NIKI SOUTH Student number: 514516
“The hidden me”
REFLECTIONS AGAINST ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Demonstration of technical and visual skills: I chose to construct my ideas in “real time” in one photograph per image. I considered using photo-montage or photography combined with collage to represent my ideas which I think would have been easier. Working with props and layers within each image was challenging with self-portraiture (difficulties: focus, depth of field, movement, composition whilst in the picture) however I decided that although the photographs may not be as polished as usual they would be realistic and closer to representing me.
- My observational skills were tested as I was moving quickly in and out of camera and I had to both see the composition and then be a part of it.
- I composed and constructed each image before shooting, although when I reviewed images I had to make changes to gain the effect I wanted.
- I considered carefully what I wanted inside each frame to convey a message, and therefore for each image which part of me I used was important; for instance in The peacemaker it was the centre, the heart of me that I want the viewer to focus on.
- I also thought carefully about the perspective I presented in terms of the message I was giving; for instance shooting The Escapist with the bars on top of my body whilst shooting downwards, which I thought enhanced the feeling of containment I wanted to portray.
- I carefully considered the background and colours for each image, for instance choosing white for The Peacemaker, green for the Escapist, and warm spicy colours for The Lover.
- I used a remote camera timer for the first time and made extensive use of the self-timer. I also experimented for only the second time with a Speedlight and chose to work without it when this would be more effective and a slow shutter speed could be used.
- I was surprised that three of the final four images chosen were taken at an aperture of f.8, however this reflects that I had a similar judgement on what aperture would give me the depth of focus I needed.
Quality of outcome:
- It is hard for me to judge the coherence of my work as I agree that self-portraits are “charts of the most personal sort usually done in quiet complicity with the self” (Sobieszek, 1978). There are elements of some of the images that are meaningful to me but that I would not want to have to explain to others; I hope that there is enough in each image that enables the viewer to build meaning.
- I considered the images as a series as well as singularly, this is why I reshot The Organiser with more than my hands and arms in it, even though I eventually returned to just my fingers. It was also one of the reasons and why I cropped The Lover to a closer shot when I found the image I wanted to use.
- I constructed the order of the series to build up the narrative for the viewer from the less hidden of my selves to the most intimate of my multiple selves.
- I chose to crop to a square ratio as I think this enhances the concept of “The hidden me” as it draws your eye into the centre of the image.
- The images are cruder (less perfect) than I would normally tolerate but I hope that this is acceptable due to the nature of the self-portraiture and theme that I am trying to relate.
Demonstration of creativity
- I moved from a position of not wanting to put myself in the picture to doing so with a purpose, self-reflection. This was risky for me and I used little disguise, ultimately dismissing mirrors and masks.
- I experimented as I shot and after reviewing images to get what I thought were the most effective results.
- I believe my concept itself of the hidden me is creative and that my construction of these is imaginative.
Context: I researched through exhibitions photographers and books both self-portraiture in general and photographic self-portraits; my learning points were invaluable when planning and executing my assignment:
- To comprehend hard on my multiple selves and my identity.
- Not to fear self-portraiture as self-exploration can be therapeutic and enlightening.
- To consider carefully backgrounds, colours, framing and perspective.
- To work within a short time frame to keep the focus; I shot all images in a few days. It is possible however that I have sacrificed quality a little for this focus and may need to return and reshoot to improve them when I reflect.
Sobieszek, R (1978) “Other selves in photographic Self-Portraiture” in: Sobieszek and Irmas (1994). The camera i. 1st ed. Los Angeles: Los Angeles county museum of art.