Blue Ball Still Life Part 2

My second phase of experiments takes a slightly different approach in observation of the ‘ball’ object and fabric materials.  For this brief experiment, I used a blue ball once again, however this time, I chose to use a paler colour palette involving two different colours as I am intrigued to experiment with contrasting colours with more diversity.  As well as the appearance of the objects being pale, the textures are also a lot softer and non reflective.  This gave me opportunity to use soft lighting and reflection.   Materials used include a plastic blue ball and pale pink wool material.

Post Production

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 15.45.22

During the editing process, I intended to keep the adjustments to a minimum.  I chose to crop some images to ensure a correct composition.  I also rotated some images to give a new perspective of the image content in which some appeared more effective as portrait than landscape.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 15.46.15

I used the curves tool to make slight improvements to lighting and contrast. I also increased the magenta colour channel using colour balance to bring out the colour of the backdrop.  Other adjustments made, included increasing the clarity or definition of the images and using the spot healing tool to erase any unwanted marks.


Fig 1

For several of the images, I creased the materials to create a very wavy ripple appearance.  This works well for this image as this brings an interesting surface in contrast with the smooth surface of the ball object.  This image is also effective in depth of field and gives a closer perspective of the materials texture.

Fig 2

I find this image presents an unusual composition that leads the viewer’s eye well. There is evidence of the material’s pattern which I find slightly diverting, however, I do not find this is a major flaw and the image sits well with respect to colour and form.

Fig 3

I find this image is perhaps one of my strongest in the com positioning and the lighting of the scene.  I feel this image brings more of a sense of landscape as I have creased the material leaving more open space.  I do find there are some minor areas that bring unwanted shadow, however, overall the image is well exposed. I find this image almost refers to a mountainous landscape as we see small creases that give a similar resemblance.

Fig 4

For this image, my intention was to repeat the same type of perspective which I had previously used for my ‘red box’ series which sees the object at a straight forward angle with a slight height.  Here the focus is realised where the viewer can simply recognise the ball object and the background in its simplest form with no alterations i.e. the ball is in centre and the fabric material is laid flat.

Fig 5

This image brings an interesting composition that has the ball appear trapped between the material creases.  My intention here was to experiment with resting the object in a vulnerable position and I find this image almost recreates a cave like landscape with how the fabric is folded.



In conclusion, I have found it beneficial to retrace my steps with this practice involving the ball object giving focus to observation using different methods.  I find this series brings a sense of innocence and this may be because of the colours I have used.  Exploring form in this way has given me further ideas towards my future projects in which I intend to include objects as a physical presence.

As a possible installation idea towards my major project, I have initialised the concept of featuring images such as this displayed on a surrounding interior wall space and featuring the objects themselves from the images as a ‘playroom’ environment.  For example, if I were to feature this ball series presented on a wall space, a ball pit installation would prove to be a fun or even relaxing atmospheric interaction for viewers.  Using inspiration from this series, my intention would be to feature soft materials such as duvets spread across the floor for the audience to lie down upon and feature dozens of the blue ball object as a feature for the viewer to interact with.

I do feel sticking to a particular colour theme(s) is important for an installation such as this as this will also bring into consideration of other aspects that may be used such as lighting or projection.  This is another aspect that could come in to play in which projection may also feature music as an additional feature for an installation; this would involve presenting a certain mood to the audience.  For this idea, I could approach this installation idea in various fashions, either making it fun and colourful or calm with use of cool colours.  Overall, I think this is a doable concept that I am intrigued to consider trying out.


Blue Ball Still Life: Photo shoot 3

Following my current practice experimenting with still life within the exterior landscape, I am now intrigued to explore observing objects within a different type of ‘landscape’. My experiments with the box object proved successful in bringing simplicity in the observation of a basic shape against a basic background.  My newest experiments observe another simple object with the same intentions, however this time, I experiment with placing the subject matter within the folds of fabric materials.  These experiments introduce the ‘blue ball’ as the main focus.  Throughout this practice, I found I could create my own landscape by moving and changing the folds of the fabric to create wavy or folded forms surrounding the object.

For the setting, I chose to use colder colours in which I selected my materials by different shades of blue and I also chose to shoot in natural daylight emphasise a soft, natural ambience.  My experiments involved using both patterned, plain fabrics and other minuscule reflective objects to initiate variety in content.

All images 


Post Production

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 20.45.35

During the editing process, I chose to crop some of the images to refine framing of the wave shapes surrounding the blue ball.  I also intended to have the ball positioned in various different areas of the images to bring a variety of perspective.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 22.54.15

The exposure of the images also needed some adjustment as some of the images were too overexposed, casting very white areas.  The ‘gamma correction’ tool made some difference for this as well as the exposure setting.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 19.54.02

Other adjustments I made to the images included mainly using the curves tool to balance the lighting to a better standard.  I found it difficult to keep an even exposure on occasion due to photographing dark subject matter  against a very light background.


Outcomes: Patterned Fabric and Blue Ball


Fig 4

This first image sees the ball wrapped within the folds of the fabric in which it is placed in the centre of the image.  This is a successful shot as there is an even depth of field and the composition works well.

Fig 5

I find this image gives a diverse perspective of the ball as it sits among the fabric.  There is an intense contrast and this brings balance in colour and lighting in the image as the dark blue ball sits in a lighter area.

Fig 6

This image sees the ball at a slightly further distance from the camera.  The ball itself is slightly out of focus, however, the contrast in lighting is effective and the arrangement of the folds gives a nice frame to the subject matter. Some areas are overexposed, however, I purposely intended for this image to be lighter to further emphasise the difference between light and dark aspects.

Fig 7

For this image, I chose to experiment with an even smaller subject.  Here I am intending to portray the opposite where we see light subject matter against a darker background.  This also works well and presents a rich colour hue.

Fig 8

The gem used for this image is also effective, however, I do find this tiny object is somewhat too reflective, causing light to bounce off the gem too much.  However, I do find the composition is also strong here.

Fig 9

For this image, I chose to bring the material together as a circular fold in which we see the gem placed in the centre.  In this image the composition is effective, however, I find the gem object does not let itself be known to the viewer as much as it appears very transparent.

Fig 10

I fns this image brings strength in both depth of field and composition.  There is a mesmerising quality to the image that leads the viewer’s eye into the unknown distance as well as focusing on the main subject matter.  There is also a decent balance in colour contrast and the image also presents effective quality in definition.

Fig 11

This image brings a more narrow view of the gem ball.  For this shot, my intention was to introduce more background outside of the folds of fabric.  Once again, there is strong depth of field and distinguishes fine detail of the subject matter.


Outcomes: Plain Fabric and Blue Ball

Fig 12
Fig 13
Fig 14

These images bring a nice composition of the fabric, however parts of the images are too overexposed.  However I do find there is a nice contrast in lighting between the lighter and darker parts of the fabric.

Fig 15
Fig 16
Fig 17
Fig 18

I find these images present a more balanced quality in both colour hues and exposure.  I also find the presentation of the ball at a closer perspective brings more insight into the materiality of both the subject and its background.


In conclusion, I have found pursuing these experiments a refreshing new approach towards still life.  It was also a pleasure photographing within an interior environment and I find the set up worked well with use of simplistic objects and backdrop.  I do still think that there is lack of theme in the images s there is no direct narrative development. however, my intention was to bring strong focus to observation of form and space and i feel I have accomplished this well.

I found lighting the scene difficult as some aspects appear darker or lighter than others so balancing these aspects together was quite challenging.  However, despite the exposures of some images being rather bright, I do find this brings vibrance to these images.  Overexposure was not my intention, however, for a few images, it surprisingly works well.

I find my experimentation using the plain blue fabric a better backdrop to use for the subject matter as on occasion, the patterned fabric was fairly distracting and I find the use of this material also may have made they images appear too ‘pretty’.  Despite this, it was interesting to experiment with colour and detail as well as basic forms.  Overall, I have found this photo shoot enlightening and I find this has give me further direction in choice of subject matter.



Book Ideas: Artistic Examples

Tom Philips

Tom Philips is an artist who works with a rich variety of materials including textiles, painting, sculpture and collage.  Following his studies in renaissance art and theatre, Phillips began his career with great success; he currently works as a critic, curator and teacher and also holds the role of Committee Chairman of the Royal Academy.  His works have featured in many galleries across the UK including the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate modern.  He is currently represented by the Flowers gallery based in London.

Phillip’s collage works are particularly influential in generating various methods of displaying text and images in a book format.  Various works in this category feature printed imagery in which Phillips paints directly onto book pages, often using vibrant colour but also other materials for black and white imagery.  Phillips singles out particular pieces of text or single words from the pages, highlighting them in bubble like forms that cast a continuous flow throughout the page.  He also links words together that appear on different lines and also uses other paper materials for further experimentation with texture, usually with oil paint.  Phillips is playful with narrative using typographical methods where he re-structures text within imagery and uses this as a guide to exploring hidden messages.

I find Phillips creatively transforms the book as a sequence of text displayed within colourful, abstract subject forms that presents new ways of reading a text by rearranging the visual typography altogether.  This is influential towards my creative practice toward my ideas of narrative sequence as this brings further conceptual developments of visual presentation that could potentially merge images and words as one visual display.


Laurence Sterne

Laurence Sterne was an English novelist who is famously known for his works in poetry and narrative comics.  Following his scholarship, Sterne took the role as a Vicar and began his first writings in politics for a newspaper run by a relative.  In 1759, Sterne published one of his most famous writings ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman‘ which gained him high recognition in the city of London.

In this book publishment, Sterne is experimental with text where the content features markings in support of Sterne’s written essays.  One various pages, Sterne visually represents his narratives through visual forms such as line diagrams and also uses letters to mark and express his then current thinking.   Sterne cleverly gives the reader something to visually read as well as using a scripted text format and this changes the readers approach towards reading.  Sterne almost presents a visual diary to us that allows us to re-interpret text as a guide.

I find this type of book art expresses well of the various ways text can be used in showing one’s state of mind.  This is influential towards my practice as it demonstrates another style of typography that integrates other text forms to translate an understanding of a narrative.



Tom Phillips RA – Jennings. D (2016) ‘Collage-Biography’ [Online] Available from: (Accessed 20/11/2015)

Cash. A. H (2014) ‘Laurence Sterne-British Writer’ [Online] Available from: (Accessed 05/08/2014)

Narrative Photo Essay: Developed Proposal and Final Decisions

My intentions for this project involve exploring the individual on a profound level and initiating a bonding relationship with their surroundings.  Following my findings of practitioners who use sequential photography,  I have come to further consider how my sequential series shall be presented in which I have decided to present my series as a photo essay.  I have chosen to do this as I find this an efficient method of  displaying my images consecutively and will give a basic and fluent structure where the viewer can follow the narrative with ease.  This also allows me to archive the imagery to a greater extent as part of my narrative as opposed to selecting images of a fewer number.

As well as exploring the theme of ‘Sanctuary’ within the sequenced narrative, I also intend to bring across a recognition of identity concerning the individual.  I find this is an important factor as the theme can also potentially relate to how a ‘Sanctuary’ can affect a person emotionally and perhaps physically.   Ways I would like to represent this within the series may include featuring text alongside the images, potentially as a single worded subtitle.

My practice will observe aspects of the surroundings in which I intend to bring focus on one particular object as a subject in relation to the individual.  My concept idea will focus on how the object presents the answer to the identity of the individual and throughout the series, I intend to show the development of this encounter as the object takes an affect on the individual.  For example, this could potentially draw attention to the cause of the environmental change in relation to the individual.

I have decided to set the scene in an interior space in a household environment that personally relates to the lead character; this may be a bedroom or I may also use other rooms to convey other narrative developments.

Narrative Observation: Sequential Photography Practitioners

Duane Michals

Duane Michals is a practitioner who explores narrative through the form of black and white sequential photography in which Michals is well known for her practice in creating photographic series that places images consecutively within a single frame.  Michals also features text alongside her images, usually as titled headings or as short subtitles.  Michals has exhibited internationally and has featured in galleries including the Museum of Modern Art and the International Centre of Photography in New York.

Michals explores rather dark narratives that often present uncanny subject matter.  Her series often feature individuals in an unexplained encounter as Michals presents each image as a continuous development from previous stills.  Michals is experimental with her subject matter as she also refers to surrealist form where she often creates harsh exposures and blurred effects.  Michals also merges images together to create ghostly transitions in her visual stories.

One photographic sequence I find particularly interesting is the series titled ‘Bogeyman‘ (1973) which presents a narrative of a young girl who experiences a paranormal encounter with a coat that is revealed as the dark ‘bogeyman’ figure watching over her.  This series brings intensifying suspense that is effectively spooky and Michals is playful with movement in this series as well as creating efficient contrast.  The lighting from the window in the room shines upon the young girl; this could potentially suggest how she represents a subject of innocence and light.  However the coat figure is dark and casts a shadow as this subject matter potentially represents darkness and danger as the result of the series ends with the ghostly figure taking the girl away.

I find Michals influences my ideas in terms of how I can experiment with interior space and harsh lighting.  I find the effects Michals uses brings more intensity to the atmosphere of the space.


Ingrid Pollard

Ingrid Pollard is another influence towards my creative practice.  Pollard is a photographer who creates photo story sequences that explores subjects of representation in which she refers to history, culture within landscape.  Pollard works with a variety of media and has exhibited internationally in which she has featured work in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Pollard brings the sensory element alongside visual content in her ‘Seaside‘ series where the images depicting stills of varied subjects at a beach location in Hastings also feature objects attached underneath them.  Pollard relates the printed to physical subject matter in which the object memorabilia recalls moments from a tourist visit, allowing the viewer to picture what is happening in the moment the photograph was taken.  For example, an image that shows an anonymous person’s shoes with the attachment of a bag of sweets relates the idea that the anonymous person was perhaps consuming this candy treat.

Pollard strongly influences my practice through how she connects different formats together to tell the visual story.  This brings about new perspective on using materials to support an image and let the viewer initiate independent thinking.  I find using this concept brings more immersive experience to the subject matter as it invites the audience to physically see the influence concerning the images up close in a materialistic way.   This inspires my ideas to identify object materials as key studies by considerably taking them out of the image and trusting responsibility of visual subject matter with the audience.


D C Moore Gallery (2016) Duane Michals [Online] Available from: (Accessed 03/01/2016)

Ingrid Pollard (2012) Ingrid Pollard Photography [Online] Available from: (Accessed 18/12/2015)

Magic Box Installation- Possible Ideas Development


For my final idea towards my Major Project, I would like to pursue my concept idea of creating a large walk through box in which images will be featured inside.  However, I have decided to present a ‘magic’ theme with the box structure giving a’magic box’ appearance. Following my recent investigations in theories relating to the box as well as other artists who use shapes as their subject matter, I am intrigued to experiment myself with ‘tricking the mind’ through my own visual interpretations.  I have chosen to pursue this idea because I feel my findings all potentially reference concepts relating to the unexplained and I find this theme offers good potential in entertainment in terms of giving the viewer something to do as well as viewing photographs.

Magic Box Installation Plan

Box structure – The installation will consist of a large box structure for the viewer to walk through.  As I am using a magic theme for this installation, I intend to decorate the box with a title on its exterior.   When the audience explores inside the box, I intend to create an atmosphere that translates a mysterious quality that will intrigue the viewer in.  For this I intend to light the interior, perhaps using coloured LED lights.

Photographs – I intend to photograph objects, perhaps within both interior and exterior environments that directly relate to the given activities/objects featured in the ‘box’ room.  I may also photograph people in which this could potentially be portraits representing the ‘magician’ or the ‘magicians assistant’ which are characters I intend to recreate in some way.




Thinking Outside the Box

Following my research in still life and installation photography, I find I am now at a stage where my ideas surrounding single object photography is to be further explored and developed.  As well as my other ideas that would involve having the audience participate in activities relating to my conceptual work, I have even considered exhibiting on a larger scale by creating a walk through installation.

Reflecting on my practice with object photography, I find exploring three dimensional shapes and forms a diverse study.  Speaking to photographer Maxine Beuret, I came upon the idea of exploring the geometrical side visual three dimensional structure and how I could integrate this into my conceptual practice.  During our discussion, I was given the suggestion of potentially featuring my work within a public functional space such as a library.  I find this is a very good idea in terms of bringing additional participatory connections with the audience and this amy also assist in identifying my target audience more specifically.

To conclude my reflection on this matter, I find I have further options that considers not only brings a conceptual message but also an educational perspective of visual imagery.