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Second coursework photography project

Rebecca Waterson. AS photography.

Brief Experimental: The photograph as an object As a medium, photography has traditionally been used to document and capture ‘decisive’ moments in time The aim of the ‘The photograph as an object’ is to showcase photographs that explore the physical qualities of the printed photograph thus blurring the distinctions between art and photography. I chose the themes: ‘Slowly disappearing into nothing’ and paired it with ‘Delicate objects’

Idea 1

For my first idea, I want to take pictures of flowers/greenery that can be found in my garden. I think this will introduce the idea of “delicate objects”. I also want to picture dead and dying flowers so that I can tie in the idea of “slowly disappearing into nothing”. I can picture these dead and alive flowers together, or I can develop them on photoshop so it looks like they’re in the same picture.

Artist research (visual)- Rita Soromenho This group of photos is called ‘First Walk’. To achieve these photos, Rita has gone for a walk around the ‘London wasteland’ and picked up flowers, weeds and other shrubbery along the way. I love these photos by Rita Soromenho, because they’re so visually striking. There is juxtaposition between the beauty that the flowers hold and the darkness and sadness symbolized by the black coloured background. The black background also helps the vibrant colours from the flowers stand out. I also really like the way she has bundled the flowers together with some yellow and black tape that she picked up on on her walk, as it reinforces the reality of where she picked up these flowers. These are nice to look at, even though they have come from such a dirty place in the world, which is a contrast. These photos inspire me because I want to use the element of flowers in my own work, to suggest fragility. The flowers she has used in her photos seem to be wilting and are becoming slightly dry, and I was thinking of using this element in my photos to help make the title “slowly disappearing into nothing” more apparent. I think the dying flowers can be used to represent death, but in a more subtle and beautiful way. Although, I think I could take pictures of flowers whilst they’re still alive. As it’s winter, I should be able to get some pictures of frosted plants and flowers, which will make them look fragile. I am planning on taking pictures of the flowers/plants whilst they’re in their natural growing habitat, as this will allow me to focus on one at a time rather than a bunch.

Evaluation of initial photos I originally  wanted  to  take  these  photographs  to  show  the  fragility  and  delicateness  within  certain  objects.  I’ve  always   been  quite  fascinated  with  flowers,  so  I  though  that  this  was  the  perfect  opportunity  as  it  portrays  my  theme  in  a  way   that  is  both  beau?ful  and  chilling.  I  think  I  achieved  the  idea  that  was  to  show  the  delicateness  within  the  flowers,  by   using  a  shallow  depth  of  field  and  just  focusing  on  the  main  subject.   On  most  of  my  photos,  I  used  a  shallow  depth  of  field  so  that  I  could  help  make  the  ?tle  ‘fading  into  nothing’  more   apparent.  This  is  apparent  with  photos  1,  3  and  7.  The  photos  have  a  soG  focus  on  them  so  that  they  aren’t  so  harsh   looking.  However,  with  photos  5,  6  and  8  I  made  them  look  extra  sharp  so  I  could  experiment  with  what  looks  beMer   whilst  developing  my  photos.  The  ligh?ng  in  these  photos  were  bright,  as  it  was  broad  daylight  when  I  took  these   photos,  although  I  brought  down  the  brightness  in  photoshop  to  make  the  photos  look  dark  and  a  touch  more  frosty   looking.   I  am  pleased  with  the  composi?on  of  my  photos,  as  I  feel  as  though  I  have  taken  the  rule  of  thirds  into  considera?on   (photo  3),  and  if  not,  my  photograph  is  s?ll  visually  appealing  as  there  is  something  to  look  at  in  most  of  the  frame.  I   feel  as  though  the  photos  that  include  the  red  berries  (1  and  2)  don’t  go  with  my  theme  as  well  as  some  of  the   lighter/more  cold  colours  do  (for  example,  the  colours  in  picture  3  are  beMer  fiMed  for  my  theme)  because  my  theme   reminds  me  of  the  past/ghosts  and  cold  colours  remind  me  of  this  more  so.  I  feel  that  with  the  photos  were  the   clarity  have  been  made  high  on  photoshop  (photos  4,  6  and  8),  the  viewers  can  really  get  a  sense  of  the  texture  of  the   plants,  as  they  have  been  made  clear  by  moving  up  the  clarity.  The  texture  of  the  plants  is  really  apparent,  and  it   reminds  me  of  veins  or  ?ny  rivers.   I  think  these  photos  may  educate  my  viewer,  as  they  show  close  up  images  of  flowers  and  plants,  which  they  may  not   be  able  to  see  normally.  I  think  some  of  the  photos  with  the  darker  backgrounds  could  creep  them  out  slightly   because  they  look  scary  and  haunted.   I  feel  as  though  my  photos  could  achieve  my  level  of  symbolism  beMer  if  I  could  have  bought  the  clarity  up  on  all  of   them,  so  that  the  viewers  would  be  able  to  properly  see  the  textures  of  the  plants.  I  don’t  think  my  blurred/out  of   focus  photos  worked  as  well  as  I  thought  they  would,  although;  I  am  going  to  develop  them  so  the  clarity  will  be  less   important  if  they  are  being  buried  under  flower  petals,  etc.      

Ar?st research  (developmental)-­‐   Stephen  Gill   I really like this photo by Stephen Gill, in the series titled “hackney flowers” because he brings 3 dimensional elements into his otherwise 2 dimensional photos. The image comes alive by re-photographing his already existing photographs with items that were already in the photo on top of the photo. The red berries already in the photo are not too obvious and are quite small- near the back of the picture. By enlarging such a small detail rather than an already obvious one, Stephen Gill has drawn attention to the background as well as the foreground. I think this makes us, as viewers appreciate the photo more altogether because we are drawn to certain parts of it that we may not have noticed before- in this case, the berries. After analysing this photo by Stephen Gill, I can say that I am inspired by his skills when re-photographing his already existing photos. This is something that I would definitely like to take into consideration and possibly do when I develop my own photos. I would also like to photograph berries, because they are vibrant in colour (as shown in this photo) and I think it will help show a clear link between him and my own work if I choose to photograph berries as he has.

Evaluation of developmental photos I used photoshop to combine some the photos I had taken of the flowers with some vintage postcards of the area that I live in. I really like how these came out because I feel that the vintage/ delicate idea that I wanted to achieve showed through these photos. I feel as though the photos with the leaves in them (photos 4 and 5) give the viewer a real sense of the texture of the leaves, because even though the opacity was turned down, the vein-like texture of the leaves is still easy to make out. In photo 2, I used the burn tool on photoshop to make the photo seem a lot darker than what they were before. These shadows make the postcard stand out from the picture placed upon it. The shadows also give the photo a slightly dark/scary sense to it. In photo 3, I feel as though the flower buds are symbolic of the people in the postcard. Seeing as these photos were taken many years ago, the people on this postcard may have passed away, and so these flowers could be seen as a sense of remembrance. Although, on first glance, the flowers in this photo might not be so apparent, they could look like something else. In photo 1, I used the photo of the red berries and green leaves on top of one of the postcards. I think this fusion of photos works well together, because the red/green gives the photo a splash of colour without being too obnoxious. The colour red can be quite loud in photos sometimes but it is subtle and washed out in this particular photo. Adding onto this, the berries do not take up the whole photo, only the top half of it, making them less obvious. I also re-photographed the postcards with dried flower petals on top. These also worked well, because the flowers are subtle way to add something to the photo. Once placed on top of the old post cards, the dried flowers look delicate and pretty. The pink flower petals were semi transparent and allowed some of the underneath photos to pass through them; the best example of this is in photo 6. I really like the effect these see through petals give, as it changes the colour of the postcard slightly, giving it a pink tinge. This set of photos links with the theme ‘disappearing into nothing’, because flower petals are covering some of the postcard, thus making the postcard almost disappear. In photo 8, I used a mixture of dried lavender coloured flowers which also allowed some of the underneath photo to pass through. On all three of these photos (7 8 and 9) I made the clarity very high, which made the photo gritty and brought out the smallest of details.