Lens Based Media
Immediately from the moment of being the brief ‘Obsession’, I found that I gravitated to the idea of control. But to fully explore the brief, group mind map work and my own strands of concepts were looked at. I had previously done photography before, however it was more purely ideas based and my technical skills are not that great. To advance and explore this area was exciting for me. Initially I wanted to explore social media, from looking at social media controlling us and how we control a certain identity that we impose upon others. However I found that I became more interested in another idea, controlling our appearance, our looks, our weight. It wasn’t until I found this topic that I became visually excited about the brief which I found hard to get into. From researching I found that social media and appearance do go hand and hand, I was shocked by the statistics of self-doubt amongst my generation. This lead me to choosing a person’s obsession with controlling their appearance.
This could be anything from makeup to the way they present themselves in mannerisms, but I found the research of weight control very shocking and something I’ve experienced as a problem with those I know and myself.
Definition of ‘Obsession’ is when a thought or idea continuously preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. Defining exactly what the brief meant, enabled me to think more clearly about potential branches of ideas in how to respond to the brief. It could be anything from being a crazy shopaholic to a person to who is obsessively using social media
The initial two person powerpoint was a way to explore an artist unknown to all of our group and get to know each other. Erica and I looked at Damien Blottiere who primarily works with photography, design and film. He gathers images and create unusual shapes, often surreal to create a world of fantasy. Blottiere has collaborated with other artists and has worked for high profile brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes. I was very interested in his filmmaking, working on major films such a Let me in. Advertisement is something that interested Blottiere, it led him to using film to advertise high profile brands. He incorporates his style of colour blocking and collage effects.
From looking at the list of lens based practitioners. There were a few that really captured my imagination. Some that I found that I would normally like and others with a more unusual style, especially colour. Even from the first rotation I found colour quite a daunting concept, I find it hard to balance the colours and prefer black and white. However I entered this rotation with an open mind and in the develop stage I experimented with urban landscapes with vast amounts of colour and found that I managed to capture colour without it taking over the photos. Examples of artists that I gravitated towards was Nan Goldwin, Nick Knight, William Eggleston and many more. I chose for my three artists I chose Cindy Sherman, Sally Mann and William Eggleston. Sherman and Mann’s style and theme of context slightly overlapped, looking at controversy and challenging societies ideas of right and wrong. Both Black and white photographers take their subjects and create interesting photos full of intrigue, meaning and really inspired my photography in this project. By including Eggleston work, I found that I learnt not to be afraid of colour and gave me confidence in capturing colour and still capture detail and depth.
Cindy Sherman and Sally Mann heavily inspired the style for my ideas on controlling our appearances, more accurately weight. I explored black and weight photography and included their more alluring, sinister style.
Photography shoot and contact sheet
film idea abandoned / route of photography
Media and Materials
Photography was the only medium used for this project, initially it was film but due to the limited time within this rotation I decided I would stick with this chosen medium to learn more about the technical side to it.
Nikon DSLR camera
I criticism i could give to myself would be to have borrowed a camera, even the Nikon DSLR instead of using my phone as the quality wasn’t so clear. Even if the photos were only for initial text experiments, I feel that they potentially could have been worked into with photoshop and the quality of them could have been better.
Iphone 6 for initial ideas
This was a series of photos taken to explore control in terms of weight in order to fit in. Ive tried to incorporate Sherman and Mann’s sinister theme in order to portray the context effectively of its seriousness.
In terms of refinement, due to the limited amount of time that I had on this rotation of only two and a half days, I struggled to create more than my amount of desired photographs and my short film idea.
In conclusion I feel that this rotation being so fast paced compared to the previous one before that, meant less time creating and developing my ideas to a good level. I spent all the time I could in order to produce some good visuals, however being realistic was going to be the only way forward. Therefore left my more ambitious ideas behind and focussed on a more achievable outcome in photography. The short film idea or a more refined outcome in photography can be developed at a later stage of the six rotations before handing the whole project in for evaluation.
This is an one possible outcome for my project, its simplistic but effective as it suggests a lot through subtle manipulations to the photo. Its clear that there is a sense if chaos, confusion and constant obsession with checking their weight. By duplicating layers with effects of blurring and changing the opacity this effect was made. To create this as the centre focus I selected inverse and made the surroundings that were distracting the main focus blurry with Irish blur.
Ive thoroughly enjoyed exploring known and unknown photographers during this rotation and learning about the different sections of photography such as, commercial, fine art and much more. My responses to the brief ‘Obsession’ Look at incorporating all that I’ve learnt in this short amount of time and I hope that the ideas behind my topic ‘Control’ even though they don’t have such good flare or technical skill, promote a clear message.
Thank you for reading.