Graffiti in Berlin 2013

Whilst in Berlin I noticed how much graffiti there seemed to be compared to many other cities I have visited.

I decided to document the graffiti I saw;

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So I hope to do one more post featuring my images with people in them and then that shall be the last of my images from Berlin!

I hope you have all enjoyed these documentary type images and I shall see you all very soon!

- Amy

Berlin Zoo 2013

On the 13th of March 2013, myself and a group of University friends payed a visit to Berlin Zoo.

I have been to many zoos throughout my childhood and teenage years and have always had an enjoyable time. This time however I started to have mixed feelings towards zoos as a whole.

It wasn’t a terrible Zoo by any means but some of the enclosures could have been larger for the animals they were holding. I understand that many of the animals raised in zoos nowadays would not be able to cope if released into the wild but after seeing some of the animals I can’t help but get the feeling that they were miserable. Many of them were pacing and bobbing their heads, they were bored and lonely. It was quite hard to look at some of the animals (especially the three massive Polar Bears – put in one pen together) and because of this I have changed my view on Zoos as a viable form of entertainment for this day and age.

Here are some of the images I documented throughout the day, firstly the birds;

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Monkeys;

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Big Cats:

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Big Mammals:

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Fish/Reptiles:

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and a tiny goat on top of a hill;

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Look forward to some more images from my trip to Berlin soon!

- Amy

 

Berlin 2013

This year the University I attend ran a trip abroad to Berlin, Germany.  From the 11th to the 15th of March, myself and a close group of University friends made it our mission to see as many things in Berlin and photograph them whilst there.

Below are a selection of architectural images I shot over the four days.

Berlin Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Some night shots;

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

The Holocaust Memorial;

Berlin Berlin

Some of the river;

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Look forward to more images from my trip to Berlin, coming very soon!

- Amy

Books…

I have come to a point in my project where I would like to explore something that I am interested in on a more personal level. I made a mind map of all the things that I enjoy doing; one of my biggest loves is reading and finding new books to discuss and review. So with that in mind I went to all my previous subjects and asked them if they could pick out their favourite book. Along with the book I also wanted them to have their favourite quote.

My initial idea was to have the person simply reading their favourite book but I thought that was a little plain. So after some thought I came to the idea that I would like to hide the identity of the person (behind the book). This ties in with the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ as by having the persons face hidden we as the viewer chose how we want to perceive that person.

As I have mentioned before the only criteria for this project is that by the end we must have a final piece in the form of a book. When taking the pictures I was imagining how they would look on the page and how I would go about hiding and then revealing the identity of the subject in the picture. I would have their chosen quote adjacent to the hidden identity image, so the viewer can make their own minds up as to who they think would chose the quote and read that type of book. But by the end of the book I want to reveal all of the subjects with their names and book choices. I feel this would force the viewer to consider the judgments they had previously made on the person whilst their identity was hidden.

We all judge before we get to know someone, even if it’s before we’ve heard what they sound like or even what we look like. I’m sure there are some people out there now reading this and making judgments about me and my life without knowing who I am or what I look like. It’s a shame the world has come to be this place of stereotypes and prejudgments but it’s just the way things are, whether you put yourself out there or not you will always be met with some sort of criticism and it’s up to you whether you carry on or let that criticism take over.

So on that cheery note, here is an example of one of my images with the subjects favourite quote;

Rhianne (2)

 

 

 

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

- Lewis Carroll,  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

 

 

 

 

I imagine the format to have to have the image on the right hand page and the quote on the left. I will then reveal the person with their face uncovered at the end of the book. Here are the rest of the images from those shoots:

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So up next is the book! Hopefully everything will go to plan! I will be using the self-publishing website ‘Blurb’.

Speak soon!

- Amy

Possessions…

My project has now taken me down the route of people and their possessions.

Objects of Value

Objects of Plenty

and lastly, Objects of Meaning.

 

From this I went to various friends and family and asked to take their pictures. I posed this question to them; ‘If your house was on fire and you could take one object out with you, what would you take?’

What interested me was the amount of people who chose teddy bears as their special objects, this to me is a strange thing as I don’t have a teddy from when I was younger and have never held sentimental feelings towards anything like that. If I were to save something from a fire it would most likely be my photo albums and possibly a few very expensive books!

So here are a selection of images from those shoots, in which the people are holding their special objects;

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For these images I was mainly inspired by two photographers; Alec Soth and Brendan Barry.

Example of Soth’s work:

 

Bonnie - Alec Soth

Bonnie – Alec Soth

And an image taken from Brendan Barry’s project in which he took portraits of average Americans whilst driving around the USA:

South on I95, West Haven, Connecticut - Brendan Barry

South on I95, West Haven, Connecticut – Brendan Barry

I’ll be back soon with more updates on my project :)

Speak soon!

- Amy

Assignment Numero Deux

So for the next assignment we have been given full reign over what we want to do, we write a proposal, a brief and come to a final outcome of our own design and making! The only criteria is that by the end we must have created a book from the work we have done for this project.

When faced with beginning a new project I like to think though all the ideas that I’ve had previous to this and see how they all connect, what do I like taking photograghs of? The one thing that was prominent throughout all my years of taking photos was portraiture. I love taking pictures of peoples, from the weddings I have done to the more obscure projects I created during my a-levels.

So what photographers have inspired me so far?

I love the idea of materialism and consumerism and want to centre this project around those themes. I first looked at the work of Peter Menzel and his work entitled ‘Material World’, here’s one of the images that inspired me most;

Peter Menzel 

Menzel got the family to empty their house out onto the front lawn, its a stark contrast to some of the other images in which the people have nothing. A similar idea was had by Huang Qingjun in which he photographed Asian families with their belongings:

HuangQingjun

I really liked the idea of ‘collections’, what people value and hold sentimental feelings towards. So with that in mind I went forward with the idea of shooting people with their personal collections here are some of the images from those shoots:

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I wanted the people in the images to have a very ‘deadpan’ look about them so asked them, whilst shooting, to relax their face and try and look ‘blank’. This proved to be a difficult thing in itself as once you have asked someone not to smile it is in fact the one thing that they want to do!

Anyway I hope you enjoy the images, I shall be back soon with more updates from this project!

- A.T

 

The Final Outcome

Here are my final images for the project ‘In Sickness and in Health’. These images have been inspired by photographers such as Joan Kocak, Andres Serrano and Laura Letinsky.

These two sets of images will be exhibited at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, Devon.

Here is the first set of four images;

Pear

Papaya

Banana

Pear, Banana and Papaya

I wanted these images to make the viewers uncomfortable and uneasy, I think I have managed to achieve that.

The next set of four images I have edited differently as I wanted to give them the aged effect, inspired by Joan Kocak, I used old medical equipment to add to the aged feel to the images.

Pomegranite

2

Lemon

3

This last image will be exhibited  separately from the other series;

Hanging

So this is the end of another project, I feel I have accomplished what I set out to achieve so am very pleased with the project as a whole.

Update: After presenting my work to my lecturers I have received my final mark; A distinction! Very happy indeed!

- Amy

Experimenting…

So after looking at still life and how the composure and post-production can affect how an image is perceived I wanted to experiment with the content. Up until now I have left the fruit in its natural form, letting it rot in the first few shoots but ultimately leaving it unchanged. What could I do the fruit to change how the viewer sees it?

After considering different paths I chose to try dying the fruit – I planned to alter the viewers perception by having fruit in different colours to their usual ones.

Here is one from that shoot;

Dye

 

Alongside this I also planned to create ‘surgical’ scenes, in which the fruit seems to have been injured. I wanted these to look quite horrific and gory – as if taken from a horror movie. I researched different types of wound closures used after surgery and translated this over onto the fruit.

‘Surgical suture is medical device used to hold body tissues together after an injury or surgery. Application generally involves of using a needle with an attached length of thread. A number of different shapes, sizes, and thread materials have been developed over its millennia of history.’

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgical_suture 

Sewn

‘Surgical staples are specialized staples used in surgery in place of sutures to close skin wounds, connect or remove parts of the bowels or lungs

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgical_staple 

Staple

 

By using the red food colouring I hoped to create a blood-life effect on the fruit. I found this added to the ‘horror’ side of the image and when asking people what they thought they were often uncomfortable.

I wanted to allude to surgery and the graphic nature of these images has done that. By pairing the mundane fruit with the personal and often upsetting scenes of surgery I have bridged a gap that most people don’t usually consider. It is only when oneself,  a relative or friend is in need of surgery that we take the time to consider the innate fear that is held within us – the thought of dying – and with this comes the uncomfortable truth that ultimately we will all die. This is what I aimed to address and with the help of the fruit I feel I have done that.

Whilst experimenting at home I came across some meat hooks and a pole. I took my fruit and hung each piece from a hook and suspended it from the pole above the chopping board. I did this in reminiscence of a butchers shop. I always remember walking past the local butchers shop and steering my gaze away so I didn’t catch a glimpse of the dead animals hanging in the window. I want my images to have that same effect so connecting the fruit with the thought of a butchers shop and dead animals was a interesting route to take. I thought these images would be good for a vegetarian campaign as it’s very much ‘You wouldn’t do this to fruit so why do it to living creatures?’

Here’s an image from that shoot;

Butchers Shop

 

 

I still wanted to take this further and adjust my images. Instead of shooting again at home I moved my setting into the studio to perfect the lighting and set-up of the images.

In my next post I shall be showing my final sets of images. Thanks for reading!

- A.T

Still Life

After experimenting with location (studio and at home) I decided to explore still life and how the viewer perceives things depending on the composition and content. I aimed to change the stereotypical set-up of the old still life images I had been researching and photograph my fruit in a similar style but with an unusual aspect to catch the viewers eye.

I looked at the photographer Joan Kocak and found that her images inspired me the most in this part of my project. Here are a couple of her images;

After looking through Kocak’s work I wanted to experiment with still life and the different things I could alter in the image in post-production to create images with a similar soft and worn tone.

So back to my kitchen I went and set up all my fruit- needless to say my family haven’t had a shortage of fruit salad since I began this project!

I wanted to capture the fruit in its best form. Fresh and ripe as I wanted the viewer to see the fruit as a symbol for prosperity and youth – being in the ‘prime of your life’. Fruit is often referred to in a positive light e.g. ‘eating your five a day’ and ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ – this all promotes fruit as being a good thing to incorporate in your life, something that keeps you healthy and that can help prevent different illnesses due to the vitamins and minerals in the fruit.

Here are some of my edited images from that shoot;

 

Editing the images in Photoshop and Lightroom is something relatively new to me so I used these images to find my way around the software and see what would work best for these types of shots.

These images add the ‘nice’ element to my project – I wanted to depict the fruit how we normally see it, in its mundane and non-exciting form. As a health benefit.

I will the contrast these ‘nice’ images with my next shoots where I plan to mix aspects of surgery and wound sealing with my fruit – I want to capture something that people take a second look at. By mixing surgery (something most people aren’t faced with daily) and fruit (a daily occurrence for most people) I want to create images that leave the viewer feeling uncomfortable – possibly images that most people won’t want to look at.

So that’s enough rambling from me – until next time!

- A.T

 

 

A Fruity Mess

I began this project with little to no idea of what I wanted to create or what I wanted for a final outcome, I had no inspiration and after spending the summer holiday lacking in ideas I began to panic. This panic wasn’t helped by the fact that assignments have deadlines and if I didn’t meet those deadlines there’s a high chance I would fail. I have yet to do my final presentation which is on November the 23rd but here I shall share with you my journey so far…

So where to begin?

I started with my usual brain-storming and mind-mapping, jotting down any ideas that pop into my mind to hopefully come to a sane idea that I can run with and expand over the eight weeks of our project.

Fruit. This was my conclusion. I wanted to explore the different aspects of fruit and how photographing it in different ways can evoke different reactions and feelings – whilst linking this into the project title of ‘In Sickness and in Health’. And so the madness begins…

Now I mentioned the word ‘sane’ – this project has been anything but, in fact I even acquired some interesting nicknames such as ‘Hannibal Lecter’ during the course of the assignment.

My initial ideas revolved around the idea of fruit being a vital yet mundane part of life, something no one really takes much notice of but we all know its important to health and survival. I wanted to photograph the fruit in such a way that would make you take a second glance. I aimed to take very clinical photos of the fruit in ‘health’ form and then in ‘sickness’ form. Here’s a couple of images from that shoot;

 

As you can tell the lemon in the left hand image was freshly cut. For the right hand image I left the lemon for a week before shooting it – to the disgust of some of my classmates!

I feel I achieved what I wanted with these images but they weren’t  quite as striking as I had hoped them to be. The fruit represented the decay and decomposition of the mind in such illnesses as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Although the studio setup managed to allow me to get the detail of the lemon I felt this could work better in a more natural setting, somewhere you would normally see fruit rather than in the bright lights of the studio.

So I moved my fruit to my kitchen – its typical home. Here’s an image from that shoot;

I did these shoots with different types of fruit and some decayed better than others, the lemon stood out a lot more on the wooden surface making the mould more visible.

For my next shoots I plan to explore the idea of ‘still-life’ and how altering the subject matter can change the viewers perception of the image. Still-life images of fruit tend to be rather mundane so I plan to create images that can purvey a deeper and more meaningful message to the viewer – hopefully on a more personal level.

This is where I shall leave you for this post but don’t fret, the gory stuff is coming soon!

- A.T