The Creative Process of Unit 32

In this blog post we shall be looking at the creative process of unit 32, from capturing the original images to creating/editing the final images. So a warning to you all that this post will be long.

The overall studio shoot consisted of four mini shoots, completed over two days. All of the studio shoots did have some health and safety concerns, as the studio lighting created visibility issues. I had to ensure me as the cameraman and the model that everyone was safe, I made sure that my path to turn on studio ceiling lights.

Pic1

Here is the original file. It was shot in the studio with one studio flash with a large soft box attached. The camera was set to long exposure of 20 seconds. I then held the remote triggers and fired the flash at different intervals.

The image was then processed in Camera RAW. I changed the white balance to flash. I then changed the exposure of the image to increase the contrast and even the blacks across the image. I also increased the clarity. I then added some slight sharpening to the image as I had to pre-focus it, so I wanted to ensure that the image was as sharp as possible.

Pic4

The image was then converted to grayscale. I tweaked the colours so that the exposure was more dramatic. I then also cropped the image. Once the image was processed in Camera RAW, I added a slight colour tint by using the Colour Balance tool. I then added a border to the image by increasing the canvas size.

Canvas

I wanted the first image to be a self-portrait. I wanted to include many faces in one photo, to reflect that people have a complex variety of emotions. A lively image, full of movement, can depict many emotions that sum up one person’s identity. The image below was my inspiration for my first image of the series on identity. It is a portrait of Rae Morris for her album cover Unguarded.

Picture1


Pic5Here is the second image which was an photo of a female model shot with a studio flash. The studio flash was positioned on a studio boom behind the model. The studio flash had a barn door and honeycomb attachment to control the light from behind. I then used a gold reflector to reflect some of the light back onto the model.

The image was then processed in Camera RAW. I changed the white balance to flash. I then changed the exposure of the image to increase the contrast and even the blacks across the image. I also increased the clarity. I then added some slight sharpening to the image as I had to pre-focus it, so I wanted to ensure that the image was as sharp as possible.

Once I finished tweaking the image on Camera RAW I then cropped the image to a 1 by 1 aspect ratio in the same style as Taryn Simon’s portrait of Bill Gates.

Pic7


Pic8

Here is the third image, which is of another female model shot with a studio flash from behind. The studio flash was positioned on a studio boom behind the model. The studio flash had a barn door and honeycomb attachment to control the light from behind. I had secondary studio flash with a coarse honeycomb facing the model’s face. The studio flash was set to a very low power to light some of the model’s face.

The image was then processed in Camera RAW. I changed the white balance to flash. I then changed the exposure of the image to increase the contrast and even the blacks across the image. I also increased the clarity. I then increased the sharpening of the image. As I had to pre-focus the image so I wanted to ensure that it was as sharp as possible.

Once I finished tweaking the image on Camera RAW I then cropped the image to a 1 by 1 aspect ratio in the same style of Taryn Simon’s portrait of Bill Gates.

Pic10

 


Picture2

The second and third images are inspired by Taryn Simon’s portrait of Bill Gates (see image below). The portraits are dark, have strong contrast and are very powerful. I’m trying to depict new identities of the girls in the portraits. The first is contemplating how she appears to other people around her; the other is struggling to understand her own, developing identity. The darkness allows me to isolate the subjects and concentrate not on their inner nature, but on their outward appearance. I wanted to photograph a metaphorical “inner being” at war with the outside world, something that we as humans can’t always see. We all have our inner conflicts, which we don’t always choose to share, but that are present beneath the skin. I hope these images work well to depict a dark inner world, conflicted with issues of identity.


Pic12Pic11

For my final image, I wanted to explore the concept of multiple exposures within a portrait. These images were shot seperately and would be put together in Photoshop. The image of the girl was the first image shot with a studio flash with a large soft-box attatched on a studio boom. The second shot was taken with two studio flashes with soft-boxes attatched facing the white backdrop allowing me to create a silhouette. Unfortunatley I didn’t set the studio lights to a low enough level to prevent glare from coming into the camera. Fortunatley this would be removed in post-production due to the editing process.

Pic13The image was then processed in Camera RAW. I made sure the white-balance and ensured the contrast gave a dramatic impression to the image. I also increased the clarity, to give an extra edge on the overall exposure.

I then had to separate the image of the male model to be able to allow the female image to come through the body of the male model. I then cleaned up the white background. Then placed the image of the female model at the bottom of the layers.

 

WAThe final image is about identifying relationships between each other. Relationships with one another can be hard to keep and maintain when we are dealing with our own identity, and can test friendships. Unfortunately, these can break and end in tears but we still have the imprint of that relationship on us, even if we choose to move on.

Multiple Exposures

These four screenshots were taken from Taylor Swift’s “Style” music video, which were multiple exposures in a video. Some of the scenes looked like standard multiple exposure images while two of them had more depth like the bottom right.


I hope that my four images reflect the meaning I was aiming for. Producing them was a challenge that I enjoyed very much. When I first set out to produce images for the brief, I felt that my initial understanding of the brief was rushed, and so I took time to rethink the photographs that were going to be submitted. Initially, I had considered using a similar approach to David Hockney’s Photomontage technique, but eventually I decided that it would not allow me to create the complex visual response to the theme that I should be aiming for.

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Sorry for a long post but I thought for this brief I would document the process all in one go. This was due to how I presented the assignment, this created some challenges but has given me some inspiration for my presentation/documentation of the creative process for the FMP. Part of the presentation will be available when the project evaluation is published which shall be in a few days.

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