For this week’s project, I intend to create a narrative that focuses on the concept of peace and potentially inner peace. I have decided to use this concept because having explored how a place can influence a person emotionally, I find that this is a subject that can relate well with finding meaning in a place. Often people visit certain places for a reason, whether it is to clear their minds or escape the fast paced world and I am interested in how people can find sanctuary away from the civilised environment.
For this idea, I intend to revisit the exterior environment in which the shoot is based in a natural, field location as I am attracted to places with some distance with only land and sky as a backdrop. I do intend to use some features of scenery such as trees to give some filling to the images as I envision the series with the model subject matter standing in full view in particular areas of the space, giving balance between subject matter.
For this shoot, I have chosen to use a female role and as for colour theme, I am using black and white for clothing and props. I wish to create a relationship between the model subject and the prop to reveal the contrast between peace and its opposite meanings, potentially referencing war and darkness. I have chosen to use/make a white flag as the prop for this series as I find this tool best represents how this can be symbolised as a direct message. I will also consider creating the images as a monochrome series as this will fit well with the colour theme.
Post Production: Photoshop Editing of images
For this image, I used the crop tool to change the image into a panoramic. I think this works well because it exaggerates further the sense of space surrounding the subject and creates an even borderline between the sky, land and the individual.
For some images produced, I also adjusted the saturation of the image. This portrait works nicely in black and white as it brings out a complimentary contrast in the lighting. I do think some areas were underexposed as the lower part of the image appears too dark. However, I still find this a strong representation.
For this image, some areas appeared either overexposed or underexposed and so I used the magnetic lasso tool to select these areas and then the curves tool to adjust the lighting for each section. I also improved the hue of the sky to bring more warmth to the image and this worked better as it gave the image more vibrance in colour.
Fig 1. Final Image. 2015
I find this is my strongest image produced overall as the lighting is nicely balanced and it also appears rich in tonal value and colour which brings a subtle, even vibrance. I also find this image conveys the most story in comparison to other images produced as it is quite expressive and has potential to emotionally connect the viewer. I find this aspect is due to how the dusk lighting has been captured from an angle where the individual is almost completely stood as a silhouette and this brings an effective contrast between the subject and surroundings.
Fig 2. Other images. 2015
These images (see above) are more subtle in lighting and there is less contrasting of the subject against the background. I find these images do appear weaker than my final image as some of the poses appear slightly awkward and is less convincing emotionally. However, I do find the images provides some influence from photographer Tom Hunter as the images similarly appear quite ordinary. I feel the use of the prop here is not as effective but I still find it suits well in the content.
Fig 3. Other Images. Monochrome. 2015
This portrait (see above) has been post produced in a monochrome format when editing in Photoshop. I find this works well as a black and white image, however I do find some areas underexposed or overexposed. Despite this, I am satisfied with the posing as the subject appears relaxed and the framing of the subject in this as the narrowing of the flag from the right to the head of the individual near the left is very direct and effective.
Fig 4. Other Images. 2015
This image had the most post production during the editing process but overall I am pleased with the setting of this image. The content presents a more simple pose at a very lower level and I think the lighting is captured radiantly in this as the sun softly highlights the edges of the subject lying down. I do find this image ma have been overproduced, however, I do not think it would appear as effective if I had not made changes to particular areas in colour hue and exposure. This image does stand as an odd one out as there is a drastic change in focal length as I have zoomed in but despite this, I still find this a strong image.
In conclusion, I have found this project challenging in terms of expanding my choice of location and using additional materials to use within the photographs. I have learned how to further develop my understanding of posing the model and props more carefully, especially when shooting in an environment of a larger scale. I have also learned how I can use other methods of documenting my ideas of posing on paper to help direct myself to directing someone else to a more precise plan. I found it difficult to decide the best way to further develop the final images, for example, some images appeared better in black and white while others appeared better in colour. I also find that my final choice of post produced photographs do not work together as a set but as individuals as each image presents a completely different atmosphere. While my chosen final image presents a more expressive and emotional connection with the viewer, others are more toned down. I still find the production of this project a success as my experimentations with different attributes within the imagery such as props and clothing has given me more diversity to work with several aspects towards the theme. I find my outcomes present a lot of variety and I feel I have experimented well on this project. To reflect on the concept itself, I find this worked successfully and there is more impact directed at the audience; my recent observations of Annie Lebovitz has strongly influenced how I have brought across an emotional connection. I feel I have accomplished the dramatic presence I intended for and I do find my work is at a more cinematic stage.