Category Archives: Term 1, Year 1

pentaptych destroy and fears

black and white picture storey this one .jpg

How did I create these pictures?

I created montage of photographs using a digital camera.   I took the photographs and loaded them into Photoshop. I changed the colour of the photos to black and white (Image>Adjustments>Black&White – Alt+Shift+Ctrl+B) This was to give more impact to the pictures.

What worked well?

I have managed to show my fear of being trapped and imprisoned against my will. The change of photographs from colour to B&W has worked well, it provides more uniformity in the images and removes some of the changes in coloured walled backgrounds and lighting levels. All the photographs look to be part of the same series and theme.

How can I improve the pictures?

I can improve this pentaptick by making the pictures bigger, this would make the pictures easier to see and more impactful on the screen.

How does this fit in with my theme of destroy and fears?

These images are suitable for the theme of destroy and fears, because I have tried to show my fear of being silenced, overlooked, ignored and hidden. The fear of heights with the low perspective behind bars. Is this to protect me from falling down the stairwell, or bars to keep me locked away?

The photographs also are aligned with the theme of destroy because it shows how a person can be destroyed by their mental as well as physical emotions and change their personality.

I have also experimented with the same 5 photographs to change the sequence and background to see if this is more powerful.



4 Pictures that represent me


How did I create these photographs?

I took the pictures using my DSLR, using the same settings ISO-800, F stop F/5.6, Shutter speed 1/125 second.  I set my camera up on a tripod for stability and so I could focus the area I was planning to be posing when the camera took the photograph.  I had the assistance of someone else to press the shutter release.

How do these photographs represent me?

I have chosen these 4 photographs for my quadriptych to represent.  They were taken in the summer because they describe me well.  They all have a quality of innocence.

I love the warmth of the summer.  The large photograph of me I am looking skywards, I have a questioning expression on my face, I am wondering what I should be doing or day dreaming.

The top right picture I am looking away, not making eye contact, this represents my reserved nature and shyness. I look to be higher up in the tree to signify my head in the clouds.

The middle right picture I have my head down signifying I am trying hard, I always put the effort in, even if I do not fully understand what I am trying to do.

The bottom right picture I am not in full frame, this represents the fact that I do not always see the full picture or understand, even when I am looking straight at something.

What worked well?

The sense of light and summer, the pale tones.  The use of a large f/stop aperture to give a shallow depth of field so the distant backgrounds are out of sharp focus.  This means you focus on the face more.  The fact the 4 photographs were taken at the same time so that the lighting, surroundings and clothes did not change.

The composition of 4 photographs, 1 portrait and 3 landscape looks good, it gives a balance grouping, and better than trying to put the 4next to each other in a row.  I like the fact that I am looking up at myself in the large photo, and looking down on myself from the middle photo.

What could be improved?

The photographs look slight pale and over exposed.  I could have tried a slower ISO light sensitivity. Also the focus is not as sharp as I would like when examined close-up.  This was probably due tome trying to focus the camera where I thought I would be posing, then I would try and stand where I had pre-focused.

The framing of the bottom photograph, part of my face is out of frame, this cuts off my mouth and part of the right side of my face.

Alexander Khokhlov – Photographer

Russian photographer.  His imagery is focused on creating and photographing optical illusions that trick the eye to confuse the 2D and the 3D.  Khokhlov collaborates with make-up artists that create works of art, and he takes carefully lit photographs that adds to the optical illusions.

The trickery can be seen in the series of very precise portraits.  The combination of make-up, lighting and portraiture has produced very strong graphic and transforming photographs.


The image on the left is similar shows the quality of the work I was trying to create in my final piece.

Examples where he has recreated famous artistic creations with people, and used portraits to create 2D cartoon characters.

More examples of his work can be seen


Warwick Arts Centre Visit

Visit to the Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick University, November 2015.

Art-Warwick-Leaflet Flyer that details the artists and the event.

Aim was to hear presentations from artists and photographers.  The speakers were:

Hannah Starkey – Photographer Hannah Starkey – Wikipedia

Untitled (1997) Hannah Starkey

Hannah Starkey is a British photographer who specializes in staged settings of women in city environments. I found her talk the most interesting and inspiring because photography is something I would like to continue to study and develop into a career.


DSCF0007I had taken a photograph for my Media Studies that follows in Starkey’s style. Women going about their everyday lives





Rosalind Wyatt – calligraphy

Artist that studied calligraphy and fused the two creative art forms together also uses textiles in her work to create compositions.

David Mach  – Sculptor

“‘Out Of Order’ by David Mach – – 1102588” by Walter Koscielniak. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sculptor that uses many man-made objects and creates interesting sculptures. One of his famous sculptures I like is a sculpture in Kingston upon Thames.  It is a series of telephone boxes that have fallen on to their sides like a set of dominoes.



Roz Hall – Digital artist (iPads and surface computers)
Hall uses consumer tech, such as the iPad and Surface PCs to create fusion artworks using graphic packages and personal and social media.

The artists discussed their career paths from the early studies through higher education to professional artists.

All the artists talked about their work and the creative process.  Their inspirations, how they developed ideas.  The approach they take when trying to work on concepts and ideas, from the initial stages, working the ideas up and to producing final pieces of work.

They talked about being commissioned for pieces of work and developing pieces of art for sale.  They also discussed areas of special interest such as Starkey discussing the need to use consent forms when photographing the public that becomes part of a work.

The one thing all stated was you need determination and drive to try and be successful in building a career in art.


Project: Final Piece – Hidden in full view, living in the shadows

The Ideas and concept

The write up is in my sketchbook complete with additional test shots.

The concept of the project is to produce a tryptic composition following the idea of “the Self” and being hidden, overlooked and shyness, ‘living in the shadows’.

I wanted to take photographs of myself in full sight, but the viewer cannot see my face fully, I wanted to be partially obscured. Part of the face always veiled, to break up the instant recognisable shape of the face.

Development of Ideas

I considered using a mask, but rejected the idea because the mask although concealing, only part of my face would be visible the other part hidden behind the mask. I wanted my whole face to be visible.

I decided hiding behind make-up. The make-up had to be ‘obvious’ not conventional make-up applied to make anyone look attractive, but make-up that conceals.

I considered army style camouflage, but rejected it because I did not think it would be striking or make an impact. Camouflage is designed to make the person invisible. I wanted to be visible, but not fully seen, “hidden in full view”.

Inspiration and Influences

The self-photography is similar to Cindy Sherman, her studio work that

Untitled 1976, printed 2000 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Untitled (1976), printed 2000. P78505 Cindy Sherman

uses herself as both photographer and model. The Sherman’s 1976 studio shots have simple plain white backgrounds so that you focus on the face, attitudes and stances. Please see earlier blog post about Cindy Sherman

I have been inspired by the artistic work by Piet Mondrian,

Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray and Blue (1921)

his influence can be seen through other pieces of work I have created and the compositions for Destroy 2, Fears 2, compositions have blocks of colour and strong horizontal and vertical lines that contain the colour. I wanted to continue with this influence. I wanted to create strong horizontal and vertical lines that break-up the face and makes parts of the face obscured.IMG_9934


I drew some rough ideas to show and develop the concept of a full face with theme of Mondrian designs. Strong black lines across the face and blocks of colour

The final pictures appear to be more aligned to the photographer Irving Penn (1917-2009) and one picture to the right in particular.

Image by Irving Penn



Test Shots, experimentation and adaptation

The attempts to apply the make-up for my test shots it became apparent that my original drawing ideas were going to be too difficult to apply to the face, and instead of developing a crisp effect, the make-up was a mess.

IMG_9923I therefore adapted and evolved the make-up. I experimented with less and less fiddly make-up as can be seen in the test IMG_9348shots. The blotchy black makeup, interesting effect, but not the crisp lines I was wanting. A second attempt with less make-up and better applied black lines and boxes on the face was more the effect I was wanting.

Because less make-up was so effective I removed all make-up and tried again with one wide horizontal bar across my eyes. I then added more lines, one across my forehead and another across my lips and beyond. I also tried some shots of just my eyes, no make-up.

I also experimented with close-up shots, head and shoulder shots. Standing looking square into the camera or lying down, the camera shooting down. The camera down low looking up under my chin and face, my head looking down over the camera so my dangling hair framed my face.

I wanted a plain background so that the focus of the photograph is just the face.

The Final Piece

The final photographs were taken in the studio. I used plain white background. The camera was synched to use flash onto my face with diffuser plus a large light box lamp to reduce the risk of sharp shadows.

I applied black a wide band of make-up across my eyes. I stood on my mark in the studio and took several exposures.

I removed the make-up and reapplied the black make-up to just one side of my face. Using the same light studio light and camera settings I returned to my mark and took several more exposures.

I removed the make-up, applied the black make-up to the other side of my face and repeated the process so that I had 3 images.

Image Manipulation

The images have not been manipulated.   It was tempting to embellish the photographs and tighten up the lines of make-up, and adjust the light and colour levels to make a more uniform set of three images. I wanted to show the “raw” face not re-worked with Photoshop.

One of the series of tryptics has been produced by using layers to combine the 3 into one.

Hidden in full view, living in the shadows




Concept Unit 10 Learning Aim C1/C2/C3

mood board  what props i would use using the ideas from the mood board insertion  The Concept

The concept I have chosen is an album cover/art work for a rock/pop band.  The band I have in mind is a rock band in the style of Paramore a contemporary alternative/prog rock band. The ideas I have are images of the band member or members wearing rock style clothing, this will be predominantly black or dark coloured clothing, but with a few bright highlight items of clothing, ‘Goth’ style slightly over the top to give a theatrical performance. I am considering several ideas for the environment to shot the photographs a dark forest, a playground with a band members sitting on a swing or standing nearby with the swing moving in shot.  Sitting on a skateboard park that has highly coloured graffiti.

The photographic techniques required

The outside shots I will experiment with slow shutter speeds to try and capture the swing moving slightly blurred in motion, and wide aperture to give narrow depth of field. I will take several shots with the swing in various positions so that I have a choice of where I merge the image of the band member on to the image of the swing. The photo shot of the forest and trees I will be shooting up towards the sky to get a featureless sky with high contrasting or silhouettes of the tree branches. When I blend the images together I will take care to frame and leave space in the overall composition for the album title to be added or other promotional wording.  If the overall composition looks too busy, I can overlay a transparency layer to lighten the picture so any words required for a poster will standout. An alternative idea is to have an image, a blended photograph for the background, with and image of just the head of the band member superimposed on top.

The face maybe in grey tones to blend in with the background with strong highlight in colour features such as the eyes or lips. To do this I will need to use photographic editing software such as PhotoShop. I also might try some PhotoShop effects to slightly distort or ‘melt’ some or all of the image or face. To take the indoor photographs of the band member I will take a series of portrait face photos, experiment with strong side, top lighting, or lighting from below the chin up on to the face to create strong shadows on the face and around the eyes. I will also be using strong lighting direct onto the face to create a more flat or featureless, ghostly face. I will also take some head and shoulder plus full body shots standing in casual poses that I will experiment cutting into the various backgrounds with PhotoShop.

Why these Images will be suitable

The images I plan to create will be suitable because they follow a style of imagery that is often used for this style of promotional material and familiar to the target audience. The prominent use of the band member will be a source of recognition to followers of the band, and to show what the band member looks like to potential new fans. The art work will also appeal to followers of this type of music that may not have heard the music before, but will get visual impression that they can identify with. The clothing to be worn will be stylish, but there will be no words on the clothing that could cause offense. The band member will be dressed therefore no issues of nudity. It is intended that the band member is the sole person in the artwork, so there is no consent for permission to photograph people or cars with registration plates shown will not be required.

Ideas and Inspiration

The collage of images of album covers I have used for ideas and inspiration. They nearly all contain pictures of the band members. The Avril Lavigne, Michael Jackson and Pink covers all feature close up pictures of the face with strong lighting. The image for ‘Fall Out Boy’, the boy with the stripes is the inspiration for the melting face. The other images show the members of the band posing in stereotypical rock poses to the camera. The album cover for ‘5 seconds of summer’ shows the band standing against a graffiti wall and the picture then has graffiti on top applied using a graphic package. I have based the idea of the graffiti skateboard park around this image.