really like how this is set in a graveyard, as it really emphasises the technique that he has used to create these photographs. I think that this is a subtle reference at the same time, as it really makes the viewer think about this piece of artwork. I also like how he hasn't made the model too faded, as again, the viewer really thinks about it, and might even look twice at the image once they realise that it is actually using the ghost technique. These photographs were taken in winter (as I mentioned at the beginning) which is effective as the leaves have fallen off the trees, making the trees appear dead and the leaves on the ground are drying out - which is added to the theme of death within the series.

In these images (above and below), and throughout the series I think that there could be a deeper meaning in them. There is a lot of references to death, and the colours are bleak and dreary, which I think could be suggesting how particular trends don't last very long before they die and nobody wants to wear an outdated trend, perhaps.

For my final outcome, I have chosen to take fairytale style photographs, but make them gothic, and I think that this artist has really inspired me on the gothic side of the photographs. The setting and styling of the clothes are very gothic style which I personally really like. I can definitely see myself using the ghost effect in my final outcome as I feel like it will make the images look more gothic. For my final outcome I want to include several different techniques so that I have a range of different and unique images. Overall, I find Joe Gall's work inspiring as I haven't seen much 'ghost' photography and I think that this collection has been created really well.

I think that to do this technique, I would create the effect on photoshop by having an image of the background and then the image of the model there as a new layer. I would then change the layer type so that you would still be able to see the model, but you would also be able to see the background through her. The lighting in both images would have to be the same, so that the technique works, however for the second layer you could erase the rest of the image so just the model is on that layer. I think that this technique would be interesting to try as you could experiment with the different levels of opacity and the different layer types.

See more of his work here.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kirsty Mitchell

Kirsty Mitchell is a fashion photographer whose work heavily relates to the idea of fairytales. The photograph above is from a collection titled 'Wonderland' and the photographs were taken from 2009-2012. I particularly like the image above as the purple of the outfit stands out strongly against the green of the setting. A lot of her photographs from this collection seem to have a strong purple tone to them, whether it's in the outfits, the use of coloured smoke or props such as balloons. The use of the floral umbrella/parasol is interesting as it adds to the theme of the image.

There is a 'glow' coming from the wings of the outfit, which I would imagine would be from the use of back lighting - this is an interesting technique to add effect and makes the image more 'magical', which is something to think about with my own photographs. I like how there is a slight vignette effect to this photograph - this is exaggerated on the left hand side of the photograph, which makes the viewer think that they are peering to see the "fairy".  Where the image is darker, the plants seem to be dead (this is difficult to see however you can see that the plants are browner, whereas the plants where the model is are bright and vibrant). This could be symbolising that the part where the model is is a more positive place, showing that the clothes could make you feel more positive about yourself, perhaps.

I like how the outfit is extravagant and attention grabbing, whilst the background is simple yet defined. This makes the viewer automatically look straight at the model, rather than the background or the photograph as a whole being the main attention, which is particularly important in fashion photography as you want the focus to be on the clothes and the detail within them. The photograph as a whole seems to all be in focus, which is interesting as some of her other photographs from this collection have the model just in focus. This could be saying that everything in the photograph is important, but because the outfit is more colourful, it attracts more attention.

Also, I think the styling for the photograph works well with the theme - with the use of the parasol made out of flowers, and the dress almost looking too big for the model - is this a subtle way of referencing to Alice in Wonderland? Attached to the model there appear to be wings, however it could just be purple light to make the image seem more mystical. I think that every viewer could interpret it differently, which is something that I really like about this piece and also this artist.  

This reminds me a little bit of Alice in Wonderland, as the dress looks too big for the model (purposely) and so it looks like she is trying to hold it up. This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland as Alice changes sizes throughout the story, yet her dress doesn't. The model also looks small in comparison to the background if you look closely and so this could also be suggesting that the model is supposed to be a fairy, or something similar.

Going back to the lighting, not only do the wings seem to be lit up, but the umbrella made of flowers seems to be lit up slightly as well. This gives a 'magical' feel to the photograph and in relation to fairytales could be suggesting that the model in the photograph is a 'good' fairy rather than an evil character. Although this doesn't look like it's inspired by one particular fairytale, there are elements of several different fairytales, which is something to think about when I create my final outcome.

The wings almost look like smoke, which is a technique that Kirsty Mitchell uses in a lot of her other photographs from the collection, as shown below. I think that she does this because it makes the photograph seem 'dreamier' and more 'mystical', especially as it is coloured smoke. In the photographs from the collection, the models are always surrounded by nature - trees, fields, plants etc... This also makes the fairytale theme stand out as often fairytales are set around a forest, or in a garden.

Purple is a recurring colour in this collection. I think that it is particularly effective as it makes Kirsty Mitchell stand out as the photograph/artist, even though she is not in the photograph as it is her 'signature' technique throughout these photographs. Overall, I really like this artists work, and I find it very inspiring. She uses some interesting techniques which I think will inspire me in my future work.

Some more of Kirsty Mitchell's fashion photography:

Check out her website here.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is a photographer best known for his fashion photographs. His work is also included a lot in the high fashion magazine Vogue. He has also started working on short films recently. The photograph I have chosen above I believe is inspired by Alice in Wonderland (from the man wearing hare ears), which relates well to one of my final outcome ideas of Fairytales. I think that this image is interesting as the main colour is pink - perhaps to create the girly, fairytale mood to the image. I also like the slight light orb on the right hand side of the image, also in pink, as I think that it creates a dreamier tone to the image, which is important for Fairytale themed photographs.

The setting of the photograph is interesting as although you can't see much of it, due to the photograph mainly focusing on the models, you can tell that it is set in a field with woodland surroundings, and the use of flowers adds to the idea of the Alice in Wonderland theme. I feel like this makes the image more realistic, but still keeps the mythical feel to it, which is an interesting take on fairytales.

The models take up the majority of the picture, as they are the main focus (as I mentioned before) but I think that the photograph would look better if it was taken slightly further away so that you could see more of the setting, as I think that that way the viewer of the image would have to think more about what the image is about.

The use of lighting is interesting, as it seems to be coming from the left hand side of the image, and from a high angle - perhaps this is suggesting that the source of this light is the sun? This could be to make it more realistic, rather than using studio lights face on. This is something to bear in mind when I take my own photographs.

The idea of the photograph has been modernised with the types of clothes that the stylist has chosen which is something to bear in mind for my own idea. I like how there is not too much going in the background - it has been kept simple so that you focus on the outfits. The models seem to look bored in the image, and it could be to make the viewers wonder why this is - perhaps it is suggesting a meaning behind the image?

I think that if I were to recreate something similar, I would use harsher light, and perhaps turn the photograph into black and white so that it appeared more gothic which is where I think my idea is leading. When making the photograph black and white, I would have to make sure that there was lots of intricate details on the clothing, as you wouldn't be seeing their colours, which is something that I will need to keep in mind. In the clothing in this image, there are lots of details such as ruffles in both outfits. The female model has blonde hair, which reminds me of Alice in Wonderland even more. I think that if I was taking digital prints, I could add light orbs as a new layer on photoshop, but have them in colour, which I think would give the image an interesting look. The makeup in this image is very simple and natural looking, which is something that is a repeated technique in fairytale photography. For my images, I think I might use dark makeup - these will show up in the black and white photography well and I could experiment with dodging and burning to create the right amount of darkness. This will also add to the gothic theme.

Overall, I really like this photograph as I like the use of the simple background, and how you the models are nearer the camera / the camera is more focused on them rather than what else is going on in the background, however the rest is not ignored. The colours are very soft which I think is important to think about. In my final outcome I might try experimenting with using different colours to create different effects, especially as I am thinking about creating gothic fairytales. As my film photographs will be in black and white, the colours that I choose will create a variety of tones in the photograph, rather than colours. I also need to think about how shadows will show up, so lighting is key.

Check out his website here.

Some more of Tim Walker's fashion photography here :