Within the module my work developed through actively taking pictures of the eyes and trying different lighting techniques. I learned that the best way to photograph an eye with a medium format Hasselblad was to use a ring flash rather than hard lights or soft boxes to get the result I wanted. At first I was mainly interested in the iris patterns in the eyes and so didn’t want the flash to effect this, as even with using Photoshop it’s hard to edit the flash out. By using the ring flash, I could focus the light to the pupil, making it easy to edit out. As I was having to use Photoshop to do my editing I also gained confidence and a better knowledge of the software as I don’t use it often. I wanted to use the digital medium format Hasselblad as I don’t often work with digital cameras and thought that it would give me the most detail possible.
For my project The Divine I focused mainly on the philosophy of the Design Argument. This is the religious argument that is used as evidence that God exists. It is based on the theory that because such complex natural objects as the eye exists, it is only possible that someone all-powerful created it. The eye and the watch get compared; the watch is obviously made by a watchmaker and the eye is created by a ‘divine’ watchmaker. It was from this idea which I began to see my eye images in a different way and began to play with the idea of recreating the images with my own hand. The idea was to have the watchmaker and the divine watchmaker coming together. A mix between the man made and the divinely made, tricking the eye into thinking they’re seeing the same thing.
I was also interested in thinking of the camera as a mechanical eye and the relationship between my eye, the mechanical eye (the camera) and the subjects eye. When photographing mine and the subject’s eyes were connected through the camera, without the camera in between us the experience would have been very intimate and possibly uncomfortable. When thinking about how I presented the images this thought made a difference to how big I wanted the images printed.
Although most of my work was created during post-production I found that seeing them printed out made a big difference to the connection I felt. I wanted to experience them in a similar way to how I took them, so I found the photo book is my favourite way to display them as when flicking through the book it feels quite intimate as you’re in close proximity to the images. I also think that by having ten final images for the photo book and on the wall, makes it more interesting and has more on an impact than if there was only a few. Overall I am pleased with how my project has turned out, I think the images display my concept in an interesting and engaging way.
For my project The Divine I focused mainly on the philosophy of the Design Argument. This is the religious argument that is used as evidence that God exists. It is based on the theory that because such complex natural objects as the eye exists, it is only possible that someone all-powerful created it. The eye and the watch get compared; the watch is obviously made by a watchmaker and the eye is created by a ‘divine’ watchmaker. In my work, I have shown work by the watchmaker and the divine watchmaker coming together. A mix between the man made and the divinely made. The subject matter of these images may be the eye, but they have been captured and re-imaged through the camera and editing software.
I wanted to do a couple of exhibition layout mock ups to see what the images will look like in the gallery environment. As they are A4 this is the sort of size i think they will be on the wall. I’m not sure if I’ve got the sizing right, they might appear smaller. I do however think that the layout will work well in the gallery space, even at a smaller size. The second image I included a sample image that had a plinth as I will need one to have my photo book on.
I think by having a smaller size, the image quality is better as they are cropped images from the eyes, but also it will make it so people might have to walk up to them to see what they are which is what I wanted.
I also wanted to see what it would look like if my images were a larger size on the gallery wall. I think if I had more space, or was perhaps a part of a exhibition for less people I would print them this size, or I would instead of having them together spread them about around the room.
I have however become quite fond of the smaller size, because of the better quality of image, although if they were printed out larger the grain would perhaps mask more what you were looking at. They would become more like paintings than photographs I think.
If like that I have ten final images, if there were less I don’t think it would have as much of an impact. However if I perhaps only used one the connection between the photo book and the images on the wall would perhaps be less obvious. If I only had one I would print it out bigger as well, so as I said it would be more grainy and painterly. I am happy with my decision of printing them all out though, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all looks together.
I am really pleased with how my photo book has come out in the end, I have created a title page for it and have decided to title my project The Divine because of it’s connect to the Design Argument and the thought of a Divine maker creating the eye. I thought that the font went well with this concept, italics is a reasonably old font type which I think goes with the age of the creation of eyes. I also think it reminds me of the font which is used on this for this site, and like the italics of the words The Divine in it.
I really like having these images displayed in this way alongside the images on the wall, I think having them small makes it a lot more intimate, I like that people will have to prick it up and flick through it. Also because it will possibly be handled a lot I am also glad that I did not spend a lot making it, so if it does get ruined I can easily make another one, although I hope that it won’t.
I will be very interested to see whether the connection is made between the photo book and the images on the wall. Whilst I was printing my images that are to be displayed on the wall another student who hadn’t seen my work guessed what the iris images were straight away so I don’t think it will be as difficult as I first thought. Even seeing the iris enlargements on their own, it seems easy to guess what they are, but maybe in the exhibition it will be harder when they are among lots of different work.
Over all I am really pleased with the outcome of all of my images, it will be very interesting to see if all put together in the exhibition.
Now that I have all of my final images together I have been trying out different orders I could display them it.
To begin with I decided to see what they looked like vertical, however, because I will have a plinth for my photo book this may be too tall so you won’t be able to see the top images very well. I also struggled with the different colours, there are quite a few browns which I tried to split up. I think out of the two layouts shown above I prefer image 2 as I think I’ve managed to split the colours up more effectively. These layouts were taken from the order of my photo book, but as they’re meant to be separate I don’t think these images need to be in the same order.
I then decided to try them horizontal rather than vertical and I think that these will work much better. Image 3 is the same order as image 2, I think this order works better being horizontal, but I still didn’t think it looked quite right. For image 4 I decided that instead of trying to split up the colours I would work with them, so I tried to put them in order of colour and also dark to light. This layout I think works the best out of them all. I think with these images as they’re next to each other, rather than being on separate pages like the photo book it’s best to order the colours next to each other rather than trying to separate them.
I am really pleased with the how my iris images look, especially when seeing them all together. I think all the different colours and patterns look really interesting together, notably how I have a range of dark to bright colours.
I have now chosen my final images which are going to be displayed in the wall along side my photo book. I have decided to print them out at A4 size, if I were doing this for an exhibition where I would have more space ideally they would be much bigger than this, probably A1. As I will need the prints to hand in at the end of the module I did not want to print them out both ways as this would have been too expensive because I have 10 final images. If I had less then I would perhaps have done them all at A3.
To begin with when printing out my images I tried Pinnacle Matte photographic paper, however the first image didn’t have enough contrast when printed on this paper and became very flat, which is not how I wanted them to look. Editing the image to add more contrast messed up the colour as well. I was going to try photo rag paper but as the cheaper matte didn’t turn out very well I didn’t think there was any point trying it as I needed the paper to reflect the light more to get more contrast in my images.
In order to try and get more contrast in my images I tried lustre paper instead, this is the equivalent to semi gloss, so it’s in between matte and gloss. This worked much better and gave me the contrast I wanted in my images. As you can see from the images below just the change in paper made a big difference to the way my images looked. The paper used for images is very important as each has a different quality and reflects the light in different ways.
I am now very happy with how my final images for the wall look, it’s very interesting seeing them is this way, I’m now going to play around with the order to see how I want to display them, I’m not sure how much room I will have so this may change how I will be able to.
My photo book is now ready to print so I went to the book printers to do colour profile tests, but the paper I am planning on using (Inkjet Spectra matte) doesn’t have one that is already provided and I have not been successful in finding one online either. To try and resolve this issue I decided to try different colour profiles which are already set up on the printers but this was very successful.
As you can see from the images of the tests none of them resemble the correct colours, they’re either too dull or too vibrant. Another issue is how obvious the pupil is as I blacked it out so that the ring flash could not be seen in it.
Unfortunately because none of the colour profiles I tried worked I am going to print the photo book out using my own printer as this is what I used to make the photo type of the photo book and the colours are the closest using this. The reason the paper I bought doesn’t work with the book printers is because it isn’t fine art paper but is office paper and so by using an ordinary printer without a colour profile actually makes it come out better.
The next thing I will have to do is print it out and then fold all of the pages together, I have decided to hold it together using an elastic band, the same way I did the prototype. I wanted it to be fairly simple and low cost so I think that it will work well for what I want it for, I quite like that it will look hand made rather than machine made as I think this goes with the concept of the project well, the man made and the divinely made.
Above shows a comparison of two different types of cropped image from my eyes series.
On the left is how I had originally decided to crop the eye, this is closer in so that the pupil is more of the main focus. Now that I have decided that I am having the eyes displayed separately to the abstract iris images I think that perhaps have more of the eye in the image would work better. I no longer need the iris to be as much of a main focus because the cropped images of the iris are going to be displayed on the wall.
With the full eye in the image it will become less obvious that the iris images have come these eyes. However the issue that I am having with doing this is that the gender and the race of the eyes become more prominent whereas I wanted the eyes to be gender neutral. This isn’t a massive issue but still something that I would have preferred not to have in the images.
I am also now thinking about the size I want to print the enlarged iris images. Ideally I think that I would like them printed fairly big, around A3 as any bigger than this and the iris photographs may look too pixellated. For the exhibition I am currently thinking of printing them A4 and pinning them to the wall. I may however, just to see what it will look like print one of the best iris images A3 and display it in the exhibition and have A4 prints to submit. So that the viewer will be able to see how the prints were meant to look, if I could have them as big as I want.
I have also been thinking about the quality of paper I want to print on, the photo paper which I have for the photo book is matte, and so in order to connect the photo book and the prints I think that I might do the prints on matte paper too. The photographic paper which is closest to what I am using for the photo book is Hahnemühle photo rag, but is slightly more expensive than the standard matte paper I have used before.
Compared to gloss paper, matte gives the images more of a painterly feel to them rather seeming very photographic. I think that for the abstract images matte paper would work better as I want the images to seem more like abstract paintings than iris patterns.
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.
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.