UNIT 32 AND 38: Evaluation

From the start of my brief I wanted to go down the traditional macro photography route because when compared to the modern macro photography I prefer the traditional macro photography. I prefer traditional macro photography because I love the nostalgic feeling you get from looking at old images. As I wanted to do a traditional macro image I looked at traditional mixed media techniques because I felt a traditional image would work well with a traditional mixed media technique. I think it would work well because I find doing a modern technique to an old image doesn’t work well because to me it doesn’t complement each other. The techniques I looked at were darkroom techniques, which were acetate printing and photograms. Sellotape transfer, photomontage and overlaying were other techniques I looked at. Most of the techniques I looked at added “texture” to the images. I wanted this because “texture” is a key feature of macro photography. Due to the brief stating I needed an A1 or 3 A4 outcomes I looked more into triptychs and after looking at triptychs I wanted to do 3 A4 outcomes because I like how an image is made by 3 images. I also liked the idea of photomontage as well so I took the idea of multiple images coming together to create a bigger image for my final outcome. In my mind at the start I had 3 images, which formed together to create a big image of a fly. The impact of this would be to make people look more at the image rather than a glance.

After I experimented with the techniques I mentioned I felt the darkroom techniques was the best option because dark room techniques is as traditional as you are going to get. The quality I was getting from the darkroom techniques were really old and film like prints, which in turn added texture. In the darkroom I looked at acetate printing and photograms. As I had to use an image and make it mixed media I felt photograms wasn’t the best option as a silhouette object image wouldn’t have much detail and isn’t specifically macro photography. On the other hand acetate printing made the image mixed media and was a more creative way of printing imagery to achieve detail and was using macro photography. So I looked further into how I could make acetate printing more mixed media. I scratched into the photo paper before exposing the paper to light. I also crumpled the paper up before exposing the paper to light. Sometimes I did scratching and crumpling on the same print. Doing these techniques I felt was too much mixed media so I ended up doing the prints normally. Scratching and crumpling worked well but I felt it was too much mixed media. I felt the quality was lost because of the crumpling of the paper, which made lines across the image.

As I wanted 3 A4 outcomes in a form of a triptych I took photos of a dead fly in sections. One section was its head; another section was its body and wing and lastly the end of the fly. During the shoot I used a plain white background and a textured background. The reason why I wanted to use both backgrounds is to see which would work best. After the shoot I edited the best images. In my bext image I was looking for good sharpness and good detail. After editing I printed the images on acetate for preparation for the darkroom. Due to having a limited amount of time in the darkroom initially, some of the prints weren’t strong because some prints were taken out of the developer to early, some of the prints was to dull and other prints was left in the developer for to long. So I went back into the dark room to focus on improving the bad prints. I improved on my print by leaving my prints for longer, I also upped the brightness of my enlarger to improve on the dullness. After the second darkroom session I felt I had my final outcome. I looked at the plain and textured background prints more and came to the conclusion that the textured background prints were more effective because it looked more mixed media than the plain background prints. Talking to my tutor we discussed my final outcomes. My tutor said that the textured final prints were taking away the detail of the fly. She also said that the sharpness was lost due to the textured background as well. I agree with the detail was lost due to the background therefore I revisited my plain texture backgrounds. After doing this I still felt the textured background print was better because they are more mixed media and I just think it is more eye catching than the plain prints.

In conclusion doing this brief has really opened my eyes to the world of macro photography. I feel doing this brief has vastly improved my macro photography skills and has also improved my mixed media techniques. I feel there is no room for improvements in my outcomes due to having that second session in the dark room.

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