Photo session 6 – Rituals
May 15, 2011, 12:25 am
Filed under: Creative Project

The creative ideas of session five seemed to flow into this session. I was thinking of the past photo session and the ideas behind it, the creative ideas of the session and the ideas raised caused me to zero in on more specific reasons for discussions I have with colleagues and friends.

Travel is big. So is the diversity of humanity and differences in ideologies , religion and associated ceremonies. I question why we perform ceremonial rituals throughout history? Do we find rituals reiterate our society and community beliefs? Which in turn creates strong bonds between family and community?

The variety, variance and subtleties of ritual in global communities are a constant interest. This conscious stream of thought was the catalyst for the photo session.

My personal rituals in how and were I serve friends and what is served is a way of creating a bond through ritual. So even in personal domains this gives rise to collecting and receiving objects which entrench the rituals created. So beginning the shoot the objects selected were dealing with these ideas creatively.

The form and texture of objects and their colour was intriguing. How solid some objects looked relative to others and the interplay created was  something that formed in my conscience as I began photographing.

My preference was also influenced as much by what wasn’t there as what was. In this case the over influence of dark objects required a visual colour lift.  The flower was a way of connecting with the session before(there were flowers in a glass) and a contrast of light and colour.The contrast of materials from metal and stoneware to paper and petals was a good way to show the interplay of creative ideas, from set ideas and nurtured moral and religious themes to furtive and ephemeral thoughts used in questioning such ideology.

It was interesting to see that through the process of creative thinking in the photo sessions previous to this my creative ideas became  even more concentrated in questioning. Object placement, lighting and showing elements in creative ways was occurring by thinking more about the object and what it represents in a broader context than from a personal one. Even though these objects were obviously from my personal surroundings I began to separate them more from were they came from and why they are used in my life. Close examination of their possible meaning in a context of other cultures and possible ritualistic interpretations began to enter my thought process.

So in reaching the end of my creative project I felt as though I was just beginning. A series of images I realise is not about the resulting  images made but the ritual in creating them and how I begin to view my personal domain in relation to broader ideas of society and culture. Informing and enriching my creative process along the way.

So below are a final series of images which was a great way to discover more about myself and my creative process. Enjoy.

image 10

A creative ritual. But is it the best example?


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Photo session 5 – A meal and a chat
May 12, 2011, 9:43 am
Filed under: Creative Project

Approaching the next session, I was looking at a glass with flowers and thinking about what they represent in my personal domain. The reason I enjoy their colour, and texture and their ability to create an atmosphere when exchanging ideas in an environment most of us do regularly, but never really think about. The exchanging of ideas, dreams and subjective ideologies over a meal.

I often consider how when invited to a meal or entertain over a lunch or dinner, what is it we do exactly? Are we expressing an idea of our lives as we see it through verbal exchange? If so, are we looking for validation of our existence with like-minded people? Why do we surround ourselves with colleagues, friends who share our ideology? There is always room for discourse and disagreements but we generally like the comfort of others like us.

I have been known to seek out the ideas of people who don’t see the world as I do. I think it’s because I truly want an opinion I find challenging and distinctly different to my own. It keeps me engaged with the world and the diversity I celebrate. Even if others view my choice of company at times  as weird or eccentric. Layering this with a partner who shares fundamental moral values we consider harmonious with each other, but again who has certainly differing views from my own, creates a rich exchange of ideas and discussion.

Whats that all about? Reflecting on this I think my creativity is propelled along into places of discomfort and challenging subjectivity because to grow artistically I need to expand my view outside of my own cognitive rumination. It’s about where do I sit in relation to the contemporary world around me? Not what I think – period! living in a cultural vacuum shared with people thinking carbon copy ideas as me just wouldn’t enrich me or my work. How can I inform others as a visual communicator if I am not informed?

I know that we have information at our fingertips via the mass media, but discussion and a chance to think things through with debate over a meal is personally very rewarding.

I know it still remains subjective, but at least I consciously engage with contemporary society however limiting in its size. Not easy to serve lunch for eight, let alone a larger united nations contingent.

So as usual the photo session started with certain thoughts and then placing certain objects together to create a visual idea of my mind and it’s machinations. But there is always other hints and ideas expressed through deciding what to include. Moving the objects around and trying different angle of lighting and focal placement was both conscious and intuitive.

I have constantly spoken in previous sessions about the process of photographing the work, which is a familiar struggle , so enough of that. From a creative and practical process I found it hard to express an idea that’s so ephemeral, how do you express ideas with solid objects, colour and light? I guess that’s the idea of process you just give it time, practice and a changing work surface till something happens.

So see what you make of it and hopefully there is more in it than meets the eye, that was the intention.

image 17

An image of an idea

Do you think it succeeds? Comment on your preference of image.

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Photo session 4 – an exotic tray
May 6, 2011, 2:39 am
Filed under: Creative Project

Photo session 4 started with  the tray. It caught my eye as it often does when I was striding past and thought lets examine this a little closer. The colours and patterns inside and the beaten silver design on the outside shows much care was taken by the crafts person when making this. I was free wheeling my thoughts and trying to brainstorm about what other objects I could associate with this and was there links with other objects. It was interesting to see what came out of the initial tray idea and the objects that complemented it. Obviously the items all have a strong eastern oriental flavour, something I have always found fascinating. Why do the cultures far from us intrigue me? Their boldness of design, colour and textural elements to the objects and their architecture is so strong.

What does the patterns represent? Are they more than just design? Why the shape of the objects as they are? Is it functional, pure aesthetic, both? As these thoughts whirled through my mind I thought good now start photographing!

Well viewing and trying to get the objects to work was tricky. The colours alone was showing me that certain placement needed to be encouraged and others not so. The light was harder to control because the materials of the objects either absorbed too much light or refracted it. So the process was simply a case of time equaled trial and error.

Creatively I enjoyed the suggestive influence of the placement and colour of items. As it progressed I was constantly rethinking and refining what it was I was trying to say. My subconsience led the way I didn’t want to force the thinking of creating the image, just wanted it to flow and happen.

I did notice as it progressed that the colours where harmonious and somehow they worked. Even the book seemed to feed in nicely. Was that a coincidence? Do  the colours favoured by other cultures occur in all areas of their life? Does the architecture, textiles and domestic goods follow repeated colour patterns or do they take on a western principle of colour of the season influence.

It’s funny, the session seemed to give me an even greater fascination for other cultures outside my own. It seems to heighten once again to me how wonderfully diverse and interesting contemporary life is and that a tray placed in my domestic environment can create such urges to view contemporary life from other environments so foreign to my own.

So as it ended I reviewed the images to choose one I think reflects what it was I was trying to show through the objects selected. I probably gave away too much- but everyone needs a break from subjective guess-work. Especially since the photo’s may not suggest things clearly.

So once again the photographs appear in the order they were shot and the single image I selected is above them. Hope you agree.Actually better if you didn’t agree, life would be pretty straight forward if you did. Besides diversity is the arabesques on the straight side of life.

image 15

 Don’t you think it looks exotic?

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Photo session 3 – Mars in signet
May 1, 2011, 1:43 am
Filed under: Creative Project

The search for items to photograph continued. I found it better to start with an item and thinking about the object, its’ significance to me and possible broader contextual meaning to other objects. So I remember thinking of an antique signet ring given to me and after locating it, decided that should be my starting point in my creative process. I know I don’t want to give too much away ( so as not to inflict my subjective view )but the item being small and the image on the ring needs clarification, due to its size making it hard to know what it is.

The ring is from the early 19th century and is made of Carnelian. This was a stone popular at the time for its hardness and ease of carving. The image is the head of  the god Mars, a popular motif in signet rings. Mars was the planetary symbol for representing the male and associated traits of energy, vigor and initiative. I think that’s enough to go on.

During the entire session I found the objects difficult to work with due to the shapes and extreme difference in size of the objects. Keeping them all in view whilst trying to make the image interesting and placement of objects truly tested my patience. The idea of scraping and starting again did enter my mind. But I ‘ soldiered on’.

When reviewing the images I feel that I needed to remind myself that this was a process and so sometimes you have to accept that not everything works out as first planned. In fact very little does ever go to plan, which is when the flexibility of the creative process kicks in. The creative process is more important than the final outcome if I want to move forward in my creativity. Understanding this and realising that this is a process that can continue to evolve for future consideration in creative works was key in keeping me focused and forging ahead.

So after the light which still scalds my fingers is switched of and objects put back where I got them from, it is time to show the results and the selection process for the image I feel best represents my creative aim is decided. Do you agree with the choice?, is the shoot a failure? should I have bothered with this session? You tell me.

image 9

 Difficult choice but thought it portrayed meaning I was aiming for. What do you think?


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Photo session 2 – perfection in imperfection
April 27, 2011, 8:10 am
Filed under: Creative Project


Searching for items on my next photo session I thought I would begin with a book. From here I seemed to focus from the style,font and type of book and collected objects accordingly. I realized by doing this a cohesion in the materiality of the objects occurred. They interrelate but still contain diverse texture and tonal range of colour and the occasional object contrasts nicely.

So it began again with looking, moving object, light, camera angle, focus and compositional cropping. I Should mention here that I have decided that no photo shop or computer enhancement is going to occur during this series. Critics may feel when viewing that this could have helped the images, however the idea of creative process is the goal not airbrushed photographic perfection( whatever someone thinks that to be), besides there is perfection in imperfection.

Whilst looking, shooting the images and reviewing I set myself the task of also trying to include all objects in the image taken. If I included them then the reasoning and compositional decisions made must in turn inform the image and the viewer.

The materiality I thought could really influence the light if I used the cloth as a tool in effecting the overall tone and mood. So I started to shoot with the cloth covering the light, being carefull not to set the room alight. It seems to shift the feel of the images taken, not sure if I like it however as the light contrast is diminished by the wash of colour across the image. Oh well, it is about experimenting .

It is very difficult to describe the shoot without giving too much away about the objects chosen and their influence in my reason for selection. So I find myself  realising this fact and so keep trying to create an image that is succinct even if subjective.

In the end the photo session seemed to be difficult. Sometimes the limits I set myself to help the image series interelate can sometimes hinder the creative process. Particularly when my mind starts to flow with possibilities of what I could continue to do in removing something or more lighting or different mixture of items. But I then consciously remind myself that could begin a vastly different process of ideas and not help my creative process and outcome here.

So ladies and gentlemen here is the next series of images. Don’t forget you can have your say and give preference to another image other than the selected one. Now back to fighting with dashboard and media uploads.

image 16

 my preferred image. Is it yours?


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Photo session 1- wrestling a stick insect!
April 26, 2011, 12:08 am
Filed under: Creative Project


It never seems to workout how you want does it? I discovered with starting this series that I spent a huge amount of time trying to edit more than anything my choice of objects. Making sure that both purchased and gifted objects were in the shoot. Then setting up was a bit tricky as the board I got was the wrong size (back to the art shop) then the light source kept heating up (scolding fingers are now my chance to suffer for my art!) and finally the tripod and room size made manoeuvering somewhat challenging and this is before a single frame was taken.

But as they say ‘soldier on’ and so finally I managed to get started. I knew the creative process has moments of clarity and speed of ideas and success in getting the image, however I found it creatively fruitful but practically slow, snails pace actually. But undeterred I thought better to move slow and ruminate about the objects some more and question their choice. Are they the right objects? Do they make for interesting subjects and create a visual dialogue? Should I start far away with an all-encompassing view or crop close to make the objects difficult to make out? Will doing the latter frustrate or excite the viewer? More thinking rearranging of the objects and finally just start Franco and get into a creative flow!

Once it did start to flow creatively I had to slow down and look at my placement and get the visual dialogue happening. Each time tightening the image to some subconscious idea I must have had to put these items together to begin with. Then I thought about the book in the image, how I choose that for certain reasons and thought that would be a good linking visual throughout the consecutive photo sessions. So will see if that holds up.

By the half way point I was really enjoying myself even if the heat of the light source was uncomfortable and the camera and tripod was like wrestling with a stick insect. As the moving of light source and objects continued I was clarifying my ideas and resolving to look forward to the next session.

The light was doing wonderful things to the glass and beads and the image on the book cover was so rich in visual clues and colour rendering so vivid through the lens in certain light.

Now that it’s over I feel elated and creatively fulfilled but mentally drained as creative process decisions can do that to a person. I will show the slideshow in the sequence of how I shot the images so you can follow my creative flow. I think it would be good to continue to to do this with subsequent photo sessions.  All that’s left is to show the end of session 1 and wrestle with the dashboard and media to get them up on my blog, wish me luck.

image 12

image 12

The image I selected. View the images below and see if you agree. Feel free to send a comment.


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The practicality and nitty gritty
April 24, 2011, 1:22 am
Filed under: Creative Project


Before my creative project gets under way I believe the practicality of photographing  my project and some decisions and limits need to be set. The nitty-gritty of the photographic set up and some loose ideas are noted below on my working ideas page. 

photographic setup
photographic setup

Through a quick sketch I managed to work out how the photography was going to best serve my aims of a cohesive series of images. I thought that by limiting the area the photos would be taken in (and not in situ in the house) in one room, setup like a studio environment would achieve certain results. First the images have a chance to be explored photographically ( their shape, line, texture) using a single light source to simplify the image viewed. Secondly by removing it from one area in the house and putting the objects on a black backdrop, this would create some ambiguity to the image and objectivity to the viewer. I want the viewer to create their own conclusions of the image through the objects placement and lighting and angle, to be rid of the periphery of surrounding personal space.

The objects themselves will be selected on my ideas as they develop. This will occur before the shoot so I can focus on the objects themselves when photographing them. I have decided to photograph between  four and six objects to give clarity to the image and not clutter the image with random objects. This will provide an opportunity for the viewer to make visual connections either consciously or subconsciously.
When presenting the images in the blog I will select one image I feel best conveys my creative process. This is always going to be a subjective choice the viewer may not agree with, so I will offer a slide show with a select series of photographs to allow the viewer to either agree or disagree with my choice. This will give them an opportunity to comment and create a dialogue with me and my creative selection process.
The images will be numbered only as titles tend to subjectively influence the viewer, something I am conscious not to do.There will be a series of six photo sessions in total using the setup mentioned above giving me a total of six final images with slide shows presented for each session as stated.
This project is about the process of creative thinking through creative theory learnt in the unit Creativity:theory, practice and history. My mini exegesis at the end of this process will show how  creative theory influenced my photographic project. Each session of photography will deal with the shoot itself and subsequent responses to the creative process.
The project is about creating a series of images through the creative process and  no conclusions are necessarily resolved. It’s about process and not the final image. Although it could be offered that the images could evolve into further exploration process mediums such as painting, drawing, collage etc. giving me the visual imagery to process further down my scholastic creative path and beyond.