Experimenting With My Current Ideas in a Shoot

Inspired by the ideas surrounding geometrical obstruction, that I gathered from looking at The Adventures of The Black Square exhibition, and the conceptual work by Dora Maurer that I looked at. I decided to experiment with the current ideas I have regarding the square, white noise, anonymity and in general using the theme of mass media, to create a more conceptual series of experiments. I decided to conduct these experiments with my current ideas, whilst visiting London for the day. My real concept for this shoot was to have a person holding a square piece of paper, that I could edit a white noise effect onto. I got my white noise from a photo that I took of my own television making the effect. With going to London I also wanted to find some interesting buildings that are recognisable as being in London, that I could also put this white noise effect onto to really make a connection between my white noise and the surroundings in the photographs. 

I decided to make use of my trip to London to create some experiments, as I felt using the more recognisable features of our capital city would be a good tool for making my work more accessible and maybe even easier to understand. I used my Canon EOS 600D, with the 18 - 55mm kit lens, to take some black and white shots of both places I passed and also of my subject holding the square, which I cut out of some white card. To edit my photographs I then made some subtle adjustments using Photoshop and added the white noise effect onto either the white card in the image or another element of the subject matter. 

With having to do other things in London and arriving a lot later that intended, I was very limited for time, meaning I really struggled to get the shots I envisioned. Which is why the results of this shoot will definitely not be my final piece for this project. However it really gave me a chance to experiment and put the current ideas that I have into a into a physical form. 

I edited the white noise effect onto my piece of white card digitally, as I wanted the effect to look like it is being presented on an actual computer screen, rather than being printed onto a piece of paper. I quickly took this shot as a red London bus passed my subject, as they are really iconic to the city and the advert on the bus really helps make the link I'm am trying to create, between the white noise and mass media such as advertisements.

This is my favourite image from my shoot, as I think the composition is really strong with this bold square being held in just off the centre, with the blurred screens from Picaddilly Circus behind it. Which I achieved by using a lower f/stop of f/4.5. I think again, this image represents this link I am making between white noise and social institutions such as mass media and advertising. The screens themselves are very iconic to modern day London, and I do find it strange that tourists will happily photograph these screens, which are basically just giant adverts trying to sell us something. So hopefully this use of white noise being held against these screens, communicates and challenges how interconnected we are with technology, to the point where we will literally take a photograph of some television screens, as if it's some kind of wonder.

Across from Piccadilly Circus I came across another television screen being used to play advertisements. So I decided to also replace this with white noise, to give this sense of irony in that the technology we are so dependent on, is failing us in this almost tragic but funny way. Especially considering that the provider of the television screen has advertised themselves on the bottom of the frame, which I think is quite a witty way of challenging this institution of mass media that we have in our society. 

My next image is a photograph I edited, from a few that I took of different buildings and theatres in London. I decided to replace the signs advertising the shows on at these theatres with the white noise, to communicate the idea that technology and television is negatively affecting our culture, and lessening the value and need for traditional forms of art and entertainment, such as plays and musicals. I decided to use a darker version of the white noise effect from my television, which I achieved by using a faster shutter speed. I did this to communicate this negative link between technology and traditional cultural entertainment. Unlike my other images from this shoot, I don't think this image is particular successful as it doesn't have the same impact or strength of composition that my other images have. 

My final image from this very brief shoot, consists of the tower from the Tate Modern, being surrounding by this void of white noise that I have added digitally. I think this image makes an interesting and challenging statement, about whether technology is good for art or not. Being such a tall, iconic building in modern day London, that houses so much contemporary artwork. This image is effective in making a link between these ideas about the growth of technology and mass media, and the effect it has on traditional art. A lot of the work now at more contemporary galleries such as the Tate Modern, contains work making use of computer graphics, photography and other digital editing and image making techniques, such as scanning and even drawing and painting with technologies such as graphics tablets. This growth and development in technology poses so many opportunities now for art and artists, but I think this image makes a statement in questioning whether simply painting or sketching an image is good enough anymore for modern day art. 

In terms of the overall quality of my image, I don't think this is the best visually that I have produced, and for me it lacks a certain level of sharpness and contrast, that I think would have really aided this message I am communicating with this image. 

Overall I am generally pleased with what I have produced in this shoot, and I think I have managed to communicate my ideas rather well throughout this series of experiments. I think the use of contrast and black and white in my images, communicates well this link I am making between the old and the new, with technology and mass media that really structure our everyday lives. Now that I have created something with my current conceptual ideas, I now want to summarise and go over everything I have looked at in this project so far, in order to collate and determine what my final piece of work will be. 

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