Friday, 20 September 2013

Photograph 5 - Assignment 3: Monochrome

With this photograph I attempted to bring all of the four previous photographs for this assignment so far together. This was because I had thought up a twist in the assignment where I used the same principle of having canvases or (in this case) mostly prints showing imagination. This time however, I would be the model in a self-portrait and it would be my 'imagination' on the wall. My 'imagination' would, very conveniently, include the four previous photographs for this assignment.

   The way this would work was that I would print out the four photographs for the assignment so far, as well as making my own 'imagination drawing' on canvas and I would place them all on a wall (or in this case a backdrop). I thought this would tie the photographs together nicely, while also creating the illusion of a picture within a picture. This could have permutations of how a photograph could be a lie; with the fact the photograph(s) were in black-and-white adding extra intrigue because black-and-white made you see the world differently anyway.

   My inspiration for this last photograph was a photograph by Arnold Newman - a famous photographer I had come across while researching black-and-white. One of his photographs in particular: 'Gypsy Rose Lee, NY, 1945' - Newman (1945) interested me particularly because I saw the potential implications recreating it could have if I was to replace the paintings on the wall too. This observation came in luckily at the right time for me because I had realised that only four of Vermeer's paintings included a canvas of some sort on the wall behind the models. I therefore needed another shot to complete the assignment and this seemed a clever way of putting the theme together.

Photograph 5 for Assignment 3: Monochrome

   In so far as taking the photograph was concerned, I used a green backdrop behind the prints of the previous four photographs for the assignment along with my own 'imagination drawing (which I'd made earlier)' with all of them either stuck on or hung up against the green backdrop. My intention was to later reduce any green in the photograph (which mainly consisted solely of the green backdrop) until it turned to black in the post-processed black-and-white shot.

   This worked well on the whole, although I had to use Adobe Lightroom's 'Adjustment Brush' to fill in some of the shadows. I also used bounce flash to illuminate the prints and myself further away from the lamp light well. I was able to also lighten the skin tone too by dragging the orange slider in Adobe Lightroom's 'black and white mix' box to the right.

   I arranged the prints of the other four photographs deliberately so that the slightly high-key (Photographs 1 and 4) were opposite each other and the contrasty (Photographs 2 and 3) were opposite each other in a loose square. This meant there was a nice balance between the darker and lighter photographs, with my imagination drawing included at the opposite end from where I was sitting.

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