Final Images in Frames

For submission I decided to put my final images in the unfinished frames so that you could see what they would look like. Unfortunately as I only measured one of the frames you can see some of the white canvas around my images in the frames. This is even more noticeable in the frames which have already been sprayed black.
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Even from far away in the image above you can see the image on the far left has some white in the bottom; however, you cannot see any white in the image on the far right.
I’m not sure how I’m going to correct this for the exhibition, it may mean making the frames again, or I might perhaps be able to pull them apart and make them smaller. It only cost me £15 to make them so this would be the better option than having to pay another £54 to print plus £38 for mounting my images again. Making the frames again would be more cost effective.

This set aside I am really pleased with how my final images look, I particularly think the size was a good choice. Whilst carrying them around and when I was mounting I got quite a few compliments on them, particularly the one of Poppy, which is the third one in. Once I have sorted out the issue with the frames I think they will look very good in the exhibition and I’m looking forward to seeing them up on the gallery wall with everyone’s work.

Exhibition Statement

My Girl by Lucy Dack

The project My Girl explores why we name our cars. I was especially interested in cars that had names which suggested they had a gender. Was it subconsciously because the car had feminine/masculine features? Or purely just because they like the name?
I photographed small sections of the cars as I wanted to explore what it was about the small details which could possibly influence a name, or which gender they were.
All the photographs displayed contain cars which have been given a female name, which is why the project was given the title My Girl. This is also reminiscent of the relationship which can be built between car and owner, most people spend a lot of time with them, and rely on them to get them where they need to go. The more time spent with them, the more characteristics can be spotted, making them somewhat anthropomorphic.

From left to right; Goddess, Poppy, Penelope, The Bitch, Amber and Kylie.

Project Evaluation

My Girl

At the beginning of the module my project did not have a title, I just called it Cars with Names. My plan was to use a quote from someone I met who had named their car, perhaps something comical or witty which I thought would go well with the images. This however did not happen, I had lots of conversations but nothing anyone said stood out to me. I also played with the idea of using the term anthropomorphic, but it seemed too obvious when combined with the images.
The title My Girl only came when I had picked my final images and realised they all had feminine names; Kylie, Goddess, Amber, Poppy, Penelope and The Bitch. Poppy, Goddess and The Bitch are owned by women and Kylie, Penelope and Amber are owned by men. This wasn’t planned but I do like that it worked out that way.

Subject

The subject matter of my project are the cars themselves. I did consider taking pictures of the owners as well as the cars but I thought it would be best to have the project aimed solely at the cars. I decided to take the photographs of the cars close up. I wanted to focus on the curves, or anything that sets the car apart from others, or could perhaps influence whether the car is given a feminine or masculine name. I chose this subject because as I have recently found it very interesting how people name their cars and the thought process which goes with it.
As the images are very close up the photographs in the project are very simplistic, and some are more abstract than others. However, cars are not a difficult subject matter to distinguish, even if you don’t own one, everyone has at least seen one.

Visual Research

My biggest influence for this project was Martin Parr, I especially looked at his projects Think of England (2000) and Signs of the Time: a portrait of the nation’s tastes (1992). Visually I liked the high saturation of his images, and the composition. A lot of his work looks at the details, whether it’s someone’s clothes, or the interior of their house. I also thought his documentary approach to his subject matter was appropriate for my project.
I also thought that Parr’s comical approach to photographing his subjects would also be presented well in my project as I took a lot of photographs of the stickers people put on their cars. These are not going to be included in this project, but for a separate one I thought it would be very interesting.

Aims, Objectives, Concept

My aim for this project was to present photographs of different cars which represented their name/gender given to them. The main concept for the project was why we give cars genders; do they have features which represent this gender? People who are car enthusiasts can talk forever about their car, and where happy to talk to me about it, and everyone I spoke to at the Ace Café had a name for them. Most of the names had a reason behind them, but not all of them did, for some it was just to do with the colour of the car, or the model.
I think through my imagery I have come to resolve my concept; however, I think the idea behind the images comes through more in some than others. Overall all however I am pleased with how my objectives have been resolved, and all together I think the idea of gender and cars comes through with the title and the inclusion of the names of the cars.

Production

To create my images, I used a 35mm camera with a 50mm lens. I also tried using a 135mm lens, with Ektar 100 film. Alongside I also used a ring flash, this was an essential accessory for my camera as the Ace Café events I went to were all at night. This was something I did not consider when using a 135mm lens, I could not get close enough to the car to use the ring flash on the camera, so an assistant had to hold it closer for me. The ring flash however gave me flash back on the shiny surface of the cars. I also had difficultly focussing my images because it was dark, and the outdoor lights were not always usefully positioned. With the images, I took during the day I did not have this issue. It was bright enough that the ring flash would not even register with a light metre. The images taken without flash are flatter, and represent the actual colour of the car successfully.

Presentation

For the presentation of my images, I considered different options. One of which I was very keen on doing was presenting them in a domestic way, in frames you would find in a family home. However, with the images I had produced it was best to print them bigger and have them presented in a clinical, clean way, which goes with the style of the images.

The main audience of my images would be car enthusiasts, or people interested in documentary or fine art photography. I think I will have effectively communicated my concept to my identified audience through the context of my images, and how they are presented in the gallery space. The combination of the images, the title and description of my photographs will come together to create the context of the work.

Evaluation

The strength of my project are the images, and the concept. I am really pleased with the final images I have produced for the project, and I think that they have successfully shown what I aimed to achieve. The close up images will make the viewer consider the different aspects of the car rather than the whole thing put together. Especially when it comes to naming them, and giving them a gender depending on the name.
The weakness of my project was some of the ways in which I tried to photograph the cars, if I was able to photograph all the cars during the day I would have produced more images which I thought were good enough to display.
In the future to improve this piece of work I would perhaps, as well as photograph, film my encounters in a documentary style such as Martin Parrs. I think it would be very interesting for an audience to see the process.

Last Tutorial

Today was the last tutorial before the deadline. I’ve made all of my frames, but as I made them a specific size it made it really difficult to print my images the right size to fit them. It took me three tries before I got it right. It was difficult to get the images into the frames as well so it was decided that it would be easier to mount them onto foam board or cardboard so that they will be flat. This will also stop them from crinkling and protect the prints.

In order to decide whether I wanted to mount on foam board or cardboard I did a test of one of my prints on each, and also did this by using cold press and hot press to see which would be best. The cold press technique on foam board proved to be the better of the two. Using hot press and cardboard, and on foam board created texture on the prints because of the nature of the surface, and the way it attaches to the boards.
I also tried foamex PVC, this is a lot like foam board, but is a lot smoother. You can get this 5mm thick or 3mm, the 5mm is actually quite heavy and I think would be too heavy for my frames so the best choice would be to use 3mm. As this creates a smoother surface for my prints this is what I will probably use to mount on.

As I will not have enough time to mount my images and spray paint my frames before submission I am going to submit them mounted onto boards, and just one in a frame which is already finished. Just so they will be able to see what the rest will look like for the exhibition.

Making Floating Frames

For my floating frames which I made myself in the 3D workshop I decided to have them 594mm x 354mm rather than the A2 measurement 594 x 420. This is because the size of my images are closer to 594 x 354. If I kept them A2 I would had to have either cropped my image or have a white border, which I did not want to do. As I was making the frames myself I thought I would make the most of the opportunity to personalise them to the images, rather than having to compromise.

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Shown above was my first completed frame, I’m really pleased with the how it looks, but decided that I didn’t want to keep them the wood colour so I bought spray paint to paint them black. However, the spray paint I ordered didn’t arrive so I had to buy some at short notice and could only find some which was meant for metal. I think this is why it would only cover one frame completely and first coat of another. I’m going to have to buy more spray paint, which I’m going to get all purpose rather than for metal, and hopefully it will match the rest.

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Above is my spray paint tester next to the natural wood finish.

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And shown here is my first finished frame. It was very difficult to spray the frame in thin layers as you’re meant to because I was doing it outside and it was windy. I didn’t have as much control as I would have like so the first layer was very blotchy and thick. I think this is why the spray paint ran out so quickly. Hopefully for my next frame when I complete them I will get better at applying in thin layers rather than thick ones, this would mean they would dry quicker.

Overall I am pleased that I made my own frames, and hopefully once they all painted they will still look semi professional with my images in them.

My Girl: Layouts

2x33x2 grid

I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to layout my images if I can’t have them in a row. Depending on how much space their is I may need to have them 3×2 or 2×3 if there really isn’t much space on the wall. I found it quite difficult to place them in a grid, as I don’t want the two headlight images next to each other, or the two red images either. I moved them around a lot but have found that these two layouts work the best.

Gallery Mock up 2Gallery Mock up 3

I also did a quick mock up of the different layouts in Sketchup to see that they would look like this way. In these images the space looks very empty, but obviously if it was an issue with space their would be work next to mine also in this space.

I thought it would be useful to think ahead of how I might have to layout the images in case this does happen. I would obviously prefer the images to be presented in a row, as each image is used to represent the individual car, and in a way this makes them separate rather than grouped together. Even thought the images have been shot in a similar way, the project is more about each car than them all as a collective. By giving them a name it sets them apart from other cars of the same model, and personalises it to the person who owns them. The project is also commenting on what sets these cars apart, why they might have been named what they have.

What I will be doing next is making my floating frames in the 3D workshop and print out my final images.

 

Exhibition Mock Up

 

Gallery Mock up

Shown above is my exhibition mock up, which I created using Sketchup, once I had figured out how to use the programme it was fairly simply to create. I tried to make the image sizes A2, using the person as a reference. I think that this is how big they would be, but it’s not completely accurate as I measured an A2 next to myself to see how big it is, so these may be closer to A1 but you can still get a sense of how the work will be shown. The only thing not included in the image is the floating frames, from looking at this mock up I’m pretty sure I want them in frames rather than just mounted on foam board. I think they need this added feature to separate them from each other more by having a border. I also think that this would memorialise the cars more, and show the affection put towards them, rather than them just being put on a wall as they are.

I’m also going to create mock ups of how the images would look 3×2 or 2×3 as we don’t have unlimited space I may not be able to have my images in a row, however I would prefer them to be in a line as shown. The reason I think this would work better is because it makes it more about each individual car, as that’s what they are. I think as previously if I included three of each car a grid would work better as they were meant to be grouped, but now that I using one of each car I think this works a lot better.

Final Work Review

For the final work review I showed all the different sizes I’ve printed out and the test I did at A2 size. It was agreed that A2 was a big as my images would be able to be printed at, and the difference between the metallic and glossy paper wasn’t massive, only that the metallic was less glossy. Because of this I don’t think it’s going to make a massive difference as to whether I choose to print on metallic or glossy.

What both glossy and metallic have in common however is that they both would look better without any glass or plastic in front, but I so want frames so I’m hopefully going to use floating frames. This will make nothing takes away from the glossy prints. I’m not sure whether I will have white or black frames, I might have them black just because I think a darker frame will blend better with my images. I think that I’m going to make the frames in the 3D workshop to save some money as with buying film, and doing six A2 prints my project is quickly getting expensive.

My prints may not be able to all be in a row because of space, you can’t predict whether people are going to change their mind on how big they’re going to print, as I did myself. I have six final images, so they may have to be two rows of three, or three rows of twos. I’m going to come up with different layout ideas just incase this is how I’m going to present, so I don’t have to worry about the order in the future.

Lastly, thinking about how to incorporate the names into the work, putting them under the images within the frames may look a little tacky, and I don’t want them on the wall next to the images so instead I’m going to include the names within my description which will go next to my work.

Overall I’m pleased with how my work is progressing, and am feeling confident to print and see my project up on the wall.

My Girl: A2 Print Test

In order to help me decide what size I’m going to print my final images I did a test of sections of each image on one sheet on A2. The paper I used was glossy, and I also tried metallic which is a new paper the University have brought in.

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Shown above, on the left is the metallic finish and on the right is the glossy paper. The images are in a different order is because I only did the glossy layout very quickly and wanted to straighten it up, but forgot to put them in the same order. The picture has only been taken on my iPhone as well. It’s very hard to see the different in this image, and also in real life, I’m not sure which paper I prefer.

The quality of the images is actually pretty good for the format they were taken on. I did however use Ektar 100 film, so I think this made a big different. I think I would be happy to print them all this big, I’m going to show the group these images at the final work review to help me decide how big I should print them. I’m a little cautious to have them really big because of the quality, but I agree that having them small and in domestic frames may take away the quality of the images in general.

Another thing to think about is how the glossy or metallic are going to look behind glass/plastic if I choose to frame them, as this can also change how they look. I’m getting there, but there are still a few more decisions to make as we get closer to the deadline. The small images which I placed in a domestic environment were printed on glossy paper and where behind plastic, which I didn’t think effected the quality too much.

Overall I may be changing my mind on how I want to present, even though testing out different sizes and paper has confused me, it is helpful to see the same work in so many different ways.

Tutorial Review

After having my tutorial and discussing my previous presenting ideas, I may print at A3 or A2 and frame them, displaying the names of the cars. With my domestic presenting idea I could have them in everyday frames on the wall and make a wallpaper, however because the images are so clean and clinical looking this may take away from them.

Instead of printing them all at A2 straight away I’m going to do a test print of all the cars I’m using as my final prints and seeing what they would look like this big. As I shot on 35mm they may look too grainy, and lose quality printed this big, which isn’t what I want. From previous prints I have decided I want them to be glossy, as this really brings out the colours.

During my tutorial I also discussed possible title names such as Anthropomorphic but perhaps having this title AND placing the images in a domestic atmosphere may be too obvious. Instead, and especially if I print them bigger and display in a more structured way, I may title the project My Girl. Due to the fact all the cars I’m using as my final images have female names, and people who name their car a feminine name will tend to call their cars “my girl”. I really like this as a title, especially by having either labels or the names under the images this could be very effective.

Next I’m going to do an A2 test print and see how they turn out, and also decide how i’m going to frame and place the names in the gallery. They could be within the frames under the image, or stuck on a label next to them, I will test out both ways in photoshop to help me decide.