Contact Sheet Five – Where Do We Go From Here?

Mirror 007Mirror 0081901705_1_l Bill Brandt has inspired me to make this series as it shows the distortion of the model and her self-reflection, this style represents the way I was reflecting on myself over the year, I wanted to express the fear and terror that I felt and all the unanswered rhetorical questions. I loved the vast contrast between the highlights and shadows within the image and I wanted to recreate this within my own photographs. I wanted to capture a smaller depth of field to draw you into the reflection held within the mirror as opposed to anything else. I wanted to recreate the emotions I felt, but also inform the viewer how the symptoms started (vomiting) then the question “What is happening to me?” which of course the series, then shows the use of a chilli metaphorically representing my blood clot protruding from my mouth to demonstrate what had been discovered. I wanted to use a chilli because it is unwanted intense heat, uncomfortable and unpleasant and also seen as liberating because I was able to rebuild my life in essence, invigorating because I felt better than I did before. _DJS1762bw _DJS1816bw _DJS1825bw _DJS1913 _DJS1923 _DJS1933


How to understand a painting : decoding symbols in art / Françoise Barbe-Gall.

Contact Sheet Four – My Urban Decay


My Urban Decay, I chose this title to reflect the emotive subject of my personal experience and health deterioration this photo-shoot is all about the decay within my urban environment.

The title seems appropriate as a branded cosmetic company uses that name and the brand I use and this depicts how my illness made me feel bland and non-creative, the colours striped and non-invigorated, and a mask I could no-longer hide behind, exposed and bare.

My symptoms started in my home environment, a loving, warm place that I felt secure. The environment of the hospital was warm; clinical, and harsh, I have used decaying flowers, chillies and berries which were all grown in my urban garden highlighting the rustic and extrinsic feeling I hope are encapsulated in my images. The items I have chosen are not suited to the environs of my home and almost decline consent by decaying visually at an alarming rate.  I felt that this represented the blood clot that was found in my brain, this was invading a space that was not appropriate and how it trespassed into areas it was not welcome. The invasion seemed to explore all different places physically and emotionally. I also felt that though the flowers are decaying they’re also extremely beautiful which is metaphorically representing my transition, as a person I strove to overcome my blood clot and to find the positives from the experience. I looked at the colour of the natural decay and how this could appear as a dissipating clot. The colours fading to a soft yellow and pink their vibrancy fading to a golden hue, I have also used red chillies and berries with a strong texture, in an attempt resemble clotted blood in the tube of the vase to make it look like blockage which is what occurred in my blood vessels. I hope the viewer understands this depiction as I have tried to demonstrate this in a beautiful and subtle way. 7024d8e1_22470_img_2738

Laura Letinsky:

Laura L

I was very much inspired by Laura’s work, her subject matter seems to show the decay and soft muted colours that I wanted to use for my project. Photographs of the decay of the natural world represent and help to beatify a melancholic reflection of someone’s life and the way we can read them, the food and what we consume, how it is presented and how I can incorporate this into my work. Laura has said: “the photograph is a transformative and particular way we see the world that then informs the way that other photographs are made and the way the world is seen.” Trying to communicate what one sees in the world differently and directly changes how we see and understand the world.”  This of course made me want to show the world how I felt and I wanted to express my own experiences almost as a healing tool. Laura also said it can be too perfect to be true and then the falling apart of that or the spit or glue to piece it together, her choice of raw material, organic and natural to reflect her perceived world, this made me think about the way I had to remain steadfast and stoic and the ways in which I could photograph this in my work. She also said essentially,” magic and wonder to take your breath away”  which was something I felt needed to be in this photoshoot because there needed to be beauty and wonder making it look magical but you question the interpretation subtly lying behind the captures.


How to understand a painting : decoding symbols in art / Françoise Barbe-Gall. 

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Evaluation For “Sorrow”

The concept of my choice of subject matter was easily defined, Lee Miller: her experiences with trauma, resilience, inspiration and talent, her style and presentation made the choice definitive. I felt impassioned to pay tribute to her; I felt a connection to her and wished to pay tribute to her. I felt she was a unique character and wished to mirror some of her concepts.

Critical debate and seminars allowed me to choose key words to represent aspects of my unit; I wished to incorporate internal and external influences, space and place, sublime, picturesque interpretations.

The experiences I underwent last year I wanted to share and explain my journey in a pictorial, visual way, I realise that culturally this is unusual, the subject is personal and subjective and maybe brutal to a sensitive disposition. I know in some cultures near death experiences are celebrated and culturally accepted, the temperateness of the culture to which I belong would not embrace my journey, I will persist as I feel impassioned and inspired by my experiences.

The concept is profoundly personal; I don’t want to make it superficial, critically non-emotive, essentially I want a dark experience to feel like a warm and inspirational journey. I feel that Lee Miller had a dark journey and she found those experiences enhanced her empathy.

The research I provided to underpin the subject matter was my initial playing of David Gilmour’s “In Any Tongue.” I subsequently researched, watched, and explored every medium to gain insight or inspiration. I wanted the research to be precise and compliment my work ethic, encourage knowledge based correlations between the elements.

I adopted a timely approach to my unit, this I hope has enabled me to continue to research and include the most concise information.

The shots I spaced out to aid the flow of my work and keep the fluidity of the thought process.

The five photo- shoots consistently follow the principles, I adopted, the three books: How to Understand a Painting, Shooting Space and Twilight, The Magic Hour. These enhanced my representational and visual knowledge.

I spoke to a fellow student who has experienced a brain injury and we set objectives to “soundboard our experiences and memories. We inspired each other and gained useful principles.

I hope I have represented visually the language to convey the message I feel so impassioned about and whilst it may be misinterpreted I hope it connects to the emotions of the experience. I feel that I have captured in my journey and hope it reflects the beauty of that metamorphosis.

I have used experimentation to explore and expand my ideas, I commenced this process initially and have used literature; news articles, interviews, which are included in the environment genre. The life changing events I visualised with decayed and theatrical props that were carefully and painstakingly collected.

I hope that this carried the visually appreciated depiction to the viewer and connected to them the thought provoking elements of trauma.

The contrast between the clinical hospital environments is in stark contrast to the dark and gloomy style of the wartime captures. I enhanced the dimensions with my lens by using a slow shutter speed to create the intensity of the light prisms. I will need to make some refinements such as using a smaller ISO and editing in PSD files and fit to scale printing to prevent the need for cropping key elements.

Contact Sheet Three – Solitude

Sorrow 5 Sorrow 6

This series really inspired me to make my photo-shoot, this was all about the isolation I felt at home, at University and also when I was in hospital. I felt as if I could be with thousands of people and I’d still feel alone and question why I was here and my place in the world and how I’d be able to reconnect to my surroundings. The torch in this image is a beacon of light illuminating the path this reflects the positive feelings I craved. I used an animated model whilst using a slow shutter speed (0.8) this reflected the sedentary life enforced on me by my health issue. I wanted to use a model with a slow shutter speed to blend her into the wall (like Francesca Woodman’s photograph).

Task 3 Image 3

I wanted to establish how easily you can feel lost in your environment and outer of touch with those around you. I wished to incorporate both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that enhance those feelings.

The ferocious light felt engulfing, the refractive lights from the windows and doorway exposed the images and cast shadows almost dancing in an animated motion. The overexposure of the pictures emitted the protectiveness of the impenetrable walls only able to cast shadows.

This gives an essentially core analysis of being feeling isolated and disconnected I have prevented a silhouette escaping so this encapsulates this visually. The extrinsic and intrinsic are separated disconnected and isolated from each other. This reflects how I felt and at the time was powerless to express.

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Twilight : photography in the magic hour / Martin Barnes and Kate Best, compilers.

Contact Sheet Two – There’s No Way Out Of Here

Sorrow 2

I used artists like this to influence the style in which I select photographs, adding a motion blur, movement, intense light and demonstrate abstract feeling to the images. Sorrow 3

Sorrow 4

This last image also inspired me because of the focal point in a section of the building and I wanted a focal point within my images so that people will be guided where to look. I wanted to use a method of a slow shutter speed 0.4 and have the lens fully zoomed in, whilst the shutter is open, adjust the lens to the 18mm again to create a focal point and a blur of light and movement.

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Shooting space : architecture in contemporary photography / Elias Redstone.


Contact Sheet One – High Hopes



Bate, David (2009) Photography: The Key Concepts, Oxford and New York: Berg

Twilight : photography in the magic hour / Martin Barnes and Kate Best, compilers.

The concept I set out to achieve is the idea of trauma, relating to my personal experience of last year when I had a blood clot in my Brain and I wanted to highlight all the things I experienced. I felt that I could draw parallels with some of the trauma that my chosen artist had overcome. I wanted to pay tribute to Lee Miller as she faced so much trauma in her life as she was raped at the age of eight and left with a Venereal Disease, she encountered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, following her experiences photographing in World War 2. Lee Miller

I used the idea of how Lee showed trauma in her work through the war and so I went to a gun point range in Dover, this place felt very desolate, isolated and alienated (sublime) this reflected my own feelings, so it felt metaphorically similar to the emotional place I was in when I was in hospital this was very symbolic.

SorrowI used the idea of black and white from Lee. I chose the above image, as I loved the way the greys are very much muted, which was another metaphor that represented the intensity of the lights that felt so blindingly uncomfortable. I felt lost and engulfed by the darkness that surrounded me.

Lost in mindDSC_5574_DJS1022_DJS1000writting_DJS0998writing_DJS0955Coming back to lifeWhy and how?