Based on my tutor feedback, below is the rework for my write up and reworked final image.
Assignment 5 – Making it up
For this assignment, we were asked to create a standalone image of our choice. To draw upon the skills we have learnt so far, including various forms of narrative, putting you in the picture and telling stories and reading images. The only stipulation is to produce work hat is controlled and directed by one.
For this assignment, we need to control the props, lighting, models, location etc. to contribute to the overall meaning of the image.
My first thoughts on this brief were to recreate famous movie scenes with action figures but I felt in order to develop this further, I wouldn’t be able to make significant imagery and narrative to make it successful. On further thoughts, I decided to use the idea from an earlier assignment of ‘putting myself in the picture’. I enjoyed developing this creativity that was used in the self-portrait for Assignment 3, and felt that I could put a lot of emotion into this piece of work.
I have struggled with my weight and body image for as long as I can remember and felt that it would be successful if I could put some personal emotions into this brief. Body image is something that is widely talked about both within media and most social circles and is something that most people can relate to in some way.
On further research of photographers; Cindy Sherman, Jen Davis and Felicia Webb who all use their self-image in the photography in powerful and emotive ways, I felt that using myself and a prevalent subject that I would be able to create a compelling and poignant piece of work.
For the image I wanted to create, I needed enough space where I had access to a full length mirror and room to set up a tripod for a camera to get the self-portrait I needed. I would also need to ensure that there was a minimal amount of distraction so that all focus could be on the subject itself. In the area that I was going to take the shot, there was not a large amount of available light, and so I would need to attach a flash on top of my camera.
Once I had the placing of the camera and the settings correct, it was a matter of getting my posture and emotion right to convey this to the audience. I wanted to ensure they could see the sadness on my face, and have an expression that reached beyond the deadpan. I also wanted to have myself just in my underwear, so that I could make the image as stripped back and less distracting as possible, and make it easier for the post production process.
Once I looked at the selection of images on the back of the camera, and felt like I had captured what I needed to, I began the post production process. Taking into account the above, I narrowed it down to my final image. I used the cloning tool on Photoshop to edit out the door on the right hand side of the image, the shelf on the left, the photograph on the right and to do general tidying of the image. I then began the process of editing out the reflection; slimming down of the belly area, the arm, the legs, and adding a curvature to my back. I added extra shadowing on the reflection to make parts look slimmer, and shadowing to the ‘real’ me to make certain areas look bigger. Finally, I made the image into black and white to again strip the image right back and make it feel as raw as possible.
For the final presentation of this assignment, I printed the image in 12”x8” with a full frame cropping. This was in order for all the emotion, reflection and post editing work to be able to be seen clearly. The print is fully presented in a cardboard mount to allow for nicer presentation than just a loose print.
Although the idea and the set up for the final photograph were simple, I think it has been successful in conveying the imagery I was trying to achieve. The feeling of wanting to be skinnier, and not being happy with the skin you are in. I feel that people will be able to relate to this image. I feel that the simplicity of this image allows for the emotion to speak for itself without any distractions. The final image is minimal and reflects on the narrative.