Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Abigail Reynolds

Abigail Reynolds is known for cutting into photographs to reveal a photograph behind. I think its a good idea to cut into a photograph to reveal one behind, I think it works particularly well when using contrasting photos for example a countryside and a built up city, or a photograph taken 30 years ago in contrast with one taken in the present day; they would work particularly well if the photographs are taken from the same point. 

This was my attempt if creating a Abigail Reynolds inspired piece. I make it by choosing two photographs, I decided to go with contrasting photos like a countryside and a city. First I mounted the countryside photograph onto black sugar paper and the city photograph onto black paper.  I used a ruler to draw a grid on top of the countryside photo then cut along some of the lines so that when bent up it would reveal the image underneath. once I was happy with what I had cut I then glued the city picture behind the countryside one so that when you look through the cut out gaps in the photograph you can see the city behind it.
I was pleased with my outcome but I think it could be improved by cutting more shapes out to reveal the image underneath more as i think you cant really make out what is behind it. 

Animated Gifs

An animated gif is a type of GIF image that can be made to show movement by combining several images into a single GIF. There are two types of animated gifs, one being a combination of several photos and the other being a combination of a video and a still image. 

Jamie Beck is a New York City based fashion photographer. He collaborated with Kevin Burg, a web designer with a background in video and motion graphics, to develop the art of animated GIFs. They began creating them during fashion week a year ago. Their first animated images were a series of still shots in a continuous loop. Then on they began to find new ways of creating a more fluid motion and isolating certain parts of an image to capture the moment. The process involves still and video photography. Taking a photograph captures the moment in a still time frame but with an addition of video it allows that magical moment to come to life. Cinemagraphs are a way of adding motion to a still image. For them a intricate ones would take about a day whereas a simpler one would take 3-4hours. 
This was my first attempt at creating an animated gif.
1. I set up what I wanted to capture and set my camera up on a tripod.
2. I put my camera on continuous shutter
3. Filled the glass up slowly whilst taking continuous photographs.
4. Open photoshop and load all the images in separate layers. The easy way to do this is  go to file - scripts - load files into stack.
4. Select windows - animation. This will have the first image selected in the box that pops up.
5. Click on the small tab at the bottom of the animation box that says 'duplicate this layer'. To add the second photo click on the eye next to the first image/layer in the layer box.
6. Continue to duplicate the layer and hide the previous layer until you have reached the last photo. Keep the last layer visible.
7. Shift - click all of the boxes so that they are all selected in the animation box.
8. Click on the time selector at the bottom left hand corner of the animation box. Here you can change how much time you want between each photograph.
9. Click on the repetition selector, choose 'forever'. Click the play button to preview the animation. After viewing it you can change the timings between each frame and whether to delete or keep each frame.
10. To save click save for web and devices. Adjust the side, make sure the dither is up to 100% and that the colours are up to the highest. Save as gif. 
This was my second attempt at an animated gif following the same theme as the one before. I think these worked quite well as my first animated gifs I've made as they were simple but captures what I wanted to without it going wrong. I coloured the water red so that it would be easy to see the water being poured into the glass.  

This was slightly different to an animated gif, I wanted to develop my skills further so I tried to make a cinemagraph. I did this in Photoshop by following a tutorial.

1.. capture a video of the set up where something is moving.
2. Open Photoshop. Press ctrl O to open a file, open the video file that you are using for your cinemagraph.
3.  If the animation box does not pop up straight away then go to windows - animation.
4. Click on the fly out menu ( arrow with 3 lines next to it) and click document settings. Change the Frame rate to 15fps.
5. move the first time line indicator to where you want your video to start from. move your mouse to over the Work area start point, click and hold and hold down shift and drag it to the time line indicator that you just moved. The Work area start point should snap to the line.
6. Capture about 12 frames of the video for the animation. move to the bottom of the animation box and select next frame, click this 12 times.
7. Click and hold the work area end point, hold down shift and drag it to where the time line indicator is now at. Press play to view the frames inside of the selected region.
8. Go to the fly out menu, click trim document duration to work area.
9. Use the time line indicator to find a frame that you want to capturre as the still photograph.
10. Go to select - All. Go to Edit - Copy Merged. Go to Edit - Paste.
11. Press the Q key, or go to the icon with the white circle in the square underneath the colour box. Select the paintbrush tool and select the colour black. Choose the size of the brush depending on your image and with a hardness of 68%.
12. On your image, paint over the areas of the image that you do not want to move.
13. Select the Q key or to icon underneath the colour box. This makes a quick selection.
14. In the layers panel, hide the video layer by clicking they eye next to layer 1. Have the frozen layer selected (layer 2.)
15. Hold the Alt key and click the layer mask button at the bottom of they layer panel.
16. Turn on the visibility of the video layer by clicking the eye next to layer 1.
17. In the animation box, click play to view the animation.
18. Go to the fly out menu once again, click flatten frames into layers. Each frame is now in a layer. throw away the original layers, select the layer with the mask (layer 2, and layer 1), drag them to the trash can icon.
19. Select the lowest frame (frame 0). Right at the base of the right hand side of the animation box is an icon with 3 squares in it, click on this.
20. Go to the fly out menu, click make frames from layers. Click the play button to view the series of frames.
21.  On the first frame Click on the time selector at the bottom left hand corner of the animation box and select no delay.
22.  Click on the repetition selector, choose 'forever'. Press play to view the animation.
23. To export it as an animated gif, go to file - save for web and devices.
24. adjust the file size down for example 600w. in the presets select GIF, selective, dither the image with pattern, select the highest colours, click on covert to sRGB. Save.

I found this slightly harder than the animated gif as it had more steps involved but once I had worked out where all the icons were it was quite easy to follow. I think its a easy way to create a cinemagraph with simple steps. I was pleased with my own one as I like how the water level of the liquid does not increase as the water is being poured in. 

Geraldine Georges inspired experimentation

Geraldine Georges is a Belgium illustrator and graphic designer who uses a combination of illustration and photography. Her images consist of most commonly portraits adorned with shapes and objects such as flowers, bold black lines and areas. In some of her illustrations animals are included as either extras or to become part of the form. 
Below is my hand made attempt of creating an image inspired by Geraldine Georges. I used different materials such as ink, pens and paper. I splatted and dotted the ink around the page then tipped it up and blew the ink so that the ink could spread. I cut around a photograph then cut into it, I wasn't paying particular attention to detail except for when cutting around the eye. As I had a limited amount of time to create this it was hard to make it quite creative so it had to be kept simple but still with comparisons to Geraldine Georges work.

Photoshop Experiments
This was my first attempt at using Photoshop to create a Geraldine Georges inspired image.
 To create this I followed a Photoshop tutorial.

1. open the desired photograph into Photoshop, and create a new blank A4 document.
2. Drag the photograph onto the blank document. Holding down shift, re-size the photograph so that it is fairly small.
3. Using the lasso tool or the magnetic lasso tool draw around the area of the picture that you want. To select more than one part hold down shift and select another area.
4. Hold ctrl and click the mouse and click select inverse. press delete then deselect.
5. Using the eraser tool eliminate areas of the image that you don't like, also using the magic want tool so that it snaps to specific parts for a cleaner eraser.
6. Create a new layer. Using the shape tool for a circle for example, draw where you want the shape to be. Drag this layer to below the image so that it will appear behind it. fill the shape black.
7. Create a new layer. Click on the brushes icon and experiment with using the different types to see what works well with the image. As it is as a new layer you can delete it and start again without deleting the photograph.
8. Add colour with the different brushes depending on what works well with the photograph. 
This was my first attempt of adding colour. To begin with I didn't want to add colour as I thought it spoils the photograph, but as I added more colour and drip marks I think that colour added another element to the image. (image below).

I liked the hands on approach to creating a Geraldine Georges inspired piece as I could make it how I wanted it without any obstacles such as brushes. Photoshop however can lead to more creative ideas and colours. The brushes available can vary and for specific brushes they can be downloaded. After doing the two I now think that I prefer Photoshop as its more creative with brushes however it is very time consuming and harder to draw accurate shapes with a cursor. I resorted to using software called X-pen, it allows you to freely draw on a pad which is like drawing on paper which appears on screen. 

Norm Magnusson 'decorating nature'

Norm Magnusson is a New York based artists known for his 'decorating nature'. He used the environment around him for the canvas of his work. He has made a series of work whereby he paints or colours different parts of nature. It varies from coloured stripes on leaves to circles on a stone to splashes of colour underwater. The meaning behind this series is to show and explore the complicated relationship between mankind and nature. We use nature how we see fit to, whether it being using it for profit, making it prettier, keeping it as it is or changing it for the 'better'. By decorating nature it makes people take a second look at what it is, some might interpret it is a new life to what is already there where as others may see it as destroying what is natural just to please others to appreciate nature. 

Here are my own examples of 'decorating nature' - 

Jan Van Holeben style photograph

Jon Von Holeben was born in 1977 and brought up in Germany. From the age of 13 he followed in his fathers photographic career by picking up a camera and experimented with taking all sorts of photographs. His work shows the influence of his parents, a cinematographer and a child therapist. He wanted to create a visual representation of childhood , in his series of 'dreams of flying' he's taken many different scenes that would be of what children dream of. It was produced in 2002 with children from his local neighbourhood in southwest Germany. 

This was my Jon Van Holeben inspired photograph. Working as a group we had an idea and used materials and resources around us to create it. We set up our area in the atrium; using a black curtain as the night sky, cotton wool as clouds, Cut out paper stars, musical instruments floating in the sky as if in the dream. Using materials we created a bed in which four of us we in and the other member of our group was included as part of the dream holding a guitar and wearing a mask.

Markus Kisson inspired pop-up photos

Markus Kisson is a digital artists based in Berlin. Looking at his works I am experimenting with creating my own Markus Kisson pop-up photographs. He would take a polaroid photograph then cut around parts of the photograph and bend it upwards so that they stick out. 

Below is my quick example of a pop up photo -

First I decided what photograph I wanted to pop up, I decided to go with a photograph of a church that I had  taken as my theme is architecture. I Then chose what photograph I wanted as the background, I thought choosing something simple like grass and sky. 
1. I cut around the church
2. folded where the grass ended
3. followed a tutorial as to how to cut the background for pop up tabs
4. Glued the church onto the pop up tab

Lin Osborn style photographs

Looking at Lin Osborn's work I experimented with creating my own Lin Osborn inspired arranged photographs. This is an example of her work.
Using photoshop I followed a tutorial to create my own arranged photographs inspired by her. 
1. New document - 210mm x 210mm.
2. Drag all images into photoshop > click crop tool >Hold shift and drag the crop tool to a square > ok
3. Do the same steps for all of the images.
4. Using the move tool drag the images into the blank document.
5.  cmd apostrophe to get a grid up > view > snap to grid
6. Select each image layer > move to the edge of the grid lines > adjust the size
7. Repeat the previous steps for all images.
8.  Hold shift and select all images move so it has an equal boarder.

Below are my own inspired arranged photographs. I chose a selection of photographs of different places but still within my theme of architecture. After arranging the photographs I applied a gradient to the photographs.


To develop my skills and knowledge of Photoshop further I experimented with a technique called typography. It involves an original image being overlayed and formed by text. I like that you can choose the text you wish to overlay as it can be anything or relate to the text. As well as choosing what text to have you can vary the size of the font, by having the font large you are able to read it and it can tell a story about the image chosen. 
1. Open image > Select > colour range - click Shadows and selection > ok > cmd C to copy > cmd V to paste.
2. Select original layer of image > select > colour range - click midtones and selection > okay > cmd C to copy > cmd V to paste.
3. Select both layers > cmd E > hide original image layer
4. Create a new document for your text 20cm x 20cm resolution 300 > ok
5. Select text tool > draw by holding click and dragging out > open document with text in > copy text > paste into text box in photoshop > font edwardian script font size 30 > deselect
6. Edit > define brush presets > ok
7. Click on image document > select brush tool > new layer > select brush size 300 ensure its black opacity 100 > paste onto photograph covering it all > increase size of brush, paste onto photograph until happy with it. 
8. Click layer mask on text layer > hide layer > select layer 1 > cmd A to select all > cmd C to copy > show text layer > click on the layer mask (white square) > hold alt and click > cmd V to paste your selection > cmd D to deselect.
9. Cmd I to invert > hide layer 1 > create new layer > drag it down so its underneath text layer > fill white.
10. Select text layer > blending options > gradient box - blending mode on screen - choose gradient - edit scale and angle > ok.
11. Select black colour > click on brush tool > soft brush size 30 opacity 30 > paintbrush over certain layers to get rid of excess white


These are some photographs I have taken to do with my theme. They were taken at various different national trust and english heritage places. 

Saatchi Gallery

5 Analysis

Ruins by George Laszlo Kovacsic

George Laszlo Kovacsic photographed this building in a little village in Hungary in the year 2008.
I like the angle he had chosen to photograph the ruins as you can see the part of the building that is still standing and the back of the building which is just falling to ruins. The feeling that I get from this photograph is that it was once a popular place but due to neglect and natural hazards it has been left to deteriorate over time and grow old like the people that used to go there. I like the effect that he has applied to the photograph as the colours work well to make it seem like there is sunlight catching on the top of the building which makes it seem as if there is still life in the building and that it will still live on and have visitors whether it is still a complete standing building or it has turned into broken ruins.

Black and White House by David Owens
Black and White House was taken by David Owens on the 15th of April 2012 in Stratford-upon-Avon using a Canon EOS 7D. The Garrick Inn is a half-timbered pub and restaurant on the high street in Stratford-upon-Avon. The building dates back to the 1400's and it is said to be the oldest pub in the town. It's also claimed that many former local's visit from the "other side". 
Usually when I look at photos that are taken in black and white it makes the images seem very eerie and menacing, but with this one I don't get that feeling. I think it is because it has not had  any other adjustments and alterations like effects being applied. With people in the photograph as well it makes it seem like it is not a place to ignore and that it may be a place of regular visits despite its claims to have ghosts and hauntings. I chose this photograph because I like the beams and timbered front to the building, it makes me feel as if I am in a small village where everyone knows each other where everyone is happy. I think it captures the history of architecture of buildings from the past well as buildings that are built now don't look like this. 
Dark Architecture by Brian Auer
This photograph was taken by Brain Auer of a building on the Princeton Campus in New Jersey. The size of the chapel itself is large but to make it look even bigger he shot it at 18mm with his 18-200mm lens. It has a barrel distortion at the low end so it causes the buildings verticals to converge from the perspective he was shooting at. The fact that it was taken in black and white and shot from a low angle gives the impression that it may be a haunted church or used as a town hall in a horror film. My first reaction to the photograph was wow, it captured by attention straight away, the perspective makes it seem so much larger and eerie. The parts that draw my attention the most is the dark arch way at the front as it does feel as if you want to walk towards the darkness to explore and reveal what might be hidden inside. Also the sky drew my attention as the building begins to narrow towards the sky and with the trees surrounding the edge of the image makes it seem as if you cannot escape it that maybe a storm is coming and this is the only place to shelter. 

On the Other Side by Alain Etchepare
This is a photograph called On the Other Side by Alain Etchepare. This photograph of the castle was taken in Paris in 2010. I like this photograph because it reminds me of a castle in a remote peaceful place. My first reaction of this photograph was that it taken using a pinhole camera because of the effect around the castle and that it is not all in focus. I do not know what the image was taken with but I assume that it was taken with a DSLR then with an effect applied. The first part that drew my attention was the two towers on the castle, I think that they stand out because they are tall and different to the rest of the castle. The towers are also towards the central point of the photograph, and with the vignette effect around the image it draws your attention into that specific area. To me this castle reminds me of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter books. It makes me feel like it is a magical dreamy place with many different meanings and secrets within the grounds. I don't know if the white haze across the bottom of the photograph was in the composition or whether it had been Photoshopped in but I think it adds to the feelings evoked by this photograph. It may be naturally occurring like fog or snow but is makes the image fell like its part of a dream or a mysterious place. The title of the photograph ' on the other side' does change my perspective of the images as it could mean that he is an outsider and will never know what is within the castle. Its as if his goal is to find out what happens inside, whether it is an abandoned castle, used castle or possibly even a boarding school.

Mysterious by Eduardo Barbosa

This photograph was taken on a Pentax K20D by Eduardo Barbosa on August 31st 2010 of the Pena National Palace situated in Sintra in Portugal. It is a cultural icon and one of the most visited sites in portugal. Sat atop a rocky hill top, far above the town itself, it is a national monument and a UNESCO listed heritage site which attracts thousands of visitors each year. I like the fact that he took this photograph in black and white as it makes it seem quite eerie. In reality different colours have been used on the exterior of the building making it quite colouful but this does not come across in this photograph. As it is taken in black and white it gives it a menacing look but if it was taken in its original colours the appearance of the building would change. This image has only captured one side of the building, it already feels like a large scale building and to imagine the feeling of standing beside it and viewing it as a whole would be overwhelming.