Friday, 20 September 2013

Going Into More Detail About My Proposed Theme for Assignment 3: Monochrome

My proposal for the third assignment was to marry the relationship between the use of available objects, which I had begun to explore in the previous assignment: 3 different people, 3 different windows - Assignment 2 (Part 3 of 5), with the notion of a meaningful dialogue between the main subject and certain objects also in the frame. This was then essentially an environmental portrait but was purposefully channelled to be creative in the choice of use of objects. Most important was that one of the objects would be what I could best describe as an 'imagination drawing'. Here the model had beforehand drawn whatever was in their imagination at the time into something physical; a canvas or piece of art paper. This would be a common theme in all of the final photographs, therefore meeting one of the criteria of the assignment. I also thought it was a very creative way of showing more information about each model and coincidentally would fit well into the photograph as a whole because I would of course be shooting in black-and-white so the drawings would be somewhat 'camouflaged'.

   These 'imagination drawings' I intended to act as a 'portal' into what the people in the final photographs were thinking or feeling. This idea would also somewhat mitigate the issue of photographs being a two dimensional medium because by looking into the photograph (especially the drawings) the viewer is immersed and the photograph starts to take on form and potential reality. The 'imagination drawings' would be placed in fairly innocuous places like walls for example, so they fit better into the whole picture. The placement of each painting would be in keeping with the artwork I was reinterpreting: a selection of Johnannes Vermeer's.

   My inspiration for these so-called 'imagination drawings' was from Gillian Wearing's portraits: 'Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say' (1992-3) of people on the street. Here, Wearing used signs (which the subject was holding) to give information concerning the subject - 'something about themselves' - Wearing (1992-3). While my proposed shots would include drawings instead of texts and the drawings would be behind the model, instead of in their hands, the principle of describing something about the person would be the same.

   Then there was an idea that I had derived from completing the exercise 'Colours into tones 2', where I had deliberately lightened only the skin tones of a person's face. Because each photograph I intended to take would consist (primarily) of the model and their drawing, by making sure the models and their drawings' 'stood out' from the rest of the setting/props, I could establish a connection between them. This was feasible because I would, like I'd discovered in 'Colours into tones 2' and 'How Interpreting a Photograph Differently Can be Reflected in the Way the Photograph is Post-Processed', be able to make quite radical changes that wouldn't be so acceptable in colour. While there would be more detail present in these shots compared to 'Colours into tones 2', which could potentially make this task more difficult, I was aware of the possibility of using the 'Adjustment Brush' tool in Adobe Lightroom or even using Adobe Photoshop to target the model/drawing in particular.

   For this project, my main goals in terms of black-and-white was to make the so-called 'imagination drawings' fit well into a photograph so that they became another feature of the photograph, while still standing out. The photographs would possess subtle lighting, which would bring out the similarities between some of Vermeer's portraits and my own conceived images. I would aim to achieve a similar 'characteristic pearly light'  - The National Gallery (2013) [accessed on 16th September 2013] that typified the work Vermeer produced.