I chose this idea of self-‐portraits as I was curious to know how I could make a self-‐ portrait more interes9ng, when I came across an ar9st who used objects that linked to them in a certain way, so they could photograph them instead and s9ll show a photograph about themselves, therefore crea9ng a self-‐portrait. For my photography coursework project 1 I intend to explore self-‐portraits in a crea9ve way by using my abili9es to portray diﬀerent feelings and aspects within the photographs. I researched various photographers which have done self-‐portraits themselves and show them in diﬀerent ways by either telling a story, or highligh9ng certain aspects within the photograph that create the image as a whole. I researched a well-‐known ar9st Gillian Wearing who was speciﬁcally known for her, self-‐portraiture. One set that is par9cularly popular was her set of photographs ‘Family portrait’. This was where Gillian had silicon masks made up of her at a younger age and diﬀerent members of her family and she posed as them in the photographs, re-‐crea9ng the images from that 9me.
However in her work it was quite easy to see the rings around the eyes from where the mask’s had ended to expose Gillian’s real eye. Even though I will probably not be using any silicone masks in my work I will s9ll need to keep in mind that there may be barriers along the way throughout photographing my images, therefore I will need to consider very carefully the ligh9ng and angles if I were to photograph in a studio and ligh9ng or surroundings if I was working in a natural environment.
Idea 1 – Exploring Self portraits in diﬀerent ways
Nikolay Glazunov This photograph is taken form a par9cular series of photographs labelled ‘Alexandra’. Nikolay is Russian photographer and in this set of photographs he chose female’s to pose as his models while he projected 19th century art and other light projec9ons onto the wall where the model was standing. I ﬁnd it extremely interes9ng that he combined both the ﬂat art images with the real life model which created diﬀerent textures within the photograph. This also created depth as where the light of the projec9on hit the model and stopped at the wall, it created shadows that outline the model. I ﬁnd the bright colours fascina9ng and how, even though, the art is projected it s9ll has kept the bold bright colours. Where the model is posi9oned, her face can s9ll be perfectly seen in detail. This has inspired me to do projec9ons in my own work as I feel they can be really aﬀec9ve to the human eye. I would have to use a tripod and self-‐9mer if I am to produce this work of myself. I would need to make sure the images I project don’t wash out and they are quite bold and stand out. I will also need to make sure that I posi9on myself where the projec9on is easily seen however it doesn’t completely cover me to the point where you cannot see me clearly.
Ini9al set of photographs
Developmental set of photographs Experimen9ng with overlay
Further Developmental set of photographs Experimen9ng with scanning ﬁnger prints and overlay on photoshop
Experimen9ng with projec9ons.
Evalua9on of idea one.
My target was to take a set of s9ll portrait photographs and explore self portraits in a diﬀerent way. My ﬁrst set of photographs are my ini9al set which I chose to photograph as just plain portraits. I edited them slightly increasing the contrast and clarity, also changing a few of them into black and white, so they were a good base for my development. This I was content with and the I started focusing on what my development ideas would be. My second set of photographs show my development, I chose to experiment with using actual pieces of my body to represent myself and overlaying them onto the portraits of myself. Therefore I used my own nail cuWngs and hair from my brush and photographed them in the white studio. By photographing them in a white studio it enabled me to overlay them on Photoshop onto my portraiture photographs without much edi9ng. This idea I felt was very aﬀec9ve as the hair and nails were a part of me that could represent a self portrait without having an actual photograph of me. As the photographs of hair and nails were close ups, by overlaying them onto my self portraits the details were very clear, contras9ng with the smooth skin base that they were merged onto. Another idea I chose to experiment with was my using ink and prin9ng my ﬁnger prints onto the photograph, this represents my unique iden9ty. By prin9ng my ﬁnger prints onto a portrait of myself was another way to show my own self portrait, linking with my ques9on of exploring self portraiture in diﬀerent ways. This I also felt was very aﬀec9ve as it was a prac9cal ar9s9c approach using ink to print onto the photographs, this also showed a lot of detail.
One obstacle I did come across was puWng the ﬁnger prints in certain places so that they would be seen and yet not over crowd the photograph or take the aYen9on away from the subject of the photograph. Finally my last idea of development was to use the photographs I took of my nail cuWngs and hair and experiment by projec9ng these photographs onto me, using self 9mer in the white studio. This I also felt was a really good idea as it allowed me to then express feelings from my personality which would suit the photographs I was projec9ng. I chose to express diﬀerent emo9ons, angles and close-‐ups in order for me to get a good idea of exploring self portraiture in diﬀerent ways. I found it quite diﬃcult using self 9mer and photographing myself with some of the photographs as it was very hard to understand how much of me was able to be seen by the lens and it was quite 9me consuming trying to work out how focused the camera was from where I was standing. It took quite a few aYempts to get the outcomes.
Cindy Sherman These photographs were taken by a woman called Cindy Sherman. They were taken from a par9cular set called ‘’ﬁlm s9lls’’ ad the boYom right photograph ‘’centrefolds’’. These photographs she created using herself as the model. She placed herself in diﬀerent environments where it was either a natural outdoor seWng, in her bedroom or even just in her plain studio. Both show her being beau9ful, however the boYom photograph taken from centrefolds shows her being quite vulnerable. Cindy done this as she wanted to make people, par9cularly men, to feel sorry for her as they would have expected something diﬀerent. Which was her feminist view on things ‘’In content I wanted a man opening up the magazine suddenly look at it with an expecta9on of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be. Looking at this woman who is perhaps a vic9m. I didn’t think of them as vic9ms at the 9me… But I suppose… Obviously I’m trying to make someone feel bad for having a certain expecta9on.’’
This has inspired me to do my photographs as ﬁlm s9lls as I would like to see how diﬀerently they can aﬀect people and make an impact on the viewer. I ﬁnd this par9cularly interes9ng as I can explore diﬀerent ways into making my photographs more eﬀec9ve.
Idea 2 – Self portrait, Film S9lls in an ar9s9c way
Developmental set of photographs – Experimen9ng with vintage old photographic textures
Experimen9ng with burning photographs
Experimen9ng with collaging
Final outcomes with the use of burning the photographs and the book and crea9ng a distorted, vintage, worn look.
Evalua9on of Idea two My main inten9on with idea two was to explore self portraits in a diﬀerent way to idea one. I was inspired by Cindy Sherman's set of ﬁlm s9ll photographs which inﬂuenced me to create my own ﬁlm sill photographs using diﬀerent seWngs. My ini9al set of photographs for this idea I chose to take in a natural environment. I photographed myself in diﬀerent costumes in a park and a forest, this I felt was quite aﬀec9ve as it contrasted with the ar9ﬁcial plain studio background I used previously to the natural seWng I used in this idea. To photograph my photos in a ﬁeld really stood out to me as an idea to follow on from the vintage/sepia style look in my photographs, which I believed were appealing and gave the photograph more life. My aim here was to use both prac9cal ways and use Photoshop to reﬂect a self portrait in an ar9s9c way. I slightly increased the clarity in the photographs and changed a few into black and white to experiment with what made more of an impact on the viewer. This I felt were a good base to develop onto.
My development to follow on from this was experimen9ng with a way I could make these photographs look old and worn. I used a digital vintage overlay to lay on top of my photographs and posi9oned them where I would s9ll have myself as the main subject maYer in the photograph. To make the photograph look worn and old I chose to edit the photographs into black and white, this suited the 9me and era that I was aiming towards. I felt this also complemented the photographs well as there were a lot of details in the images which were too over powering in colour, however the black and white seYled it down and gave the photographs a nice balance. With already using Photoshop for my ﬁrst development I then decided to experiment with using a physical crea9ve approach with my photographs. I printed out the photographs and tea stained them to give them the sepia colour and make them look worn and bleached from exposure to light. Aaer that had dried I decided to burn parts of the photograph to also gave the idea that they were decomposing or destroyed. I felt that these was very aﬀec9ve as they looked like real old photographs and I had achieved my aim. One obstacle that I came across was burning the photograph too much, however I used this to my advantage and it then stressed the idea of the accidental, natural destroying of the photographs.
The last experiment I chose to do with these photographs were to make it seem like they were out of an old photo album. I had an old sketch book and tea stained the book like I did with the photographs. Then aaer that I burned parts of the pages. With the developed photographs I then made a collage using the old sketch book to give the image of an old vintage photo album that has been destroyed.