Thursday, 9 May 2013

Cinemagraphs - Final Outcome


The theme for the exam was Inside, Outside, In Between. I thought of different starting points that I could link to this such as inner character, 5 senses, the everyday, space and light and movement. I decided to follow the path of 5 senses. Within this there is a wide range of things to explore like the different 5 senses, body parts, surgery etc. Within the theme of 5 senses I thought of basing mine around different foods and the senses they apply to. Originally I wanted to link my photographs to all 5 senses by photographing specific things that relate to each sense but that would have made my ideas very broad. I changed my idea to only focusing on a few. I labelled my theme as foods. I wanted to capture photographs of the insides,outsides and in between of different food so that it would have a literal link to the theme. 

I looked at the work of Stephanie Gonot and Helen Chadwick which inspired me to experiment and look at using grotesque foods. Helen Chadwick uses grotesque foods such as raw meat and organs but makes them look nicer by combing them with fur, gold leaf and jewelry where as Stephanie Gonot uses sweet foods and changes them to make them look grotesque by mushing them and melting them. I took two films that were each inspired by the two photographers. For my first film I focused it on food that looked quite fleshy such as salmon, liver,minced meat and pomegranate. I tried to shape the liver and minced meat to look like organs such as lungs and the brain. My first film was mainly for experimentation of techniques rather than following a particular path. My second film was based on inspiration by Helen Chadwick, I photographed grotesque foods such as fish skin, strips of raw meat and raw meat. Before taking the photographs I arranged them on fabric and added elements such as sugar coated sweets and shiny tin foil to make the subject seem more appealing. One of my favourite photographs was of pepper storks placed on a pile of tea leaves with cabbage leaves. I liked this composition because the way I had arranged it made it look like flowers in a flower bed which takes away from the fact that they were foods that had started to go off and decompose. My third film was inspired by Stephanie Gonot as I photographed sweet foods such as melt in the middle chocolate cake and jelly and ice cream but included the chocolate oozing out and the ice cream melting over the jelly to make them seem less appealing.

One thing that has always interested me is Cinemagraphs by Jamie Beck. I created my own animated GIFs then went onto creating Cinemagraphs. Jamie Beck founded cinemagraphs in 2009 and since then they have grown in population and branched off on many different ideas. Beck's Cinemagraphs have a unique feel about them as they were the first to be heard of. His work inspired me to experiment with this for my final piece. I tested out different cinemagraphs from foam coming out of an apple to water filling up a glass. I wanted my final piece to be a combination of different foods and drinks that would be consumed in everyday life.

I've experimented with a wide range of experiments and techniques. Handmade negatives, solarisation, reversals, combination prints, post production, tinting prints, liquid emulsion, sandwich prints, masking, selective development and collage. I experimented with handmade negatives to make it look like microscopic images. As my theme is food I wanted to in keep with it so I found some rice, golden syrup, oats, flour and other different foods. These resulting in really good microscopic looking images. Solarisation is a really easy technique that results in good outcomes. Handmade negatives, solarisation and reversals are quite simple techniques so I wanted to try something a bit more challenging. I tried combination printing by using the photos I took of body parts and experimented with exposing the photos I had taken of liver and minced meat into the parts of the body. I was unsure how it was going to work but I just went ahead and tried different attempts.  I was really pleased with the outcome as it looks like you can see through the skin to the muscle. I had never used liquid emulsion before and have always wanted to experiment with it. I wanted something original other than using different types of paper. I thought why not print food on foods. I tried printing on different types of food but it was hard to work out what setting they needed to be on. Another technique that I had never used before was anthotypes and cyanotypes. These were really creating and you never really know what your outcome is going to look like. My cyanotypes worked better than my anthotypes but it was still fun to see what interesting results I could get from them. The animated GIF and the cinemagraphs were a completely new route to take but I thought it was a good way to take my work as they are quite challenging and they take a lot of time and patients to get right. I tried different foods to see what worked well and what didn't. After this I thought that simple plain well lit compositions worked best as the focus was on the object in the composition. 

Overall I found the exam theme quite difficult to start with as it was hard to think of a starting point. Even though there was so many different ways into the theme once I decided what I wanted to do it was hard to come up with loads of different ideas that I could explore. As the project went on I found what I wanted to do and my imagination grew to help me with my photographs and experiments.  I enjoyed working on my preperation work because I discovered new ways to develop my original photographs using a wide range of artistic mediums, technique and sources. I think I will be very pleased with my final outcome when it is complete because I have always had an interest in cinemagraphs and it is something different to what I have previously done in the exam and in coursework. I think my outcome will be present well and have good supporting work.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Jamie Beck

A cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly. Visual artist Kevin Burg began experimenting with the gif format in 2009 but it wasn't until he partnered with photographer Jamie Beck to cover NYFW that cinemagraphs were born. Starting in camera with a still photograph it is then combined with a living moment into the image through the isolated animation of multiple frames. Beck and Burg named the process ' Cinemagraph' for their cinematic quality while maintaining  the principal of a traditional photograph. From the release of cinemagraphs by Beck and Burg cinemagraphs have become well known and people have made new and different cinemagraphs from food to train stations.

At first the viewer assumes that it is just a photograph until further inspection where you notice a moving part of the image. When I first looked at the work of Jamie Beck I was confused and fascinated. This was at the time when I had never seen a cinemagraph and didn't really know about animated GIFs. The first word that came into my head was wow, because his style of work is really unique and was the first person to create cinemagraphs. His work gives off a really good effect and it actually looks like the whole image is still until you notice the moving parts. There is no sound to the image so it makes it harder to work out what is moving and what isn't.
I like that in all of his first cinemagraphs it mainly all had women in as it was to do with the New York Fashion Week. This gave it a connecting link between each cinemagraph and sowed the connection to media and what was happening at the time. Each one tells a story in a different way, maybe the scenes are linked to each individual woman. 
The colours that have been used is normal colours instead of black and white or sepia. This adds to it being a moving moment. The colours make the images pop as you feel like you are there in the photograph experiencing it.Some of the cinemagraphs have been edited by having a soft retro effect applied to them to give them a more cinemagraphic look about them with a grainy film appearance.Beck probably used professional technology and programs to produce his cinemagraphs but the same effect can be easily created in Photoshop by following a step by step guide. The key to a cinemagraph is to keep the camera in a very still position so that it is easy to manipulate the part to keep moving.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Exam Ideas

The mind map below is a summary of some of the ideas I've thought of for my final outcome idea. The first is a series of cinemagraphs, cyanotypes and Anthotypes, and liquid emulsion.