Experimental Project Evaluation

The theme for this project was experimental photography and I have to say so far it has been my favourite project that I have completed this year.  I enjoyed doing this project because it allowed me to draw from the conceptual ideas of photographer's, that really inspire me as an amateur photographer. For me the most enjoyable part of any project is doing my own contextual research and learning about what inspires and drives people that I really admire as artists. However during this project what I found most interesting was being able to go back to photography such as my portraiture and personal family photos, and take them to a whole new level visually. 

During this project I learnt skills such as creating double exposures digitally, creating collage, a variety of darkroom methods such as chemigrams and solarisation. And I also learnt about other methods of photo manipulation such as adding shapes digitally and painting onto photographs. Looking back at what I've learnt I'd definitely like to learn more about digital techniques of manipulating photographs, and I'd also like to learn how to get more creative with darkroom methods such as chemigrams and damaging negatives with chemistry. 

I researched a lot of artists and photographers during this project, including both historical and contemporary figures in photography. I undertook a lot of research to find not only people who practise experimental techniques of photography, but people who's work I genuinely appreciate and am inspired by. For example I had set in my mind when I received the brief for this project that I wanted to try out creating double exposures. However I didn't really want to end up with anything particularly generic, that to me looks like one of thousands of stock photos. So because of this, I didn't actually create any double exposure experiments digitally, until I came across Davis Ayer's work and really fell in love with the aesthetic of his images, and the mood they create. Which heavily inspired my own digital double exposure experiments.

For me the techniques I enjoyed most in this project were the more artistic ones I adopted during my physical experiments, with medias such as paint and collage. Personally I think my collages and food stamp images were my most successful, as for me they were a lot more conceptual and really translated well to the thoughts that I had in mind when creating the images. I also think for my food stamps inspired pieces in particular, the composition was really crisp, and the materials I put on top of my old photographs were really well thought out, in terms of how they worked with the image underneath, and how they were distributed over my images. Because of this I will definitely be working with this technique again in my future work.

If given the chance to complete this project again, I think I would have definitely spent more time developing ideas from my food stamps inspired work, as like I said I am proud of what I produced and would have liked to have taken that technique further. I would also have liked to have gone and taken some photos with paint application in mind, like in Helen Almeida's work where she knew where she would be putting her paint on top. As in my experiments I simply printed out photos I'd already taken and tried to put paint over the top of them where appropriate, and because of that I don't think they were particularly successful. 

Overall I really enjoyed this project, in particular finding an array of new artists to inspire me and learning new techniques and applying completely different ideas to my photography. I feel that this project in particular will really influence my future work.

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