Layers of Reality – A Picture a Day (Part 2)

I have thoroughly enjoyed this week of photographing daily. Our group project was influenced by the internet trent across social media called ‘100 Happy Days.’ However, we only did seven. Usually these photographs would be taken on a mobile and posted onto Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. But shooting in RAW was a essential requirement of our project so as you can imagine, carrying my large DSLR camera with me all week was more challenging. But the results were worth it. But interestingly, I didn’t find myself looking for photographic opportunities around me. But just photographed the world as I saw it. It was essential to me that I didn’t accumulate a mass of images every day as I feel the project would loose its meaning. So I only took a photo when I saw something through my eyes that I believed needed photographing.

On analysis of my images I notices that my ‘realities’ may be different to others. I often focus on the small, unnoticed details and perhaps even peculiar moments of daily life. The pictures are less personal and more broad, not really creating any significant meaning, yet showing the way I see the world through my eye, with the aid of the cameras eye. These is my contact sheet of images shot throughout the week:

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 20.59.27

When reflecting on the work that we had all produced throughout the week, although very different in many ways. We decided that an interesting way to project our work as a whole would be to highlight similarities within our work then bring them together in a college. This showing the photographs of what may be seen as similar but in a way that projects our individual interpretations of reality though the photo. Like Yang Yongliang, we collected a large database of images, as you could imagine when 5 of us photographed everyday for a week. As we had so many images between us to choose from, we decided that we needed to make a final edit of the best images in which to collage together. This is our contact sheets of our final edit:

After editing down our images we next decided on the best way to layer these images together to create the best piece of work possible. After Sam’s research into Cubism and Surrealism, we decided that the use of strong ‘V’ and ‘Y’ geometric shapes in our photographs would enhance the effectiveness of our work as we assembled it into a collage piece.

Our first step in creating our images was to open them in Camera RAW, as this meant we could edit them in a non-destructive way. By doing this we could work with a specific tonal range so that when layered together later on in the process, they would all fit together nicely. Also adjust the exposure, white balance, shadows and highlights gave us full control over the final outcome of the photograph.

When it came to layering our images we created smart object layers to again edit it in a non-destructive way. Then to create the collages we used the eraser tool which enabled us the combines the images in a surrealist way. But also in a way that at first glance, you might not consider to be multiple images.

After researching Yang Yongliang and Sohei Nishino we decided to experiment with collaging and merging as two different effects. I think that the effect of merging worked better in portraying our message as your realities, being different, came together as one within the photo and made the overall piece stronger. However with the last image that we collaged by just joining the images together, our realities we still seperated, and although this can portray the message that we all see different realities, I feel that the other images worked better with our theme.

As a group, we are pleased with with our outcomes as we weren’t entirely sure how well all of our images would fit together without a set theme. Yet, we were able to draw these similarities from our individual realities. And ultimately, were able to portray that we don’t always view things in the same way, but by combining them, can create something quite unique and powerful as an overall concept.

© Kirstie Wilkinson

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