experimental photography case study

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  1. 1. Experimental Photography Jamie Kessel 1 Case Study
  2. 2. Scotch Tape Wes Naman
  3. 3. Artist and bio: Wes Naman There is very little about this man on the internet. But after various Google searches Ive found that he was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is globally recognized due to his scotch tape photo collection, which I will go on to analyse and discuss later on the next slide. He chooses to keep much of his identity hidden from the public eye, such as images of himself and personal information. This may be due to him wanting to remained concealed and mysterious, and even his name may be a false name which helps to add to his artistic illusion. The long and short of it is that Naman is a mysterious photographer, and no one really knows to know anything about him. Category: Contemporary The photograph could be seen: Internet Blogs, Google searches, Fine art Photography magazines, contempary culture magazines. Techniques used: texture, meaning, high contrast, focal point, fast shutter speed, artificial light, controlled, medium close up shot
  4. 4. Technique: The images are taken from Wes Namans most successful and well know album, in which he adopts the strange technique of covering his subjects faces with tape in order to achieve obscure and experimental contemporary artwork. As mentioned previously, he plays with both texture and the element of dimension by distorting the subject's facial features with tape, and this is a technique he uses consistently throughout the set of images. This in turn produces images with shock value, which are intended on drawing in the viewers eye, and challenges the norms of artistic conventions and agendas. Fast shutter speeds allow Namans subjects appear crisp and in focus, which in turn helps to add to the images bold nature. To add to this, the plain background (which is probably achieved by shooting in a studio) help to create bordering, thus making the subjects jump out of the image rather than simply merging with the background. The images were quite clearly shot in a controlled environment rather than a candid one, due to the tape having to be placed in specific patterns on the faces of the subjects. This is relevant to Namans technique as it means he is enabled to set up the subjects specifically how he wants them to look, rather than simply taking pictures of people while forcibly wrapping tape around their face in public. Having said this however, Naman could have adopted a more semi-candid style of shots with these images by repeatedly taking photos whilst attempting to distract them from the fact that they are having their photos taken (which in turn would add an element of realism to the images). In terms of the lighting in the images, due to the likeliness of the images being shot in a studio, its also likely that these images were shot in artificial light, rather than natural light. This wouldve been important for this group of images due to their high definition nature. What I mean by this is that the attention to facial detail may have been somewhat disrupted by sunlight shadowing areas of the faces. In terms of the images meaning, its not entirely clear (as is often the case with experimental photography). Naman himself doesnt leave much in the way of explanation, but as Ive said before, I think that hes intended on challenging the boundaries of what is possible with photography, and add his own contemporary twist to the art of experimental photography
  5. 5. Wolfgang Tillmans 5 Category Contempary Bio Wolfgang Tilmmans is a german contempary experinmental and fine art photographer. He was born 16th August 1968, in Remscheid, West Germany, where he spent his childhood observing the possibilities of shapes, angles and perspective. He was successful in school, and later went on to become one of the most distinguished modern experinental photographers in the world due to this extremely diverse material and styles. He is currently a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. This Photograph could be seen in Internet Blogs, Google searches, Large scale photography magazines, abstract art galleries. I will now analyze one of his Photographs.
  6. 6. 6 Technique: smoke effect Here Wolfgang Tillmans has used a smoke effect in order to create a very abstract looking final image. He has used a macro lens to capture the subject up close. A dark room was presumably used to capture the image in a studio, with a controlled nature. By using flash, the smoke has been captured and has allowed for high contrast against the dark studio. There has been large amount of post production on this image, with the colours presumably changed around to make the smoke look black and the background look white. This not only creates a very high level of contrast, but also makes the image much less perceivable as actually being smoke, and leaves the viewer guessing more as to what the image is. A fast shutter speed will have been used for this image in order to capture each fine strand of the smoke clearly without it being blurred, and this works really well in the image, and gives it almost a slightly scientific aesthetic. Not only has the image got high contrast to it, but there is also a great deal of dynamic range, however it still technically wouldnt be considered to be monochrome due to the large green square on the right hand side of the image. This couldve been done for a number of different reasons, but one thing that springs to mind is the fact that it could represent nature, but the meaning is left unclear. The subject of the image (the smoke) obeys the rule of thirds , with the smoke being positioned approximately over the bottom third of the image, adding to its ability to be pleasing to the human eye.
  7. 7. Bobby Russel Category Contemporary Bio I first started out on photography a while back in 2006 around Nov, with too much time on my hands. The birth was quick, but the death was slow. I wasn't quite sure how it'd work out then, this photography thing, but passion must be taken at a moderate pace; too much of it and you tire quickly. What is photography to me? I guess Kafka said it best - "We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds." All my photographs are created from the vision I had when I pressed the shutter, and every single one of them is lovingly processed, especially the personal favourites. This is a direct quote taken from his website bio at http://sidewinding.daportfolio.com/about/ This photographer could be seen in: Internet blogs, Internet photography galleries, Magazines aimed at promoting amateur photography. I will now analyze one of his images. 7
  8. 8. 8 With this particular image, Russel has adopted a variety of different techniques in order to create a beautiful and intensely contemporary piece of experimental photography. The subject of the image in a sense is the whole image and its interpretation of the modern day commute, rather than being one particular part of the image. This absence of one particular subject is achieved by creating an out of focus and motion blurred look using a slow shutter speed. On top of this, the slow shutter speed creates a very candid, and also busy mood to the image. The fact that we can see the various subjects moving really helps to bring the image to life. The lighting of the image is presumably completely artificial due to being shot in a metro, and this in turn gives the image a fairly clinical look, and adds to the high contrast and dynamic range. The use of no colors (monochrome) could have been chosen for various different reasons, and one interpretation could be the fact that its been used in order to represent the dull nature of a daily commute through the metro, grey often being a color associated with mundane topics. Russel has utilized leading lines in order to add a sense of dimension to the image, and it plays with the tunnel illusion concept, which again adds life to the image and sets it apart from more 2D looking images. As well as this, the use of leading lines works in order to create symmetry within the image, as each leading line works as a sort of reflection of one another (eg. The handrails or steps). To add to all this, the images aesthetic value is further benefitted through the usage of repetition within the tiles on the wall. The tiles repetition add to the clinical look, as they are very geometric shapes with hard edges. This also adds further structure to the image due to the fact that geometric shapes often work well with the human eye, in order to aid the structure of images. The vantage point at which the photo has been taken adds a sense of empowerment to the viewer. This is due to the fact that the subjects are all lower down than the camera itself, thus placing the viewer in a naturally authoritative position. Another possible interpretation as to why Russel might have chosen this camera angle could be the http://sidewinding.daportfolio.com/
  9. 9. My images: contact sheet 1 (zoom burst) 9
  10. 10. Chosen image 10
  11. 11. What techniques were used? The zoom burst technique was used to create this image. How was the technique used The technique was used by changing focal length rapidly. An example of this was going from 18mm and zooming into 55mm. In addition to this, a slow shutter speed was required in order to create the blurred effect. I used a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second. What are your opinions on the image The set of images produced work interestingly to create distorted looking images that are very abstract and aesthetically interesting. They distort the perception of reality in a very surreal manor. The chosen image Ive picked stood out to me due to the high contrast of the subject against the background, creating a mysterious silhouetted effect in which the subject is left to the imagination of the viewer. The mystery of the subject and the