NOTE TO ASSESSORS

Niki South Student number: 514516

All of my work for Context and Narrative is contained in this blog https://nkssite2.wordpress.com

THE BLOG is in the standard format of descending date order, however all entries can be accessed using the category tabs on the header bar.

To view my final work submitted for assessment click on the “Submissions” tab, select the relevant assignment from the drop down menu. This category also includes my final Analysis and reflections on formative feedback.

To view the draft assignment click on the “Assignments” tab, select the relevant assignment from on the drop down menu and then the horizontal “Assignment _ Draft” tab.

To view my Learning log Research and reflections click on the “Research and reflection” tab and chose from the drop down menu, either “Reflection, Research or Exhibitions and Books” tab and then the desired assignment horizontal tab.

To view all self-directed learning log work pertaining to an assignment click on the “Assignments” tab, select the relevant assignment on the drop down menu and then the horizontal “A_ Learning Log” tab.

To view Coursework click on the Coursework tab and select from the dropdown menu.

ITEMS SENT ADDITIONALLY TO THE ASSESSMENT TEAM:

GOOGLE DRIVE This contains:

  • My Tutor reports.
  • The Assignment 4 essay.
  • The submission images and draft images for each assignment.

EMAIL: My submission version of Assignment 4 – the written essay has been e mailed for a plagiarism check.

PHYSICAL SUBMISSIONS

Within the portfolio box are:

  • Two Print boxes. One containing the submission prints from Assignments 1 and 2, and one containing the submission prints from assignments 3 and 5. Also included are my artist statements.
  • One buff folder containing Assignment 4 submission essay and image.
  • One Tutor reports folder (Assignments 1-5).
  • Five folders containing hard copy PDF documents, replicated from the blog of the five submission assignments, draft assignments and my process notes (one folder per assignment).
  • One sketch/note book.
  • One diary for the preparatory work for Assignment 3.
Advertisements

CONTEXT AND NARRATIVE: COURSE REFLECTIONS

CONTEXT AND NARRATIVE -OVERALL  EVALUATIOHN

My Learning journey

I began and lived through this course during an unusually turbulent and tension filled year domestically, managing disappointments and sadness for others in the main, and living with the tensions that these caused. I now look back at this as excellent timing as I was able to reflect on and express my emotions whilst immersing myself in photography. In fact I can see now that the more personal my photography became, the easier it flowed, the more creative and in turn more successful it was.

The course was challenging at many points, forcing myself to broaden and adapt my mind set, interests and develop my technical abilities. There were occasions when asked that I would describe the work as “not my cup of tea” and yet the further I progressed in the course the more enjoyment I gained from it.

Whilst Expressing My Vision was a good introduction to studying photography at degree level, Context and Narrative proved to be considerably more developmental for me personally and photographically, opening my eyes at many levels.

Formative feedback

My tutor’s feedback was forthright and for the first assignment crushing. However this stimulated me to embrace the next modules with a gusto and open mind. I love learning and as well as being challenged, so I set about reading and researching widely and took on board his advice.

I learnt a lot technically in part to the demands of the assignments but largely as my Tutor challenged my outcomes technically and gave me directions to make improvements. I learnt not to shy away from technical challenges but to read, learn and experiment to improve.

I realised that the more I released myself from rigid mind sets and exposed myself, the more satisfying and successful my work became.

Reflecting on best work

It was at assignment three “Photographing the unseen” that through the learning (coursework, independent research, tutor advice) I gained confidence and embraced photography more creatively and conceptually. I particularly enjoyed the research and exhibitions that coincided with this unit and felt as if “the penny had dropped” in terms of using photography to really express myself. I was enthusiastic about reworking some of the assignment making technical improvements.

In assignment 4 once I had my eureka moment deciding on the Margaret Bourke- White Gandhi photograph that I had a personal link to, I relished researching and shaping the essay. I learnt much here about interpreting photographs, a photographer’s motivation and influences.

I knew by the time I met my final assignment that it should be personally driven, though a fabricated outcome. As my tutor suggested I borrowed elements of approaches from other photographers and enjoyed enormously thinking through the concept and then enacting it.

Areas I would like to develop further

  • To push my creative boundaries.
  • To compose with some subtlety and ambiguity.
  • To remember to look very carefully with another’s eye, especially a technically trained eye to spot weaknesses and areas for correction.
  • To continue my learning with off camera lighting.
  • To read and research broadly and learn from not only great photographers but artists in general.

Overall Context and Narrative has developed my sense of adventure and experimentation photographically and creatively, I intend to continue this journey of discovery whilst combining it with increasing technical prowess.

I have reflected on each course module after my draft and again after my tutor’s feedback: https://nkssite2.wordpress.com/category/reflection/

 

ASSIGNMENT FIVE: MAKING IT UP

Nicola South        Student number: 514516

SUBMISSION – ASSIGNMENT FIVE

MAKING IT UP

Construct a stand-alone image of your choice. Alternatively, you may choose to make a series, elaborating on the same theme.

As the culminating assignment for the course you may wish to draw upon skills learned from Parts One to Four – using various forms of narrative, using yourself as subject matter, telling stories and reading images. The only stipulation is that you produce work that has been controlled and directed by you for a specific purpose. Remember to create a story with a specific context like the artists you’ve looked at in Part Five. This means you need to have an artistic intention, so a good place to start would be to write down some ideas. This could then form the basis for a 300-word introduction to the piece. You may find it helpful to draw storyboards to help you visualise your ideas.

The aim of this assignment is to use props, costume, models, location, lighting, etc. to contribute to the overall meaning of the image. (Use flash/lights if required but available light is fine as long as it is considered.)

If the narrative is to be set in a different era then the elements of the image must reflect this. Also consider the symbolic meanings of objects and try not to be too literal in your approach. For example, don’t automatically use red roses in a love scene but try to be subtle in your ideas to obtain a more true-to-life scenario.

For this final assignment, you should also include an illustrated evaluation of the process you went through to produce your final image(s). Include snapshots of setting up the work and write about how you felt your direction went, how you found the location, props, etc. How did this process affect the final outcome? Write around 1,000 words in total (including your 300-word introduction).

A SUPPER

IMG_7806 LR crop final final db.jpg

Image 14: Exposure 0.4 sec, Aperture f/9, ISO 200, Focal length 18mm.

INTRODUCTION

I have continued a theme that appeared in other Context and Narrative assignments, domestic tension; my reflections on this theme engaged me fully with those assignments. The tableaux that I’m using to express this came to me immediately, as mealtimes are often stressful in our house. Following a spoiled meal I often resolve never again to cook a special meal, thus the title “The Last Supper” came to mind. I researched Da Vinci’s version of painting, along with other’s and thought it would be interesting to borrow some of its visual symbolism, motifs and choreography to add interest and emphasis to my modern tableaux- vivant.

My overall inspiration was Jeff Wall’s realistic set constructions, and subtly dramatic rather than cinematic lighting, to encourage acceptance of “tableau photography as an imaginative blending of fact and fiction, of a subject and its allegorical and psychological significance” (Cotton, 2015 p52). Lottie Davies shares his compositional devices, leading viewers round the story, I resolved to use this; I was also stimulated by her narratives of memories. Tom Hunter’s classically inspired modern scenes encouraged me to continue with my own fabrication of the last supper. The work of Frances Kearney and Hannah Starkey offered me the notion of obscuring faces to increase ambiguity, and Crewdson’s aesthetically pleasing but disquieting work gave me much to strive for.

For this constructed reality I wanted to achieve the look of a fabricated theatre stage, but with a rich seductive aesthetic, despite some disturbing detail. It is a narrative of memories, reshaped and refabricated to the minutest detail, as “What counts for us in the memory…is ultimately not its reference to the ‘objective facts’ of a particular moment but its capacity to act as a founding myth”. (Lottiedavies.com, 2017). The props are the clues to the implied disturbance – the punctum. I want the reader to notice the deliberate way the photograph is set up, and realise their significance.  I hope that it the pictorial narrative in the image provides an ambiguous drama that will also carry some viewers narrative as well as my critique on part of an everyday life.

Link to research in learning log: https://nkssite2.wordpress.com/category/a5-research/ 

References:

Cotton, C. (2015). The photograph as contemporary art. London: Thames & Hudson.

Lottiedavies.com. (2017). Lottie Davies [online] Available at: https://www.lottiedavies.com/PROJECTS/Memories-and-Nightmares/2 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].

PROCESS AND EVALUATION

The process:

Subject: A supper, with the context of a tense mealtime. Some motifs, parallels and symbolism borrowed from Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”.

The-Last-Supper use 1.jpg

(Learningtoeat.com, 2017)

the last supper  use 2.jpg

(Artbible.info, 2017)

Location: The dining room striped out and reshaped. I removed extraneous/distracting objects not essential to the meaning of the image. I experimented with different angles to shoot the table; I had originally intended to shoot it front on with the wall running behind and have an empty chair on the camera side of the table (as in Da Vinci’s Last supper), but it was ultimately more aesthetically pleasing  taken from a corner angle with teak door panels as a backdrop. I began with a chair on its side but thought it was too obviously disruptive. I spent ages on setting a pleasing angle for the shoot, eventually shortening the table to compact the three place settings and fill the frame more effectively from the diagonal.

Props: Table and chairs. Settings for a meal: slate mats, napkins, glasses, wine bottle, dipping oil, bread board and knife. The placements of these objects was critical for each place setting. I tried footwear placed by the washbowl, but removed it as it cluttered the scene and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. I experimented with different places for the dropped napkin, wine bottle and bread, both to layer and lead the viewer’s eye around the image and to balance it.

Symbols: Red wine, bread, spilled salt, washed feet, shawl, trilogy, and shocked reactions.

Actors: Before shooting knowing that I would only have my actor for short bursts, I set up and decided on everything that I could. I took practise shots of what I thought he should do; on involving him I asked him to interpret my ideas as his own but he naturally adopted the pose I had suggested with the addition of holding the wine glass. I had more problems performing myself and then released him whilst I took practise shots of what was effective for my role before continuing with the shoot. I decided to obscure our faces to add ambiguity but ultimately that was only partial.

Lighting: I went for subtle rather than dramatic in keeping with my intention to show a constructed reality. I had some ambient light from one wall which is all windows, though thankfully it was a dull day.  I invested in another Speedlight, a 60 cm softbox and an umbrella and stand. I used the soft box as my key light to light my male actor, and switched between using the other Speedlight on my camera with a diffuser and bouncing it off of the ceiling and reflecting into the umbrella on the stand as a fill light; Pre-shooting I spent a long time experimenting with these, the power and the placement.

Lighting diagram:

lighting 1500.jpg

The shoot: My camera was on a tripod and with a remote timer to trigger the shutter on a timer, giving us time to compose ourselves between shots. I reviewed images between shoots several times and then reshot to improve lighting, or resolve other silly mistakes like leaving my notes on the table. I was limited in the amount of shots I could take with my actor which I found frustrating as my search for perfection increased each time I reviewed the images, whilst his tolerance and cooperation decreased.

Post processing: When reviewing the mages I was conscious not just of the slightly changing positions of the actors, but also any reflections, shadows, and the quality and quantity of light. I didn’t do much post production work on the image I chose, preferring to keep the lighting slightly low and not to mess with the slightly green hue given off the glass table and the walls. I did make some further small adjustments post feedback as detailed in my feedback notes.

Evaluation

It was a new experience directing a scene, and a large proportion of my time was given to the preparation. I was glad that I reviewed images whilst shooting and then adjusting as I continued.

The final outcome was affected most particularly by the one variable that I could not completely control, my actor, and thus I had to settle for less than what I considered was perfect. I did spend a few hours in short burst shooting and had many images to choose from. I guess were I a professional photographer paying an actor I would have had more control over this variable.

These contact images illustrate the process of setting up the shoot and some of the changes that I made before I began:IMG_7726.jpg

References:

Artbible.info. (2017). The Last Supper. [online] Available at: http://www.artbible.info/art/last-supper.html [Accessed 9 Aug. 2017].

Learningtoeat.co. (2017) The last supper [online] Available at: http://www.learningtoeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Last-Supper.jpg [Accessed9 Aug]

Please note: Any images by other photographers used on this site are accredited and are being used for personal research and educational purposes only.

 

 

 

ASSIGNMENT 5: MAKING IT UP

Niki South             Student number: 514516

Submission – Assignment 5: Making it up

“The Supper”

TUTOR REPORT: Tutor report OCA Niki South 514516 Ass 5

MY REFLECTIONS ON FORMATIVE FEEDBACK

This feedback was by google hangout followed by a brief report.

I was particularly pleased with my Tutor’s feedback this time by video and then written. He has been a hard task master, constructively critical and technically a perfectionist, which has been very good for me. I felt that I had been on a long journey this course and that my work on this final module pulled together the huge learning that I had been through over the last year.

STRENGTHS HIGHLIGHTED

  • Understanding of symbolism.
  • Understanding of art history and contemporary practice.
  • Extensive research and my learning log.
  • Careful construction of a tableaux, including the direction of the actors.
  • Commitment to learning about off camera lighting. I had initially thought to avoid shooting this assignment inside, as I was nervous about using off camera lighting; I am very glad that I challenged myself, bought new equipment, experimented with it and have opened new exciting doors in my photography.
  • Technical improvements in my photography. I have looked back to my last photographic assignment (assignment 3) after which my development areas were: lighting, being aware of shadows and reflections and how to overcome them, and awareness of colour balance. I am pleased that I have improved on these areas with the photography for this assignment.

AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT

The areas we talked about were for possible post production work although these were suggested as possibles not essentials at all:

  • To eliminate the light switch above my head in the image. How did I not see this myself? Now it has been pointed out it is a huge irritation and distraction and will have to go!
  • I could tone down the right side of the image and the back of the chair slightly, not essential.
  • I could brighten the door a little, not essential.
  • Should I have used less salt? I did wonder this myself, though I also did want it to be obvious.

MY LEARNING POINTS

These I have taken not only from this assignment but from the wisdom shared by my tutor generally and the learning that I want to take onto my next course myself:

  • To continue to tackle challenges head on to broaden and accelerate my learning.
  • To continue my learning with off camera lighting.
  • To remember to look very carefully with another’s eye, especially a technically trained eye to spot weaknesses and areas for correction.
  • Continue to compose with some ambiguity.
  • To read and research broadly and learn from the great photographers.

REWORKING THE ASSIGNMENT

  • Reprocess “The Supper” to eliminate the light switch.
  • To experiment with lightening and toning down small areas of the image. I need to look very carefully at the image again and ultimately determine whether I prefer it aesthetically as it is or with some changes, going through the exercise will be useful even if I decide to leave these areas as they are – After some experimentation for my submission image I brightened the open door side of the image very slightly, to balance the tone across the image.

Link to learning log: https://nkssite2.wordpress.com/category/a5-learning-log/

This mind map summarises the narrative of my brainstorming and planning contained in the learning log.

 Planning brainstorm:

mind map prep final.jpg

 

 

ASSIGNMENT FIVE: MAKING IT UP

Nicola South        Student number: 514516

REFLECTIONS AGAINST ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

  • I believe the image is well composed and balanced.
  • I have meticulously arranged the props to give visual cues to the narrative.
  • I hope that the image is aesthetically pleasing, I chose the colours of the clothing to contrast with the harmonising colours of the décor.
  • There is clarity through most of the shot.
  • Working with my new lighting kit (soft box, umbrella and multiple speedlights) was a technical learning curve. I was careful to consider reflections and shadows. I was aware of the colour balance and made choices about it post production. I am pleased with what I have achieved, although I am well aware that I have a lot to learn to improve these skills.
  • I believe that the image shows that I have good visual awareness.

 Quality of outcome: 

  • In my choice of theme and the way that I have presented it I have used much learning from this part of the course, in particular my research of relevant photographers.
  • By choosing a theme which has a context in common with other work in Context and Narrative I hope that I have strengthened my message/meaning.
  • I believe I have combined the presentation of a disquieting moment with an aesthetically pleasing image which viewers may linger over.
  • I have used the props and furniture to layering order to lead the viewer around the narrative.
  • My introduction should communicate how I have conceptualised my ideas to the reader.
  • I hope that I have provided links between a contemporary situation and the visual motifs of a classical painting

Demonstration of creativity:

  • I took a personal risk working with this theme.
  • My concept of linking a classical painting with my modern narrative using some of the symbolism was creative.
  • I have blended fact and fiction in a creative way and hope it leaves something to the viewers imagination.
  • I had to be inventive when directing the actors, including myself.
  • I believe that I have shown that my personal voice is emerging.

 Context: 

  • I have researched beyond the coursework and used this research to build my own practice.
  • I have thought critically about the learning points my research has raised.
  • I have moved my learning and research beyond photography to the wider context of classical painting.

ASSIGNMENT FIVE: MAKING IT UP

Nicola South        Student number: 514516

Assignment five

DRAFT

Making it up

Construct a stand-alone image of your choice. Alternatively, you may choose to make a series, elaborating on the same theme.

As the culminating assignment for the course you may wish to draw upon skills learned from Parts One to Four – using various forms of narrative, using yourself as subject matter, telling stories and reading images. The only stipulation is that you produce work that has been controlled and directed by you for a specific purpose. Remember to create a story with a specific context like the artists you’ve looked at in Part Five. This means you need to have an artistic intention, so a good place to start would be to write down some ideas. This could then form the basis for a 300-word introduction to the piece. You may find it helpful to draw storyboards to help you visualise your ideas.

The aim of this assignment is to use props, costume, models, location, lighting, etc. to contribute to the overall meaning of the image. (Use flash/lights if required but available light is fine as long as it is considered.)

If the narrative is to be set in a different era then the elements of the image must reflect this. Also consider the symbolic meanings of objects and try not to be too literal in your approach. For example, don’t automatically use red roses in a love scene but try to be subtle in your ideas to obtain a more true-to-life scenario.

For this final assignment, you should also include an illustrated evaluation of the process you went through to produce your final image(s). Include snapshots of setting up the work and write about how you felt your direction went, how you found the location, props, etc. How did this process affect the final outcome? Write around 1,000 words in total (including your 300-word introduction).

A SUPPER

IMG_7806 LR crop 1500.jpg

Image 14: Exposure 0.4 sec, Aperture f/9, ISO 200, Focal length 18mm.

INTRODUCTION

I have continued a theme that appeared in other Context and Narrative assignments, domestic tension; my reflections on this theme engaged me fully with those assignments. The tableaux that I’m using to express this came to me immediately, as mealtimes are often stressful in our house. Following a spoiled meal I often resolve never again to cook a special meal, thus the title “The Last Supper” came to mind. I researched Da Vinci’s version of painting, along with other’s and thought it would be interesting to borrow some of its visual symbolism, motifs and choreography to add interest and emphasis to my modern tableaux- vivant.

My overall inspiration was Jeff Wall’s realistic set constructions, and subtly dramatic rather than cinematic lighting, to encourage acceptance of “tableau photography as an imaginative blending of fact and fiction, of a subject and its allegorical and psychological significance” (Cotton, 2015 p52). Lottie Davies shares his compositional devices, leading viewers round the story, I resolved to use this; I was also stimulated by her narratives of memories. Tom Hunter’s classically inspired modern scenes encouraged me to continue with my own fabrication of the last supper. The work of Frances Kearney and Hannah Starkey offered me the notion of obscuring faces to increase ambiguity, and Crewdson’s aesthetically pleasing but disquieting work gave me much to strive for.

For this constructed reality I wanted to achieve the look of a fabricated theatre stage, but with a rich seductive aesthetic, despite some disturbing detail. It is a narrative of memories, reshaped and refabricated to the minutest detail, as “What counts for us in the memory…is ultimately not its reference to the ‘objective facts’ of a particular moment but its capacity to act as a founding myth”. (Lottiedavies.com, 2017). The props are the clues to the implied disturbance – the punctum. I want the reader to notice the deliberate way the photograph is set up, and realise their significance.  I hope that it the pictorial narrative in the image provides an ambiguous drama that will also carry some viewers narrative as well as my critique on part of an everyday life.

Link to research in learning log: https://nkssite2.wordpress.com/category/a5-research/ 

References:

Cotton, C. (2015). The photograph as contemporary art. London: Thames & Hudson.

Lottiedavies.com. (2017). Lottie Davies [online] Available at: https://www.lottiedavies.com/PROJECTS/Memories-and-Nightmares/2 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].

PROCESS AND EVALUATION

The process:

Subject: A supper, with the context of a tense mealtime. Some motifs, parallels and symbolism borrowed from Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”.

The-Last-Supper use 1.jpg

(Learningtoeat.com, 2017)

the last supper  use 2.jpg

(Artbible.info, 2017)

Location: The dining room striped out and reshaped. I removed extraneous/distracting objects not essential to the meaning of the image. I experimented with different angles to shoot the table; I had originally intended to shoot it front on with the wall running behind and have an empty chair on the camera side of the table (as in Da Vinci’s Last supper), but it was ultimately more aesthetically pleasing  taken from a corner angle with teak door panels as a backdrop. I began with a chair on its side but thought it was too obviously disruptive. I spent ages on setting a pleasing angle for the shoot, eventually shortening the table to compact the three place settings and fill the frame more effectively from the diagonal.

Props: Table and chairs. Settings for a meal: slate mats, napkins, glasses, wine bottle, dipping oil, bread board and knife. The placements of these objects was critical for each place setting. I tried footwear placed by the washbowl, but removed it as it cluttered the scene and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. I tried different places for the dropped napkin, the wine bottle and bread, both to layer and lead the viewer’s eye around the image and to balance it.

Symbols: Red wine, bread, spilled salt, washed feet, shawl, trilogy, and shocked reactions.

Actors: Before shooting knowing that I would only have my actor for short bursts, I set up and decided on everything that I could. In preparation I took practise shots of what I thought he should do. When I involved him I asked him to interpret my ideas as his own but he naturally adopted the pose I had suggested with the addition of holding the wine glass. I had more problems performing myself and had to release him whilst I took practise shots of what was effective for me in my role before continuing with the shoot. I had decided to obscure our faces to add ambiguity but ultimately that was only partial.

Lighting: I went for subtle rather than dramatic in keeping with my intention to show a constructed reality. I had some ambient light from one wall which is all windows, though thankfully it was a dull day.  I invested in another Speedlight, a 60 cm softbox and an umbrella and stand. I used the soft box as my key light to light my male actor, and switched between using the other Speedlight on my camera with a diffuser and bouncing it off of the ceiling and reflecting into the umbrella on the stand as a fill light; Pre-shooting I spent a long time experimenting with these, the power and the placement.

Lighting diagram:

lighting 1500.jpg

The shoot: My camera was on a tripod and with a remote timer to trigger the shutter on a timer, giving us time to compose ourselves between shots. I reviewed images between shoots several times and then reshot to improve lighting, or resolve other silly mistakes like leaving my notes on the table. I was limited in the amount of shots I could take with my actor which I found frustrating as my search for perfection increased each time I reviewed the images, whilst his tolerance and cooperation decreased.

Post processing: When reviewing the mages I was conscious not just of the slightly changing positions of the actors, but also any reflections, shadows, and the quality and quantity of light. I didn’t do much post production work on the image I chose, preferring to keep the lighting slightly low and not to mess with the slightly green hue given off the glass table and the walls.

Evaluation

It was a new experience directing a scene, and a large proportion of my time was given to the preparation. I was glad that I reviewed images whilst shooting and then adjusting as I continued.

The final outcome was affected most particularly by the one variable that I could not completely control, my actor, and thus I had to settle for less than what I considered was perfect. I did spend a few hours in short burst shooting and had many images to choose from. I guess were I a professional photographer paying an actor I would have had more control over this variable.

These contact images illustrate the process of setting up the shoot and some of the changes that I made before I began:IMG_7726.jpg

References:

Artbible.info. (2017). The Last Supper. [online] Available at: http://www.artbible.info/art/last-supper.html [Accessed 9 Aug. 2017].

Learningtoeat.co. (2017) The last supper [online] Available at: http://www.learningtoeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Last-Supper.jpg [Accessed9 Aug]

Please note: Any images by other photographers used on this site are accredited and are being used for personal research and educational purposes only.

 

 

 

LEARNING LOG: RESEARCH FOR ASSIGNMENT FIVE

Tableaux photography

Ideas drawn from: Chapter 2 Once upon a time in The photograph as contemporary art (Cotton, 2015).

Tableaux or tableaux-vivant photography:

  • Pictorial narrative is concentrated into a single image.
  • Roots in pre photographic art and figurative painting of the 18th 19th century and it relies on the cultural ability to recognise a combination of characters and props as a pregnant moment in a story. It demonstrates a share understanding of how chorography can make a story recognisable. (Cotton, 2015 p49).
  • Photos of “something that we know is significant because of the way it’s set up in the photograph, but whose meaning is reliant on our investing the image with our own trains of narrative and psychological thought” (Cotton, 2015, p49).
  • Compositional devices used which are “similar to renaissance painting, the angles and objects …directing us through the picture and leading our understanding of the action and narrative (Cotton, 2015, p50).
  • Rich aesthetic, seductive to the eye but that can be misleading and ultimately disturbing.
  • The set of the image also has the look of a theatre set viewed from on stage.
  • Use of actors and crew redefines the photographer as a conductor or film director.
  • Dramatic use of light.
  • Cinematic lighting used not to recreate a film effect but to give the photograph maximum meaning “help us accept tableau photography as an imaginative blending of fact and fiction, of a subject and its allegorical and psychological significance” (Cotton, 2015 p52).
  • Visual motifs in a contemporary photograph confirms that modern life “carries a degree of symbolism and cultural preoccupation parallel with other times in history, and art’s position of being a chronicler of contemporary fables is asserted” (Cotton, 2015 p55 ).
  • Possible use of faces turns away to add anxiety or uncertainty about the meaning of the image.
  • Can be without human presence “finding drama and allegory in physical and architectural space” (Cotton, 2015 p70).
  • Tableau photography can carry ambiguous drama that is part of the viewer’s narrative.

 Reference: Cotton, C. (2015). The photograph as contemporary art. London: Thames & Hudson.

Ideas from other research:

  • It’s okay to have an obviously staged/fabricated look (Hardy)
  • Use classic painting devices such as symmetry and reflection (Jones)
  • Imply a “disturbance” in the image, happened or about (Crewdson)
  • Manufacture modern fables (Crewdson, Hunter)
  • Decide how explicit or ambiguous to be: Faces turned away to heighten ambiguous meaning (Kearney and Starkey), have empty rooms (Hardy)
  • Meticulous composition and detail in the props (All)
  • Use layering with props and furniture to create multiple layers of meaning and takes the viewers eye around the image through the narrative (Starkey and Hardy), Compositional tricks to lead the viewers eye.
  • Props: Personal props, material signs of my life (Davies), Personal symbolism like Davies red dresses and hair.
  • Actively involve the actors so that they inhabit their roles
  • Colour saturation
  • Use of windows and natural light
  • Crystal clarity in focus throughout the shot
  • Recreating memories collect good factual evidence, can treat recollections as tales and myths
  • Can be constructed or composed from different shots collaged