Finding Inspiration – Exercise 4.7 – Photomontage

This has been a fun and creative approach to finding inspiration and allowing ideas to develop. I made use of three different styles of magazine – journal, gardening, lifestyle – and added to this with newspaper cuttings.

Following the reviews which I have just completed of Hannah Hoch and John Heartfield, I can see how I can create my montages in similar styles.

The first idea relating to climate change will be in the style of Heartfield, political, topical, a dominant character, more minimalist than the style of Hoch.

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My photomontage which emulates Hoch will be far more busy and explore the underlying feelings and external symptoms of eating disorders.

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Both of these ideas break away from the brief slightly, but this style of art has become increasingly important to me as I develop as a photographer. There is potential for me to develop as a mixed media artist, yes it’s the early stage of exploration, but I don’t have to limit my creativity.

Of course I will follow the brief as well, and Brexit is going to be my theme.

Still Life, Texture And Perspective

Having recently begun part 4 Experimentation: Still life, on the OCA Foundation in Photography course, I am exploring what still life means to me. Texture has always mattered to me, especially in relation to how clothing and bedding feel against my skin.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this exploration, so these photos are going into my digital sketchbook.

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My Initial Definition Of Still Life

I am shortly going to embark upon part four of Foundations in Photography with the Open College of the Arts. Although I am not going to begin the coursework exercises until I return from London, I am going to read the manual before I go. I am sure that London will provide additional opportunities for me.

Recently I have been taking some test photos so that I can explore Still Life and what it currently means to me.

My starting point is of course my schooling. Still Life in art classes was focused upon fruit, flowers and pasta in a jam jar. I am aware that still life in art and photography often focuses upon these, and in the days of mobile phones  meals have become very popular to photograph and display upon social media.

I am going to posit that Still Life in art and photography are secondary features of themselves they are  not Still Life.

“Still life is how people organise material or natural possessions, food stuffs, homes, the working environment, and shops. Photography and art develop from our basic need to be organised in order to function, and to possess objects as a means of individuation and pleasure. Often when we hear the words Still Life, we think of works of art or photography, and these are mistakenly believed to be the primary experience of Still Life. This is a misperception, and these are secondary reflections upon how we live our own lives.

Still Life in art and photography is the arrangement, organisation and presentation of objects for display, classification, documentation and study. Still Life is most often aesthetically pleasing, organised and an accurate representation of the subject.”

 

Types of Portrait Photography

I have been exploring the uses of publicly displayed portraits. The photos for this edition of my digital sketchbook have been taken with my camera phone. The terminology is my own and may not be appropriate academic terminology.

I am aware that this post doesn’t demonstrate all of the reasons for the making and use of portrait photography, just what I have considered over the past few days.

Going from top left across.

1 – Targeted advertising, brand promotion (young female with financial means (select body size))

2 – Health promotion, discussion, with text relay (bold typeset, bottom right)

3 – Authorship, status

4 – Targeted advertising (family, social)

5 – Promotional, targeted  (young adult, friendship, joy)

6 – Emotional, photojournalism, documentary, relay

7 – Descriptive, relay, photojournalism

8 – Attraction, targeted advertising (male, tradesmen – this was my assumption. However I looked into the demographics of sun readers. 60% of readers are male, readers come almost equally across the NHS social grades. See reference below)

9 – Branding, group identity (reinforces belonging to a social group)

10 – Generic advertising (I have included this to highlight the difference between a portrait as targeted advertising, and generic advertising which doesn’t require a portrait.

11 – Descriptive, promotion

12 – Targeted advertising, leading, relay

13 – Targeted advertising

14 – Promotional, documentary, branding , group identity

15 – Health information, targeted advertising  (employment), statement of brand values (equality/diversity)

16 – Nostalgia, group identity

17 – Targeted advertising

18 – Branding

19 – Promotional, group identity

20 – Branding, targeted advertising  (activity specific)

21 – Branding, targeted advertising

22 – Branding, targeted advertising

References

https://www.statista.com/statistics/380735/the-sun-and-sun-on-sunday-reach-by-demographic-uk/

 

Exercise 2.1 Test Photos

I’ve gone out today with my camera phone, to begin exploring the theme of taking photos, on a neutral background. The aim is to remove all identity of the place (context), so that the subject remains as the only focus. Does this draw the eye into the subject detail.

The wind was too strong to do this without an assistant today. I’ll go back out tomorrow and ask a member of the public to help me. However I took some photos trying to minimise the background, and this will at least give me a comparison for when I successfully complete the exercise.

20170913_182118I tried to use the wall as a background. But I didn’t put my phone onto manual, so I have lost the detail with the light.

20170913_182343Too much background distracts from the detail. I may take this into Lightroom tomorrow and see if I can delete the background and enhance the detail, which is there.

20170913_153804This is the better photo. I will go back with my Vello extension tubes and white paper and see what I come back with.

20170913_154033This has the potential to make a good photo. A bit of sellotape to move the background rosehip, string to move some of the foreground, Vello extension tubes for a macro shot with the natural green background. The background will have no detail as the vello ensure an incredibly narrow depth of field.

20170913_160948A natural background that’s too distracting. I will use some of my macro photography for the exercise, because good macro photos with natural backgrounds can be highly effective.

 

Newcastle Riverside

These are taken on my android, such a vibrant and beautiful city.

And beauty and the beast

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I don’t think I can recover those clipped whites though!