Sunday, 14 October 2012

Experimentation Work - Review.

The first experiments were in the Summer AS/A2 assignment. My favourite here was the collages I did inspired from Michelle Thompson and Quentin Jones because I enjoy being able to use my imagination for things and incooperating other materials into my photographs. For example by 9/11 inspired work here which from looking at Thompson work below I saw headline like quotes and thought that I could relate mine to a worldwide event. The scratching into photograph wasn't really my thing because I quite liked leaving my photographs as they were because of the effectiveness of the flawless imagery and how usually fashion photographs are clear and uuntouched in terms of catalogue fashion and photoshoots such as Nick Knights. Although Jones' had this element combined with colour and plain background which inspired me to produce another relating more to the photographs themselves and taking a more graphic like approach which I enjoyed because I could keep all elements of my photographs as well as making them looks surreal and cartoon like, also a bold stand out from the background inspired by Jones.

< Quentin Jones

            Michelle Thompson >

I didn't enjoy the origami because I couldn't understand tutorials I watched and also I couldn't relate it to suggested artist Rebecca Chew because hers was far more advanced than these and my outcome which wass very simple. I didn't like how the photograph used was completely taken away, it wasn't clear what it was and it didn;t present any form of advertisement for the fashion theme I have taken on.

The Greg Sand inspired weaving was very effective in my opinion, I really liked the meaning behind the photographs being wound together and how this showed the appearance on the outside yet had an undercover to the thoughts inside their head. I enjoyed cutting the photographs and weaving them was a complicated process but I liked how mined turned out, I thought the contrast between the coloured image and the black and white one worked well together seen as it showed off my photograph in its edited enhancement and the thoughts of her mind sat in the background not taking over the photograph itself, the texture was my favourite element, it was clearly bumpy and gave me a slight 3D element which I didn;t like doing in the origami.

The sewing inspired my Stacey Page wasn't enjoyable and I found it very hard to sew because I was inexperienced at it, it was also very time consuming for such a small piece of work. Using paper and card probably made this harder because of the effort it took to put the neede thorugh and how easily the effect and colour could be ruined if it had ripped. I really liked her work, it made me quite eager to produce my own because of how perfect it was and the interesting comparison it had to just the plain darkroom photograph, the meaning behind the particular photograph of hers I took inspiration from 'Take me with you'(below) inspired me to base mine on a similar theme, her idea of the insides being shown and ripped out by someone else matched her use of red for the gore and black for the dark theme of the work, I used red to present the insides and leave out a dark meaning because of the lack of contrast dark thread would have on my image. The sewing gave it an interesting texture but not as smoothly running as Page's, it was rather jagged than neat but it sutied the edgy and alternative look of my photograph and also didn't hide or take away the garment, instead enhanced it to something more interesting and different compared to a normal fashion shoot.
I then tried enhancing my image by using paint instead of thread, going for a more tribal looking approach inspired by William Hatch Crosby, the paint he used was on black and white photographs but I thought that mine were more effective in colour so I followed his approach doing this. I didn't like my first attempt becaue I made it rather random and allover the image rather than creating a tribal effect on a portrait like Crosby did, his direction of brush mark was very important and I didn't take much care in mine so it looked rushed and messy, although my second attempt I did in yellow to contrast the black and white which I decided to try out here instead, I kept the composition more simplistic and tried to create a similar effect that Crosby had by paying more attention to my brushstrokes and coverage the paint was achieving, it reminded me of something a make-up artist would do in a fashion show to try and represent the style as more wild and animalistic.

The pinhole photographs by Amy Friend reminded me of something very friendly and warming, the sepia tones matched this and I enjoyed creating my attempt although I wasn;t very impressed with its result. By using a pin Friend poked holes into appropriate places such as lights or an area/shape needing highlighting so that light can shine through it and look as if bright lights are actually in the photograph. When I did this the needle was too small and the holes too minor, when held up to the light it wasn't that effective because of this, the light couldn't clearly shine through enough, it was time consuming and looking back at my piece I think it would suit better as sepia toned so I have done that here using, also cropped so just her face is shown because the light passed through much more effectively here than on the text on the gravestone.
The scrunching of the photographs didn't impress me much because of how simple and basic it was, it was very easy for me to structure the paper to be creased but the importance of this Stephen Shanabrook inspired work was in the title - Paper Surgery, it was as if he had taken his opinion and in emotion scrunched the paper to fit what he saw as malfunctions in people. My scrunching shows her being pulled into religion by having the cross bigger which I thought was an appropriate meaning and could represent many people today, the fashion side of it doesn't work because the clothing/make-up isn't clearly shown and is distorted from what its original look would be.

I then moved onto darkroom experimenting. The first thing I did was create a vignetted effect. I did this by using a silohette of my chosen shape - a basic and traditional circle/oval. To create a sharp edge one the image I placed the cut out on the paper to expose it in just this circular shape. I thought this effect was too harsh and found it much more effective and subtle/balanced creating a blurred edged vignette, this followed the same process but I moved it around above my paper whilst exposing so that the shape wasn't so harsh. I sat there relaxed and cut out the pointless background of my photograph and showed off just her face/the portrait to show the piercings and make-up as aimed to advertise as fashion portraiture. I could perhaps incorperate this into further work I may decide to do in the fashion portraiture genre.
I used different silouettes in the same way I had used the vignette, this included a mannequin figure to relate to catwalk fashion and a clothes holder, also swirls to enhance the appearance of smoke from her cigarette. It was simple and interesting but not something I would take further for my final.

I tried out highlighting parts of the same set of photographs with coins by putting them on the parts of the image I wanted to highlight half way through the exposure time. I didn't like it because it didn't look relaxed it looked quite forced which I think didn't work on my photographs because I wanted the contrast to sit how it was and keep the photograph visually clear as it was, the circles looked plonked on randomly and I didn't like how it ruined the relaxed compositions which were quite professional in terms of the studio lighting. I can imagine this effect working quite well on landscapes and architecture because it could relate to a shape in the composition or fit in somehow depending on the tones - if it is a wide variety with little contrast they would sit better but on my one with harsh black and a white background, it collided with the high contrast showing off her face.

I decided to try selective developing, this was good to highlight certain parts of the photograph in a splashed effect which worked well with the nature element and scene of my photographs particularly this one because of how water goes with nature and it looks like the developer has dripped and flowed along the picture naturally and keeps the photograph in balance, also shows her figure because this is the most important part.
Press printing was similar but rather than using a brush or dripping it, objects relating to the picture or theme could be soaked by the developing chemicals and placed onto the image, this works similarly to a silouette but usually has a more natural look because of the smudgy from the liquid movign from the object rather than the shape of them being the exact same and completely straight. I liked how I used a comb because of her hair being an aspect of the advertisement, and it also created a blind effect, it was calm and subtle, and combined with the ear stretchers I also used, it was creative looking becuase of the splashes and this helped present the image as more interesting, my favourite one was the one below, this was like a painting rather than a photograph and this simple enhancement really helped to completely change the way the original photograph looked.
Photo batik was like a form of selective developing, using washing up liquid parts of the photograph that weren't covered in this would develop and other parts won't. It made an interesting effect in terms of contrast from the tones in the photographs and was very free and relaxed, the line was important and I chose to use it to put the background back more and leave her figure untouched, words would also be effective but I wasn't interested in trying this because I'd rather keep to the patterns I have produced and keep things on the visual side in terms of how the enhancement made the original image by itself.

Solarising was very interesting, I had tried it before but hadn;t been successful, looking at the work of Man Ray I was inspired to try again. I enjoyed the process and watching my solarization develop, the tones were interesting and it was unusual for me to see silver tones lightening parts of my photograph rather than darkening them like the negative read, it reversed the tones and it was very simple to do this. I liked the tones in this one becaus ethey reminded me of the lines I could see in Ray's print of the hands. The black worked well to show this tone up more rather than blend it in like it would have if it had been grey
                                                                                                  Man Ray ^
I thought that sandwich printing worked really well (putting two photographs on top of one another in the negative holder), particularly with leaves in the background of portraiture photographs because they gave it a magical and illusional effect, making her look more natural and seem like she was floating, I found it most effective when one image stood out more than the leaves one because this let it sit in the background but showed the fashion photograph more, for example this one below which I was most proud of because of the subtleness of the leaves and the eerie fact her face was peering in on the top, lighter in tone and looked more ghostly and supernatural creating narrative and something to interpret.
This was one of my favourite experiments - the double exposure, creating a very similar effect to sandwich printing but created on one film strip rather than putting two together, the process of winding the film back in was quite complicated because of wondering when the film would stop or winding it all the way in by accident, this would result in the pictures not being in sync with eachother because of the backgrounds or two photographs being completely different or the same because the second shot of photographs on the film wouldn't line up together. The aperture being one below is how to do this because it allows less light through and this makes the image faint atfirst but then when another image is photographed on top in the same way, they merge together for the double exposure. I decided to take photographs of something rather fark on a plain background because then my photograph on top would only fill the space of this dark object because of the higher amount of light let through on the plain space. This was was effective because it again combined nature with her face and was very similar to Dan Mountfords who originally inspired me with this method because he used it for his photograph below.
Dan Mountford ^
Handmade negatives were quite easy to make patterns and random looking things but not easy to create an actual subject. I enjoyed the practical side of applying the vaseline and food colouring (this material I found particularly effective for this) and the salt which reminded me of a microscopic bloodstream photograph. I started combing objects in my exposure using the same method as a photogram, I attempted to create a hill for these action figures to stand on and the salt represented snow which I thought would be good for a child like illustration.
Inspired by Leslie David because of her portraiture for fashion, spreading paint on photographs and often pressing them with glass worked well to present colours in the image as something more creative and practical giving an active impression to the accessories being advertised. I liked them better when shapes were formed rather than just straight blends, the texture the glass gave the paint also made me try it out for myself, it looked like it was still wet and that you could imagine what it would feel like. This activity made me realise I wanted to produce something practical and artistic in addition to my photographs or to enhance them for my final piece because it bought in my knowledge for colour mixing because I like to paint using colour and focusing on colour for the effect.

I used photoshop to experiment with different effects on photographs such as lomography, nashville effect and HDR. I didn't enjoy these as much because they are computer based and I like doing something more practical with my images and giving them an artistic edge such as the weaving and applying paint for various effects. It didn't really enhance the images enough because it gave them a simple filter of different types and some contrast which I often do to my images anyway for better appearance and to make them ready for enhancement. I prefer the black and white photographs rather than something more colourful, I now feel that I can incorprate colour to the photographs in selective parts and much more boldly and free.

Adding filters to the photographs of photoshop was much more effective than using colourant because this remained sticky and often soaked itself up. I enjoyed seeing the outcomes on photoshop though and would like to see if it would work selectively on parts of my photographs, I will take this further by looking for an alternative stainer to food colourant. I thought it could go quite well with the colour of paint if I decide to use this for my final piece, it would be more subtle and relaxed along side the detail of the paint.

I thought that burning my photographs around the edges would give them an old effect and perhaps could inspire me to take older styled photographs relating to fashion towards my final piece, for example 50's fashion, and the burning could present a sepia toning for the edges and age, and staining with tea could go quite well with this. I enjoyed doing this and included water because it bubbled the surface giving it a devoured effect and bumpy surface, it also showed the tones of the photograph watered down slightly through the holes on the surface.

Bleaching the photographs in spired by Curtis Mann worked particularly well because the photographs I chose to do this to were male fashion ones and the fire looking effect it gave off with the oranges and reds related well to the style of music I was advertising on the clothing and gave an element of danger to the alternative genre of it. The process was simple and quick and worth trying out, I can't see myself taking this further because I have decided to use black and white prints for my final which cannot be bleached to create colour, instead they will go white.

A Final experiment I did unplanned and in my own time was creating photographs from somebodies face being in a scanner. By moving around during the scan it gave an effect of being trapped which was quite horrific, this didn't relate to my theme at all because it was unexpected but gave an insight to what sort of photographs can be created just by using a scanner. I will not take this further because of the irrelevance.

The food colourant would have been a favourite if it wasn't sticky and the double exposures and burning certainly are too, I could find an alternative colourant and take some pictures relating to something burned or destroyed/old to follow these experimentations up to give me an idea for my final piece. Also finding an artist who involves paint to give me inspiration and ideas to how I could involve this in my work. It has also helped me to improve my multimedia skills (e.g. combining paint with my photographs), also weaving because it bought the artistic practical side into my photographs and gave it an enhancementwhich was different to just a filter or shape chang eit combined my photography together.

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