Week 13: Critical Reflection Portfolio – Progress

With our final concept decided upon, we set out in re-creating the idea of ‘entrapment’ with our projection. We planned to project a video of a man trapped in the box as he attempted to break out. In creating this footage, we worked out that we would have to utilise multiple cameras in order to capture all angles of the projection. Marking out an imaginary box for our actor to stand in, we set our 5 cameras surrounding him to capture his every movement (behind, front, left, right and top). Once we had finished filming this footage, we ran into a number of post production editing issues with the scaling of the videos to the dimensions of the box. The result of this was that the actors movements were being cropped out as he moved around, diminishing the effect of his entrapment. Another issue we encountered when we projected this footage was that when you walked around the box that was being projected on, you were able to see multiple figures of the actor, eliminating the illusion that an individual was trapped in the box.

Brainstorming ways in which we could fix these issues, we opted for starting fresh with the creation of  a new box. We were able to locate a larger plinth, in which we had to patch up and paint white. Once we had finished this we measured up the dimensions of the box, ensuring that the scale of our 2nd take of footage was more accurate. In order to eliminate the over shoot of the actors movements, we placed him in a swivel chair, restricting his movements and ability to act out being trapped. In limiting the theatric’s of his actions, we attempted to counteract this with the use of sound as well as accentuated facing expressions. In editing the sound, we opted to delay each audio recording by half a second to give an echo effect, creating the feel that we in trapped in a large space. In testing out the sound and video projection within the gallery space, we were much more satisfied with the end result, successfully selling the notion of entrapment.

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Week 12: Critical Reflection Portfolio – Progress

Having changed and finalised the positioning for our projection mapping installation in the previous week, now utilising two projectors and featuring in the middle of the gallery space. We encountered multiple technical difficulties in syncing both projectors with firstly the computer, and secondly, the VPT software. After deliberating many ways to sync both projectors with the computer, we finally came to the answer of utilising a ‘splitter’, which would allow for both projectors to project onto both sides of the object. Having encountered another technical difficulty with the IC windows computer not being compatible with the VPT software, we had to resort to using Meg’s Macbook computer.

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Having overcome these various issues, we were now able to experiment and brainstorm a number of ideas in which we wanted to present in our projection. Initially, we trialled the free source material that came with VPT, allowing for us to see different animation effects on the boxes, helping us decide what would work visually, and what wouldn’t. We came up with a range of ideas, including the animation of water running over the box, and the creation of a tiny city mapped onto multiple of boxes. Not satisfied with this we conducted research in hope of finding inspiration.

During this research we came across an artist called Bego M.Santiago who features a work named ‘Little Boxes’, which explores the idea of scale through projection mapping. This work encapsulates the notion of ‘entrapment’, a concept in which we found to be very compelling. As a group deciding that we wanted to explore this concept of ‘entrapment’, we set out to create our own content that would surround this idea.

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Week 11: Critical Reflection Portfolio – Progress

The choice of software that we have chosen to work with is VPT 7.

VPT (VideoProjectionTool) is a free multipurpose realtime projection software tool. The software can be used for projecting video onto complex forms, adapting projection to a particular space/surface and combining recorded and live footage for multiscreen HD playback (HC Gilje 2014).

As a way of practicing and exploring this new software, we decided to watch a number of tutorials covering the basic functions of VPT 7. With this knowledge gained, we decided to begin exploring projection onto a white object (in the case below, a white plinth). With this practice, we realised that the projection on an object backed up on the wall wasn’t visually effective. We believed that the projection wasn’t appealing, with the skirting boards playing a negative effect on the overshoot of the projection.

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Brainstorming as a group, we decided that we would move the plinth out into the middle of the gallery space. With this decision made, we were now able to project onto additional faces of the object through the adding of a second projector. Positioning the projectors on either sides of the gallery space pointing towards the plinth, created a three-dimensional projection in which viewers were able to move around, gaining different perspectives of the projection mapping. The choice of multi-projection allowed us to brainstorm and consider more ideas and content in which we wanted to project.

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References: 

HC Gilje 2014, ‘VPT 7’, Conversations with spaces, WordPress, blog,

https://hcgilje.wordpress.com/vpt/ >

Week 10: Critical Reflection Portfolio – Progress

Having missed the previous weeks project pitch lab, I was without a group and a direction for my Major Work. For this final assignment, I want to challenge myself beyond my current skills in digital media, moving in the direction of a collaborative project that I have very little experience with. In choosing to do so, I aim at improving my knowledge and experience with new digital mediums. With this idea in my head, to begin the class, I went around the various groups, gathering a feel for their major work proposals. A particular area that appealed to me was ‘project mapping’ and ‘multi-screen installation’. From these two, I decided to involve myself in project mapping due to my particular interest in the Sydney Vivid Festival coming up in the month.

Projection Mapping uses everyday video projectors, but instead of projecting on a flat screen (e.g. to display a PowerPoint), light is mapped onto any surface, turning common objects of any 3D shape into interactive displays (Jones, B 2015).

Upon joining the group, they showed me the following 3D projection mapping video that we would attempt to recreate. In viewing this, I was intrigued by the motion of animation that follows the structural boundaries of the object.  For our collaboration, we will attempt to recreate this mapping, using an interesting three – dimensional object in which to project onto.

 

References:

Jones, B 2015, ‘What is projection mapping?’, Project Mapping Central, 

http://projection-mapping.org/whatis/ >

Week 7: Critical Reflection Portfolio – ‘Carriage Works’

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To kick off week 7, myself and a small group of media arts students attended the Carriageworks exhibition in Sydney. This excursion was planned as a source of inspiration for our up and coming final Arts Project, in which we are required to explore ideas outside our comfort zone.

Carriageworks is the one of the largest and most significant contemporary multi-arts centre in modern Australian society.  The Carriageworks Artistic Program is ambitious, risk taking and provides significant support to leading Australian and international artists through commissioning and presenting contemporary work (Havilah, L 2016). The program is artist-led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity (Havilah, L 2016).

Upon arriving at Carriageworks we were presented with a number of varying artworks, ranging from projections, interactive installations, video and photographic pieces and many more mediums of art, all reflecting aspects of different cultures and communities.

A particular artwork that I found intriguing was ‘Don’t Follow the Wind, A Walk in Fukushima’. The artwork featured multiple different headwear pieces created from materials and objects that reflected aspects of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the nuclear crisis at Fukushima. Each headwear featured 3D virtual goggles that comprised a series of 360-degree videos filmed in and around the uninhabited radioactive area, presenting an intimate experience of the inaccessible zone. Featuring in these videos are artworks installed in the areas of the exclusion zone, depicting largely obscured figures of the artists and members of the curatorial team, retaining their inaccessibility and remaining shrouded and invisible to the outside world; highlighting the ongoing impact of the events of 11 March 2011, and ensuring that Fukushima will not be forgotten (Biennale of Sydney, 2016).

 

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I found the artworks use of virtual goggles in combination with a variety of materials to create a memorable experience that reflected on the devastation of Fukushima to be inspiring and influential for my major arts project. I particularly liked the representation of each material in creating that experience (e.g. the use of a pillow as one of the headwear pieces, to recreate the experience of those in the devastation shielding there heads with pillows during the earthquake).

The excursion was definitely worth while, providing all of us attending with many artworks to influence our Major Arts Project.

References:

Havilah, L 2016, ‘General Information’, Carriageworks, website,

Biennale of Sydney (2016), Don’t Follow the Wind, Carriageworks, 

 

MEDA301 Reflection

Research into the history, context, and contemporary manifestations of the area of knowledge

Rick Doble’s article (2016) delves into the history of light and photography informing us on the word photography originating from the Greek language meaning ‘light writing’ (photo = light, graphy = writing). From this definition, we can come to the understanding that light is a crucial, if not the most important aspect of photography. Within this article, Doble alludes to the idea that the modern scientific understanding of light evolved along with the development of the camera and photography, making photography a unique art form that has always been inseparable from science (Doble, R 2016).

Throughout my research conducted during the course of my practice, I have identified lighting to be a key factor in creating a successful image. Lighting determines not only brightness and darkness, but also tone, mood and the atmosphere of the photo (SHAW Academy, 2015). Therefore it is necessary to control and manipulate light correctly in order to get the best texture, vibrancy of colour and luminosity on your subjects (SHAW Academy, 2015).

The manipulation of light in photography is simplified down to five aspects (Peters, C 2014):

  1. Position – Light positioning is about adjusting the length, direction and angle of shadows that an instrument casts
  2. Brightness – The overall brightness of a scene is often referred to as being high key or low key.
  3. Quality – Refers to a light’s hardness or softness.
  4. Shape – Is about controlling and focussing a light.
  5. Colour – Light colour can be easily altered using gels, and light colour has an immense influence on the look and feel of a scene.

Over the course of my practice, I have been focusing on these five aspects of lighting, experimenting and researching ways in which best to manipulate then for photography.

 

Structure of your daily practice and rational

During the course of the 6 weeks of practice, I had set the task of improving my lighting knowledge and lighting techniques in photography through daily practice and research.

My daily practice would involve taking a number of photos daily, usually around 20 – 30 shots. In each daily practise I would take pictures of the same object (was a VB can then I changed it to a doll) experimenting with researched lighting techniques. I aimed at posting 3 blogs a week that consisted of my shots over a couple of days, as well as researched techniques and reflection.

These daily experiments were conducted in a number of different locations, my bedroom, carport, IC black room, backyard, and street, all utilising a number of different artificial and natural light sources available to me. Among these locations I would experiment with many researched lighting techniques such as split lighting, backlighting, broad and short lighting, reflectors, street lights, headlights, candle light, multi directional lighting, shadows, various coloured lighting, high and low angled lighting.

 

Description and critical reflection on how this daily practice developed over time

 In beginning this practice, my understanding of lighting in photography was below par, lacking any knowledge of the ways light can be used to create mood, feeling, tone and atmosphere within photography.

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The first couple of weeks of practice, I was working with real basic lighting positions and techniques, experimenting with multiple light sources, directions and brightness’s. It was around the 2 – 3 week mark that I began realising that the VB can was too basic as an object for my photography, restricting my experimentations with lighting. I decided to switch to a doll, which allowed for me to move on to more technical portrait lighting techniques.

Upon starting to work with the doll, I found that the practice sessions were becoming more enjoyable as I was able to work with a greater list of lighting approaches. I found that as the weeks progressed, my knowledge on lighting was growing immensely, becoming more confident through my research and techniques attempted. As I compare my first week photos to my last weeks, I can see a massive growth in the quality of the photography as well as the techniques used.

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I found that my black room sessions were most valuable to my practice. The lighting resources IC offered allowed me to properly explore a multitude of lighting techniques, all contributing to a positive learning curve for me. During the beginning I found it tough to find time and motivation to practice my lighting, however, as I progressed and learned, I was more invested in making time to practice and experiment.
Speculation on how this will contribute to your future learning

This repetitive process of practice has been a positive experience for my learning, gaining a great amount of confidence in my photography but also heightening my knowledge on this crucial element known as lighting. Having a strong interest in cameras and photography I would love to continue on increasing my knowledge on lighting, as well as variety of other aspects within photography. Practicing over these weeks has been an informative process, not just for my education in lighting, but also for learning how I can motivate myself to continue on performing this practice over a long period of time.

 

References:

Doble, R 2016, ‘A BRIEF HISTORY OF LIGHT & PHOTOGRAPHY’, IPWA,

< http://www.lpwalliance.com/publication/43/ >

SHAW 2015, ‘The Importance of Light in Photography’, SHAW Academy, Blog, May 12,

< http://www.shawacademy.com/blog/light-in-photography/ >

Peters, C 2014, ‘Lighting Video: Five Important Aspects of any Lighting Setup’, Videomaker, April 3,

< http://www.videomaker.com/videonews/2014/03/lighting-video-five-important-aspects-of-any-lighting-setup >

Week 5.3

For my final session of practice, I didn’t want to restrict my photography to one lighting technique, rather I decided to take multiple of photos utilising the knowledge I gained throughout the course of this assignment. I found that this last time period in the blackbox I was more confident in my experimentation of lighting, knowing which lighting techniques work better than others. The following photos are from the session in which I found to be high in quality or interesting.

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Week 5.2

Another practice session in the blackbox I wanted to focus on the colour of lighting. Through using gold and silver reflectors as well as modifying the brightness of the light stands, I was able to experiment with the colour of lighting on the doll. The use of low key lighting in combination with the silver reflector created a bluish tinge to my photos, creating a cold, winters night feel. Using high key lighting in combination with the gold reflector created an amber warm feel to the shots. Working with colour is interesting as it holds so much power in shaping the mood of the shot, as well as its ability to give the photo a day or night feel.

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Week 5

In my session today I began experimenting with the effects of low angled lighting on the doll. I used a variation of different heights and positions of light stands, all beneath and facing up at the object. The results of the photos have a horrifying mood to them through the shadows manipulation of the dolls facial features.

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Week 4.3

Today I decided to work on a technique I read up on during previous research called ‘Broad Lighting’.

Broad lighting is when the subject’s face is slightly turned away from centre, and the side of the face which is toward the camera (is broader) is in the light. This produces a larger area of light on the face, and a shadow side which appears smaller (Hildebrandt, D 2015).

I began photographing around 11:30am when the sun was around it’s most high point in the sky. Utilising the sun as my light source, I started experimenting with this broad lighting , attempting to broaden the features of the dolls face in the sun light. I found this technique rather difficult, having to play around with the positioning of the doll constantly.

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References:

Hildebrandt, D 2015, ‘6 Portrait Lighting Patterns Every Photographer Should Know’, Digital Photography School, 

http://digital-photography-school.com/6-portrait-lighting-patterns-every-photographer-should-know/ >