Time-Lapse in search of transformation

Time was ticking, my assignment deadline was approaching and I still couldn’t shake off the persistent idea of the modern day woman transforming on a daily basis… maybe the modern day men transform too?

I was still undecided when we had a lesson on time-lapse and, for those who know me well, it is no surprise I did a sunset time-lapse, a sunrise time-lapse (it didn’t work that well). This exercise allowed me to explore aspects of photography in a way i had never done before, including a whole new technical side to my camera I never knew!

Sure I enjoyed doing time-lapse but it was at this point I realised the ‘Transformation’ I wanted for my assignment was not quite of this kind.

Attempt 1:

At first I went to Isabella Plantation as I adore watching the various ducks, waterfowls returning to the water at first light. To my disappointment there were more tourists and dog walkers than ducks at the Still Pond on this particular Sunday… a total joy for People Watching!

Attempt 2:

Determined to let no one spoil my fun this time round, I left home just before dawn and went to Hampton Court Bridge. I parked by the Palace and waited for the sun to make an appearance. I never tire of watching the miracle that is the sunrise, something I have been doing since I was a very young child.

The first time I saw the sun rising was on a road trip with my father. He died shortly after and I guess seeing the sunrise brings me that little closer to him.

It turns out the weather wasn’t quite as clear as I had wanted but there was something moody about this time-lapse. I was quite surprised to see how much the boat moves. Love the clouds too!

Attempt 3:

For this time-lapse I did want people. I wanted to see how they enjoy Richmond Hill at the end of the day. I was also hoping to capture a beautiful sky, the motion of the river, the clouds and hopefully a boat or too.

In the end, I didn’t do too badly and was rather pleased BUT the little voice in my head still whispered ‘women, daily transformation, societal expectations’ and that is when I knew it was time to go back to my initial idea.

I’m ready to take on my final task.

Paula, x

 

Transformation – Initial Research

There are many ways in which to depict Transformation in Photography. Some catalogue it as Time Lapse (see video below) whilst others use Photoshop to transform images and make some amazing digital pieces of art.

Bruno Metra and Laurence Jeanson choose to use mixed medium to create such transformations in their ID Series to highlight that ‘Real faces and Photoshop don’t mix’.

Their article got me thinking about how many of us often see ourselves in a very different way from how we are perceived by others. For those suffering with mental illnesses for example (anything from depression to bulimia to multiple personality disorder) this can be particularly true.

Given that last week was Mental Illness Awareness Week I decided to do my bit and look into how I can use my project to capture Mental Illnesses using Photography.  I haven’t decided on a concept yet but am considering using digital technology (Layers in Photoshop). The only problem with that is my limited knowledge of Photoshop.

Perhaps I should stick to Multiple Exposure instead! Here’s my first try.

Many Me1

 

Ref:

Consumed

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/bruno-metra-laurence-jeanson-id-photographs_n_3053816.html

 

Changing the way we look at things…

… will change the things we see

 

Take Georgia O’Keefe Flower Paintings for example, what do you see, flowers or the female reproductive organ? If you are anything like me I’d say you can’t help but see a bit of both.

When I saw Georgia O’Keefe’s exhibition at Tate Modern November last year I was totally taken by her work, I couldn’t stop staring at her paintings.

The way she captured every little detail with her paint brush was, to me at least, nothing short of mesmerising. I was in awe. Her use of light was not as impressive as Cezanne’s, Rembrant’s or Van Gogh’s yet her delicate work was striking.

Now that spring is nearly here I visited Covent Garden Flower Market in Vauxhall and picked up a handful of flowers of my own to try and challenge the way we see them. Here’s a glimpse of what I shot last night as practice for my Studio Session tomorrow.

It is fairly easy to identify the Tulip. Can you guess what the other bud is? No? I couldn’d either and I was shocked to find out it was a Poppy! Yes, Poppy buds!!! The flower market seller assured me they will open up in a couple of days and fill my vase with amazing Giant Italian Poppies.

I can hardly wait to see them 🙂

Paula, x

Leonardo Da Vinci – Research

As I prepare to fine tune my own interpretation of Classical Portraits and shoot my Latino Mona Lisa I felt I needed to explore the work of Leonardo Da Vinci a bit further. Perhaps I need to justify to myself why his work appeals to me and what it is about him as an artist that I resonate with.

I was brought up a Roman Catholic and Da Vinci’s Last Supper was always, of course, the only ‘painting’ we had by the dinner table… quite frankly I always associated with food and not art – yes, shoot me now.

Ok, I admit I have a soft spot for Da Vinci and he is why:

a) He had a brilliant mind. He was an artist, an sculptor, an engineer, a scientist and an inventor. I was lucky enough to see some of the things he worked on, his notebooks, sketches, etc in an exhibition in Rome a couple of hours ago.

b) Initially a well known painter of Al Fresco he moved to Florence circa 1499 (he painted the mural of the Last Supper in a monastery in there). It was whilst living in Florence that Da Vinci painted many portraits, unfortunately his only surviving work is the famous Mona Lisa

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/%C3%9Altima_Cena_-_Da_Vinci_5.jpg

On close examination, The Last Supper was meticulously planned and features plenty of semiotics from mathematical symbolism to Judas holding a small bag (no doubt reference to his payment for betraying Jesus). Judas is also the only disciple cast in a shadow. The painting also features plenty of still life ie lace, bread, etc.

c) I saw the Mona Lisa when I visited the Louvre a few years ago and I can honestly say no picture does it justice. The way Da Vinci brought her to life, the way he highlighted in all the right places, his placement of ‘light’ was striking. I almost felt I was looking right into her yes. Sadly, it was covered in a layer of vanish and as it ages its making the colours dull and covering it with a hint of yellow. I hope it can be restored at some point.

As far as technicalities is concerned and according to BBC Science,  Leonardo used a technique known as Sfumato – the blurring of sharp edges by blending colours – to leave the corners of the eyes and the mouth in shadow. It is this technique that makes the Mona Lisa‘s expression ambiguous.

Mona Lisa, oil painting on a poplar wood panel by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1503–06; in the Louvre, Paris.

The background of the painting has been made to look more hazy, with fewer distinct outlines than the foreground. This technique is known as aerial perspective, and Leonardo was one of the first painters to use it to give his paintings more depth.

References:

 

Cruel and Tender

Cruel and Tender… sounds almost like the last time I went home to see my dying Nan. Cruel because I knew I had come home to say goodbye. Tender because she had no idea she was dying.

Ageing is a terrible thing. Not because of the wrinkles and fragility of the body as it ages but because of the scary thought that time is running out. One may cease to exist at a moment’s notice or not even that.

The cruelty happens not when the departed are gone. It takes place slowly and painfully everyday for all of those who are left behind attempting to carry on with the lives once the dreaded events have taken place.

What has this got to do with my assignment? I have decided to photograph the dying, the ageing, the ones who have lived so much yet their brains have given up and they live day-by-day without any idea of who those occasional visitors are.

Their faces might look familiar but dementia sufferers aren’t capable of reaching far enough into their memories to recognise those visitors who are in fact their loved ones.

Is there anything more cruel that looking at someone knowing full well they have no recollection of you? The tender part is our own reaction when placed in that situation. We need to be strong, yet kind, tender and above all loving.

Yes, for the Cruel and Tender Assignment I am photographing the dying, the dead and/or their space.

A Poem for The Queen Bee

My memory of you will stay,
I will love you to my dying day,
The heart of my passion, in you, it lies,
We all miss you desperately, that’s why we cry.

In memory of my grandmother who passed away on 9th January 2017.