Evaluation of Task Two

I feel that this project has gone ok, as I am reasonably happy with the piece I have produced, however, I think that it could’ve been better. Firstly, I didn’t have a lot of time to produce the final photo, so I had to come up with an idea and stick to it. My piece is themed on traditional still life art, so I have been researching painters that create pieces within this genre, these include Paul Cézanne, and John F. Peto. I have also looked into contemporary photographers who also practice within the still life genre, I particularly like Mitchell Feinberg’s work which reminds me more of scientific studies than fashion photography, e.g. in his piece he created for Muse magazine called ‘Fossil’. I decided to assemble my own still life ‘painting’, and this idea reminded me of some photos I had seen by Cindy Sherman and Hiroshi Sugimoto, who both used photography to recreate historical paintings.

When it came to getting the scarves from the fashion students, I only managed to get one, which I had to give back three days later because they had to hand it in to be marked. This gave me a very short period of time to shoot and get my final image (one of the three days was a Saturday, which I work). This scarf is themed on time and memories, which I had to try to portray within my final image. I decided to use clocks as my objects to resemble the passing of time, however, I couldn’t find any in charity shops, so I decided to just base the photo generally on still life paintings and use the classic objects found within these paintings (fruit, vegetables, wine and a musical instruments). The image still references time because it am imitates a historical art form.

To produce the image, I used a DSLR camera and a single studio light to cast deep shadows in the fabric. I was not completely happy with the result, but I feel I rushed it a little bit. I then found out that I was allowed to use the scarves again for four days, so I decided to re-shoot. I found this even more difficult because I couldn’t get it to look how I wanted, or as good as it had before. I had bought more fruit/veg since the first shoot but only ended up adding in a bunch of grapes. I tried to achieve the same arrangement of the objects I did in the first shoot because I really liked how it looked. I did want a portrait image instead of a landscape this time because I realised that in a double page magazine spread, the subject of the landscape photo would be lost in the crease.

When it came to editing, I made a mistake with the levels tool, turning the photo blue, which I liked so I incorporated this into my final image. I also blurred out the creases on the backdrop and made the scarf stand out against the sheet/fruit more. I feel that this image is much more suitable for an advert in a fashion magazine, there is also room to add text over the image. Within the image, it is like the scarf is the new beautiful art form, and still life paintings are old and tired.

Overall, I didn’t like this project because I felt pushed in one direction, without much time to produce my work. I am reasonably happy with my final image, however if I had had more time then I feel it could’ve been a lot better as I could’ve spent more time experimenting with themes. If I were to do this again, I think I might’ve liked to try a more modern look, even if it didn’t particularly fit in with the meaning of the scarf.

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