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  1. 1. Experimental Photography Chloe Smith 1
  2. 2. Photo Montage/Collage
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. Evaluate: 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. Qualities: 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.
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. Double Exposure
  7. 7. Double Exposure
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. Evaluate: 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. Qualities: 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’.
  11. 11. 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.