I created this picture outside in natural day light, this is so that I could capture some of the surrounding trees and nature creating an interesting background. The full daylight also gave me better lighting for the picture. I got someone to stand in the middle of the picture with their eyes looking straight at the camera. I then framed the persons head with a Polo mint by holding the mint and focusing on the head. From a far this made the persons head look small compared to the polo mint surrounding her face.
What worked well?
Framing of the person worked well, this is because I have managed to frame the person in the polo mint with their eye looking straight at the camera. The bright hair is still visible surrounding the polo making an eye catching element with the blue hair against the white polo mint.
How can I improve the picture?
A smaller aperture would make both the girl and the polo mint in focus. I could have tried sticking the Polo mint to a stick or stirrer attached to a tripod to hold the Polo perfectly still, close down the aperture very small to increase the depth of field and take a longer exposure.
How does this fit in with your theme of surrealism
This fits in with my theme of surrealism because playing with perspective is a common theme used by surrealists to make the viewer question what is real or what is not.
How can I develop this idea further?
I could develop this idea further by using different items to look through. I could experiment with a ring, possibly with a gem stone that would add colour and sparkle. I could try using a magnifying glass, this would have a distortion effect. I could shoot through the centre of a CD disc, the reflections and refraction caused by the CD adding interest. I could also experiment with holding a ring doughnut and shoot through the centre of the doughnut.
I created this picture using a digital SLR camera set up on a tripod. I took two photographs, one of the background and a second with the model lying on the ground. I shot the images in raw format, this format retains the image quality when manipulating the pictures in Photoshop.
I transferred the image files on to the computer easily. Once I opened the pictures in Photoshop I duplicated the original background layer (Cmd J), this meant that I could change between the layers and refer or revert back to the original layer if needed.
I selected and pasted the image with the model lying down as a new layer on top. Using the Quick Selection tool I selected the head of the model and deleted the selected area. I zoomed in and used the Magic eraser tool to ‘rub out’ remove any edges that were left behind by the Quick selection. By using these two remove techniques I completely removed the models head from the photograph and the background layer showing the carpet beneath was displayed. This created the final headless image.
What worked well?
The use of the tripod to take two photographs from exactly the same position worked really well so that I had a background shot the same as the shot with the model. The techniques used to remove the head were simple and effective.
How can you improve the picture?
I could have positioned the model or camera so that the missing head is more obvious, add more surreal imagery to picture. I could have got the model to turn over, and taken a third photograph. I could then have combined the legs and feet pointing downwards with the headless body facing upwards. I could have experimented with some melting effects on the models body to give the effect that the model is melting into the carpet.
How does this fit in with your theme of surrealism?
This fits in with my theme of issues of surrealism, it shows an object, the model, in a slight absurd way. The image at first glance looks normal, but the fact that there is something missing makes you look again.
How can I develop this idea?
I could make the image more surreal by combine another image adding a different head of an animal, an oversized image of a squirrels head, a head of a rocking horse or an oversized boot.
I could try to incorporate a large arm or hand coming through the window holding the models head, a school of fish swimming outside the window to imitate a flock of birds.
Overlay the body on a different background such as water so the body is floating on top of water instead of in it.
The photographs were taken with a large format plate camera. The image is focused on to the ground glass plate. The fine focus is achieved by using a loupe eye piece as a magnifying glass on the plate glass. This enables you to see how good the focus is, and if necessary can be adjusted. While doing this a black out hood is placed over my head and the camera to block out light from the side so I can get a better view of the projected image on the glass.
Once I am satisfied with the focus I slide the unexposed large negative plate in the film holder into the camera. Close the shutter of the lens, pull back the lightproof slide so that when the shutter is released the image will be exposed to the negative.
I release the shutter, then push the lightproof slide back across the film holder to stop the negative from being exposed any further.
The large negative in the protective case is taken to the darkroom, removed from the negative case and developed in developer, stopper and fixer.
Making a Digital from a large format negative.
The negative once developed and dried is placed on the large scanner. The negative is scanned using the Epson Perfection scanner settings that will capture the greatest detail as high as possible 3200 dpi x 3200 dpi, and the image stored as a TIFF image file and on to the Apple computer.
The images were then manipulated in Photoshop, the brightness and contrasts were adjusted and converted to Black and white from the sepia of the negatives.
I created this picture using a large format camera. The film was loaded on to the film holder in a dark cupboard, this was to stop the light from exposing and destroying the film. Once I loaded the film I took the pictures. I set the camera on a tripod this is was to ensure the camera was stable and I wouldn’t experience camera shake.
I created the ghostly/blurry affect by getting the model to move whilst I was taking the picture this was to test out the different effects I can create with the camera.
I developed the film negative using developer stopper and fix. I then washed the film negative to get rid of some of the remaining chemicals on the film.
Once the negative film was dry I loaded the film into the negative holder in the enlarger. I then turned on the enlarger and focused the picture on to the baseplate. I then turned the enlarger off and placed the photographic paper under the enlarger with the shiny side up. I turned the enlarger on and exposed the image for two seconds. I developed the photographic paper using the developer stopper and fix. This was also followed by a cold-water wash to remove the remainder of the chemicals.
What worked well?
I believe this picture has worked well this is because I have managed to create an interesting effect. I have managed to capture movement in the picture creating a supernatural look and sea like waves effect with the jumper.
How can I improve the picture?
I can improve this picture by placing the photographic paper in a better position under the enlarger, moving the photographic paper further up and to the left so the model’s head will be in the picture and in frame the model’s body more central on the photographic paper.
How dose this fit in with Julia Margret Cameron’s work?
This is a similar work to that of Julia Margret Cameron, I have used the same topic matter and theme of portraiture, and this also fits in with her work and techniques; large format camera with large negatives, but not as large as the 10×12 inch plate negatives used by Cameron. Similar black and white pictures created dark room techniques.
I used a large format camera to take the pictures. I then developed the film from the camera using developer stopper and fix, this was followed by a cold-water wash to remove any residual chemicals. The film was hung up to dry.
Once the film negative was dry I put it in the enlarger, so I could project the film on to the photographic paper. Before the photographic paper was put in place under the enlarger I made sure that the enlarger was in focus and projected a sharp image from the negative. I placed my photographic paper under the enlarger and turned the enlarger lamp for two seconds, I then developed the picture using developer stopper and fix. This was also followed by a cold-water wash to get rid of all the chemicals from the paper.
What has worked well?
I believe this picture has worked well; this is because I have framed the person in the picture well on the photographic paper making sure that there is enough room for all of the models body, nothings is unintentionally being cut or cropped such as head, arms or feet.
This picture has also worked well because I have managed to create a blurry effect of motion on the upper part of the models body. This was created by the model moving the top half of the body and swift movement of the hand over the face, keeping the rest of their body still whilst taking the photo. I think this affect looks good because it introduces movement into a still portrait and interesting to a traditional portrait.
How can I improve the picture?
There is a finger mark on the print, I believe I can improve this picture by making sure that I don’t touch the photographic paper whilst it is still wet as this will leave fingerprints and marks on the picture. The picture could be improved by making sure that there are no pen marks on the picture. I can do this by making sure that the pens have their lids on or are well away from the picture.
How dose this fit in with Julia Margret Cameron’s work?
This fits in with Julia Margret Cameron’s work because I have used similar large format camera methods, slow exposures that she used to take and develop the picture. The photograph is monochrome similar to Cameron, the subject matter is portraits of people, which is the same topic that she extensively followed.
Visit to London Museum Gallery to see two photographic exhibitions of work by Julia Margaret Cameron and Alec Soth
Cameron’s V&A Exhibition
Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition was hosted at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition was run to mark the bicentenary of her birth in 1815. There were over 100 photographs of hers displayed in the exhibition. Part of the significance of Cameron’s work was that she was an innovative pioneer portrait photographer when photography was still a new and evolving technology and art form. Photography at that time was demanding because of the nature of the photographic wet emulsions, chemicals used and processes required to develop and print.
Cameron’s photographic processes
Cameron used the wet collodion photographic process to create her negatives, (Process is fully described https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collodion_process ) The process was invented around 1850 and refined during the 1850s. The process was demanding, difficult and delicate using fragile large glass plates that are coated with a number of different substances at different stages in their processing. The large glass plate negatives are used to create contact prints, the negative had to be at least as large as the image that is printed. There are a lot of opportunities to make mistakes, breaking the plate glass, smudges, smears and swirls. Fluff, hairs or fibres falling on to the plates or finger marks.
To make the prints from the negatives Cameron used the albumen print method to make her own photographic paper. (Process is fully described https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albumen_print ) Albumen or egg white is used to combine and hold the light sensitive photographic chemicals to bind to the paper. The plate negative would be laid on top of the albumen treated paper so it is in contact with the paper. The paper with the contact negative is exposed to the light and the print appears. The darkening process is stopped by submerging the print in sodium thiosulphate and a stabiliser to stop the print from fading.
Cameron was in her day criticised for some of the faults and flaws that occurred with hand processing \and the fact that some of her portraits were out of focus or evidence that the model slightly moved while being photographed. These imperfections did not concern Cameron, and now often emulated to show the ‘handmade’ one off creativity, a reaction against the modern day machine perfect images captured and produced by modern photographic and printing equipment.
Alec Soth’s Exhibition at the Science Museum
Alec Soth first UK exhibition was shown in the Science Museum, London. The exhibition ‘Gathered Leaves’ is a collection of photographs from four previous books/exhibition – Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), Niagara (2006), Broken Manual (2010) and the most recent, Songbook (2014).
South and Cameron similarities
The photographers are from two very different times, Cameron was taking photographs from Victorian 1860s to the 1870s. Soth is a contemporary photographer of the 2000’s his first book ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’ was published 2004. There are similarities in some of their works Soth’s portraits of unusual characters have qualities of a story that can be told in the image, the viewer makes their own mind up as to what has just happened or is going to happen, whereas Cameron dressed her models and posed them to emulate a scene from a story or from the bible.
The visit was very interesting to see photography presented in an exhibition, to see the original prints, to see the quality and colours of the images. To compare an early photographer’s work with a very modern photographer’s work. There was so much to see and appreciate I could have done with more time to be able to study more the photographs that I was drawn to, also to have an opportunity to visit the shop and if available purchase cards or the accompanying guides to the exhibitions.
Three Soth images that inspired me
USA. New Orleans, Louisiana. 2000. Adelyn, Ash Wednesday. Sleeping by the Mississippi.
The picture is overwhelmingly an image of a woman deep in reflection and thoughtfulness, presumably after performing an act of worship and witness by painting in ash a cross on her forehead. The mouth is shaped such that you are not sure if she is sad or about to break into a smile. The waves and texture of her hair is accentuated by the streaks of colour. Her back is against railings, is she standing inside or outside of the church?
USA. Vasa, Minnesota. 2002. Charles
I love this picture of a character who is clearly obsessed and proud of his hobby of model aeroplanes. Possible a man so involved with his hobby that he has stopped noticing the things around him.
The man does not appear to be too concerned about what other people think of him or his immediate surroundings, the breeze block, pieces of roof felt and clutter He is a man dressed for working in his garage or workshop and dressed for warmth, above all else ready to go outside to fly his planes in his flying suit.
USA. Fountain City, Wisconsin. 2002. Cemetery. Sleeping by the Mississippi
I like this picture for its contrasts, the dark background of the hill and twilight as the night is falling. This contrasts against the brightness of the petrol station that is accentuated by the reflections of the light on the snow covered forecourt.
The contrast of the natural surroundings of the dark forbidding countryside compared to the lonely isolated petrol station. The petrol station looks to be inviting because it is manmade and offers a safe harbour that stands out like a beacon in the on setting cold night.
The lines of the snow tracks left by vehicles lead into the petrol station, drawing the viewer to safety of the illuminated forecourt. It is like a scene out of a thriller movie.
Three Cameron images that inspired me
Julia Jackson, Julia Margaret Cameron, 1867, albumen print from wet collodion glass negative. Museum no. PH.361-1981
I like this portrait the way that the portrait melts into the background. The long flowing hair over the models shoulders that is slightly out of focus and looks like running water. The piercing eyes that are looking straight out back at you. The photograph is in warm sepia tones and has imperfections that give it the aged vintage look.
The Neapolitan (1866) Julia Margaret Cameron
The model has a pale ‘willowy’ face. The blanket on her knee is caught in detail, but the shallow depth of field, the models hands, arms and face are slight blurred and out of focus. This gives a soft warmth to the model.
Hosanna, Julia Margaret Cameron, 1865, albumen print from wet collodion glass negative. Museum no.PH.245-1982
This is a great picture, the young girl in the foreground looks to be resting and about to go to sleep. There are three faces crowded around looking down on the young girl, as if they are angels watching over the girl. The three faces are not in focus, and the photograph has what appear to be different levels of intensity possibly due to the wet photographic techniques, but they add to the mystery and the feeling that the three faces are hovering angels, not solid people.
Lens A lens admits light rays to the camera, and causes them to converge at the film plane and create the image. Lenses are interchangeable and come in a range of sizes. The lens has adjustable aperture and mechanical mechanism that works the speed of the shutter mechanism.
Cable Release A flexible piece of wire, the cable release is used to trigger the lens’ shutter mechanism and take the photograph.
Front Standard The front standard holds the lens, mounted on a lens board. It is designed to tilt, swing, or shift the lens into various positions.
Rear Standard The rear standard holds the film holder, and contains the ground glass. It is designed to tilt, swing, or shift the film into various positions.
Bellows The front and rear standards are connected by a lightproof bellows, designed to let the front and rear standards move independently. They allow the use of a range of focal lengths and allow for up or down lateral adjustments and twisting angular adjustments between film plane and the lens plane.
Ground Glass The rear standard holds a piece of ground glass, which has a matte, light-diffusing surface. The glass plate sits at the film plane when a film holder is not in the camera, the lens projects the image onto the plate upside down. The photographer composes and focuses the upside-down image on the ground glass, using the loupe to check the focus sharpness.
Film Plane Film plane is the place within the camera where the Ground Glass and film holder where the sheet of film alternately sit. Light coming into the lens is focused at the film plane, also called the focal plane.
Rail/Flatbed The front and rear standard are mounted on and move along a rail or flatbed. Rails offer more flexible movement, but flatbeds make the view camera more portable. The standards move independent backwards or forwards to allow the lens to focus on the glass plate.
Adjustment Locking Knobs The knobs when slackened allow standards to move, slide, rise, tilt and twist. The adjusters also allow the standards to travel forwards or backwards to allow the lens to focus on the glass plate.
Tripod A stable three-legged stand for holding the camera.
Hood/Dark Cloth The photographer puts the cloth over their head and the rear standard while composing and focusing the image on the glass plate, to block outside light from the ground glass.
Loupe A loupe is a small magnifying eyepiece used to see if the image is focused on the ground glass plate, before the film holder is inserted.
Film Holder Film holder is a lightproof box that holds two sheets of film, one on each side, protected by a dark slide. When a film holder is inserted in the camera, it occupies the position where the ground glass was, holding a sheet of film negative at the film plane.
Size of negative Comparison of negatives, large format 5×4 inch compared to 35mm film.
If you want to make a large print then ultimately you’ll get a better quality image from a 5×4 inch negative than you will from the smaller negatives of medium format and 35mm cameras.
How it works
The front and back panels (called ‘standards’) move independently of each other in a series of movements called rise, fall, shift, tilt and swing. This gives the photographer control over converging verticals, the plane of focus and depth of field within the image. Large format camera, the bellows allow tilt of the lens downwards, while keeping the back of the camera upright. This tilts the plane of focus downwards. Photographers use this technique to obtain landscape images with front to back sharpness of focus without having to stop all the way down to the narrowest aperture settings. The tilt of the lens upwards photographers can take photographs avoiding converging verticals lines for buildings and architectural photographs, and product or advertising photographers also use tilt to control the plane of focus and perspective of product photos.
The Lensbaby Spark lens and tilt-shift SLR lenses attempt to imitate this functionality
Surrealism is the mix of reality combined with dream and the imagination. This art form created surprising and amazing fantastical images, things that we know break the accepted reality. The images make the viewer the question and change the senses of conventional perception. The mix and blurring of possible and impossible, illusion and truth, the ordinary and extraordinary.
Early Surrealist photography
Surrealism as an art movement started in the 1920’s. Photographers’ like Man Ray were pioneers of Dada and surrealism art movement in photography. Man Ray was friends with many of the great surreal artists such as Salvador Dali. Man Ray had
Many Ray experimented with photographic techniques to create surreal photographic effects such as solarisation that gave the subjects a halo effect around the models. He also created surreal imagery in his photographs.
Some of his famous photographs such as the Violon d’Ingres, in this photograph he recreated in photography the painting of the the Bather of Valpincon by Ingres and added the f holes of a violin on to the back of the model.
Man Ray also took many photographs of his contemporary surreal artists friends like Marcel Duchamp.
Salvador Dali an acknowledged leader in the surreal art movement not only created canvas paintings and sculptured objects, but with the aid of photographers such as Philippe Halsman created surreal photographic compositions which Dali often appeared in.
The early pioneers of surrealism were not only imaginative, but had to be technically very accomplished because compositions would have to be constructed by careful cutting and combining picture elements from multiple photographs and negatives to build the final surreal photograph as can be seen in the complex photograph Dalí Atomicus, by Philippe Halsman.
Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning were famous surrealists the photograph shows how they were playing with scale and perspective to create unusual images. The photograph below was taken by Lee Miller a famous photographer who had worked with Man Ray in Paris.
Hans Bellmer an artist of created jointed life size dolls, some with only partial arms and legs that could be manipulated in to positions and placed in strange surrounds that were photographed to create the surreal images.
Another early leading surrealist photographer was Andre Kertesz. In the 1930s Kertesz was keen to create surreal images by the distortion of images using mirrors and optics to create the distortions.
It is the creative ideas that make surreal photographs possible. The change in photographic technology to digital photographs and image manipulation software has made surreal imagery very popular, photographers experiment to change their photographs into something unusual, abstract or surreal.
There are many modern surreal photographers that show creativity, surprise and imagination and humour. The possibility of surreal photographs is made possible for many more people that have learnt and experimented with image manipulation software like Photoshop that has many filters and effects included within the software. Some of the effects possible to transform a photograph to look like a painted piece of art.
Some modern surreal photographers I have discovered and find their work interesting, fascinating and inspiring. Their art work has sometimes been used in advertising campaigns because they are so imaginative and different, that makes the viewer look twice.
Oprisco is a Ukraine fine art photographer; he uses different perspectives and alters the viewer’s perception of what they are looking at, this is how he creates his surreal imagery. In the photograph below the model is made to look like they are sewing fields together or decorating and creating with fabric the field.
In the next two photographs Oprisco shows his sense of scale and perspectives. The ingenious use of props and imagination make the photograph when viewed display a sense of humor and irony.
Anka Zhuravleva – http://www.anka-zhuravleva.com/ Moscow raised and based in St. Petersburg Zhuravleva is an inspiring, awesome artist and photographer. Her photographs have a strong artistic illustrative qualities that take the image to a surreal composition, the mix of reality with the abstract or unusual.
The origami boats like butterflies caught in the models hair in the photograph, the dreamy soft focus gives a dreamlike quality.
The next two photographs appear to be on a theme of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that looks to be from a scene out of “Alice in Wonderland”. Alice looks to be falling with the table chair, it sitting tea set and tea cups falling. The second photograph, a more modern dressed and mature Alice looking slightly bored pouring a cup of tea whilst falling. The stuffed toy white rabbit on the floor is the ‘joke’ to make the viewer think that this is associated with “Alice in Wonderland”.
Zhuravleva photographs are fascinating, the perception of floating and falling breaking the normal view.
Lara Zankoul is a surreal conceptual photographer photography. Zankoul created a series of interesting images creating staged sets in a tank that were half filled with water. The models were photographed so that the effect of submerged floating clothes mixed with the formal well-dressed models looking as this was ‘normal’ added to the rich surreal images.
The addition of the masks add to the surrealism of the photographs.
Tommy Inberg – http://www.inberg.com A Swedish born photographer. Inberg creates his images using digital photography to create his images.
The image ‘Inside’ shows one man standing centre, and facing in the opposite direction to all the others, this shows a sense of defiance or independence. The man is standing in a pose reminiscent often made by the pop singer Michael Jackson, head down and face hidden by a hat. Hands grabbing his jacket. The hands make you look to his chest where the model is revealing a clockwork mechanism.
Still Standing is another surreal image of a man trying to hold back a giant shoe from treading the man under foot. The imagery also uses popular culture references to Michael Jackson with one of his dance move poses.
The wall keeps a common theme of men wearing hats used by Inberg. The face is not visible, but replaced by brickwork of a wall. This is similar to the painting “Son of Man” by René Magritte. The well-dressed suited and tie wearing gentleman with bowler hat.
I continued to consider the theme of concern and abandoned and neglected places.
This is how I have progressed my ideas from surrealism, to “forgotten places”, from small model people under the bed to industrial images of neglect and empty spaces.
I wanted to take pictures of places of forgotten places, places that are ignored, taken for granted, no one pays any attention to.
Forgotten places also fits in with my theme of issues of concern. These photographs I wanted to change the way people look or think and see mundane spaces. Often people overlook or ignore everyday places or objects and they become neglected.
Test pieces and trial locations
For my series of test locations and subjects I used a multistory car park, old abandoned Victorian school buildings that are no longer used. Derelict warehouse buildings that are empty and partially torn down and abandoned. Supermarket car park and shopping trolley park after the store had closed.
These images of forgotten places and everyday objects I believe also have the documentary style that is found in the photographs of William Eggleston and Alec Soth, two photographers that I really admire for their work.
I took a series of test shots in a variety of neglected buildings, looking for dramatic and atmospheric sorry and soulful empty spaces. Taking photographs on different days and at different times of the day to explore the lighting and the atmosphere.
Experimentation of techniques and media
The photographs were all taken using the light available, I did not want to introduce bright stark flash and the harsh shadows that they would introduce. Using both digital SLR and 35mm SLR with B&W film. With the DSLR I took many test shots using a new creative lens ‘Spark’ Lensbaby that allows to take photographs focusing on specific areas and other areas of the photograph are deliberately blurred and out of focus.
I created this picture using a digital camera, this meant that i could load my pictures onto the computer easy. once I loaded my picture onto the computer i opened them in photoshop. This is so I could change the pictures from colour to black and white easy. I did this in photoshop by going into image adjustments black and white (shortcut alt shift cmd B). After I made the pictures black and white I played the images out in the same document. to get the pictures in the same document I clicked on select i then dropped down to were it said all (cmd A) i then pressed edit copy (cmd D). I then went into the new page and pressed edit past (cmd V). i then repeated this for each of the pictures. i then pressed edit free transform (cmd T shift) this lets change there size of the picture and were it goes on the page. I then added text onto the page by clicking on the tool with the large T on it. I tied to base the pictures around the quote on the picture as this was to see how song lyrics can influence my work. i git the song lyric form the song don’t you ever grow up by taller swift.
what worked well?
i believe this picture has worked well this is because i have managed to make the pictures black and white, this was to give off the affect as if the person in the picture is frozen in time “I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up”. these pictures have also worked well because i have managed to use
how can i improve the pictures?
i can improve the pictures by making some of the pictures brighter, this would make one of the pictures stand out more making it easer to see. i can do this by changing the shutter speed on the camera to a faster shutter. i can also improve the pictures by
how dose this fit in with my theme of issues of concern?
This fits in with my theme of issued of concern, this is because it shows the