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Back From The Future – Coursework Project Hannah Beedle


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My reasons for choosing this project The main reason I chose this project is because it is a fine art based project. This means I am able to interpret the simple title 'Back From The Future' in any way I want to, and develop my ideas for the project in that way. I also chose this project because I instantly thought about old and new, and this is something I find interesting and would want to experiment with. With this project, I initially thought about combining different techniques to create a contrast between old and new. For example, using modern SLR cameras to photograph old objects, using 35mm SLR cameras to photograph new objects, and then experimenting with techniques such as artificial aging i.e. using Photoshop, and physical methods like scratching, tea-staining etc. However, I have decided I want to look into re-creating old family photos, to show a clear age transition. I want to do this because it's something that is more personal to me and my life & I believe it will be interesting. I also want to explore fashion from the 1940s/50s period. I feel I can get inspiration for this idea by looking at old cosmetics/beauty adverts, as well as comparing fashion magazines such as Vogue, from then and now. I then want to find different ways of developing these photos to relate to the ‘back from the future’ title.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Idea One With this idea, I plan to find old photos of family members that I can recreate in the modern day using a DSLR camera. The original photos would not have been taken professionally, and therefore there were mistakes made such as incorrect focusing and lighting. Also, composition had not really been considered. My aim with my initial set of photos is to almost deliberately make mistakes to mimic these original, spontaneous photographs. With this idea I aim to show a clear transition between the old and new, mainly with the age of the person/people in the photos but also the surroundings if appropriate.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Artist Analysis – Clarisse D’arcimoles ‘Un-possible retour’ In this photo I think Clarisse D'arcimoles is trying to symbolise the idea of past and present, and that although people age, and society changes as we get older, certain things in life will stay the same such as the relationships between people, particularly family members. As the photographer mimics the photo almost 20 years later, it's clear that the setting is still the same, but really only the visible change is the age in the people. I think Clarisse D'arcimoles is trying to communicate to the audience the message that it is important to capture memories and good moments. She quoted, 'Restaging a specific instant can take weeks of planning and several hours of shooting while the original moment happened spontaneously and without control. A memory is never static, it changes as we grow, time becomes a creative space of evolution.’ The photographer was influenced to take these photos by looking at old family photos and she was 'attracted by the photograph's ability to cross the time.' I was influenced in a similar way to re-create old family photos. It's also more interesting because it's personal to me, and individual. Although many photographer's can take the idea of re-creating old photos, the way in which we all do it will be different and so is the meaning and reason behind doing it. With the time restriction I have for this project, I don't think it will be possible for me to re-produce my family photos as accurately as Clarisse D'arcimoles, because it would take too much time to find or create an identical setting, and find identical clothes for the models to wear etc. However, I think that my focus is mainly on the simple time transition and managing to capture time and my photos should show this quite clearly.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos These show the original and re-created photos.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Photos


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs These are a set of images created by holding negatives up to the light and photographing them. Some of these were used to overlay some of my developmental photos.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Evaluation of Idea One With idea one, my main intention was to creatively display the original photos with those I had recreated. My initial photos took quite a lot of consideration in order to mimic the old photos as they were taken spontaneously, and these clearly had to be planned. It was practically impossible to recreate the photos exactly because I had a limited amount of time and resources. However, my main aim with the initial photos was to show a similarity in composition and content of the photo itself, but in a way that clearly shows the difference in time with regard to the surroundings, and even more importantly, the age of the person. With my developmental photos, my intention was to experiment with different methods of putting the old and new photograph together, without simply placing them side by side. I wanted to use as many different techniques as I could, which involved using Photoshop but also re-photographing and photocopying etc. I took photos through old negatives which I used to overlay some of the images. I wanted to take these photos because I have always been fascinated by old photos, and how people have changed. Therefore I felt this idea would be interesting for me, and because of this, it would help me to really experiment with my creativity and ideas. I definitely believe I achieved my intentions for idea one. Technical considerations were very important in achieving my aim, particularly with the initial photos. Obviously the original photos were not taken professionally, meaning that many of them were not focused correctly and the lighting wasn’t that effective either. Cameras used at that time would not have been able to photograph as clearly as the camera that I use. Nonetheless, I tried to copy the photos as best as I could. This involved having quite a soft focus on a few of the photographs which I think is effective. In addition, I tried to use similar lighting. This proved to be quite annoying when I needed to photograph outside because I had to try and match the weather conditions from the original photos. Once the weather was right, I had to ensure that the light was focused onto the subject from the right direction. I believe this enhanced the quality of my recreated photos, for example the photo of my Mum holding the flower. The shadows are almost exactly the same as they are in the original photo. If I hadn’t considered lighting and focusing I don’t think my photos would have been as strong.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Evaluation of Idea One I felt it was also very important to consider formal elements, particularly composition and colour. In order to recreate a photo successfully, I had to try and take it from exactly the same angle as the original, and consider how much of the frame the model would fill. This was difficult to do with my mum and brother who at the time of the original photos were young children, meaning their proportions had changed. Despite this, I managed to deal with this problem well, particularly when editing. Even basic cropping and rotating certain images helped to maintain a similar composition. Many photos from the 60s and 70s era had quite warm tones to them, which I had to try and mimic. I did this successfully through editing the colours on Photoshop, which also helped to strengthen the quality of my photos. With my developmental photos, I wanted to experiment with photographing objects from different angles and lighting alongside the old and new photos. I particularly like the photos on the washing line due to the intense natural sunlight which subsequently created a strong contrast. I also decided to edit some of the developmental photos into black and white with a slight sepia tone, to create a sense of the past. I wanted to include some objects such as watches (old and new) to portray the significance of time. Overall, I feel I created a strong set of photographs for this idea which clearly depict the theme. I think the photos will have an impact on the viewer aesthetically. They are all quite unique images because I have used quite a few different methods of showing the old and new photographs together, rather than just placing them together. Some of them are quite striking due to the colours and contrast within the photos. I also feel that my photos stir up memories, which could either be good or bad. The viewer may be encouraged to think about their own family and the concept of time. This is what I wanted to symbollise within my photos and I think I managed to do so quite successfully, particularly by using the various techniques I did. It makes them more interesting but they still maintain their symbollism. I think this meaning/intention behind the photos will be clear to the viewer.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Idea Two With this idea, I wanted to focus on fashion seeing as this will be quite different from my first idea. I plan to take some fashion portraiture photographs that mimic the style and fashion from the 1950s era. I want to then explore different techniques in how I can give these images a sense of old and new. To do this, I plan to experiment with digital manipulation as well as how I can portray this physically. I aim to incorporate modern ideas to contrast the 50s style photographs. This may include destroying/aging techniques along with photographing technological objects. I also want to look at the idea of surrealism from the 1930s and 40s, but applying this with modern day technology i.e. using Photoshop/digital manipulation. This may involve taking other sets of photos also. Overall, my main aim is to show the contrast between past and present differently from my first idea, in an interesting and creative way.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Artist Inspiration Unknown Photo by Unknown Photographer This photo from the 1950s is interesting in many ways. Firstly, I feel the composition is effective, with a strong contrast between the positive and negative space. The main inspiration here is the actual visual content. It clearly depicts a glamorous woman from the 1950’s, evident by the hairstyle, clothing and makeup etc. This has given me ideas for my photographs as I will now consider photographing my model from various angles, and it has made me think about how I should style my model. The woman in this photograph is clearly a wealthy, fashionable woman from the 50’s. However, I will aim to portray the stereotypical 1950’s housewife/pin-up image. I will also edit my photographs into black & white to mimic the style of this photography.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Artist Analysis – Angus Mcbean These photos were taken from Angus Mcbean’s set ‘How to Photograph a Beauty’ and were from the 1930s and 40s. This technique is interesting because they focus on the idea of surrealism, and it is clear that the setting took a long time to make and set up correctly in order to produce realistic, but surreal images. I find it interesting how the backgrounds look like they are studio sets that have been painted i.e. the sky and clouds, whereas the models themselves are real and contrast this. The photograph on the right is particularly interesting because of the landmarks that are small and the model resembles a giant. Mcbean’s photos are definitely intriguing because they are so unexpected and unique. I think Mcbean successfully achieved his intentions. They fulfil the idea of surrealism, particularly because they were produced at a time where digital editing/manipulation didn’t exist. They are also successful images because they raise questions about the context of each image and induce responses from the viewer.

These photos have inspired me to develop some of my initial photos in a similar way. My initial photos reflect the 1950s fashion, so I want to use this idea of surrealism, but digitally, and to show the clear contrast between the past and the present. I can do this by incorporating modern day objects. Angus Mcbean’s photos have also inspired me to try out different methods of artificially aging photos for my developments, such as tea-staining, and using textures on Photoshop.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project My Photographs


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Evaluation of Idea Two My main intention with idea two was to approach the theme in a different manner from the first idea. I wanted to explore the idea of fashion from the past and how I could bring it into the 21 st century. I decided to do this purely because it’s different from the first idea but I’m very interested in fashion and I wanted this to come across in my photos. I also wanted to look at professional fashion photography from the 1950s seeing as my first idea was based on photos that were spontaneous, amateur images, despite being from the past. I think I definitely achieved my intention in creating 1950s style fashion photographs, and creatively displaying these in a modern way i.e. using pieces of technology and digital editing. After looking at some examples of 1950s fashion photographs, I had to really think about the technical and visual qualities for my initial photographs. Many photos from that period were studio-based however I felt it would be a good idea to take photos outside using natural light because it seems more natural and I wanted to capture the old fashion in a contemporary environment. What do I think about technical and visual qualities of my photographs. I found that the natural lighting caused shadows and highlights which definitely do add a more natural feel to the photos, unlike the glossy, high fashion photos we are used to seeing. I decided to take my photos in a portrait orientation, but I did experiment with different angles and I felt that composition was quite important. My model dressed in clothing and wore makeup typical of the 1950s era, which I edited into black and white to create high contrast, particularly on the polka dot dress. I decided to edit into black and white also to create a sense of the past. For my developmental photos, I tea-stained the images but before-hand I took photos of the initial images on my mobile phone, and after tea-staining I overlayed the phone image and re-photographed. I think this was an effective technique because of the contrast in colour. The tea-stained images have a warm, sepia tone to them which resemble photos from the past but the photo on the phone has a cool blue tone, and this definitely portrays a futuristic, technological image. I took these photos at night in a dark room simply lit by a lamp. I think this lighting is effective because of the warm tone it creates, but also because of the shadows within the pieces of paper. However in some of the photos, the features of the mobile phone itself are not as clear as they are in others, as it looks just like a black rectangle. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the quality of my photographs.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Evaluation of Idea Two I also developed my initial photos using Photoshop by focusing on the 1940s surrealism idea. With these, I wanted to clearly show a contrast between the past and present by using a digital technique, but also by photographing everyday, modern objects and superimposing the girl to look ‘surreal.’ I then overlayed old paper textures to enhance this difference. At first I wasn’t sure about using this method but overall I am very surprised by how well they turned out. Like idea one, I feel that my photos will have a strong visual impact on the viewer because they are unique. They explore the idea of past and present differently to anything I have seen before. I believe they would draw the viewer deeper into the photo. I think the surrealism photos will have a stronger impact, purely because they are digitally manipulated and the viewers may have to question what they’re seeing, for example the photo of the model amongst pots of nail varnish. With idea two, I mainly wanted to portray the idea of past and present, and to capture this in a unique way with fashion. I don’t feel these photos hold as much symbollism as idea one as they were focused on real family photos and are more personal, therefore they hold more meaning. However, I believe that the viewer will be able to see quite clearly what I was trying to portray with idea two.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Final Outcomes


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Final Outcomes


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Final Outcomes


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Final Outcomes


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Full Project Evaluation Overall I am pleased with both sets of initial photos for idea one and two. I feel that my initial photos for idea two work better together as a set than the photos for idea one, mainly because they are all edited in the same way & they are of the same person. The photos for idea one are all separate in the way they copy the original photos, but they do come together as one set of re-created photographs. I was very pleased with these because I did not have much time to plan, but I still managed to re-create them quite accurately, particularly in terms of composition. Editing on Photoshop by altering the colour balance, grain etc. helped to enhance these photos. Although I tried experimenting with different angles for my initial photos for idea two, I maybe should have included some full-body shots seeing as they are supposed to be fashion photos. Nevertheless, I am generally pleased with the initial photos I produced. For this project I did try to push my creative boundaries in different ways. At first I thought the title ‘Back from the future’ would give me a lot of ideas but I soon realised that it was actually quite difficult to portray this theme through photography. Looking online at artists gave me some inspiration as to what I could focus on, particularly Irina Werning’s photos. Once I had that idea, I had a lot of ideas on how I could do creative experiments. Because of this, I used about 4 different developmental techniques in idea one. This involved rephotographing and using photocopying which I’d never done before in this way. I also used various Photoshop techniques. I feel that I did push my creative boundaries in terms of experimenting with different methods rather than just using one, and they were successful in displaying the original and re-created photos together. When it came to idea two, I was having trouble trying to think of how I could approach it differently to idea one. I instantly decided to focus on fashion and beauty. I wanted to push my creativity even further by actually doing things to the photos, such as tea-staining, which proved to be a very effective technique, in relation to my theme. I am familiar with using Photoshop to edit images but I wanted to try something different i.e. digital manipulation which is quite difficult at times. In order to make the photos realistic but surreal, it took a lot of time editing minor details and using downloaded brushes and textures before I was happy with the final results. However, I was surprised by how successful these were.


Back From The Future – Coursework Project Full Project Evaluation Surprisingly, I had quite a lot of difficulty in finding artists that would be suitable for the theme of my project. I came across Irina Werning’s work on a blog site before I had even chosen my theme, and I had always been interested in her work. When I began the project I then came across her work again and it definitely inspired me for my first idea. Her work was beneficial to me because it allowed me to explore family photographs that were personal to me. This meant I was more enthusiastic in coming up with ideas for how to develop them, seeing as Werning’s original and re-created photos were merely placed side by side. However, I do think the way she did this was effective for her because the photos were almost identical. Photographing them in a more abstract way would have directed the focus away from the accuracy of her photos. When looking for 1950s fashion inspiration, I came across an unknown artist from that time period. This was quite helpful as it made me think about composition, and how to style my model to create vintage-looking photos. I also looked at Angus Mcbean and his ‘surrealism’ photographs. His work doesn’t relate to my theme exactly, but it inspired me to use the idea of creating unrealistic images to combine the old-style fashion photographs with modern objects in idea two. I didn’t find many helpful artists for this project but these were effective. How do you feel the project went, are you happy with your final outcomes? Overall I am very pleased with my work in this project. I feel that I managed to produce quite a lot of work in the limited time I had, and I believe I have experimented in many ways successfully. For my final outcomes, I decided to take four photographs & take them a step further with development. I used a printing method using Copydex glue onto fabric, which allowed me to create even more distressed images. Although two of my final outcomes are from idea one, and two from idea two, I feel this final technique brings them together as a set of final outcomes. I am happy with my final outcomes, however the prints I had created were not clear enough which involved Photoshop editing by incorporating some of the original photos. Nonetheless, I still think the distressed texture from the Copydex experiment is effective. If I had more time on this project, I would have tried to produce more accurate initial photos for idea one, with matching clothes and setting if possible.

Back from the future project  

Back from the future coursework project one - a2 photography

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