BTF: Sixth shoot

After looking at all of my images in the photo type photo book I made I realised that the eyelashes on these three eyes were blurry. I decided to re-shoot them as I had the time to correct the error and preferred to have the images quality consistent.

One this that isn’t consistent with the eyes is which eye a shot. It is a strange thought but after photographing several different eyes I realised that there is such a thing as a good eye and a bad eye just like most of us have a good side and a bad side to be photographed. After photographing each eye these were the ones which I found were more aesthetically pleasing.

I will now look into doing the final version of my photo book now that I have corrected my focussing error.

sixth-shoot
Sixth Shoot
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Essay Research: Donna Ferrato

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Ferrato , D. (1991) Living with the enemy. New York: Aperture.

Donna Ferrato’s book Living with the Enemy (1991) was dedicated to exposing the difficulties and the dangers of domestic abuse at a time when police and judges saw it as a family matter and wouldn’t get involved until someone was dead. However, through the book she also documents the change in how police deal with these cases as they began to get training on how to deal with them and notice signs of abuse.

She used her camera to document women suffering from the abuse and their husband or boyfriends, some more closely than others. At the beginning of the book Ferrato explained why she began to photograph domestic abuse. As it had never been a part of her childhood it wasn’t until she witnessed a man hit his wife whilst on an assignment that she realised how wrong love could go. Ferrato was so shocked by what she had seen that she became determined to help people affected by it “Driven to try to do something about it, I found that a camera was my best weapon. “ (Ferrato, 1991) the only way Ferrato knew how to try and force people to deal with the issue of domestic abuse was to show them what happens.

In the introduction to the book Ann Jones tells the reader how Ferrato got her images and gives more information on what a woman suffering from domestic abuse goes through. She states that Ferratos style is very casual “She’ll hang out for days at a hospital or a shelter or a police department or somebody’s house – she loves talking to people – and once in n a while she’ll squeeze off a picture with her funny-looking camera, like any casual observer snapping a souvenir photo on an Instamatic. “ (Jones, 1991) from what the subject matter of the photographs are of this is a very offhand way of describing her style, it takes away the seriousness of the kind of work Ferrato is doing. Jones also discusses the ethical issues of the kind of images Ferrato takes, especially the photographs she takes whilst in someone’s home “I’ve heard a photo editor complain that some of Ferrato’s photographs depict things too private to be photographed. Some things should not be imaged, the argument goes, and “domestic violence” is one of those things.” (Jones, 1991) she also talks about how closely this argument connects to “…the traditional excuse of the law and the church and the state for doing nothing to stop violence against women and children.” (Jones, 1991) although some of Ferratos images do show extremely private moments between husband and wife if we did not see the proof and the violence through them would we still believe how terrible it can be? Subjects such as this are easy to ignore and turn away from if they do not affect you personally. Ferrato found a way to force her audience to face the reality of what is going on behind closed doors.

I found Ferrato’s book very interesting when thinking of it in terms of ethics and wanted to explore other social issues rather than war in my essay as in terms of ethics this is dealt with a lot so I wanted to take it in a different direction.

Bibliography

Ferrato , D. (1991) Living with the enemy. New York: Aperture .

BTF: Ink on paper

After my first ink experiment with water I then decided to try and re-create it on paper so that I would have more control. The images above show the results which I took with my iPhone.

This technique was not as easy as I thought it would be, the ink did not spread out in the way I thought it would. The colours were too separate and did not come together. I would have to spend a lot longer with this for it to work.

After trying this I have decided that I’m not going to use ink for my final images but am going to use the cropped images of the eyes showing just the iris. When they’re printed out larger I think that the cropped iris images will look even more abstract. Also by having the eyes in the photo book and having the iris patterns be the first thing the viewer will see it is less likely that they will make the connection between the two straight away.

I did want to create the iris patterns myself but it doesn’t look like it will be possible to make it realistic enough. However by taking the picture of the eye I am using a man made machine and by also cropping it down to just the iris pattern I am creating my own art and interoperation on the eye, rather than it being made by the divine maker.

Dronework

This lecture takes us back to thoughts at the beginning of the lecture series. Discussing visual technologies that exceed the capabilities of the human eye.

We mainly focussed on medical technologies and weaponised vision.

The imaging technologies we looked at used translated data rather than images.

  • Objectivity and subjectivity
  • Indexical: physical trace of evidence, something has been there, images are physical data.

Recent imaging technology: new cameras go beyond the human eye, no longer based on it.

Computational photography: information of time, time distortion, imaging in 4 dimensions.

Femto photography: Trillian frames per second, can show light in motion; beyond what the human eye can see.

Plenoptic or ‘Light Field’ Camera

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  • Shows more than one perspective, because it captures than just a single scene you can change the focus in post-production.

Jules Spinatsch

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  • During 2009 this was the largest panorama, but now it probably isn’t.
  • Shown is 8 hours’ worth of images. When looking at the image however you want to think it’s all the same time because of our own relation to time and images are usually a single moment.
  • Panorama: cannot see the world in this way, makes it strange to look at.
  • No longer to do with what our eye is capable of seeing.

Image as information

  • Create new referents
  • Femto, things that are created
  • Just showing (camera obscura) not active in the world.

‘The surgeon, the electronics fabricator, or somebody working with toxic materials – they are all using the image to manipulate something. … Images are a part of the primary intervention into the world.  … We are no longer wondering if our representation of the thing matches something out there. Today, more and more, we want images that do things. An evidentiary image is no longer sufficient for many scientists. We want images that help us organize information, that are accessible, that may not be a copy of something “out there” at all.” Galison, p36

‘The image is an integral part of [a] new matrix of power, and I think that we don’t really understand where it is going or what it will become. The searchable, cheap image, the archives of our digital lives – these will, I am sure, transform our way of life and our concepts of power.’ Galison, p39

  • In some ways, it is very creepy how much data is being collected of us without us being aware.

Medical Imagery

  • Has a relationship with touch.
  • Invisible data, have to rely on translation.

Ultrasound

  • Think that we’re looking at a photograph as that’s what we’re used to but it has nothing to do with photography.
  • Further information can be gained from them that we cannot see, it needs to be translated by a professional.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • Uses radio frequencies.

Computerised Tomography (CT)

  • Slices of pictures, software combines them.

MRI, ultrasound, and similar images ‘do not conform to practices of sight. This difference signals a radical departure from our photographically informed notions of referentiality and indexicality, which are premised on the visible correspondence and causal connection of image with object.’ Teffer, p123

  • Indexicality: what we see was there.
  • What is produced by these machines has no analogy, between what we see in the image and medical technology are two different things.
  • Invisible information, transferred.
  • Made by computers, not able to do any of these before the computer was invented.

The ‘image’ of a foetus is ‘a phenomenon constituted in the interaction of the object/foetus with the ultrasound apparatus. This phenomenon, rather than the foetus itself, is the referent.’ Teffer124

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  • Doesn’t come out like this.
  • Is an image but not a photograph.
  • Phenomenon is the referent, something that is happening.
  • 3D result of process.

Atomic Force Microscope

  • Study material surfaces
  • Based on physical interactions

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Ontological and epistemological continuity between the photograph and the medical image

Ontological: Of or related to being.

Epistemological: Of or related to knowledge.

No longer rely on images in the same way.

Weaponised Vision

Beginning to think about what we will be dealing with in next week’s lecture.

  • Drones in a military context and the culture of surveillance.

James Bridle

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James Bridle, Drone Shadow, Istanbul, 2012 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stml/sets/72157631741955211/
  • Where a drone has been, ‘drone shadows’.
  • Making the form of surveillance visible.
  • Life size of drone.
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James Bridle, Dronestagram, 2012
  • Estimate of where they have occurred.
  • Not real time, locates the coordinates using Google Earth.
  • Shows the areas before a drone strike because Google Earth doesn’t get updated very often.
  • Ability of drone to distance the act of killing.
  • Moral distance.
  • Mostly illegal killing.
  • Brings the strikes into visibility.
  • Based on data gathering, we can’t see with our eyes.
  • Political project.

The drone … for me, stands in part for the network itself: an invisible, inherently connected technology allowing sight and action at a distance. … But the non-human components of the network are not moral actors, and the same technology that permits civilian technological wonder, … also produces obscurantist ‘security’ culture, ubiquitous surveillance, and robotic killing machines.

This is a result of the network’s inherent illegibility, its tendency towards seamlessness and invisibility, from code to ‘the cloud’. Those who cannot perceive the network cannot act effectively within it, and are powerless. The job, then, is to make things visible.
James Bridle, from Under the Shadow of the Drone, 2012.

 

Essential reading: Lange, Christy (2013). ‘Blurred Visions’, Frieze 155.

 

“Surface Tension” by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

The video shown above is an interactive installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer where a eye is seen following the audience as they walk past it. The eye on the screen is very large, giant compared to the viewer looking at it, as the human eye is so small this makes the relationship between the audience and the work very strange and surreal, as though this large being is watching them through a peep hole.

The work is based on a reading of Georges Bataille’s text The Solar Anus during the first Gulf War and the first wide-spread deployment of camera-guided “intelligent bombs”. The work can also be related to todays use of surveillance cameras which can recognise your face and store it. We live in a world where we are under constant watch, the installation by Lozano-Hemmer portrays this by using a human eye, making the watchfulness of his work very real and daunting. Imagine if all the surveillance cameras weren’t machines but were recreations of humans eyes watching us, because they look like cameras I think it can be easy to forget that there’s someone behind a computer watching.

In my own work I thought that if I had more time and a bigger budget this sort of installation would really add to my work. I however would perhaps prefer to have lots of these and all much smaller, I am more interested in the eye images being a similar size to our own. I want the audience to have to get close to the work to demonstrate the sort of closeness I had to get to my sitters when I was taking the pictures rather than it being one giant omniscient eye watching over them. In a sense by having the eyes small and less noticeable it would make the fact they’re following the movements of the viewer even more creepy as they wouldn’t be as aware it was happening until they noticed. In  way this makes it more an invasion of privacy than the giant eye.

 

Cyanotype Workshop

The cyanotype process is very similar to that of the salt print, although it can be used in a more versatile way and can be applied to cotton, wool, wood, and even non porous surfaces such as glass or acrylics.

Materials

  • Hake brush. No metal ferrule and no metal by the bristles (you can’t wash hake brushed with warm water).
  • Coating glass rod
  • Contact printing frame. Cheap clip frames will do too or any piece of glass to flatten negatives and objects.
  • Potassium ferricyanide red.
  • Ferric ammonium citrate (green)
  • Two empty bottles to store the chemicals separate. Dark brown or black are better.
  • Distilled water or just water. Ideal Ph for water is Ph4, so slightly acidic.
  • Sunlight or any UV light source.
  • Recipient for mixing the solutions.
  • Scale
  • Syringe
  • Plastic teaspoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Developing tray
  • Negatives
  • Substrate for coating. Paper, clothes etc.
  • Gloves
  • Hairdryer if you want the prints to dry faster.

The process step by step:

Step 1 – Coating 

You can coat many different types of paper, even coloured. Cheap acid papers such as newspapers work very well.

You can also print on fabrics, to do this it’s best to immerse the fabric into the photo sensitive formula.

If using paper you can coat it using a hake, foam brush or coating rod. You can do this in normal light. Apply the photo-sensitive solution quickly using gentle vertical and horizontal strokes. It will depend on the paper that you use on how much you can put on.

Step 2  – Drying 

Once you have coated your paper let it dry in low light or semi dark conditions. If you use a hairdryer hold it far away and from the opposite side to the solution.
The paper should be properly dried, any moisture left in the paper will become an instant developer since this is a water development technique.

Step 3 – Exposing 

You can use daylight to expose but the atmospheric conditions will effect your exposure.

During the wash and development stages you will loose density so it is important that your highlights are able to print. One of the most common problems with cyanotype is underexposure. The denser the negatives require longer exposures.

The best way to check the exposure is to look at the print. The darkest areas should be turning to a dull grey and there should be some yellow visible in the lightest areas.

The exposure should vary between 8 minutes under UV light to 1 hour on an early morning.  It helps to write down your exposure time to be able to evaluate your progress over a printing session.

Step 4 – Development

Traditionally cyanotypes are developed with running water. The best water to use would be slightly acidic, Ph4 or distilled water. You can extend the tonal range without lengthening the exposure by adding vinegar to the water bath but you will loose contrast. The more vinegar you add the less contrast you will have.

Step 5 – Wash

After exposure and development you will need to wash your print in running water for 5 – 15 minutes or until the highlights have cleared to white and you shouldn’t see any green-yellow in the water. Make sure not the wash it for too long as you’ll lose pigmentation in the highlights.

After you have washed your cyanotype you need to leave it to dry. As it dries the blues will get darker.

You can accelerate the process by adding Hydrogen Peroxide 3% to a water bath, between the development and the washing steps. You can mix this with the water without having to worry as its used to clean wounds and as a mouthwash. This won’t add anything to the print that wouldn’t naturally happen during the drying process but it is interesting to see.

 

Gender Theory Seminar

I think that my groups presentation went fairly well, we got our point across and sectioned the powerpoint up well between each of us. We each spoke clearly about our subjects and included a lot of information on different areas of gender theory using methods gender, masculinity and transgender.

To improve on this and if we had more time to do the presentation there are different areas in which we could have looked at and in more depth in answering why gender is becoming important again. In relation to the actual presenting part of the seminar as we were quite nervous we could have spoken a bit more and made eye contact with the audience, I myself was mainly focussing on the screen or my notes. If we did it more we would obviously become more confident in speaking in front of people.

During the researching process and working as a team we each picked a subject we were interested in looking into and made sure that it would all fit together in the presentation. Luckily we all had interests in gender theory that linked together really well otherwise this stage would have been a lot more difficult. It was intriguing and also helpful however to hear what others were interested in researching as it showed me that if I were do be doing it on my own these are all methods in which I will need to look into for my essay.

In future work this will help me to think about all the different areas and ways in which I can study pieces of work. By looking at the work and analysing it through different methods it helps create a more interesting and thorough investigation.

Now I will be moving onto doing my own research for my essay, although I have found gender theory interesting I have previously found a body of work by Donna Ferrato Living with the Enemy which I would like use as one of my case studies for the essay question on the ethics of photographing suffering.

 

Photography and the Body II: Experiencing the image (the image as artefact)

Looking at two genres of photography, fashion and pornography, both are meant to arouse sensation and affects. We have bodies.

Daguerreotypes

  • Instagram: hand held object, not printed. Meaning of photographs are social.
  • You have to look at a daguerreotype in a certain way to see it, move it around.
  • You can recreate this with a large format black and white print.
  • Were luxury items (worth a month’s salary at the time) the owner would be of a certain social status.
  • Tin versions of it were a lot cheaper and more affordable.
  • They were meant to be handled, experienced as objects.
  • They’re now historical objects, this creates a different experience as they are seen on the wall rather than handled. The passage of time changes the way we see them.

Photography as index or trace

  • Physical relationship with index (direct relationship).
  • Example; a footprint, Victorian practice, post mortem, material trace.
  • Memorialising the dead – wax flower (won’t die) Physical memorial trace.
  • Meant to be kept, still do it in Japan. Shrine, religious icon.
  • Point – photograph has a direct relationship.

Daisuke Yokota

  • Heats and burns the photograph, shows it as an object.
  • At one point each image was a photograph of something.

Catherine Yass

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Catherine Yass, ‘burn’, from the series Damage, 2005
  • Damages the negative.

Maurizio Anzeri

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Maurizio Anzeri, ‘Priscilla, 1940’, from the series Second Hand Portraits, 2008
  • Found images threaded to create something else.

Katinka Goldberg

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Katinka Goldberg, from the series Bristningar, 2013
  • Re-photographed
  • How viewers respond to photograph
  • The cut of collage, want people to know its collage, uneven cuts.
  • Scan photograph of collage or physical?

Alison Rossiter

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Alison Rossiter, ‘Kodak Kodabrom F2, Expired March 1940, processed in 2007’, from the series Lament: Expired Paper, 2007-2009
  • Only develops old paper

Daniel Gordon

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Daniel Gordon, ‘Zinnias’, from the series Still Lifes, Portraits, and Parts, 2011
  • 3D still life’s make out of photographs
  • Object becoming photograph.
  • In between stage of image and object.

Femke Dekkers

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Femke Dekkers, Stage 10 (green), 2013
  • None in camera, large format.
  • Sculpture in real space, 2D when photographed.
  • Based on relationship between camera and 3D space.
  • For the cameras gaze.

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

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Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Circle of Confusion, 1997
  • Took images from the exhibition, revealed mirror.
  • Interactive.

Shimon Attie

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Shimon Attie, Mulackstrasse 32, (slide projection of former kosher butcher shop), 1993
  • Slides, locations.
  • Projections on original places.
  • Historical layers.

Affect contagion falls within the domain of ‘sympathetic communication’. Sympathetic modes of communication involve form-sharing, especially sharing of movement and affect, and they not only persist alongside linguistic modes, but inhabit and actively shape them. These are not rudimentary, infantile, or so-called ‘primitive’ modes of communication: rather, they are the essential prerequisites for, and accompaniments of, verbal communication. …. This is to say that they are not noise in the system: they are (part and parcel of) the system.” Gibbs, p338

  • Affect contagion – sharing of emotions. Example; smiling at someone randomly.
  • Sympathetic communication – body language, gesture, cultural, violence (middle finger).
  • sharing of movement and affect – Physical posture change how we experience the world – sit up, smile, makes you feel better.
  • All stuff to do with body, fills out meaning of images.

Mirror neurons

  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Motor neurons – someone doing something and seeing it. Same brain activity. Pain and sympathetically experience it. Bodily empathy. Own experience of having a body. Not been proved with humans.
  • Seeing and doing. Reason we feel empathy, body and emotional.

“Research on the human MNS has shown that the observation even of static images of actions leads to action simulation in the brain of the observer … the observation of static graspable objects activates not only visual areas of the brain but also motor areas that control object-related actions such as grasping. The observation of a graspable object leads to the simulation of the motor act that the object affords. This implies that the same neuron not only codes the execution of motor acts but also responds to the visual features that trigger them, even in the absence of overt movement.” (Freedberg & Gallese, p200)

Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait/Pervert, 1994

  • Sympathy to pain.
  • Gimp mask (BDSM)
  • Submissive
  • Big Image
  • ‘Pervert’ on chest
  • Background, Lavish, velvety, luxury, domestic, draped like a curtain.
  • Mother, also images of her breastfeeding her child.
  • Very little ambiguity.

Alexa Wright

Alexa Wright, from Opera Interna, 2005

  • Opera performers, emotions exaggerated.
  • How we experience lightened emotions.
  • Grotesque, disturbing – character on the end.
  • (Affect, emotion can come in, not completely).

 Thaumatrope

  • Pull it and reveals two images.
  • Jonathan Crary, 19th century onwards, vision located in body, explosion of visual tricks.

Phenakistoscope

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  • Not just referent, visions occurs in body, explosion and of body.
  • Experience porn, vision embodied.

 Stereoscope

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  • Two images from different views, makes it 3D.
  • Pornography, became so popular it became socially unacceptable to have one.

Porn – body genre. Encourages viewer to feel your own body. Fashion photography works in the same way. Both body genres, inhabit body of another person.

Isabelle Wenzel

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Isabelle Wenzel, Figure no. 3, 2011
  • Her in her images, all real, not Photoshoped.
  • Physically doing things we cannot do.

Pinar Yolaçan

  • In Brazil it is common to call their maids ‘Maria’.
  • Dresses made of meat, maids not bothered by wearing the dresses, used to handling meat.
  • The second image is of the people who hire them.
  • Culturally dependent.

Juergen Teller

  • Looks possessed, not in control of body.
  • How a fashion photograph is meant to make us feel.
  • Unpleasant affects.
  • Dolls – hair over brushed, poses, body that isn’t a real body.
  • Fashionable to do industrial photo shoot.

 

 

Salt print workshop

The salt print was the first process which allowed photographers to be able to print their images which would be fixed so that they didn’t disappear. This alternative process has become popular again, especially in the USA but some artists in the UK are also using it.

The materials needed for salt prints are:

  • An empty bottle
  • 12g Silver Nitrate
  • 6g Citric Acid
  • Hake brush. No metal ferrule. Preferably no metal by the bristles. No warm water.
  • Coating glass rod
  • Contact printing frame. Cheap clip frames will do.

And:

  • 100ml of distilled water or just water
  • 20g of Sodium Chloride (kosher salt) or Ammonium Chloride
  • 25g of sodium thiosulfate
  • 2g of sodium Carbonate
  • Sun light or any UV light source
  • A saucer for mixing chemicals
  • Scale
  • Syringe
  • Plastic teaspoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Developing tray
  • Negatives
  • Paper to be coated. You are going to soak the paper in different baths about 5 times so the paper need to be strong enough. We used Arches Platine 310g.
  • Gloves
  • Hairdryer if you want them to dry faster (only cold air from a distance)

The process:

Step 1 – Salting

The paper that your using should be 100% acid free and it is also recommended to use paper with a smooth, which is what the Arches paper we used is.
Once you have your paper you next need to soak it in the salt bath which can be in normal light conditions and leave this for 5 minutes and then dry it. You can do as many sheets as you want in the solution as it will not deteriorate.

Step 2 – Coating

Pour the solution into a saucer and lightly dip your brush and apply the solution in quick light movements, you can also use a glass rod. The coating process needs to happen under safe light conditions.

You can double coat your paper but you need to wait for it to dry in between. The more layers you add the more sensitive the solution on the paper will be and so this will affect your exposure times.

Step 3 – Drying

In order to be able to remember which side you have coated make a mark on the corner of the paper. Let the paper sit for a few minutes before started to dry it, you can use a hair dryer to make the process faster but do it from far away and on the opposite side so it’s not directly onto the solution and make sure it’s on the cold setting. Once the paper is completely dry you should expose it as soon as possible.

Step 4 – Exposing

Place your negative on the coated paper and double check that the image will print on the right reading order.

Step 5 – Washing (first)

Leave the print in running water for 5 minutes.

Step 6 – Fixing

Leave the print in the fix for 5 minutes and constantly agitate the tray.

Step 7 – Washing (second)

Leave in running water for 5 minutes again.

Step 8 – Hypo Clearing

Leave your print in the bath for 5 minutes and agitate the tray. This bath shortens the final washing time.

Step 9 – Washing Final

Leave the print in running water for 10-15 minutes. If you do not use the hypo clearing agent this will instead need to be 20-30 minutes.

Step 10 – Drying

The image will get darker and it will lose some contrast once the print is completely dry.

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Shown above are my prints from the salt print workshop, I quite liked this process but not for the images which I printed as I don’t think there’s enough detail. I also didn’t coat my paper properly so there are gaps in the image, I think that this can look interesting for some images but because it’s such a big gap I don’t think it works. It was however fascinating to do and learn how they used to do all their prints in the past when photography first began.

BTF: Photo book

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This is how I had originally planned the layout for the photo book, the size of the paper is A5 and the eyes are on the left and the close up of the iris is on the right. This size is a bit too small to layer all the pages on top of each other which makes the book too thick. I also didn’t realise that when I put all the pages on top of each other the pages would come out wrong and all the eyes would come first and all the close ups would be together at the back half of the book.

Above is my correction of this by printing and cutting out the images shown previously and blue tacking them onto the pages so that I could see how the layout should be. I bound the pages together just by using an elastic band. For the photo book I doubled the size of the length of the paper so that one page would be A5 so that the images fit better as also so that the book in itself was bigger.

Instead of showing the eye and the iris next to each other they are on separate pages so that when you flick through you see an eye and the the close up of the eye. During my tutorial with my tutor he suggested that if I wanted to make it less obvious that the second images were the close ups of the eye and to make it more abstract I could do a photo book with just the eyes, and print out the abstract images larger and have them on the gallery wall. This would mean that the viewers would have to look inside the photo book to make the connection between the two. This would also mean that if I were to create my own iris patterns out of ink etc. then it would be less obvious that they were not the same as the eyes. However my tutor suggested that just by cropping and taking the image of the eye is me creating my own version of the eye so it’s not totally necessary that I need to make it out of something else. I would be good if I were able to paint or use ink as the iris duplicate but if my experiments do not work out then I will just print out the cropped images of the iris instead.