This unit was all about the last 70 years of Harlow and how it has changed and adapted. Harlow was the new town which was founded after WWII as people from East London moved, to live a more peaceful life. I had to research the history of Harlow and create a blog post of a minimum of 1500 words . I used two sites that I got all my information from, they included a map of Harlow in 1980, which showed the main town. I learnt a lot about Harlow and how people escaped London to find peace and how the town was still being built when people started to move over. I then had to research about garden fences and ‘gossip over the garden fence’. It was more about neighbours and how people don’t interact face to face a lot anymore and how there is a small percentage of people who are close friends with their neighbours as most either dislike each other or are too shy to talk to them. I then went on to experiment with triptychs which was the main outcome of this project. I photographed a place in Harlow, split the image into three and placed it onto a fence I found online. I had to make sure that the fence reached across the whole page of an A4 size. I placed the triptych in the middle of the fence and inserted some rope to look as if it was hung up, it was then printed out and handed to the Harlow council. After I had completed that I had to do another similar image for the council, however I had to have a person in the image looking into the camera, so I took a picture of Paige in front of the Harlow bus station and split the image into three and again I placed it onto the fence with rope. The brief said that I had to create two triptychs about the last 70 years of Harlow and had to have at least one person in the image looking into the camera and I also had to have an image of Harlow incorporated into the image, however, the person didn’t have to be the main focus of the image.
I came up with a few ideas with what I could do, however the two that I knew I wanted to do were incorporating patterns into a triptych and filters into another. Throughout the whole unit I had to have four experimental images and two final. For my first two experimental shoots, I went out and photographed the closed down Odeon and Specsavers. I then went into photoshop and placed objects that were previously there when they were open. For the Odeon I found the sign, doors and titles of the films showing and I out them onto the closed down image to show the old and the new, I then made the image black and white so the inserted images blended in more. I did the same thing with Specsavers, however I used the window signs, door and main sign. My other two experimental triptychs incorporated patterns and filters which I would later on perfect and make into my final images. For my third experimental triptych, I had my model sitting on an old fashioned wooden chair against a white wall, she had a book in her hand and was acting as if she was reading it. She also had my cat on her lap, I did this because between the 30’s to the 50’s cats were a very feminine animal, even to this day, it was also to add a bit of humour to my image. I then edited it in photoshop, I changed the first image to be black and white to represent the 30’s, my model was also looking down at the book. In the second image I changed it to have a ‘sepia’ effect to represent the 50’s, in this image my model was looking up and into the camera. The third image I had the image in colour, however I contrasted the image a bit and brightend it and the colours to represent the 80’s. In this image my model again was looking down at the book. In my fourth triptych, I chose to experiment with patterns from each of the eras I have chosen. In the first image I had a flowery pattern from the 30’s. In the second image I had my model standing in front of the Harlow bus station with a speech bubble with a polka dot pattern from the 50’s. In the third image I had a bright crazy pattern from the 80’s. I didn’t make the patterns ‘match’ each other or try to make it look neat as I was just experimenting, and I was also just getting a rough idea of how I would set it out and what I was going to do for my final images.
Here are my experimental triptychs incorporating filters and patterns:
For my final images, I perfected two of my experimental images, which was the use of filters and patterns. I started off by doing the shoot that required filters. In this shoot I had to incorporate a picture of Harlow into the background of my image as I was shooting it inside my house. I chose to have an old picture of the Harlow bus station which I had gotten from the Harlow Museum as my background. I dressed my model in the appropriate clothing for the early 30’s. My model was then standing next to my kitchen sink, she also had a plate with an intricate pattern around the edges in her hands with washing up gloves on and had a sponge. I did this to represent women in the 30’s as well as using filters. In the second image, again I had my model dressed in the attire for the 50’s, she was wearing a checkered flannel with a checkered bow in her hair. In this image she was holding a broom and looking into the camera. In the third image I had my model dressed again in the correct attire for the 80’s, she has a bright orange vest top on with rainbow coloured leg warmers on her arms with bangles and bead necklaces. In this image she is holding a coke bottle and looking into the camera. In the last image I decided to have her hand on her hip, as it also represents how women were becoming more equal to men, so I think her hand on her hip shows how she has more power over others and her choices. I then went into photoshop and changed the first image to black and white for the 30’s. I also brightened the image and changed the contrast to make the image softer. For the second image I clicked on the tool to change the image to black and white, but instead of changing anything, I scrolled down and clicked on the button that said ‘tint’ this then changed the image to a ‘sepia’ colour, I then adjusted some of the yellows and greens so I could achieve the right colour for the 50’s. For the final image I upped the contrast and adjusted the brightness slightly. I then upped some of the yellows, reds and greens to make them more vibrant to match the 80’s.
Here is my first final triptych which incorporates the use of filters:
In my second triptych that incorporates patterns, I decided to have my model standing in front of the square for the second image which represents the 50’s as it was quite rock and roll, whig is why I chose to shoot the second image in front of The Square. I have also included the same bus station image as my first triptych into the background as it allowed me to answer the brief as I have added an old picture of Harlow into my triptych. In the first image I had a funky pattern from the 30’s, the reason I chose this pattern rather than a feather pattern that I previously said I was going to use in my proposal, is because I wanted all three patterns to match in some way so it looked neat rather than mis-match as it confuses the image. In the second image with my model in front of the square, I had a thought bubble coming from her with a multicoloured polka dot pattern, which fit in with the 30’s pattern. I had my model looking into the camera in this image as it allowed me to answer the brief. In the final image, I had a crazy pattern to represent the 80’s, however it still tied in with the previous two patterns. In the second image, I changed the brightness slightly as it was rather bright originally, I also upped the contrast slightly as again the original was slightly dull and I wanted the colours on her shirt and bow to stand out more.
Here is my second final triptych:
Throughout this unit I think I have succeeded in answering the brief, as in each of my final triptychs I have included a picture of Harlow in them and had at least one person in my images that were looking into the camera. The triptych that was most successful in my opinion was the use of filters. The reason for this is because I like the use of fashion through the ages and how women were represented through the years. I really enjoyed this shoot as I loved the choice of outfits and the use of colour in each one as it progressed throughout each image. However, there were improvements that could have been made, such as having my model maybe looking down in the third image in the filter triptych, as the second image would have been made the main focus of attention as it would have been the only one that she is looking into the camera for and it also would have looked a lot more central and symmetrical. In the triptych that used patterns, I thought it was successful but wasn’t as good looking as the triptych with filters, as my model is further away in the triptych with patterns as I needed to get the sign from the square into the image and also needed to be able to fit a speech bubble above her. I also thought that the patterns are hard to recognise from each era except the image with my model in as it is more obvious, however the other two that represented the 30’s and the 80’s are harder to recognise unless explained. Although, I have explained that I have used the 30’s, 50’s and the 80’s in each of my triptychs and that is the order I have shot each image in. I also liked the triptych which incorporated patterns as I like how I have a plain white background as is it neater than my triptych that used filters as I had to include a picture of Harlow into the background as I shot it in my kitchen so Harlow wasn’t seen in those images.
Overall, this unit has been very successful as I have gotten every piece of work updated by each deadline, I managed to compete almost all work set this unit, in time, so I haven’t been behind on any work. I managed my time efficiently and gave myself lists of what I had to complete each day so I wasn’t behind. I also liked doing the 70 years of Harlow as I live here so it was very interesting to learn the background behind the town and how it has developed over the years. Although, the garden fence side was slightly harder than I expected I still managed to get it done, and it also helped me develop my photoshop skills as I had little knowledge on the tools in photoshop. I can now use photoshop successfully and confidently which will help me in the future when I have to use photoshop without anyones help or guidance. I feel confident with both my triptychs as I feel that I have completed them to a good standard and even though the brief was quite restricted to what I could do, I feel that I still managed to express my ideas and was able to show them through each image. I was also able to include the past 70 years of Harlow into my images, which I showed through my research techniques, my mind maps, mood boards, experimental images and even in my final triptychs.