STEPHANIE QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY
2009 - PRESENT
Photography is a subject area I have always been interested in, but never got the chance to explore it properly until i chose my A level subjects at the end of high school. The first year of my course was made up of a number of small projects, each lasting 2-3 weeks during which we were expected to visually explore the title of our project, produce a number of photoshoots, edit the images appropriately and then come up with a final outcome for that title. Inbetween these projects we also had a number of smaller workshops during out teaching time to allow us to familiarise ourselves the variety of tools available to us in Adobe Photoshop, and how we can use them to create some truly unique images. The three images below were all created during these workshops whilst exploring three different processes and techniques in Photoshop.
PROCESSES AND TECHNIQUES Image 1: This image was created by altering the levels, curves, contrast and brightness of the image in Photoshop. I began by altering the curves, curving the top right side up, and the bottom left side down to enhance the highlights and lowlights in the image. I then used the brightness and contrast sliders to slightly alter both of these aspects of the image to make the colours in the image more bold. I finally used the levels tool to move the highlights, midtones and lowlights markers to the exact place i wanted them in order to manipulate the colours within the image as much as i could to create the strongest image. Image 2: I created this image while playing around with creating black and white images with some parts kept in colour. I found this quite tricky at first as i had never done it before, but i am happy with the outcome that i got. To do this i used the magnetic lasso tool to select the part of the image that i wanted to keep in colour. I then inversed the selection so that i could work on the background. In this image i simply desaturated the background. I then inversed the selection again so i could work on the part that remained in colour. I simply used the levels tool on this to enhance the colour of the sign to make it really stand out from the background. Image 3: I was chosen to sit through a workshop with man who was being interviewed for a job as a photography teacher at our school. During his hour interview he taught us how to create a vignette on an image, which is how i created my third image. For this i began by desaturating the image. I then went to Image > Adjustments > Variations, and clicked “more red” and “more yellow” to create the sepia effect. Then, to create the vignette effect i chose the elliptical marquee tool to draw an oval, inversed the selection and filled this area in black. I then went to Filter > Blue > Gaussian Blur, and set the slider to the highest radius to create the soft, blended edge of the oval.
STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
The Still Life Photography project was a small assignment that lasted just two weeks, during which we had to focus on photographing toys. I began my assignment by photographing a Rubikâ€™s Cube, as you can see from the two images above. Unlike my other images which i took on my digital camera, i shot these images in school using one of the SLR cameras that are available to us. This enabled me to use a macro lens, something else i had never done before, to really get close to my subject matter and create some strong images. It also allowed me to experiment with depth of field and focus points. After shooting my Rubikâ€™s Cube, i moved on to taking photographs of a couple of toys i had borrowed off my little brother. I decided to take these figures and place them in unusual places in an around my school for this photoshoot, to create a comic element to my contact sheet. I then edited these images in Photoshop and even began to experiment with layering images by taking one photo of each of the figures and creating a new, third image with both of them in. Some examples of my stronger edited images from this shoot can be seen below.
RHYTHMS AND CYCLES Rhythms and Cycles was the title of my AS Photography exam. For this exam we had a number of weeks in which to visually explore rhythms and cycles, following any path we saw appropriate for the title. We then had an eight hour exam during which we were to use the images we had already shot to create a final outcome. My first shoot, of which you can see examples below, was inspired by the work of Art Sinsabaugh and his photography focusing on horizons.
Another shoot that i created during the preperaton for my AS Photography exam was inspired by Harold E. Edgerton. His work was all about visual rhythm, so i decided to photograph my surroundings while being driven down a 60mph road, in a bid to capture visual rhythm in the form of the lights around me (as it was nighttime). I then used Photoshop to alter the hue so that i could get unusual colours into my images.
A2 PHOTOGRAPHY The first project of my second year at A level focused on an Urban theme. This project lasted just two weeks, during which we took a trip to manchester to do a photoshoot. I then took these images back into Photoshop and started working on them using different processes and techniques to explore the various outcomes that i could create from my contact sheet. The images below were simply edited by altering the levels.
I began experimenting with layering my images with each other in Photoshop. The images you can see above are outcomes I produced while layering up three images into one. I created three different outcomes using the same three images by layering the same photographs on top of one another but in different orders. I particularly like the result of the image in the middle because i find it really interesting that the particular way i layered the images resulted in w hite background with the imagery visible in only the actual streetlamp. Below are other examples of imagery that i layered on top of each other in Photoshop to create new outcomes.
Later on in the course i went on holiday to Kos for a week and while i was there found an area of Kos town that was heavily covered in grafitti. This is an element that is stereotyped as â€œurbanâ€?, so i decided to photograph it to add to my project. When i got back i used Photoshop to enhance the colours and experiment with a fish eye effect. I later used the layering technique to mix the imagery of grafitti with the urban subject matter i photographed in Manchester.
TRANSFORMATIONS This was an exciting project for me. The title was transformations so i decided to research Film Noir. I found this very interesting and loved the work i was finding so decided to try my own. This meant that i had to do some portrait photography. I had never done this before and was keen to get started. I used the gallery space in my school to shoot my photography as i needed a plain background. I then turned the main lights off and just used artificial lighting in the form of spotlights and lamps so that i could manipulate the light and shadow in my imagery. Finally i desaturated them in Photoshop and edited the levels to that the there was a sharp contrast between the black and white elements of my photographs.
EXPLORATION & DISCOVERY
My A2 Photography exam was entitled Exploration and Discovery. From this starting point i decided to make my project work more personal by focusing on identity and strangers and their private lives. To begin with i used the multiple shooting mode on my digital camera to take 30 images in 5 seconds. I used this mode to photograph various strangers in and around Sheffield city centre and then used photoshop to create six grainy, black and white images with a time and date on to make them look stills from the footage on a surveillance camera. I created six sequences, two of which i have showcased on this page, which then became the six profiles i were to work on for my final outcome.
I then decided that i wanted to create fingerprints for each of the strangers i had chosen to work on. I felt that i could create a real forensic theme for my work if i included the surveillance imagery and then fingerprints. This was really exciting to complete. To do this i got a number of people in my class to make their fingerprintes on acetate using black ink. I then used these in the dark room to print them onto photographic paper, by projecting the originals over photographic paper and then exposing them for a few seconds. I was also able to inverse the colours of the fingerprints and background by placing a piece of photogrphic paper face down onto a print i had already completed and exposing this under the light for double the amount of time. Some examples of the fingerprints i created are shown below.
To fill out the profiles for each of the six people i was focusing on for my exam i began to take other shoots, each concentrating on a different object, or aspect that could become a “clue” to the identity of the person in question. I began by shooting everyday objects or subjects that could represent their likes or dislikes. I then moved on to more personal objects that could be used as an example of a personal possession. After this i moved on to a shoot that concentrated on doors, door frames, door handles, locks and letterboxes that could be used to represent the house that the said person lives in. From that i chose to complete a shoot focusing on vehicles to indicate their mode of transport. And finally i used a few family members and friends as models so that i could take photographs of various body parts. Again, because they were close up and just a part of the body, i thought i could match these up with the strangers that i had chosen in the city to create a “clue” as to what some of their features looked like closer up. To keep with the theme of forensics i chose to edit all of my final images to make them simply black and white.
Over these two pages are a sample of my strongest images from the five additional photo shoots that i took in order to create a profile for my characters. The order is: -Houses -Vehicles -Likes/Dislikes -Body Parts -Personal Possessions.
SINCE A LEVEL...
When i finished my A levels last year, i started a Graphic Design course at Sheffield Hallam University. I love the course i am on and really enjoy the projects we are set, but i have not really had the chance to put my photography skills to use in my design project work. Overall i got an A* at A level for my photography work, but never got the chance to carry it on throughout my course last year. So this year, i decided to set myself some photography projects, as i really began to miss it. I have my own digital camera and Photoshop on my laptop so there was nothing to stop me continuing as a hobby.
LONDON I began by doing a photoshoot when i went to London in January. I then went back to London in March so decided to take another batch of photos. When i got back i looked at the huge contact sheet i had created and began choosing the stronger images to edit in Photoshop. For this shoot i mainly concentrated on editing the levels and contrast and brightness, because the city is so colourful, even on a dull day, so i wanted to keep those bold colours alive within my imagery.
This is one of my personal favourites from the collection of photographs that i took in London. Although it is not the strongest image; the sharpness of the static objects in the frame could have been stronger; I really like this photograph because i think it is a good representation of London. It contains the blue underground sign, two red buses, and then the blurred people in the foreground show how busy and hectic the streets of London are. I also think that after editing, the blue, red and white stone colours stand out for me which give this image a very British feel to it. Over the next few pages i am going to display a variety of images that i feel are my strongest images from the collection.
At the end of May this year i took a trip to Amsterdam for the weekend and thought this would be a great opportunity to do some photography. I kept my camera in hand for the whole weekend and created quite a large contact sheet to work with when i got home. As i have with all of my other projects, i began sifting through the images and picking out the strongest ones to then take into Photoshop and edit. I wanted to keep the edited outcomes in colour, however i did not want to simply use the levels tool to enhance the colours in the same way i did with the London collection. This time i wanted to focus on capturing the warmth that i felt while i was in the city. To do this i experimented with the colour balance and hue and saturation tools in order to gain a warm filter to really represent the weather i had when i was there and to hopefully make the viewer get real sense of the warmth that i felt.
Over the summer i took a holiday to Turkey, and Side became the subject of my latest photography project. I was staying in a hotel on the outskirts of the town so decided to take a day trip to the centre to see the harbour and the ruins of the ancient city that once stood there. While i was there i was able to walk through the city gate and city walls and along a path that ran through the ruins of the city. I was also able to see the amphitheatre and the temple of apollo. However, because it is such a big tourist attraction it was difficult to stop and really frame my subjects. For this reason, i thought it would an appropriate time to experiment with a more lomographic style of working. I have always been interested in Lomography; i find the wide scope of outcomes that this photographic style can produce very exciting. The purpose of Lomography is to allow the photographer to shoot without thinking and really looking at what they are framing. It is all about capturing your surroundings simply at the click of the button, and from different viewpoints, such as the shoulder or the hip, and then looking back at the images you took after you have finished. I spent the day snapping at my surroundings with my digital camera, but did not look at the photographs i had taken until i got home. I was pleasantly surprised with the images i had, and began to see things that i hadn’t even noticed at the time! When working on these in Photoshop, i followed instructions that i found online to create the “lomo effect”, which is what i did to create the set of images on the first page. To create this effect i simply overlayed a white fill layer with the image to create the brightness in the centre, and then overlayed another layer with a vignette to create the darker edges. For the second collection of images on the second page, i simply tried out a rectangular vignette effect around the edges of my images, and then altered the RGB curves to cross process the colours in my images (again, using Photoshop). Finally, for the third collection of images you can see above, i decided to repeat the same process of cross processing by altering the RGB curves, because i liked the tones that were coming out in the colours. However this time, rather than creating the rectangular vignette around the edge, i used the elliptical tool and black fill to cut a circle out of my image, and then used the fish eye filter to get the “fish eye effect”.
Thankyou for taking the time to look at my work. The lomography project was the last one i completed a few months ago, but now i am settled in university again i will be continuing to set myself briefs and complete projects in my own time. My camera will travel with me everywhere i go, and i will constantly be looking online or in books for inspiration. If you have any ideas for projects that you would like to see, or if you have any questions or queries please donâ€™t hesitate to contact me at: email@example.com Thanks, Stephanie Quinn MDes Graphic Design Student