Thursday, 31 January 2013

Final Evaluation

For this project, we were allowed to choose what we wanted to do, as long as it related to our chosen theme for the year - my chosen theme was fashion. This allowed us to be more creative with our work, as we were choosing something that personally really interested us. It was also interesting as it meant that nobody's work would be the same / or similar. It was a little bit difficult at first to think of ideas, because we had complete choice and control, but once I started to research artists, I began to think of possible outcome ideas. I started off by researching artists who had taken pictures for magazines, and looked at the techniques that they had used to create their photographs. An artist that I particularly liked researching was Joe Gall who incorporated 'ghost' photography (double exposure) with fashion :

I first experimented and explored with the idea of gothic fairytales, but then I started to look more at portraiture work, and decided that instead of going with my initial idea of double exposure and the gothic fairytales, I chose to incorporate my theme of fashion into portraiture work, as I felt like this would be something different and more unique from my previous outcomes. Throughout the project, my ideas evolved dramatically, but I'm glad they did as I did fairytale photographs during my AS year, and wanted to do something different, which is why I was more inspired by portraiture photographs. I feel that if I had stayed with the idea of fairytales, I wouldn't have experimented much or looked at new techniques and artists as I had already done it, so because I changed my idea, I have more variation on my blog now.

My main inspiration for my final outcome was Andy Warhol, and his collection of photobooth pictures:

I thought his work was really interesting, as he captured peoples expressions and thoughts (as well as fashion sense) at that exact moment and I took inspiration from this for my final piece, as well as from the work of Cindy Sherman, who is famous for her self portraits where she takes on the persona of other people, which also inspired me for my final piece as I decided to do self-portraiture for my final outcome:

 Overall, these were the two artists that inspired me the most throughout this project.

I think that for this project, I presented my final piece in an interesting and unique way - on a pinboard full of photo strips, so that it looks like a memory board. I'm personally happy with how it turned out and I think that visually it looks really interesting, rather than being on a mounted sheet, as it looks more personal. 

I think that I should have done a bigger variety of images and dressed up in more interesting outfits to take on different personas, as I think that this could have related more to the theme of gothic that I was exploring at the beginning of the project. I also think that I should have done more facial expressions, or set the camera to a timer where it takes several pictures in a row, like an actual photobooth would do, as it would capture the real feeling of a photobooth and wouldn't look as posed or 'staged'.

Overall, I really enjoyed this project, however I found it difficult to begin with as there were no set rules that we had to follow, it being the personal project. Also at the beginning, we were asked to think of final outcome ideas, which I found slightly difficult as we'd just begun the project, however overall I enjoyed it. Although when I started exploring different techniques and artists, I found it enjoyable and interesting. In the future, I think that I would like to incorporate portraiture into my fashion theme and combine them as I really enjoyed that. 

The photographs above are how I originally displayed the photographs, however I decided to change it as I felt that the way that it was currently presented was almost too crowded, and perhaps it would look better if it was displayed in a simpler way, such as what I decided to do below :

Overall, I think that this way turned out much better than the original way of presenting my artwork. I used thin pins to pin the photographs to the foamboard, as it doesn't take away from the photographs which heavier pins would, such as the typical gold pins. 

Dark Room Experiments

Experimenting with the 'drip' and 'splatter' effect - makes the photograph look more gothic and interesting. Also makes the viewer look harder to see what the picture actually is of.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Final Outcome Photo Options - Contact Sheet

For my final outcome I took lots of photographs, so that I had a variety to choose from. Here were all of the photographs that I took :

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Final Outcome Intentions - Personal Project

For my final outcome, I plan to recreate my own photobooth style photographs but also mix them with the gothic techniques that I have been researching throughout this project. In terms of presenting them, I want to create lots of different styled photobooth 'strips' of images and present them on a pinboard, perhaps with a few of the best printed larger on a mounted sheet. They will be placed randomly on the pinboard to make them more interesting. I will edit the digital photographs on photoshop and will pay specific attention to making sure that there is a boarder around the images - perhaps inpsired by polaroid images. This will make them look more authentic as photobooth images, and will also make them look more interesting to the viewer.

Although I've moved away from my original idea of gothic fairytales, I still plan to keep with the gothic theme to make the images different and unique as apposed to just the normal expected photobooth/polaroid images. For each strip of images, I plan to create a new 'persona', for example in one image, the clothing and props could be quite girly, but in another gothic, and in another something else. I want to experiment by taking lots of different images and picking the best ones to go on my mounted sheet. On photoshop, I know that you can make the photographs look like a film strip, which could be an interesting presentation technique that I will have a look out to see if it works / looks any good with my photographs. I plan to mix colour photostrips with black and white and sepia photographs to make the pinboard look more interesting.

On some of the images, I might decide to scratch into them - to create the creepy, gothic feel, for example scratch over the eyes or the face or the props, etc... I could also mix some real negatives into my photographs and scratch onto those aswell. This will create a subtle yet interesting effect onto my images that will cause the viewers to look more carefully at the images individually.

Another idea is that I could tone some of the images with different coloured food dyes which will also create an unusual effect. I could tone images on photoshop as well. I think that overall, my outcome will look interesting and reflect the work that I've been studying throughout this project in some way. I think that the idea of creating different personas in the different photostrips is a unique idea and it will make the viewers pay more attention to see that it is me in all of the pictures.

 (image from google).

Mock up of final outcome :

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director best known for her conceptual portraits. Some of her work has been displayed in French Vogue and also Harper's Bazaar. I personally like her work as it is interesting and unique. Some of photographs are self portraiture yet she looks different in each of them, so it really makes the viewer think about the photograph. I like this specific photograph above as the background is fairly basic - a brick wall and a lamp, however the model is looking away and it makes the viewer think about what she is looking at. In a lot of Cindy Sherman photographs, she is looking away from the camera at something beyond the camera, which is an interesting and repeated technique throughout her work. This photograph is from a collection called 'untitled film stills' in which she is the model in all of them. She didn't title the photographs to preserve their ambiguity. They are all shot in black and white and were taken between 1977-1980.

For my final outcome, I think that her work will be inspirational as I am planning to do self portraiture combined with Andy Warhol's photobooth technique. I particularly like the idea of the black and white images as they create more shadows and tones within the image, making them more effective. I also like how the model in the image seems distracted, or perhaps doesn't know that the photograph is being taken - or it is supposed to look like that to the viewer. This makes the photograph look more like a snapshot rather than a posed image, and I personally really like this technique.

What is interesting about Cindy Sherman is that she does everything for her photographs - the photographer, the model, the makeup artist, the wardrobe 'director', hair stylist etc... so the work is purely her own with no help from others, which I find very inspiring. This is what I have been doing for my own photographs this project. Some of her photographs are high fashion, yet some of hers are more classic like the photograph above - this shows interesting variety for the artist.

Ghost Experimentations Continued

Monday, 14 January 2013

Photobooth Photographs

I took these photographs which were inspired by the Andy Warhol Photobooth photographs. These are self portraits, which were also inspired by Mariell Amelie. I used different props to create the effect of different personnas, even though you could tell it was me in all of the photographs. On photoshop I created the effect of a photo strip (a line of 4 photographs) to make it look like the photographs were taken in a photobooth. I also made the photograph black and white (above) and also in sepia :

to create a vintage effect. Overall, I think that I like the slight sepia effect is the best as it creates a vintage feel but also keeps the colours of the clothes and props - which is important relating to my chosen theme of fashion. I also like the polaroid camera prop, as I think that this adds to the vintage theme for the sepia images.

I then decided to experiment with using a traditional photobooth border the the images, and made them more portrait than landscape - it also looked more professional :

Andy Warhol Photobooth


Andy Warhol was an artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. The photographs above are from a series titled Andy Warhol Photobooth. I think that this idea is interesting as the setting looks natural and can be recreated fairly easily. I think that these photographs look simple making the people in them the main focus of the image. I could recreate similar photographs that relate to my theme, by dressing up and taking photographs of different styles for example gothic. As I'm doing fashion photography, I'd need to focus more on the details in the top/dress, the makeup and the hair/accessories as you wouldn't be able to see the trousers/skirt/shoes. I'm also doing self portraiture, so I think that for each image I could replicate different styles and photographs, so that the viewer would have to look closely to be able to tell that it was me in every picture. 

These images are in black and white (although they appear slightly yellow toned here), which I think creates more shadow and tones to the photographs. If I were to recreate the images I think that I would use either black and white or sepia to replicate the vintage feel. However, I could keep them in colour to keep the photographs feeling modern. I could even have a mix of both for a vintage yet modern approach - something to think about. For these photographs, I create fashion/makeup/hair looks that are typically vintage to go with the idea of a photobooth.To relate it to my final outcome for this challenge, I think that I could mix the gothic fairytales with this idea of presenting my images. What I like about these images is that they're simple and basic, with the plain background and the lack of colour, but each photograph is interesting as there is something different happening in each of them. The viewer pays attention to each individual photograph rather than just the photo strip as a whole. It makes you wonder what the model was thinking at that exact time that the photograph was taken, and why they did a specific pose etc...

What I like about these images so much is that you get to see more of the personality behind the models in these photo strips. Although I plan to take on slightly different personas in each photo strip, I could refer back to these images to look at the poses. Something that I think about when I look at these pictures was were the models somehow listening to music? Sometimes music can affect your mood and perhaps inspired them for their poses, however this is just a thought. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Mariell Amelie

Marielle Amelie is a London based photographer who focuses on self portraits. I personally am really inspired by her work, as my recent work has been fashion mixed with self portraits. I think that I could relate this style of photography to both gothic and fairytales whilst combining them to create a contrast. For example, I could find an idylic setting - but wear all black, or I could take the photograph in a graveyard when it's dark, but wear all white. I think that this would be interesting as it would make the viewer really think about the whole photograph and the elements within it. This artist also sometimes does ghost photography, which is also what I am inspired by, so perhaps I could combine that also.

I think that this work is particularly interesting because of the settings that she uses as well as the outfits. For example, in the third image, the sheer cape that she is wearing is being blown to the right, but as it is sheer we can see the background through it - making it again appear ghostly and mysterious. Throughout the pictures I've noticed that although it is the same person, she has taken over different personas in a subtle way, especially over the years of her self-portraiture.

In the first two images, they are set at night, so you can't always see the background, however the artist has picked what she wants to be lit in the image, so she almost has more control over the what is shown in the picture, whereas the third picture is set during the day and is therefore lit, however it makes the photograph seem more 'innocent'.

In the second picture I think that it would be fairly easy to recreate with the technique of light painting, which is something that I might try. I think that it looks interesting and effective, and adds colour to the shot. It could be interesting the make the photograph black and white and to have just the light painting in colour. I think that you could combine both the gothic and innocent fairytale effect to the same image.

Overall, I really like the work of Marielle Amelie as I think that it is unique and interesting. I find it inspiring for self portraiture and plan to take inspiration from this for my final outcome. 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Final Film Mindmap and Moodboard

                  1                                   4                               2                       5                                         3

Inspirational images. Left to right:

1) Andy Warhol
2) Cindy Sherman
3) Joe Gall
4) Norman Jean Roy
5) Mariell Amelie

Monday, 7 January 2013

Ghost Photography Experimentations

 For this experiment, I decided to try out the ghost photography technique. I took photographs and created a double exposure technique in photoshop. Some of the photographs I took were over exposed as this helped to give a more 'ghostly' effect when I double exposed the images:

For the three photographs above, I took the pictures outside at night time. I thought that this added a unique and mysterious effect as well as creating a more gothic feel to the photograph. I played around with using the flash on my camera - which did give a ghostly effect, however I preferred using the outside light, as this gave a slightly softer effect.

To create this effect in photoshop, open up your two images, and copy and paste one into the other as a new layer. Then change the opacity to around 50%, however this will change depending on your chosen photographs. For some of the images I also changed the layer type to screen, as this gave a more over exposed effect which I think made the ghost effect better and more interesting, as it was harder to see the 'ghost'.

For the two photographs above, I took this photographs inside using softbox lighting. I put them quite close as this gave a harsher effect - which made everything look slightly more doll like - relating to the fairytale idea. The second photograph is more faint which I think creates a more ghost like effect - it also creates the idea of two separate ghosts rather than just one in the background, which I think is interesting.

For the photograph above, I again blended the two images and then added a dark blue layer on top, and changed the layer type to overlay, for a vintage effect. I also then played around with the curves which created a bit more of a blue tone to the image:

This photograph above is simple and is just of the flower headband that I was wearing. I thought it was a contrasting image as it combines both the black and gothic feel with the plain and 'innocent' white background and porcelain skin.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Progress Review

1 - Which materials and techniques have you experimented with during this project?

Throughout this project, I have experimented with several different techniques both in the dark room and digitally. In the dark room, I have done double exposure, the 'bokeh' effect and also toning, and digitally I have experimented with 'the vintage effect', light and layer blending techniques and just generally changing colours on photoshop.

2 - Have you explored and developed your ideas imaginatively? How have you demonstrated this? (Give examples, links to posts or include images).

During this project, I think that I have explored and developed my ideas imaginatively. I've demonstrated this by trying out quite a few techniques (as mentioned above) and researching about them for example I found the 'bokeh' technique and then researched how to do it and tried it out in several ways that I think were imaginative and creative for example I changed the shape of the bokeh effect for my photographs - 

but then I experimented with the idea further and used double exposure to create another outcome using the same image as above - 

(for the image above I also decided to crop it in the dark room, which I think shows that I have developed my ideas and continued to experiment with the same image).

3 - Have you researched a diverse range of photography and completed this on your blog? Who have you analysed? Are your analyses in-depth? (Again, give examples and link to posts).

For this project, I have researched several different artists that inspire me, but they also have different styles of photography. First, I analysed the work of Tim Walker whose work relates heavily to fairytales, as does the work of Kirsty Mitchell. These two artists inspired me to continue my work to the theme of fairytales, but I didn't want to do the traditional fairytales, so when I analysed the work of Joe Gall who used the ghost photography technique, I decided to create gothic fairytales. I also analysed Mark Hunter and Norman Jean Roy whose work also relates to the idea of fairytales. I feel that my analyses are in depth and explore different elements of the photographs, as well as discussing how I could recreate these techniques in my own photographs. 

4 - Have you explored a range of ideas around your theme within your experiments? What are they? How have they informed your ideas?

I think that I have explored a range of ideas around my theme within my experiments as I have taken an idea and experimented further with it. For example, I took a picture of me holding an apple (like Snow White) :

so you can see the nail varnish and the hair in terms of my chosen theme of fashion, but then I took a picture of just the apple:

and then to relate it to my theme I put the lipstick mark on it. I think this is also a subtle reference to Snow White, which is an interesting effect. I think that this shows that I have explored a range of ideas around my chosen theme of fashion.

5 - Have you refined / developed your outcomes through experimentation? How?

I think that I have developed my outcomes through experimentation, for example after I'd done double exposure in the dark room with this picture :

I then took the experimentation further by toning the image with a drip like effect - making the photograph more gothic:

6 - Have you annotated, in detail, your experiments and developments on your blog and used this information to help you improve?

Yes, I think that throughout this project I have annotated all of my images and explained how I created this technique and what I would do differently next time.

7 - Which techniques / experiments have been most successful? Why?

I think that the double exposure technique has been the most successful as I found that it worked quite well and would be useful for ghost photography styles. I also think that the bokeh experiment worked well as it made my photographs more unique.

8 - Which techniques / experiments have been least successful? Why?

I think that bleaching was the least successful technique (as shown here) as I found that it made the image harder to see and I didn't think that it made the photograph better.

9 - Which techniques / experiments will you be developing further for your final outcome? Why?

I think that I will develop the double exposure technique more so that for my final outcome I can create ghost photographs. I also want to experiment more with the idea of presenting my work to create an interesting and more unique final outcome.

10 - What else can you do to further develop the techniques / experiments you want to use for your final outcome? 

I think that if I experiment more with the techniques that I've been looking at throughout this project, then I will be able to use them better in my final outcome and the outcome will be of a higher quality.