Emulsion Transfers

Emulsion transfers are a technique of transferring photographs onto a wide range of surfaces. This is done by covering the surface with emulsion paint and pressing a photocopy of your photo face down onto the wet paint. You then wait for at least 20 minutes until the paint has dried fully, and then you apply water and rub at the damp paper to reveal the printed image underneath. For my first set of emulsion transfers that I completed in lesson, I applied white emulsion paint onto brown paper and I selected a few of my own photos that I photocopied in black and white. 

Overall I like the grungy effect these transfers have however I decided to try using different backgrounds for my next transfers and to make the image more bold and crisp.

As you can see for these images I chose interesting bits of paper and magazines that I transferred the images onto. For example in the transfer above I put a photo I took on a street in York and put it onto a street map I found. My favourite transfer I created is of an old photo of me and my sister that I put onto a brown piece of paper, it has a really vintage feel about it and reminds me of some of the work from Odette England that I've looked at where she took photographs of places she lived as a child and damaged the film which gave the images a really old and damaged look to them. 

For my next set of emulsion transfers I bought two small pots of emulsion paints to work with, that were a mint and mustard shade, and used them to create an interesting effect with pastel coloured papers as my backgrounds, which I thought the two shades would compliment really well.

This is my personal favourite emulsion transfer that I have created as I love how strong the contrast between the elements is and the bright colours I used. The photo I transferred is one of my portrait photos from my first project and I love the texture that this technique has given to the original image.

To take my transfers to another level I decided to incorporate some collages that I assembled over my photocopier and tried transferring some newspaper images onto the paper as well to see what effect they would bring.

For my first collage I used an old photograph of me and my sister and layered ripped sections of text from a newspaper over the top. I also ripped some coloured sections from the newspaper and surrounded them around my photocopy. The non photocopied paper is definitely not as easy to work with but it still gave an interesting texture to the transfer. 

For this transfer I simply gathered some old cuttings from newspapers and photo albums and layered them onto my photocopier. I decided to use my mustard paint over plain white paper to create a more simple contrast and gives a more retro feel to this transfer. I personally like that this isn't just a square image and worked harder to tear at the paper as well as rub it to give a really worn and aged feel.

For this transfer I gathered some newspaper cuttings and applied them straight to the paint. They definitely prove why it is best to do this technique with photocopies because of the ink but again this experiment created an image with an interesting texture.

Overall I really liked experimenting with this technique and bringing more of an art element into my work, I definitely want to do some more physical experiments to see how I can manipulate my photos in another way to create a new and interesting effect.

Kelly O'Connor

Kelly O'Connor creates collages influenced by her own memories, fantasy and pop culture using media such as printed photos and colorful shapes which she layers to create super psychedelic and surreal scenes. These mythological scenes Kelly creates are to challenge these western cultural ideals that we get through pop culture facades that we readily embrace. I really like Kelly O'Connor's work and the meanings behind it, I especially love her use of colourful geometric shapes on top of old photos which I think creates a really vivid contrast as shapes like this remind me of of futuristic set designs from the old Doctor Who series.

In the series of work entitled Post Utopia Kelly O'Connor takes a more introspective approach to her work taking images from an area of Yellowstone she visited as a child. Judy Garland as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz features in the majority of these pieces and acts as O'Connors alter ego. O'Connor likes using figures such as Judy Garland as in their iconic role they provide such artificial joy when in reality their lives were quite tragic. This again is O'Connor exposing the duality of public facades which she explains that her work to a great extent is all about in her artist statement. 

For me O'Connor's intricate collages are not just a thing of beauty but are also so intriguing and purposeful. I've never appreciated collage so much and I think the way she creates such mystical and eery scenes is really powerful in conveying her message about pop culture in our society.

Looking at Kelly O'Connor's work has inspired me to create some more collages using themes of pop culture, shapes and to be more purposeful in what social messages my work can convey.

The first collage I made includes this iconic photo of Mia Wallace from the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction holding a cigarette in her hand. I created this with expressing my feelings towards smoking in mind and also used an old cigarette advert and image of the respiratory system to juxtapose one another. For me this collage represents what influences smoking which are the companies that produce the products and advertise them, health professionals who tell people to quit smoking and more social factors like people we see on television looking cool while holding a cigarette. I also used a piece of brown paper to create some negative space under my image of the lungs, this picture could of filled the whole space but I thought adding this negative space communicates the feeling that the large corporations are still making just as much money at the expense of the general public's health. 

After playing around with colours in my Davis Ayer inspired images I decided to try the same with my collages by playing around with the vibrancy to see the effect it has on the image. 

I particularly like this effect as it merges all the elements together nicely and gives a more surreal feel to the piece.

In my next collage I took a little bit more inspiration from Kelly O'Connor and chose an iconic character from one of my favourite films American Beauty. Angela Hayes really represents a very common character figure which is the high school mean girl who thinks they are better than everyone else. I created elements around Angela to create this imaginary world behind her, which people seem to be in at this time of their lives when they tend to be still be quite naive and still don't have to take on the responsibilities of real life. I cut out some hexagons inspired by O'Connor's wide use of geometric shapes, drew some obscure looking plant shapes, and used an image of space and the stars for the background and stuck some foil down and pressed circles into it to create some texture. 

Again I have played with the vibrancy of this image to create an Angela Hayes green with envy and giving more of a mystical feel to her surroundings.

I found this image of Jesus in an old Bible and decided I had to do something with it. I'd printed off a few images of cigarette type adverts for my collage with Mia Wallace and though it would be ironic to make Jesus endorse safety matches. I decided to press brown paint into circles on this image to take away the detail on the centre of the packaging and create some texture and I then stuck my image of Jesus over the top. I just find this little collage humorous because of the way he has his hand out to take you in creating an ironically emotive feel with this product. 

For my next collage I decided to try using a photo I had taken of my sister rather than a recognizable figure. I personally like being more minimal with collage and this is my personal favourite as I really like the way I put the elements of the collage together.

I also decided to play with the vibrancy of these photos which I think created some really interesting effects.

I also decided to photocopy my original collage to see what I could do with it. I decided to fill in the circles with brightly coloured oil pastels and painted the background in. I also put white chalk over my subject and rubbed it in to create a really grungy, worn look to the image. 

I really enjoyed producing these experiments and really like how they turned out. Doing this has made me think about more about different forms of image making and how I can use collage techniques in my future work. 

Creating A Collage

After creating some digital collage type images inspired by Elena Fortunati's FENSTER series I decided to try creating a physical collage using images I collected from magazines. A collage is the assembly of different forms to create a new piece of artwork, it can include paint, newspaper and magazine clippings and many other different medias. I looked through a bunch of magazines from our art department to gather sections that I could put together. I found one magazine that had a series of fashion photos taken through different kinds of doorways. I really liked this idea so decided to incorporate some of these doorways into my collage and find some interesting outdoor images to put on the other side of them. I also found this really interesting image of a women who reminds me very much of model and singer Sky Ferreira. I loved how she was presented so decided to put her into my collage as I think she gives a really interesting mood to the piece as she looks slightly deranged and vengeful. 

I'm really pleased with how my first collage turned out so I decided to photocopy it and experiment with adding more elements to it.  In my first experiment I decided to adding back in the most bold colours in the original collage with oil pastel. I also highlighted parts of the elevator door with foil to give a more futuristic look to this image. 

For my next experiment I decided to play with the more grainy quality of the black and white photocopy by adding earthy colours of brusho to give a really aged look to the image. However because I sprinkled the brusho onto card it didn't get absorbed and I had to dab it dry with tissue which didn't make the effect look as good in my opinion.

After not being too happy with my brusho experiment onto card, I decided to photocopy my collage onto paper so that the water and brusho would be absorbed better. I really like how this turned out as it looks so vibrant and textured and I used the brusho to emphasise the colours onto the original image.

Overall I am pleased with how my first collage turned out and would like to experiment with other ways of creating collage work.


Inspired By Davis Ayer

American photographer Davis Ayer uses analogue photography to create beautifully unique photos making great use of double exposure techniques to give a really mystical vibe to his work. Ayer's photos have a psychedelic use of colour created through light leaks, solar flare and other manipulations that really has given Ayer a recognizable style to his work. His subject matter mainly features women in obscure poses in surroundings such as foliage, and a lot of his work is also taken around the Mexican desert and in desolate places which really creates this mystical mood along with the use of lower lit settings which to me looks like Ayer makes a lot of use out of the golden hour to
give more of a soft and hazy appearance to his photos in terms of lighting. 

The image above is one of my favourites of Ayers despite being less bright and vivid like some of his more popular work. I just think this photo looks so effortlessly pretty with the use of shadows and the tiny little scratches on the photo which to me really adds texture to this image. I can't tell if this photo was taken through a window with a reflection of the outside or whether Ayer has created a double exposure which he often does. Either way Ayer has managed to create a really eery mood to what I think is really pretty subject matter. I also find this image very intriguing in the way the girl is covering her eyes but it appears to be dusk rather than sun shining in her eyes. Maybe she is stood inside with her coat on waiting for the daylight to go. The girl also looks quite young so the image may be a comment from Ayers about how teens are today, a rather poetic one if it is I must say.

Ayer's use of double exposures and colour has inspired me to experiment creating my own vibrant double exposures digitally with some of the photos I have taken in the past year.

For this image I took a photo of my sister that I took in the summer and put it over one of my street photography photos of a factory in Colne. I decided to lower the contrast as Ayers photos appear to a lower contrast to add to the hazy effects he achieves in his images. I also added chemical burn effects to all of my experiments and played with the vibrancy of colours to achieve the more mystical colours that Ayer uses in his work. 




After - 1
After - 2
This is my favourite from my experiments as I think I managed to create a really mystical feel to this image. I also like how the two photos interact with one another as if my subject is touching the firework.


Through conducting these experiments I've developed my own digital editing skills and found a new way of manipulating images in a style I really like. Now I would like to try creating double exposures in dark room and experiment more with adding texture to film photography.