Main tutor suggestions to use:
- The inclusion of the ‘present you’ is more apparent in some than others and viewer doesn’t have the context or time to make sense of it so the same combination of elements for all images could be useful (change the set slightly, shoot more?)
- LGBT – more monochrome original could help not divert from colour palette of rest of set? Shoot again?
- Hard prints good but need sharper definition of key elements and stronger saturation and contrast (Photoshop edits needed)
Summary of changes made in re-working process: (see the original assignment here)
Edits: Image 1 not changed. Image 2 feather was sharpened and contrast of whole picture brought up +5 and brightness up +5. Image 3 magenta filter to make it match the colour palette of the set better. Image 4 not changed. Image 5 sharpened and brightness and contrast both up +5. Image 6 and Image 7 both had contrast and brightness adjusted +5/10 points.
As much as I agreed with my tutor that the same combination of elements for all images could be useful I felt like to impart this now would be a major undertaking as I would have to change virtually every image in the set and actually I am really pleased with the aesthetic qualities of all the images and the way they reflect versions of myself from different periods of my life (as well as the present me). I don’t want to change any of the images at this time, but I do understand what my tutor was saying and in future I will be much more likely to think about keeping combinations of elements the same in order to make my intentions more obvious to the viewer. I also think that as there was an inclusion of the ‘present me’ whether it be physical (my hair) or more metaphorical (the shadow of plant life representing my re-connection with nature) perhaps it does not matter if others are able to see that as clearly as I could feel it as this was after all an exploration and expression of my self that was coming from within and wouldn’t have flowed well with too much planning.
Image 4 my tutor suggested would have worked better with a more monochrome original but I really liked this image for what I wanted to represent (my teenage insecurities, in particular about my sexuality). The only thing that I would change is the rainbow as I would ideally like this to be more obvious as it was really difficult to even create the rainbow in the first place. I’m not sure whether to attempt the rainbow again as I really really like the look of the image in every other way and the editing I did on it. I think I will leave it as it is as it is a true interpretation of my self and my feelings – then and now. I want to try again with light diffraction and rainbows in future so hopefully my next attempt during another project will be a bit clearer.
Please see my blog post ‘Contact Sheets for Assignment 3‘ to see fully annotated contact sheets for the following Assignment.
For this assignment I wanted to create something multi-layered and something personal and creative. My initial idea was to create a diary with polaroid style photographs as illustrations, which I did complete, but although I enjoyed the experience immensely I didn’t feel as if the end result was special enough for an assignment submission – I hadn’t pushed myself enough or learnt anything new from it particularly. Next I turned my attention to myself – could I be brave enough to turn the camera on myself? Maybe I needn’t take photos of my body or face but instead explore what makes me me. I did a lot of thinking and mind-mapping and soul searching and after several existential crisis and a lot of confusion I realised that I still don’t actually know who I am, at age 27. Something about this realisation made me look back through my family photo albums to see when it was that I lost my sense of self (which was always strong when I was younger). I was drawn to these younger versions of myself and decided that I wanted to do something with them for assignment. After researching the work of John Stezaker I was slightly obsessed with the idea of collage and layering but instead of cutting up photos or manipulating them digitally I decided to try to add aspects of my present identity to the photos of my younger self and photograph the combinations to create new images, in an attempt to build a big picture of who I actually am today. Each of the seven images in the series feature a part of my physical body as it is today or a part of my present identity in the forms of personal artefacts or representations of my mental states as well as at least younger version of myself at one stage or another throughout my life. The new images are supposed to show the lines of the family photograph but also merge well with the new aspects in the frame so that there isn’t much of a divide between the two, to say ‘I was this person and now I am this person -as well’. This is me, in layers.