Monday, 26 November 2012

7 Day Photo Challenge

For 7 days I took a photograph each day of 7 different subject matters.

day 1: a house
day 2: your shoes
day 3: from a high angle
day 4: from a low angle
day 5: something blue
day 6: time
day 7: people

I found it quite hard to link some of the subjects to my theme of architecture such as shoes but I thought of a way of placing a pair of shoes in front of a building. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Johan Thornqvist Inspired Experimentation

Johan Thornqvist inspired me to draw on my own prints like he draws on his. As i'm not that good at drawing cartoons I chose to draw stick men in different situations because it doesn't matter what they looked like its the idea behind it that matters. I turned the print into something else rather than just a photograph. 

Johan Thornqvist

Johan Thornqvist set out to find an interesting way to incorporate art and photography into one. using only photographs taken from his phone, Thornqvist used some photo manipulation to create interesting lighting scenarios for his characters to inhabit. Each image shows off his quirky sense of humor and imagination. Swedish artist Johan Thornqvist started out by creating websites. His work involved designing print materials or businesses and designing logos. Following on from this he started his own business taking inspiration from a variety of sources such as comic books. 

This photograph is of an old fire hydrant. I like this choice of subject matter because the subject matter is something peculiar to focus on. This image has been edited by changing the colour of the fire hydrant in various hues of green. In the background of the image you can see a plain wall with stains and gathered dirt at the bottom of it. The fire hydrant, being in the foreground of the image, makes this the focus point of the image as this is the first thing noticeable on the photograph. At first glance, it looks like the fire hydrant is becoming rusty, but after looking again you can see that the top few layers of paint have peeled off the hydrant; in some places more than others. At the base of the hydrant you can see brown as the green paint has almost completely come off. At the top of the fire hydrant you can see where Thornqvist has drawn a mini city. Along with the tall skyscrapers and the spaces with a few trees in them, you can see a hot air balloon to the top left of the hydrant and a crane to the left, lower side of the hydrant with what looks like two people inside.

I was not able to find a specific meaning to this photograph. Initially, I thought that the photograph could mean that the various buildings on top of the hydrant represent houses and also public buildings that have been saved and or will be saved by fire engines attaching hoses to the fire hydrant. Another interpretation that comes to mind is that as there is a city sitting on top and around the hydrant, it could represent that we as individuals and as a civilization has always needed water to survive, no matter how remote. The wall behind the fire hydrant and the ground around it looks rather dirty along with the hydrant as the paint is peeling off which could suggest that this area has been forgotten about. However, shown by the buildings drawn around the hydrant, it shows how even in bad living conditions, people will still settle and try to build somewhere secure to live. Another meaning could be that the buildings around the hydrant, assuming there is meant to be people living inside, could represent all the workers and engineers that keep the hydrant working and also the firemen who use the water inside to help others. All in all Thornqvist might of just wanted us to imagine that there are small people living inside and around fire hydrants in invisible cities.

I really like this image as it leaves so much to the imagination. I love how Thornqvist came up with the idea of drawing a city, similar to modern civilization, on top of a fire hydrant. I also like that the fire hydrant itself is not in pristine condition as it contrasts to the clean city residing around it. The drawings themselves are almost childlike which also makes a nice contrast to the cold stonewall behind the hydrant and the dreary ground.

Mike Hewson Inspired Experimentation

After looking at Mike Hewson's work I wanted to experiment with my own interior shots on buildings. I took a photograph of the outside of the building then took an interior shot from the same angle. In the darkroom a ripped a shape out of black paper, I exposed the exterior shot in the outer layer then placed it back over the paper and removed the inside bit then exposed the interior shot into the centre. I really like the shots of the church because the angles and shots work well together and look like the wall has been broken down to expose the inside.

Mike Hewson

Mike Hewson is a New Zealand based artist that creates public art installations.
Early on in his career he began painting as he felt compelled to document the landscape that he grew up around and spent time exploring. As he further explored drawing, painting and photography his work continued to focus on recapturing his surroundings. The majority of the time he spent in his art studio. The studio in central Christchurch has been an important place for him and his growth as an artist. His studio is amongst serveral accomplished New Zealand artists.

In 2001 an earthquake destroyed some of the buildings in the town of Christchurch, this is what inspired him to create a new type of art work. Mike Hewson's work appears on buildings slated for demolition, which gives the structures one last tribute before they are re-built. The project is titled Homage to the Lost Spaces. He took photographs from inside the studios of New Zealand artists working in the building. He then used mixed media and applied the photographs to plywood. 'That's actually my brother riding the bike and I feel that represents the lifestyle we were living at the time'. The plywood was then attached onto the demolished buildings.

The title 'Homage to the Lost Space' I think it is a good title for the work because by placing scenes in to the spaces it turns it into something that has a meaning. The spaces have been lost through demolition  but also being deserted by people but with the installed photographs it changes the community to be closer and feel like this building has not been destroyed. The people in the photographs are artists in the area and people among the community. I think this makes excellent subject matter because it involves the community and makes them feel part of the work and to show how the earthquake effected them. however it also shows that even with a disaster happen they can still carry on and get back to how life used to be.

I was amazed the first time I saw it because its not something you expect to see on buildings to be demolished. After reading behind the idea of the work it made me like it even more because he's showing that no matter what happens to a community you can get past it and rebuild your lives again. It makes me feel happy to know that even though a disaster has happened people can still be happy and appreciate what is still around. I don't really think that it evokes any senses because it is not the type of work that portrays a certain sense or feeling. The perspective may not be completely realistic in some images but it does not distort what the meaning behind it is and the way people view it.

Matthew Cox Inspired Experimentation

These prints are inspired by Matthew cox who sews into x-rays. I decided I would sew into different sections of a photograph in a range of different stitching and bright colours. Some are bolder than others but I achieved what I wished to. I wanted to see whether it changed the look of the image. I don't think it changes it much in my prints because the prints are quite basic.

Matthew Cox

Matthew Cox is a Philadelphia based artist who embraces and combines a variety of media to produce a series of wok. He exhibits his work internationally and is featured in many prominent collections such as the New Orleans Museum of Art, Progressive Insurance Corporate Art Collection, the Georgetown College Art Gallery and the private collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody, E.John Bullard, Ronnie Brenner and several others. Matthew Cox weaves embroidery thread into plastic skeletal slides. One is tactile and labor intensive where as the other is technical and a quickly finished product. Stitching has a nurturing aspect and acts as a care healing the injured, and is quite a feminine action, whilst the x-ray can be considered masculine. He uses bright colours to bring a feeling of care and to liven up the x-rays. X-rays are quite dull and reflect a serious matter but combined with the stitching it changes them into something fun and decorative. The compositions are structured and designed by carefully thinking of where to add the stitching so that it connects with the the x-ray but without taking away the attraction of the haunting bones and structure of the body. The embroidered areas might not be significant and symbolic to the x-ray for example the x-ray of the chest might not be David Bowie's but still has the connection even if it is not.

Having a title of embroidered x-rays it is self explanatory of what the piece of work is. I think if it had a different title with a less obvious link to the work then it would let the viewer create an image of what they expect it to be and let the imagination wonder as to why he has created this work. The work is about redefinition. I think it is trying to represent that not everything has to have one meaning. By adding colour and  a tactile material into an x-ray which is associated with injuries and pain, it changes the mood and feeling of looking at an x-ray to having two types of meanings, one being the injury and the other being a nurturing act of care. I would associate this work with contemporary art as it is a new and current piece which has never been explored before. This makes people create conversation as to whether it is right or wrong to combine the two materials and create new art work from it.

My first reaction to the work was that I was surprised with the use of stitching on x-rays because of the representation of x-rays. I thought it was brave of him to push the boundaries of plastic film by combining instant photography with labour intensive stitching. I don't think one part draws my attention more than the other, the two together make one composition that attracts you to it. It evokes a sense of touch, to feel the stitching against the smoothness of the x-ray. In some way it makes you not want to touch it due to the contrast between the two materials, by touching it it may ruin the authenticity of the piece. It makes me feel on edge looking at it to know that the x-rays are of someone. X-rays are a subject that would not normally be discussed in a positive conversation whereas stitching is considered to be therapeutic and a fun thing to do  which is why it makes me feel awkward.

4 Ideas

Mood Board

This is my mood board of photographers and artists that have inspired me and techniques I want to experiment with. 
1.& 5. Matthew Cox
12. Noemie Goudal
2. & 4. Mathilde Nivet
3. & 11. ingrid siliakus
9. & 10. Johan Thornqvist 
6. Franz Falckenhaus
7. & 8. Mike Hewson

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


This is my mind map of ideas of the personal project, this is a rough idea of what I want to do over the course of this project. I thought of different themes I could explore, the locations and subject matter and the materials and techniques I want to use. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Personal Project

For the final coursework project it is more independent with my own brief and title for my project. I will  go above and beyond the techniques and experiments I already know to find and do a wider range of experiments that I have never tried before. My work will be of a more sophisticated level showing my technical abilities and my dedication. The theme I will be taking forward is architecture which I may incorporate other themes within it. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Final Outcome Evaluation

The brief for the final outcome was 'Enhanced Image' which was to explore different techniques and experiments that I could use to enhance my images. I started by choosing a theme that I thought would be good to explore further. The theme I chose was Architecture. I chose this because I am interested in the wide range of architecture. Within this theme there is a diversity of styles that spans the centuries not just the decades. Architecture can vary from old to modern, including different styles of windows from stained glass windows to ornate gothic windows and modern frame-less expanses of glass. I looked the work of different photographers such as Brian Auer and Alain Etchepare. I created a mindmap for my first film strip, I included the different shots, lighting, locations and photographers that inspired me. As well as film I had also shot some digital photographs. 

At the start of the project I experimented with a range of techniques by artists such as Greg Sand that weaves photographs, Amy Friend that puts pin holes in photographs, William Hatch Crosby who paints onto photographs, Stephen J Shanabrook that scrunches up images, Stacey Page who stitches into photographs, Rebecca Chew who creates 3D sculptures out of photographs, and Quentin Jones who collages on photographs.

The artist that I liked the most was Amy Friend, I like the way something as simple as pin holes can create a different way you view the photograph. The pin holes highlight certain areas to become the focus point. 
After I developed my film I printed each image. I experimented with press printing, vignetting and highlighting areas. I wanted to take my experimentation further so I experimented with solarisation. Solarisation is one of my favorite experiments as it give the image a weird effect and you get a different outcome each time depending on the timings of exposure. Bleaching photographs is also another experiment I really enjoyed doing because it is a fun task which results in colourful distorted images. I want to experiment with this further in upcoming projects. As well as darkroom experiments I used Photoshop to edit digital images as well  Following with the same experiments I did toning prints, vignetting and solarisation of prints in Photoshop. I prefer the hands on tasks rather than on Photoshop as it gives you a chance to alter the way it looks and you can create different outcomes each time. by experimenting with different techniques it has allowed me to see what I am best at and what would work and contribute to in my final outcome. 

Combination printing was one of the experiments I took forward to my final outcome. Combination printing  is the technique of using two or more photographic images in conjunction with one another to create a single image. This was inspired by Paul Butler who cuts out figures in street photography and sometimes layers behind an image of the same location. I kept my combination printing quite simple by cutting out rectangles and exposing different images in each one but I think this still worked effectively as you can see the links between the photographs when they are put together. I experimented with trying to solarise one part of the image. It was successful but areas of the outside image did not develop, this was because glue from the duct tape I used remained in those areas. However I think it adds to the effect of the overall image giving it a dream like feel as it looks like clouds. 

Instead of my final outcome just being a mounted sheet I wanted to present it in a different way but keep it simple. At the top of a piece of chipboard I cut out a silhouette out Dulwich College, I kept the chipboard the brown colour that it was rather than my original idea of painting it black because the colour of it can resemble architecture. I chose prints that work well as a collection and arranged them in an order that suited the size of the board. I was going to make four boards of prints and attached them together in a try-fold way but due to time and how long it took me to cut the first board I decided to only do two. I think it works better with two because if there was too many it may have drawn the attraction away from the prints. I think I could have improved my final outcome by possibly considering different ways to present my prints and to have more than one idea that I could have developed further. With the idea that I carried forward I could have improved it by making the cutting of the top neater and thinking of different ways to arrange my prints and make the combinations of prints more complex rather than rectangles. 

Overall I found the project enjoyable because of the range of experiments that I tried. Some of the techniques and experiments I have already done before in previous projects but by revisiting the experiments it gave me a chance to improve my skills. The new experiments that I tried such as bleaching, handmade negatives and combination printing I really enjoyed doing as I got to try new things and if I use them in future projects then I can improve the way I did them. For the next project I want to take forward some of the experiments that I have tried and possibly the way I presented my final outcome. For the personal project I want to change my theme to something that I would enjoy more because for this project I limited myself by only taking photographs of building that weren't modern. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Paul Butler

Paul Butler is a post- disciplinary artist whose practise includes hosting the collage party, a touring experimental studio established 1997, and directing the operations of The Other Gallery. He has exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art.

Paul Butler created a series of work called 'What's Within'. I think he created this series by taking street photography and cutting out areas of the photographs, mainly the person in the subject. He then uses similar photographs that he has taken of the same location and layers it behind the cut out area. I really like the way you can make out that there is a figure there but cannot see it clearly. It gives a sense of being there but viewing whats inside through symbolism and meaning rather than whats on the outside. In some of his works he has included several cut outs of figures, whether they are the same person or different people it makes you think why are they included within the same image, maybe they are linked in some way by the scene. 
His work inspired me to experiment with combination printing. Combination printing is a technique of combining two or more photographs. I kept mine quite simple by cutting out rectangles and exposing an image into the different rectangles, whereas Paul Butler cuts out silhouettes of people and puts the same scene in the silhouette. 
I could have linked my work closer to Paul Butlers by cutting out silhouettes of people in the photograph of a building so that within the building image there would be a silhouette of a person or took a picture of a landscape and combination printing a building within it.

Combination Printing

Combination printing is the technique of using two or more photographic images in conjunction with one another to create a single image. I measured out the size of the photographic paper on a piece of black paper then in the centre I measured out a smaller rectangle and cut that out using a cutting knife on a cutting board. I experimented with varying the amount of frames and the way they are placed. One of the first prints I experimented with was putting two borders around a centre print. I then tried simple versions so that there wasn't too much distraction. 

I experimented further by trying to incorporate two different experiments. I used duct tape to mask out the outer frame and made sure that it was fully stuck together so that no chemicals could get to the paper. I then exposed my image to the centre part and went through the stages of solarising an image. Once it had dried I carefully pulled off the duct tape and placed a new piece over the part I solarised. I then exposed a different image to the outer part and took it through the normal stages of developing a print. Below is my outcome. I like that the outer part has not fully developed, this is because part of the glue from the tape remained in that area. 
I am pleased with all of my prints as they worked the first time and create a good effect. It's a step further than creating an ordinary print and I think it works well with my theme of architecture. I am going to develop my technique further and use combination printing in my final outcome. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Final Film

For my final film Before I shot the film I thought of the different locations, lighting and angles I could take and the experiments that I could apply to the images. I shot three different locations on my film, Dulwich College, Victorian Folly in Sydenham Hill Wood, and a community centre in Crystal Palace. I did a test strip for my contact sheet, I has the light of f16, filter 5 and exposed each section for 1 second. After looking at my test strip I could see that I need to expose it for 8 seconds. 
I did a test strip for one image and saw that I needed to expose the image for 12 seconds.