For my fourth experimental shoot I completed a second technical shoot. This shoot I planned will help me to technically develop my idea and I hope that this will help me to gain some more technical skills along with developing my idea. For my final major project I have planned to conduct eight experimental shoots in total. Four of these will be conceptual shoots to help me develop my idea in terms of subject and the other four of these shoots will be technical shoots that will help me to develop my idea technically so that I can add technical skills and elements into my final shoot. I tried to make all of shoots very different but sometimes I found this quite difficult because of my subject that I chose and in some ways it can be see as quite similar. For this shoot as I was focusing on a technical element I found it a lot easier to differentiate my ideas as there are lots of different technical things that I can add to this idea and there are different things that I can add to it to make the idea and the images a lot stronger technically. Initially when I was planning my technical experiments I found it hard to think of some different ideas to use for my shoots and I tried again like my conceptual shoots to make them very different from others, otherwise you end up with the same thing over and over again which isn’t what I wanted. However I did a little bit more research into my idea and looked back at my other research and discovered some different technical aspects that I could select for this experimental shoot. I included this research that I did in my shoot plans in order to support my ideas. When it came to planning my technical test shoots I tried to steer away as much as possible from the conceptual side of things as I was already planning to do things like this in my conceptual shoots and wanted to make these technical shoots as different as possible. I tried to plan my shoots in as much detail as I could in order to produce good results and improve my ideas.
For this technical experimental shoot I decided to focus on the background of my images. In a lot of my experimental shoots I found that I was always focusing on construction and trying to plan how my images would look but I never took into consideration that background of my images and whether this would make a difference to the image. Also I was trying to see if there was a way that I could incorporate the story with the colour of the background as during my research I found that a background can affect the mood of an image and because of the different news stories that I am looking at I felt that during the planning stages of my final pieces I should take this into consideration. After I chose this idea I then did some research to support my idea as I had done this with a lot of my other shoot plans so I decided to continue this throughout my other plans. For this shoot I devised a plan based on my knowledge and my research to shoot some different joiners using materials that I have used from previous shoots to test out different backgrounds to see which ones I could use for my final shoots. I thought I would do this rather than experiment with different backgrounds on the day of my shoot as this would potentially waste time or I may have just chose what was there are got on with my shoot. I think it is hard to incorporate a background into something like a joiner because of the way that they are laid out and the way that they are set up, but when doing this shoot I found it quite easy to involve the backgrounds into the images. I think that if I am to use this for my final shoot it will really help to improve my work as I would have thought about something other than the subject, I would have taken into consideration how the image is made and what goes into it to make it a good piece of work.
The backgrounds that I chose to use for this shoot were, Black, White and Blue. The reason that I chose to use these backgrounds is because black and white are the two basic backgrounds that are used a lot in the studio as apposed to colour backgrounds. I decided to include these in my shoot as I thought that because they were basic backgrounds and ones that I have always used during studio shoots then I should use them in this particular experiment to test them out and asses what they would be like a long with my work. I then chose to use a blue background for my third background as I wanted to see what I could create using colour and if there was anything that I could add to my work by using a coloured background. When I did my research for this shoot I looked into moods and how they affect images and this can be done most of the time using coloured backgrounded so this is why I decide to use this particular background for my shoot. I wasn’t really fussed about the joiners that I created for this shoot as I wanted the focus to be purely on the way that I was using my backgrounds and the way that I was shooting the backgrounds rather than the concept of the shoot. For this shoot I used the studio as this gave me full access to a coloured background and it helped me to get a better result rather than using a table in the classroom with a coloured piece of paper behind it, which is what I was actually going to do but then I was given a recommendation to us the studio instead as for this test I would have got a better result which is what I did. I used my DSLR camera for this shoot and I differed from using it on and off of a tripod as there were certain shots where I wanted to have the camera on and off of the tripod. I made sure the take one plain image of the background before adding the joiner material and I did this to make sure that I could see what background I was using at the time and also to see what the background looked like without any material on it. I found this very effective as I could then use this to create photoshop based joiners as I would already have a background shot so this also came in handy for other shoots and also if I edited any of the images in photoshop. Much like my other shoots I tried to get around 30 shots to give me a good full contact sheet and possibly two contact sheets. I have put these contact sheets with my images below.
In this shoot the joiners that I created don’t have any context to them as I wanted to focus purely on the backgrounds in the images. The material that I see was in my previous shoots and I decided to keep the materials that I was using in my previous shoots as it was still something that I could use and I didn’t see any point in getting rid of the materials when they were perfectly fine to use again.
As I was in the studio I was able to use the backgrounds that I wanted to use rather than using a black or white piece of paper behind the images. To set up my shots I pulled the backdrops down to leave quite a big piece of it on the floor and then put a table behind the backdrop to support it. Then because I had a flat surface with the backdrop on it I was able to put my material on top of it and I found this a lot easier as the surface was flat and it meant that I could have my images flat on the table rather than raised in between the backdrop and the floors the results that I got may not have been as good. I had also previously planned to use a light box as one of my backgrounds but I decided against it as I was more focused on colours.
I think that my shoot went quite well and I thought that I got quite good results, however there are some things that I feel that I could do differently next time if I was to do this shoot again. For example I could maybe experiment with different backgrounds and more colours to show different results and also to show a different variety of moods. I also feel that I could make my joiners with more context in order to relate the story and the colour of the background up to show the mood.
For this piece of work I took some inspiration from David Hockney and Christian Marclay. They are both very famous for using and creating joiners in there work so I looked at their work to see what they do with their backgrounds. I found this research helpful as I was able to see which different backgrounds are used and what images they are used with.
I think that this test was a bit challenging for me but not fully challenging. There are some things that I did find challenging like using the new and different backdrops for my images as i had never used them before but I think that the challenge for me especially whilst evaluating my work was to see how I could change my work and make it different. I did manage to identify some things that I could alter next time around which I think was good as it shows that I was able to evaluate and assess my work effectively. When planning and conducting this shoot I sort of knew that it wasn’t very challenging as it could have been but I have been able to identify this.
As I hd already planned to my idea fully before I started my shoot I was able to refer back to my shoot plans for pointers to help with my shoot and this really helped me as it was like a guide to help construct and improve my work where needed.
I also found my research really helpful throughout the whole process of this shoot as it helped me to decide which backgrounds to use and also how to set up my joiners on them. I also did some research into joiners that use no backgrounds and this helped also support my ideas for this shoot.
When it comes to linking this to other shoots that I have done for this project I think that it is really easy to link them together because I can analyse the images for the mood and the story behind the images, look back at this shoot and make the decision of which background I can use for that image.