Encounters, Experiences and Meetings Evaluation
For this project I was required to research different types of photographic techniques, look up various photographers and explore the theme 'Encounters, Experiences and Meetings'. This project involved me looking at other photographers work and how they created some of their photographs and experimentation with different photographic techniques. The aim of this project was to explore and present a concept of 'Encounters, Experiences and Meetings' in a creative, original and personal way through various experimentation, both in the dark room and digital.
In this project, I looked at Rankin, Johan Thornqvist, Jason Travis, Michael Hallet and Annette Messager. The image I focused on when looking at Rankin's work was one of his photographs from the 'Destroy' series, where a photograph of Kyle, the singer, was 'destroyed'. I liked that Rankin did not destroy Kyle's portrait, but rather destroyed the area above her, which gave it a layered effect. The dripping paint / ink was very effective in portraying emotion felt from music although I was unable to find a meaning for the image. When looking at Johan Thornqvist, I was really enthralled by what he did as I have not seen a professional photogropher draw on their photographs. The image I focused on consisted of a fire hydrant with a city drawn on it. I found this really interesting through the fact that so many interpretations could be made of the image, one being that water helps run a city. When looking at Jason Travis's work, I focused on his persona series as I have never seen a project like it. It was really interesting to look at as you could see whether the portraits looked like they would carry what was in the photograph connected below them. I also liked this series as it showed that even if people look completely different, we can have similarities even just by what we carry around in our day to day life. I also looked at Michael Hallet's work who took many photographs of one area at various different angles to make a more three dimensional image. I like his technique as its not commonly used and is a very nice idea and fun to experiment with. Finally, I looked at Annette Messager who has focused her work on the view of how women see the world. 'The Vows', being the piece that I analysed consisted of many images all hung from string. I really liked this idea as it gave an impact to the images as they were various parts of the human body.
Having analysed Rankin's Destroy work and Johan Thornqvist's work, I decided to work into some of my photographs using paint, an ordinary biro pen and also by using Adobe Photoshop. From looking at Rankin’s work, it showed me that photographs can still be photographs even after working into them with other various materials. So, when I came to experimenting with working into images I had taken of myself, I worried less about ruining the photograph and thought more about recreating the image. Johan Thornqvist’s inspired me to draw onto photographs by using just a biro pen. Although in his images it looks like he has edited them and drawn on them using a computer software, I preferred to draw by hand as I had experimented with Adobe Photoshop when experimenting after looking at Rankin. Unlike Thornqvist who drew people and cities on his photographs, I drew plants and animals as I wanted to add a natural effect to my photographs. Both these photographers made me think outside the box when looking at my prints, which was what led me to overlapping two negatives in the negative carrier in order to create another layer to some of my photographs. Jason Travis did not inspire me much however, I did enjoy doing my own, mini ‘persona series’. By looking at Michael Hallet, his work encouraged me to experiment by taking many photographs of the same place at slightly different angles and placing them together to create a more dimensional image. Annette Messager was very inspirational for me. The photographs she takes are all very powerful from the use of hard light created from well contrasted images. Her presentation of her work was even more influential to me as I have not seen a well-established photographer hang their work before. Her piece, ‘The Vows’ was very cleverly constructed to hang so that the images created a circle. Although I did not create a particular shape when hanging the images on my final piece, the idea for hanging them did come from her work.
I have enjoyed this project as it was an ‘open’ title that allowed me to experiment in many directions, allowing me to come up with more ideas for my work and research a broader range of photographers to be inspired from. In this project, I have been generally pleased with the quality of how my still life photographs, concert photographs, edited / worked into photographs, castle photographs, overlapped negatives photographs and reversals came out; some taken with my film SLR camera and others with my digital camera. Although, when I was working into some of my photographs after looking at Rankin and Thornqvist, I feel now that I could have gone further into experimenting. If I had taken more dramatic photographs of facial expressions then it would have perhaps widened what I did to each photograph. Also, when drawing the small plants and animals, it would have been good to of attempted this on Photoshop as the drawn images would be clearer.
I was pleased with how my final piece came together in this project, and I would definitely enjoy making a more complex hanging system for photographs in the future along with drawing onto images. Mainly from looking at Messager’s work, I consider the presentation of photographs very important has they can help to portray an emotion or to make a particular impact. I would enjoy experimenting further with drawing on images, but should plan exactly what I want to draw so that I can take the base photograph in the particular way I want, so that it benefits my drawings.