Sunday, 20 April 2014

Assignment 5: Daydreaming While at Work - Photograph 10

For my final photograph I decided to photograph myself in a similar manner to the people I had photographed for the assignment so far. However, rather than there being one photograph-within-a-photograph present, I included all of the previous photographs-within-photographs in this one scene. The scene also included my computer - signifying my work and a quite large desk to put everything on.

   I thought it made sense to show what I would be daydreaming of while at work in this manner. As well as rounding off the assignment theme quite conveniently, it was also very creative in my opinion. With the photographs-within-photographs being displayed together like this it showed an insight into my life because the people in each photograph were all personally important.

   Initially, I pictured an over the shoulder perspective from high above, with the photographs-within-photographs displayed on the desk around me and the computer. However, I soon realised this didn't make practical sense to me because firstly the desk simply wasn't large enough to accommodate all the photographs and secondly I felt the over the shoulder viewpoint was weak in this case as my back would have been facing the camera and any insight into myself through facial expression would have obviously been lost.

   Instead I tried a viewpoint where I was in profile to the camera, with the computer in front of me but also profile to the camera and this worked much better for my intentions.

   Another feature of the photograph aesthetically was my vision that the rest of the scene should be in deep shadow - appearing black to the camera. My reasoning for this was to make the photograph convey how I quite often worked when editing photographs or writing content about my photographs. Also, I felt the extra 'drama' induced by this feature of the photograph captured the viewer's attention; especially the way the photographs-within-photographs appeared to be hovering in mid-air. Perhaps this showed off the daydreaming aspect of the photograph. I accomplished this 'deep shadow' mostly by using black-coloured material over the desk and lighter parts of the backdrop.

   I chose a high viewpoint to make the photograph formal, in that all was there to be seen, where it was a summation of the initial photographs I had been taking in one shot.

Photograph 10
   The workflow for this final photograph was quite complicated in that I had to make multiple exposures for various parts of it, in order to light parts of the scene appropriately. One essential practical aspect was the use of a tripod - to make the multiple exposures overlay accurately and to make the self-portrait.

   Firstly, I imported the different Raw exposures into Adobe Lightroom and enabled profile corrections for the five exposures I would use. Then I opened each as a 'Smart Object' in Adobe Photoshop and duplicate these layers into one file. After that I opened each exposure into Adobe Camera Raw and adjusted exposure for the part of the scene, which that layer would account for. Then I created a black layer mask for all the layers apart from the base layer - for which I had created a 'Smart Object via Copy'. The reason I had duplicated that layer like that was so I could darken that new Smart Object independently making it much darker, in order to introduce the dark shadow areas around the peripheries I was after. I did this by opening the Smart Object in Adobe Camera Raw and simply darkened the exposure and created a black layer mask for this layer as well. Then I started the painting-in of white on the black layer masks so that only the areas I wanted apparent were visible. This included an exposure for the computer screen, one for the foreground photographs-within-photographs, one for those further away, one for my body and lastly, one for the dark shadow areas.

   To keep the theme of daydreaming while at work going, where the only part of the photograph in colour were the photographs-within-the-photograph I painted over myself with a completely desaturated adjustment brush in Adobe Lightroom afterwards.

   Overall, I felt this photograph worked well, in drawing the viewer's eye to the connection between my face and expression, the computer screen and the photographs-within-the-photograph.

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