Xmas Project – Traces (part 1)

I loved taking the photos for this project as I found this a really intriguing idea to follow. Marks and traces involved initially taking photos of items of things that could have been left behind- specifically after Human activities or festivities.

My initial thought was to: left over food, litter, graffiti, abandoned clothing. As I had a full three weeks to gather the information, I took them whenever possible.

Even though I’m not a fan of detective stories and murder mysteries, I did feel I was on a ‘case’. Or maybe it was the Xmas spirit. Anyway, taking photos around Woking, Farnham, London and Dublin was amusing. Even if my enthusiasm led to me taking photos of bones from Christmas Dinner, discarded umbrellas and crouching in public for the best shots of rubbish! It was pointed out that my photographing in toilets might be a step too far…

Here are a selection of my favourites:

These are a selection of images based on the theme of grafitti. Amazing how much you can find when you look.

  Traces

Traces Traces

Leftovers: Christmas is the season of many dead birds and other animanls- these were what was left….

Traces Traces

Traces

Litter on the streets- Urban litter is really easy to find! I was fascinated by some of the back stories that these items could show us….

Traces Traces TracesTraces

Overall, I found many more interesting things that I thought I would. I found some fascinating objects- you don’t look for how many items we discard until you have a camera attached to your wrist and a need to document it! I really became absorbed in the process behind the project and am pleased with the themes I explored.

If I were to do this project again, I would have only focussed on the projects listed above- Litter, Leftovers and Graffiti. I think that to increase the atmosphere I would have shot a variety of times. A future post is on how we then used these items using Photoshop.

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Xmas Projects

Over the the Christmas holidays we all had some homework to do. Storyboards, photos for a project on marks & traces and my essay.  On the plus side, this made me feel young again, and that I was ported back into my youth.  It also gave my brain some exercise after all the booze and Xmas food.

The project consisted of creating, drawing and mounting up three A1 storyboards based on a five minute event in your life.

After using brainstorming strategies, I finally chose the event of my engagement as it’s a wonderful experience for us.

The storyboards were to be shown in three different ways of which one was the event, one focusing on the light and the other signifiying sounds.  The use of materials or medium was left up to yours truly, so I went for one of my favourite style of a comic book format, in black & white and then mounted on black card as I found this effective.

My main influence for this project was Frank Miller of whom has such a powerful unique style for his graphic novels.  Even though my engagement story didn’t go along the lines of Sin City, I had his superb use of angles and view points in mind as well as his strong, bold comic images.

The Spirit by Frank Miller

The Spirit by Frank Miller

Frank Millers amazing works are often distinguished by his fine contrast between the use of black and white with a small section of red in places to bring out certain points of interest.  As these combined together, it really gives a dramatic visual impact.  I was originally going to have this same effect for my storyboards, as a tribute to his style, but after I drew out all my storyboards I figured that it might be too dramatic for what my projects subject.

Storyboard: Event

Storyboard: Event

The Event- focussing on clarity of the story and how it would fit.

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Sound – Focussing on sounds of St Ives- seagulls, seashore, seaside village atmosphere. More realistic in style than the other two- this was to have a ‘comic book’ feel.

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Light- Focussing on reflections/ glass/ crystals. Both this, and the event storyboard were to be more abstract.

Even though I’m proud of all three, I did find developing them taxing! My personal favourite was the second board, based on sound, as I liked the different viewpoint filming from a birds eye view could allow. If I were to have more time to improve I would firstly add more shading into the pictures – blocks of black or textured shading could make the images stand out more. A second improvement I’m tempted to add would be to add red hints- but I feel that this may mimic Frank Miller too much! I might trial adding green or blue to these, as they might add to the atmosphere.

My next post will be on the second project we were set over Xmas- Traces!