This unit was named ‘Self’, I had to come up with an idea that was personal to me. Throughout this unit I had to do four experimental shoots for my ‘Self’ project, however for my other lessons I had to do two more shoots which would influence my ‘Self’ project. For the two shoots, I chose to use medium format cameras with black and white film and fill flash. I took pictures of my class mates for both shoots, however with the medium format cameras, I shot my images then developed them and contact printed them all. Furthermore, I then went on to experiment with fill flash. Again. The medium format cameras, didn’t influence my ‘Self’ project, as I didn’t feel that using the cameras would have had the same effect as my camera, as I am able to edit my pictures in photoshop if there are any blemishes and change the contrast and brightness, whereas I cannot do that with the medium format cameras. With fill flash, I thought it would help me with one of my shoots for my ‘self’ project, as I’m having my male model stand up against a white wall with his badge next to him. Using the flash I thought it would freeze the badge in time but still have his face blurred. However, after many attempts to get the desired effect, I couldn’t get it to work the way I wanted it to, which then led me to keep his hand as still as possible and do my original idea where I would blur the badge in photoshop. For my four experimental shoots for the ‘Self’ project I chose to use shutter speed to blur their face, light painting to cover their face, the close up of my male model with the badge next to him and also using photoshop skills to smudge and blur their face. All of these techniques were very successful, although, my idea of blurring and smudging their faces in photoshop did work, it didn’t give me the desired effect I was looking for, so I have chosen not to use it in my final set of images.
When researching what ideas I could do for this project, I came across this picture and knew instantly that it’s what I wanted to work with. Here is the image that I got all my inspiration from:
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the artist that took this image, however, I still used it as my inspiration, so instead of referring to an artist in my work, I referred to his image. The idea behind my work is to use defacement for people in the work place. I work in a retail store and I get a fair few customers who think that I should be an all knowing genius about the store I work in. Although I am a person but a lot of people don’t treat me/us like one. They don’t see us employees or as human beings with feelings, so if anything goes wrong for a customer, they take all their frustration out on us, even though it may be their fault that their in the situation.
So I have chosen to have a man and a woman in my shoots. The man works in a retail store and the woman works in a secondary school. The reason I have chosen to use a teacher in my work is because they are also seen as an all knowing human and are treated with little respect. Although people know we are employees, they don’t see us as an individual with outside lives. In three of my shoots, I have put my models in the middle of the woods and had them sat on an old ornate chair. I have then used my idea of defacement in all of my images. The reason I placed them in the woods is to represent isolation in the way they feel. But also, as there face is blurred it can also show how putting them in an open area may stress them out as they’re used to being in a busy environment so peace and tranquility is strange for them, which could make them uncomfortable. In my first shoot I used shutter speed to blur their face.
In these images, my shutter speed was at 1 second, my aperture ranged between 5.6-8 and my ISO was always at 100. This gave me the desired blur to their face which I managed to capture. Here are my best images where I used shutter speed to blur their faces:
I used the same location for all my images. I changed the images to black and white as I was following the idea of my inspiration image. I had them put their hands on their lap as it gives them a more professional yet uncomfortable position for them to be in as it represents the environment they’re in.
In the second shoot I had them both use light painting, so they both held a torch in front of their face and moved it across their face.
In this image, the shutter speed was at 2 seconds, this way he had enough time to move the torch across his eyes. The reason I had him move the torch across his eyes instead or the whole of his face was mostly because I thought it looked better as the lines were all over the place when it was moved across his face. Also, I thought that having the torch across his eyes gave it a more powerful effect as a persons eyes, in my opinion are the main feature of their face. It gives the idea of defacement a more powerful insight, as I found that if their eyes are covered it is more difficult to identify them, which is exactly what I was trying to achieve in my work. Here is my best image when using light painting:
In the third shoot, I had a close up of my male model with his badge next to him. I used shutter speed to blur his face and badge but blurred the badge further by using the blur and smudge tool on photoshop.
During this shot, I was trying to show how even though his name badge is right next to his face, people still don’t acknowledge that he is an individual person with feelings. I tried to point out the obvious in this image, as employees aren’t treated with the up most respect most of the time. Here is my best image for this shoot:
Throughout this project, I have become a lot more comfortable with my camera settings, as I was constantly having to adjust them to fit my surroundings. It has made me feel more confident using my camera, as I can now adjust and change my camera settings for any occasion. Doing experimental shoots has also helped a lot for my ‘Self’ project, as it helped me become comfortable with what, where and how I was going to shoot my images. My third shoot was the only shoot that I took landscape, as I only needed to see him from his shoulder’s and upwards. However, the rest of them I shot portrait as I needed to see the whole of their bodies and get the woods in the background as well. I kept the same theme of my images throughout my project as I wanted to have a lot of similarities as my inspirational image. I did this by making all my images black and white, using shutter speed to blur their faces and having them in smart/work clothing. I also tried my best to get an ornate chair, however, I found one in a charity shop which suited me perfectly. The chair wasn’t quite as old fashioned but it did nicely for my images.
I think the only thing that I think I need to improve on is my final shoot. I wish I was able to have the badge in complete focus and the face completely blurred and then blur and smudge the name on the badge in photoshop. However, I did try to use my flash to get the desired effect however, when I used it his face was also completely in focus with a slight blur on top, which isn’t what I was going for at all, so I had to make do and choose the best one for my final image. Which, actually worked out quite well as it looks more like a badge in the last image, which overall i’m quite happy with.
Overall, this whole project was a success, as I was able to take all of my images to my standard, and they all pretty much worked exactly the way I wanted them too. All my experimental shoots, helped me develop my skills and knowledge of my idea and camera settings in preparation for my final shoot. I am very happy with my outcomes and the meaning behind my work as it was very easy to talk about as it is personal to me and I was able to go in depth about my work.