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Surreal Cities


Ted Van Cleave Ted van cleave has set the scene of tall, towering buildings, By doing so the image portrays a sense of tranquility. This is surprising as looking up to towering buildings could feel daunting. However the composition and mixture of colours within the photo calms the mood and gives the viewer a sense of stillness. This is because the colours flow from the building through to the sky and reflect each other, this strengthens the sense of tranquility. This image is very visually striking because whilst reflecting each other and emanating each others colours; the building is still distinct from the sky. This allows the viewer to see a clear difference and see the subject matter simultaneously. I think a though this image does not capture a city it does capture the sense of one, this is because the shapes we see in the image is immersed in a city style a feel. Van Cleave uses a limited range of colours in this piece, although it calms the mood, it makes the image itself look very flat. The dominant colour I see is turquoise. This is a muted, still colour adding to the sense. There is an emphasis on the glass in this image reflecting the surroundings. This could make the image very personal to the viewer as it calls for reflection through the physical reflection we see. Studying Ted Van Cleave I feel very influenced by his work and more over, this particular piece. I hope to refer back to the elements he uses and apply them to my photos.


Jonny Goodboy Goodboy has created a sense of enclosure in his work. He has done this through the composition of the photograph. The buildings in the foreground are the key factors of this enclosure, their features give shape to the composition, which in turn close in on us. However I do not think this was Goodboys original intention. The typical London scene has been captured in nice weather; reflecting mood. There is also a blend of reasonably calm and bright colours. I believe the time of day has been implemented intentionally to portray the calm London scene, during ‘working hours’ it is however a very subtle feature. This is so the audience notice it slowly and possibly, not realize its presence at all. The main focal point would be the two buildings leaning over. Maybe how the title has been generated. ‘The towering spirit of London’. But to oppose this and possibly balance the composition, a red bus has been captured in the middle background They bring us back to the unintentional subject matter of enclosure, and maybe bring the audience to the idea of London's height in authenticity; if the old buildings have been purposely chosen. I believe these photos to be a combination of the old and the new, through the visual balance of building and bus It appears goodboy is almost trying to show off London. This is clarified through the iconic location of ST.Pauls and, again the red bus.

The collaboration of these two and the main focal point sends the message of London's ‘surealness’. This becomes the sole message being connoted to the audience. I intend to use key features of Goodboys work in my own. However I do not intend to keep the same time of day, and I will be trying to see if the fish eye lens effect works with other locations in London. I do hope to relate to the calm sense amongst a busy location and possibly the enclosed sense. The composition of the buildings is a feature that I will find difficulty with but I hope to achieve It in a similar way.


Idea 1 evaluation My first idea was to take pictures of London in prominent locations and then developing them in a way that changes the viewers perspective, and view on the location. I started with my initial photographs by editing colours drastically. I have used strong, bright colours so that it highlights the scurrility of the reality of London. I then went on to use the ‘warp’ tool in Photoshop to manipulate the shape of the objects captured in the photo. This tool allowed me to do so whilst maintaining the shape of the frame. This was in the hope of creating a fish eye lens effect without the actual lens. I have tried to avoid the typical view of any famous city; a landscape that follows a horizontal flow. I have taken photos up close to portray the towering sense of enclosure and height that I have seen in the work of Jonny Goodboy and Ted Van Cleave. I believed this would capture the surility within the image, especially once I had developed it. Looking over the photos I feel I have been able to deliver strong compositions in good locations, apart from my third image I do not see any of the photos to be weak in quality, as for my third I could have found an image which has a better composition and in general better quality. However with this I still think I have achieved my initial intentions with my first idea. I chose to look at Ted Van Cleave as a source of inspiration for taking my initial photos, his work proved to be very valuable in the process of finding surility within a city. I then looked at the work of Jonny Goodboy, his work influenced my developments for my initial, this is evident in some of the main features of my images. Overall I am very happy with this idea, I can say that the compositions are on point or close to what was desired. Also the colours used and time of day is adequate, finally the developments of these images have come out very well and I am pleased with all of them.


Thomas Birke Thomas Birke sets a sense of quietness. This is a surprising feature as the location would suggest otherwise. I believe the colours lead to this sense and the time of day. These features also lead to an atmospheric feel capturing surility along the way. Birke uses a wide range of strong colours. These are mixed with lights and dark shadows throughout the city, these support the colours and increase the boldness and define them. I have come to like this feature. There is a oppositional feel to these images aswell that I see, there is very busy imagery but the colours suggest a different sense, one of quietness which I noted earlier. I hope to have a clear relation to the work of Thomas Birke in my third idea as I really like his ideas and find his images interesting to study. I would like to look more at how he has an elevated angle and shoots above what he is trying to capture.


1st Final outcome


2nd Final outcome


3rd Final outcome


4th Final outcome


Evaluation The project ‘Surreal cities’ considering all aspects, overall went well. For idea 1 I did not know what to expect, however I think the initial photos came out nice; this led to an interesting development of idea 1 following the concepts put forward by an artist I found online. Using the warp tool to manipulate the shapes and buildings within the image was very effective in capturing a surreal city. This development implemented the surility that the project requires in a very strong and obvious way. I believe this was the best approach to to it. Shooting idea 1 was a mixture of new and old experiences, I kept the locations the same within reason of my first project but I looked into taking images from different angles and subject matters. Idea 2 took a little longer to take off as I couldn't’t find an adequate way of portraying a surreal nature within a city. However after consideration I produces the images shown in idea 2. I was originally unsure whether they were of good standard but with the development they turned out well and I think have captured the surreal sense more effectively than idea 1. Idea 3 was lastly an effort to increase the quality of the project as a whole. I took these from the top of the sharde in London. These were not originally taken for the project, however I believed they would be able to suffice for a surreal effect. I see that this sense is mainly focusing on the angle of the shots and the height. I then used a blur technique on top of this feature to increase this surreal factor during the development. I believe these turned ok, however comparing them to the other two ideas I would conclude that they are the weaker of the three. I chose to look at Ted Van Cleave and Jonny Goodboy, these two artist have influenced my work in a strong way and have inspired me. The aspects put forward within their work has helped to a good extent in development of initial photos mostly. I believe the angles in Ted Van Cleaves work led to some of my images, finally Jonny Goodboys imagery of London led to my developments which allowed me to capture the surility of the project. I believe I have implemented these features in a strong way tweaking and changing some aspects to make the work clearly my own. With some complications in generating ideas I think my outcomes for each idea work well.

Surreal Cities  

Surreal Cities C/W project

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