This projects showcase has already been booked within Truro. Each student within the course is developing their own self-driven production. Due to the location of the showcase, my audience will mostly be Cornish locals. Focusing on Cornish landmarks would be a good way to draw in viewership whitest saving on things such as travel costs. The only issue is local stuff has been saturated and to re-intrigue locals, I’ll need to apply twists that they haven’t seen before. Throughout my previous modules, my best work is the new techniques I’ve encountered so combining these techniques, locations and adding a universal theme would make way for a great exhibition.
So what should my universal theme be? – It has to be open; interpretation and mystery is a key core of exhibitions. It also has to be flexible, techniques and locations are limited so to universally link them I have to be able to apply a theme that can be done through a story using colours. Previously due to the events and situations of my photo-shoots I’ve had a very positive attitude within my images, I feel a focus on the surreal would be a good switch-up to my portfolio and it follows the terms of my ideal theme.
So, in conclusion, my proposal for this project will be to produce a series of images focusing on some key Cornish landmarks combined with editing techniques to create a surreal tone with the intent of making familiar places seem mysterious. The exhibition will be print-focused with my images being on display alongside a brief description. To add more mystery my descriptions will be hidden. I won’t openly display the locations allowing for the audience to discuss and interoperate which will drive viewership.
Part of the module requires us to focus on the marketing aspect. Creating promotional material to boost our audience. I believe the promotional material should reflect the event so a mysterious, no descriptive form of marketing would work best.
For my research, I’ll have to find these locations and different techniques previously used by other artists and match techniques to locations. I’ll need to research the key factors that create surreal images and learn how I can apply them to my own work. Planning for the production itself will have to thorough, route plans, budgets and timing due to location lighting.
As mentioned for my research I’ll need to plan all elements of the final prints, my aim is to plan out 5 shoots while documenting the process. To start off my research I went mood-boarding and looked up both techniques and locations. Searching “surreal photoshop” and “Cornish landmarks” easily shows me the elements I need, I just have to link the location with a technique.
Last year I experimented with drone techniques and stumbled across this flat land/droneception idea, where you take multiple photos at different altitudes, positions and angles. By then stitching the photos together you create an effect the world is folding/curling. Below is a diagram explains the image, alongside the final piece.
This technique could be one i use. Finding more like it and attaching it to a story through location and a surreal tone would work perfectly. Here are some locations and ideas I already have.
Idea 1 – Men-an-Tol
On cornwall.co.uk they list ancient monuments around cornwall. First on the list is a location that has been mentioned to me before, Men-an-tol.
This location already has a mysterious and ancient vibe that links perfectly to my theme. While looking at surreal photography involving rocks I came across Tommy Ingberg. Tommy Ingberg is a multi-award winning photographer and visual artist, born 1980 in Sweden. He works with photography and digital image editing, creating minimalistic and self-reflecting surreal photo montages dealing with human nature, feelings and thoughts (Ingberg, n.d.). Below is a few samples of his work.
There are a few elements to his work that create style and add to his surreal theme. The monochrome use and HDR effect on the clouds creates a perfectly down vibe. The weather feels gloomy even without much detail in the background. He adds this scratch-fog effect to his images which almost looks like everything is just slightly out of focus adding to the imperfect surreal theme. He then adds a vignette to highlight the subjects. Each photo above contains two main subjects. The model and an intervening surreal object that the model then reacts from. My interpretation is that these objects symbolise emotions and I’d love to relay that back to my design using the rocks at men-an-tol.
To be able to create this Idea I will need to split these elements. I will need to travel to the location and capture the rocks from multiple angles, as individuals and as they sit. I will also need to set up a studio photoshoot to capture the subject which I can superimpose in post.
The use of black and white could create an effect to post images. I’ll have to decide if it’s something I want in the theme universally as each image need to have similar qualities but his use of a vignette, fog and blur will definitely be something I apply to my own work. As I go through other research I will now see if the use of a model is something I can apply.
Idea 2 – St Michael’s Mount
Probably one of the most iconic landmarks in cornwall, St Michaels mount is a civil parish to which a road becomes visible under tidal change. Probably one of the most photographed landmarks most of St Michaels has already been captured but I want to add a surreal twist. Here is some examples of other photographers work of the location.
Quite often when looking up tutorial on photomanipulation I’ve come across the same type of thumbnail for fantasy edits. They all often include castles with fog asif in the clouds. This style isn’t something I’ve seen linked to St Michaels.
While these images done coincide with my theme of surreal it’s easy to turn fantasy desolate. By changing the colour tones and adding a model will create effect and store that allows it to continue the theme.
Idea 3 – Cookworthy Knapp ‘Nearly Home Trees’
As a student receiving a picture of these trees is a signal that the sender is on their way
Planning the Photoshoot
Unfortunately at this stage of the project we started to feel the effects of the pandemic. I’ll be talking through my project now in a way explaining how I was going to continue and what I was going to produce.
As i’d be traveling a fair distance to take the initial photos planning is key. So that I don’t spend more than I need to on multiple trips I was going to create a schedule, roadmap and plan out the best time of day to take photos according to the sunrise/set. I was hoping to do all of my photography with a DSLR, shooting in raw for more flexibility in post but as a back-up i would also have taken my drone. The biggest benefit of taking a drone is the ability to cut out a limit on height. While I have a high end drone it still requires precision so checking wind speed, local flight paths and distance from airports for my safety. As well as distance from paths and main roads for public safety.
Here are two apps I use in combination with the standard DJI app. I would have used these to plan my photoshoot.
When will it be good to fly your quadcopter? See the weather forecast, GPS satellites, solar activity (Kp), No-Fly Zones and flight restrictions, all in one convenient tool. Perfect for DJI Phantom, DJI Spark, DJI Mavic, DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Inspire, 3DR Solo, Parrot Bebop, Yuneec, and many other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.App Store Description
AirMap for Drones
AirMap is the leading global provider of aeronautical data & services to unmanned aircraft, or drones. Use AirMap to maintain situational awareness, request digital authorization, get traffic alerts, & more.App Store Description
Photoshoot Phase 2
Once the location photoshoot is complete I would have moved onto post-production before phase 2. I would have started editing my project together so that I could visualise the poses I want my model to do, direction to face and lighting to use. Once I have this in mind I had organised with a friend what is studying Theatrical \Make-up at Falmouth University who had a model lined-up and was willing to organise costumes and make-up for the photoshoot.
The photoshoot would have taken place on campus using the studio, we had already discussed travel and the model and artist were willing to do everything in exchange for use of the final images as a portfolio piece.
Finalising Post Production
After completing the studio photoshoot I would have added the model to the draft projects and finalised my images to match my over all theme of satire. I have the idea of a matching set of images using the model to create a mystery but with familiar places. My colour theme of overly contrasted black and white would have been completed by using lowkey and highkey lighting curves on different elements of the image.
Ingberg, T. (n.d.). Tommy Ingberg Surreal Photo Art – Official Website. [online] Ingberg.com. Available at: http://ingberg.com/ [Accessed 19 Feb. 2020].