The Journey (Artefact Informed by Extra Curricular Activity)
Since going to Ireland I have been very interested in the idea of using archived photos, and mainly from my own family albums. When I was younger digital cameras were only just starting to make and appearance so we have albums on albums of photos from my childhood, both digitally and in the physical form too. I am most interested in using the photos that were taken on an analogue camera, this is mainly because it was before a time of digital, the photos were really thought about, and you didn’t know what you had achieved until they had been developed. Although the thought of archiving images is going to be a theme within this project I don’t want to just do the whole thing without taking any pictures of my own, so I am going to find a way to mix the two together. When I was looking through my family albums, I was trying to find a nice link and way I can include my own photography. I wanted to find a them which is relatable. I finally decided on a title called ‘The Journey’, this represents a journey that I regularly went on as a child, I plan to go back to the same place and to take my pictures for this project. But as a starting point for it I have to think about the memories that I had from when I went there as a child and look through the pictures from the family album that we had in this place. I have also read the book: The Holloway- Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards. This expresses a similar journey to what I am going to do, only they were first inspired by another book, whereas the place I am revisiting is just somewhere that holds memories for me. See the blog post on The Holloway to go more in depth about the book. Below are the images I found in my family albums:
From this point I went to the same location several times and got plenty of images that I could further work from, at this point I was unaware of how or where my final piece would end up. Obviously as i returned each time and looked through my images I thought of possible routes that I could take within the project. Each time I went back I looked at a different type of photography or was trying to express something different within my work. For example looking at the sense, sight and sound in particular but this could as link to touch, for example the textures that I found there. I also thought about how I would of seen it when I used to go, so generally from a lower angle and looking up a lot, as i was a lot younger so obviously a lot shorter. I also looked for different journeys that I could follow, would I follow the footpaths as suggested or just wander around, something that my family used to do. I also noticed that there were trees that had been numbered, maybe to be cut down in the future, but I followed these on one of my journeys. Below are the contact sheets from all my shoots here:
I made a few panoramic images here just to see what they looked like and as a starting point for the project, there are a few below:
As well as taking pictures I also collected some things I found there such as: leaves, plants and pine cones. With these I intended to make some photograms which reminded me of my time there, here are how they turned out:
When looking at these after I had created them I started thinking further about how I could use them, I decided that where the objects had been placed could be used as a window into my world and experience. From this thought I started playing around with the images that I already had on photoshop and trying different blending techniques to merge the two together. I used both archive images and once that I had taken on my return, and also experimented with either using the objects as windows or as the opposite and using them to block out parts of the images. Here are some of the outcomes I made from this idea:
I really like how these have turned out, especially the ones where I have used the objects as windows and not as something to block the image further. As a lot of the photograms are more centred than anything else, when it is used as a blocking system the main feature of the image is generally unseen, in this project I don’t think that would bring anything mysterious as I really am concentrating on what is in the image. Thinking further about laying I decided to think more into the colours and how I could present it, when looking at the acetate layers I thought it was just quite interesting as they were and looking through to see different parts of different images. I played around with this a bit and looked into different things such as going from hot colours to cold colours, going from a blurry to a clear image, black and white to a colour image and also making a small book and revealing more of the picture as it went on. I did this with only 4 layers as not to complicate the image to much and still make it easy to read. I did think about making a shaped window, maybe something like the photograms that I made however I thought that this would be too much detail as the layers are already providing a lot of detail, I didn’t want to make it too confusing. So i just used a simple white border around the acetate so it wasn’t too flimsy. Below are a few examples digitally: Hot to cold colours: There are 3 sets here: one concentration on textures, one from a lower perspective and one of the landscape as I see it, there are parts of the images that have been erased to make it easier to see through onto the next layer. The last image is a digital representation of what it would look like. However the images will be more spaced out and not as flattened as I will put a controlled gap in between the layers.
Photos: From blurry to clear images:
Photos: Black and white to colour:
I think these worked well, and better than I thought as you could see the different layers more clearly than I originally thought. I like that i can use different series of images all in one and get the same message across. I did want to link this more to my childhood images though so I made these to be added into them:
Overall I think this project has worked well and I have been able to create some interesting pieces from my original brief. I am glad I carried out this project as it has been something I have wanted to try for a while, I think I was able to get a good balance between the archived images that I used and being able to use some of my more recent work too.