Photoshoot 3 – 22/10/14

This photo-shoot, I went into the studio feeling pretty confident!
After having two practice shoots, I felt that I was ready and feeling rather excited to be working with not only a different model but also one of my classmates. Unfortunately, my model scheduled so thankfully my friend kindly stepped in (and I owe her a Starbucks coffee too!).

I had the studio set up ready for when my model walked in, we discussed what underwear we thought would be best and got the camera settings correct on my DSLR and then moved straight onto my Hassleblad… WITHOUT CHANGING THE SETTINGS!! *Bangs head repeatedly on table*.
This was a big photographer doo-doo and after developing the film I couldn’t believe what I had done.

Luckily, the images came out OKish, however my film looked very thin and disappointing – I went ahead and scanned the images in and with doing a slight boost on the scanning software I was able to recover parts of the images.
See below!

I had to do a lot of post production on these images – boosting the levels and contrast and having play about with the tonal range of the images to to bring back some of the detail. The images came out quite gritty-looking which I find works really well.
There is something about these images that makes the subject look quite vulnerable just wearing her underwear – the way people gaze at women nude and a lady in just lingerie can be seen in two different ways. Seeing a nude lady makes us think about the natural beauty of a woman – the skin tones, the curves of the body and there is something aesthetically pleasing that makes us want to value women in art and photography  – after all, women in art posed in this manner has always been popular genre. But seeing a lady in just her underwear changes the gaze completely – something like this can be seen in a more sexual manner, just revealing parts of her body to the viewer makes her seem like she’s teasing and posing in certain positions makes her look more appealing.
I am disappointed that I made such a big mistake for this photo-shoot, HOWEVER, I have decided to take this shoot as a happy accident! The film came out thin and rather under-exposed but I can work with this to help my photographs become a part of the Fragmented Body as part of this project I am doing at university.

These photographs are cropped to a certain manner so I can focus on specific parts of the female body and therefore develop my technical skills to ‘fragment’ this further. There are a number of things that I can do with this film – I can leave it as it is and head straight into the Darkroom and see what results I can achieve from doing a straight print.
I can also manipulate the films further – bury it, burn it, place it into bleach and see what weird effects I achieve. I plan on talking to tutor and technicians to see who I can look at for references as part of my research (I am keeping a Research Development Book (RDB) ). If you have any names then please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Let’s see what I can achieve!

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Research – Robert Mapplethorpe.

When I was in college back in Norfolk, I was introduced to the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and I was also lucky to see some of his work on exhibition in London around 4 years ago – from what I can remember was that some of the images were so graphic that all was on show was black text, mounted inside a frame describing what the photograph was! When being first introduced to photography I found that so unusual and alien like – nowadays I just want to play around with text more in certain projects!

After having a “Progress Review”  and the GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) saying “have you looked at Robert Mapplethorpe” I was a little dumb-struck and couldn’t believe I didn’t go to this photographer as a first point of call!
So today I went to the library and looked at 2 thick books of his work (also completely forgetting how graphic some photographs were and nearly fell off my seat with pure surprise! haha!).
Here are some of the images I came across that felt fitting for what I want to achieve for Independent Study.

Reading throughout the book, I soon discovered that Mapplethorpe started his career off as a sculpture and then progressed onto photography. By looking at the photographs you can clearly see the link between the two arts – some of the models he took photographs of do mimic statues!
Looking at these images helped me to understand how he positioned everybody in his photographs, and inspecting closer I understood how important body shape is – different sizes, different skin tones and even the way muscle definition can look the same but different at the same time.
By keeping them in black and white, I find that you notice the body in more detail to how you would see it in colour, which is one of the reasons why I have decided to stick to monochrome photography.

Even after his death, Mapplethorpe’s work is still being shown in various galleries all over the place, and with having that insight to his work, I hope to produce high quality images that I can show in a gallery in an exhibition I can proudly call my own. I find that there is something beautiful in monochrome photography, especially when seen up close as opposed to a big thick dusty book from the library shelf.

Photoshoot 2 – 15/10/14

Wednesday 15th October I carried out my first Hassleblad studio shoot with a female body.
I had a wonderful model called Annie who studies at my university and she kindly volunteered to model for my project (and I will hopefully be using her again!)

The photoshoot went rather smoothly and quickly and Annie was wonderful to work with.
I decided to treat this photo-shoot as another test shoot and only asked my model to stay in her underwear, purely because I wanted to work on the curves and her body shape and was still getting use to handling the Hassleblad itself.
I was stupid enough to forget my tripod so I hand held my camera which made the photoshoot go at a reasonably slow pace but I had music playing in the background and Annie and I were deep in conversation. I managed to develop the film (after much cursing in the darkroom trying to get my film onto the reel for developing) and was able to digitally scan everything using the fantastic facilities UCA has to offer.
Below are some of (what I feel are) my strongest images from this shoot.

I went away feeling rather confident working with people for this style of photoshoot, however I felt that I was ‘winging’ how I wanted Annie to stand in front of the camera. Even though I was giving her clear direction of how I wanted her I secretly had NO idea on how I wanted her to stand/sit and was pretty much treating everything like a photographic experiment.

After having a Progress Review with the Photography’s GTA and around 8 of my classmates we all agreed that I should probably research looking into body forms and shapes to help me get a clearer idea of how models posed for paintings and photographs (which I will no doubt create a moodboard on Pintrest for purely for this) and to also research into the Anatomy a bit more in depth too.
I was also suggested to take a visit to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to look at all the statues and how they are carved and moulded.

NEXT STEPS:
* Look into body posture
* Look into body shapes – both feminine and masculine
* Look into Anatomy
*Try and plan a visit to the V&A.

Blimey! Inspirashun. Nuff said, yeah?

After my test shoot with Tom on the 6th October, I walked away from the shoot feeling that my images were far too simple for this project, and so I began to think of different ideas

After stepping away from the monochrome darkroom after a year or so, I have been really eager to get back into the environment so I decided to look at experimental darkroom images by doing a quick Google Image search and looking at various things on my Pintrest. Below are some of the examples I have found.

The images I have found have inspired me greatly. Not only do they focus on the nude aspects of photography but by undergoing different experimentations to distort the image. By distorting the images in various ways like the images have undergone above, it helps to create more of a sense of fragmentation and also adds an element of “Fine Art” to the photography – the process taken to create these photographs have been carefully perfected on and look artistic or something you would have featured in a gallery.

Using this as inspiration, I want to focus my photography on using film, preferably 120mm still as I am still able to pick up the detail in my photoshoots and if I was to do anything to the film negatives I have plenty of space to experiment with. Once photoshoots have taken place I then want to undergo surface manipulation, playing with different materials, water and maybe even other chemicals to see what outcomes works best and to try and figure out how to make my imagery look more in the topic of The Fragmented Body. 

Digital Experiment Two

After showing my first digital experiment to my peers, I went back onto Adobe Premier Pro and altered my digital narrative piece.
As you can see, I changed the beginning and got rid of my name, and I made the text appear longer on the screen too.

Looking back at the small alterations I made, I felt that this video didn’t quite tell the narrative I wanted it to portray. I got the basics of what school I was at at what age and the thing I remembered when I was so young. This narrative is very straight forward and very informative and I wanted it to be personal and slightly more interesting.
I went back to the drawing board and after discussion with my tutors, I decided the next best move was to scrap the text/captions and change everything to audio – in particular a recording of me explaining everything in detail.
By doing this, I feel that my video will be more personal and when my audience will listen to my video, they will hopefully have discovered some sort of connection with my school years to how they was at school – even if it sparks a memory or from personal adventures.

 

StoryBoard for Digital Narrative.

After completing the Powerpoint Presentation, I decided that my digital narrative could be made in a more creative way.
A few weeks ago, the second year photographers had a workshop on how to use software such as Lightroom and Adobe Premier Pro to help us to make a high quality video.

Before creating my short video based on my school years, I decided it would be best for my to create a story board of what I want and how to achieve my short film.

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This is my story-board I created. I divided an A3 sheet of paper into grids and placed images and text with what I want my slides to say throughout the video. I also added where I want my text to fade in and out, where I wanted music and notes at the bottom of each grid.

Creating this story board has given me an advantage to this project – it allows me to experiment with change in my story line  to improve my creation. This acts as a visual process for my vital thinking and planning thus allowing me to brainstorm and place ideas onto a story board which helps me to create and place more ideas.

Analysis of Two Photographs

After flicking through Bill Owens’ book Suburbia  I came across a photograph that jogged my memory. On the left, you will see a photograph from a collection of images my mother took as a child playing with close family friends (unfortunately we lost contact over the years) and underneath, you will see Bill Owens’ image.

Despite the fact that the two are different in terms of how the photographs are shot, they do have their similarities.

When I first viewed Bill Owens’ image, it jogged my memory of a photograph I believe my mother had taken of me whilst I was playing in my room. I managed to find the photograph in my mother’s personal archive of photographs.
Placing the images side by side, you can see the differences and similarities. Firstly Owens’ picture is monochrome and mine is in colour. Both photographs has a bed featured in the pictures, however the bed in my found image has been cropped out slightly unlike Owens’. My found image also features two young girls (one of them being me) where as Owens’ image only has one girl, but you can see the toys/mess in her bedroom more clearly than my image.
Just by viewing the images side by side, you can see what style of photography has been used to capture these two very different moments. Owens has taken more of a Documental approach to his image. His image shows the entire room, the girl sitting on the bed and the mess all over the floor. By taking this image he wanted to show the viewer the whole scenario as well as documenting the life of this young girl in this situation, where as my found photograph has been taken in more of a snapshot style. My photograph focuses more on myself and my play mate and the toys I have been playing with.  The angle of my found image is pretty much in line with my eyes  and the format of who my room has been portrayed may suggest that a “point and shoot” camera has been used, whereas in Bill Owens’ picture the whole room is displayed suggesting that a wide angle lens has been used.

Myself aged 5.

Myself aged 5.

Bill Owens Image.