Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Exam Prep Evaluation

Throughout the course of this project, my ideas have changed from my first intentions, for example, I started out wanting to create 'movement and light' photographs, as I was particularly inspired by the work of Brad Carlile. I thought that this could relate to the exam theme of inside, outside and in-between because you could take a photograph of an outside setting, and combine it with a photograph of something inside creating a double exposure, but also use light and even edit colours in on photoshop to create the in-between part - having both outside and inside photographs but using something in-between the two layers of photographs to create something new and distinctive. I then went on to explore the idea of 'inner character', as I was inspired by the work of Eve Arnold and also Carsten Witte. This related to the exam theme of inside, outside and in-between as you could take a photograph of a person wearing different outfits, the outside but still try and capture their personality, the inside. I think that the in-between part could be related to the choice of setting(s) for the photographs, which could also be suggesting something about the 'inner character' of the model. I decided not to go with this idea, as throughout the course I have already researched and focused on portraiture, and self portraiture and I wanted to move away from this to create something completely new for my final exam outcome. The idea that I decided to go with was 'the everyday' as I felt that this gave me the most options in terms of a final outcome, and wasn't a limited idea (for example, I didn't have to have a model in the picture if I decided not to, whereas with 'inner character' I would have done). I was particularly inspired by the work of artists such as William Eggleston and Jorma Puranen as they took the everyday, and everyday subjects such as cars, planes and even the sunrise/sunset and distorted it further so that suddenly it was something new, and not something out of the everyday, but it was at the same time, and I found this really interesting and wanted to explore it further. 

I experimented a lot throughout this project, which I think that I really needed to do to help me decide what would work best for my final outcome. Inspired by Jorma Puranen, linked above, I decided to look at how water can distort an image, which is a simple yet effective technique. 

Above is one of my favourite pieces by the artists, Jorma Puranen. I created several of my own versions, one of which is shown below:

Although my photographs aren't as vibrant or contrasted as the ones that I have researched, I like how simplistic they are, and it really makes the viewer think about what the photograph is of. At the beginning when I was looking at movement and light, I experimented a lot with 3D photograph editing on photoshop. I really enjoyed this technique, and it is another form of distortion, however I'm glad that I chose not to continue with it, as I felt that I couldn't further my development any more. More recently, I experimented with the technique of cyanotypes, which is something that I really enjoyed. I used thick paper to create the ones linked, but I think that it would be interesting to try it out with fabric, as I think that it would look really effective. Overall with experimentation, I think that I explored a wide range of methods and techniques, bringing variety into my work. 

To begin with, I found the exam theme inside, outside, and in-between difficult as I felt that you could do almost anything and it would relate to the theme in someway, which although may be good at times, it makes it harder to narrow down your ideas to what you want to do for your final outcome. I enjoyed the prep work as this allowed me to develop my ideas further and to see what would work and what wouldn't for my final outcome, for example I was able to work out timings better for the photo transfer using the 'mod podge', as this was a material that I hadn't used before. I think that if the glass photo transfer works after being left for as long as possible (roughly 24 hours) I think that it will have been a successful final outcome and I think that my mounted sheet of dark room prints will also be good. Overall, I have enjoyed this exam theme as once I had my final outcome idea, I was inspired to take lots of pictures so that I had a wide variety to chose from for my final outcome and mounted sheet.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

How does the idea of distortion relate to the theme : inside, outside and in-between?

Lately, I have been looking at and researching different types of distortion, both in photography and fine art (a fine art example - Gerhard Richter). I have personally really enjoyed researching this idea, as I think that it has helped my experiments to become more interesting and it's also something that I haven't explored very much before, so it is completely different to my previous work and research. Out of the several themes that we were allowed to chose from for this topic ;

-movement and light
-inner character
-the five senses
-the everyday

I finally decided to go with the theme of 'the everyday', after exploring some of the other ones at the beginning of the project, for example, 'movement and light'. Although I enjoyed the concept of movement and light, and I enjoyed experimenting with it, I decided that it would be better for me to go with the idea of 'the everyday' for my exam piece, as this was something that I hadn't looked at before, and therefore, as I mentioned earlier, was something new and different.

When I was creating darkroom prints, I placed some glass over the paper as it was being exposed, to make sure the paper was lying completely flat, but as I was developing the image, I saw that the glass actually had lots of scratches on it, but I thought that this made the image look more distinctive, which was a starting point for the idea of distortion, shown here.

I think that my photographs, and the photographs that I have researched relate well to the exam theme of 'inside, outside and in-between', due to the subject matter of my photographs. For example, a lot of my images have been of the outdoors - tree branches, the textures of the ground (grass, bridle paths, pebble beaches) relating to the outside part of the theme. The inside part is how I've edited, changed and distorted my images either in photoshop or in the darkroom. The in-between is the distortion between the negative and the paper, for example, the scratched glass, or the handmade negative method placed on the photo paper, which has water or salt on it to enhance the image. The theme doesn't have to be taken literally, and this is what I wanted to show with my work.