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The Object

For The Object project, the concept behind my idea was based on a personal story, something I feel passionate about. I wanted to be able to connect with the project to hopefully have a more successful outcome as the objects in the photograph represented something important to me. The story behind the project was based on a friend of mine who had a rough childhood, who was abused by her mother who was an alcoholic. I began my research by not only looking into her story, but doing some research on other peoples abuse stories, hoping to inspire me with ideas for objects to use for the final image. I did some research by looking at some shocking statistics online about child abuse:

After this research I decided to do some brainstorming on what sort of objects I wanted to include in my final image. My initial thought was to obviously use some sort of alcohol, representing the main concept behind the idea. Then wanted to have another object that completely contrasted what the alcohol represented. My immediate reaction was to use something that stereotypically represented a child; therefore, I decided to experiment with toys.

I did some test photos with a teddy bear, basically experimenting with the way you can manipulate the toy to look abandoned and alone but changing the composition, lighting and positioning. I then looked at a couple of photographers who also took photos of toys and represented them in different ways.

I first of all looked at a photographer called Brian McCarty, who specialised in taking photographs of toys. What I found interesting was the way Brian tried to represent the toys as having personality, and creating a story around them. An idea which inspired me to create a story around a toy, creating the sense for the viewer that the toy symbolises the child behind the image.

Another Photographer I looked at was Louise Daddona who photographed a broken china doll. This photograph completely inspired me and let to my decision of using a china doll for my final photograph. A dolls much more delicate and child-like, therefore its hard hitting for the viewer when the dolls deformed and to me completely symbolises the theme of child abuse.

Research on China Dolls then led me to the surrealist photographer Hans Bellmer, his photographs represent mutilated pubescent dolls, creating an eerie effect. The dismantling of the dolls has an effect on the viewer, the kind of effect I want to achieve from my final image.

The Environment
I came up with my idea for The Environment project, simply by walking round the Chatham and Rochester area, trying to see if anything interested/inspired/annoyed me. Especially in the Chatham area, I noticed a lot of littering, especially the dumping of random items such as trolleys, sofa's and all sorts. I decided it would be interesting to maybe photograph objects in the environment, positioned in interesting ways. I thought the concept of 'human intervention on the landscape' could be something to work on. To look at, and experiment how humans can change the way the environment is perceived without really noticing. I plan on photographing dumped items exactly how they were left, that way the idea of human intervention is evident. First of all I looked at the photographer Richard Wentworth:

Richard Wentworth creates a series of photographs, based on the litter he finds placed down Caledonian Road in London. When researching this series I was completely inspired by the way a random object placed in an interesting way can change completely what the environment. Usually, litters seen as something disgusting and accidental. Wentworth photographs the objects in a way that they are interesting for the viewer and are the main focus rather than the environment.

In comparison to the work of Richard Wentworth, Roger Mears' photographs of litter in the environment are on a much larger scale, I believe he's trying to show in his photograph how litter can ruin a landscape, the human intervention turns something thats stereotypically beautiful into something abstract. I find this concept fascinating, how something so ordinary like rubbish found on the street can look completely different when added to a beautiful landscape. Development: Comparing these two photographers enabled me to develop my idea, the two photographs inspired me to create a final image including litter that had been placed in a landscape and to therefore create an interesting final image.

Self Evaluation.
I believe I am well aware by the issues raised within my Environment Unit, that the concept of litter on the streets can symbolise human interaction on the landscape and something thats seen as ugly in the environment, can create an interesting image by the way its randomly placed. My object unit is seen as more of a personal issue, but is widely common and the research that took place during my project enabled me to be well aware about the issues behind the theme of Child Abuse. For the object, the reasons behind my photographic choices were basically dependant on how I want the viewer to feel when looking at my final photograph, I wanted the photo to be hard-hitting as the topic I chose is quite deep and moving. I therefore decided on using a dark background and have the objects lit from the side, creating shadows and making the image darker. I believe the china doll in the photo is particularly moving and completely represents the theme of Child Abuse. I think my visual choices translate the theme of child abuse successfully, as the contrast between the wine, doll and broken glass symbolise a child thats obviously broken by alcohol, and the way in which I chose to photograph the objects also translate the theme by being quite dark and eerie. For The Environment, my photographic choices werent as obvious as I wanted the photos to be more random and I didnt want to plan what to photograph before the shoot as I wanted the litter I found to be obviously random. I think my visual choices translate the theme of litter well because the rubbish seen in the photographs look randomly placed, they completely change the way the environment is viewed. I have managed my studies for these projects by trying to do a lot of research from the very beginning to inspire me with an idea from an early stage. The most significant challenge I found was trying to find the balance of work for both units and doing equal amounts of work, which I definitely found difficult as my idea for The Object unit came to me a lot quicker than my idea for The Environment. Another problem I found was the actual shooting and printing of the projects as this is where I really struggled, but have learnt for next time to do more testing and shooting early on so it wasnt done as last minute.