In Unit 12 we were required to create two different triptychs for an exhibition which is called ‘Harlow Is 70’. For our projects we were required to make triptychs that would show how much Harlow had changed over the years and how different it is compared to 70 years ago when Harlow was first introduced as a new town. These triptychs will then be mounted onto a fence and displayed in Harlow town centre for the public to view as part of the Harlow is 70 exhibition.
Before we took any images for this final part of the project there was a lot of research and learning to do so that we knew as much about the project as possible and so that we could get the best results as possible in order to make the client happy with the work that we provide.
Firstly to start off our research we had to do some research into triptychs and find out what they were, who uses them and we also had the chance to create our own. As this project is solely based on triptychs it was important that we knew as much about this as possible for us to understand the project fully, because a lot of us had never worked with triptychs previously and it was a new thing for a lot of people. For this part of the project I researched 5 different photographers that use triptychs or that have previously created triptychs and I analysed there work and discovered what their triptychs meant and why they created them. I think this really helped me to understand the meaning of triptychs a bit more as it showed me what people use triptychs for and how they can be used in many different ways, for example to show a process or to tell a story. I then went on to research 3 different artists that also use triptychs this was interesting to do research as I was able to compare the different ways that artists use triptychs compared to photographers and I was able to see the similarities and differences between the two different people which were interesting to see. After this research I went on to create 3 of my own triptychs I found this really helpful to do as it gave me free reign of what I wanted to create before I knew what we would eventually have to use triptychs for in the final project. It gave us the opportunity to make our own triptychs and create something based on our research and our own knowledge and produce what we thought a triptych actually was and also what it meant to us. I found this part of the task really useful as it gave me a chance to experiment and practice using triptychs before I was thrown into the project not knowing how to make or shoot a triptych.
After we had completed this research we were then given our brief and we was walked through the brief so we all clearly understood what was required of us and exactly what we needed to do in order to pass. I found the brief easy to follow and throughout this project I made sure that I was always able to access a copy of the brief so I could refer back to it so I always knew what I was doing and what I had to do next.
As the first official task of the project we had to create a mind map that explains the background and the history of Harlow in brief. I found this quite an easy task as I already knew a bit about Harlow and all I needed to do was add a bit more that I could find from the internet and also what other people knew about Harlow. This was a really handy thing to do as it gave me some base information about Harlow that went along with the brief which is like base information for the project.
After we had all the base information for the project that we needed we then went onto doing some research for the project but on a much bigger scale. For the next task we went on to create a 1500 word essay all based on the History of Harlow and how it started 70 years ago and how it has changed and developed over the years to become what it is now. i found this task very time consuming and it was hard to write a whole 1500 words jut about Harlow as I couldn’t find that many facts online that I could turn into a big paragraph to contribute to 1500 words. However from the facts that I did find I managed to make some smaller paragraphs and then I decided to analyse how different places in Harlow had changed and show their differences of what they used to look like ad what they look like now. As for some of the places there were a lot of big differences and also some really significant similarities I managed to bulk out my work and get to my word count that I was aiming for. I found this task really helpful for my project as it started a base for some of the ideas that I could create and I managed to brain storm a few different ideas that I could eventually get down to one that I would use for my final piece for the project. I also found this really good as it enabled me to learn a lot more about Harlow than I already knew.
After we had completed this task we were asked to write a draft proposal. The way that I did this was by writing down all of the ideas that I had in my head and from this I expanded on these ideas and wrote then in a way as if I was writing a proposal. I wrote down all of my ideas and looking at them in proposal form enabled me to make my decision a lot easier on what my final idea would be. From this I was able to pick what my final idea would be. But I still had a lot of research to do and a lot of skills to learn and practice in order to get the best results from my idea.
From this task we then went on to start learning new skills and the first skill we learnt was Angles Of View. This task was set to help us use different focal lengths on our cameras but still make the image look the same each time. The reason that this relates to our projects because some people may want to recreate an image either once or multiple times. SO to do this they will need to refer back to the angles of view task. I found this helpful as I hadn’t learnt this skill before so I was unaware of how to ever shoot images like this. Even though I found it helpful it still wouldn’t be something that I would use in my project as it doesn’t relate or needed to be used in my idea in anyway.
After this task we went on to learn about wide angle images. For we had to do a shoot out in Harlow and take wide angle landscape images of Harlow to practice for the images that we would take for our triptychs. After we completed this we then brought the pictures back to class and put them into photoshop. Then we edited them to make them look older, to do this we used the clone stamp tool to edited out everything that was modern about the image. We did this on five final images that we chose from the shoot and then we were able to add filters or effects to the image in order to make it look older. I found this very helpful as i hadn’t used the clone stamp tool on photo shop much before and I also had never had the chance to add a filter or an effect to an image before so it was good that I was able to do this for this task. We then made these images into triptychs and for this part I used my original image then saved my image half way through the edit and then the final image that I produced and I made my triptych into a before during and after shot of my process of making the image look older. I found this part of the task helpful as it enabled me to create a triptych and it showed me how to create one on photoshop as I hadn’t done it this way before.
Next we found out that the theme of the exhibition in Harlow was ‘Gossip Over The Garden Fence’ to be able to understand more about this we researched gossip over the garden fence and also connotations of different fences and what they say to us initially. I found out a lot of different things about fences and how gossip over the garden fence can bring neighbors together and also how it has changed over time. This has really helped me and it has contributed to my project as when I was first told the theme of this exhibition I didn’t really understand why it was like this but after doing my research I learnt a lot more about the meaning of this and I understood why the project had this theme and how it related to the work that we were doing.
Then we found out that our images would be hung on a fence. The college have had a lot of contact with the people organizing the project and they asked if they could see a rough mock up of what our work could look like. To do this we got a fence and a one of triptychs we used in the wide angle task and placed it onto the fence to see what our work could look like. I found this really helpful as it gave me a rough idea of my final image and it also showed me how it would be presented. Even though it wasn’t the triptych that I was going to use as my final one it also gave me some thoughts on if I needed to change anything around about what my final ideas are and whether I could actually picture my work on the fence. I found that I didn’t need to change anything but throughout the project after this task I have learnt some more skills to add to my work so that I could avoid this as much as possible throughout the whole project and also for my final results.
Following our mock ups we went onto learning more skills and also doing experiments make our work a lot stronger. The next thing we did was practice taking Head shots. The reason we did this was because our brief stated that we needed to have one person in our images at least who was looking into the camera. We took a variety of different head shots and added them into one of our triptychs that we had already created to see what the head shots would look like in one of our mock ups. I think it was good that we did this as it enabled us to see what a face could look like on our work and see if there was any different ways that we could add a face into our images other than an overlay across the whole thing.
We then went on to learning a few photo shop skills that we could add into our images to either change them in any way or make them look any better. The first photo shop skill that we learnt was refining edges and we practiced this on an image of a parrot and also picture of a man. The reason we did this was because it showed us how to cut a person out of image and make their edges sharp and precise. It is important that we learnt this because it meant that if we wanted to take someone out of one image and put them into another it meant we could do this and make it look a lot less obvious by making the edges a lot sharper. We then learnt how to re color and image and how to retouch. I found these tasks and really interesting and helpful as I had never done this before. We also got to practice on old images of Harlow that we had got in order to make it a lot more relevant to the project. I think that it was good that we learnt this as it meant that we could retouch and re color an old image that we get and know how to do it.
We then went onto writing our proposals and for this I used my rough proposal as a guide to get the structure right and it also gave me a chance to look over all of my brainstorm ideas to see what we really wanted to do and what final idea we would actually pick. I am very happy with the way my final proposal turned out and I think that it was very clear and it really helped me with my final shoot as I was able to follow it almost like a step by step guide.
After writing our proposal there was still a couple of things that we needed to learn about in order to make sure that we were completely ready to do our final shoot. The first thing that we learnt about was calibration. We didn’t do any practical work for this subject but we just did a lot of research about it and explained why it was relevant to photography.
We then moved on to resolution. This is something that was really key to the project as where our images were being blown up to a really big size it was important that they still kept their quality and that they didn’t look blurry or grainy. To establish this we did an exercise both in and out of the studio where we experimented with different F stops and focal lengths to establish which F stop would give the best resolution for each focal length. I found this task really helpful as I was able to know what F stops to use along with focal lengths to make my final images high quality.
During this project as we were working with old images we got the chance to visit two museums where we could see both old images of Harlow and also old things that people from Harlow used to use day to day. During this museum visit we got to photograph lots of old images from the archive in the Harlow museum and we would then use these to bring a lot down to a final few that we would use in our final triptychs. I found this museum visit very helpful as I was able to get my old images of Harlow and I was able to choose from a wide selection of images rather than just a few that I had found online.
We also learnt another skill that involved both practical and photo work. This was liquid emulsions. To do this we had to create four different black painted patterns which we then over laid onto four of our own images. I found this helpful as it showed me different ways to work with the over lay tool. It also showed me ways that I could combine paintings and images and add different things to either an image using paintings or a painting using an image.
After all of this research and learning of new skills we were then ready to go out and do our final triptychs and take our final images. We then had to edit them and put them together so that they were suitable for the client and they meet the needs of the project brief. I have evaluated the final part of the project below.
I took my final triptych images in three different locations in Harlow. These locations I have listed below;
- Paddling Pool in Harlow Town Park
- Broad-walk in Harlow Shopping Centre
- The Water Gardens
The reason that I took my pictures in these locations is because these are the same locations that the pictures were shot in the images that I chose from the museum. I shot all of my images during the day as I thought that I would get the best lighting in my images and you would be able to see everything in the background and also the surroundings.
Before I went out and shot my images I set up my camera. I firstly set my shot type to RAW as this is the mode we had been asked to shoot in. I then put my camera on to Scene Intelligent Auto which adjusted all of the settings to adapt to the background of the image. However when I used this mode I found it difficult for me to use as sometimes the flash would pop up when I didn’t need it or want it on. Because of this throughout my shoot I did change the settings on my camera and used the Manual Mode on my camera so I could get the right settings that I wanted for my images. I found this mode a lot easier to use than Scene Intelligent Auto as I was able to completely adjust all of the image settings myself to get my idea of the perfect picture. On my camera I used a 18-55mm lens which allowed me to get a wide variety of focal lengths and lots of images from different angles. I differentiated throughout my shoot between manual and auto focus. If I was taking an image from a really awkward position or angle then I would use Auto focus as it would mean that I could have full control of the way I was holding and positioning the camera which meant I didn’t need to constantly be worrying about the focus of the image. However if I was taking a less complicated, more basic shot then I used manual focus so I had more control over the focus rather than the angle of the shot. I chose not to use a tripod for any of my pictures as I thought that it wouldn’t be much help to my images and I had quite a lot of complicated shots to do in terms of angles and I thought that using a tripod would make these a lot harder to do. This is why I chose not to use one.
My whole shoot took me just over an hour and I tried to take as many images as possible so that I was able to have choices with what images I used as my final ones. The reason that I wanted to do this is because is so that I had a wide variety of choice rather than having only a few to choose from and not being happy with what I had, meaning that I would have to go out and shoot my pictures again.
I have put all of my images onto a contact sheet to show all of the images that I took during the shoot. I have put this contact sheet below.
As you can see from my contact sheet I have taken a lot of different images for this shoot. I also used a lot of different shot types and angles and also experimented with a lot of different focal lengths throughout my shoot. After I made these contact images I then went on to choosing my final pictures and editing them so I was completely happy with them before I put them into my triptychs. I have included the three final images that I chose below and my reasons for choosing these particular images.
After going through my contact sheets I decided on the three final images for my triptychs. I have put these images below with my reasons for choosing them.
This is my first triptych image that I have chosen from my final shoot. This image is my comparison to the image of the town park paddling pool. The paddling pool now is empty and deserted so this enabled me to take a wide variety of shots in and out of where the paddling pool was. I chose this image as my final one as I really liked the way that Megan was positioned and it almost looks like she could be sitting in the pool if it was there. I also liked the amount of the pool that you could see around her and I think it is a good amount of it to see as you are able to see both parts of the pool and things like the drains from the pools and the outlines of where the water sat. I also met a key requirement of the brief which was to have a person in your image who is looking at the camera.
This is my second image that I have chosen to use for my triptychs from my final shoot. This image is my comparison for the old image of the water gardens. Since the old image that I chose was taken a lot has changed to the water gardens. There has been some development in the ponds as there has been statues and art work added to make the ponds look a lot more interesting. Also there has been a variety of shops and restaurants that have been built around the outside and behind it. The reason that I have chosen to use this image is because I really like the depth effect in the image and how Megan is sharp and in focus and the rest of the image in the background is blurred and less sharp than Megan. Again like my first image I have also met a requirement of the brief which is to have a person in the image who is looking at the camera.
This is my final image from my shoot that I have decided to use in my final triptychs. This image is my comparison image for the old image of The Broad-walk in Harlow which is one of the main parts of the shopping area as well as The Water Gardens and also The Harvey Centre. The structure and the build of this place hasn’t changed much but the main key thing that has changed it the shops around it. In the older image there is a Woolworth’s which spreads across the whole of the three shops in this image which is now 02, Savers and Card Factory. I am really happy with the way that this image turned out as I managed to again meet the requirement of the brief to have some one looking at camera in the image and I also like the way that Megan is positioned as you can still see her but you can still clearly see all of the shops in the background.
After choosing my final images I also slightly edited them all so that they would fit in with the other images in my second triptych as I think it would make them more relatable. I have included my three edited image below with an explanation of what I did to my images to get my final results.
For this image I started off by putting the whole thing in black and white. I then adjusted the brightness and the contrast of the black and white for it to suit the lighting. I then noticed that after I had done this Megan’s face in the image was very dark and you couldn’t really see it. To rectify this I used the dodge tool in photoshop and I used the brush very lightly to add some light to her face so it could stand out against the dark background.
This image is a very basic edit. The only thing that I did to this image was put it in black and white and adjust the brightness and contrast so it would suit the lighting.
This image is also a very basic edit and to edit this image I did exactly the same process as my second image.
After I had edited these images I then put them into a triptych which I have put below.
This is my first final triptych. All of these images are my own original images. To go alongside of this will be my second triptych which will be the three old images that I got from the museum. I am really happy with the way that this triptych turned out as I think that I really met the brief well by creating a triptych and also having someone in the image who is looking in the camera. I also think that I really did well with getting the images that I needed. The three old images that I had are taken all in the same locations as these images. I am really happy with the way this turned out and I think that alongside my second triptych of the older images it will make complete sense of the meaning and the comparisons of the two images will be a lot clearer.
After making my first triptych I then went onto to creating my second triptych which is full of the older images that I got from the museum.
To get my final three images for my second triptychs I visited Harlow Museum where they have a variety of different old images of Harlow and this is where I started my main research into what my final idea would be and what images I would use for them. I have left these images exactly the same as I got them as I wanted them to be as original as possible and I didn’t want to change them in any way as I was already happy with the way that they looked.
I have left my images below and have written a small explanation into why I used these images for my triptychs and about the images themselves.
This is the first image that I used for my second triptych. I am really happy with this image and really glad that I chose it from the museum to use in my project. This is image is of the Water Gardens which is a main part of Harlow Town where you can find shops and restaurants and it is a very sociable place in Harlow. The reason I chose to use this image is because I really liked the way it was shot and I think that looking back at this image and the time in which it was taken I feel that a lot has changed and a lot of things have been added to the water gardens. Because of this I really wanted to show this and I feel that looking at them images that I took I managed to show this.
This is the second image from the museum that I chose to use and I am really happy that I chose this as again like the first image that I chose it is a really iconic place in the town that many people visit and spend time at on a day to day basis. The reason that I chose this is very much the same as the first image that I chose. Even though not much of the structure and the buildings have changed since the photo was first taken I feel that a lot of the shops and the surroundings have changed which I feel really shows the change in time. Looking at the shops in this photo then looking at the photo that I took and the shops in that you can definitely see what was popular back then and how much it has changed since then whether that shops still stands there or whether it is something completely different.
This is the final image that I chose from the museum for my project. The reason that I chose to use this image for my triptych is quite different to the reason why I chose the other two. In the first two images I decided to use them because they were iconic places in Harlow and there very popular, however I chose this image because it isn’t really an iconic or popular place in Harlow anymore and as time has gone on I think that it has changed a lot. If you look at the previous two image I would say as time went on they changed in a good way and got better over time, whereas in this image as time has gone on the place has got worse over time and it has completely changed. This image is of the town park paddling pool.
After choosing these images I then put them into photo shop to create my second final triptych, which I have put below.
With this triptych I put the images in order so they would match up the other triptych and the old image of Harlow would be opposite to the new image of Harlow which I took. I feel that doing this made the triptychs a lot clearer and you can easily match them up rather than being confused about whats old, whats new and which is which.
Looking at my final two triptychs I am really happy with the way that they went. I feel that I was able to meet the brief well and that everything that was required from the brief I managed to meet. In terms of my research I feel that I looked a lot into the history of Harlow and went into depth of how much it has changed and managed to show this in my final images. In terms of my proposed idea I feel that it went well and that I managed to get something that I was really happy with and it was what I first proposed. I feel that both my final two triptychs really represent the history of Harlow and have shown differences in Harlow and its iconic town of up to 70 years. I think that looking at the images it would be really easy for people to see the differences in the images and see big changes in Harlow over time just by looking at 6 images.
Even though this project went well and I was happy with my results I do feel that if I had to do this project again then I would do a few things differently in order to improve my work. Firstly I would have liked to of looked at lots of other images from the museum and maybe have made more triptychs similar to what I have made here. The reason I was unable to do this in this project is because the brief only required two final triptychs and that was it. I would also liked to have done some more experimental shoots and maybe practised a bit more with a few different shots and locations before shooting my final images. The reason I would liked to have done this is because I feel that it would have made my final shoot run a lot smoother and maybe I would have got it done in a lot less time than it actually took. Other than these points I am still very happy with what I have achieved in this project and what I have finally created.