Thursday, 12 January 2012

Environment Task 1 - 'What Lies Beyond Nature...'

For my initial idea for this project was actually my final idea, at first I decided that my film wasn't what i wanted, but after re-visiting it I found images that I could develop into a final idea. My original idea was humans affects on nature, but after looking at the images I felt they were about more than that.

I then came up with the idea of 'whats beyond nature...' I chose 3 images from my contact sheet which were taken of a park near a train station, they show trees and bushes almost making a frame around the picture and within the frames is a car park and train tracks, at first they meant nothing to me, but after looking at them carefully I started to think what is be beyond nature? We dont often think much of the nature surrounding us, we dont really think about what can be beyond it. Because of the way the pictures are taken with the bushes and trees framing the picture they create a door way to another world, almost like the film The Secret Gardens, they invite you in and make you question the photo.

The way the photos are framed by trees and bushes makes me think of the archway in this film cover of The Secret Gardens. By having an arch way frame it creates an alternative world to the photograph, the image inside of the frame becomes speperate to the photo which then makes you question the photo as a whole.

This is another image which has an archway framing the image made of bushes and trees, making you wonder and question what is beyond there. My images are not as fairytale like but i used these as inspiration to photograph my final images. 

I wanted my final images to capture what isn't real, there isnt an alternative world beyond nature, but these images make you want to think that there is. Life would be boring if everything was based around reality with photography you can create things that aren't real. To really capture the sense that its not realistic they are slightly blurred in parts, as if they were a dream or a misty haze.

The Body - Obsession & Vanity

For the body I initially wanted to carry on the same idea from my object project which was looking at body image, but considering we had find a model which we didn’t know I found it hard to approach someone in a way which wouldn’t offend someone who had problems with their body image as it’s quite a deep and personal thing. I still wanted to look into body image, but decided that my initial idea was too personal so I decided to look at vanity and obsession as a concept. I was interested in how a person can become so obsessed with their personal appearance and wanted to try and capture this with a camera.

Whilst developing my idea I had to think about what type of lighting I would use to create the right mood and set for my idea. I decided Bright lighting as if they were the centre of attention, making them the focal point in the photo; I didn’t think it was appropriate to use many props or have anything in the background as I wanted to the model to be the main focus, showing her vanity and obsession with herself. Shooting in black was hard, it made me think about the picture more, and how the outcome would affect my overall idea. I didn’t want my image to have the wrong feel, so taking this into account I decided certain poses and bright lighting were best to represent the idea of vanity and obsession.
I started off my research with simply looking for photographers that had done any work related to vanity and obsession. I came across a fashion photographer Gavin Bond who took the fashion industry’s obsession with being skinny and size zero in this playful yet eye-opening photography set. Gavin put together a couple, a hunky male model with a female skeleton. The couple act out typical fashion editorial and ad campaign scenes, which includes beach and swimming pool lounging and dining. His approach to this concept is definitely eye opening and makes you aware of the absurdness of this skinny fascination that leaves female models as living skeletons.

Body Image Photography 3

Body Image Photography 6

Body Image Photography 2

Other images i found on the internet relating to vanity and obsession...

I like this image because it almost looks surreal and terrifying. I also like the way they have used a mirror in this image, really highlights the vain side of the person being photographed. After looking at this picture I decided I want to experiment with mirrors in my final shoot, which got me thinking about other ideas.

These are a few pictures i took on a digital camera which I though linked to the idea of obsession and vanity with ones appearance. They are images of close ups of a persons' lips, they were for another project realting to vanity and I they helped me with insperation as in my final shoot the model woar red lipstick. There a stereotype that when people wear vast amounts of make-up and take pictures upon pictures of themselves it means they vain, I wanted my project to proove this statement but not just become a typical stereotype photograph . It's also been said that boredom can lead to vanity and then vanity becomes obsession.

Final Shoot
I really enjoyed shooting this project, at first I wasnt sure if it was going to turn out right, but as soon as the shoot got going everything seemed to work its self out. I shot two roles of film, medium format black and white, as I wanted to have a wide variety of photos to work from. After developing my film it took me a while to decide which photos were best, as we were allowed only one image for this project I wanted it to be a strong image. In the end I narrowed it down to four images and from them I chose my final image.

Contact Sheet 1

Contact Sheet 2

My Final two imges, which i then picked a final one.

This was my original final image, but when I was printing this, I discovered that the lights in the background are so bright that there is no background line, so the image looks like its fake or computerised. Which fits with my idea of vanity and obsession, but I decided I wanted to have an image with more detail.

I finally decided on this image as my final print as there is more detail and more of an alternative meaning behind the image, it makes you really think what is this picture about. Having a mirror in this image, allows the viewer to  create a perspective when they look at the photograph they start to think that maybe when a person looks in a mirror they dont only see themsleves they see an ulternate world, which revolves all around them.

Environment Task 2 (Continued) - 'Structure'

For the second part of the environment I looked into the idea of structure within an urban space, here are a few images which were my first inspiration for this project. I then developed an idea and decided to photograph a housing estate near me, which has lots of buildings which are very similar and often repeated. New housing developments are often rows of houses which look all the same, and they have no characteristics about them which got me to thinking about structure. Lots of the houses have certain structures in the way they were built which I found interesting. They are modernly structured like most buildings are today to create this new world where everything looks excatly the same.

I like the idea that there is no such thing as naturally structured, as to structure something means to purposefully make something in a particular way. This got me to thinking about the environment and how there are certain places that have structures which are not natural. 

Research and Inspiration

These are a few images I found on the internet, they have a repeatitive structure to them which is what I wanted to try and create in my final images. My final images dont follow the exact same concept as these, but they were good for initial inspirations.

These are my 3 final images...

Whilst photographing this project I noticed that structure has become a big part of modern society today, everything has a certain structure. I wanted to capture the idealistic and perfect perspective that these new housing developments have, there structured purpose is to be perfect and look faultless. I like that in each image the houses always go down in rows, either to the left or right, this also becomes a structured effect to the house.

Pastiche 2 - Lee Friedlander, 'Albuquerque, New Mexico', 1972

Out of the two pastiches I found this was the hardest, trying to find a place which was deserted at the right time of day including all the elements of the original.  I eventually found a place which had most of the elements of Friedlander’s photo like the lamp post, traffic light, zebra crossing and a street which was deserted with a few buildings in the background. I took this photograph at 7.30am on a Sunday as I thought this was the best time to capture this without cars and people getting in the way. When I develpoed this film I found that because it was so early the pictures came out alot darker than i wanted. In the end I chose to print picture number 13 on the contact sheet as it was the brightest and most in focus out of all of them.

Contact Sheet

My final print didn't turn out as great as I hoped but taking into consderation the problems with my camera, I think it turned out ok. I found it hard printing this picture because of how blurred it was, but it has the main elements of the original so I'm pleased with that. Next time I will definetely experiment several times with shooting before I print, so i get a clear and percise image when I come to print.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Pastiche 1 – Robert Adams, ‘On Signal Hill’, Overlooking Long Beach California’, 1983

When I developed the film it didn’t come out great, there was a problem with the camera when I was shooting, the shutter wasn’t working making some shots blurred. Also the film didn’t wind on properly so some of the frames had been double took, which ruined some of the photos. But there were a few which hadn’t been affected by the faults of the camera, so i made a contact sheet and decided which to print from that. 

Contact Sheet

Final Print

I found the perfect place to take this photograph, near to where a live there is loads of fields with a few trees over looking the town centre. I found it hard to get the camera in the exact position to the original picture, but it has the main elements, the town center, fields and the tree. Overall I like my pastiche and think it worked well consdering the faults the camera had.