Reflections Upon My Latest Anorexia Photo – Exercise 3.4 – Documenting Change – Learning Log

Today has seen me complete a composite photo which I have worked on over the past few months (sen here). It was a project that I had begun a while ago, and then exercise 3.4 of Foundations in Photography required us to create a series of photo’s to document change, which I completed according to the brief. However, I also felt that I could use my anorexia project to document change in one photo.

I created a draft of the project and then sought feedback from my peers (seen here), which was very helpful. I have taken this into consideration since the draft photo, but the most helpful feedback that I received was from a peer who sent me a personal e-mail, and this has had the biggest impact upon my re-working of the photo. Thankyou Sarah.

The photo has many layers which include differing sizes of clothing, which progressively become smaller, all of which were photographed individually, parts of the body and the headstone background.

Sarah suggested that I change the emphasis of the head so that eye was prominent, because of its haunted and piercing gaze. So I erased the other elements of the face, and following comments about different parts of the body I have re-shot them this week.

There were times during which I over complicated things in Photoshop especially with using the background eraser. Overtime I have learned that as I had shot each part separately, I could return to the original photo, layer from background, and use the eraser rather than background eraser. This ensured there were no half erased areas, which looked untidy on my working PSD (the clothing photo has evidence of some partially erased areas). The eraser was better than selection tool – delete, because the selection tool was leaving tatty edges in areas where the tone was similar with the background. Again I have improved this with the photo’s that I made this week by shooting the subject upon a white background. This meant the selection tool became an effective method of getting rid of the unwanted parts of the photo’s.

On of the most tricky aspects has been lining up limbs so that they fit into the shape of the clothing, but I feel that I have got this right today by making use of the transform – warp/perspective tools.

(transform – warp – perspective have been applied)

Overall I am pleased with the result of this photo. I have achieved what I set out to achieve, showing the downward spiral of anorexia and change in body shape, but also I have managed to capture some emotion within the eye, as well as sadness I detect some fear as well. With the figure floating upon the tombstone in an ethereal manner, and the fading of the limbs, sinking into the clothing, then moving towards death becomes apparent.

When I create photography such as this I like to carry a message of hope, which comes in the form of the text which is found underneath the photo. Help is available, recovery is possible.

10 Replies to “Reflections Upon My Latest Anorexia Photo – Exercise 3.4 – Documenting Change – Learning Log”

    1. Thankyou Judy. The Photoshop skills are improving, but no where near of the quality that you and Sarah Andrews produce. But I’m pleased with my progress.

      And I’m really pleased with the body of work I’m amassing on eating disorders, and hope that it creates awareness that recovery is possible. Certainly not easy, and can be painful and confusing emotionally, but it’s very much possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t underestimate your skills Richard, your growing knowledge of PS and the time you have spent working on an image that conveys such a powerful message are testimony to how far you have advanced.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Excellent Richard. I have only just seen this, I don’t know how I have done it but I managed to “unfollow” you, I think I must be lapsing into senility! Any way I have re-followed and am just having a quick look at your posts that I have missed.

    You have obviously become very proficient on PS, I like your composite image, it doesn’t need explanation – excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it is me! I know at some point was trying to see if I had notification of posts switched on for you as I was missing posts and I think I must have clicked the follow option at some point which un-followed you! That’s the only thing I can think of. Hopefully it is OK now!!

        Liked by 1 person

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