With upcoming workshops over the next few weeks, I wanted to collect some primary imagery for inspiration and experimentation. Within this I also wanted to explore how to create a mood within a shoot using only facial expressions. For this reason, I put together a small page of 3 photos (2 taken using a DSLR and 1 using my iPhone 6 camera) featuring facial expressions which represent despair and anguish – two prominent emotions with the oppression under dictatorial rule. For more photos and opinions on the importance of facial expression within photography, see my blogpost on ‘Expressions Photography’.
After this I wanted to explore Adobe Photoshop so I merged 2 secondary images to create a symbolic piece of imagery. I layered a crouching soldier holding a weapon over an aged photo of an empty London street designed to present the effects of inflicting violence and war into countries with no interest of conflict (a common tactic within dictatorships and empires used to inflict fear and exercise control). Within the project I really want to make it clear of the importance of exposing the foreboding nature of tyrant leaders.
To finish off today I visited the Heron Preston webpage because I really like the layout and wanted to take this as inspiration for my sketchbook. The photography is laid out in really unique and memorable way with each image being repeated in a diagonal line (see sketchbook for sample). The format is really simple however just gives some extra edge which I really favour within graphic design.
Today I held a more professional photo shoot with a friend who has professional modelling experience. As well as taking my own photos using a DSLR, I also set up the lighting, arranged the location and timings, did the hair and make up and styled the model into outfits which I felt represented power. The first outfit was a gold, satin, pinafore style shift dress. The bold statement colour juxtaposed with the femininity of the satin pinafore was really powerful in itself, while in addition the golden hues could be representative of royalty or high levels of authority. For more on my analysis of outfit choices see my recent blogpost on ‘Power Dressing’.
In conjunction with the shoot, I used photoshop to alter some of the imagery to create a propaganda style poster. The style was very contemporary, using a background of historical leaders and dictators and featuring a model in the centre with her middle fingers up and a green face – envious of the control and power that tyrannical leaders are given over a collective society. The image was meant to represent uprising against sovereignty – a stark contrast to the suggestively depressing facial expressions within yesterday’s photography.
Moreover I used the media studio to take some additional photos to use for experimentation. I wasn’t as pleased with the outcomes however they are suitable for purpose and just give slightly more scope for experimentation.
After experimenting with photoshop I put together a mini mood board of a few primary images relating to violence. The photos were taken by myself a month or so ago at the Tate Modern in London, after initially being presented with the title ‘Power’.
Today I completed a workshop in which I embroidered into dissolvable fabric to leave a textured outcome made up of only manipulated thread. I didn’t enjoy this workshop because it was very time consuming, required maximum concentration and didn’t produce an outcome worthy of such efforts – in my opinion. I used a photoshopped image that I created this morning (from the Power Dressing photo shoot) prior to the workshop and traced the outline of the model onto the dissolvable fabric. I then placed this into an embroidery hoop and used the free machine footer and settings to trace the outline and further fill in the positive space.
Additionally I had a tutorial with the photography teacher Ingrid about potential options for my outcomes. I had discussed with my own tutor that I wanted to perhaps look into ways in which photographs could be presented or manipulated to create interesting outcomes (rather than just sticking photos to a board) so she suggested speaking with a more knowledgeable person to discuss potential workshops.
When I arrived home this afternoon I decided to utilise my time and resources and have a go at replicating the work of Eugenia Alejos. The most appealing image for me to recreate was the hand embroidered layering of people an their documentation. I used secondary imagery sourced from Pinterest to come up with my own (very basic) impressionist piece. The idea was not to entirely imitate the picture however to understand the makings of such innovation. Although I’m not best pleased with the outcome, I am happy that I’ve attempted experimenting with existing techniques and now believe I have a better understanding of how to put together a piece in this artist’s unique style.
Today Tanya ran a workshop in Monoprinting. I really enjoyed this workshop because it made drawing original outcomes, without requiring much inspiration, a lot easier – as i often find myself trying to replicate existing ideas rather than entirely producing my own designs entirely from scratch. The prints had a kind of aged or rustic effect which complimented my sketchbook nicely, as well as (in my opinion) having deeper connotations to the idea of a derelict society behind dictatorship. Furthermore the process was really straightforward. Roll ink onto acetate, layer paper into wet ink and then use the ‘wrong’ end of a pencil or pen to etch designs, thus allowing the ink to print onto the areas of applied pressure. My designs were from the ‘Power Dressing’ photo shoot.