My Final Images…

These are the final images I am choosing to include in my series… 

I have chosen these particular images as I feel that the tones, shadows and contrast turned out best in these pictures, and they reference the animals and plastic pollution issue best. If I imagine that my model was an animal not a person, the reference works well with the narrative. 

They also work well as a series arranged in a number of ways…

As they work well as a series, it doesn’t matter in which order they are viewed in as they all tell a separate story as well as being viewed together.

Black and White vs Colour…

One thing both Geraint and Matt asked me during my meeting was “why black and white?” and I explained to them that I personally prefer them in black and white as there is no colour distracting the viewer from focusing on the model and the plastic, it makes the images look more moody and eerie and a little abstract and I prefer how the details look. They both also said for me to try them in colour and see how they look compared to black and white, so I edited a few in colour to compare how they look.

I don’t think they look bad in colour but I am going to stick to black and white as I feel that the colour is just too distracting and unnecessary, and the black and white ones almost like abstract where you can’t quite tell what is in the water with her. 

Cropping Down My Images (1-2.5)…

During my tutorial with Geraint a few weeks ago, he suggested that I crop my images down to measurements around 1-2.9, making it crop down to a billboard style image. He suggested this as I was saying that my images could almost be used for a plastic pollution advert and I could experiment with putting text on top, which is when he then suggested cropping them down to that size. 

I mentioned what Geraint had said during my meeting with Matt and Matt started cropping some of my images down to 1-2.9 to see how they’d look and he liked the look of them cropped down to billboard size and suggest that I try them all at that size. I went for 1-2.5 as 1-2.9 was a little too small  for my liking and lost too much of the image, having it slightly bigger made a difference in how the image looked.

I prefer them cropped down to this size as there isn’t any negative space in the image, no bathtub or tiled wall showing, just the model and the plastic, and where some of them have cropped it makes you focus on the details more.

Cropped images @ 1-2.5-

Re Editing Some Of My Images…

Another thing Matt was going through in my meeting was the editing of my images. He liked some of what I had done so far but showed me a way I could edit them in black and white and get the contrast and brightness right with the colours in the images. He opened up some of my images in Photoshop, converted them in greyscale and then adjusted the colour tones to make some whiter than others and some darker than others.

Although they look similar to the edits I have already done, it has made a slight difference to the images, they look a little bit sharper. Taking Matt’s idea on board, I re-edited some of my favourite images using the method he showed me…

Opening them in Photoshop…

My new edits…

Painting Reference- The Story of Ophelia

During my meeting with Matt, he gave me an artist painting to look at as reference for my images. The painting is called “The Story of Ophelia” by John Everett Millais. 

Here is some information about the painting…

This piece of artwork references my images in the sense of having a lady laying in water, surrounded by objects, having a very blank expression on her face.

My images are kind of the opposite of this painting, as the Ophelia painting is about her being in love, and then suffering from madness and grief, being surrounded by pretty flowers and dying accidentally from falling, where as my images are about my model being surrounded by plastic and dirty water, relaying how our aquatic wildlife live now a days, which isn’t an accident, we are the reason plastic pollution exists. 

Meeting With Matt…

Today I had a meeting with Matt, I booked in to see him at 2pm to discuss my images, my WordPress and use it as a last opportunity to ask him questions before we hand all our work in next week. Now, I wasn’t expecting all positives to come from this meeting, I was expecting some negatives to come from it, and to be given some changes to make, but I didn’t expect my whole half an hour meeting to be all negatives and pretty much no positives. 

Put it this way, I left this meeting feeling really disheartened, unappreciated, stressed, upset and really disappointed with my work. Usually, I wouldn’t post anything like this on my WordPress, and haven’t done about any tutors before, but I feel like I need to address this and say how it made me feel towards my project. 

I started off my meeting by showing Matt my images, the first round I took with the soft box light and the second round I retook with the flash gun. Matt didn’t seem to say any positives about my images as I was explaining which ones I liked and why, I was going through them and kept getting the two sets confused as he kept saying that the lighting wasn’t as good in the first set of images compared to the second set, which I kept reminding him was because the first set weren’t done with a flash. Another comment he made about my images was that the plastic bottles made ‘ugly’ images, now I know he probably meant it about how the bottles looked in the images overall, but I couldn’t help but take it personally and think that he was saying my images were ugly. I said to Matt that I quite liked my bottle images, as they referenced the plastic in the ocean taking over animal habitats in the water, and again he reiterated that the bottles were ugly and that he didn’t like them. 

While then going through more of my images with Matt, he wasn’t pleased at who I photographed in my pictures and kept making the statement “you should’ve used a proper model”. Now, this didn’t sit right with me as it wasn’t very practical for me to get a “proper model” in. Other people in my class didn’t use “proper models” they used people they knew, and even people on the course, and Matt didn’t make the comment to them, so why did he make it to me? 

Im not being funny but what classes someone as a “proper model”? If Matt was referring to an agency model, as a proper model, then let me say why it wouldn’t have been practical or possible for me to find one (for free bearing in mind). I have used agency models before (for free), and the agency only accept the free job for the models if they get some benefits from it for their portfolio. And I’m not being funny, but no agency model would agree to work on a shoot like this as it wouldn’t look good in their portfolio. No agency model would want to travel down to Hertfordshire where I had use of a bathtub, submerge themselves in dirty bath water and then be covered in plastic. They wouldn’t want to feature that in their portfolio, and if they did really want to do the shoot, they would most likely charge me for it as they wouldn’t benefit from it, and they’d have to travel quite far. Even if an agency model did agree to work on this style shoot with me, but couldn’t travel to Hertfordshire, I would have to try and find a bath tub somewhere to do my shoot in? I can’t afford to hire one in a studio or anything so using one close to home for free was very practical. As I said before, this comment about using a “proper model” wasn’t made to anyone else but me? Why?…

Next thing Matt commented on was the contact sheets I had on my WordPress, I have uploaded contact sheets before for previous projects, and never been told to take them down or edit them so the images were larger? So why have I now? Matt saw the contact sheets on my WordPress and said ‘he hates looking a them as they’re an eyesore’. Again, I know other people in my class who have used contact sheets on their WordPress, with pictures the same size and even smaller than mine, and he didn’t make a comment to them about it? So again, why did he make the comment to me?

Matt told me at the start of my meeting that my WordPress was ‘looking good’ which I was pleased about. But during the meeting, Matt was telling me to put my cross reference animal images on my WordPress, which I already had done before this meeting, so has he even looked at my WordPress? He must’ve done as he said it was ‘looking good’ but didn’t see that I had already put up what he asked me to? 

The only useful things to come from this meeting was Matt showed me some art work called ‘Story of Ophelia’ to look at and reference and he also showed me how to crop down my images better and slightly adjust the black and white editing. 

As I said at the very start of this post, I left this meeting feeling very disheartened, unappreciated for the amount of work I had done, stressed, upset and disappointed in my own work. I left feeling like I wanted to start everything again and that my images weren’t good enough, and don’t feel confident that I will come out with a good grade from this unit. 

New Edits…

I had a good look through my second set of images and picked these ones as some of my best ones, and decided to experiment editing them in black and white. I really like them in black and white as there is no colour distracting you from the image as whole, the harsh lighting creates good contrast within the black and white tones. I also feel that the images being quite dark, makes the plastic in the images almost look like some form of monster, taking over the model and the water. 

I definitely prefer my pictures cropped down to landscape rather than portrait, having them landscape allows the plastic to fill more of the picture, making it one of the main focuses of the image. When looking over the images, I kept referring to the images of the animals caught in plastic in the ocean, to see if my images I have taken get my idea across, and I feel like there is a close reference/link to the model being trapped and caught in plastic like the animals are.