Firstly, for the start of the project, we had to decide what we would base our work off. This could vary from portraits to street photography to landscapes. I decided to base my work around Reflections as it is an area that I visited when I did my GCSE Photography exam and I really enjoyed it and had always wanted to revisit it when I had the chance. I thought that I could expand on the photos that I had previously created for my GCSE, such as the one below:
In this image, I used a mirror which was leaning against a wall in the classroom I shot the photo in. Both he model and the mirror are part of the same image. The landscapes are what I took and added in separately. In the beginning there was only one half of what is shown in the image above but then I duplicated the layer and lined them up so it gave me the final result shown above. I will work around the artists I studied when I did this image, to create new images.
When I chose to do Reflections, I had a range of ways to present the theme of reflections and this could be from water, windows, mirrors or through glass. I decided to use mirrors and glass as they are what I feel work best as I also try to get a surreal and creepy feel towards my images. I got inspiration from many Reflection photographers which also make their photographs quite surreal and creepy. These photographers will be featured below in my artist links.
Because I would be using models, I would have to contact several in case some decide to back out. I then would have to consider location of where I would take these images. I thought about woodlands or fields but I would think more about this when I come to actually taking the photos for my project. I would also have to buy the mirror(s) I would be using to create these reflections. I would want to use antique looking mirrors to show the surrealism and creepiness of the images.
When presenting our final pieces, we can decide how we frame them. They will be hung in an exhibition in our town and we only get a certain amount of space for all our pictures. This means we would have to consider size and shape of the images. I have had several ideas about how I want to present my final pieces. These ideas are to present them in antique-looking frames which will match the mirrors I hope to use in my images. Another idea is to print the final photographs onto separate canvas’s. I would consider this later on during the project. However, from briefly looking at prices for both canvas’s and the antique-looking frames, it seems that canvas’s would be cheaper if I was to get them at the same sizes for each image I produce for the exhibition. If I was to choose printing my photo’s onto a canvas in the end, then I would probably print different images at different sizes.
Idea Generation Lesson:
We did a group Idea Generation lesson to help us decide and confirm the idea what we wanted to do and to also help us give inspiration and advice for when we work around our project. We started by discussing how many ways and how to generate ideas. Some answers that we came up with together included mind maps, group discussions, books and the internet. We then watched a video which showed us “40 Creative Photography Ideas” which included some reflection photography on there. These reflections however were caused through magnifying glasses and through shiny cutlery which I thought would be a good idea. We also had to take what we were discussing into consideration as the information given would help us with figuring out what we would do for our final project.
Laura Williams – is a surreal photographer who focuses on many themes around surrealism in her work. These include reflections, nature, books, food, travel, weather, and even childhood fears. She does a lot more than the ones I’ve listed but she makes them surreal and as abnormal as possible which makes her photography unique and powerful. She takes most of her photographs outdoors, mainly in woodlands and fields which make her images even more surreal. Some are simple and some are creative and unique. Laura Williams is an photographer that I have studied before but have never really gone in depth about her work. I have always liked her work and think that she explores different themes extremely well. She got her recognition as a student as most of the modelling in her photos are of her as she features in them herself which I think is very skilful and make the images even more unique.
Andrius Aleksandravicius – is a freelance photographer based in Kaunas, Lithuania who and has been been in a range of photography competitions and has won many awards from these competitions. He started his glass ball project back in 2012 and these are his most recognisable pieces of photography that he has done. The image to the left has got to be my favourite as it has a lot going off in the image but only makes you focus in on the glass ball in the centre. The two types of reflections shown in this image really work well together and the way the reflection of the buildings are captured in the ball in a curved way. In the background you can see how there are people but when background is reflected through the glass orb, you can tell the the buildings have only been shown through the orb and not the people which I believe is what the photographer wants to show through this image. He wants to show the beauty of the buildings without people getting in the way of them. Although the image may be captured at an angle and him showing this is only small due to the size of glass ball, he still manages to produce a stunning image with the use of reflections through the glass orb.
Tom Hussey – is an American photographer who mainly focuses his work around portraits and also focus on lifestyle photography. His most famous pieces of photography are ones such as the one shown to the left. The one I have chosen to feature in this post is my favourite. It shows an elderly gentleman who is peering into a mirror and instead of seeing his reflection in present day, he sees his reflection from the past when, judging by what we see, he was a solider. The fact that he seems happy about seeing this reflection could show how he feels pride in himself and was happy that he was part of these services. I really like this because it shows how many young people forget that the elderly society have been through some horrific things such as men in war. He also focuses on family through these mirrored reflections such as a woman in hospital visiting her new born grandchild with her son but seeing a reflection of her younger self holding her son as a baby in her arms. These shows powerful emotions people feel within major situations, making them reflect on themselves and their past experiences. Some are grateful and some are haunted by these experiences.
Daniel Kukla – is an American photographer who has a large variety of subjects in which he focuses his photography around. For example, some of his subjects are as follows: Coal Trains, The Edge Effect, and Captive Landscapes. The project which relates to my work is the Edge Effect as that is reflections by the use of mirrors. As well as using a glass orb within my work, I wanted to use a simple mirror to capture landscapes. I like this image below which is just one of many images by Daniel Kukla. The reason that this is my favourite image is because of how the rocks in the mirror line up with the hill in the background which make it looks like the two images are merged together when in reality they are two separate landscapes in one image. I also like how he has managed to capture the different desert colours during the start of a sunset and you can also tell that the sun is starting to set in the reflection within the image. Also, the use of a easel is very imaginative as and easel is used for painting on a canvas and instead of a canvas, a mirror replaces that space.
For my Case Study I will be studying Daniel Kukla. Daniel Kukla is a New York photographer who is mainly recognised for his reflections work with the use or mirrors. His reflection work with the mirrors are similar to what I want to capture and present in the exhibition. When producing these images, Kukla goes to landscapes which are rural and what are also quite isolated. Quite a few of his photos are taken at night or at sunset but he does take these photos at all different times of the day. As much as I prefer the locations in which Kukla visits to take these images, I unfortunately do not have any landscapes similar to these near me. However, I have already planned several locations in which I will take my photos which include the Lake District which is full of natural landscapes and rocks which would be used in my images for sure. Another location I have decided on is Clumber Park which is full of natural landscapes also, but has lots of trails and nature that surrounds the area that it would be captured well within the mirror.
I have found some issues with basing my work off of Daniel Kukla. One of these problems is finding the right place to put the mirror. Within his images, he seems to find a perfect line up with the reflection and background which is what I would like to achieve in at least some of the images. However I think that just by capturing the landscapes I have chosen, it will not matter if they are lined up or not. As long as I capture detail and the beauty of these landscapes then I will be happy with my outcomes. Another problem that I would have to overcome would be the finger prints of the mirror. To avoid these I would have to wear gloves when handling the mirror and make sure that when changing the location that there are no dirt marks on the mirror which could interfere with the next set of images. This would be easily solved and sorted by using gloves to carry the mirror and to keep a cloth on me to wipe and dust or dirt marks off of the mirror.
Some of the major problems that I have come across to do with my photography can be solved and changed if desperately needed whereas some cannot be changed. One of the problems I will have to face is the problem of weather. I would prefer for the weather to be clear, sunny and only partially cloudy to create certain shadows within my image. Another major problem that I may face is the fact that I may not be able to do certain ideas that I may have as my lecturer may disagree with that idea or simply tell me to do something else around it. However, when talking to my lecturer about all of my ideas, he is happy with them and does not seem to have any problems with them currently and I hope that no problems do arise in the future.