For my photography project I focused on the theme of emotion. My original idea was to combine colour and emotion. I wanted to show different emotions and for the photograph to pro dominantly feature the desired colour, so for example anger would have been reflected through red and happiness through yellow. My idea changed completely over the course of producing due to time schedules and photography failures, but I personally feel that my end result idea was a lot stronger because the intentions were clearer and so was the theme. My end theme was sadness and the different elements of sadness, conducted through the colour of blue.
The target audience for my photography is young people, of all genders and social classifications. The reason my project is targeted at young people is because a lot of younger people suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, so my photography represents this and shows the different elements of sadness which comforts these people to know that they are understood.
In terms of time management, my project could have been conducted better. Some of my original concept photos turned out well such as for jealousy and happiness, but the rest weren’t so good and the project felt rushed so I resorted to using my sadness photography instead which fortunately turned out much more smoothly. On the positive side, if I ever did this project again I would know to make sure I was properly organised time wise so that my project would run smoother.
For visual language, the composition of my photographs is that the main feature of the photograph (model) is very central and focused on. I wanted to focus on the emotion on the face of the model more than the surroundings so I arranged the camera so that the model was the main focus and there was no distraction. In my photography, the symbolism is the bath and the slow shutter speed. The bath represents the feeling of drowning in sadness, as drowning occurs in water and also the bath is a conventional area for sadness and isolation to occur. The slow shutter speed symbolises the chaotic element of sadness and disturbed thinking – not knowing exactly what is happening or what should happen. The meaning of my photography is to convey the different elements of sadness – the photos with her hands over her face represent the shame of sadness, and the photo with her hand in her mouth strongly conveys the element of fear. There is a consistent pattern and shape within my photography which is reservation and a secluded feel which is shown through the poses of the model. In terms of visual language the representation in my photography represents the feeling of sadness and how it is portrayed and expressed in modern society, and the taboo element of mental health.
To produce my photographs, I directed the model to the places she needed to be and the poses that I would like and positioned the camera in the most visually representative angle. Once I’d chosen the best photos I took them to Photoshop and added a blue temperature filter on to emphasise the blueness which is the conventional colour of sadness.
Overall I’d say that my images are successful. Each photo conveys a different element of sadness and is clearly represented. The image of the model looking over the side of the bath tub conveys and represents the element of tiredness and a lack of energy and motivation. If I were to retake the photo and improve it I would add more light onto the side of the model’s face. The photo with a close up of the model looking down represents and shows the feeling of negative thoughts and perception, and the shots of the model curled up in the bath with her hands in her face, arms around her legs, and close up of hands in her face convey the emotion of feeling small. All four of these images could be improved by taking a steadier and less shaky photo so to improve it I would use a tripod for stability. The photo of the model with her hands behind her head represents the feeling of not knowing what the best thing to do is, and a feeling of confusion. To improve this image I’d take a wider shot and angle the model to face the bath wall so the shower wouldn’t be in shot, to add focus to the model better. For the slow shutter speed photo, I’d use a slower shutter speed so that the model would be more prominent, but it does also look effective the way it is because the unrecognisable element shows a blurred identity. The last photo to analyse is the image with her hand in her mouth, which shows the strong element of fear, which can be paired with feeling sad. The lighting also portrays a slight horror vibe emphasising the theme of fear, which is evident in the expression of the model’s face. To improve it I would take a side by side extreme close up to highlight the fear.
The feedback I got for my photography was very insightful. One piece of feedback I received linked to historical and cultural context, which was that my work was similar to the work of Duane Michals. In this context the comparison linked the similar vibe of clear emotion and creepy vibes.
Duane Michals and my work:
In addition to this, my work was compared to some of the work of Flora Borsi, particularly one image of a model contrasting cosmetics, sadness and fear. In this context the comparison compared the direct portrait style and the clear emotion within the eyes of the model, and the eerie vibe the images give off.
Flora Borsi and my work:
Feedback also was that the photography had a clear narrative and representation, meaning the intention was consistent and clear. It was also said that the water, lighting, and cold saturation gave a prominent feeling of drowning and strong mood and setting. Some said that it was melancholy and it conveys the different elements of sadness through poses, and the poses were conventional highlighting the theme. Overall, I’d say my photography was successful and the new idea I had was stronger than the previous which resulted in an improved result.