I have chosen this image because I think that
it fits in well with the theme of discovery. I
think this because the doorway is opening to
a completely different environment; one
that looks quite fantasy-like and beautiful. I
found the contrast between the old look of
the room to the wilderness of the
mountains to be interesting and over the
top, but it still works. I think that something
like this would be everyone’s dream, to be
able to just open a door and for it to lead to
a different place (maybe even one of their
choosing). I think that this particular image
of mountains I have added in works well
with the rest of the picture because the
greens of the trees go with the dark/dull
blue of the carpet and the light wallpaper
and bed sheets compliment the mountains
and sky. Although the image of the
mountain landscape isn’t in the centre of
the frame, nor is it taking up a large amount
of space, it is still the focus of the image
because of the strange placement in what
would otherwise be a normal picture.
I feel that I have got decent and interesting results. I already had an idea of the kind of things I would of liked to try with the photo
montage/collages. I knew I wanted to place things in the door frame but using scenery was something I came up with while
experimenting. I think that using the doorways as “gateways to another place” is good for the theme of discovery because in effect it
allows the person to travel to a dream-like fantasy place without any effort. In some of my images I have also replaced pieces of the
original image with random pictures I found on Google images. They made for some good collages, but I still prefer the doorway images
better because you can still actually see the majority of the original image. I’m less fond of the collages because they don’t really seem
like photography to me, they seem more like something you would do at school. Maybe if I used my own images in the collages it would
be different, but the images I used were taken from Google images and were placed over the top of my image, therefore my own ‘work’
could not be seen.
I took influence from Melinda Gibson, who is well-known for her photo book “The Photograph as Contemporary Art” which involved the
technique of cutting out and sticking images from the original book (by Charlotte Cotton) together into a photo montage. As I said
before, I would of rather made the photo montages out of my own images because apart from the template for the montage, nothing of
the finished image is of my own work. I think that the majority of my photo montages are a less over the top version of the work that
Melinda did, but overall I think that this modified technique works really well and I am happy with the results.
I think the appearance of my work is better in some places than in others. Again, I’m not 100% pleased with how my collages turned out
because I think I could of cut around the edges a bit neater and less jagged, and possibly feathered the edges when I was cutting round
the images. For my photo montage’s, I like their appearance because the dullness of the image, possibly from the lighting, or the fact that
I edited them prior to working on them in college to give them a more vintage look, works well with the images I have chose. I edited the
images a little to make them duller so that they are not too much of a contrast with my image. I feel that I cut out the doorways better
than I did my collages because I did it bit by bit using rotoscope instead of getting Photoshop to cut around it automatically. The
strongest aesthetic elements are that although the doorways are unrealistic and do obviously look somewhat edited and manipulated
but it’s not extremely obvious because they edges of the images are cut neater and the perspective of the images are accurate.
The technical qualities of my work are much better than projects that I have done in the past because I have used tools in Photoshop
more effectively, including learning new ways to achieve certain effects. I rotoscoped around the pieces of images I wanted to be cut out.
As I said, I did a better job of this when I experimented with the doorways. I adjusted the saturation of the images I placed in the
doorways because they were too bright in contrast to the rest of the image. In terms of how I took my original image, I used a fast
shutter speed and I also used flash because I like the way it lit up the whole frame and this looked better in an older house with less
modern décor. The space that I was taking the images in was not well lit anyway, so I know that by using flash I got a clearer and sharper
image than I would of done if I had turned flash off and depended on the natural light. I think that overall the images I have taken are
quite simple, with only a few subjects in each frame, like a bed, bedside table and lamp, or a plant in the corner. I feel that going for less
things to look at in the frame will make the image in the doorway stand out more.
How could you improve your work?
I could add to my work by possibly taking more images of doorways and door frame and making the work I have already
done and also the new images into a set, almost as if I was going to make them into a book. They would all be about
doorways and fantasy places, like portals to another part of the world from the comfort of your own home. I could
experiment with this by moving outdoors or to more public places, so that there are people present in the frame, and so I
would be able to take images of various spaces with door frame, and I would be able to search for different images on
Google to fill in the empty pieces in the frame. There are endless possibilities as to what kind of scenery or place you can
choose to put in the doorway but I think it looks better when the colours between the two images match, or are similar. I
could also experiment with the collages by making more, only using my own images because I only used images from
Google previously over a template of my image. I didn’t like this because you couldn’t really see any of my work, apart
from the rotoscoping, so I would like to possibly do some more collages and experiment with my own images.
I have aimed to match the colours of my image with the photograph taken from Google because I think that originally the
images were way too bright in contrast to the original image, and this made it look badly done. I changed the saturation
to achieve this, and I made the colour tone match my image which has a dull, vintage look. I actually edited the images
prior to using Photoshop to give them that vintage look. I think this made the décor look older than it is, and maybe more
classic and pure?
Do your images fulfil the brief?
I believe that that the images I have produced fulfil the brief because the overall theme was discovery, and my idea with
the doorways to other places is perfect for that. My final image shows a beautiful mountain landscape, and you can see
the lake and the trees. It’d be a great place to discover nature and new climates. For my second image I have used a
desert road in the doorway, possibly signifying the ability to travel or the wish to travel and move on, start afresh and
have endless journeys ahead of you. For my fourth image I chose a slightly more sinister image of clouds. I didn’t
particularly mean for this image to come off as discover heaven, or to die, or something like that. I guess you could say it
looks a bit like heaven, and I’d rather say that than have the meaning of dying, but I think it looks quite fantasy-like, and
well, ‘heavenly’. I decided to pick a cloud picture because of the stairs, which look as if they are leading up to them. This
fits in with the heaven idea, but also makes logical sense because clouds are higher than everything, so you would need
something like stairs to get to them. Overall I think that my images fit in well with the theme as there are plenty of
different places you could travel to, even dream of travelling to, and having a doorway to your favourite place would be
something that everyone would enjoy.
I have chosen this image because I think it is the one
that turned out the best, and the first one I produced
for the ghostly theme I started doing. For this image I
honestly didn’t do that much to it. I was scrolling
through Google and was lucky enough to find an image
with a black background. I moved the lady into the
place where I wanted her and then changed the layer
to ‘screen’. I moved the lady so that she looks like she is
coming through the door, which is a plus because her
legs fade away just in front of it, and the ‘glitter’ effect
at the top of the frame works well too because the
original image was already dark in that area. The light
coming from her finger gives the impression that she is
trying to light the way, like a guardian, or maybe even
darken it, as the top of the frame where she is is mostly
darker. The glitter at the top could be an effect of when
she appears. If I had to of cut around her, I think the
image would be of lesser quality because with all of the
strands of hair and the fading motion, I think it would
of looked really obvious that I had just cut her out,
especially since the edges around the head would be
more than likely jagged or missing pieces of the hair.
The original image works well overall with the ghost
because the colours are all pale and are not
overpowering to the white figure. The shot is quite
minimalist as well, with only the bed and the door
being the main subjects in the frame, apart from the
lady. This keeps your attention on her and, again, isn’t
overpowering or over the top.
I have chosen this image because I like how
simple it is, yet the girl is still creepy looking. I
didn’t want to use an image that had a lot
going on because then the focus wouldn’t be
on her, so this picture I took of a bedroom is
great, as well as the fact that I was able to find
an old photograph of a girl sitting on a chair. I
had to cut her out because I would not of
been able to place her in the image whilst still
sat on the chair, so I used the quick selection
tool to cut away most of the background, and
then used the polygonal lasso to get rid of
anything the select tool missed. I actually
went over her head a few times because there
were some bits that were sticking out which
made the rest of her look jagged. I also think
the colours in the image are effective. The
yellow and blue of the walls match the
painting and the bed sheets as well. The girl’s
body also looks an off-yellow colour. I like the
overall composition of the image because the
focus of the image (the girl) is in the bottom
right corner, and the left side of the picture is
practically empty because the painting and the
girl and both on the right. The whole
composition is off balance, but it works well.
I feel that I have got better results than the first technique I tried. I think this because I was able to produce more work and be more
experimental with the final outcomes. Some of my images turned out better than others using double exposure. I think it was more of
choosing which images went best with others, or finding something that you could work around. My ghostly images are my favourite
because I was able to create a theme inside a theme – the theme of discovery – and there were plenty of images on the internet that I
could manipulate to fit in with the images I had taken. Finding images that would fit in with the pictures of architecture I had was a bit
harder because I didn’t want it to look obvious or badly done, with pieces showing in the wrong places. I came up with the idea of trying
to create and ‘underwater city’ because of the whites of the building and the bright blue of the sky. I thought it would go well with water,
and it did but those images still aren’t my favourite but they are interesting none the less.
My influence for this (mostly the ghostly images) was Clarence John Laughlin. His best known book “Ghosts Along the Mississippi”
showed nostalgic images and often captured ghostly scenes and urban landscapes. I liked the idea of “ghostly” and mysterious so I
decided to add figures to my images and see how they looked.
I think that my work with this technique looks good because I used a combination of layer styles and tools to cut out the subject and fit
them into the image. The pictures that needed no rotoscoping obviously look much neater than the ones that did because they take up
the whole background and only needed the layer style to be changed appropriately. The two images that I feel worked the best by only
changing the style of the layer was my final image and image 8, as the colours between the original image and the image I put over the
top combined, so the fighting scene on the castle walls doesn’t actually show in the sky because that area is too light, and because the
background of the lady in my final image was black it showed her outline perfectly and completely cancelled out the black so there was
no need for further editing. The weaker points of my work is that some of the ghosts I did cut out look a little jagged around the edges,
but fortunately the fact that I changed the layer style to make them more transparent makes it less obvious.
The technical qualities of my work are the fact that I used layer styles to change how the original image and the overlaying image
combined together, and some styles worked better on some images than they did with others. I also changed the opacity on some of the
top layers because they were too prominent, even when a layer style was added. On some of the ghostly pictures I did, I had to actually
cut around the figure because they were not on a blank background. At first I would try the quick selection tool to see if it would work
that way. Most of the time it did and I would only have to cut around parts Photoshop had missed by myself using the polygonal lasso
tool. It was often the case that some of the figures I chose off of Google images were much harder to cut around, and the selection tool
would find it difficult to recognise the different parts of the photograph from it being too dark or of lower quality, which is
understandable because I used old photographs, so I had to go and find other pictures that would be more suitable. Again, for the
original image I used a normal shutter speed and I added a vintage effect over the top before manipulating it in Photoshop. I mostly used
images that had very little going on, with hardly any features in the background. For example I took pictures of only a bed and a door in
my final image, and in image 11 you can only see the top of the bed and a painting on the wall. I feel like this minimalist look adds to the
ghostliness because apart from the figure the rest of the image is pretty much ‘empty’.
How could you improve your work?
I think that I could definitely create more ghostly images if I went out and took more pictures of older
buildings or less modern homes. To re-create a figure like the ones I already have I could ask people
to stand in front of a white or black background while I take their picture, and then it would be much
easier to cut around their figure than one that is almost a hundred years old. I could also try setting
up my camera on a sturdy surface and setting it to a longer shutter speed and ask someone to walk
past, or walk down some stairs to create a ghost-like effect, as they will be transparent and kind of
look like smoke depending on what shutter speed I have the camera on. Adding a black and white, or
sepia filter will make the picture look older and make it more creepy with a shadowy figure moving
past the camera. For the pictures of buildings and architecture that I took, I could develop that and
take images of more urban and modernised areas, and put an image of a wooded or overgrown area
on top of it.
Do your images fulfil the brief?
I believe that the images I have produced do fulfil the brief and do link into the theme of discovery. I
think that the idea I was going for with this technique was mostly to do with the past, or history.
Discovery involves people’s beliefs and I know that not everyone believes in ghosts but everywhere
has a past and to me the thought of ghosts and souls that were once there interest me a lot, and how
people find them quite terrifying is just as intriguing. Discovery is also finding out about the past and
about your ancestors and learning how different things were and how things have changed. There
are also people who are ghost hunting enthusiasts and love the paranormal. Ghosts and the
paranormal also link in with religion and cultural beliefs, which I listed on my mind map. Also, ghosts
are things that are still mysterious and somewhat unknown to us, as there are still people who are
highly sceptic of them, while there are others who are strong believers. I think that the images I have
produced are linked to discovery, because discovery is something that needs to be done and needs to
be uncovered, and the paranormal is something that we do not have solid facts about, as of yet.
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