Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Week 4

Showing the images I had done in the week it was clear to see that they were not doing justice to the memory and the person I had been given the description on, with this it took a lot of thought to come up with a concept that would one show respect to the decease as well as presenting something at a standard to give a clear image of the memory I was trying to recreate.

Along with taking my images that I had done the previous week, I took all of my memories I had collected and a number of old photographs of some of the people that have been written about. this is because I have been thinking about the lay out and what I would like to put in my book. So with one of my strengths and loves being drawing the idea come across I could put either my templates or other sketches in the book, the second idea that extended from this was putting these drawings onto tracing paper so they look like ghostly, from this idea though I am going to have to research different types of tracing paper and different publishers that are able to do this for me. I was also thinking of putting the letters in or at least snippets of them so show handwriting and so it is personal to each character. However, as I previously said in last post that I wanted to put a location shot and a studio image that idea has changed as the I said the image needs to have a clear representation of the person/character I am recreating. For example one of my memories states different objects that the person had or something that remind them like in a pub, with juke box, salted nuts and a pint but this person was a mechanic so it could be a location shoot with with all these random objects with in it.

From this I found references such a Jurgen Teller and Guy Bourdin, but to be able to show my make up and have a style in my book I am going to need to either do portrait or include people in it. If I did the portraits ideally I think they should be nude or just be head to shoulder shoots and have a black and white effect so they have no representation themselves and can just be an understanding and tie together a style in my book.

This week I have a clear indication of where my project is going and feel happier about how the concept is working and understanding in my head of how it is going to look. I am going to research different looks and layouts for my book and text to use on the front of my book and the small amount of writing that is going to go into my book like the contents page and pages numbers. As well as the scan in images and letters that i have been given so I am able to highlight key words that I could use in my imagery. After this I am going to have to start looking at locations and gathering objects which is going be quite hard to organised and a lot to get together but i am sure it will work.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Week 3

Due to my model not turning up last week and with my test shoot planned I had to move it to a week later.
This test shoot was put together so I could get an idea on whether I should take my images in a studio and have creative make up style or to do a location shoot which is more literal. As you can see below I had drawn templates of ideas to do for this shoot, I wanted it to be creative but to show respect to the memory.

I found my model through casting on the portal, I asked/looked for a strong jaw line and structured face as this was strongly talked about in the description of the person from the memory that I received.

Even though this was only a test shoot I was slightly apprehensive because it was the first one. The shoot went well and I liked the images that had produced, as I thought it was creative. Below are the photographs of the steps I took to complete the look.

From doing this shoot it has made me more inspired to continue doing more images for my book. As well as this, I have been thinking about the layout of my book, I feel to make it more interesting I should do both studio and location shoots. The location/true replica of the memory won't stand out and catch the viewers eye as much as a creative shoot in the studio. Plus in the creative image I am able to show some of my skills with make up. 

Below are a few of the edited images from the shoot.

As you can see from the images I have used photoshop to create effects, turning the image black and white and leaving the guns and roses logo in colour to make it stand out. Next week I hope to be able to do two more shoots so I can tighten my ideas up so the concept is brought together.

What is memory?

Memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. When we encode information from the outside world, we allow it to reach our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. At the first stage we must change the physical information we see into a memory to start the encoding process. Storage is the second memory process where we are able to maintain information over a period of time. Finally the third process is the retrieving information that has been stored. Locating it and return it to our consciousness, this is the process that I am using to get my memories from people, getting them to recall memories of loved ones that have passed away.

There are three different types of memory that we use:

Sensory memory - holds sensory information for a few seconds or less after an item is perceived. The ability to look at an item, and remember what it looked like with just a second of observation, or memorisation, is an example of sensory memory. This type of memory cannot be prolonged via rehearsal.

Short-term memory- allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal. Its capacity is also very limited: 

Long-term memory - can store much larger quantities of information for potentially unlimited duration (sometimes a whole life span). Its capacity is immeasurably large. For example, given a random seven-digit number we may remember it for only a few seconds before forgetting, suggesting it was stored in our short-term memory. On the other hand, we can remember telephone numbers for many years through repetition; this information is said to be stored in long-term memory.
Long-term memories are maintained by more stable and permanent changes in neural connections widely spread throughout the brain. The hippocampus is essential for learning new information and turning information from short-term to long-term memory. Although it does not seem to store information itself, without it new memories are stored into our long-term memory. 

Another part of long-term memory is episodic memory "which attempts to capture information such as “what”, “when” and “where”. With episodic memory individuals are able to recall specific events such as birthday parties and weddings. This episodic memory is important in my research and development of ideas for the visual work of my project.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Robert Mapplethorpe

Along with the high emotions Arbus’s work, a number of images that have stood out are those from Robert Mapplethorpe. Known for his high stylised, black and white photography of nude male and female models and portraits, he started taking photographs soon after dropping out on a degree of graphic arts using a Polaroid camera. Mapplethorpe died at an early age due to AIDS, before his death he set up a Foundation to promote his work and the causes he cared about and this has been extremely successful.

(The photographs that are above are examples of Mapplethorpe’s work, these particular images you can see the motion which makes it ghostly and could possibly be a good effect for some of the images created to go in the book.)

From Mapplethorpe I would like to try and take away the idea of a ghostly smear as it creates a good atmosphere in the image and adds to the concept of death and being slightly spooky along with being creative at the same time. 

Victorian Memento Mori

The two images above are from the Victorian era when they use to take images of their loved ones when they past away. 

In Victorian times, families took care of their dead before going into the funeral homes. We no longer take pictures of our dead to remind ourselves they are gone but it was an important part of the mourning process for Victorians. Its not as common to lose a baby, a young child, or a young adult with advances in medical care that began in the nineteenth century. The grieving process was done at home, and people were not so far removed from it. A dead body was nothing to be associated with morbidity, it was a fact of life, death, that people were unafraid to deal with.

Small children were photographed with a dead family member. Parents were photographed holding their dead babies, and children. Children were gathered around their grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles to photograph their loved ones with them for the last time. Often trinkets such as lockets were fashioned with a last memory of their loved one's picture inside to remind them this person is dead and gone, in a beautiful permanent sleep away from pain or sickness, forever in a state of blissful sleep.

Photographs often portrayed their dead as just that, sleeping, or with their eyes open, fixed in a peaceful pose, as if in pensive thought or a trans, a state not here, but with us, quietly watching and waiting for the ferryman to take them down the River of Styx to the land of the dead.

This is not the exact imagery that I am thinking of using within my own book because it is somewhat scary and would be difficult to produce. But it is a starting reference for the idea that I have thought of, making something look peaceful and a pleasure and a memory to recreate and produce.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Week 2

During this lesson I listened to the other girls ideas and when it came round to me again I was unsure of what else to present to Chris. So with this I reminded him of my project and we managed to talk about how the photography was going to work and what the images should be representing, as well as what was going to make the images interesting and stand out.

Talking about whether the images should be studio base or whether they should  be in the style of Diane Arbus, where they are in location which gives it more meaning. If I was to take the image in a location, the question is, is it going to be interesting enough for the audience of my book to want to look at it. However, if i did all my shoots in the studio it could be too creative. It is a very hard decision to make so, thinking about it I am going to do test shoots for both studio and location shoots for my first memory. 

Along with this idea, I showed Chris the letter I received for one of my memories and suggested that I could scan the hand written letters in and put them within the book to make it more personal and give the images meaning.

From this lesson I am going to conduct a few test shoots to see what works best and get some templates together for both studio and location. I am also going to continue gathering enough memories together, I am hoping to get at least 15 to start with. I am slightly worried because I prefer to see the book visually coming together, but without it in front of me at the moment and without the shoots starting I am slightly stressed. Hopefully once it starts coming together and the ideas are not so broad and defined better I will be able to seeing the book taking shape and feel less anxious.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus, an American photographer and writer focused particularly on people who had distinctive features and stood out within society, such as transgenders, dwarfs or nudist. Her work particularly interested me when looking at her, especially by the way she would locate the images.
Diane believed that the camera should be, “a little bit cold, a little bit harsh”, meaning that the camera never lies and the reality of each person she photographs can be revealed.  After not enjoying the commercial work in fashion Arbus began to do assignments and use softer lighting that created emotion, however this ‘photography of freaks’ has been heavily critised by many.

(This image is of a transgender, but in a setting is comfortable for the model which makes the photo more relaxed.)

Below are a few images from Arbus’s collection called ‘People and Other Singularities’, the photographs within this collection try to point out to the audience how to deal with the strangeness of humans by looking at the outsider’s of the ‘normal’ we think we live and looking at the American Dream. This idea tries to capture emotion that is strong enough for the viewer to feel and understand, something I hope to create in my own images; however the emotion that I would like to get across to the audience is upbeat as they will be fond memories. The aspect that appeals from Arbus’s photographs is the fact they are all black and white, this makes the viewer focus more on object within the picture and the emotion that they are portraying, as well as giving it the illusion that is an older image.  

A few pointers that for the images I would like to take that come from the work of Arbus:
-          Go places you have never been before, don’t be afraid to do anything.
-        -  A camera allows is licence to enter other people’s lives, capturing experiences you wouldn’t get in a studio.
-      -    Never really understand the world from your subject’s eyes but you can sure try and capture it and look at the image over and over and in different ways to get a concept.
-          Adore your subject; love what you are doing to get the best out of the photo.
-          Use texture to add meaning and get the right setting for the
-          Take bad photos, they make the better ones stand 

-         Best photos are not always clear at first, go back,edit and retouch if you need to.
-        -  Don’t arrange models in the image, let them be natural, arrange yourself as the photographer.
-          Lastly, the subject is more important than the picture.

Above are two images, Grenade Kid (left) is a shocking and striking image but not all photographs have to be taken in a way of beauty. This photo is one that stands out. On the right, Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in the Bronx (1970), Arbus enjoyed going into the lives of her model and connecting with them emotional.)

From the work of Abrus, I hope to take away the how she uses the camera and make her images work, even if they weren't how she planned. As well as this I would like to make the images have the object/person within the picture stand out and be the main focus, I am going to have to contiue research and start doing test shoots to see if this works for me.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Week 1

The first lesson started off explaining and showing the ideas we had initially for our final major project to our designated tutors for the project. I found this useful sharing ideas with others in the group as we could contribute to one another's ideas and give opinions and different areas to research. For me another girl in the group mentioned about a junk shop on the Isle of Man where there are boxes and boxes of things that a woman has collected over time, such as keys, photographs, dolls parts and many other things. This lead on to many different ideas from Chris about putting old photographs, like family portraits and scanning/photographing old objects to put in to break up the different images. Along with the ideas, Chris showed me some of his work using random objects such as dolls heads and dice.

Chris gave positive feedback that my idea of a book on memories is unique and something special for people to look at. I felt very positive from this lesson and talking about the ideas I had, from this I feel I can continue researching and and developing my ideas by looking into photographers and creative inspiration.

Production Schedule

Having to produce a production schedule was difficult at first but having got spoken to tutors and talking about what I need to do some of the schedule has changed from  when I planned it in my proposal. This is due to getting a better understanding of deadlines and when I can do shoots. Things that are highlighted are already completed.

Week commencing 21st January – 
Continue research ideas.
Start collecting together quotes and descriptions.
Search people to collaborate with.
Complete ethnics form. 
Start Blogging for reflective journal.

Week Commencing 28th January
Draft mock ups/face templates for makeup and clothing.
Continue Research.
Keep idea broad.
Test shoots on ideas, studio based images and natural environment.
Look into how many pages and text to go in book.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 4th February – 

Begin shooting final images.
Hopefully have together all the quotes and ideas. 
Start the InDesign templates for page layouts, so not rushing at the end of the project and can take time on the design and layout properly to what works well.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 11th February -

Keep putting together the drafts of pages and layouts.
Collect and scan drawings and letters to put into the draft.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 18th February – 

Experiment with paper using images that have taken so can see what works well forthe finished book.
Create more drawing and templates
Complete Blog

Week Commencing 4th March – 

Continue shooting pictures as well as editing and making sure they fit with thedescription and quote.
Put together draft pages on InDesign
Complete Blog

Week Commencing 11th March

Have most/ all photo shoot done, so able to concentrate on layout.
Edit any photos that need to be.
Complete Blog

Week Commencing 18th March – 

Final edit images if they need to be.
Any last images that need to be taken.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 25th March

Concentrate on getting the pages together in InDesign.
Complete Blog

Week Commencing 1st April

Final week to take any photographs if necessary.
Final Draft of book completed.
Complete Blog

Week Commencing 8th April
Continue and finalize the pages of the book.
Check quotes and spelling.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 15th April – 

Make any final tweaks with the pages and quotes. 
Get the publish book so it is printed and ready.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 22nd April -
Hopefully have the book and able to check through it to see if and thing needs to be changed.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 29th April - 
Week to make sure everything is okay, re-published if necessary.
Complete Blog.

Week Commencing 6th May – 

Make sure book is altogether and ready to hand in.