PHO705: Assessment Period Reflection

The Helter Skelter that is Making (of late)

The research period moved into the making phase within the digital darkroom.

Many up and downswings have been encountered in the making, from renewed optimism to unexpected problems arising that needed to be resolved.

More structured recording of image statuses has now been established on Evernote as a wider body of work has emerged, none of which is entirely satisfactory at present.

Direction around abstract outcomes such as landscapes for some images fell foul of image banding as well as encountering more editing suite false images on the screen versus print.

Being guarded and mindful of this resulted in changes. A solar checking layer is used to detect banding where it might not be immediately visible to the eye followed by a step by step expansion method and 100% viewing (or do and undo merge layers).

And so too, subject matter bias changed in moving to the biology theme with the development of skill in making cellular images alongside associated graphic elements. Maybe too this was an avoidance strategy as avoidance of quality issues which and it led to switching the major theme to and fro ghost/landscape/biology

The methodology has changed through this as methodology currently biases towards forms as Surrealist imagery.

Another branch in the period in between these stages meant conducting a series of trials of merging stills dropped out of newsreel video. That presents challenges with the mixed resolution, edge problems and differential lighting when integrating. Time out was taken to practice overcoming these challenges but as a major wartime theme production has stopped for now. The problems can be tackled with more confidence having gained more practice on different methods. Whether to return to this or not is the question. There are probably too many themes for a book or exhibition and so something has to go. If the biology theme of cellular imagery went ahead then maybe too many similar images result. There is no obvious solution at this stage and so work continues with the numerous themes,

Reading the course requirement for quality scanning and professional making at this level on top of evidencing this does lead towards a situation of panic in these matters.

Thinking through the image merging the experience from the Summer exhibition weighed. Separate archives (of the author in this case) and abstract expressionistic images led to triptych layouts that worked in exhibition but not as a book (the weight of paper in a signature with not enough strength in the stitching. Signatures are complicated, always looking wrong at the earlier printing stage but turn out right, where triptych became unmanageable in the handling and ended up being complex or not practicable as a dummy.

PHO705: Working up the resolved portfolio

This blog post is a mixture of items from artist research through publication planning through to misleading image editing.

Artist Research

Helen Chadwick

Tony Essler

Exhibition

In the next week, the venue and date will be confirmed with the venue owner. The last exhibition, during the summer, was presented to an audience as a learning exercise in preparation for this FMP module of the MA Photography course.

As a learning thing, it was invaluable on all fronts. It is proposed to repeat this form and improve upon areas identified from advanced ‘marketing’, through to the quality of the edit with improved visual language and narrative.

Rather than stand alone as an unmarked work – course delivery is digital, the exhibition will again avoid being a Vanity project and help build the final PDF edit.

Newspaper|Magazine| Book

Having learned to hand bind and having practised by making two books and an exhibition pamphlet, the principles of making have been acquired and will be used to guide the selection of paper medium rather than allocate time to the unmarked making which cannot be handed in.

So printed artefacts will be designed and made but will use a professional service. A candidate service is currently being looked into.

Exhibition printing and mounting can be kept ‘in-house’. A decision will be made on technique, whether or not to do as in the summer surface mount prints on 40 by 50 board. The quality of the craftsmanship can be elevated to archival print mounting using cutouts and non-destructive taping.

The idea is to act in advance and take advantage of the settled decision to use 4 by 5 print ratio at A4. This means the board can be cut-out in advance. The layout is proven to work with the exhibition physical space and a simplified display method and available studio-style lighting which has been further augmented.

The ‘deal-breaker’ is in the image edit. If necessary, any archive image used that has to be landscape 4 by 5 ratio, will break the exhibition layout not just in terms of conformity but spatially – the exhibition needs to sit well within the identified space.

The conformity can be enforced as long as it makes sense and any ‘vital” image may be re-introduced into the final PDF edit.

The main images were previously described as being in an abstract expressionist style, by creating an emotion or feeling. The project has moved ever closer to the abstract surreal.

The abstract surreal is intended to be themed with archive photographs: originals of the author, family archive or images processed from historical video footage.

Image Editing Update

Having fallen foul of an editing software fault during a previous module (Adobe Lightroom Community, 2018), during the break it became necessary to view edits at a Zoom level of 100%. Work saved radically differed from the same image displayed on-screen during the editing process. What you see is not what you get. Variation from intent does represent a problem.

Some research into the unintended change led to an answer online (Adobe Photoshop Community, 2018).

The explanation is that the processing software avoids computer processing load by interpolating any smaller representation. In the current project, this is typically when the evolving image is fitted to screen – do not rely on what you see on screen unless at 100%. This became apparent in making image comparisons of processing Method A versus Method B following last months (December) Symposium on Imaging Science.

Bibliography

Adobe Photoshop Community (2018) Merge Layers fault. Available at: https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/merge-adjustment-layers/td-p/9842482.

Adobe Lightroom Community (2018) Random red blocks appear on images exported through Lightroom. Available at: https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic/seemingly-random-red-blocks-appear-on-images-exported-through-lightroom/m-p/10134977.

Innocence (2020) innocence paris. Available at: https://www.innocence-paris.com/fr/.

PHO705: Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art

Project development: rhymes, art and naming of the photo project.

Oxford definition.

This post is an extension of the Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art (McNamee, 2019) feature in the blog post, PHO705: Research Artsci, Communicating Science Visually, Computational Biology and a new Avant-Garde

The intention is to deliver something art-based (rhyme or graphic text or image titles) over the upcoming period between terms as noted in the Final Proposal. An intention is to experiment to discover if contextualisation and visual language can be built with Recombinant Rhymes or DNA Art.

The idea is to use imagination in selecting words like TELEOLOGICAL that contain DNA base letters ACGT and combine them for effect, perhaps making a video with a reading of a rhyme. Words are intended to be selected for their connection to narratives of the project.

Select from the following ACGT words for some connected meaning:

Base-words-ACGT

Examples:

  • Advocating 
  • Fracturing conflagrations
  • Countervailing 
  • Lethargic contagiousness

Interestingly, the validated list contains the terms Abstracting and Photographic.

Project naming

In short, “Motherline” is the name presently chosen. This is less politically charged than the earlier proposed project name “Matriarchy”.

Matriarchy like patriarchy has political overtones, so is not so attuned to the themes of the work.

Motherline is derived here from the post PHO705: Visual Language of DNA Testing and the terms:

  • Family Ancestry (autosomal DNA)
  • Motherline Ancestry (mtDNA)
  • Fatherline Ancestry (Y-DNA)

Bibliography

McNamee, A. (2019) ‘Art of Now Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art’. A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002rkb