My new learning during this project has extended my technical skills substantially in which I have learned new lighting methodologies when shooting in studio. Other learning involving observing the work of others has also made major impacts on aspects of my final artefact.
William Eggleston has been the most dominant influence to my work in terms of narrative, layout display and visual style. Eggleston’s ‘Nightclub series’ particularly influenced my practice in working with low key photography to create subdued atmospheres. It was these images in particular that embodied my visual ideas when photographing my subject matter for my final series where the background is pitch black and the subject is lit with intensity. Other images in Eggleston’s collection have also influenced other ideas throughout my project in which other portraits set within interior spaces brings a sense of sentimental value. From this, I was influenced to create my own interior settings with a weighty mood and one individual being present in the space. Although this experiment was not developed further, I still benefited from experimenting with narrative concepts in terms of how to manipulate subject matter by placing active changes of character that are almost interfering and unexpected.
My early still life experiments in studio gave extensive progress when devising various techniques to create alternative lighting styles. This session was particularly beneficial towards my understanding of how I can use certain lighting tools to bring across a mood or an effect with a deeper sentiment. These experiments presented possibilities of how to make my subject matter appear more abstract, for example, using gels to reflect light through created unique colour effects that separated the foreground from the background and the subject matter. This practice was technically challenging and this has encouraged me to bring more productive quality when lighting a scene.
When pursuing my experiments with portraiture and still life together, the experiments presented mixed results; the production was further developed where larger props were used, however, the narratives at this stage were not strongly progressive. The studio portraits which presented a theme relating to the element of ‘Air’ possesses little development in the narrative and the general setting appears over staged. The subject matter brought across a fashion photography style which was not my intention. Despite this, these experiments did develop my skills in how to use props more efficiently when observing elements of form and shadow.
Producing the final artefact for this project has also given me new perspective when managing post production. My choice to feature two larger images has shown me the importance of being critically analytical of the images and I have also learned that images often appear different when printed. As my final images give a dark appearance, aspects such as exposure and unwanted markings needed particular care to avoid creating prints that appear too dark and faulty.
Other influences for the final piece including Richard Vantielcke and Gregory Crewdson have given me further reminder of integrating the element of performance. I feel this has been accomplished effectively with this final practice as the image content presents a cinematic quality.
In conclusion to the Major project, I am profoundly satisfied with the final outcome and I find the series presents a touching subject that all can relate to.